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Make It Happen:
Strawberries in a Small Space

We know what you’re thinking: you’d love to grow your own produce, but darn it, you… >

Make It Happen: Strawberries in a Small Space

We know what you’re thinking: you’d love to grow your own produce, but darn it, you just don’t have the outdoor space. But before you resign yourself to another summer of suspiciously super-sized supermarket strawberries, consider green thumb Marie Viljoen, who turned her teeny Brooklyn terrace into an urban garden, and then penned a cookbook, 66 Square Feet: A Delicious Life, based on her experience. Marie generously provided a step-by-step guide to growing strawberries in a less-than-sprawling space. Follow her tips and you’ll be enjoying the perennial fruits, ahem, of your labor all summer long.

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“April is an excellent time to plant this undemanding fruit, whose first flush of berries will ripen around late May. Strawberries are perennials—they will return year after year. They also reproduce freely, so if you start with one or two plants, you’ll have a few dozen in a couple of years.”

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“When shopping for plants, look for the word “everbearing,” like the Alpine variety. This means that they will produce flowers and fruit throughout the year.”

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“Plant your strawberries in organic potting soil, in containers with drainage holes. They grow happily in containers as small as 6” across, but smaller pots mean you will need to divide and repot your plants more frequently; a 10” pot is more ideal. Place your newly planted strawberries in full sun, meaning six hours of direct sunlight.”

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“If critter control is an issue, protect the plants with a loose covering of chicken wire. This deters squirrels, cats and thieving blue jays.”

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“Feed the plants every week with a granular organic fertilizer, liquid seaweed or fish fertilizer (don’t worry, the smell only lasts a day!). Mix a small bit into the soil every time you harvest a flush of ripe berries. Water them thoroughly when the top half inch of soil is dry. This will be daily in summer—do not rely on rainfall for potted plants.”

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“Pick the berries when they are plump and a bright, scarlet red. They last longer if you include a short piece of stem.”

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“Savor them as a simple picnic dessert, or with a decadent splash of cold prosecco.”



 

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Make It Happen:
Flower Pots, Four Ways

Flower pots are so darn pretty—the brilliant colors, the crackly glazes—that… >

Make It Happen: Flower Pots, Four Ways

Flower pots are so darn pretty—the brilliant colors, the crackly glazes—that it seems a shame to let the plants they hold steal all the attention. If you’re looking for something different to do with those pots (or if your thumb just isn’t green enough to keep plants alive in them for long), take a look at the alternative uses we’ve dreamed up for your garden vessels that will guarantee they get the oohs and ahhs they so deserve.

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Use it to serve up those other greens, as in a leafy, lovely salad
(just be sure to line the pot with parchment paper first).


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Few sights are more welcome at a party than an icy, overflowing tub of tipples.


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In the mood for a mini DIY? Flip the pot upside down,
install a light kit and—voila!—insta-lamp.


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Already growing tiny succulents? Perfect. Nestle place cards into their
structured leaves for uncommonly pretty holders.





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It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
The Cel-Ray Spring Tonic

It may happen every spring, but we never fail to get giddy as the days grow longer and… >

It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
The Cel-Ray Spring Tonic

It may happen every spring, but we never fail to get giddy as the days grow longer and the evenings lovelier. In honor of the much-anticipated return of one of our favorite happy hour guests, the sun, we’re mixing up the Cel-Ray Spring Tonic, a fresh and fizzy cocktail that’s as cucumber-cool as April’s first breezes. It’s just one of the inventive sips featured in “Shake,” a cocktail compendium from discerning tipplers Eric Prum and Josh Williams.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Makes two drinks

2 shots of vodka
1 large sprig of celery leaves (plus two small sprigs for garnish)
6 slices of cucumber (plus two for garnish)
2 slices of lime (plus two for garnish)
1/2 shot of fresh lime juice
Ginger ale


HOW TO MAKE IT…

Combine the celery leaves, cucumber and lime slices in a shaker. Muddle until fragrant and thoroughly crushed, then add the vodka and lime juice. Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into glasses containing large cubes of ice, top with the ginger ale and garnish with the remaining celery leaves, cucumber and lime. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the sun’s last rays.



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Photo credit: The Mason Shaker

 

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Recipes from Our Green
Dinner Party

Nothing says spring cooking like fresh, green ingredients that can be tossed together… >

Recipes from Our Green Dinner Party

Nothing says spring cooking like fresh, green ingredients that can be tossed together in a flash. Here are the recipes we whipped up for our green-themed dinner party with
The New Potato. Enjoy!

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                    Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Hazelnuts and Pecorino


WHAT YOU’LL NEED

For the salad:

1 lb Brussels sprouts
1 bunch lacinato kale
2 small bulbs of fennel, fronds reserved
2 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
3/4 cup shaved pecorino cheese

 For the dressing:

1/2 cup hazelnut oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste

 
HOW TO MAKE IT…

Thinly shave the Brussels sprouts and fennel on a mandoline. Remove the stalks of the kale, and slice leaves into thin ribbons. Combine Brussels sprouts, fennel, kale, apples and hazelnuts in a serving bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together sherry vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle hazelnut oil into the bowl and whisk simultaneously until well incorporated. Toss salad with this dressing and top with shaved pecorino and fennel fronds.

 



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                                     Pasta with Basil-Watercress Pesto

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

4 cups packed fresh basil
1 cup watercress, plus extra for serving
1 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Enough pasta to serve 6.

 
HOW TO MAKE IT

In a large food processor, combine all ingredients (reserving pasta and extra watercress) and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Adjust for taste, adding more oil if needed.

Cook pasta according to packaging instructions. Toss with pesto and extra watercress. Serve immediately.

*You may have more pesto than you’ll need. To store extra pesto, put it in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top to preserve its green color.






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Make It Happen: An Entryway
with Something to Say

Our visual communication manager Kayte is a whiz when it comes to sprucing up spaces… >

Make It Happen: An Entryway
with Something to Say

Our visual communication manager Kayte is a whiz when it comes to sprucing up spaces, so we knew she was just the gal to fill us in on some easy and unexpected ways to freshen up the “face” of your home. Take it away, Kayte!

Ah, the home entryway… the oft-forgotten zone where we drop our coats and kick off our shoes after a long day. But why treat your foyer so shabbily? Instead, think of your threshold as a way to set the tone of your home. Here are five quick fixes to make your entryway sing this spring.

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Closet Cues: Take a page from your wardrobe to style your space. Are your spring clothes all about budding botanicals, bright hues and texture galore? They work in your home, too! An entryway, with its petite stature, is the perfect room to try something new.

Get Organized: Instead of tossing your belongings here and there, turn to creative catch-alls to organize them—a key hook pulls double-duty as a necklace rack while a chair rail holds (and displays!) a few favorite heels.

Think 3D: Simple shelving on brackets adds dimension and storage to walls with ease. We picked a warm wood shelf set atop the Tour Eiffel bracket—an all-time favorite for its classic, graceful lines. Pile your shelves with a stack of favorite novels, or, like us, a collection of vases filled with happy spring blooms.

Be Bold: A small space is a brilliant way to experiment with bold wallpaper—high on impact, low on commitment!

Mix, Don’t Match: A dash of feminine (the floral wallpaper), a bit of industrial (the basket and shelf) and a dose of vintage rustic (the bench) make for one great room. Too much or too little of one of these elements, like a too-matchy outfit, would simply fall flat.




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It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
The Minted Marrakesh

While in Tangier, we struck up quite the relationship with mint tea. Perfumed… >

It’s 5-O’Clock Somewhere:
The Minted Marrakesh

While in Tangier, we struck up quite the relationship with mint tea. Perfumed with fragrant orange blossoms, it’s an all-day indulgence that’s central to kicking back and catching up in Morocco. Now that we’re stateside, we’ve borrowed the refreshing flavors for a concoction that’s a little more suited to capping off the workweek. Spiked with gin and orange liqueur, this zippy, citrusy cocktail is just what Friday ordered.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 oz. orange liqueur 
1 oz. gin
1 oz. pineapple juice
Orange slice
Mint sprig
Soda water

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Combine the orange liqueur, gin and pineapple juice in a glass with ice (we went with our cheery Color Pop Juice Glass). Add the mint and orange slice (after giving it a good squeeze). Stir until chilled and fragrant, then top off with soda water.

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Recipes From Our Moroccan
Dinner Party

We whipped up a pair of tasty side dishes, Spiced Couscous with Cherries and… >

Recipes From Our Moroccan Dinner Party

We whipped up a pair of tasty side dishes, Spiced Couscous with Cherries and Citrus Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad, for the Moroccan dinner party we threw with the Kosann sisters of The New Potato. But what kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t share the recipes with you? Bon appetite and besseha!

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                                Moroccan Spiced Couscous with Cherries


WHAT YOU’LL NEED

4 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup dried sour cherries
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cumin
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp coriander
1-2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground anise seed
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Paprika, to garnish

 
HOW TO MAKE IT…

Toast couscous in a large pan over medium heat, until browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. Place dried cherries in a bowl of warm water, letting sit for 15 minutes or until plump. Drain and set aside. In a large pot, toast all dried spices (except cinnamon sticks and paprika) over medium-low heat until fragrant. Add olive oil and onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth, orange juice and cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Add toasted couscous and remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and fluff couscous with a fork. Add cherries, pistachios and cilantro and mix well. Garnish with a dusting of paprika.



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                               Citrus Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

12-16 carrots
4 radishes, sliced thinly on a mandoline
4 small beets, sliced thinly on a mandoline (we used a mix of red and gold)
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Cara Cara oranges or other citrus, with peel removed and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest from one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh mint, torn into large pieces
Sliced toasted almonds, for garnish
Dried rose petals, for garnish
Salad greens, to serve

For the dressing:
Juice from one lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne, or more to taste

 
HOW TO MAKE IT

Preheat oven to 400. Slice carrots lengthwise in half, or into quarters if using larger carrots. Toss carrots in 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until fork-tender. Make the dressing by whisking together lemon juice, remaining olive oil, honey and spices until well mixed. In a large bowl, toss the salad greens, radishes, beets, chickpeas, oranges and mint with the dressing. Plate and top with several carrots. Garnish with additional mint, almonds and rose petals, if desired.




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Tastes of Our Travels: Chicken Tagine with Lemon & Olives

There’s nothing like comfort food to get you through these last few weeks… >

Tastes of Our Travels: Chicken Tagine
with Lemon & Olives

There’s nothing like comfort food to get you through these last few weeks of winter. That said, our tried-and-true casseroles are a bit battle-weary at this point—not exactly the type of fare you’d put up against a temperamental tease like March. Our dish for the job? Tagine, a rich, spicy North African stew we sampled on our March catalog shoot in Morocco. It’s perfect for both entertaining guests and those nights when dinner is served on the couch, under a blanket. This hearty chicken version is just one of the inspired recipes in "Around the World in 80 Dishes," acclaimed food photographer David Loftus’ new globally-inspired cookbook. Spring, feel free to take your time this year.

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                                   Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives
    Excerpted from “Around the World in 80 Dishes” by David Loftus (Atlantic Books).
                                                       Serves 8


WHAT YOU’LL NEED

4 lbs. chicken thighs and legs
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
A pinch of salt
4 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 onion, finely chopped
Thin slices of rind cut from 1 preserved lemon
5 oz. pitted green olives
2.5 oz. raisins 
4 oz. water
3 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro 
1 1/2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley


HOW TO MAKE IT…

Pat the chicken pieces dry. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with the spices. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to make sure the meat is well coated. Set aside for an hour.

When ready to cook the chicken, pour a few glugs of olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Heat the oil on a medium heat and add the chicken pieces. Brown gently, adding a little salt. Then lower the heat, add the garlic and onions, cover the pan and let it all gently cook together for 15 minutes.

Now open the lid and turn the chicken pieces over. Add the preserved lemon rind, olives, raisins and water. Bring to a simmer, then take the heat down to a low setting again, cover the pan and cook for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked all the way through.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and parsley and serve with nice plain couscous and a bowl of yogurt. 

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Make it Happen: Moroccan Mint
Tea at Home

In Morocco, we discovered, drinking tea is like breathing air—it is simply… >

Make it Happen: Moroccan
Mint Tea at Home

In Morocco, we discovered drinking tea is like breathing air—it is simply what one does. Served strong, sweet and steaming hot, mint tea is central to a Moroccan’s social life and cultural experience, and is lingered over all hours of the day. We drank our fair share during our excursion (truth be told, we did request it sans sucre from time to time), and even settled in at Tangier’s legendary Café Tingis for a few glasses while exploring the souk. Upon returning stateside, we longed to recreate the experience as best we could, using lots of fresh mint, ornate little glasses, and—steady hands alert—the dramatic flourish of the high pour.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

10 sprigs of mint, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons loose green tea
3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
4 cups water

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Boil the water and pour a small amount in your teapot to get the pot nice and warm. Combine the mint sprigs, tea and sugar in the pot and fill with the rest of the hot water, steeping for a few minutes. Fill one glass with the tea and then pour it back into the pot, to dissolve the sugar and mix the flavors together. Repeat another time or two. The piece de resistance: when ready to serve, pour the tea into the glasses from a good distance above the cups. This will aerate the tea and create a nice foam on the surface of your drink. Garnish with the extra mint and enjoy with a good conversation.


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