Saturday, December 4, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Take Ivy

A few selects from Chapter 1 of Take Ivy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

John Currin

I can't even tell you how thrilled I am that John Currin will be speaking at SMU this evening. I've had the countdown going for months. I don't even remember where I first learned of his work. I think I was perusing some (artful) rated X material on the web late one night and was so taken with his exaggerated illustration of the female form. Many of his works almost appear renaissance in style, but with overtly sexual connotation. The last painting here in the feed is on view currently at the Meadows Museum of Art as part of the Spanish Muse collection (a contemporary response to the collaboration with the Prado Museum in Madrid). Hope you can make it, and it's free!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Saigon Block

No, it's not the red light district of Richardson, Texas. It's a new-ish Vietnamese restaurant that was recently added to the Top 100 list of restaurants in Dallas. And now that fall is upon us, it's time for pho, and lots of it. Like a gallon of it. And it was goooooood. The best part was the mountain of fresh basil served on the side. Oh and the Imperial Roll was great too (despite the photo). My only suggestion when you're there is to have patience. The wait staff barely speaks any English and messed up just about every part of our order. FYI hot tea is free!

Classic pho with top round steak

The Imperial Roll

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm back from taking a good long break from blogging. I wasn't sure if I'd ever return, if I ever had anything valuable to say, but who cares anyway right? It's fun and I miss it, and it doesn't matter if I do have anything valuable to say because this blog's just for giggles.

I thought it fitting to make my first rebirth post about a fantastic new exhibit of emerging photographers at the MoMa's new show. Oh how I wished I lived in NYC. I would live at the museums.

So here are a few highlights:

Alex Prager, American, born 1979
Alex Prager
Elad Lassry, Israeli, born 1977
Elad Lassry, Israeli, born 1977
Elad Lassry, Israeli, born 1977

Sadly I am still reading Scoop, even though it's merely a 300 page book. Been consumed by magazines and Glee lately.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's tabbouli

This is not your Tata's, or your grandmother's, tabbouli. It's mine. But I think it's better! As you can see, it's super colorful, which according to mom means it has lots of vitamins and nutrients. You're never going to see carrots, or beans, or even radishes in restaurant or Whole Foods tabbouli.

My overall advice for making tabbouli is you can never really have too much garlic. And add whatever produce you have in the fridge really. Everything tastes great with lemon juice and garlic.

This recipe is to serve about 4. My husband had one bowl, and I had three. (Side note: tabbouli stores in the fridge for a couple days because parsley doesn't wilt and only gets better because everything soaks up the juices.

Here's what you need to make the tabbouli you see here (I'm estimating just about everything here, so use your creativity and taste buds):
A bunch of parsley (curly or flat is fine)
3 cloves of garlic, not the wimpy ones
1 carrot
3 radishes
1 tomato
A few pods of fresh fava beans
1/4 bulgur wheat
A few pieces of purple cabbage, cut in slices
Dried mint
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Heat up some warm water and let the bulgur soften up for 10 minutes or so. Crush the garlic into the bottom of the bowl. Top with a few glugs of lemon juice, don't be stingy. Sprinkle with salt, about a 1/4 tsp. Chop the parsley (not too fine, but not too chunky) and add to the bowl. Add the remaining chopped veggies and beans. Drain the bulgur, pressing it to be sure little to no excess water makes it to the bowl. Sprinkle tabbouli with about a 1/4 tsp. of dried mint and a go-around or two of olive oil. Mix it all up and enjoy.

This recipe (in addition to my salad) really changes depending on what I have on hand. I like to use cucumbers, peppers and palm hearts if I have it. So play around and see what you like.

I served it with a toasted pita and halloumi cheese sandwich. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diane von Furstenberg speaks in Dallas

The other day I was supremely lucky to see Diane von Furstenberg speak at a benefit for the Jewish Family Services of Dallas. She also brought her friend Andre Leon Talley, the former and very flamboyant editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, and current judge of America's Next Top Model. Unfortunately he didn't speak at all, so I only saw him eating his lunch.

As a side note, she told the story of her first ad (seen above). She said that when she arrived to the shoot and sat on the cube she decided it was too plain and stark. So she asked for a marker, and claims that on the spot came up with a line that would become her trademark: Feel like a woman, wear a dress. And wear a dress I did. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I scream for brussel sprouts

(this butter is crack, pure unadulterated crack)

This was a weekend of amazing food. Leo made dinner for us Sunday night, and announced that it was a meat and potatoes night. No vegetables allowed. Well, that's not okay. Plus I had a bag full of vibrantly green brussel sprouts from an italian market in the refrigerator. So I asked politely if I may add these to the menu and he obliged. Since I finished the sprouts early, we sat outside with a glass of wine. We don't do this enough. The end result was a plate full of his garlic infused filet mignon, rosemary potatoes, these sprouts and a kick ass episode of Breaking Bad. 

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup pecan halves, cut crosswise into thirds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 pounds baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecan pieces in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and bake until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to nuts and toss until butter is melted and nuts are coated. While nuts bake, cook Brussels sprouts in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain sprouts and pat dry. Melt remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter (or use extra virgin olive oil, which is what I did) in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to moderately high, then add sprouts and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir in pecans and serve.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I love the theataaaaa

I had the most romantic, loverly Saturday afternoon. I love when things just come together last minute like this. We got tickets to see a matinee performance of Arthur Miller's classic Death of a Salesman at the Wyly Theatre. It's my favorite place to see performances in Dallas. And the ticket prices are incredibly reasonable (as low as $15). And side note: if you go to the box office to purchase, you forego the handling fees which are quite high.

Afterwards we strolled over to One Arts Plaza and ate at The Screen Door, an upscale southern home-cooking restaurant. I started off with a brown butter sage martini and munched on scones, carrot cake muffins and warm corn bread with apple butter. We decided to do the theatre dinner package which was 3 courses for $35 and the best deal on the menu. The first course was the salad, filled with candied pecans, dried cherries and little chunks of cheddar. We also ordered a side appetizer of fried green tomatoes (Leo's favorite). When we got married in Savannah, we ordered these every day, wherever we went. The tomatoes were probably my favorite thing because the tomatoes were warm and sweet, and the outside was crunchy and super spicy. For the main course I got shrimp and grits which was the perfect portion. Honestly after gorging on the scones and tomatoes I was already ready for dessert. But I was a warrior. Somehow I finished nearly the entire plate. We took a few breaths and rested a few minutes, and then came the strawberry shortcake. It was fate I was there that day because strawberry shortcake is my favorite childhood dessert and each bite made me so happy.

I am still full.

Monday, April 26, 2010

White Rock Home tour + gourmet tacos= romance

The longer I keep up with this blog, the more I realize how much time I spend apologizing for my grotesque photos. Once we get a new digital SLR (we sold ours a few months ago) my photographs will be so beautiful that it may even compel a few more people to even read this thing. Now that would be something. 

This past weekend was certainly a full one, as most every one is for me. I can't say no. And I'm lucky to live in a city (while many would disagree) that has so many amazing and inspiring things to do every weekend (and most week nights even).

On an ultra brief side note, I wanted to mention a new-to-me sushi place the hubby and I went on a date to that I just adored. It's called Sushiyama and it's at Forest & Greenville in north Dallas (I already hear the ews and mumbles), but it was so delicious and fresh. Most importantly it is unpretentious and comfortable and all about the food. No disco balls, blaring clubby music, or any of those things that my old sushi joints have evolved into. Anyone in Dallas can concur, oui?

Okay, I digress. Back to the houses and the tacos. You couldn't have painted a more lovely weekend to be outside enjoying fine furnishings and landscaping of these mid-century modern homes in east Dallas. Many of the home tours I've been at in Dallas are just plain depressing because they are just way too amazing. But some of these homes had a wonderful way of combining authentic mid-century pieces with things from Ikea (which we all know the Santos' love, and who doesn't really?). After all I was a wee intern when I moved to Dallas. 

So after the first house, and well into my double shot cinnamon latte, I had some serious jitters and anxiety and needed sustenance. My friend and I made a detour to The Green Spot and grabbed their last few breakfast tacos (the line was wrapped around the building for the lunch tacos and we just weren't having that). We sat in my car, tacos in the laps and salsa bar on the dash, and inhaled them and headed back to the next few houses. It was a lot of fun and definitely got me jazzed to start brainstorming our bedroom at home. Okay, enough words. Bye bye.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Franco Rubartelli& Veryschka

Italian-born fashion photographer Franco Rubartelli rose to prominence with his 1965 editorial for Linea Italiana featuring Veruschka, with whom he first began working with in Italy in 1963. The pair eventually would life together in a penthouse in Rome and worked on many other features for Condé Nast magazines over the course of their relationship which lasted until the late 60s.

How to be chic 101: Max Mara

Now I'm no authority on the matter of chicness, but I know it when I see it. And living in Dallas, it's all over the place. And from what I can tell it seems to get better with age. Max Mara is the perfect example of a brand that you can buy a piece now and wear it in 20 years. It's sexy, elegant and classic. I also like that you can find both casual and more dressed-up pieces that all work together cohesively.