Food blogger Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe shares an easy, light recipe that's perfect for springtime parties.
If you like your beef bourguignon with a side of paper flowers, Sweet Paul has written a book just for you.
In Sweet Paul Eat & Make, the food and craft stylist â whose real name is Paul Lowe and who writes the Sweet Paul blog â gives home cooks and DIY enthusiasts the best of both worlds with easyÂ recipes and clever projects.
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The book is organized by time of day (morning, brunch, noon, night) and divvied up into âEatâ and âMakeâ sections, and itâs one big temptation. Who wouldnât want to make his recipe for red-wine and honey-braised short ribs, where âthe meat is falling off the bones and the juices are heavenlyâ? Or his crispy red cabbage and grapefruit salad, which he describes as âlike a spa day on a plate, very healthy and supremely tasty.â
The crafts are just as appealing and often made from flea-market finds: a cookie stand constructed from vintage pie tins, jam-jar salt and pepper shakers, flowers made from paper coffee filters.
Here a few treasures we learned from this very personable author:
1. Almond buns can help you find a husband. At least thatâs what Loweâs Norwegian great-aunt told him. âHer secret [in âAuntie Gunnvorâs Skillingsbollerâ recipe] was adding grated marzipan. When it melts into the dough, itâs justâ¦well, try them yourself and see!â
2. You can put an egg on just about anything and call it brunch. âA poached egg on kale salad? Brunch,â says the author. âA fried egg on a grilled ham and cheese? Brunch. Steak and scrambled eggs? Brunch.â We now revere eggs like we never did before.
3. Perfect-looking food is boring. Lowe prefers his dishes and crafts to âlook like a real person made them,â he says. âMy philosophy is very simple: few ingredients, easy steps and amazing results.â
See for yourself by whipping up his bruschetta recipe then gather some clothespins and fashion yourself a trivet!
Bruschetta with Peas, Pancetta and Ricotta (pictured above)
4 oz. pancetta, cubed
Â½ cup peas, fresh or frozen, thawed
Â½ cup whole-milk ricotta
12 baguette slices, toasted
Fresh basil leaves (torn if large)
About 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the pancetta until golden, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
2. Have ready a bowl of ice water. In a small saucepan, cook the fresh peas in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then dunk them into the ice water. Drain on paper towels. (If using frozen peas, cook for 30 seconds, rinse under cold water, and drain on paper towels.
3. Spread a layer of ricotta on the baguette slices and top evenly with the pancetta, peas, and basil.
4. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and serve.
Alexandra Grablewski/PEOPLE Great Ideas
You will need:
40 spring-operated wooden clothespins
Dremel tool fitted with a drilling bit or a drill
1. Disassemble all 40 clothespins.
2. Using the Dremel tool, drill a small hole in each clothespin half, about Â½-inch from the tapered end.
3. Thread the clothespin pieces onto the wire in the same direction until they form a circle.
4. Once you have a full circle, wrap the ends of the wire together and twist until the clothespins are tight and secure.