apple cherry galette

this recipe, with many other delicious treats for thanksgiving, appears in the parlato design studio seasonal eats recipe guide! request a free copy before november 7 [details here], and follow the thanksgiving2011 tag for more recipes as they become available. enjoy & thanks for being awesome!

3 flours on the cutting board
3 flours on the cutting board

i really wanted this to work out as a 3-flour galette, but as it happens, there just isn’t enough gluten to hold everything together without driving a person mad when it’s a third almond flour. that doesn’t mean it drove me mad, perse, but i couldn’t put it in my recipe guide this way in good faith. hence, the photo above shows 1/2-cup each of white flour, wheat flour and almond meal flour, but unless you like a super-challenge, i’m recommending 3/4-cup each of white flour and wheat flour instead. we’ll be cutting that up with 1 stick of butter and 1 tablespoon sugar.

cutting butter into flour
cutting butter into flour

a really wise master pie baker who did an entire demonstration at machine project explained that the best way to create the perfect pie crust is to cut the butter into little squares, and then cut it into the flour on a work surface. this is also a really good way to get zen, because it takes awhile. if you never had a heyday cutting up particulates in your cocaine before doing lines, now is your much larger, g-rated chance, because it’s a lot like that. cut from one side to the other, through the clumps of butter, scrape it all back up and cut it back the other way. this will integrate some of the butter into the flour while retaining the smaller clumps that will eventually melt into a flaky crust while baking. as the clumps get smaller, sprinkle small amounts of ice water over the top and cut it in, until you have moist, small clumps that come together in your hands. but hey—if you have a food processor and want to cut the butter in that way, by all means go ahead!

crumbly galette dough
crumbly galette dough

this is pretty much what you’re going for, no matter what flour you’re using. slightly moist but not too wet. if you were to gather this up into a ball in your hands, it should push together and retain its shape. once you get to this point, ball up your dough without handling it too much and melting the butter, and put it in a bowl to chill in the fridge, at least 1.5 hours.

granny smith, fuji and red delicious apples
granny smith, fuji and red delicious apples

this same wise pie baker suggested using a selection of apples, to vary the flavor and texture, and i’ve really liked this idea. i chose a granny smith, a fuji, and a red delicious, which are popular at the farmer’s market and self-pick orchards alike. core out your apples, trim away any rough parts, and then slice them to 1/8-inch thick slices. place the slices in a mixing bowl with the dried cherries, the lemon juice and zest, honey or sugar, and cinnamon, and toss to coat. set it aside to marinate.

galette dough, rolled out
galette dough, rolled out

preheat the oven to 350º. when the dough is sufficiently chilled, and flour a work surface and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick and a 12-inch circle. this is where my experimental dough had trouble holding together, so if you want to ease some of your pain, put down a piece of parchment, flour that, and roll your dough out over it. if necessary, you can flip it on to a plate and peel off the parchment without breaking the dough. once you have it to the right size and thickness, transfer it to a baking sheet and spoon the apple mixture into a mound in the center, leaving about 3-inches of empty dough all around. work from one side around to the other, folding the extra dough over the center mound, crimping edges as you go. if the dough breaks anywhere, just pinch it shut, or pull off a piece and patch it if necessary. once you’ve finished this part, it’s time to bake: 45 minutes at 350º or until golden brown.

apple cherry galette
apple cherry galette

apple cherry galette

1 stick butter
3⁄4 cup white flour
3⁄4 cup wheat flour
1 tb raw sugar
3 apples, mixed variety, sliced to 1⁄8” thick
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tb honey or raw sugar
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄3 cup dried cherries

place sliced apples in a mixing bowl. sprinkle with lemon juice & zest, honey, cinnamon, and cherries, and toss to coat. set aside to marinate. process butter, flour and sugar in a food processor or cut butter into flour with a dough scraper, until it reaches a crumbly consistency. sprinkle ice water over mixture 1 tsp at a time and process in pulses until the dough resembles moist chunks that just come together in your hands. push into a ball and chill 1.5 hours.

preheat oven to 350º. roll dough out to a 12” circle on a floured work surface. transfer to a baking sheet and spoon the apple mixture into a mound in the center, leaving about 3” around on all sides. fold the sides up and around the apples, crimping and pinching the corners as you go. bake at 350º for 45 min.


make it vegan:
substitute 1/2 cup of any of the following for the butter:
– earth balance vegan spread
– non-dairy margarine
– vegetable shortening

use only raw sugar rather than honey.

alternate fillings:
use a mix of apples with these, or substitute the apples for:
– pears
– persimmons

substitute the cherries for:
– pomegranate seeds
– currants
– boysenberries
– mullberries
– dried figs

add vanilla extract, your favorite additional spices, or a splash of brandy to your sliced apple mixture.

the parlato design seasonal eats recipe guide for thanksgiving is here!

the parlato design seasonal eats recipe guide for thanksgiving 2011

it’s a bird! it’s a plate! it’s green beans & gravy! its … the parlato design seasonal eats recipe guide, to infuse local, seasonal & healthy flavor into your thanksgiving meal this year!

some of you know, and some of you don’t, but i love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. i also love writing, and decided to combine these two activities into something called seasonal eats for LAist for the past year.

as a way of saying thanks for reading, thanks for being awesome clients, or just thanks for being you, my way of giving back this year is to give you 9 local, seasonal, healthy recipes that are easy, fun and don’t require a million ingredients in a quickie accordion-folio format you can reference in the kitchen, hang on the refrigerator, or tuck into your recipe box. and if you’re looking for pictures, more complete instructions, vegan adaptations or flavor alternatives, i’ll be blogging about each of these recipes in the weeks leading up to thanksgiving under the tag thanksgiving2011.

i’ll be offering a FREE copy to anyone who sends me a personal request through my contact page through november 7, 2011 [that’s a note from the contact form that i recieve by 11:59pm, monday, november 7, 2011]. you’ll get yours hot off the press & in the mail as soon as i get them. aside from anything else you might want to write, make sure to say you’re requesting the recipe guide, and send your mailing address! after november 7, 2011, they’ll be available for purchase for $5/each in the store.

a pretty sweet deal for people who subscribe to the blog or follow links early & often, i say! so go write me a note and request yours today!

3rd annual LA printer’s fair

modern-themed card sets
modern-themed card sets

this past weekend, i headed down to the LA printer’s fair at the international print museum in carson to get my annual dose of awesome letterpress projects and enjoy the demos of the old linotype machine. i feel like i’m inching my way ever-closer to doing more printing after attending last year and then doing a workshop with the night shift [a group that meets at the museum and makes prints using the wood and metal type in the archives].

fugu fugu press booth
fugu fugu press booth

this year was another great selection of design and print, hand-bound books, and specialty printing tools. one of my favorites, fugu fugu press, was back again this year with a really cute selection of cards and prints.

make ready scraps
make-ready scraps

another printer had this really cute idea of giving away make-ready scraps in little bags. some of the shapes make great book marks, but mostly i chose some nice, deeply-impressed pieces to stave off my letterpress lust until i can make my own.

making paper
making paper

what’s this? it’s a paper pulper! what i couldn’t capture all in one frame is that this pulp mechanism was hooked up to a stationary bike [maybe we can finally call it a ‘stationery bike’] where riders could power the whole contraption by simply pedaling their feet.

paper made from fatigues
paper made from fatigues

…but this paper isn’t made from wood. this demo showed how to make paper from army fatigues! it looked pretty cool, and takes the pounding from a typewriter like a pro.

wooden books
wooden books

these books were some of the more unique hand-made crafts i saw, with beautifully sanded wood and intricate bindings. in addition to the sales tables, there were printing demos where attendees could run off their own pre-set posters, and typesetting, where guests could typeset their names, hand it to a printer who would lock it into a frame, and print you a personalized souvenir as a visitor to the museum. fantastic!

to help keep hot metal type alive, the museum has started the ludlow project, with the goal of rescuing a collection of typefaces and antique ludlow typecasting equipment to share with letterpress printers, museum visitors and use in teaching classes. watch the video below, and give what you can to this awesome project!

happy monday

happy monday
happy monday


this week i’m getting ahead at working on some fun surprises for holiday stuff. if it seems early to you, take a look at this oldie-but-goodie, how to plan your holiday mailing so you have time for everything.

loquat leaf tea

loquat leaf tea
loquat leaf tea for soothing a sore throat

back when we finally got our first big bounty of loquats from our rehabilitated trees, i researched loquats and found that one traditional use for the leaves was in tea for treating sore throats. at the time, i chose some nice, young, unblemished leaves and hung them to dry in the kitchen, eventually folding them into a jar for storage.

i have been feeling a sore throat coming on, and i’m all out of slippery elm bark [another sore throat remedy] so i thought i’d try it out. since i’m not sure what the flavor of these leaves is like, i figured i’d mix it up with some other under-the-weather tea herbs. i’m surprised how much of these were not bought. we have lemon verbena growing in a pot, but i did go out foraging for fresh, clean eucalyptus leaves in the park, and i’ve been chopping up all my orange peels and drying them in the oven.

loquat leaf tea: a sore throat remedy

3 large dried loquat leaves, crumbled
3 large dried eucalyptus leaves, crumbled
1 tb chopped ginger
1 tb dried orange peel
1 tb dried lemon verbena leaves
1 tb dried mint leaves
4 tsp raw honey
zest and juice of 1 lemon

place in a teapot and pour about a quart of hot water over all the dried herbs, ginger and lemon zest [a tea press works well for this]. let steep about 5 minutes. pour into a mug and stir in 1 tsp raw honey for each cup. slice the lemon crosswise in half, and then lengthwise into quarters. squeeze 1/4 lemon into each cup.

raspberry picking at snow-line orchards

raspberry patch in the mountains of oak glen, california
raspberry patch in the mountains of oak glen, california

last week, my friend seth and i took a day trip to oak glen above yucaipa for some apple & raspberry picking. i highly recommend this area for some good-time harvest season fun [but fair warning: the whole area is packed on weekends]. we were hoping to avoid the weekend crowds, but alas, there is no self-picking on weekdays save for raspberry picking at snow-line orchards. i had been looking forward to berry picking anyway, so we split a mini-pack of fresh cider donuts, bought our cartons [12 bucks will get you an empty 3-pack to fill yourself] and got to work.

grasshoppers in the raspberry patch
grasshoppers in the raspberry patch

there’s a lot more than raspberries going on in the raspberry patch though. it’s an entire microcosm of activity with grasshoppers jumping around, bright green leaf beetles going about their business, little brown frogs croaking from somewhere in the bramble, and not least of all, BEES! they’re everywhere! i thought they might be pollinating flowers, but upon inspection it seems that bees are little vampires when it comes to raspberries, gently puncturing each individual drupelet and drinking the juice. if you’re allergic to bee stings, you might want to steer clear of raspberry picking, but seth and i never got stung. the good old rule of don’t bother them & they won’t bother you still stands.

cartons of fresh raspberries from snow-line orchards
cartons of fresh raspberries from snow-line orchards

it took us about an hour to make our way through a few of the rows and fill our flats. picking raspberries is a pretty simple technique of searching out those of the deepest color, gently pinching the berry and pulling it away from the stem. if it doesn’t come off easily, chances are it’s not ripe. unlike stone fruits, raspberries do not continue to ripen once picked, so it’s best to only pick the ripest fruit. you can save time by searching out clusters of ripe fruit, cupping your hand and picking several berries one after the other, letting them drop into your palm as you go, rather than placing each one individually into your basket.

despite all the delicious-sounding baked goods i found starring raspberries, i have opted to eat most of them fresh, to get the most of the raw nutrients. i made up this raspberry parfait that uses more fruit than i’d ever normally use if i’d bought them locally [this recipe would easily use a whole small carton]. what a luxury to have this much fruit!

raspberry parfaits
raspberry parfaits

raspberry pepita parfaits

1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup whole plain yogurt
2 tbs pepitas
1 tb vanilla extract
1 tb honey
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
a splash of rosewater

place everything except the raspberries & pepitas in a small mixing bowl and mix until you reach a uniform consistency. taste and adjust flavors if necessary.

depending on the glass you use, you can choose how to layer your berries and yogurt. i chose these martini glasses, so i put a heaping tablespoon of yogurt on the bottom, then a layer of berries, then split the remaining yogurt, and sprinkled the remaining pepitas and berries on top.

make it mod!

make it mod! cover & interior spreads
make it mod! cover & interior spreads

another fun cover & layout for quayside publishing, make it mod! is 224 pages of full-color retro recreations you can do yourself with found, upcycled or everyday hardware store items. this book was super-fun to create, full of color pops and mid-century details.

see more recent work here.

everyone’s a designer, everyone’s a copywriter

temporarily awesome

something fun, since it’s my birthday and i’m taking the day off: brilliantly sarcastic responses to completely well-meaning signs. yes, there are some “your moms” and dick jokes in there, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t see walking anywhere in major city—and probably funnier. from a design perspective, though, there’s a lot of creative thinking and strategy of working with constraints in these, even if most of them are just scribbled marker on signage. enjoy! back tomorrow, slightly aged & refined.

how to paint flames by bruce caldwell

how to paint flames
interior spreads from how to paint flames by bruce caldwell

another fun project from motorbooks international, how to paint flames by bruce caldwell, a book all about the techniques of painting several styles of flames on any car or truck. the projects are detailed, showing all different types of stencil and mask creation, or how to use air brushes and layer transparent paints and glosses, and the photos are super-fun for any car buffs out there.

see more of our recent work here.