Friday, August 22, 2014

friday favorites: succulent + cactus planters (you're welcome)



Succulents + cacti are a great way to add a bit of texture and green to a room. After a string of rather unforuntate plant-related issues, my succulent collection is (finally!) thriving. And if I can care for these little cuties, you can too!
Here's a wrap-up of some awesome planters that will satisfy your design cravings and serve as a little home for your cacti or succulent.
Please let me know if you have any favorites that were omitted. Cuz you know, I'm always in need of another planter!

1. Boxcar from Revolution Design House
2. Hive Ballast planter from Light + Ladder
3. Hex Spora from Light + Ladder
4. Hexagon Pot from Ferm Living
5. Pastel Mini Planter from Leif
6. Terrarium Collection spotted on Oh So Pretty
7. Faceted Hanging Tray from Pigeon Toe Ceramics
8. Hanging planters from Tina Frey Designs

Thank you Carly Loman (of DLD PR) for your collage assistance!
Please note: I have no financial or business relationship with any of these companies. I just l-o-v-e what they're doing!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, August 21, 2014

in instagram: chihuly and the denver botanic garden (with my trusty iPhone)


It’s been almost 7 years since I registered for a glassblowing course at Urban Glass on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. In my late-20s and early-30s, very few things could get me to rise early on the weekend, but glassblowing sure did. It was so exciting to try something new. And while it turns out that I’m actually a terrible glass blower (I thought my experience with sculpture would help, but it didn’t) it was so much fun to try.

The fruits of my glassblowing labor bore a few sad looking vessels and something that vaguely resembled an ashtray, which is not practical at all since I’m not a smoker. I also managed to salvage a sort-of mortar & pestle combo that I proudly display in our kitchen, but it was meant to be something else (which I can’t remember now).

I guess what I’m saying is this: glassblowing is incredibly difficult and just because you want things come out a certain way, doesn’t mean they will. Adding color and blowing elongated forms or elaborate shapes is no easy task. The technical precision, along with the tremendous amount of patience required to have complicated designs (or even simple ones) come to fruition, makes me appreciate the work of Dale Chihuly and his Studio even more…

Chihuly at theDenver Botanic Gardens is simply stunning. The glass pops with color and texture and the placement of the forms - largely inspired by nature - are integrated throughout the gardens and the pools.

Try and visit the garden on an overcast day, in the late afternoon. That’s when we went - the temperatures were a bit cooler and the crowds were a little bit less intense. I can’t wait to go back at night and see the sculptures when they’re illuminated.

Chihuly has inspired me…and I think it might be time to try glassblowing again. After all, it’s been 7 years and in that time most of my scars have completely faded…
Enjoy!



Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, August 15, 2014

friday favorites: wallpaper round-up!



What can I say? I'm obsessed with wallpaper.  It can add texture, depth, brightness, lightness, whimsy, formality, or color to any room. And there are so many stunning options out there…

A few weeks ago we hung some Miss Prints wallpaper in our kitchen. We covered one wall, but just a few rolls of paper made our drab space pop. The wallpaper completely transformed the room, which now seems brighter, lighter, and just more fun than it was before... I looked through quite a few samples at the Covered Wallpaper on Santa Fe, but when I spotted the fig wallpaper I knew it was the one! I mean come on-  this is for a kitchen after all! I simply love it.

Now I want to wallpaper every room in our home!  I've got my eye on the downstairs bathroom, Otis and Theodore's room, and our entryway.  I'll have to pace myself, but it's hard. There are so many good wallpaper choices and none of them remind me of the weird/dated floral number that hung in my parents' kitchen for most of my life! (Sorry, mom.). Today's wall coverings can be modern, unique, and creative works of art.

Here are some of my favorites. I hope it gives you some inspiration. Chime in if your  favorite is not included. Enjoy!

xo,
Batya

WALLPAPER
1. Tree of Life from Timorous Beasties
2. Auva from Trove
3. That Highly Intelligent Clam by Katie Deedy for Grow House Grow
4. Dino Wallpaper by Sian Zeng, spotted on Simply Grove. (There's a magnetic option too!) 
5. From Eskayel. All their collections are terrific.
6. Spot from Abnormals Anonymous
7. Wabi from Calico
8. Nethercote by Julie Rothman for Hygge & West
9. Chinatown Toile by Dan Funderburgh for Flavor Paper
10. Archives Wallpaper (Alt Deutsch) by Studio Job for NLXL 
11. Luxury from Flavor Paper
12. Trace from Trove.

Thank you Dania Ahmad and Carly Loman (both at DLD PR) for your wallpaper input and collage assistance!
Please note: I have no financial or business relationship with any of these companies. I just l-o-v-e what they're doing!
Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

gazpacho two ways: traditional red (from jose andres) and green (from bon appetite)


For months my husband and I planned to tear up half of the cement driveway that sits to the left of our house. We had 10 feet of concrete slab that was a total waste of space and didn't make sense to maintain since we have one car (and hope to keep it that way) and a scooter. We thought the space should be turned into our family garden.

After dragging our feet for most of the spring and early summer, Matt finally rented a jack-hammer. It took only (!) seven hours of drilling in the sun, in temperature that exceeded 100 degrees, to get the job done. We removed the concrete and assembled the elevated garden beds. Then we tilled the hard clay, added bags and bags of soil, and got to planting. We're growing basil, jalapeños, Corsican mint, Kentucky Colonel mint (hello mint juleps! and mojitos!), heirloom tomatoes, kale, marigolds, milk weed, jupiter's beard and a host of other bee-welcoming and butterfly-attracting plants. 

In just under 5 weeks we have started to reap the benefits of our hard work. Otis is in charge of watering the plants every morning and every evening. Theodore, being slightly less helpful than his older brother, usually takes the garden spade and swings it in the direction of the tomatoes until something falls off the vine (hopefully he outgrows this soon). There is an enormous satisfaction in knowing that we are greening the land, and our garden serves as our proudest DIY-it to date. We've come a long way since I tried to grow a strawberry plant on our fire escape in Brooklyn. I lovingly watered that silly plant and placed it in the sun, but the result of all my effort was a pitiful yield - a single and sad looking berry that didn't even taste good. 

But times have changed and this garden is a total thrill. It's thriving and it's growing. I can't tell you how amazing it felt to pick some of the gazpacho ingredients  from our little plot of Earth....
Patricia's Gazpacho 
(Courtsey of Jose Andres via Food + Wine. With thanks to the Truffle Table  in Denver for suggesting this recipe.)

Ingredients
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 10), cut into chunks
8 ounces cucumber (1 cucumber), peeled and cut into chunks
3 ounces green pepper, in large pieces
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Garnish
1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice rustic white bread
6 plum tomatoes, with the seeds, prepared as "fillets"
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt
4 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preparation

  • In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, garlic and sherry vinegar and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Taste for acidity; this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes. If it's not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. Add the olive oil, season with salt, and blend again. Strain the gazpacho into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • In a small pan, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat and fry the bread until golden, about 2 minutes. Break into small pieces to form croutons and set aside.
  • To serve pour gazpacho into each of 4 bowls. Place 4 croutons, 2 "fillets" of tomatoes with seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes and 3 onion segments into each bowl. Add a few drops of olive oil to each onion segment and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes and sprinkle the chives over the soup. Serve when the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled.
NOTES: 
José's tips: If you want to be original, buy yellow or even green tomatoes. Also, if you want to save time, you can simplify the garnishes: Just use a few cubes of cucumber, tomato and green pepper.
* * *

I've been on such a gazpacho kick recently that I just had to try this green gazpacho recipe from July’s Bon Appetit magazine. It’s completely different from the traditional red gazapacho, but equally delicious. If you don’t want the soup hot (taste-wise, not temperature-wise) you can reduce the amount of jalapeño or increase the amount of yogurt. But personally, I love a soup with kick!
Green Gazpacho (Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Ingredients
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, divided
½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 oz. ciabatta or country-style bread, crust removed, bread torn into 1” pieces (about 2½ cups) 
1 medium English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into large pieces
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatillos (about 12 oz.), husked, quartered
4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
2 jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Piment d’Espelette or Hungarian hot paprika (for serving)

Preparation
  • Whisk vinegar, lime juice, 1 cup yogurt, and ½ cup oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add bread, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatillos, scallions, jalapeños, garlic, and ¾ tsp. salt and toss to coat (make sure bread is well coated so it can soak up as much flavor as possible). Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  • Working in batches, purée bread and vegetable mixture in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a large bowl and season gazpacho with salt.
  • Whisk remaining ½ cup yogurt in a small bowl, thinning with water a tablespoonful at a time, until the consistency of heavy cream; season with salt.
  • Serve soup in chilled bowls. Drizzle with thinned yogurt and more oil and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette.
DO AHEAD: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Mix well before serving.
Follow Me on Pinterest