Creative people are a funny bunch. Some are structured and disciplined and others, well not so much. I tend to be organized, yet a procrastinator. However, and much to Carl's chagrin, I do my best work under deadline. So, there's that.

I also change things up, meaning, I make it mine. For example, I love to cook, but I'm not intimidated if I don't have all the ingredients, I just substitute or leave things out.

When decorating, I don't follow the traditional rules, and honestly, I do what I like. I usually don't use color, some would say it's because I'm not brave, I would beg to differ. I like a calm, neutral environment where everyone can feel comfy and relaxed. For me, bold color does the opposite. What I'm trying to say is, be true to yourself. Whatever you're doing, lean in and own it. Sometimes, it may not work out, just pivot, make another move and continue to be you.

Here's an umami packed side dish that I made mine…along with a chic selection of dining chairs in which to relax, enjoy a great meal and catch-up with friends. A nice French rosé wouldn’t hurt either. Bon appétit.

Skillet Miso Veggies

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, sliced thin (or use minced if that's all you have)
  • 2 bags frozen peas, ideally organic
  • 1 bunch asparagus*, ideally thin stalks & organic, snap off woody ends and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 scant tablespoon miso , ideally light but dark if you have it (use a little less though)
  • ½ cup organic chicken broth, stock or bone broth**
  • *if you don't like asparagus, substitute corn, string beans etc
  • **mix miso into chicken broth prior to adding

Add a glug of olive oil & garlic to a pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When garlic is translucent but not brown, add peas, then immediately add miso/chicken broth. Stir and mash some of the peas as they thaw in the pan to create texture and a little paste. Add asparagus until tender, stirring occasionally about 10 mins. If necessary, add additional broth, but not more miso.

l-r: Julian, Emerson, Darcy, Maryl

Photo above by Once Upon a Chef