photography and styling by ©Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios
We celebrated two birthdays in our home this past week ~ Sophia and Gabriella. This dark chocolate raspberry tart was for Gabriella. She is our resident sweet tooth with a special penchant for chocolate accompanied by rathbeweeths (as i can still hear her say with her 2 year old little lisp.)
The lilacs brought their unmistakeable fragrance to our table and to both celebrations. Happy birthdays and happy spring.
Original recipe courtesy of always with butter blog…
I used raspberries instead of cherries for my tart.
written by Gina Weathersby
iphoneography and styling ©Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios
I have been under the weather for a few days, and all I’ve wanted is soup.
This morning, while my usual perusing of favorite food blogs, I came upon a new one, the traveler’s lunchbox,
which I loved and spent more than just a little time going through the site.
I found this recipe there, an interesting take on lentil soup. I have yet to meet a lentil soup I didn’t like and this looked wonderfully rich.
I happened to have all the ingredients already, so no having to get dressed to go to the market.
Clearly, this soup was meant for me.
It was yummy. Really yummy. Ask ilene, she had two bowls.
Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices
(post is from Melissa’s original)
“Okay, I don’t make this soup exactly as written, but pretty close. My main change involves the ironing out of a few procedural wrinkles. Rather than frying things twice (first onions and garlic, later spices) as called for in the original recipe, I make this according to the Indian technique of cooking the lentils until soft, then frying all the aromatics and stirring them into the soup towards the end. It not only saves time, it allows you to get away with half the butter or oil (which I usually make up for by dumping in the entire can of coconut milk), and it really makes the flavors sing. I also add some fresh greens if I have any on hand, though the soup is plenty fantastic without them too.
Source: adapted from Once Upon a Tart by Frank Mentesana and Jerome Audureau
1 1/2 cups (275g) French green lentils (brown lentils work in a pinch)
6 cups (1.5l) vegetable or chicken stock
1 bushy sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 tablespoons butter, vegetable or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg
1 cup (250ml) coconut milk, or to taste (I normally use a whole 14oz/400ml can which makes a slightly richer soup)
a few handfuls (~7oz/200g) fresh spinach, chard or kale, washed, tough stems discarded and cut into ribbons (optional)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse the lentils and pick out any debris. Combine them in a pot with the stock, thyme and tumeric and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes. Fish out the thyme.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the butter or oil in a smallish skillet and sauté the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned and caramelized in places, about 12-15 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and fry just until deeply aromatic, about 30 seconds. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the pot with the lentils, and add the coconut milk and optional greens too. Bring everything back to a gentle boil and cook another 10 minutes, or until the flavors have blended and the greens are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.” ~ melissa
** the only things i added were chopped pistachios and drizzled some additional coconut oil before serving ~ gina
written by Gina Weathersby
photography and styling ©Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios
Yes, the temperature may very well reach 80 today, but, never-you-mind, I love soup any day, everyday.
This casual recipe is courtesy of a fabulous woman who served up one amazing craft service table on a recent shoot.
Homemade chicken stock (or quality store bought) about 6-7 cups
1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
*One bag chicken cilantro mini wontons (Trader Joe’s)
Simmer wontons in stock until cooked through, season with salt to taste
When ready to serve add to a soup bowl:
Broth and wontons
Thinly chopped scallions, all parts
Diagonally chopped snow pea pods, go ahead and let some of the peas out
Any other favorite ingredient you fancy (asparagus tips, mushrooms)
Finish off with cracked ground pepper and/or hot pepper flakes
*I rarely use any kind of prepackaged ingredients, but this one is worth it
written by Ilene Ross
photographed by ©Gina Weathersby/kiwi street studios
By now, we hope that everyone has heard the term, “shop local.” Well, thanks to Greater Cincinnati Independent Restaurants (GCI), and over 2 dozen of our best local eateries, we’re smack dab in the middle of Spring Restaurant Week-10 days, actually- one of the best, most affordable, and most delicious reminders that we should also eat local. Until March 21st, visit any of the restaurants listed at the GCI site, and enjoy a 3 course dinner for only $26.12 per person.
Not only is this the perfect opportunity for you to try that restaurant that’s been on your must-do list for a while, but it’s wonderful for our local economy. Independent restaurant owners are the ones most likely to keep their dollars local as well, which is better for everyone. They tend to use local products more often, and have personal relationships with farmers and food producers, guaranteeing you a higher quality, fresher product. The chefs you see at the weekly farmers markets aren’t the ones from large chain restaurants, they’re the ones who cook in their own kitchens. They’re also far more creative with their craft, since it’s their own livelihood on the line. Often times these places are family run and traditional in nature, showing it off in their cuisine, with recipes passed down through the generations.
The restaurants on the GCI list encompass all price ranges and countries. From jeans to dress shoes, pizza, pubs, tapas, Italian, and fine dining, there’s something for everyone. They’re located all over down town, in the suburbs and Northern Kentucky, and most of them are family friendly. We love that the weather has been so cooperative and that there are eateries located in Lebanon, Mt. Adams, Clifton, and Over-the-Rhine; this means that an after dinner stroll with some window shopping is most definitely in order.
Here’s the menu of what our own contributing chef, Dave Taylor has to offer for Spring Restaurant Week at La Poste…
greens, candied pistachio, hearts of palm, white balsamic, parmesan
Tomato piquillo pepper bisque
field blend of mushrooms, fresh sage, cream, parmesan reggiano
gorgonzola mousse, bitter greens, bacon vinaigrette, grilled rye, egg yolk
Choice of Salmon or Beef
accompanied by maple-dijon brussel sprouts, horseradish puree, red wine
& orange reductions
written by Ilene Ross
photos ©Gina Weathersby/kiwistreetstudios
It’s not often enough for us that the worlds of food and art come together. Why not, we ask? We first eat with our eyes, and after spending hours gazing at masterpieces in museums and galleries, we get really, really hungry. This is just one of the many reasons we were eagerly anticipating the opening of “Food as Art” last Friday night at Covington’s The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center. This show never disappoints the palate or the eyes.
Along with about 600 of our like-minded closest friends, we gathered to enjoy artistic and scrumptious tastings from some of our most favorite restaurants and, well, art in the shape of food, and some-in the case of the most noted local artists, food in the shape of art. After a couple of cocktails, the lines between what we were allowed to eat and what was off limits were becoming slightly blurred….
But back to the art. Saturday morning, we woke up with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Well, sort of. You see, the most beguiling beauties welcomed us into the party. Decked out in the cheekiest, Napoleonic style ball gowns-co-created by Nationally recognized artist Pam Kravetz and The Bonbonerie’s Sharon Butler- these fanciful dresses wowed the eyes and had us drooling, eager for the offerings of the surrounding chefs. But, it wasn’t sugar plums on one of the gowns, it was cakes! And cupcakes! In fact, I need to find out if I these outfits will be available to purchase; Halloween would be extra special this year. I could open the door dressed in a bustier laden with gum drops, life savers, and chocolate, and give new meaning to the phrase “trick or treat.”
In 2008, we were mesmerized by the toast Mona Lisa created by Eric Brass. We adore toast. The warm, comforting smell wafting up from the Dualit, the French butter and honey dripping off the sides, sopping up that last little bit of egg yolk….ahh, sorry, I digress. This year we were enthralled to see an entire room devoted to toast. A whole room was almost too good to be true, and the glass works by Leah Busch and Sandra Gross were so imaginative and charming; their whimsicality almost made up for the fact that we couldn’t actually consume any of the toast in the room.
One of our most favorite “lines were most definitely blurred between food and works of art,” had to be the utterly delightful room designed by the adorable Marisa Dipaola. In true “Willy Wonka” style, the walls in this tiny area were completely covered with sheet after sheet of that childhood favorite candy, “Dots”. Topped on one side by a row of “Peeps”, and the other, a row of “Circus Peanuts”, in the center was the artist herself, wearing , yes, a Dot dress, Peep necklace, and Circus Peanut flip flops. In the Yiddish words of my dearly departed Grandma Ida, we “plotzed.” We sighed with delight and wondered if we could move in and lick the walls.
Then of course there are always Peggy Shannon’s Queen City Cookies. Each a tiny magnum opus itself; (although we need our reading glasses to first admire the teensy tiny Renoirs and Monets) thank goodness we ARE allowed to eat these.
Food as Art runs at The Carnegie until April 13th. Go. But, eat at one of the restaurants that provided the tasty food for the opening before you do, because unfortunately, they’re not there for the whole show, and you don’t want to look at all of the delicious art on an empty stomach.