Thursday, May 9, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The green has been long in coming.
We have started our seeds,
woven the wattle branches,
kept the dusty millers waiting by the windowsill.
The rain has come, but with it more chill.
The tulips have held their breath.
We've kept our faith in check.
even on a bone-cold morning
when frost etches the beds
and the finches are nowhere to be seen,
there is the promise of green.
Friday, April 5, 2013
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
Just bought another bird feeder today. Plan to fill my gardens with hope.
Happy National Poetry Month, my friends.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Hello, lovelies! Spring has finally arrived here. Yes, it's freezing cold at night still, but days are sunshiny, tulips are finding their way up into the world, and the forsythia are about to burst open. All this loveliness calls for bright and cheerful recipes to welcome in the change of seasons.
And so, I share with you two recipes I made for Easter. The first is a Donna Hay recipe for a lemon ricotta cheesecake that you can find here. It's extremely creamy with a shortbread crust. Yes, it is even more delicious than it looks.
The second recipe comes from Martha Stewart. It is fast, easy, looks like a million bucks, and tastes incredible. Seriously. I will make this one again and again. You can find it here. This was a big hit at Easter. This version uses gruyere cheese and asparagus, but I could imagine making this with other veggie and cheese combinations: asiago and long ribbons of zucchini come to mind immediately.
I have so much I want to share with you. I've got loads going on with my writing, have been gardening every spare minute, and am excited that it's National Poetry Month. I'm also doing a tremendous amount of editing, tutoring, and book coaching for clients, so I can't blog as much as I'd like at the moment, but I'm going to try to carve out as much time as possible to share all my favorite aspects of this beautiful time of year. I'm itching to grab my camera and get back to doing some real photography again as well.
Right now, I have so many risky things going on in my creative life that I feel constantly on the brink--and not always in a good way. I need balance, thus I remind myself often of this quote from Kurt Vonnegut: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"
I hope you are thriving and creating and loving your days. xo Gigi
P.S. The raspberry coconut ice cream from the last post was delicious! A little icy since it's not made in an ice cream maker, but very yummy.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Breakfast at the ocean this morning. We picked up bagels from our favorite shop and ate them in the cold, looking out over the waves.
Back home in the yard under the great white pine, the crocuses are opening:
I find myself humming "Here Comes the Sun" at odd moments while I work on projects for clients today. Spring must be here at last.
Tonight I'll be making spicy fried tofu, along with this delicious sriracha fried rice and some steamed greens with sesame oil and garlic.
For dessert, I'm making homemade raspberry "ice cream." In a blender, I pureed about 6 ounces frozen raspberries, 1 can coconut milk, and a couple tablespoons or so of raw honey. The pink loveliness that resulted was divine. I poured it through a strainer to remove the seeds, then I popped it into the freezer. So far, it seems to be freezing beautifully. Tomorrow I'll let you know how it was!
I hope you are having a beautiful week, my friends!
Monday, March 18, 2013
For me, travel is an archeological dig. On the surface of a place there are the things we expect to find: the statues, fountains, buildings, and parks we see on every tourist website and in every travel guide. Those things are fine, but they usually have very little to do with the everyday life of a place, and they tend to leave me wanting to run to the nearest hole-in-the-wall diner for a slice of something real. So, I see an "attraction" like the current-day Times Square as the top layer in my dig. Everything is obvious, commercialized, boring. Once I emerge from the subway at 42nd Street, I can't wait to walk a few blocks over to get to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. There, the real fun of the dig begins. I get to meet locals, haggle for bargains, and discover unexpected treasures.
|Hell's Kitchen Flea Market|
|A box of chandelier crystals at the flea|
|Treasures at the flea|
I love getting a little lost in Greenwich Village, finding beautiful, one-of-a-kind shops I've never heard of, and eating cannoli at a local neighborhood bakery.
|Incredible offerings at Pasticceria Rocco in the West Village|
|Venus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art|
I also love wandering for hours at the Met or the Public Library, finding exhibitions by chance (like the Mary Cassatt prints at the library right now).
|In the Reading Room at the NY Public Library|
The beauty of traveling in a place like New York is that one's "digging" involves looking up as much as it does looking down--up at the cornices and pilasters and water towers and skyscrapers. I especially like to stop, turn, and look back at where I've just walked, so I can see it from another direction. I find some of my favorite discoveries this way.
And last but not least, seeing a city from above is always a good way to get a sense of its scope and scale. I highly recommend taking the Roosevelt Island Tram (next to the Queensboro Bridge). Mr. Magpie and I took it at sunset, and the views of Manhattan as we headed over the East River were spectacular. It only takes a few minutes to get to Roosevelt Island, and then you can go exploring there or hop back on the tram and head back to 59th Street.
|View from the Roosevelt Island Tram at Sunset|
Here are few links to some of the highlights from this last trip to New York, in no particular order. I can't wait to go digging there again soon.
- Kalustyan's ~ A fabulous spice and specialty foods market in Murray Hill.
- Pasticceria Rocco ~ Traditional Italian bakery on Bleecker Street in the Village
- Cafe China ~ Unique and beautiful Chinese food in a 1930's Shanghai atmosphere on 37th St.
- Alloro ~ Experimental Italian food--I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but the food is wonderful and fun--on the Upper East Side.
- Chelsea Market ~ For a quick and delicious lunch for after you've been walking the High Line, stop by Chelsea Market in the old Nabisco Building. Yes, it's for tourists, but it's lovely, and the food selection is great.
- Hell's Kitchen Flea Market ~ It wouldn't be a vacation for the Magpies without a trip to the flea.
- The Frick ~ An awe-inspiring collection.
- The Morgan Library ~ I can't believe I'd never been here before. Book, library, and manuscript lovers must go here.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art ~ Always, of course.
- The Mary Cassatt prints at the NY Public Library ~ they'll be up until June 23, 2013.
- Washington Square Park ~ Yes, I love Central Park, but there's something magical about Washington Square. It's a great place to have a picnic lunch, people-watch, listen to the various street performers, and get a strong sense of the neighborhood.