Might I suggest?...

Côté Sud Oct-Nov 2002, grape harvest, edited by lb for,

It's September...Autumn is on its way. It's time for the kids to go back to school. Most everyone I know is thinking about school supplies and packing away paraphernalia from their last trip of the summer. I was just out shopping and saw not only Halloween items on the shelves, but Christmas decorations, too! (Is it just me or do they put them out earlier every year?)

Ville Giardini Sept 2009, tree, edited by lb for,

Here in lovely Southern California we are experiencing some of the warmest days we've had all year. If you live near the ocean, as we do, there aren't many days like this where air conditioning is used (or wished for, –as the case may be.)

Côté Sud Juin-Juillet 2007, lounges, edited by lb for,

Contrary to popular belief, we Californians actually don't have "perfect" weather year round for alfresco dinners and the like. (I can see you rolling your eyes out there in New England this very moment.) Honestly though, I grew up in snow country and I still say California has quite a few evenings that are downright cold, particularly here near the beach.  Nights where you sleep with your down comforter and mornings where you linger in bed with the promise of hot coffee as the only impetus for leaving it.

Marie Claire Maison Juillet-Aout 2005, late summer garden, edited by lb for,

That's what I was reminded of today when I saw all the holiday decorations already on the shelves. And that's why I decided this moment to stop wishing for cooler temperatures and to start focusing on enjoying summer while I still can...mornings where I can roll out of bed and step right outside to enjoy the sunshine and the balmy summer evenings where I can sit out in the garden chatting with my friends well after dark.

Côté Sud Avril-Mai 2006, indoor-outdoor dining, edited by lb for,

Don't get me wrong. I love aspects of all the seasons and I love the holidays, but this is about living in the present moment, as they say.  This year, I'm not going to wish the summer heat away and then suddenly find myself complaining because I haven't been able to grill for ages.

Côté Sud Juin-Juillet 2007, white and natural outdoor dining, edited by lb for,

Furthermore, I'm taking my own little stand against the commercialized push (shove) towards the holidays –I'm going to make a concentrated effort to ignore all the decorations already on the shelves and the calendar hurtling towards October with the inevitable slide right through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Côté Sud Juin-Juillet 2007, alfresco dining, edited by lb for,

Yes. I'm vowing now to squeeze the absolute most summer I can out of the next few weeks.  I'm going to do all those things I'll be wishing I could do come the rainy days of winter. —Who's with me?!

Côté Sud Avril-Mai 2008, dining under the trees, edited by lb for,

. . .Hmm. Let's see. Maybe a bike ride this morning, then home for brunch and the Sunday crossword in the shade of my favorite tree. . .then tonight a casual dinner party in the garden.  Nothing heavy.  Just a beautiful caprese salad with the gorgeous (huge!) heirloom tomatoes we just bought at the farmer's market, some tea lights flickering all around. . .

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese Salad edited by lb for,

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Cheese Salad
4 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) or 4 to 5 large plum tomatoes
Fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves plus additional whole leaves for garnish
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 (2.5-ounce) rounds burrata cheese

This deliciously creamy cheese, pronounced b00r-RAH-tah, is a specialty of Southern Italy, especially the regions of Puglia, Campania, and Basilicata.  Burrata was invented in Andria at the beginning of the 20th century.  Traditionally made from buffalo's milk, today most burrata is made from cow's milk.  Classified as a "spun"or "pulled curd" cheese, burrata's uniqueness lies in the buttery texture of the cheese's center.  

Burro means butter in Italian.  The outside of these decadent balls is a wrapped skin made from stretched sheets of mozzarella paste.  The mozzarella paste is stretched into rectangles and air is blown into it to make a sac.  This gives the exterior a soft springy texture.  

The soft, buttery center is made from fresh cream and shredded pieces of mozzarella called stracciatella.  The sac is then tied with a blade of grass and has the shape of a chubby pear. 
-excerpt from Mangia Bene Pasta website:  {Burrata }

Cut tomatoes into wedges and place in large bowl. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper. Crush oregano between palms to release flavor; add to tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup basil and olive oil and mix well. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Place 1 burrata cheese round in center of each plate. Fan tomatoes around cheese, dividing equally. Drizzle with dressing from bowl. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve.

Côté Sud Avril-Mai 2008, flowers and dinner, edited by lb for,

Côté Sud Avril-Mai 2008, natural linen table, edited by lb for,

Côté Sud Avril-Mai 2008, pergola dinner party, edited by lb for,

Caprese salad is traditionally made with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese –burrata cheese takes it to a whole new level.  I highly recommend trying it if you are lucky enough to have access to it where you live.

Buon Appetito, L's handwriting for,

s h a r e

Want to learn more Italian language and culture?  Check out Alex's language learning website:  

[She also teaches English via Skype! - go to Via Optimae and use the contact form on the right to ask for details.]

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Images:  1-Cote Sud: Oct-Nov 02; 2-Ville Gardini: Sept 09; 3-Cote Sud: Juin-Juillet 07; 4-Marie Claire Maison: Juillet-Aout 05; 5-Cote Sud:  Avril-Mai 06; 6-Cote Sud:  Juin-Juillet 07; 7-Cote Sud:  Avril-Mai 08; Image 8 and recipe-Epicurious  9-12: Cote Sud, Avril-Mai 08
edited by lb for,


gitamarie said...

Thanks for introducing me to burrata--it's my new favorite!

rachel sharon said...

hi cant believe im actually writing this, but i do love your site and cote-sud magazine is my favorite for images too. you have amazing taste and i respect you opinion so i have to ask.
im renovating a housein zichron yaacov in israel its a mountain village , originally started as a wine growing community. the baron rothchild owned much land here and has a forest and beautiful rose garden opened to the public.
my house is from 1928, one floor 160 meters. tall ceilings 3.70 meters tall thin doors 2.50 meters and an over all provence syle feel.
i have to make a decision TODAY , that why i thought id try writing you.. my decision is do i put stone flooring,, or a granite porcelain?
the stone is a soft type of stone called beige galio, its very simple not much veins , nutural and nice. they can only give me a cut called 30- free. its the end pieces of stone so the cut is 30 cm x60 and 30 cmx 40 and 30cm x 30.
the granite porcelain is from a very large manufacturer in isareal called negev home design, you can google it if your interested. its vey simular to the stone , high end series. its called novo architectural in the color beige.
everyone says to me to take the porcelain, easy to care for to clean, no problem with stains,. if i was to rent the house i wouldnt have to worry about the floors etc etc.. and the cut is 60cm x60which is very nice.
its just that i love stone. the stone i can afford isnt like some really beautiful stone/ marble and the cut isnt so great.
i just dont know what to do?

i am a furniture designer and painter of high quality provence style furniture. i have beautiful pieces and im thinking that maybe it wont matter once all my things are in the house, maybe i wont really be bothered, knowing that its not authenic stone.

any suggestions? if you look at this crazy letter and delete i totally get it, if you dont mind a few words it would be greatly appreciated.

i love your blog and am inspired all the time, thanks

rachel sharon

LB said...

Hi, Rachel. If you would like to email me: I can reply to you there. I didn't see any contact information for you.
In brief, without seeing the samples, my feeling is that you are drawn to natural stone and it would bother you if you had porcelain. As nice as some porcelain can be, I am like you...I like natural stone. I always try to go for natural rather than the faux version of anything whenever possible.
Hope this helps. And please feel free to email me to discuss further.
I'd love to see your project when it's finished.
Keep in touch!

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