A Fresh Dille

all about it.

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, VEGAN by clairedille on October 6, 2010

I would love to say that I am completely phased by the abundance of pumpkin all over the blog world, but really, it is quite the opposite. Today I headed over to Trader Joe’s just to pick up some in fear I may run out in the near future. In the last few days I have had pumpkin oats, pumpkin pie smoothies, and yes, even baked with it. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who eats pumpkin a few times in a day. Enter, pumpkin chocolate chip scones.

Since the cookies I made vanished pretty quickly and I had at least half a bag of vegan chocolate chips left, I wanted to add them to the mix. Although I have never really been a scone person, my british father tends to be a fan so I thought I would give them another go.

The recipe I used is a mixture of Allie’s and Tina’s. Instead of writing a recipe remarkably similar to the two wonderful ones I just mentioned, I will tell you some of the changes I may have made. Like Allie, I used 2 cups of flour (a mixture of spelt and whole wheat pastry) and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree. Like Tina, I used 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of earth balance butter. The rest was rather typical for a scone recipe: baking powder, baking soda, salt, and some milk.

What would I change?

More butter and sweetener. Honestly, they were great when eaten warm with some earth balance or almond butter on top, but I should have upped the fat when baking like Allie since Tina’s recipe had 1/2 cup less flour. They were definitely enjoyed though and I won’t give up on scones yet. I just feel as though I may be more of a muffin/quickbread person.

Other things:

-The Marie Claire article really has taken over the “healthy living” blogs and I don’t really have much to chime in on because I think all sides of the topic have been spoken about quite thoroughly. However, I do feel compassion for the bloggers who were interviewed and then unfairly quoted out of context. The truth is within their blog posts and their readership should never diminish, but only grow. Did you feel like it needed to be written or was it just cruel and unfair of the author to not let these great women know what the article was truly about?

I am not an every meal blogger or even every day or week blogger. I know that there are times where I may lose readership because life gets in the way, but I choose to continue blogging because of the great community. There are so many kind comments and other blogs that inspire me every day. I hope it continues to thrive (although overwhelming at times) and be a place for women (and men) to feel a sense of community. Some may say blogging is obsessive, but we all have them. I love food. I love fashion. I love running. I love traveling. These are things I let myself be obsessed with…because, quite frankly, why not?

-On a lighter note, do you like scones? Have any recipes (favorite combinations) you want to share?


getting back to it all

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, SHOPPING, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 30, 2010

It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.

This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.

First, I add one cup water  and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.

I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.

Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.

The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.

I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.

One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.

Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.

Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood”  on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.

Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.

Getting back to some savory eats…

Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.

On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.

Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.

This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.

Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…

My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.

Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.

aesthetically pleasing.

Posted in DESIGN, FASHION, MAGAZINES by clairedille on June 14, 2010

This is going to be a non-food focused post since I have always been quite inspired by design, especially clothing and home goods. Hope you enjoy.

In the last few days, I have been thinking a lot about my internship days and how they influenced me. A few years back I had the great opportunity of interning for Harper’s Bazaar. Days after classes ended for the spring, I took the bus from Boston to NY and headed into the Hearst Tower to venture into the world of magazine publishing. I was such a naive magazine writing student beforehand and had no idea how the summer would affect me. As the only intern for a special supplement issue, A Fashionable Life, I was immersed in all aspects of the publication. This issue of the magazine, usually fashion focused, was all about home style. The editors let me attend press previews for brands like Anthropologie, assist on photo shoots, and even help fill the pages with items I loved.

Instead about raving about the experience in fear it may come across as “too perfect,” I want to share with you an apartment I fell in love with in the Park Slope, Brooklyn (also where I spent the early days of my life).


At that time, J. Crew was going through a little (or major) makeover by the new Creative Director, Jenna Lyons. She was adding in some modern and vintage twists to the overly preppy label. These changes by Jenna have made the brand one I really admire much more now. Although some of the prices have gone up, it is with good reason because she has added a special section called In Good Company featuring some classic brands like Tretorn, Barbour, Ray-Ban, Sperry, and Thomas Mason. Some modern brands like Fenton/Fallon and Lemlem have also been added to the mix for the modern edge. You can also take a peak at her pick’s each season on the website with some words of wisdom to go along with each garment.

Unfortunately, most of the Bazaar shots really focused on her when I feel there could have been more images of the amazing space her and her husband designed and live in with their adorable son, Beckett.

One of my favorite home magazines, that didn’t survive the downfall of magazines in the last few years, Domino, featured Jenna and her home with more great shots by Melanie Acevedo.

Just a few things I love about her apartment:

-Dove grey walls downstairs with her husband’s artwork and vintage glass or crystal chandeliers

-Chalkboard paint in the master bedroom showcasing her bed and fireplace.

-A clawfoot bathtub with classic english fixtures

-The Saarinen table she sits at to read her morning paper and drink coffee. I love mid-century furniture.

-Beckett’s yellow and white striped ceiling

-The industrial kitchen with a farmhouse table and french doors

-Jenna’s closet is the ideal space for keeping garments with shoe shelving and racks.

Other links:

The Habitually Chic blog shared many images of her home here.

Apartment Therapy also wrote about how styling can really influence how Jenna’s Brownstone looks.

Here is a video of a day in Jenna’s glamorous life and career from Oprah’s dream job series.

The Livingetc article and images of Jenna’s Brooklyn Brownstone (slideshow here).

An article comparing Harper’s Bazaar’s A Fashionable Life to Vogue Living.

Here are a few items similar to some of my personal favorite looks by J. Crew.

Tuxedo shirts and cutoffs.

Boatneck striped shirts and bubble skirts.

Military inspired jackets.

Cargo style pants dressed up.

Layering…especially shawl collar jackets and button down shirts.

Casual summer tunics for the beach or with cutoffs.

Henley’s, boyfriend jeans, and strappy sandals.

The Catalog was recently shot in Antigua, Guatemala.

Some things:

-Do you read design blogs? Have any favorites? I read design sponge most often and my favorite photo blog featuring eclectic individuals is The Selby.

-Have you noticed the changes in J. Crew over the last few years? Do you like the brand? I actually am not a big J.Crew wearer but do have a few pieces I truly enjoy. They also are doing wonderful things with the lower priced and younger line, Madewell too.

I hope you enjoyed the change of scenery around here. I would love to know if you would be interested in more fashion or home design inspired posts. I will be back with some words on recent delicious eats.

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a shift?

Posted in FASHION, FOOD, MAGAZINES, RUNNING, VEGAN by clairedille on May 22, 2010

These last few days have been pretty mentally challenging for me and it so wonderful to read the reassuring comments when life’s stresses seem to be getting in the way. It is always great for me to take a step back and maybe even try to be a little less selfish. After a phone call from a best friend telling me she was coming into town from Denver for the weekend and a visit from my boy who I haven’t been able to see since returning from Philly, my mood elevated immensely. Sometimes you just need a little cheering up and those two things were the best possible for me today.

Ashley has been raving about the (never home) maker’s banana scramble and I just knew that would have to be the topping for this mornings oats.

These were 1/3 cup  Scottish oats (still my absolute favorite) cooked in water and vanilla unsweetened almond milk for at least ten minutes. I truly feel that the longer I cook oats (or the longer oats take to cook?) the better they are. Maybe this is solely because they are more creamy. I cooked 1/4 of a large banana into the oats with half a tablespoon of chia seeds for some extra plumpness. For the banana scramble, I followed Ashley’s version, with a few alterations: 1/4 banana, excluded coconut and half a tablespoon of vanilla almond butter instead of peanut butter. This mash was so sweet that I didn’t need any stevia, agave, or maple to sweeten this morning’s oats, just a few shakes of cinnamon. The rest of our raspberries were poured on top and mashed throughout while eating.

I was really interested to read your thoughts about high fashion magazines. I love the art by the stylists, clothing designers, and photographers created for a magazine spread, but the unhealthy images can sometimes overshadow. Fashion magazines have emphasized the waif since the 60’s and 70’s. Examples are Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, & Veruschka. Kate Moss even recently said her motto was “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” to Women’s Wear Daily. She even admitted, “That’s one of them. You try to remember, but it never works.” Such an unhealthy motto from a model doesn’t surprise me, but it does make me sad. Another model quoted in the Telegraph shot back with “Millions of girls aspire to be like Kate Moss. These comments are shocking and irresponsible.” I definitely agree. Can you imagine the number of teen girls (and older) who aspire to be like her and read such detrimental words from someone they idealize?

Have you heard about the CFDA Health Initiative that was started in 2007? You must read this amazingly truthful diary of model Kim Noorda’s struggles with an eating disorder that was featured in Vogue this fall. Here is a great review of the article, showcasing the fact that “Every bit of Kim’s journal shows how hard it is to be in an industry, especially as an adolescent, where people criticize your appearance all day every day because all that matters is what you look like.”

In the last year, a few designers and magazines have attempted to portray healthier, more normal sized women. However, at times, I feel it can be drastic. It is often purely sample size vs. plus size with not much in between.

Vice Magazine’s “One Size Fits All” featured Jacquelyn Jablonski and Crystal Renn, two models of different sizes, in the same garments.

Mark Fast had three “average sized” women walk down the runway in his body conscious dresses.

-Karl Lagerfeld had “plus size” (in model terms) Crystal Renn walk down his Chanel Resort show runway.

It is hard for me to see a real shift happening but maybe model’s sizes are evolving into something more realistic, at least some of the time.

Now, onto my lunch…

I wasn’t too hungry for a big lunch so decided on a hummus filled wrap with extra veggies. The salad I craved couldn’t come together when I saw that we had eaten all the spinach in two days. With my sister in the house, I wasn’t surprised the spinach was gone and actually pretty happy to find that my she is just as enamored with fresh produce as I am. She mentioned that her last few weeks of school were too stressful to grocery shop, so I am sure she is loving the abundance of goods she finds in the fridge here. In the wrap was a few spoonfuls of spinach, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, avocado, carrot, and broccoli. The rest of the broccoli I ate on the side with some of the marinade from last night’s stir fry.

During a trip to the library and fabric store, my sister and I split a Strawberry Kombucha. I realized that the Honest Tea varieties are less sour than the GT Synergy brand, but I enjoy both in different ways. A grocery stop was mandatory, but I kept my purchases to a minimum when I realized the store we went to was more expensive for some of my favorites. I grabbed some spinach for dinner, two bunches of kale, dark chocolate, oranges, a new-to-me kombucha flavor, and some vino.

I decided a peanut butter filled banana boat would do the trick for some pre-run fuel.

Yes, that is one UGly picture but I hope to change these shots tomorrow!

Before the run, I decided that I should try to run without any distractions (meaning music) for a change. A thunderstorm seemed to be looming and sometimes I forget to really focus on the run when I am listening to great tunes (some of my favorites on my running playlist are Passion Pit, Empire of the Sun, MGMT, M.I.A., and Phoenix). There were years when I ran without music because previous coaches didn’t approve. Music can aid and hinder runs for me. I definitely can feel a sense of adrenaline when a fast beat comes on and I tend to start running fast. This can lead to over-training by simply just running too fast too soon, which is a problem I’ve had on many occasions. Without music today, I had a chance to really be in the moment and concentrate on my pace. It was great to hear my labored breathing and my feet hit the road, but it was also challenging. I tried to maintain a steady pace and for the distance, I felt it was harder without music. I guess I may have to include more running without music days so I can get used to my own rhythm again. When I got back, I felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment that I might not normally feel with my Ipod strapped on. I grabbed my pups leash and she ran out with me for a short cool down followed by a walk around the neighborhood. The thunder started within the last block and a few raindrops hit my nose as I ran across the driveway.

Dinner was served.

After some light yoga stretching alongside Bessie (my pup always likes to lie right down on the mat), I threw together one of my favorite summer salads. Baby Spinach with carrots, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas, tempeh bacon, chickpeas, and pepitas was tossed with goddess dressing and apple cider vinegar. Sea Salt might have made its way on there too. In the warmer months, I eat this combination often for lunch. Other staples I tend to include are beets and cucumber.

Of course chocolate was involved.

Although it was pretty humid out, I felt like a nice bath tonight. I don’t treat myself to them that often but every few months it is just what my muscles need.

Other things:

– How do you feel about the CFDA health initiative? Do you think there may be a shift to include more healthy models in the future, if not yet? Were you surprised to see that Vogue featured an article about a model‘s struggles to maintain her unhealthy body weight? I find it reassuring to actually see that designers and magazine editors are more and more aware (and admitting it) of the unhealthy effects of the industry. Instead of hiding these instances, it is great that they are bringing them up and maybe even changing some things. I don’t know how much WILL actually change but even just including Kim Noorda’s diary regarding her eating issues because of the fashion world in Vogue’s pages is a big step.

-Have you read Gena’s guest posts (part 1 and part 2) on the Eat the Damn Cake blog? I loved to finally read her personal story and her choice to opt out. I hope you read both these posts. Gena has a way with words that I adore.

– Do you run with or without music? or a mix of both? Do you feel music improves or hinders your running?

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

local mags.

Posted in FAMILY, FASHION, FOOD, MAGAZINES, TRAVEL, VEGAN by clairedille on May 21, 2010

Sometimes a day doesn’t need much reflection. I have tried to make the best of my current situation but it is such a hard boundary to distinguish between focusing too much on the future vs. too much on the day-to-day goings on. I had a few distractions to keep me occupied but the constant desire to know my future, even just the next few months, wasn’t letting up. The morning was spent gazing at my computer screen at pages and pages of productions being filmed around the country. I wish I was at the point in my career where I could simply take off to a new destination when someone needed me to fill a position. Hopefully this will someday be my future. For now, I am relying on the benefit of the doubt and the words spoken by those I trust.

My sister and spent the morning sitting computer screen to computer screen. She is already incredibly interested and eager to find her next path. Within a week of graduation she is looking for the who, what, where (and wear?) answers of her future.

Scrolling through pages of PDF’s is not ideal and I thought eating outside with my computer in tow would be a great attempt for a somewhat cheerful morning. It was already becoming quite warm out and sitting in the shade was the perfect chance for me to savor my oats while browsing future prospects. The steel-cut variety of oats was cooked with unsweetened almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, chia seeds, flax seeds, and half a banana. The organic raspberries were a special treat mixed with more banana and vanilla almond butter. This was definitely a winning combo that made my morning much better than imagined.

Don’t you love how oats keep you satisfied for so long? To this day, I am still impressed by their lingering staying power.

When a break was needed, my sister and I cracked open a new Honest Tea Kombucha to try. The Apple Jasmine flavor was just as delicious as the Lemon Ginger, but much more subtle. We enjoyed it while brainstorming dinner plans with tofu and veggies in mind.

Lunch was an easy choice after much success with the Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlets the day before. One was broken up and stuffed into a sprouted wrap filled with spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and goddess dressing. This was truly delicious, although maybe not so aesthetically appealing. I was hoping it could be eaten like a quesadilla but the lack of panini maker made a messy lunch with most of the filling spilled all over the plate. An orange was split as well.

Another attempt to distract myself from my immediate future happened in the afternoon when I finally opened an issue of Grid Magazine that I picked up in Reading Terminal in Philly. I had no idea what I was getting myself into because The Food Issue was AH-mazing. The whole slow-local-sustainable food movement in Philadelphia is one of the best I have read about so far. This magazine had my full attention for much too long and I learned so much about a city I have only visited a few times. As a magazine writing major in college, I still feel that nothing penetrates me like a well designed and well written piece of material. Don’t get me wrong, I love the online media world so much. This is obviously why I blog. However, there is no feeling like holding a piece of art in your hand. A piece of fiction or well researched nonfiction to be completely engulfed by, separating you from  your surroundings, is what makes me most happy. These days I stray from my past fashion focused issues in favor of the foodie ones. Feeding my belly seems to be more important that feeding my inner stylista at this moment. This may change, so I can’t make any promises. I will forever be molded by the fashion magazines I read growing up. I will never forget the day my mother first told me I must part with my stack of Vogue’s. But that is another topic for later discussion…

As I was saying, Grid was the perfect magazine for me to pick up randomly. With the help of the organization, Fair Food, they compiled lists of farmer’s market’s, restaurant’s, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and institutions that support the local and sustainable food system. Reading about the city’s new composting company whom helps restaurants and institutions not supported by the city’s waste management encouraged me to start composting myself. An article on canning had me compelled to make my own jam with fresh berries this summer for the following fall and winter months. One man’s bread making path had me feeling as though I must break into the hobby and put my fear of yeast behind me. An Urban Farmer had some great words to say about the importance of inner city agriculture:

We can create thousands of jobs with this new kind of farming, with urban agriculture. Just think of all the categories of jobs: you’ve got installers, carpenters, plumbers, truck drivers, accountants, electricians, aquaculturists, planners, architects. In a rural area, you don’t need these jobs. Industrial agriculture gets rid of jobs; the machines do everything.

This is hand work, it’s communal work, which is important and fun for all of us, all the generations, from little kids to school-age kids to teenagers to college kids. Everybody is involved. Now politicos are involved, corporate companies send their associates to volunteer and corporate companies have foundations to supply some of the money. We also need reporters and publicity people, because one of things that we haven’t been able to do is be proactive and get the word out. All of these wonderful projects are hidden away. We need the public.

It is up to us to shape the importance of local and sustainable food. Even at the age of 24, I am sometimes worried about the future of our country and the world from the overabundance of factory farming, and what this mean’s for our children and their children. We need programs like this that educate the younger and younger about self-sustaining and attempting to make resources available to low-income families.

I made my way through the issue with some help of Green & Black’s 70% Dark Chocolate for a wonderful afternoon snack. In the compilation created by Fair Food, I found some great places I can’t wait to visit next time I head to Philly. I also found out that FARMiCiA and Fork, two out of the four restaurants we ate at while in Philly, help support small local farmers and sustainability. Another place I have yet to mention is Mugshots. This fair trade coffee shop and cafe was right around the corner from my sister’s apartment and I wish I had more time to enjoy it instead of packing. They have delicious coffee and tons of vegan treats, (get the cowboy/girl cookie, it is the biggest vegan cookie I’ve ever seen filled with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate) as well as a Vegan BLT and chili, if you are in the mood for comfort food. The local buying club is also a great way to purchase local, sustainable food from them without having to go through the farmers. You can pick your own order instead of a large CSA type share or trip to the farmer’s market.

I definitely suggest picking up Grid if you are in the Philadelphia area, or just checking out the articles online if you are interested in Philly and eco tips.

For dinner, I went with a simple vegetable stir fry using chili garlic sauce, tamari, ginger, and lemon. For the tofu, I loosely followed this recipe from Vegetarian Times, opting to bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees before adding to mushrooms, carrots, and bok choy in the wok.

Although the veggies were more than beautiful when chopping, I wish I went the raw route as the original recipe states. In the past I have made this recipe with much success as a bento bowl layered with an array of fresh produce and brown rice, but tonight I felt like stir frying all ingredients to spread the sauce evenly. This may not have turned out as well as hoped, but the flavor was still as bold as before. The bok choy was simply overcooked, but the tofu, brown rice, other vegetables, and seasoning were spot on.

Dessert was coconut milk yogurt topped with a new-to-me cereal Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (had a Whole Foods coupon for Kashi cereal and this had the least amount of ingredients-it was good, but not as good as Puffins), Puffins, raspberries, and a small spoonful of chocolate hazelnut spread. I ate this while reading about sprouting in an old Vegetarian Times. I think I am going to start some mung bean sprouts tomorrow, I love the crunch in salads.

Other things:

-Did you grow up influenced by the fashion world? If so, what is your favorite high fashion mag? If not, why do you choose not to read them? Disinterest? Annoyance of the price of clothing included or too much emphasis on current trends?

I first interned at Harper’s Bazaar in college and loved it immensely. One of my best friends is someone I met there and I was shaped to understand the in’s and out’s of the magazine publishing world. I will never forget the amount of freedom and hands on experience I was given that summer. My editor let me attend press previews solo with a camera in hand and was given freebies on many occasions. However, as I am sure you know, the fashion world can be a catty one and that has to be my least favorite aspect. There are some definite genuine people, but many who take the fashion world much too seriously. Ironically, most of the designers I’ve met have been more humble than the fashion magazine editors. That phase of my life has been put aside for now, but I will never shut it out. I love the art and history of fashion too much to never return.

-Do you have a local magazine that you grab often? Does your community have a strong slow-food movement?

After living in California, Boston, and New York, I sometimes struggle to find more places and resources that emphasis the importance of local small farms and sustainable practices. In New York, there were many restaurants that place emphasis on using organic ingredients as much as possible, but in the area I am in now, it seems as though organic is only available from grocery stores and one or two restaurants. I have yet to find a local magazine I enjoy.

thunderstorms cry for soup

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, VEGAN by clairedille on May 3, 2010

This morning, I awoke to sunshine streaming in the windows and the Dogwood next to my window in full bloom. It pretty much feels like the perfect spring day and I can not complain. Ironically, I was just as happy to hear thunder last evening as I was cooking dinner. Spring storms are a wonderful occasion for a new soup recipe and split pea was on the agenda. As stated yesterday, I am taking on my vegan cookbooks in full force this May. The Conscious Cook won last night. Split pea soup is a definite comfort food in my book (probably for everyone else too) and I really do enjoy Trader Joe’s and Amy’s versions from time to time. Last night, however, I was excited to try a recipe that had more innovative flavors than the traditional recipes. Tal Ronnen’s recipes tend to be more of the haute variety so I knew this recipe wouldn’t disappoint, being a fancier twist on a classic favorite.

I followed the recipe with the exception of a few ingredients that somehow slipped out of my Whole Food’s bag or cart. Shallots were then switched to half an onion, and rosemary to thyme. The taste was complex and smoky with the addition of smoked paprika and topped with chipotle cream. Cashew cream is always tasty, but blended with lime, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and vegenaise made for a tasty sauce.

I can’t share the recipe with you but I promise you it is a crowd pleaser. If you are looking for a comprehensive and beautiful cookbook, think about this one. I think that the recipes take more time than your average meal, but for one night a week, it is great. You could also try one of the recipes he made featured on Oprah or two found on The Daily Green (here and here).

My photographs really don’t do the recipe justice but here are some I took today for lunch.

I haven’t forgotten about the Gluten Free challenge either. With my lunch, I munched on a massive mango that was too messy to capture with my camera.

For breakfast, I went with the GF Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal, but should have upped the serving size because I was hungry for lunch earlier than normal after a sweaty workout. The cereal was cooked with my favorite almond milk, half a banana, and stevia. Later, I topped it with more banana, dried cherries, Naturally Nutty cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter, cinnamon, and hemp seeds. YUM!

Other things:

A trip to the library resulted in magazine heaven at my house this past week. For a magazine writing and publishing major in college, I have really been disrespectful to the printed word these past few months. My only current subscription is to Runner’s World, but I love to look at all magazines having to do with fashion, food, health, travel, etc. If I didn’t move as much in the past few years, I am sure my collection would be even more ridiculous than it already is.

I read an interesting article in Body + Soul about seeds and why we should add them to our diet. The nutrient deficiencies in my vegetarian diet has never really been an issue for me (that I know of). A few years ago, when still eating animal protein, I found myself having horrible leg cramps or charlie horses, if you will. They are caused by an electrolyte imbalance or low levels of minerals, such as potassium or calcium. I was worried. Years have passed since I have had a similar calf cramp but I still feel like I should be aware of the vitamins that many plant based diets do not always obtain enough of. The vitamins that vegetarians can overlook are found in these seeds, and I plan on trying to eat more of them. Here is a brief summary:

hemp seeds – 24% of your daily recommended protein, perfect balance of amino acids

pumpkin seeds – plenty of protein, energy producing magnesium, 1/4 cup = 1/3 daily recommended zinc

sesame seeds – cholesterol lowering phytosterols, rich in iron, copper, & selenium

chia seeds – loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, & antioxidants, 1 oz = 43% daily recommended fiber

flaxseed – powerful cardio protective nutrients, omega 3’s, fiber, & lignans

sunflower seeds – 1/4 cup = 82% daily recommended vitamin E, 34% daily recommended selenium, 20% daily recommended folate

Do you try to incorporate seeds into your daily diet?

better leftovers.

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES by clairedille on May 1, 2010

After a long day at work yesterday, I knew that cooking was not going to be in the plans for the night. We headed out for a late dinner at the vegetarian restaurant, Inn Season, because a certain someone was craving their delicious and creative pizza. The last meal I ate there was to celebrate my birthday with my mother and boyfriend and they were both just as in love as I was. It has a different feel than my all time favorite New York vegan spot, Candle Cafe. It has a more hippie type decor and the food ranges from refreshing juices and salads to comfort fare like chili and pizza. It opened in 1981 and was the first vegetarian restaurant in Michigan, with an emphasis on the freshest organic, seasonal, and locally grown ingredients. Forgetting my camera didn’t seem to matter when the freshly baked flatbread and red pepper hummus came to the table. We devoured it within minutes and the bread was wheaty and fluffy with a tiny touch of sweetness, just how I like it. For my entrée, I went with a simple veggie filled stir fry with a shiitake miso sauce on the side. V (my date) went with the Bistro pizza, the same dish my mother had ordered on my birthday. It is served on the tuscan crust using roasted garlic, fennel, organic whole corn meal and organic wheat flour, topped with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, caramelized onion, garlic roasted walnuts, tomato sauce and cheese or soy cheese. I love that this restaurant adapts all meals to your diet, whether you are vegan or not. I don’t know about you, but when I eat at a vegetarian place, I always wonder about the percentage of omnis vs veggies. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was half and half because the food is so delicious, I know anyone would enjoy. We went home with happy full bellies and had to skip the decadent desserts but promised to get lighter meals next time so that we can fit in a tasty treat.

Here are some shots of our leftovers for today. Although they might not look that grand, we both felt they were just as good cold for lunch.

I may have eaten the majority of the vegetables last night, leaving cups of tamari shiitake brown rice. I didn’t mind.

I just baked some Veganomicon Banana Bread muffins with vegan chocolate chips for my parents arrival from Barcelona. I’ve made this bread before and it is the best banana bread I have had to date. Kylie posted the recipe on her blog with some beautiful photographs as well. Check it out here if you do not have the cookbook.

Sorry, I realize this post is a little food porn heavy but isn’t that what the weekend is for?

Other things:

Do you read the edible publication in your area? I just found our local edible magazine at the restaurant last night and was unaware we had one in this state. Previously, I have read edible martha’s vineyard and edible manhattan. They are a great resource and some communities have lots of content on their site as well. Search for yours here.

Are you addicted to tastespotting yet? Now you are…

What are your weekend plans? The first farmer’s market in my parent’s town opens tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to get some local goodies!

miss lara stone.

Posted in MAGAZINES by clairedille on December 22, 2009

I just wrote a post about the recent article in January American Vogue , check it out here. I would love to know what you think!

P.S. new A Fresh Dille post tonight.

Shot by Bruce Weber for July 2008’s W Magazine with two of the greats, Miss Daria and Kate. This was a good sign…

Shot by Steven Klein and styled by Alex White for August 2009’s W Magazine.

mags and markets.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, MAGAZINES by clairedille on August 16, 2009

When this blog first came to light, I often wrote about my undying love of farmer’s markets and seasonal produce. Like all foodie bloggers, I always find myself so impressed by the abundance of colors and flavors around me at the market. Although many markets are overly crowded, there is something exhilarating about the enthusiasm others around me share for fresh food. Yesterday was the first time my father, mother, and sister have been together the entire summer and in true family form, we headed over to the biggest market nearby to satisfy our fruit and vegetable cravings for the week. The end of the summer always reminds me of blueberries and I was in dire need of them once I hit the bustling market. The other fruit I wanted was the sun gold variety of tomatoes, they are the sweet counterpart to the usual cherry tomato and oh, so tasty.



I snack on these tomatoes plain but they are also wonderful roasted on a flatbread like the one I made last year on Martha’s Vineyard for my family.

Two magazines that I am loving today are the September issue of Vegetarian Times with two articles I am particularly pleased with, “go greek!” and “DIY Doughnuts” and The New York Times Style Magazine. My sister will be graduating next year from college (with a degree in fashion design) and to celebrate her graduation we are planning on heading over to Greece, the one place I haven’t been in Europe. It will be the perfect warm weather spot and I can not wait to photograph the beauty of Greece. The other reason I am so fond of the article on greek food is because I love the simple mediterranean flavors. If you ever want to taste authentic greek food, head over to Snack in Soho (right next to INA-best designer consignment store) on Thompson Street. The quaint feel of the restaurant is ever-so-charming and I always find myself seated between people speaking French or Italian and for some reason, I trust their judgment.

I feel a great amount of nostalgia for doughnuts in the summer months because it was the only time growing up that we made our way to Humphrey’s in West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. My father always ordered a Jelly doughnut and half of the jelly most likely ended up on his shirt, my sister and I favored a warm paper bag full of doughnut holes, and we would take a crueller home for my mother waiting for us at the Dille camp. This was a yearly tradition until it closed down in my early teen years and created a great upset.



I have been waiting all week for the T Fall Fashion issue and two articles that drew me in were “Past Perfect” about the vintage clothing store in LA called Decades and “Who’s That Girl?” about the film costume designer, Arianne Phillips. I will go into more detail in the near future about why I am more intrigued about these topics than I may have been in the past, but  If you do not get the NY Times, I definitely recommend heading out to pick up the Sunday issue. The style issues only come out a few times a year and never disappoint.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Anyone else completely ecstatic about the Mad Men premier tonight!

the day i was born…

Posted in MAGAZINES by clairedille on March 18, 2009

is today! I have been quite the frequent blogger due to major changes that have occurred in my life these last few months. Still looking for the “perfect” or right job during this recession is no longer possible. Telling yourself that you will have to settle for something below what you imagined for yourself is hard to grasp. I am currently at this place and each day I search for the most positive traits within myself. Maybe returning to the blog world will be a good outlet for my thoughts right now. The economy is suffering and magazines are folding by the day. After studying print journalism and loving the physical act of holding a heavy spring issue of Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue since childhood, I am frightened that one day I will not have that option. Is it strange that I am returning to online media when I am so scared print media might be taken away from me?

On a more positive note, my best friend from college is coming from Los Angeles on Friday to celebrate another birthday. She is truly one of my soul mates and accepts me for all that I am. Sometimes we call each other to simply tell say how we miss sitting in our twin beds across from one another talking about all the silly boy drama that surrounded us. She is a true California girl and it was no surprise that the first thing she did upon graduation was transport to LA where she could write television drama. Here we are after I convinced her to go out in the first snow fall in Boston to get goods for baking Christmas cookies.


me and my lil laura.

We will be reunited after much too long. I will honestly admit that she is often the one I get in the most trouble with. Most of the time I am pretty in line, however, this little one can get me to take the occasional tequila shot among other rambunctious things. On the other hand, I am the one who may or may not have gotten her addicting to manicures, as I already received notice or her needing one via text. I cannot wait to celebrate with a few of my best friends on Friday at one of my favorite New York restaurants (more on that later).


me hugging laura

Well, it is way past my regular bedtime but I guess I had to stay up late to see the clock strike midnight on my birthday! I will be returning tomorrow…I’ll leave you a with a photo laura took of me the last time she came to stay with me in Manhattan. Uh oh…


Tomorrow, I’ll share a few Fall Fashion Week looks I loved from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Goodnight loves.