BERLIN DREAM APARTMENT WITH AIRBNB

We started our European work/play adventure a few weeks ago in Berlin -- Have you been? I've always dreamed of traveling to this dynamic, creative city and it did not disappoint. It was so very magical -- our few days there went by all too quickly. One of the best parts was staying in an Airbnb apartment I found in the Kreuzberg neighborhood . . . The space was a cotton candy wonderland with the prettiest kitchen I've ever taken my tea in.

SUMMER SALAD OF BABY KALE, WHEAT BERRIES, PICKLED ONIONS & BLUEBERRIES

If you know what's good for you and have 5 minutes, you'll pickle onions in whatever salt, vinegar, sugar and spice solution you can come up -- stir up this witch's brew and toss lingering vegetables and sharp alliums like garlic, shallot, scallions and onions of all types. In about 24 hours, their temperament will have been smoothed out a bit, their bite toned and a plucky transformation rendered. with each day that goes by, the mellowness takes hold and the siren call to the pickle jar is strong as hell. By the end of the week, I'm eating fistfuls of the stuff, my breath be damned. They're delicious on their own, tucked into a sandwich, atop any manner of tacos. They are particularly vibrant when met with grains, greens, a smidge of cheese and a bit of fruit -- this salad is near perfect.

ROASTED SUMMER STONE FRUIT & RICOTTA TOASTS


It's time for a gluttony of fruits -- in my mind, this moment is the best time of year for an eater of the voracious, juicy, standing-over-the-sink, no-napkins-no-problem type. It's a good thing to plop a bunch of peaches in a smoothie loaded with almond butter, banana a date and a pinch of salt. Also nice is chopping a scad of apricots, tossing in some arugula or radicchio and dolloping a mound of burratta at the center of the plate, watching a beautiful ooze take place and lapping up the pleasures of summer amongst friends. A handful of pitted cherries, a splash of kirsch, a pinch of sugar and 10 minutes at the stove cooks down to be an excellent ice cream topping.  A pie of all the these gorgeous bursty globes never let anyone down.

I could go on forever, really -- a mess of seasonal fruits gets me cranking like no other thing. I present you with one delicious option, a resplendent little treat both sweet and a touch savory -- perfect for crunching on as the day goes by.

THE PICNIC BOOK GIVEAWAY & RECIPE


A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of shooting a campaign for Le Creuset and the authors of THE PICNIC up in Portland.

SMALL OFFERINGS OF BALI: CANANG SARI

If you've spent anytime in Bali, you've seen the small floral altars at the base of every entryway -- from surf shops to 5-star hotels, and tiny cafes to 9th century temples (see above photo), they're as ubiquitous as they are beautiful. Everyday while traveling there, I looked forward to seeing these offerings known as canang sari, noting the slight variations in materials and little differences in style.