Cuban Ceviche

You know the feeling when you haven’t talked to an old friend or relative for ages? Maybe even one you are pretty close to and that you really like and care about? And you keep waiting for that perfect afternoon when you are carefree and ready to cozy up in your favorite chair or kick back on the couch and just dive into a conversation for hours with your 100% undivided attention? But then days go by and months and you have fleeting glimpses of perfect moments that slip through your fingers.  And you’re like hell- just pick up the damn phone and call- RIGHT NOW.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And really whether it’s been months or over a year- you can just start right where you left off with this person- some smiles, some laughs, maybe a little sorrow- but you are just fully present. Can you see my point here?  I don’t have to spell it out in anymore detail right? I’m picking up the damn phone and don’t have anything glorious to share here or really even the time to share it if it were. But we just got back from Florida and we had some killer ceviche in Miami and I was like BAM- get some pics of this stuff and let people know you haven’t let go of this blog thing!

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

The last 8 months were very full and this sharing space made itself comfortable on a back burner with no flame- We had a wonderful year at the store and at the end of it I decided to take another break from retail. I’m on about a 3-4 year cycle. I’m rolling one thing out as I simultaneously roll something in. My latest venture is Real Estate. It’s a far cry from creative but I like people, I like property and I like selling. And a slow 2015 Winter gave me ample time to study and get my license. And being on this island for over 20 years doesn’t hurt in that job.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

And then there’s those silly goats. They are keeping us plenty busy- especially since we never found new homes for our 2 kids, Jane and Rocky. We are still open to seeing them relocate but only for pets and milk- not the freezer thank you very much. ALTHOUGH having said that- we have our 3 does knocked up and I’m already mentally preparing myself for the fact these offspring may not reside here long term. We just don’t have the capacity. Ok- I may keep our Lagerian kids from Dinah- but they (LaMancha/Nigerian cross) will be small and hardly count.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We also built a studio for O man (my husband for those of you who forgot because it’s been EIGHT MONTHS of not hearing a peep from me). And did I mention the real estate thing- last year I was basically working 2 jobs and it was tricky. Then there’s the garden and yada yada yada… I still cook practically everyday from scratch. That’s just a given.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

We spent only a week off the farm. And we got that time because we were so fortunate to have folks move into our cabin who love to farm sit. A little shout out to Coffelt Farm because that’s where one of them works:) We visited family near Vero Beach and we hiked down to Miami for just one night to visit our dear friends Teri and Jochen who moved there from Hamburg. One laughter filled, food filled evening spent with them on Ocean Drive at Lario’s on the Beach followed by chatting as we walked the boardwalk and ended with a stroll down Lincoln Road Mall. Loveliness.

Here’s a shot of the fresh snapper we had that night.Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com-5-2

Avocado salad

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And the ceviche and plantain chips that have been making me want to eat ceviche non-stop!

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Ceviche and steak might be the two things I’d eat all day everyday. A Cuban ceviche is often shrimp or scallops but it got a northwest spin because I have a fair amount of halibut in the freezer. Of course I’d recommend fresh but we do what we have to. I also saw a little note here….. that Cuban ceviche will have a dash of allspice. I didn’t see much other differentiation (except um for fish they tend to use scallops and shrimp). Sometimes a little tomato. But they are God awful right now in the Pacific Northwest so I skipped that. This link gave a little breakdown of ceviches and allspice seemed to be the little somethin’ somethin’ here. I pulverized whole allspice berries due to lack of ground allspice- but the whole berries actually proved more aromatic. So maybe this post should just say Ceviche with nutmeg…

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

What I am missing from my very large repertoire of  dish/glass ware and general accessories is martini glasses- which is a lovely way to feature ceviche. Now of course I might have to pick up a few just for my raw fish cravings. And my mom likes a very dirty martini- so there you have it. I should get some martini glasses.

Cuban Ceviche@ wendyellenthomas.com

~”Cuban” ceviche recipe~  now anybody who is actually from Cuba who might want to set me straight – I’m all ears!

  • 1# fish – I’m fairly flexible here. Halibut, ling cod, snapper of course,scallops, parboiled shrimp. But I like it to be a white fish
  • 1 sweet red pepper – or go for rainbow with yellow and orange if  available- I like that too
  • ½ bunch of cilantro- approx. ½-¾ cup
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)
  • 1 cup citrus juice- 3 limes, 1-2 lemons, 1 orange
  • zest from 1 organic lime
  • ½ tsp salt
  • good pinch of ground nutmeg (then taste it and see if you want more!)
  • garnish with green onion

When eating it for a light meal I didn’t mind serving it up on shredded romaine tossed with olive oil and lemon. You’ll find a little jalapeño,red pepper, red onion, lime, lemon and orange. And a little side of mango and avocado.

I even tried frying up some plantains. They weren’t deep fried so not as crispy as what we ate in Florida but yummy none the less.

So having prepped you in the first paragraph you’ll see this post come to an end- it’s not going to be a novel and I’d like to think you’ll hear from me again sooner than later.

Cheers,

WT

NYC Feb 2015 Walk about and more…

The larger part of our week was spent roaming NYC and hanging with my awesome son who is living a totally grown up life. I’m so proud and I still can’t believe he’s been on this earth almost 27 years… WHHHAAAT?!#$%%

We often meandered from the apartment in Tribeca through Soho… Look water leaks in the big apple

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and north on Broadway stopping at Dean and Deluca’s – here’s a pic of one of our vendors- Big Picture Farm- great folks with lots of goats in Vermont-  These caramels are back on the shelves now at Chez Chloe in seasonal boxes and cello bags- chai, mocha latte, raspberry rhubarb… yum

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and always a little stop at ABC Home. They have a cool foodie market downstairs now. It was just getting going last year. I don’t know how much actual traffic it gets but I find so many interesting lines there-

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then on up to Union Square

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I rarely see a winter farmers market and love it when I do

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So is this pooch a little winter warrior with his orange booties, red vest and purple leash!

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Loads of hardy, grounding winter veggies like sunchokes.

IMG_6237and celeriac- a little of this pureed into your potatoes adds just a little sweetnessIMG_6234Always a stop at Eataly – around 2.30 on a weekday is great. Less bodies to navigate and room to absorb the sights and smells of cured meats, cheeses, pastas and the highs and lows of voices, tablewares and general noise. Wed was brisket day at the sandwich stall. Extra green pesto sauce please. Thank you. IMG_6248We walked west towards the river and into the village- One block in and it’s like entering a church. Quiet with a lack of chaos.

IMG_6251We passed by Murray’s cheese

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And I thought this poster was a pretty good description of me… or cheese.IMG_6253

and quaint little shops with clever signs

IMG_6252This day ended back in Soho at Vosges

IMG_2155With a couple of gorgeous hot chocolates and ever so lightly sweetened, piped whipped cream

IMG_2157And a couple randoms must adds …

Gotham West Market in Hell’s kitchen- GO there.

IMG_2147Eat Tokyo Shoyu noodles at Ivan Ramen and slaw:

GothamwestGo to Tiny’s in Tribeca for brunchIMG_6294

and eat these killer potatoes… like mini square hash browns and

IMG_6301and check out their adorable bathroom – that’s me in the mirror – not a painting. I didn’t realize that myself at first. Going all Mona Lisa there

IMG_6303And if you aren’t suffering from scroll down trigger finger… I’ll leave you with some shots of our day up the Hudson- We took the train from Grand Central

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to Tarrytown on the metro North to rent a car

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We wanted time to enjoy the close proximity of the river together without either of us having to drive. Nor did we feel like driving in and out of the city. We saw lots of lovely white snow.

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 Made our way to charming Rhinebeck- here’s their cute little chamber of commerce

IMG_6278Then we drove north and admired farmlands and white vistas- then west and stayed a night in MA and woke to minus 11 degrees, crystal blue skies and even more dreamy white snow. THEN we headed back to NYC on the highway to little Tarrytown to drop our rental and train back to the city at sunset. It was a sweet 36 hour retreat mid trip.

IMG_6286Ok- we’re finished here. More food coming next post:)

 

New York Gift Fair Feb 2015

Another fantastic week in New York City has come and gone. The first half of the week was consumed with NY Now, the international gift fair at the Javit’s Center. On to a little Chez Chloe bricks and mortar business…

IMG_6214It was a lot of fun having my guy along- I have to remember next year to get Orcas Island on our badges. You’d think I had some kind of rack the way people stared at my chest trying to read “Olga”

IMG_6290We stayed with my son in Tribeca and frequented La Colombe Torrefaction on his corner.

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THE best mocha with hemp milk and pain au chocolats! I’d love to carry this dishware at Chez Chloe but it is made special for them

IMG_6291We walked miles, chatted, smiled, and learned at times more detail than we needed. Ollie and I discussed the ideal way to represent and sell your product. It’s not easy in those little cloth walled booths.

Here’s a new line for Chez Chloe- Vintage Girl Designs. Studio art, graphics and illustration combined with positive sayings and thoughts. I like it a lot.

IMG_6210Here’s a little R/X rated humor. This gal just watched people react as they come into her booth and saw this:) She’s got great flour sack towels printed with the funniest quotes. It took a few minutes to grasp the scene – the obvious and the subtle!

IMG_6206I can’t wait to make my order for new Tatine Candles along with their new liquid soaps in beautiful green recycled glass

IMG_6213Couleur Nature had some fun spring patterns out. I’ll be putting in an order in the next month as soon as we start getting just a little more traffic on the island

IMG_6197And from Deming WA, just a little north of us on the mainland is Moon Valley Organics. Can’t wait to get their organic herbal rubs in. I’ll be taking a little of this home straight away.

IMG_6202And another chuckle…

IMG_6205I went a little outside of the general store guidelines I originally set- merchandise that pertained to food in a direct or at least indirect way and picked up this classic wool blanket line- Faribault.

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They were just too soft and beautiful to pass up. Here’s three of five different styles of throws we now have in the shop-

photo 2I will also be bringing in a couple more body care product lines. Well, just because I can. And I want.Rue de Marli from Canada. 100% organic ingredients and plant based essential oils

rdm1 And Bayberry Naturals- also organic with botanical extracts… We are even going to try a few facial and hair care products! CAN”T WAIT.bayberrynaturalsNext up will be the latter half of the week- a night spent traveling up the Hudson and the NYC eat and walk about…

cheers… xx wendy

 

new york city 2/14 last day

The final installment of new york city Feb 2014. I’m literally regurgitating (i mean that in a good way) the final long and productive day of tromping ten hours from mid town to Brooklyn and back with a few trains in the middle. You saw this one before- the day started with a little snow.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-3 Before I forget- Your red gloves, Stella, I did not lose. They had a full time job during their visit to New York City. So glad I saw you on the ferry. Thank you for taking them straight off your hands to loan to me for the week!

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Protecting those little paws

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Great admiration for real life in the city- notice the cane

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And the heroes of days like this one. You take for granted the hard work that precedes the ability to step one foot in front of the other with safety and ease.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-7Miss high heals, refusing to submit to weather conditions should be passing on some high fives and hot drinks to the guys in yellow.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-5Only a couple hours at the show to wrap things up that morning and then it was off to Brooklyn to visit my son’s friend who manages the baked goods production for Pushcart Coffee. The 150 year old Pfizer building at 630 Flushing in Brooklyn… a long time ago.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-3And a great article from Edible Brooklyn about this artisanal food production epicenter.
New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-5 Shots from what used to beNew York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-4

And a wonderful snapshot of history from NY curbed-

…”When Pfizer closed down its Brooklyn headquarters in 2008 after more than 150 years of pharmaceutical manufacturing, the company left behind a deserted behemoth: 660,000 square feet of space, filled with lab equipment, computers and furniture. Acumen Capital Partners purchased the shuttered building in 2011 and have slowly brought it back to life”.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-7The rented space here produces the goods for three Pushcart Coffee locations in lower Manhatten.
New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-2 A smattering of the many producersNYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-22Because the building itself is ironically in an area void of food options outside its own walls, the vendors have started offering meal options from within.
NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-20 This pasta is on my list to bring to Chez Chloe.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-19 I bought five different bars of this Madecasse chocolate grown and produced in Africa- 4x the impact of Fair Trade. Each subsequent flavor grew on me. It’s not as smooth to me as the Belgium or French chocolate- these bars were a little more earthy and strong. I’m going to test further as I think variety is key. And I like it.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-18This young entrepreneur hit the raw and vegan scene at an ideal time in 2003 . She has worked long and hard to develop her brand, One Lucky Duck. Despite not being a total fit for Chez Chloe, I’m interested. I love to dabble in raw at home and I own her cookbook already.
NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-17 People’s pops wrap up over winter and seem to have their goods stored in the hall till the temperatures rise.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-16 New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-6Thanks Maggie for a great tour!

Are you getting tired? I hopped on the train for just 2 stops and another 20+minute walk to the ever-hip Williamsburg.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-21I did have to stop and rest and have a treat. By the end of the week I was far from my juicing days…and that was so fine.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-10This great little shop, Bedford Cheese, was packed with goodies I could easily have on my shelves.
New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-8Now it was the L train back to Manhatten. I thought how fun it would be to stay in Williamsburg sometime and it was so easy to get back downtown. But my son was like you should try it during rush hour when you have to wait three trains and that the L is know for breaking down.

Here’s real life on the subway- only thing I’m reading is my map.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-12This short break readied me for my round about walking trek to Dean and Deluca. I always go there for a little R&D. Not having the subway totally down (even after 5 days) I actually walked over 30 minutes to soho in what would have been a 5 min train. oops.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-13 Camera and notepad in close reach. Weary feet put on hold like a hungry, whining (with reason) child.New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-12 The simple merchandising always keeps the focus on the food.New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-11Oh… and we are not done. Heading back uptown because I also HAVE to make at least one visit to abc home.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-19who have very cool displays like this

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-22and are opening their own marketplace down in the basement with food and kitchenwares

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-21it is a work in progress
New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-20and since Eataly now really is right there- how can i not go in for a snack. 7.30pm on a Thursday night was a good time to go without the lunch crowds.

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-16must take a night shot of the Flat Iron building with the moon shining downNew York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-14ohhh- Eric Kayser… can’t pass it up- it’s my last day afterall

New York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-17Pick up a demi baguette for my parma hamNew York City Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 3-18And now after walking another fifteen blocks back to the hotel, because who can get a taxi at 8pm, I eat my snack, pack and get ready to head out to meet my son for dinner AT 9.30pm! I can do city life because I basically stay on west coast time.
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Dinner at cool mediterranean establishment Ilili– I loved the Fattoush salad with sumac vinaigrette and toasted pita. That will be on my list to re-create.

A lovely walk home, a big hug, thank you and goodnight to my son. Back in the room I watched Jay Leno’s last night on air. The day was done.

 

new york 2/14 second part

My first morning of NOT sleeping in and having brunch at 1pm meant getting myself up and out at 7.45am in this. I had the challenging opportunity to stay calm and carry on… but maybe not the way I had planned. Life’s like that right?NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2

And then here I am two weeks later…trying to find a chunk of time to sort through photos. A general, oft said statement and a valid dilemma in the day and age of digital photography. Not only sorting the bigger trips and excursions but the daily snapshots that are sometimes almost too easy to capture. My poor, only eighteen month old computer shouts daily “start up disk almost full” or when its pants are really in a wedgy “start up disk full”… and I have to force quit and clean out a corner.

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The week in New York provided daily feasts for my eyes, tastebuds and heart. Inspired by all the new products, merchandise and ideas within the trade show, in my go to shops and on the street, food every night that left me in awe, and quality time with my son sealed the deal.

I generally spent a few hours at the show each day. I imagined more but reality declined. A couple of talks on social media and blogging were quite useful. But the majority of time, I perused and visited my vendors for new merchandise. Couleur Nature for linens always provides. I’m looking for more solids with accents this year.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com-27For spring, I’ll look forward to these

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com-26Cecile at the French Farm, an importer, may have been one of the first vendors I connected with in 2006 and has held a strong presence at Chez Chloe ever since. They have such a wonderful range of products and have continued to grow through the years, recession and all. L’Epicurean’s shallots confit is wildy popular and delicious and I’ll look forward to picking up the fig and olive confit. I remember seeing L’epicurean on the shelves when we lived in Paris in 2003. I’m happy to report their repertoire has expanded greatly and the quality has not diminished.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-14 These cheese confitures are always a win win NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-13 I love the classic ivory and stainless steel Laguiole knives but will add a dash of color for the cheese knives or serving utensils.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-12 Fallot mustards might make their way to Chez Chloe shelves once again. La Favorita in the right corner makes an excellent basil pesto and artichoke garlic cream.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-11

These never disappoint

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Andresey jams and Bernard Michaud honeys. Citrus, lavendar and wildflower.

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Izola was new to me this year being outside of the food or table realm. But being in a smaller space, I’ve strayed a little from only selling things related to food. I loved selling their beautiful green glassed, natural candles this year. The Heirloom was a delicious, popular summer scent. I look forward to carrying the new scents of Green Moss and Elderflower.

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I’ll be ordering these fun shot glasses.NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com-29

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com-28A company I’ve admired from afar, John Derrian. Beautiful work. I’m debating how I can fit this in Chez Chloe. He works cleverly with decoupage and design and also has an eclectic shop on the lower east side filled to the brim with his serving pieces, art, books, tablewares and all sorts of unusual items. These paperweights are just a small version of what he creates.

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This wall of ribbon has little shop value for me but I had to add it in because it’s just so fun.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-9Same with the bed linen displays. I’m indulging my senses and the fantasy that I’d have a housekeeper who actually made the bed look like that everyday… or pretending like I’d have the patience to myself.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-3I also spent a couple hours in the personal body care aisles dreaming of a full on web shop just so I could buy and sell so many of the lovely products I tested and liked. Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by clean, all natural, salts, creams and age defying jars and bottles. All of course with packaging to match.

One afternoon took me to Chelsea Market on 14th. Always a lot of fun… This red fire hose asked to have its picture taken.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-15I spend the most time in Chelsea Market Basket, who also sell wholesale and where I do buy our own actual gift baskets and other products. They have an astounding amount of specialty foods from locals in Brooklyn and all over the UK and Europe tucked into every damn corner and inch of that store. Incredible.

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-17I take so many notes when I’m in New York City. My brain is already bulging with the information I’ve been sifting through and I not even close to finished. Here’s one of many interesting producers, Hu Kitchen

NYC Feb 2014 wendyellenthomas.com post 2-16I’ll end this post with one of our dinners at Colicchlo and Sons. Tom Colicchio debuted as a cook in many prominent NYC restaurants but I believed launched his career with the opening of Gramercy Tavern in 1994 with Danny Meyer. He has more than one venue from which to choose.

Starting with the steak tartare, always a favorite for me- it was fresh and you can check out chef de cuisine, Chris Lavey’s recipe video here. Only traditional ingredient missing in his recipe is a raw egg yolk- maybe he’s too chicken. Hahahahaha. ahem…to continue.. This photo does not do justice.

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And for my main, the seared tuna. I was feeling raw that night:) Reminds me to get some radish seed started so I can garnish with radish sprouts like this at home!

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new york 2/14… first part

I left Seatac airport over two hours late last Friday, due to the arrival plane’s mechanical difficulties. Under the notion I’d be spending the night in Chicago, IL left me a) disappointed to think I wouldn’t even have time to make it downtown for a look around and b) that I truly wished to have a dash more enthusiasm for the Super Bowl in which case I could have at least been able to partake in the mass craze of blue and green jerseys and paraphernalia. Go Seahawks… and we all now know they did.

Flying out of Seattle and over the mountains…

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Incredible patterns we never consider when we are within them. Such a different perspective.

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Detmold Germany 2013

Here’s a few shots, mixed iPhone/Nikon D80 photos of my trip to Germany last fall. I went to see O. You are going to meet O now. I’m getting personal. Enough with the initials and such. I’m even going to show you what we look like. Yeah, that gravatar of me is about four years old.

I arrived in Frankfurt and whilst getting my bearings after a ten hour flight, I picked up my bag and raced downstairs to the trains. Searching the depths of my mind for my German vocabulary, I panicked, and jumped on an earlier train than planned. So no pics in Frankfurt. Here is the train station in Köln (Cologne).
Detmold Germany 2013I love the kind of place where while you are waiting for your next train you are staring at an amazing CathedralDetmold Germany 2013-3

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Good eats in New York City

I’ve been dying to get my NYC food pics out. Bone marrow. There I said it. I had been a little leary to try it. I’ve tasted a fair amount of off the grid foods- brains and tongue included, which never made my list of must have again. But this bone marrow with salty, delicate gherkins, fresh parsley, moist (and there’s the m word) grey salt with perfectly toasted bread- my guess under a salamander, was divine indeed. My friends are tired of hearing me talk about. It’s my dinner party topic. But I just can’t help it. And no, this is not an April Fools!

NYC March 2013 Food-2

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New York City: Day one on foot

Here’s a little visual recap of my first day in NYC. Instead of dropping my son at school with a kiss and a wave goodbye, it was at work. I watched him swipe his card to disappear behind the ’employee only’ door with a proud smile on my face.  On my own till lunch at 1.45, I began to traipse south from Madison Square Park…

Not having had breakfast, I started at the Union Square Farmer’s Market

NYC March 2013 Day 1 copy

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Atlanta Botanical Gardens… orchids

The first week of April and we spent an afternoon in shorts and flip flops walking around the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Now that we are in our coats and barely out of our winter boots again, it’s like a dream I look back on  Waaaa…

Soon Hamburg, soon.

I loved the gardens and look forward to more time in them next trip. It was only our second day and we were still a bit tired. The gardens were also followed by a morning visiting the Picasso to Warhol exhibit at the High Museum. I loved this outdoor installation despite not being able to walk up to it and touch it.

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