The Fabulous Fig

Photo: www.botanicalfeast.com

It’s that time of year.

Fig Season!

Stuffed with blue Cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, roasted and served on top of arugula with a crunchy bread.

Or

Photo: www.designsponge.com

Plopped onto a tart, bread or made into jam.

How about the Fig Newton?

Figs are fabulous.

My friend Kate Paul (of Foodink and Basil Limeade Fame) even has a Fig Fest (which I will report on later) to celebrate the magical fruit.

Here are some photos from years past.

The love affair with the fig doesn’t have to stop in the kitchen.

You can live with a tree year round.

No fruit, but the glorious big leaves are just as good.

This Marion Fig is one of my favorites for the home.

I think that everyone should have a tree and plants of some sort in their home.

Photo: Elle Decor

If you have a black thumb you can always use Peter Dunham’s fabulous fig fabric

Photos: Peter Dunham Interior Design

Here’s another way to get a little Fig into your life.

The Fig Diptyque smells divine!

All your undies in the dirty clothes hamper?

Just grab a fig leaf.

xoxo Carrie

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A Polka Dot Present

I love my Birthday Present from my sis in law Jen & Hubby Lu.

You can see why.

As most of you know I am a sucker for packaging and present presentation.

Much to my pleasure was the book inside.

 A book of work by Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama.

Kusama is the artist behind the dots.

 She has seen dots since her childhood and sees them as an inspiration for her art and also a way to understand her mental illness.

Plagued by  mental illness she voluntarily checked herself into a Japanese mental institution in 1977 where she still resides and works .

She is finally getting her due, with a retrospective that opened this month at The Whitney Museum of American Art and runs through September.

  Truly a unique and astounding talent.

So what’s the deal withLouis Vuitton ?

Well, Vuitton is one of the sponsors of the show.

In addition,Kusama and Vuitton Creative Director, Marc Jacobs collaborated on the Summer 2012 collection.

It’s awesome.

Thanks for the present Jen!

xoxo Carrie

Summer Entertaining

I love summer entertaining.

 Eating outdoors, long evenings, no school, and the laid back attitude that accompanies summer entertaining totally suits me.

Summer cooking is my favorite and I always look forward to the bounty of produce that shows up this time of year.

www.icedevents.com

Photo: www.acottageindustry.typepad.com

Cocktails and cool drinks infused with fresh herbs or seasonal fruits. I love the cute patterned cupcake liner turned upside down with a hole punched in it for the straw….figures it is a Martha Stewart idea.

Rose and Whites.

I have some go to recipes that have been in my summertime rotation for years.

Photo: www.marthastewart.com

This first recipe always make people question my sanity.

The dish is called Indiana Blueberry Pork.  Blueberries, onions, tomato and pork. Huh?

I swear it’s delicious and I have only heard raves about the dish.

I got it from an old issue of Midwest Living and I love that the recipe was taken from the Marshall, Indiana Blueberry Festival.

I loved Amanda Hesser’s, “Cooking for Mr. Latte”.  I was dating and falling in love with Adam around the time the book came out so I related to many of the stories.  One recipe from the book that I go back to over and over is her Green Bean Succotash Recipe.

For summer desserts I am a Strawberry Shortcake gal.  I love it when it is made with a scone like biscuit and globs of fresh whipped cream and berries.

Photo: www.savorynotebook.blogspot.com

I like to send people off with a little gift when I entertain.  An idea I’ve used on a number of occasions is to give each guest a little flower-pot with their name on a place card stuck into the pot with a flower card holder (you can get at your local floral supply company or florist) or plant marker.  An all-purpose item…place card/table decor/and parting gift. And it’s green too.

And if you are a guest at a dinner party, here’s a great hostess gift.  I am stealing this for sure!

Outdoor lantern, cocktail fixings, adorable straw & napkins.

What are your summer entertaining ideas?  Please share!

xoxo Carrie

Top Photo: Peter Dunham/Hollywood At Home

Decorating A Cabin

Photo: www.decorology.blogspot.com

When I married Adam he promised to love me in sickness and in health, etc… the one promise I will not let him forget is that we will one day own a cabin, on a lake, preferably in my favorite state of Wisconsin where I am now.

Photo: My view out the window.

I’m in the North Woods of Wisconsin, in an unincorporated town off of County Road Y. It’s 9:45 and the sun hasn’t set.

The sky is a golden orange.  I’m sipping wine and dreaming of decorating my own cabin one day.

Photo: calfinder.com

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: www.deptoftheinteriordc.blogspot.com

Photo: slytastic.wordpress.com

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: House Beautiful

Photo: www.kitchenisms.com

 

www.kitchenisms.com

Photo: Elle Decor

Photo: www.harvestfurniture.blogspot.com

Photo: Sunset On White Fish Lake

So I’ll keep dreaming of my cabin, in the meantime I will enjoy the heaven I am in right now.

xoxo Carrie

Cooking Club

Tonight’s Table

Way back when I was single, had roommates, and worked as a talent agent I decided to start a cooking club with my friend Cornelia. I remember we were sitting in a now defunct restaurant in Hollywood drinking wine, out much later than we should have been on a work night.  Besides having the prerequisite single girls conversation; fashion, boys and work, we found we both had a yearning to become better cooks and entertainers.  We already entertained quite a bit but we wanted to learn more, to master things we were afraid of (for me it was bread dough) and to also create an opportunity to carve out some quality time with good girl friends who were of like mind and wanted to learn some things in the kitchen. And so the Cooking Club was born.

I hosted the first cooking club in my tiny apartment kitchen that I shared with my dear friend Interior Designer Mary Luby and Yoga Booty Ballet Creator Gillian Martloth. I prepared cornish game hens and a wild rice dish.  It was all about quick, simple, sure to wow recipes. We drank too much and though the food was delicious, the evening was more like me conducting a cooking lesson on the Foodnetwork. We have learned a lot in the 10 years the Cooking Club has been in existence and now our get togethers are collborative and themed based.

Sally’s Spread for Spanish Cooking Club

(she had the items sent from Spain)

Alix working on her Biscotti for Italian Night

Stacy and Vanessa cooking up Garlic Flavored Oil for Broccolini

Toppings and Fresh Pizza Dough for our Pizza Night

Lettuce Wraps

Jessica and Clarke Sporting Bindi’s for Indian Night

Indian Night Table @ Alix’s House

Celebrating Lulu’s Book “Lulu Powers, Food to Flowers” with a Table Scape Using Some of her Tips

Our group now consists of some professionals in the food biz which has put the cooking on a much higher level.  We “tease” when someone hasn’t put much time into a dish or if they make the same thing numerous times, but we are all quite serious about our cooking.  Most of us have had a big flop (except the fabulous Caterer Lulu Powers) and great successess.  We have bumped it up even more now by taking special care in our tablescapes.

Lulu’s Summer Table

Clarke’s Favorite Things Dinner

Malibu Beach Food @ Sally’s

The members have changed through the years, but we now have a core group that has been going strong for years. There are some ladies I only see when we get together, others that I see more often, but I adore each and every member and learn so much (not just in cooking but in life). There have been weddings, babies, divorces, job losses, and career changes.  We have lost parents and pets. Members have moved away.  We have even been in national magazines and on television. But the desire to learn, cook, to be wonderful hosts and entertainers is still what drives us all.

Some of the other Cooking Club members have blogs you should check out!

Sally Horchow “Very Good Looking”

Lulu Powers    “Living La Lulu”

Heather Fogarty  “The Foodinista”

I am hosting tonight, so off to go do a little prep.

Happy Cooking Everyone!

xoxo Carrie

Pretty Pitchers

I am a collector.

Fornasetti, McCoy Pottery, Shoes, Cloisonne

and Pitchers.

I can’t seem to get enough.

 I love them and have them stored and also displayed throughout my house.

I love pitchers over flowing with flowers.

I love this table scape.

Photo: www.ornari.com

I think this is my favorite pitcher of all time.

I bought it at a great antique store in Bloomington, Illinois and hand carried it back to Los Angeles.  It has found a forever home with me.

I also love Mexican Handcrafted Pitchers.

Beautiful craftsmanship and beyond gorgeous.

I am coveting this pitcher by Salvador Teran

I need to start saving!

Photo: Vintage & Modern

Photo: johnsmitchell.photoshelter.com

I have wanted these pitchers ever since spying one at my friend Alexis’s house.

The lapis parrots are to die for.

Yet another Mexican Pitcher I am eyeing.

Photo:  www.decorativeobjects.oneofakindantiques.com

My collecting began over 20 years ago when I bought the all familiar Italian Rooster Pitcher.

The famous Italian Ceramic Italian Rooster Pitcher symbolizes “Good Fortune” and/or “Good Luck” and is believed to protect one from dangers.   It is an Italian tradition to give a ceramic Italian rooster pitcher to a friend or relative, ideally as a housewarming or wedding gift.

Photo: Anthropologie

Anthropologie always has a selection of great pitchers.

 I always wait for their sales and have managed to score some at great prices.

Photo: Crate & Barrel

The Crate & Barrel Ona Pitcher is staple in a lot of homes.  It’s modern lines makes it the perfect dinner party water pitcher.

I have four at home.  When I am hosting a large dinner I can put one on every table.  And the $26 price point makes it not only good-looking but affordable.

Whether the pitcher is useful, pretty,necessary, extravagant, or practical, I will always have room for another.

What do you collect? Do tell.

xoxo Carrie

Foodink’s Basil Limeade+Vodka. The Perfect Summer Cocktail.

Here is my favorite cocktail of late.

My Official Summer 2012 Drink

Basil Limeade

Muddled Strawberries

Vodka

Mint

 I get my Basil Limeade from good friend Chef Kate Paul(FoodInk Catering) and her new Gourmet To Go Cafe on La Brea. It’s an awesome place and you do not have to fight the crowds, or have to circle around and around to find parking like you do at Joan’s On Third.  I load up weekly on a couple freshly made bottles. She’s my dealer.

Gourmet To Go packages the Limeade in gorgeous french lemonade bottles with a cute ribbon, it can go from store to table. The cost is $15.00.  If you bring the bottle back you can get a re-fill for $8 or if you are in the green mode, bring your own quart size container and get it filled for $12.

Kate also suggests using the Limeade for a quick and delicious Margarita or add some Ginger Ale for a Virgin Cooler.  And while you are at home enjoying your drinks, you can add some Limeade into a shallow dish or tray and put into the freezer, fork every hour and viola you will have a refreshing Granita to enjoy.

If you are hosting cocktails or just having a nice evening at home I suggest you pick up a fabulous cheese platter and some of her to die for parmesan crackers.  I also love her prosciutto, dolce di latte, fig crostini and tomato tart tatin, goat cheese and baby basil.  You’ll be set for cocktail hour in one stop and little effort.

I could go on an on about all her delicious stuff….desserts galore, shrimp coconut curry soup, truffle mac n cheese ready to heat, salads, sandwiches, and perfect foodie hostess gifts too!  This place is da bomb and don’t even get me started on her catering…..

And the best part is that if you mention Pearle and Pierce Home, you’ll receive 15% off your order.

Head over today, you won’t be disappointed!

Foodink

Gourmet 2 Go

La Brea Blvd.

Open  Tuesday to Sunday

11am-4pm

323 934 9401

 xoxo Carrie