Plum and Cherry Tart with Thyme + other fast tart improvs

Ellen Silverman, who LOVES to improvise radically on my recipes, recently posted her iteration of my Improvisational Fresh Fruit Tart Formula on Instagram: a sensational Plum Cherry Tart with Thyme. She said it was a huge HIT at her dinner party. Made with lush summer fruits, freeform fruit tarts are the perfect summer dessert (though you can make it all year round). Here’s the simple formula:

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Laura Handler’s Checkered Duct Tape AC Surround

Designer Laura Handler, whose chic Montana cabin and cool teeny ‘everything’ vial we’ve featured, sent us images her latest brilliance. The Harlem building in which she recently renovated her apartment is having the bricks repointed, which is seriously messy work. To keep dust OUT, Laura first made a barrier of blue painter’s tape around her (very cool)…

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The Pleasures of Making + Receiving Handmade Letters

Every time I receive a hand-written letter in the mail, I feel like I am about to open a very special gift. Given their rarity, hand-written letters ARE a gift. Uniqueness is built-in and its effect is usually WAY more than the effort it took to make it, both personally and professionally. Here’s some inspiration that makes the making fun.

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The Unexpected Pleasures of Shelling Spring Peas and Summer Beans

At twilight recently, I sat on the terrace with a friend shelling a huge bag of fresh peas. Our conversation meandered as we worked. We could have been sitting on a porch in the country. I wondered if THIS was what peas and shell beans were really made to do: bring friends and family together over a calming task that would yield something truly special.

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573 Essential Words about Gun Violence (Charlie Allenson + Yoko Ono)

A few years ago, Yoko Ono tweeted a photo of John Lennon’s bloodied glasses. The image, taken not long after his murder — an artist’s way of healing — would become part of a powerful control campaign. Charlie Allenson took his own step toward healing by writing about the murder of his beloved niece in Huffington Post. ‘The Car in the Lot’ is a potent 573 words worth of essential reading.

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Spots and Spills on Fabric, Rugs, Clothes: If You Can’t Beat’em, Join’em

We love artist/designer Dominic Wilcox‘s fix for red wine spilled on the carpet (below): Don’t bother trying to get it out…paint a pattern around it. It gives us ideas for fixing clothes and table linens that have impossible-to-remove stains or spots. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em: transform them by emphasising the transgressions,

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Martha’s Museum: An Ode to Meaningful Collecting

J. Speed Carroll’s Martha’s Museum: The Precise Placement of Objects, is a film about his late wife Martha’s remarkable, very personal collections in their NYC brownstone. Through Speed’s narration, you enter the many stories and meanings hidden in Martha’s eclectic array of object from all over the world. It is an ode to meaningful collecting, at once a house tour of an original and an example of the way objects resonate with each other to convey unique messages.

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Vibration Fixes: Levitation Suits + Air Mattress Shock Absorbers

Over the past year, I’ve written about the many improvised solutions I’ve created to try to NOT feel the mechanical vibration that shakes me awake every morning. I even looked into making a rig like this “Levitation Suit”, a designer’s attempt at a 3D hotel bed. In lieu of being able to be weightless or levitate, my newest vibration-damping fix came via some readers who had the same problem.

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Celebrate The Splendid Table’s 20 Years of Food Inspiration

This weekend marks The Splendid Table’s 20th anniversary show. Lynne Rosetto Kasper launched the famous radio food show with a conversation with Julia Child about the 4th of July which you can listen to here. I am THRILLED to be included on the roster for this special show (talking about fresh cherries), along with Mario Batali (talking…

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16 Super Fast, Easy, GREAT Recipes for July 4th + All Summer

Everyone is heading out-of-town early for the 4th of July weekend, and we’re just wrapping our heads around the fact that it’s HERE! Since we’re unprepared for the celebration, we figured others may be, too. So we compiled our best quick n’ easy, truly do-able recipes — from cocktail to dessert— with ingredients you can easily pick…

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