One series I have been particularly fond of since I started blogging is my Kitchen Tools of the Month. I am definitely a kitchen gadget enthusiast and I have loved sharing my latest and greatest finds with you all over the past year. That being said, my monthly finds go beyond just kitchen tools and I have been trying to figure out a way to broaden the scope of this post series. After much consideration I have decided to refocus my monthly kitchen tool post to now include favorite finds that would fall under any of the three categories featured on my blog. Decor pieces, kitchen tools, recipes, entertaining must-haves and even travel finds are all some of the areas I intend to highlight in this monthly piece. I think that this will give me the latitude to share even more with you all and hopefully serve the interests of all of my readers.
Jumping right in, here is a breakdown of this month's favorite finds:
The Food Lab
For those of you who are looking to bone up on your cooking knowledge/skill set, I highly highly recommend checking out The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. This book explores the science behind the art of cooking in an effort to uncover the best methods for eliminating the guesswork and achieving consistently delicious food every time you cook. This book is a modern day scientific Joy of Cooking, that is truly helping to evolve my understanding of food and the art of food preparation.
For a little over a month now, I have been on a major Sprouted Kitchen recipe kick (see my Instagram account). I have always loved Sara Forte's delicious recipe creations, but lately I just can't get enough SK (Sprouted Kitchen) in my life! Her Curry Roasted Almonds have made for a fabulous cocktail hour snack and her recipe for Oatmeal Souffle has become a Saturday morning ritual in our house, but the recipe that really takes the cake at the moment would have to be her famous Hippie Bowl from her recent cookbook Bowl + Spoon (which I raved about in this post). This recipe is chock full of flavor, nutritional value, texture and deliciousness! I will admit that it does take some time to make (definitely a weekend recipe), but it will yield plenty of leftovers and is totally worth the effort! As if that weren't enough, you can easily substitute chicken for tofu, which has been great since my husband isn't the biggest tofu fan but loves everything else included in this dish (personally I adore tofu, so I usually make two versions of this recipe in tandem).
Cire Trudon Matches
My sister recently introduced me to these most unique gourmet matches. Cire Trudon is a candle company that has come out with a series of scented matches cased in the most beautifully depicted boxes. After learning about these fabulous matches from my sister, I immediately went online and ordered the Ernesto. These matches are lightly scented and when the box is left open in either a drawer or a cupboard the matches will lightly perfume the surrounding space! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that matches could be multipurpose. Cire Trudon's collection of fragrant matches have been a beautiful addition to my upstairs side table, and something that I would recommend to any of my friends. Plus, they make for a fabulous hostess gift when paired with a nice candle.
Last week I had traveled to Chicago for a work conference. It was a very busy trip, but fortunately I found a window of availability the last night of my stay to meet up with a few of my girl friends who lived locally. One of my girl friends had graciously offered to arrange the evenings activities, which I was extremely appreciative of since I a) wasn't familiar with the fabulous local spots, and b) because of all of the conference activities, I didn't have the time to proactively plan something.
That evening she made dinner reservations for us at Summer House, a fabulous California-style concept restaurant in Lincoln Park focusing their menu around seasonal ingredients. However, the highlight of the evening for me was definitely the cocktail hour we enjoyed at Restoration Hardware. YES, that's right! We enjoyed delicious cocktails from the bar at the jaw-dropping/oh so stunning 6-story (70,000 square foot)Restoration Hardware Showroom!!
Recently Restoration Hardware purchased and completely overhauled what was formerly the Three Arts Club, located in Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago (see here for the complete story). This building is nothing short of magnificent! Greeted with complimentary valet parking, you enter the building where it immediately opens up to a gorgeous courtyard accessorized with an array of sofas, a gorgeous fountain, exquisite chandelier and live trees. All of this is encased under a glass roof so that guests can enjoy the beautiful night sky while enjoying a selection of delicious cocktails. I have never experienced anything quite like this before and I have to say that it was probably one of the highlights from my trip to the windy city. If you are ever in Chicago, visiting Restoration Hardware for cocktails is an absolute MUST. The entire experience was nothing short of extraordinary.