One of my best friends, S of Fork & 5th, decided that she wanted to escape frigid NYC and spend last weekend in wine country prior to our annual bonding week in SF for work. We decided to do the girls weekend Healdsburg rather than Sonoma or Napa this trip to give ourselves the opportunity to explore a new area a bit further northwest of our usual wine country haunts, and IT WAS PHENOMENAL.
We stayed at an adorable Airbnb in Glen Ellen given that we’d planned to stop over at Ad Hoc in Yountville, where the daily-changing menu included a fried burrata we had to try.
Our itinerary included some lovely new wineries including Jordan Winery located on 58,000 beautiful acres and Lambert Bridge winery, which was amazingly pet-friendly for Baloo (my 3 month old puppy).
The tasting at Jordan Winery had lovely food pairings with their Burgundy style Cabernet & Chardonnay.
Walking around the Jordan estate is a must. The main building pictured below is where the end-to-end winemaking happens – grapes come in, bottles come out.
I was lucky to spend Thanksgiving week in the French Riviera or Côte d’Azur with some of my family this year – and it was such a magical time! Here’s a quick post to share some photographic highlights and quick tips from the region:
Gorgeous beaches like this line the coast, steps from the Promenade des Anglais (above); here’s my father enjoying the lovely Mediterranean Sea.
Everyone in France seems to have a scooter – it sure made me miss mine.
Le Negresco is a lovely hotel situated right on the Promenade des Anglais – common to spot celebrities like Madonna, Julien Lennon, Prince Albert, Elton John here. I really loved their holiday décor!
| minnie rose fringe poncho | boots from italian shoemaker in venice (similar) |
Le Chantecler is “worth a detour” per Michelin review sites; I’d especially recommend it though if you get excited about food adventures and gastronomic experimentation. My wonderful parents took me to a belated birthday dinner here – such a treat!
The Musée Massena is located on the Promenade des Anglais – right next to Le Negresco, actually. It’s filled with ornate art and artifacts of the French Riviera and houses Napoleon’s death mask.
The Musée Matisse was one of my favorites in France. Not only do they have a great exhibition of every imaginable media of Mr. Matisse’s work, but the building’s façade and grounds are a beautiful site to admire as well.
The Musée d’archéologique de Nice-Cimiez is a a nice stop after the Matisse Museum – after being indoors enjoying artwork, it’s a nice break to explore the archaeological site outside! By the way, it’s definitely worth getting the French Riviera pass if you’re into site and museum hopping around the region – it grants you access to a lot of these cool places (kids are free, students discounted).
Saint Paul de Vence
One of the oldest towns on the French Riviera, Saint Paul de Vence is a must-see for art-lovers. It is full of history and seemingly endless art galleries. Many well-known artists – including Marc Chagall, Jacques Raverat, and Gwen Raverat – spent parts of their lives and are buried in the local cemetery here.
Here’s a photo of my father with our friend Stephane outside of a gallery. Stephane who is from Saint Paul de Vence & showed us around the area. He runs a private car service across the Côte d’Azur, and I’d highly suggest booking his services if you’re in the area; he’s extremely knowledgeable, honest, kind, and accommodating.
It’s easy to get lost along the cute cobblestone streets here!
This beautiful “bonsai” iron sculpture was actually created by Stephane’s friend and is exhibited outside of a historic church on the street in Saint Paul de Vence.
Wondrous and opulent Monaco features many of the lavish experiences one stereotypically expects – luxury boutiques, incredible cars, beautiful casinos (below is a photo of the world-famous Monte Carlo casino).
What’s also rather amazing – and family-friendly – about Monaco are the many sites to visit, including the Musée Oceanographique de Monaco (below) where you can get lost among the large aquariums and learn some cool things about marine life for a few hours 🙂
karen walker harvest with mirrored lenses, soldout (similar with regular lenses)
There are beautiful views along the walk up to the Place du Palais where you can go see the royal guards.
The family was actually in Monaco for american Thanksgiving, so we celebrated a French brasserie-styled Thanksgiving with a feast at the Cafe de Paris on the Place du Casino.
Cannes & Iles de Lérins
I snapped this shot of my parents at sunset in Cannes after we returned from the touring Lérins Island off the coast. They’re hands-down the best people I know. Their love inspires me. And they are just so adorable. I love them to pieces.
Getting the kids into Céline early 😉 special edition navy/tortoise color (similar)
By the way, if you enjoy seafood, it’s AMAZING on the French Riviera. I had so much fresh, tasty sea urchin.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild: OMG this gorgeous pink mansion seems unreal and gave me a whole new appreciation for the color pink. Definitely a place one should stop for a few hours to tour the extravagant history and take in the beautifully manicured gardens whilst listening to beautiful symphonies timed to the water fountains in the courtyard.
Ok guys, I’m exhausted for now.
Tell me: have you been to any of these places on the French Riviera? Let me know what you think! I’m definitely going back to the Côte d’Azur sometime soon and am open to more recommendations <3
A friend introduced me recently to the wonderful merits of a classic dirty martini. The basic recipe for a dirty martini includes: vodka, olive brine, dry vermouth, and a green olive garnish (see following).
…though I’ve never been the most keen of basic..recipes. So a few days ago I soaked 6 green olives, a slice of pickled jalapeño, and a slice of pickled beet in about 1.5 cups of Hangar1 vodka. It gives the vodka a lovely blush color!
And this is the recipe I came up with after a few nights of experimentation for my ideal super dirty martini.
Huckleberry Kim’s Super Dirty Martini
4 oz. of soaked dirty vodka
2 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. olive brine
olives to garnish (I like 3 olives in my dirty martini because yum.)
Good tips for mixing your drink:
Vigorously shake the ingredients with ice for no more than 45 seconds; if you’re going to stir, use a large hunk of super cold ice so it doesn’t melt too fast; don’t stir for more than 30 seconds.
Freeze your martini glass ahead of time to keep it all super cold.
Use a fine strainer when pouring the drink from the shaker into your glass; lots of olive/pickley gunk should be filtered out 🙂
New favorite Major Lazer jammy; thanks for the share T.
There is something truly wonderful about wearing high heels. They make you stand taller (so you can tower over your frienemies), and they generally force better posture. I came across this wonderful Racked article called, “The Male-Dominated, Power-Hungry History of High Heels”, which goes in depth about the origin of high heels – noting the air of regality, confidence and dominance that presupposed the style. It was an enjoyable read and really reinforced my sentiments and justifications for wearing primarily-impractical footwear on special days. Even Louis XIV had days where he needed a little boost in confidence 😉
Some of my colleagues poke fun at me on my high heel days, “Oh! TK’s wearing her super heels again…” Well boys, I doubt any of you have woken up with the confidence that you could make it through a day wearing 5 inch Acne boots with unparalleled grace and tenacity.
Did you know that coffee beans are green? (And turn shades of brown once they’re roasted.)
I learned that this weekend while playing at-home barista. The following is a little anecdote about my inspiration…
Generally, I don’t like to use over-used quotes, but I’ve been pondering a lot about work-life balances, purpose, and roots of happiness of late, so I’m going to make this exception for that one Confucius jammie:
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
I’m a very fortunate person in that I have found a job that I really do love. Though since my early years in college, I’ve always asked myself, “But maybe I’d be really happy if I was a barista…” I love coffee (caffeine is probably my greatest vice), although, I have never worked in the industry. There is something that has always drawn me to the idea of being a person who provides a carefully crafted, artisanal dose of enjoyment and daily ritual to a local ecosystem of regular patrons. Really though, how many people ever make it into being a part of your daily ritual? To me it seems so simple and powerful, and I’m into that.
In the last three years, there have been three men who’ve made an effect on my simple, mundane daily ritual with the products they’ve crafted: Mike Kreiger & Kevin Systrom (who created this little mobile application called Instagram), and of course my rat-tail barista. I never knew his name, but he always remembered my order – it was our ritual, “TK USA” in Sharpie on paper cup.
Since my rat-tailed barista long ago moved on to a new daily ritual, I thought of him this past weekend and wanted to make the perfect cup of coffee. Here are a few things I learned:
i. LEARN SOME ROAST BASICS (mostly will depend on how long and at what temperature you roast your beans at; the following is from Sweet Maria‘s – an Oakland, CA based home green coffee bean purveyor):
iv. TAKE TIME TO ENJOY your creation! You don’t even need cream or sweetener for a perfect cup of joe like this (though I’ll admit, on indulgent days, I will add a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk to my coffee…#sorrynotsorry)
I spent a lot of my day listening to Ginuwine hits from the early 2000s, doing a little vacation-daydreaming, and getting nostalgic about being in Asia on this dreary Sunday; so, I decided to make some soup dumplings (aka 小籠包). This is my first time making XLBs, and it won’t be the last…
The following is my v1 recipe for XLB; overall I thought the filling was perfect, though I’ll be iterating on the dumpling skins and “meat jelly” sounds gross, right? but that’s the yum that turns in to soup inside the dumplings when you steam them. If this is too crucial for you, I guess: I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY FOR THIS JELLY.)
HERE IT GOES:
In a pot of about 4 cups of boiling water, add a pound of skin-on pork belly for about 5 minutes.
Remove the pork rind, rinse in cool water and cut into small strips.
Add back to a clean pot of 4 cups of water, 5 smashed ginger medallions and several green onion ends. Cook for 2 hours on low heat.
Using a food processor or emersion blender, pulse the soup for a few seconds and put into a container and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (preferably over night).
In another bowl, add about 6 tablespoons of finely minced ginger, 3 tablespoons of minced green onion, 1 pound of ground pork, 2 tablespoons of Maggi seasoning, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Mix well.
Pulse this mixture with your blender/food processor until it becomes like a paste. Add in the meat jelly.
In another bowl, add 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of cold water into a large bowl and knead well until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Let it rest in a covered bowl for 25 minutes before rolling it out.
Roll out your dough and cut into even pieces
Roll dough pieces into little balls about 4cm in diameter
Roll out the little dough balls into circles a few millimeters thick
be firm but delicate when making your dumplings!
Add about 1.5 teaspoons of your filling in the center of a dough circle and pleat and pinch around until the dumpling is closed.
I steamed my XLBs on porcelain spoons lined with thinly sliced carrots
Steam each batch for about 8 minutes
Enjoy with some black vinegar and grated ginger!
And of course because I CAN; I made myself a few pork belly buns too. HA!