Anh-Minh

Art-o-carton

by Anh-Minh on December 18, 2014

art-o-matI can’t resist an Art-o-mat. The few times I’ve come across one, I’ve made a beeline for the machine and never been disappointed in the little works of art it dispenses. For those unfamiliar with Art-o-mat: They’re retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to purvey original art. Although there are more than 100 of them all over the country—you can see the locations here—it’s not always easy to get to one. Which is why I was thrilled to learn that you can buy an Art-o-carton. For $99.99, you get a box of 10 works that are selected for you based on a questionnaire you submit during your purchase transaction.

I might have to order an Art-o-carton as a gift to myself!

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{ All images from Art-o-mat; the photo above shows a sample Art-o-carton. }

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Three Bean Tuscan Stew

by Anh-Minh on December 5, 2014

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As a special treat during the holiday season, Melina Hammer is not only sharing a delicious recipe with us, but also filling us in on some of her favorite handmade goods. —Anh-Minh

The scene: winter picnic, fireside. Friends, comfort food, and the beautiful objects that enhance our lives.

In sharing this month’s delectable recipe and in the spirit of the giving season now underway, I wanted to feature some goods I love, curated by the fine folks at Scoutmob. Scoutmob champions independent makers (over 1000 of them!): from bitters to handmade art prints, block-printed textiles to handmade ceramics. I’ve loved the quality and variety available (read: addicted) for almost two years. Many a story has included props sourced through them, and I have given lots of *great* unique gifts.

The handmade goods you’ll find are all small-batch quantity, made in the USA, by real people. Scoutmob also has fantastic customer service, which in this era of internet-based buying, helps them stand apart. Their customer service was a major selling point for me a few purchases back, when I needed something customized and found out I could have it just as I needed. And shipped to arrive in two days!

The perfect-in-a-hand ceramic “quail egg chili” bowls set the stage for my three bean Tuscan-inspired stew. Jessie Lazar makes contemporary heirloom pieces and her workmanship is delicate yet unfussy. With my stew … Why settle for one when you can have the amazing textures and flavors of three? Specifically, savory and buttery great northern, flageolet, and cannellini. YUM.

For the cheat’s soppressata cheesy breads, this gorgeous solid walnut board made the perfect backdrop. It’s the century-old board you’ve always wanted, at the beginning of its journey.

And to lay it all out, lolling the afternoon away with amazing food and friends, the colorful and hand-woven rug by Re:loom made the transition from kitchen prep to afternoon enjoyment a no-brainer. These rugs are made from donated fabrics (no two are alike), created by low-income families working towards self-sufficiency through initiatives like this one. While you find beauty in a lovely product such as this, you’re additionally helping support people refine a craft and earn a sustainable income. Winning all-around!

Now, for the food …

I’m a sucker for a great stew. This one can be made vegan or with chicken stock, up to you. The combination of textures and deep savoriness, along with a bit of spice, makes this a steady go-to in my home. You can use canned beans in a pinch, but the texture and flavor of cooked dry beans is meaningful. Given they play a starring role in this recipe, try dry beans if at all possible.

The added delight of cheesy breads to the stew makes everyone’s face brighten. It’s even in the name! These are so simple to prepare, it’s kinda dangerous … Invite your friends, present them with these, and they will thank you between enthusiastic mouthfuls. :)

Three Bean Tuscan Stew

 Serves 6-8

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 7-9 small carrots, chopped (if you can find heirloom varietals, it makes for an even more beautiful stew, especially since we eat with our eyes first)
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry cannellini beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dry flageolet beans
  • 1 cup great dry northern beans
  • 1 head garlic, divided 2/3 and 1/3
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary, quills picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chile flakes
  • good olive oil

Cheat’s Soppressata Cheesy Breads

Serves 6-8
  • 6-8 good quality sandwich rolls
  • zest from one lemon – use organic as you’ll be eating the skin
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 5-7 thin slices soppressata or other hard salami
  • 1/3 head garlic (from above)
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, finely grated
  • freshly cracked pepper

Soak each of the dry beans in enough cold water to cover by two inches, and in bowls large enough for them to double in volume. After soaking 6 hours or overnight, drain and rinse each, then transfer to a large heavy bottom stewpot. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Add enough water to cover with an inch or so extra. Add two or three bay leaves, and if you’re one to save parmesan heels (or a similar hard cheese) in the freezer, add a few to the beans as they cook. If you’re not, start doing it! Cheese ends impart great depth of flavor to any soup or stew, and there’s no extra cost to you in doing so… you already bought and enjoyed that cheese and here, it gives its final gift. I store mine in resealable bags in the freezer. Once you accumulate a few, have at it! Turn heat to high to bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook beans on a low simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until beans are tender.

While the beans cook, cut across the top of the head of garlic (enough to reveal the cloves inside). Nestle it in a sheet of aluminum foil and dress it in olive oil. Fold the garlic into the foil and place in a baking dish. Do the same—foil and oil—>with the jalapeño. Roast the two in the oven for as long as you cook the beans, then remove and set aside to cool.

Once the bean mixture is ready it will have absorbed much of the water. Now you have a flavorsome broth. Pull out the cheese ends and discard, and transfer beans to a large bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and set aside.

Return pot to burner, medium heat. Add a couple good glugs of olive oil and add the onions stirring occasionally. As they start to become translucent, add in the celery and carrots, as well as the rosemary and chile flakes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or so. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

I cook the vegetables separately from the beans because I prefer them to retain a little character. If they were to cook with the beans, they would be mush. To experience the creaminess of the beans, contrasted with the toothsome veg adds another yummy layer.

While the veggies sauté, place into the bowl of a food processor: 2/3 of the roasted garlic—use your fingers to press at the base and the cloves will slide out—2-3 cups of the cooked bean mixture, the roasted jalapeño (minus its stem), and the chicken stock or water. Pulse until you have a creamy mixture. This will add body to the stew. Empty the pureed mixture into the pot, along with the bowl of cooked beans and their liquid and give it all a good stir. Place the lid on top and simmer at lowest heat while you prepare the cheat’s cheesy breads.

For the cheesy breads, stir the zest and mascarpone together to incorporate. Place the rolls onto a baking sheet, and divided evenly, slather a the mascarpone onto each roll.

Mash the remainder of the roasted garlic in a small bowl. Tear the soppressata and place onto the rolls. Spoon the roasted garlic over top next, and add freshly cracked pepper. Finally, pile mounds of gruyere over each, dispersing evenly.

Place the tray into the oven and bake for 7 minutes or until everything is melty and sizzling. Turn oven to broil and place tray on top rack. Broil for 2-3 minutes for a good golden crust.

Remove from oven. Use a spatula to transfer breads to a serving board. Serve stew alongside, and enjoy the feast! Any leftover stew can be refrigerated for up to one week.

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{ Images by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants.Last week, Los Angeles photographer Amy Dickerson shared images and an interview with bartender extraordinaire Christiaan Rollich. Christiaan helms the bar at A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants. The latter is one of my favorite L.A. spots, and after hearing Amy rave about A.O.C., it’s on my list of places to go the next time I’m down there. (I’ll admit: The lovely interior of the wine room—the setting for Amy’s shoot with Christaan—is reason enough for me to pay a visit to A.O.C.)

Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants. Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants.

This week, as people start to turn their attention to holiday entertaining, we thought it would be great to share another one of Christiaan’s drink recipes. (Have you tried The Engineer yet?) Thankfully, he obliged with his recipe for the Oaxaca Sour. “In essence,” he says, “it is a play on a Trinidad Especial, a cocktail where the main ingredients are Angostura bitters, orgeat, and pisco. I changed the ingredients and measurements of them.”

Oaxaca Sour 

  • 1 1/2 oz Mezcal El Silencio
  • 1/2 oz Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz vanilla syrup (Combine 12 oz sugar, 8 oz water, and 1 scraped vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, take it off the heat, let it sit over night, and it’s ready to use.)
  • 1 egg white

Add all ingredients together and dry shake. Shake again with ice, then strain over fresh ice into a Tom Collins glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants. Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants. Christiaan Rollich Head Barman, A.O.C. and Lucques restaurants

{ All images by Amy Dickerson }

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Gallery MAR Bridgette Meinhold

Those of you who have been reading Anthology since the beginning may remember that Bridgette Meinhold appeared in Issue No. 1/Fall 2010. In the course of writing the travel story on Park City, I really wanted to team up with a local—someone who could show me around and share her favorite spots. I was lucky enough to connect with Bridgette, a writer and an artist. Whenever I’m in Park City, I still visit some of those establishments that she introduced me to. (Be sure to check out Bridgette’s current list of must-visits at the bottom of this post!)

Earlier this year, while I was out there for a family vacation, I was thrilled to see her encaustic paintings at Gallery MAR, which has become one of my favorite places in town. Bridgette has a new exhibition opening next Friday, November 28, at Gallery MAR. It’s a joint show with Joe Norman, entitled Bountiful World, and like the rest of her body of work, it is deeply rooted in nature. “I spend a lot of time outdoors—hiking, skiing, climbing, biking, watching clouds—and the main point of my work is to connect others with the outdoor world, even if they can’t live in the woods, like I do,” explains Bridgette. “I feel so incredibly thankful for nature, the mountains, the trees, and their amazing, calming effect on me. If I’m having a difficult day, a long hike makes it better. If I’m having a great day, being outside is the cherry on top. So the inspiration for the show really comes from my gratitude of the natural world and all the gifts it offers up unconditionally.”

Anthology Gallery MAR Bridgette Meinhold

Bridgette’s paintings entail a series of wax layers that, together, create stunning landscapes: weather, atmosphere, mountains, and trees. All of her pieces are done on a hard wood surface, and the frames are built by her husband using reclaimed wood. I am such a fan, and was curious about her process. Here’s what she told me:

I start by painting on a base layer of wax, which is liquid at 200 degrees. As the wax cools, it hardens, and I scrape it flat and fuse it with a torch for a smooth finish. Then I rub in pigment to add color for the sky and paint on my first landscape layer with milk paint, which is an old-fashioned casein-based paint that acts like a thick-bodied watercolor. When that is dry, I paint on another layer of wax, and the process starts over again. I keep adding layers until I’ve created my entire scene. This can be anywhere from three to six layers, depending on what I’m trying to achieve. As a viewer, you can easily count these layers and see how the wax can act the part of the atmosphere that it builds up.

Anthology Gallery MAR Meinhold Process

CITY CONFIDENTIAL

“Park City has so much to offer,” says Bridgette. “Obviously, if you’re into the outdoors, there’s fun activities all year round. Now that it’s winter, it’s time for skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and snow biking. But if you’re not especially outdoorsy, there’s still a ton of great activities.” These are some of her recommendations:

  1. Hit up Atticus Coffee and Teahouse for your morning dose. It also doubles as a great book store.
  2. The Kimball Art Center is our local art museum, offering world-class exhibits and really wonderful workshops and art classes—even short ones for those visiting from out of town.
  3. High West Distillery makes its own vodka on-site in historic and reclaimed buildings. They make a really well-known rye whiskey, too, and serve up small plates.
  4. I’m also a big fan of Shabu, which does amazing Asian fusion food.
  5. For shopping, I like Olive & Tweed as well as Exchange Consignment.
  6. And if you’re looking for something else to do, go on an art tour with Soltesz Fine Art to get the insider info on the best of Park City’s art scene.

Anthology Park City UT

Anthology Gallery MAR Storefront

This post is sponsored by Gallery MAR, one of my must-visits whenever I’m in Park City. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. Bridgette Meinhold and Joe Norman’s joint show, Bountiful World, opens next Friday, November 28. To purchase pieces, please contact Gallery MAR.

{ Studio, process, and portrait images by Claire Wiley; trolley image from Anthology;
all other images courtesy of Gallery MAR }

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KLM Airplane Airbnb Apartment

by Anh-Minh on November 18, 2014

airbnb_klm1That’s right. KLM Airlines has taken one of its planes, located at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, and temporarily turned it into an apartment. Now through Thursday, November 20, you can enter for a chance to win a one-night stay (on November 28, 29, or 30). In addition to getting to hang out in this unique place, KLM will fly the winner to Amsterdam. (I was just thinking that I was long overdue for a trip to Amsterdam! I was last there about seven years ago—and, coincidentally, flew KLM there.)

The 1,200-square-foot space includes a master bedroom with a king-size bed, second room with two kids’ beds, two kitchens, and eight small bathrooms. Oh yeah, and 116 windows.

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{ All images via Airbnb }

 

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