The Blood Moon

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Wait!

Don’t go to bed yet-please read this quick post first!

I was hoping to get it up earlier, but you know how that goes.

Hopefully you peeps on the East Coast haven’t called it a night yet…

Here’s the deal; set your alarm for 3:oo am (EST) this morning if you’d like to witness the “Blood Moon” that’s going to occur.

They say North America will have a front row seat so time your alarms accordingly.

“The phenomenon in which the moon is completely covered by the earth’s umbral shadow for four eclipses in a row, as opposed to only partial eclipses that fall in the outer penumbra. But rather than succumbing to complete darkness, the moon will glow red as it receives the refracted light that spills over the Earth’s circumference.” (NBC news)

I do believe I witnessed a “Blood Moon” a couple of years ago in Sun Valley, where one can view celestial  shenanigans like nobody’s business. The night skies of Idaho are a stargazer’s dream.

 Actually, Santa Barbara is not too shabby in that department either, especially here in Montecito where there are no street lights and night landscape lighting is frowned upon. :-(

Video explaining the “Blood Moon”

(or a “Tetrad” as those of us in the ‘lunar know’ , er, know)

red moon , slimpaley.com

This is the one I saw in Sun Valley. Not a great shot as I took it with my very old iPhone but you get the idea. It was so cool! I kept trying to get everyone to come out and look at it, but no one was biting. I think there was a good movie on or perhaps a heated ping-pong game.

Plus I had to run back in before I got eaten by a bear.

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Speaking of eating…(how’s that for a segue?) it’s also Blood Orange Season.

blood orange tree , slimpaley.com

Our trees are producing abundantly this year so we’ve been getting pretty creative with these babies.

blood oranges slimpaley.com

Fresh Blood Orange juice by itself, though gorgeous to look at, is much too tart for my liking.

It’s better mixed with regular orange juice or another fruit juice that will give it some natural sweetness. Or vodka.

Or gin.

Tequila in a pinch.

blood orange water  slimpaley.com

I’ve also been squeezing the juice of just one or two blood oranges into my carafe of water every day. It makes me feel like I’m at a spa. I add a splash of Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic Water-it’s delicious and makes the water swirl like antique glass.

blood oranges slimpaley.com

 

dried blood orange slices slimpaley.com

 I think I mentioned slicing and drying the blood oranges in the dehydrater relatively recently…or was that on Instagram? Do you follow me on Instagram?? It’s fun!

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They’re quite good and no doubt super good for you, but now we’ve discovered that they’re even waaaay better with the rinds cut off. Just little sweet & sour explosions of chewy flavour.

dried blood oranges, slimpaley.com

Eat your heart out Dale Chihuly!!

Chihuly-10 Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

dried sliced blood orange slimpaley.com

 Don’t look at my manicure

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Tomorrow night we are trying this recipe- I’ll let you know!

And this link will take you to many other fun ideas;

blood orange recipes

Bubbly Ginger Blood Orange Smoothie (recipe below)

20 Brightly Hued Ways to Eat Blood Oranges

blood orange tree  slimpaley.com

Happy Lunar gazing

xxSP

Post Script; later on tonight…

Blood Moon April 2014

It was very cool indeed!

~

CIAO ORVILLE

fashion, popcorn

When you think of Summer do you think of popcorn?

Drive-Ins, Summer movie dates, pool parties..

It’s not the first thing, mind you, but I think of it.

Oh, let’s be real, I think of popcorn just as much in the winter.  I’m a complete kernel fiend but it was a so-so (desperate) segue into the post.

BTW, Do you think it’s easy to find a photo combining fashion with popcorn?!  NUH-UH Girlfriend.  Was so excited when I snapped the above window in NY!

But  I’m thinking about popcorn pretty much every day, now that I’m on my gluten-free trial period (I hate the word DIET).

In fact it was one of the very first things I looked up before deciding whether or not this G-F choice would even be doable for me.

Because It’s absolutely, positively, your chances are zero, IMPOSSIBLE to get me to go to the movies and not eat popcorn.

If I’ve been to Bouchon for lunch and The French Laundry for dinner and you say let’s go to the movies I will at least get a medium, butter 1/2 way down.

No Sharesies.

Butter 1:2 way down trick

Here’s an insider’s trick for the cinema: establish two straws at different levels of the bag and shoot the “butter” down the straws.

Don’t judge.

~

24 carat good news?

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There’s NO GLUTEN IN POPCORN :-)

Now I know there are a million & one different ways to doctor popcorn. Whether you like it sweet or savoury, the possibilities are truly endless.

Basically, when it was suggested to God He create the perfect vehicle to deliver every possible flavour, He created popcorn.

I like both sweet & savoury, though I’m partial to salty for sure.

When I first moved to London, not all theatres even sold popcorn and if they did it was only sugared, which horrified me, but after my boyfriend put an end to bringing my own (spoilsport) I grew to sort of like the sweet stuff. Amazing how the human body adapts under pressure.

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But enough about ancient history and uptight old beaus who care about car smells.

I have this great tip for popping corn that I’d like to share with you.

popcorn maker

First, I would highly recommend dumping your microwave popcorn. I hear it’s very unhealthy and possibly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Just saying. I certainly have no idea if this is a valid accusation, but what I do know to be true is that freshly popped corn is way more delicious and only takes a few minutes extra to make, so why not make the switch?

Another benefit to popping stove top style is you may choose healthier oils such as olive, or coconut, for example. Who knows what Redenbacher really puts in that reservoir of goo at the bottom of the bag?

Pre-popped popcorn stores really well for at least a week. Make it when you have time, store in the same type of container you would keep cereal in and add the fixins’ when the movie starts.

Which is how we get to the popping tip below…

We were staying with dear old friends in Lake Tahoe earlier this year and I commented on how incredibly good their popcorn was (as we were watching an incredibly bad movie)

I was digging for every last ‘Old Maid’ (what’s your euphemism for un-popped kernels? I admit my old British one is so politically incorrect :-()

My friend said it was all in their friend Khalil’s “Top Secret Tip” which she gave me permission to share here;

KHALIL’S TOP SECRET POPCORN TIP:

Slow  roast  the  kernels  first!!!

I know. omg. Shhhhhh. Promise not to tell any other blogs…especially that Pioneer Lady.

popcorn tricksWhat looks tastier-These?

slow roast popcornOr these?

So, the secret’s out of the bag. Do with it what you will.

It does take some time and yes, skills to achieve just the right deep golden colour before cranking the heat up and commencing a popping.

On my stove it takes about 15-20 minutes but it is old and the gas control is either “Rainy Campfire on Survivor!” or “Industrial Kitchen Bake Off”

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have one or two “Incidents”

Who amongst us hasn’t thrown a ‘seriously burnt popcorn’ microwave away?? (our score is 2)

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I’m thinking of spreading a bag of kernels on an oiled cookie sheet and slow roasting them in the oven, as I do with steel cut oatmeal, to see if I get the same results.

Popcorn kernels may also be pre-toasted and saved to pop later, but I’ve found they don’t save for very long, maybe 3 or 4 days.

Then for some reason, husbands can’t get them to pop anymore and they burn.

They burn badly.

And your “Ray Donovan” Sunday evening viewing will be scarred.

As if you’re not being scarred enough just watching that show.

Truffle sea salt

A few of my personal fav’s; “Olive Oil & Sea Salt” butter from “Land O’ Lakes” (new, at least to me) , ghee, celery salt, Sriracha, Old Bay Seasoning, parmesan cheese, truffle salt…you know the drill.

stove top popcorn maker

I totally love the popcorn maker I asked for last Christmas after reading about the perils of micro-waved popcorn.

I’ve never looked back.

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Charlotte-Olympia-Movie-Night-Shoulder-Bag

Charlotte Olympia leather bag.

Thanks to L & E & especially Khalil!

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Ciao Orville Baby. It was fun while it lasted.

XXXSP

~

Pre-Summer Rerun

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Do not adjust your dial. There is nothing wrong with your screen.

This is indeed a rerun of a June 2011 post. Honestly, pinky swear, I never do this.

OK, maybe I’ve done it just one other time. Hey-It’s no crime. Haven’t we all re-read a good book on occasion?

Or worse, not even realized we’ve read a book until we’re too many pages in to admit it?!

But, here’s the thing; I’m traveling at the moment.

I promise to be back with a new post very shortly.

In the meantime, this should help to prime your Summer juices…

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Don’t forget to start your summer inspiration board (this is my beach house one, also from June 2011)

Original post link:

SUMMER’S ALMOST HERE

~

and just to assuage my guilt a wee bit, I’m including my newest Summer cocktail;

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It couldn’t possibly be easier, more decadent or delightfully confuse childhood memories with naughty grown up pleasures more!

“The Creamsicle”

1 part Advocaat

2-3 parts 7-up or Sprite

small ice cubes

Fill small(ish) glass tumbler with ice, pour chilled Advocaat over cubes, add 7up & stir lightly.

The drink will froth up beautifully…

along with memories of sticky, sand covered popsicle sticks stuck to beach towels, miniscule bikinis, tan-line comparing and sun burned boys.Who amongst us cannot relate?? :)

~

Cheers and have a great weekend!!

PS. Instagram photo taken in my “new” old conservatory. Vintage lamp from the Marches aux Puces, Paris. Which, may I add, cost way more to rewire Stateside than the lamp itself.

That calls for a 2nd cocktail in my “Summer Reading” book, don’t you think?

PPS. Header image from my post on the The Maldives in the “Travel” section.

~

Slim Paley Daily #2

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A Crusty Avocado Tart

in the gardens of “Maisons Des Reves” Dar Ahlam, Ouarzazete, Morocco

It’s Tart Tuesday!

(see what I did there?)

This was one of the most delicious dishes we ate inhaled during our entire holiday in Morocco.

The combination of melty, yet slightly grainy short crust pastry, creamy fresh avocado filling and crunchy baby lettuce & pomegranate seeds was positively dreamy.

So, Yay! Who’s your Mama?? I got the recipe and I’m sharing it with youse guys.

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L1150099It took literally every ounce of will power (and the fact that I wasn’t alone) to not ask for a second tart.

L1150096Serve with some freshly toasted french bread, chilled white wine

(do not look at that Coke-it’s a mirage-we were in the desert)

and you’ll feel like you are …

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ZZzzzzzzz….

Until tomorrow.

~

All photos Slim Paley, recipe filched from “Maison Des Reves”*

*Proper props will be proffered in an upcoming post. Promise.

Scorch & Soda

We turn the clocks back tonight (boo hoo!)

You know what that means my friends.

That’s right

It’s Officially Heartier Cocktail Season.

Not since a caramel fell into a bowl of salt have we seen a flavor sensation dominate like the “smoky” cocktail.  I’ve been experimenting here & there while slowly compiling this post over the summer but it wasn’t until I had my very first GIN martini the other night (I know, right? wonders never cease) accompanied by big fat smoked olives that I became a full fledged “Smoker”

OK, I know this photo would have been so much nicer if the glass wasn’t 1/2 empty and I hadn’t taken a big bite of the olive, but I just wasn’t anticipating how damn good it was going to be! (Hendricks gin btw) and you’re probably saying; can this possibly be the same Slim who loves roasted marshmallow martinis? I agree-it’s sheer madness.

Even I didn’t know I was this ambi-drinkerous.

So, at least for the month of November, I’m all about the “the fumes”

I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of a way to capture smoke within an ice cube. I tried typing “Smoke in ice cubes ” into Google and got nothing but photos of the rapper “Ice Cube” smoking cigars, plus some rather inventive ways of smoking meth.

Do you think I’m going to get meth spam now??  I’m worried :(

Try putting a few of  these in your pipe;

A couple of tasty smokers at Rick Bayles’ “The Frontera Grill” Chicago

Los Angeles: The molecular-minded Bar Centro at the Bazaar by José Andrés.The Drink: Smoke on the Water ($18)What’s in It: Blackberries, atomized Islay Scotch, liquid nitrogen, and a flaming orange peel.

Miami: The new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The Drink: Smoked Pear ($8).
What’s in It: Woodford Reserve bourbon, pear liqueur, lemon juice, maple bitters, and smoked-pear purée. 1600 Lenox Ave.; 305/538-5220.

Boston: Clio, home to the city’s most extensive cocktail list. The Drink: The Hunter ($13).
What’s in It : Sage-infused white rum, Willet single-barrel rye, and apple cider, plus a cloud of burned oak and cinnamon. Smoked ice (smoked over liqueur-soaked wood chips) are used in the “Frank-)” cocktail, also at Clio

(info via Nicki Goldstein/Travel & Leisure magazine)

In Yountville, CA, Bottega serves up a smoky trifecta with smoked tequila, smoked jalapeños, rimmed with smoked salt.

“The Smoker’s Delight” at PX in Alexandria, Virginia uses strained water that has been steeped in 3 kinds of tobacco. ( Oh, sorry, but that sounds gross! )

Smoke Signals

Here I’ve found a recipe to “smoke” your own ice at home-but be careful kids!

Line heavy large pot with heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle wood chips over bottom of pot; cover. Turn exhaust fan on high. Heat pot over high heat until smoke begins to form inside pot. Fill 9 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch metal loaf pan with ice. Place in pot; cover tightly. Smoke ice until just melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Cover loaf pan tightly with plastic wrap; freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. Using ice pick, cut ice block crosswise into 4 large smoked ice chunks. Wrap tightly in plastic and keep frozen.

Bring 1 cup water and sugar to boil in medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pecans; reduce heat to medium and simmer until syrup tastes like pecans, about 12 minutes. Strain; discard pecans. Cover and chill pecan syrup until cold, about 2 hours.

Place 5 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons Sherry, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons pecan syrup in cocktail shaker. Fill with plain ice cubes; cover and shake until cold. Divide mixture between 2 old-fashioned glasses. Repeat with remaining 5 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons Sherry, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons pecan syrup, and ice. Place 1 smoked ice chunk in each glass and serve.

(via Epicureous)

Mezcal and tobacco-infused syrup flavours the “Oaxacan Fizz” at FATHER’S OFFICE in LA (LOVE that name!)

“Smoke on The Water” at Bar Centro in The Bazaar, LA, literally smokes with a blast of liquid nitrogen and Islay Scotch.

Wouldn’t this make a good Christmas present?

Smoked salt via TheSpiceLab.com

For those smoked olives, you may

1) Marinate your olives for several hours in smoked olive oil

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2) make your own smoked oil by gently heating and infusing olive oil with hickory smoke powder and fresh or dried herbs of your choice, then marinate olives.

3) Thoroughly soak a cedar plank (important), wrap olives in a tinfoil package, making several slits in the top and sides,  place on wet plank, cover and grill (smoking times will vary depending on temperature) You can find several recipes for smoking olives online.

4) or just buy them already smoked.

Lastly, if you’re not already totally smoked out,

An interesting article on smoked cocktails HERE

Thank you for smoking and don’t forget those clocks tonight!!

~

(First photo Artist Liza Ryan (2012) any uncredited photos via Tumblr or Google)