rome part 1. for condé nast traveler

Where has the time gone? I am not going to make excuses for my absence; I am just going to pick up where I left off... editing today I came across these images from Rome and suddenly got very hungry looking at this pasta . This might be dinner tonight. 

Last October we spent a few quick days on the ground in the eternal city, it was divine. 

 

 

Espresso at the newly opened J.K.Place. 

Espresso at the newly opened J.K.Place. 

 For my inner Borgia, the Vatican.

 For my inner Borgia, the Vatican.

Favorite neighborhood to get lost in. Monti.

Favorite neighborhood to get lost in. Monti.

The Colloseum.

The Colloseum.

 View of the city from Gianicolo. 

 View of the city from Gianicolo. 

 I funghi. Mercato Testaccio. 

 I funghi. Mercato Testaccio. 

Artichokes and Buccatini Amatriciana from Sora Marguerita in The Jewish quarter.

Artichokes and Buccatini Amatriciana from Sora Marguerita in The Jewish quarter.

summer waned.

Summer seems like so long ago as we come quickly upon the darkest days of the year, but I know it won't be long before we see her again.  I never posted these photos from a week out at the beach on Long Island this past summer. For me, they are a light on this dark nor'easter morning.

x

lately.

We had a long and glorious fall.  Now that the ground upstate is dusted with snow, laying way for what is ahead, I thought I would seize this moment to share a few of may favorite fall images before they become too distant of a memory.

There was a gathering of friends, a party in the woods, one leg of prosciutto, a very large fish, an apple whisperer, Will Oldham and many grateful moments.

nepal. kathmandu valley.

Last spring we were sent by Condé Nast Traveler to cover the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Like the infamous power lines that clog the sky like massive bird nests, the valley is a place full of chaos. It is a wild and beautiful jumble of smoke, soot and ash, brilliant colors and absurdly beautiful faces. The challenge with this job was that we were on the ground for six days; this is a short amount of time in the scope of a travel job. We usually have more time but we only needed to cover three towns so it was booked as a short trip. Honestly we could have spent a month. There was a photograph around every corner and alleyway. We love shooting travel and are so thankful that Traveler continues to send us on such extraordinary adventures. We have been around the world for them and it feeds all of our other work. The things we see always provide new inspiration. Each time they send us, we get to reconnect to what initially drew us to photography. Shooting travel takes us back to photography as a personal experience. We are alone with our cameras in hand, we often split up (at the crack of dawn) and dash off to cover whatever we may find coming back together periodically to share what we have found. It becomes just us alone looking through the viewfinder... searching and searching and searching. Most days in New York we spend our time in the studio around a monitor collaborating with art directors and stylists. Travel assignments are different from this kind of collaboration in that they are a solitary adventure and that is what makes them unique. Our assistant is usually somewhere between the two of us keeping notes and staying organized which is no small feat when shooting reportage. There are moments when I am at a market foraging produce for a still life and I look up only to see my husband cantilevering off a roof somewhere above us. He is famous for hanging out of car windows or tying himself to the side of a truck. He will go to all lengths to get a shot. (Think MacGyver) There are of course moments on these assignments when we are side by side shooting the same portrait but for the most part we come back together to load cards and see how the story is shaping up. There is a bit of competition between us but it only fuels the process, in the end we don't remember who took what picture.

It is a collaboration of a different sort.

I wanted to share some out takes from Nepal. You can see the full story in the August issue Condé Nast Traveler.

Hope you enjoy, the chaotic frenzy. xx

gascony france. the butcher. the baker and the armagnac maker.

The inquisitive pig at Dominique Chapolard's farm in Gascony, France.

The inquisitive pig at Dominique Chapolard's farm in Gascony, France.

Magestic Sunflowern in Moncault, Gascony,France. 

Magestic Sunflowern in Moncault, Gascony,France. 

Amazing summer fruits from the local market in Laverdac, Gascony France.

Amazing summer fruits from the local market in Laverdac, Gascony France.

  Famed Armagnac maker Alexandre Ladevèze.

 Famed Armagnac maker Alexandre Ladevèze.

Charcuterie from Dominique Chapolard with local wild peaches.    

Charcuterie from Dominique Chapolard with local wild peaches.

 

Dominique Chapolard, the butcher and master of  charcuterie.

Dominique Chapolard, the butcher and master of  charcuterie.

 Quiet town of Vianne, Gascony France.

 Quiet town of Vianne, Gascony France.

Laundry lines, Gascony, France.

Laundry lines, Gascony, France.

 Cecile Berthollet, Baker. Gascony, France.    The Berthellots, who proudly call themselves paysans-boulangers, or "peasant bakers," grow 250 varieties of wheat on their farm for their home-baked bread.

 Cecile Berthollet, Baker. Gascony, France.

The Berthellots, who proudly call themselves paysans-boulangers, or "peasant bakers," grow 250 varieties of wheat on their farm for their home-baked bread.

 Felix King at Camont.

 Felix King at Camont.

 Melons. Market Nerac .

 Melons. Market Nerac.

   The most exquisite Chasselas grapes from the Laverdac market, Gascony, France.

   The most exquisite Chasselas grapes from the Laverdac market, Gascony, France.

Peeping through the keyhole at the church.

Peeping through the keyhole at the church.

 Kate Hill's glorious pantry at Camont. Gascony, France.

 Kate Hill's glorious pantry at Camont. Gascony, France.

Fields of Sunflowers in Montcault

Fields of Sunflowers in Montcault

Last summer Condé Nast Traveler sent us to Gascony France to cover a food intensive story for their July 2013 food issue. I wanted to share a few of the photos we took for them. You can see a more extensive story at Condé Nast Traveler.com, both in the magazine and on the tablet. This story was dream to cover. We roamed the countryside with expatriate Kate Hill and her sisterStephanie  as our guides while they showed us an insiders view to Gascony. We photographed the butcher, the baker and the Armagnac maker and needless to say we ate and drank like kings. 

Kate runs a cooking school in Ste-Colombe-en-Bruihois  which she calls The Kitchen At Camont

Michael Ruhlman shares his picks  http://www.cntraveler.com/food/2013/07/french-culinary-vacation-travel-guide

out west. part one.

Greetings from Sunny California. Lula and I are having a girls week out West. We started our trip at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and day tripped to the desert and Joshua Tree from there. Today we head to the Integratron for a crystal sound bath (trippy)  then on to 29 Palms and later to Hope Springs. It is a mini break from what seems like a long winter in the North. 

Here are a few photos from along the way. More deatails of places to eat and visit in part two.

Have a lovely day.

xx

 Yucca Valley Joshua Tree National Park

 Yucca Valley Joshua Tree National Park

Lula photographing at Keys View Joshua Tree National Park. View of entire Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, San Andreas Fault all the way to The Salton Sea.

Lula photographing at Keys View Joshua Tree National Park. View of entire Coachella Valley, Palm Springs, San Andreas Fault all the way to The Salton Sea.

 Lula Joshua Tree National Park.

 Lula Joshua Tree National Park.

Desert Veg.

Desert Veg.

where the wild things things are no. 12. dandelion.

There is nothing quite like the first signs of spring. It is still relatively cold up here in the Catskills but the first signs of spring are all around. The woods are colored with vibrant green patches of ramp and the edges of nearby streams are dotted with clusters of wild watercress. In my own yard and bleak garden beds are a few renegade early dandelions. The name dandelion comes from the French word Dent de Lion, meaning lion's tooth. It is named so for it's jagged sharp tooth like points on its leaves. I decided to cook the dandelions I needed to pull from the garden beds and to roast the roots for a coffee substitute. The best time for dandelion greens, which are rich in vitamin A and C and Calcium, is when they are quite small early in the season before they produce flower buds. Later in the season they become too bitter. The early settlers used dandelion as a spring tonic to get a boost of the vitamins they lacked over the long cold winters.

My grandmother used to talk about eating wild greens both dandelion and chicory which grew wild in the hills of Puglia. I am not sure she really got her fill living in Long Island City. When she moved to Vermont in the mid 60's she was able to get clean pesticide free wild greens from the local farmers.

The whole plant is edible from the leaves to the flower to the roots. I sautéed the greens and made some dandelion toasts as well as a dandelion frittata. I then roasted the roots on a baking sheet until they were brittle and made quite a delicious coffee like substitute. In fact, I could grow to like the roasted dandelion roots very much.

You don't need a yard to get your dandelion on; they are available in the spring at most farmers markets. I saw they were starting to turn up the past few weeks at the Union Square Greenmarket. Prepare them anyway you would sautéed greens or make a pesto or a soup. The possibilities are endless. How will you get your spring tonic on?

I will post recipies in the next few days..but really this is meant to inspire whatever dandelion recipe you can conjure up!

where the wild things are. no. 11. wild mushroom miso broth

Last week while in San Francisco I had a strange stomach bug. I realized I was in trouble as I sat at Burma Superstar with the tea leaf salad and rainbow salad before me unable to take a bite! I didn't even venture to Mission Chinese... and was unable to finish a Nettle and pecorino pizza at Pizzaiolo; it was so sad! I started to feel better towards the end of the week as we headed up North after copious amounts of ginger drops and not a lot to eat. When I got back to New York I still felt a little under the weather and was craving something clean and healthy. I decided to delve into my stash of dried wild mushrooms to make a miso mushroom broth and to add all my favorite greens. It was kind of like making a faux Pho. I soaked a handful of dried mushrooms over night in three cups of water. In the morning I had a clear brown mushroom broth. On it's own it tasted a little forest floor, so I decided to add 4 big tablespoons of organic light Japanese Miso paste. To that I added a handful of beautiful little Beech Mushrooms and heated the broth to a simmer. I added a dash of Bhutanese red pepper (you can use any red pepper flakes you have on hand).

I cooked the buckwheat noodles separately according to the instructions, drained them and rinsed under cold water and set them aside. In the meantime I prepped mint leaves,  scallion, cilantro, basil and micro radish greens. I washed the greens and sliced the scallion.

When I was done with the greens I reheated the whole soup quickly to a rolling boil, then threw in the noodles to heat quickly and then turned it off.  I immediately ladled the soup and the noodles into two warmed bowls (I kept them in the oven on 200).

I topped it with all my favorite things... baby cilantro, coriander basil, mint, pea shoots and micro radish greens, hit it with the juice of half a lime and a hit of black pepper.

Totally healing and completely deliscious.

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