Love these. Hope your day is filled with lots of love and sweets.
Sabre - Nightdrive to Bolland
soon… on WT Records.
On Rafel .
I think that I may have had a semblance of writer’s block.
For the past few months, I’ve been looking at this page, wondering how I should start writing on it again.
Ideas have never stopped coming though. Very clear in my head. But somehow, I was unable to translate them into words that would make sense.
Sometimes, P. looks at me with this “what the hell are you talking about?” looks in his face.
I know what he means. That happens when I have more inside than I can express.
I’ve stayed busy.
I still want to share stories and recipes about our visit to Crystal Brook Farm to see cute-beyond-words baby goats; I want to tell you about the ski trip to Canada we took in February with friends, and where we ate tire sur la neige every day after skiing. Why, I wondered, didn’t I know about this before?
Amongst other things.
I will at least show you glimpses of them all.
Lulu is almost four and a half. She is tall and chatty. She loves to run fast. And cook with me and eat.
She really has an amazing personality.
She and I spend the best times together.
The truth is, she is also one reason–and an excellent one–why I’ve stayed away more than usual.
Mainly, though, I’ve continued to cook a storm, and style and photograph food the way I love it. The way it makes me inspired and happy. Keen to see more dishes be born in my kitchen.
Especially now that it’s Spring, and the days are sunny and crisp.
When I woke up this morning and looked at this page again, it hit me though. I knew I needed to start somewhere.
I needed to show you pictures of the past months. Share a recipe.
It was the perfect Spring day for it. It felt right in the air.
So there I am. And I hope you’ll like my news.
I am writing a new cookbook.
I am really excited. And obviously very busy with it.
I couldn’t be happier because I am actually writing this new book with the same publisher (Roost Books) and editor with whom I started a fabulous adventure when we released the first book back in February of last year.
This second book will be very much like me again. Filled with recipes reflecting my style of cooking, my favorite ingredients and inspirations. With the same love for beautiful nourishing foods.
If you’ve enjoyed La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, you should love the new book.
At least this is my goal: write a book I am proud of.
One that you will go back to, and that keeps you inspired to cook.
These tartines, for example, will most likely go inside the book. When I bring them to the dining table, I know they are “very me“.
They are garnished with homemade labneh and roasted almond and mint-flavored fava bean and pea spread–two of my favorite Spring dishes put together.
Yesterday at lunch, I prepared two of them (with a loaf of bread baked in the morning) and I enjoyed them with a bowl of Lulu’s favorite butternut squash soup and a carrot salad on the side.
It’s cheesy to say, but that food felt completely right for the day I was having.
And then mostly, I was also very glad to have finally come back with a recipe and images.
And a good chat.
I am glad to be back!
For the labneh:
- 32 ounces (910 g) whole milk yogurt (I use jersey cow milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the salt. Place in the middle of triple layers of cheese cloth. Close into a bundle and place in a strainer over a bowl (the bottom should not touch the whey that releases. Leave like this in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, discard the whey and open the bundle. The labneh is ready to use.
For the vegetable spread:
- 2 tablespoons roasted almonds
- 1 cup (125 g) cooked green peas*
- 1 cup (150 g) cooked fava beans* (purée only half–keep 1/2 whole to mix in)**
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/4 cup parsley
- Sea salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and halved (optional)
- In a food processor (or nut grinder), add the almonds and grind into a coarse to fine powder; set aside.
- In the same food processor, add the peas, 1/2 cup fava beans, lime juice, and parsley. Purée until the texture is finer but keeps some chunks. Transfer to a bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir in the olive oil.
- Stir in the ground almonds and mint. Add the garlic if using; set aside.
For the tartines:
- 4 large (or 8 small) slices of nut bread (I used a variant of this recipe)
- Labneh (or fresh soft goat cheese)
- Vegetable Spread
- Black cherry tomatoes, halved
- Shaved Manchego (or Pecorino), to taste
- Radishes, sliced finely
- Pea shoots, to serve
- Fleur de sel
- Olive oil, to drizzle
Notes: *blanch green peas for 1 minute before transferring to an ice water bath. Same process for the fava beans; then peel them.
**from 700 g fresh fava beans
- Spread labneh on top of the tartines.
- Top with a layer of fava bean and peas.
- Add slices of cherry tomatoes and radishes, and top with shaved Manchego or Pecorino cheese.
- Add fleur de sel and drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve with a bowl of vegetable soup and a side salad.
photo by Josh Cheuse
hoje, metaforicamente, durante as seis horas à espera da carta.
Mark E. Smith e seus comparsas regressarão, ao que tudo indica (ainda falta a confirmação oficial do festival), ao país no próximo mês de Outubro, inseridos no cartaz do Out.Fest, a realizar-se no Barreiro. Após o concerto curtinho no Milhões de Festa em 2010, o mote desta feita será Re-Mit, disco novo que ao que parece já circula por aí mas não ouviram isto de nós. Para já é só, mas aguarde-se mais informações no futuro.
1. I posted about this cake on Instagram, but for Geoff’s birthday on Saturday, I decided to try something a little challenging for me and made him the birthday cake from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. It took a couple of days (I made the crumb & frosting on one day, the cake the next, then it had to freeze for at least 12 hours, then thaw out... recipe is here if you want to try it). I’m not much of a baker but it was satisfying to have it work out, and I was pretty proud of myself. I am nuts about sprinkles so I’ll probably make it again at some point, although I’ll double the frosting because it seems to me that I didn’t have quite enough. Geoff and I had such a lovely birthday weekend, full of blossoming trees and bike rides and friends.
2. Some of you may know that my sweet friend Caitlin (formerly of Nice) has been through some challenging times lately as the result of health issues, but she recently relaunched her shop as Fun Cult! Exciting! I know she worked so hard and wanted so badly to get back into it. Maybe she can be rewarded with a new kidney!
3. A while ago I was asked to participate in a fun project called Change of View for Bettery Magazine. I asked my friend, the excellent photographer Johan Hallberg Campbell, to collaborate with me as he is originally from Scotland. It was a little challenging because if given the chance, I prefer to photograph details, indoors, close up, etc., not urban settings, and also it was winter and I swoon most for Toronto in spring and summer, when everything is green and lush and beautiful. But it’s always fun to be pushed out of my comfort zone, and Johan’s pink umbrella picture is the best. The picture above is an outtake; I took it from the top of Robarts Library. I love the dome of the planetarium peeking out.
4. Such a pretty dress from Beaumont Organic.
5. My friend Caitlin added a few original paintings for sale in her shop and I got this one because I have been so incredibly lazy about going to the gym lately and maybe these girls can inspire me to get back into it (I actually LIKE going to the gym & feel out of sorts when I don’t go, yet it’s always such a struggle). I love her Rose Garden painting.
6. Kristiann has printed versions of her sewing patterns available and they are so beautiful!
I have been enjoying all the violets growing all over the lawns in my neighbourhood lately! So pretty.
se for para ser assim, manda vir.
There are few people who do not dream of cruising on America’s freeways sometime in their life. Liberating oneself from the chains of everyday routine, and entering in the footsteps of Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider-outlaws. Most people give up on these aspirations and never see their plans come into fruition. But photographer, Samira Kafala, and graphic designer, Jake Noakes, did not. They journeyed around the states for six months and eventually ended up in the country of tulips and canals, finding a base in Amsterdam.
The narrow streets of the Dutch capital felt almost felt oppressive after months spent in the vast sweeping plains of America’s landscape. However, despite their love of freedom, the British couple decided to pitch their tent in The Netherlands. Now Samira, Jake and their son, Ramzy, and daughter, Raya have settled in a former school building. The building’s rather dull looking façade conceals a hidden gem. Their stunning apartment is filled with a special collection of artworks, records, sneakers and a selection of their own creative work. Samira and Jake may have changed their lives quite dramatically since they left London a decade ago, but nevertheless, they have stayed true to their roots: the school-turned-apartment breaths a familiar British coziness and snug family life.
This portrait is part of our ongoing collaboration with ZEIT Online who present a special curation of our pictures on their site.
Arcade Fire is playing loudly from the computer. Ramzy and Raya are horsing around, nicking chocolate eggs and strawberries from the kitchen table. Jake and Samira prepare sandwiches, coffee, and tea. Their son Ramzy rattles on a computer, working on his new book. He shows his most recent booklet, titled “Mythical Men”, and provides explanations with every image. The stunning layout of the cover gives away some of his dad’s involvement.
How did you two meet? What was the first impression of each other?
Samira: We met at art school, I was studying painting and Jake was studying graphics. I remember being drawn to him in that way that you are when you meet someone you want to know. I was acutely aware of him. We became best friends. We would spend a lot of time just hanging out & talking, that was 20 years ago!
Jake: My first impression of Samira was that she was very ‘exotic’ I’d never met anyone like her, she just seemed exciting and I wanted to know more about her.
Where do you spend most of your time?
Jake: The kitchen is the centre of our house. It is here that we spend most of our time together. Here we have pizzas with friends on Fridays
Samira: We both work from home. Jake works as a graphic designer and art director, and has a studio one flight down. I am photographer, and have my office one flight up. The kitchen is literally in between.
Jake, how would you characterize your work?
Jake: I find it hard to characterize my work, because I try not to stick to a particular style, but focus on exploring instead. Most of my work revolves around print though. Digital does not interest me that much. I prefer the tactile, I love to feel texture, and have something in my hands. Currently I am working on a publication with a cover made from slate.
Can you describe your photographic work, Samira?
Samira: My work is all analogue, I would describe it as fine art photography that is autobiographical, with my pictures I try to capture the scenes or objects that fascinate me in everyday life, I’m looking for the poetic in the everyday.
How did you end up in Amsterdam?
Samira: We are from London originally. We met each other there when I was 21 and Jake 19. London is exciting, and thrilling, but it is also a tough city. There is a lot of negative energy, requiring you to have your armor up all day.
Jake: At a certain point we were just done with London. We were both worn out by our jobs and the city. So we decided to quit our jobs, and left London for a six month road trip through America.
And en route you decided to move to Holland?
Jake: Not at all. We cruised around the States for half a year with a car, a tent, and some basics. During the trip we realized we did not necessarily needed to go back to London. But it was only on our way home that Amsterdam popped up on the radar.
Samira: We had a stopover in Amsterdam, and decided to visit my sister who lived here at the time, but was about to move to Montreal. We spent some days in the city, decided over dinner to stay here, and took over my sister’s apartment.
Ten years on you are still here.
Samira: Jake started as a graphic designer, I focused exclusively on photography. Jake’s work really took off, I had slower start. And besides I got pregnant with Ramzy.
Jake: In the meantime we also moved five times, before we found this place. The spacious old school building with its high ceilings felt perfect straight away.
Why did this place attract you so strongly?
Jake: It allows us to combine every day life with work, which we find of great importance. Almost everything takes place between the four walls of this apartment.
Spending most of your time at the same place; doesn’t that make you numb? Where do you get your inspiration?
Jake: I am just too busy to get numb or bored. And the dynamics of our household and family life provides lots of inspiration.
Samira: Ramzy and Raya are a great source of inspiration for me. In my work I embrace the people and things close to me. I completely agree with Sally Mann who once said: “The things that are close to you are the things that you can photograph the best, unless you photograph what you love you are never going to make great art”…it’s always been my philosophy to make art out of the everyday and the ordinary. It never occurred to me to leave home to make art.
What are your favorite places in your neighbourhood?
Samira: We are in the Oud West which is central but just out side the canal belt, so it’s not flooded by tourists. It is very much a neighbourhood in transition, lots of new places are opening. Our favourite spots include Bilder & de Clerk, a great new gourmet grocery store. My new best place to eat out for dinner is Fa Spejkervet, where you can also go for lunch, they do an amazing pulled pork sandwich, good wines and proper service, it’s very understated and it’s all about the food, a real restaurant. For coffee or breakfast if you can get a table there is Harvest & Co a recently opened furniture emporium filled with a wonderfully curated collection of desirable stuff. At the front is a fantastic little coffee shop run by Head First Coffee Roasters. The coffee is exceptional and so is the muesli with yogurt. Nice people, great atmosphere. Our house opens out onto a spell straat (play street) which is basically a street that has been turned into a play ground, so some days we don’t go anywhere, we just take down some wine and invite friends round.
Where do you go when you want to escape the city on weekends?
Jake: There are loads of good places to go near Amsterdam, the beach is 30 mins away. Beautiful on any day in summer or winter, endless horizon and amazing light, good for a windy walk to blow away the cobwebs. In summer all the beach cafes are open, there is a well established and vibrant beach culture here, bars, cafes, restaurants, clubs to suit every taste from the low key surfer spots to the high end beach bars. Our favourite spots include Parnasia in the winter and Tijn Akerslot in the summer. We’ve also been known to escape to a little house in the woods in Dalfsen, usually with a big group of friends and kids and lots of food and wine, everyone cooks, we eat huge extended meals, light the fire and walk in the woods.
Interview: Thijs van Velzen
Photography: Jordi Huisman