Spring at Last
Helloooooooo! I hope you are well out there. After such a seemingly long and unseasonably wet winter in LA, I'm thrilled to feel the shift in the seasons. I usually love winter, if for no other reason than to enjoy the privilege of having the fireplace burning in the evenings. I hope you and yours have been staying dry and cozy. While this atmospheric river landscape is slated to continue for the rest of the month, it still feels decidedly Spring-like today, and for that I am grateful. There is the sweetest morning birdsong along with wisteria vines and rosebuds about to bloom in our garden, even with the pummeling of rain from the latest storm. We also discovered a hawk's nest in our neighborhood, and what looks like a Cooper's hawk flying around, battling the neighborhood crows.
I've been spending a lot of time gazing up into the trees lately, gauging the effects of the recent downpour, and noticing all of the nests, blossoms, and burgeoning leaves. With this new season I sense the call for a little newness on all fronts. One place to start is with a new addition to the wardrobe collection. I love a floral for any time of year, but especially in the Spring. My personal favorite of the moment is this one. It has the loveliest drape to it, and the silk is sheer heaven on the skin.
Another spring item perfect for representing the season might be one of these five stone tourmaline rings in either pink or green. I love the way the different shapes and hues create a feeling of depth, which also comes from the way that the stones are set. From certain angles it sort of looks like an undulating fan, and it tapers to a very smooth, rounded band which is incredibly comfortable to wear. We have an aquamarine and even a diamond version in the works to add to the stack, so check in with us if those pique your interest. They should be here soon.
A new pair of earrings also feels fresh for the new season. I have always loved lapis lazuli, not just for its vibrancy, but also for its history as one of the first gemstones to have been worn as adornment in ancient civilizations, and as a highly prized element in Baroque and Renaissance painting. We have a few pieces that feature this beautiful stone, which is said to represent wisdom and truth, helping the wearer connect more deeply to their authentic self. That certainly seems like a worthwhile cause for any individual. You can find them here.
Since we miss our dear friend and former neighbor Pamela Barish so much, we are thrilled to host her for a day in our boutique on Tuesday, April 4th from noon until 6pm for a special Spring season trunk show. I hope you can swing by to say hello to Pamela and see her beautiful collection. We are so looking forward to spending the day with her. We always have the best time.
Spring is upon us, but it hasn't truly warmed up as of yet. This last storm had me in the mood for a hearty stew, so that is what I made. It's adapted from a recipe I found for a slow cooker version, but since I don't have a slow cooker, I just made a few adjustments. It's perfect for a chilly evening, and tastes even better the day after cooking.
Lentil, Sausage and Italian Kale Stew, adapted from Sarah DiGregorio
1 pound spicy Italian pork sausage, removed from its casing
1 large onion, diced
6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic granules
3 sprigs of fresh Thyme (or about a teaspoon of dried)
Leaves from 5 sprigs of fresh Oregano
Pinch or two of red-pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup of dry white wine
1 bay leaf
2 cups dried lentils, green or black
1 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
8 cups of chicken stock
One medium - large bunch of Italian black kale, chopped
One tablespoon red wine vinegar
Chopped fresh basil and parsley for serving
Grated Pecorino-Romano, for serving
In a large dutch oven pot, break up the sausage and cook over a medium-high heat until browned and sizzling. Remove the cooked sausage, leaving a layer of the rendered fat.
Add the chopped onions to the pot, along with a generous pinch of kosher salt, and cook until softened. Add the chopped garlic and continue to sauté until translucent. Add the onion powder and garlic granules, along with the herbs, red pepper flakes, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine.
Increase heat to high, and add in the wine, stirring well and scraping the bottom of the pot. Let the wine cook off until the pan is nearly dry.
Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, lentils, stock and sausage. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. It will seem like too much stock, but it will be absorbed by the lentils as they cook. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the lentils are nearly done cooking. Remove the bay leaf, and any sprigs of herbs, then stir in the chopped kale and cook until desired doneness. When finished cooking, stir in one tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
Ladle into a bowl, top with chopped basil, chives, parsley or any other fresh, soft herbs. Add a handful of grated or shaved pecorino, a pinch of flaky sea salt, a grind of pepper, and a drizzle of your finest quality olive oil.