The Modernist Holiday Feast

Deep Fried Brussel Sprouts

The authors of Modernist Cuisine, a collection of cookbooks focusing on the Art and Science of Cooking, have published a ‘how-to’ for a most fabulous Modernist Christmas Feast. From the consideration taken to the design of the menu, right down to the presentation and photography of the edible art, this modernist meal is an inspiration. The visual impact of the composition on the plate is as important as the taste of the dish, the food pairings are carefully considered and each and every detail is beautiful. When charged as I am with preparing something new and interesting for the holidays this year, I appreciate this great resource for influence of artistry, and expertise of technique. I have attached the images and descriptions below, as these pictures speak much louder than words. If you’d like the recipes for your holiday meal, please visit Modern Cuisine for the complete details.  Bon Appetit!

Christmas Ham-Hock with Pineapple and Cherries

Garnet Yam Fondant with Sage Foam

Pumpkin Pie:  Butternut Squash Custard

From the publisher:  In Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet—scientists, inven­tors, and accom­plished cooks in their own right—have cre­ated a six-volume 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired tech­niques for prepar­ing food that ranges from the oth­er­worldly to the sub­lime. The authors—and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab—have achieved astound­ing new fla­vors and tex­tures by using tools such as water baths, homog­e­niz­ers, cen­trifuges, and ingre­di­ents such as hydro­col­loids, emul­si­fiers, and enzymes. It is a work des­tined to rein­vent cooking.

Images found at Modernist Cuisine.

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A Modern Table

The holiday season often involves entertaining gatherings of family and friends. A modern table-scape is a great way to create a focal point in your space without the need for decoration for decorations sake. Place these innovative vessels on your holiday table and display your menu in a fresh and interesting way. Gorgeous. The simplicity of these sculptural objects paired with a punch of color found in the fruit, is art for your everyday. They can be used in so many ways for so many different displays. In addition to food, I can imagine flowers, or various collectibles and objects placed within these vessels to create a composition for your centerpiece. I would love this in my entry way to catch the keys and change that find their way into my home. I love these modern, functional, sculptural objects.

Product information and images found here.

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It’s Baaaaaaack!!

Way back when we were researching cribs for my now 20 month old, we were specifically looking for a two toned, non drop-side crib that would withstand the antics of up to three kids.  We found the perfect, perfect crib at Pottery Barn and apparently were lucky to snag one because shortly after ordering ours they discontinued the line. Above is the Skylar crib in our nursery about a month before our son was born.  See how beautiful it is?! (side note – see how awesome sauce those FLOR tiles are?!!)  I will never ever doubt our decision to purchase this crib even though it was a pretty good chunk of change.  First, I can tell you that in 20 months, our son has done everything in his power to destroy this crib, and it still looks as good and functions as well as the day they assembled it for us in his room.  Second, we have a small house and we can use all the storage we can get.  Having the drawers at the bottom of this crib has been a great way to store everything from extra bed linens to toys (now that he's big enough to explore the drawers). The crib is sturdy and stylish and… …apparently available yet again through Pottery Barn Kids!  Now, normally I don't hawk other people's wares here on this ole' bloggity blog…but I originally wrote about our crib on my personal blog when we first got it and it is the number one driver of search traffic for my blog so clearly people have been looking for it – thus, consider this a public service announcement. If you're looking for a beautiful, multi-functional, two-toned crib, non drop-side crib; look no further.


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John Pawson


"The father of modern architectural minimalism."
 The New York Times



John Pawson is one of my favorite designers.  There is such clarity in the simplicity of his work. It is a study in light, proportion, view and material.  Every architectural moment is considered, and the experience offered deliberate. I find his residential projects to be some of the most compelling.  It is these spaces which are often the most difficult to keep without clutter and visual distraction.  


John Pawson's  work creates tranquility through absence.  That is not to say spaces are without function. Everything necessary has a space.  Everything else, has no place.  Mr. Pawson designs spaces, buildings and objects with the same application of process, defined by their function. There is keen attention to the details of everyday life and human experience.


John Pawson currently has an exhibition at the  Design Museum of London.  The exhibit titled Plain Space, celebrates Pawson's career to date with models, film, photographs and architectural elements and includes some of his most important projects including the Cistercian Monastery of Our Lady of Nový Dvůr in the Czech Republic, the Sackler Crossing at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Calvin Klein store on Madison Avenue, New York.  Coinciding with the opening of the exhibition, Phaidon Press has published a stunning monograph titled Plain Space.  
I would love to fly off to London to experience this exhibit first hand.  But alas, I will not.  I am confident the new book will offer plenty of design inspiration, and I will keep my fingers crossed that the exhibit will make its way to the states.  If you have seen the exhibit in London, I would love to hear your thoughts!


To explore the work of John Pawson, visit his website


All images courtesy of and

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The Outdoor Room

Nothing says fall, like gathering around the fire on a cool, crisp evening.

The fire pit often functions as a central focal point for seating groups and gathering in an outdoor room.  Whether a fixed element in a space, providing a place to sit or perch, or a moveable focal point which can adapt to the size of the group and the direction of the wind, a fire pit is a strong organizing element in the space.

My family looks forward to s’mor-ing, and even cooking over the open fire.   While a tradition welcoming fall, it is also an attempt to extend the summer season and the memories of our annual camping trip.

I began searching for a new vessel for our courtyard, and found there are many interesting fire pits available.  Maintenance-free materials, innovative shapes, and solutions for a range of budgets provide many great options to choose from.

I enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a wood fire.  The crackle and the visual and physical warmth it provides is comforting and relaxing.  For a gas fire, there are several great table-top options available.  The sleek modern design and clean burn makes an elegant center piece.

Enjoy the season.

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