shoot lunch

One of the most awesome things about shooting at home is that you get to eat what you shoot and eat what you want! There is nothing wrong with catering, BUT it can get a bit old and repetative eating the same thing day in and day out at a studio. So when I shoot at home, I am all about eating simply. 

This was today's shoot lunch.

Farmer's market salad greens and organic hard boild eggs smashed on toasts with pickled ramps and the most AMAZING lemon caper dressing from April Bloomfield via food 52.

Basically, anything is a vehicle for this dressing. It is just that good and that addictive. really. try it.


See yesterday's post for Quick Pickled Ramps 



Smashed Hardboiled Eggs On Toasts With Pickled Ramps and Lemon Caper Dressing 

2 hardboiled eggs

2 pieces of your favorite rustic bread toasted

Pickled ramps

Seas salt

Cracked black pepper

Generous amount of lemon caper dressing. see recipe above


Toast the Bread

Boil the eggs

Peel the eggs

Smoosh one egg to each toast with a knife

Add dressing

Add a pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Top with a couple pickled ramps

Eat every last speck!

ceramics in the below shots are from a beautiful new shop in Williamsburg called MOCIUN.

Mociun, 224 Wythe Avenue, at North 4th Street, Williamsburg (718-387-3731 or


rainy day bellocq

There is nothing quite like a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon. With rain on the horizon this weekend what better thing to do than to head to Greenpoint, Brooklyn to visit the beautiful new Bellocq Tea Atelier. It is a veritable visual feast in there! Every corner is an insanely beautiful tableau. Tea tasting  at Bellocq is a must and it should not be rushed!! My favorites of the moment are the Afghani Chai, Hindu Holiday and Gypsy Caravan.  


If you can't make it to Greenpoint any time soon, you can sometimes catch Bellocq at The New Amsterdam Market at South Street Seaport on Sundays. Check the market list for and update of weekly vendors.

Bellocq teas can also be ordered on line here.

prop styling  Kim Ficaro   food styling  Susie Theodorou

prop styling Kim Ficaro

food styling Susie Theodorou

maltagliati. cut brooklyn.

Maltagliati or (badly cut pasta in italian) is my favorite kind of pasta to make. Its large irregular cuts speak to my rustic imperfect side and this knife from Cut Brooklyn the object of my current obsession, is just the knife to cut it! I am seriously obsessed with the knives of blade smith Joel Bukiewicz. I first spotted one of them at the stall of Brooklyn Butcher Blocks at the New Amsterdam Market. I have since used Joel’s knives in any editorial I can squeeze them into. I like to have them on set so I can pine over them! Last week while shooting a feature for a European editorial on Brooklyn Artisans the knives came up again when Joel appeared on the list. I had never been to his studio/shop in Gowanus and was excited to check it out. It happens to be just down the block from Hungry Ghost favorite Four and Twenty Blackbirds and not surprisingly, the  Brooklyn knife maker and pie making sisters are friends!

Joel started making knives about seven years ago when he was living in a small town outside Atlanta. He came to be a blade smith via a hiatus from writing in which he has a degree. Metal work and furniture building eventually led him to this pure precise craft. His knives feel alive, each one carefully crafted for precision, balance and control. They are both light and powerful in hand, each feels as though it has a story to tell.

The knives of his assistant Moriah Cowels, a former blacksmith from Northern Vermont are just as beautiful in their own right. Where his are dark and masculine hers are more feminine and whimsical, but no less powerful.

late summer berries

The  wild blackberries had another good season on our side of the mountain this year. We are on a north facing slope where the berries seem to thrive. Every year the tangle of brambles takes over more land on the slope.

I wasn't able to pick too many berries this year, summer was far too hectic and I found myself in the last hours of upstate time frantically gathering berries before heading back to the reality of the city. I am trying to embrace "small batch" or very "small batch" to be more specific. I don't need to pick every last berry in Delaware County! Last year's larder is still full of jam and pickles... what more do I need?.  This year, I picked just enough for a couple tarts and a few jars of jam.With an apple and blackberry tart in mind, I gathered a few fallen apples from our old but giving trees and headed south.

supper à la russ

Last night I was offered a seat at friends small supper club circle. We ate a Russian inspired meal in her new lovely garden in Fort Greene Brooklyn while two lone fireflies pranced amongst the bushes. We sipped homemade coriander infused vodka and chatted while Su prepped the meal in her kitchen. We watched her in her flowered apron through the open window. It was a country in the city moment and a really sweet evening.  

The menu was as follows:


coriander vodka

marinated mushrooms

tiny meatballs


chilled soup and salad of fresh peas and beets

rose sherbert


grilled porgy with tarragon

braised leeks with egg and lemon

potato piroshki


apricot mousse


 for the vodka

One bottle of vodka

two teaspoons of corinder seed


place the seeds in the vodka and let sit over night

 in the morning strain the seeds from the vodka and discard them

chill the vodka and serve

little dickens

I stopped to see my friend, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, and one of her three partners, Michael Shannon, tea proprietors of the wildly gorgeous and successful line of artisan teas Bellocq at the New Amsterdam Market last Sunday. I picked up three of their irresistable teas. No. 18, Afghani Chai, a black assam tea with organic red poppy flowers, green cardamon, star anise, ginger, clove and black pepper. It had been on my mind since a cold winter day at the market when they were handing out samples. I had become somewhat obsessed with it. I also picked up what they were calling their "summertime chai", a little lighter than the Afghani Chaiand caffeine free. It is called Hindu Holiday. It is a rooibos based chai, caffeine free with cardamom, fragrant cassia, spicy ginger rose, jasmine and marigold petals.

I was, however, most intrigued by the tea called Little DickensLittle Dickens, was  lovingly created by Heidi and her son. It is full of all kinds of things that kids love. Like Hindu Holiday, it too is rooibos based and caffeine free.  A few of the ingredients in Little Dickens are ginger, cinnamon, mint, chocolate, marigold and a little rose. Steep it, then add a little milk and honey. 

Hiedi feels that scent and flavor not only bring back forgotten memories, but that they also enrich the present. "Great teas can be powerful conduit to unite life's precious moments." I couldn't agree more. Many of my strongest memories are attached to taste and smell. So I decided to pick up some tea to share with my sweet little friend Odette, who just became a big sister this past week. Odette is no stranger to tea drinking, but part of me just wants to hear her tell me all about Little Dickens and what is in it. She is at the amazing, curious and talkative age of three. Having her own tea, like her mom does, will make her feel very grown up. It will be a nice way to make her feel special in these new and sometimes confusing post baby days.

I am upstate and all is quiet except for the crazy morning birds. I think it is the perfect moment to sit on the porch and have a cup of tea. 

Look for Belloq's new atelier at 37 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, coming very soon!

You can order Bellocq's teas online at: 

Bellocq's founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Michael Shannon, Young Yoon and Scott Stewart joined creative forces with a desire to collaborate on a shared aesthetic vision, an appreciation of traditional artisan production and a passion for tea.

update from the smorgasburg...

Ok. So yesterday was one really long day of eating! I may have eaten more yesterday than ever before! I don't know if it was the break in the weather or what but I was famished and didn't stop eating until I hit the pillow with a groan.

My partner in crime was none other than my friend and fellow gastronome Nancy Jo, who loves food as much as I do and is always up to try anything. We met at the entrance to to the L train at 9:45 and were off to check out the much anticipated Smorgasburg. When we got there, it was a pretty mellow scene. We were able to chat with the vendors who were still setting up and make a few rounds to survey the situation. As soon as they were ready, we dove right into the fried anchovies from Bon Chovie.  We opted for the " Jersey Style", five fried anchovies, heads on, served with lemon and pickled carrots. We took these, along with some Vietnamese street food over to a bench along the river and polished them off rather quickly. We sat for a moment enjoying the view before heading back to try something else. In the little bit of time between ordering and hitting the bench, the crowd had grown exponentially, but it was still manageable. We decided to spilt up and cover more ground as the lines were quickly getting long. Nancy waited in the Chonchos Tacos line and I in the Landhaus BLT line. For me, the Landhaus blt was the highlight of what I the at the market.  Two giant slabs of house cured bacon, cooked on the spot, with a generous slice of tomato, romaine lettuce and  lemon on crusty french bread , a little messy and  whole lot of good!

We headed back over to the benches and examined our eats before quickly devouring them. We decide to take a quick break from the food and walk up to Blue Bottle Coffee on Berry where there was a geneous line as well. It moved rather quickly and we were happy to get out of the sunshine for a second as there was no shade at all at the water front park. The Blue Bottle space is cavernous and beautiful. I think they took over the old Williamsburrg glass blowing studio which kind of makes me sad but there is so much transformation happening in that neighborhood at the moment that it is somewhat dizzying. We met up with a friend, Motoowner and photographer Bill Phelps who pulled up on his very cool vintage black Raleigh, to join us for a quick coffee. After contemplating a smore ( it was the descrition that lured me to it...this was not your average was a Brooklyn Bootleg Smore, made with King's County Distillery Moonshine, on a house made graham cracker with Mast Brothers Chocolate and homemade marshmallows!) deciding against it, we headed back to Smorgasburg to hit the greenmarket section. We were a little bummed that we hadn't purchased our greens from The Brooklyn Grange upon arrival because at just after noon they were nearly sold out! We grabbed the last dandelion greens, lambs quarters and arugula. I picked up a sweet little bunch of radishes. At 12;30 or so the market was total chaos, hipster and baby heaven. Food was selling out fast and  it was really hot and crowded. We hung out for a while longer meeting up with some friends who were more than a little disappointed by the lines. Lesson here, come early, come hungry, go for it and leave!

We made one last  valiant effort and stood in a really long long line for a Peoples Pops ( ginger pear and blueberry chai) after which we decided to walk to Marlow and Son's for an afternoon glass of rosé. As soon as we sat at that cool dark bar and were presented with the menu we knew we couldn't just have wine so it was rosé, rabbit meatballs and oysters... and more rosé!

We headed into the city to go to my friend Marc's Hundley's opening but were a little too early.. so it was Freeman's for some rosé and devil's on horesback and more rosé.. After the opening we were surprised by a quick downpour,  umbrellaless, and still hungry, in order to escape the rain, we darted into The National... for you guessed it more rosé ( the best of the day, from Puglia) a burger, a soft shell crab, a salad and lemon tart with a graham cracker crust of parsley and tarragon. ( which I am going to appropriate somehow as soon as I can!)

We rolled out of there and walked back to Broome street where Nancy caught a cab and I hit my bed with a generous thud. That was real Smorgasburg indeed!

My Top Picks for  the opening weekend

Anarchy In A Jar, I couldn't resist the rhubarb hibiscus jam!

Landhaus BLT

Bon Chovie

Peoples Pops

The Brooklyn Grange for fresh greens and herbs

Brooklyn Kitchen

Consider Bardwell Farm for cheese and maple syrup

Flour City Pasta all kinds of organic handmade pastas

Meat Hook