One of the rituals that marks the passing of winter to spring-summer is a change in our breakfast staples. Usually around April, I stop making steel-cut oatmeal each morning on the stove and switch instead to Greek yogurt with homemade granola and fruit. Boredom’s been setting in already and I’ve been looking for a new routine. Then I discovered that a lot of people were tweeting about “overnight oats” or “refridgerator oatmeal.” There’s even a Buzzfeed list about it! Oatmeal you make in your refridgerator? Sign me up! Of all the recipes I saw, the one that seemed the most straightforward was from Lauren Conrad, who is quickly becoming Martha Stewart for a new generation. (Is there anything she doesn’t do?) Her overnight oats is simply a mix of yogurt, oatmeal and a milk of some kind. The hardest part is remembering to make them in advance so they’re waiting for you in the morning!
Here’s the basic how-to for Overnight Oats:
What You Need:
8 oz mason jars
1/3 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/3 cup organic rolled oats
1/3 cup vanilla (or plain) Greek yogurt (I preferred the vanilla — I used Trader Joe’s Australian Vanilla, no-fat)
1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1. Gather enough jars for about three or four days worth of breakfasts.
2. Fill the jars one third of the way with oats.
3. Fill the jars another third with yogurt.
4. Top off with milk and stir it all together.
5. Place the lid on the jar and put them in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
6. Wake up the next morning and enjoy. Top off with fresh fruit if you like!
Isn’t it a wonderful world when a young Polish designer who lives outside of Warsaw can suddenly find herself a design blog darling? I heard about Zuzia Kozerska and her beautiful, engraved baking pins via This Is Colossal and was even more enchanted after clicking through to Zuzia’s Esty page. A baker and a designer, she wanted to make pastries that were fun and delicious without spending an entire weekend slaving over them. Using a laser engraver (take that Star Wars fans!) Zuzia discovered a way to engrave wooden rolling pins with whimsical patterns, like cats, robots, dinosaurs and even charming Polish phrases (like “sto lat” — a birthday greeting which means 100 years). “It all started with my niece birthday, she is absolutely nuts about cats!” says Zuzia on Etsy. “I knew without any hesitations what would be the first pattern I would make.” Made from locally harvested beech wood, the pins cost about $42 plus $13 shipping from Poland. They arrive in a carefully wrapped box with local postage stamps to show off their country origin. Without a doubt, this is going on my holiday gift list — I do have some Polish bakers in my family!
The moment I laid my eyes on the July issue of Food & Wine I couldn’t stop thinking about the salad on its cover. I didn’t even know exactly what it was, but I could see some of favorite ingredients — watermelon, feta, black olives — and knew I needed to make it. The occasion was our neighborhood block party, which is usually overflowing with hotdogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese and all kinds of yummy but not very light foods. A friend of mine who works at the magazine forwarded me the recipe. I immediately saw that their version called for a few ingredients I would NOT find at our local supermarket, (Gochugaru? Shishito peppers?), so I set about to adapt it slightly. The secret to this salad is a surprising mix of sweet and peppery. I’m happy to say my resulting bowl was a big hit and the leftovers (when mixed with more fresh greens) were just as good the next day. Here’s my take on a watermelon salad with feta and charred peppers.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Charred Peppers
What You Need:
2 cups of seedless watermelon, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 tbls sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup + 2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
8 hot chili peppers
1/2 cup of pitted kalamata olives, halved
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 cup lightly packed watercress leaves, stems removed
2 tbls minced cilantro
How To Make:
1. In a large glass or ceramic baking dish, gently toss the watermelon, cucumbers, red onion, vinegar, crushed red paper and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Spread in an even layer and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot. Add the whole chili peppers and cook over high heat, tossing, until charred in spots and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly, then add to salad bowl.
3. Before serving, add olives, feta, watercress, and cilantro. Toss and serve.
If the dad in your house is anything like the dad in our house, he might spend a lot of time watching survivor shows and thinking about gizmos and tools that will help us survive Armageddon. It’s like the natural cave-dweller’s hobby evolution. Well, if your alpha male doesn’t sleep well unless there’s some cold beer in the fridge, this gift idea may be the best thing since riding lawn mowers. Introducing ECool, an in-ground beer cooler that will hold up to 24 cans of beer and chill them without electricity — in your own backyard! Best installed with a garden drill (last year’s gift, perhaps?) but a shovel will do, ECool is contained in a hole in the ground, where your beer will be earth-cooled. Not only is it eco-smart, it will help save space in the fridge and create a feeling of security when the hurricane is blowing offshore. Made in Denmark, ECool costs $349. And while it probably won’t arrive before Sunday, it will arrive in time to enjoy all summer long.
If you’re not quite ready to invest in such depths in beer storage, consider another great Father’s Day gift, Craft Beer of the Month Club.
Ever wonder how those images you see in catalogs always look so wonderful, with just the right mix of accidental treasures next to season’s new collection? Imagine a walk-in-closet, organized with a selection of colorful plates, one-of-kind vases and the most eclectic selection of curios you’ve ever seen. That’s what it looks like inside of Sandy Chilewich’s prop closet. The designer, founder and creative director of Chilewich — our go to source for gorgeous yet practical placements, runners and rugs — Sandy’s studio features floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with objects collected over the years from around the world. When a stylist wants to use something that is too rare or precious to own, they often dip into the vaults of other collector heavens to borrow or rent pieces. Some of Sally’s recent finds, above, came from a small shop in Greenwich Village, called the Porcelain Room. For more of an inside look at the creative process behind Chilewich, check out Sally’s board on Pinterest.