Grant K. Gibson

GOAT CHEESE

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To really know me well, you have to know that I love goat cheese (or chèvre or whatever you want to call it.)

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I love the tart flavor and consistency.  When I found out that I could tour a goat cheese farm in the French countryside, I was beside myself.   As you can see from the photo, I really do take my goat cheese eating pretty seriously, as I came home from the farm with all of this loot!  Goat cheese that was soft, aged, coated in pepper, spices and shallots.  I had the best cheese tasting of my life!   The one thing that I noted in my tasting was that these cheeses tasted much less salty.  I later learned that goat cheesees are often heavily treated with salt to prevent decay.

WESLEY GOES TO PARIS

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Just returned from Paris and just had to share the photos of a lucky little guy that got to tag along with me.

Since France doesn’t have any quarantine laws (and the French love dogs), I thought, “Why the heck not?”

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Wesley actually enhanced the experience.  People approached on the street to say bonjour to Wesley (frequently exposing my lack of French-speaking ability).  As you can see from the photos, he was kind of over the photo shoot at the Louvre.  He has a “enough already with the photos, dad!” look on his face.  After his time in Paris, Wesley enjoyed a lovely time in the country with very dear friends.

He is working on his French for his next trip to France.  In my next life I want to come back as Wesley the Westie!

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P.S. Before you think that I am some cruel dog owner, I want you to know that Wesley was under my plane seat or in my lap the whole flight.  I wouldn’t put my baby under the plane with the baggage!

CERAMICS CLASS

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I have always had fascination with how things are made.  Seeing things on a shelf in a store always makes me wonder more about where it was made and by whom.  For years, I have driven by a ceramics studio near my house, always wondering about it.  I decided to sign up for a weekly evening class.  I am now in my second session.  Learning to throw the clay and form it on the wheel is no easy project. It takes concentration, patience and strength.  There are a lot of pieces that I turn on the wheel that don’t turn out, but I am learning from each experience.  This all started with my 2015 New Year’s resolutions:  I wanted to challenge myself to a different creative medium.  I have a few weeks left in my class.  Don’t worry – I am not quitting my day job!

SPRING

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According to the calendar, spring has officially arrived.  When looking at the weather reports across the country, it doesn’t quite appear that way with snow still falling.  Fresh flowers always seem to brighten up even the gloomy days.   I picked up this bouquet of anemones the other day for my kitchen.  When looking them up online, I found out they represent anticipation.  This just seemed appropriate for those out there still dreaming of spring.

BUNK BED

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I had a bunk bed in my bedroom growing up.  I always loved climbing the ladder and reading a book with my stuffed animal buddies.  I had the luxury of choosing to sleep in either the top or the bottom bunk since I am an only child.

We are currently working on a boy’s bedroom and he is also an only child.  One problem was storage because of the size of the room.   So we worked on designing this custom bunk bed that has plenty of storage for toys, games and clothes below.  I am not sure who is more excited to have this move in more – him or me!

MACROSTIE WINERY

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For the last few months, I have been working on an exciting project in Healdsburg (about 1.5 hours north of San Francisco).  This is the new tasting room for MacRostie Winery.  Here is a peek at one of the tables and stools for the space.   Excited to share more photos very soon.  We are excited for this launch and opening in the upcoming weeks!

PROJECTS

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When people ask me about my favorite room to design, I typically say a living room or a bedroom.  But you wouldn’t know it lately.  We have been working on numerous bathroom remodels.  Here are some shots of some of our current bathroom projects.

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All for different clients and completely different feels for each.

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I love playing with shapes and patterns in a bathroom to make the space to feel unique and yet timeless.

BRINGING IN THE BIG GUNS

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Sometimes furniture just will not fit in doorways or down hallways – so you have to come up with alternative options to make things work.  For this project, we worked on the design of the client’s roof deck (of a three story house).  There was just no way that it would be possible to move the furniture in by going through the house.  So we called in a professional crane company to lift the furniture up to the roof!  As you can see from the photo, it is quite a dramatic process.  Everything worked out well and happy to share the final results.  I am pretty sure that this furniture isn’t going anywhere any day soon.

OLIVE KITTERIDGE

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Sorry for the absence from the blog lately. This time of year has kept me extra busy. Happy New Year!
I promise to get back to things very soon.  I really want to share my trip to Cape Town, South Africa.  So stay tuned!

We have had some rainy days here in San Francisco, which we need desperately.  Something about the cooler weather just makes me want to stay inside and curl up with a good book, movie or TV series.
I recently watched Olive Kitteridge on HBO and I can’t suggest it enough.  If you are looking for something good to watch, check this out.  Frances McDormand plays the title role in this miniseries set in Maine.

SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI

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I have been back in the kitchen again lately.  The chill in the air makes me want to stay in and just be cozy.

For a while I have been making ricotta gnocchi.  But I wanted to change it up a bit.  I noticed sweet potatoes the other day at the farmers market, and thought about marrying the sweet potato with the ricotta to make a sweet potato gnocchi.   As for what you put on top of it: I always like to leave those decisions to you.  I took two bunches of kale and sautéed with shallots and garlic.  I then added some Italian sausage and red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick.  You could do a version with a brown butter and sage or mushrooms.  I love to have a base recipe and then be able to play with it depending on my mood and the available fresh produce.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

For the gnocchi:
3 red- skinned sweet potatoes
1 container of fresh ricotta (whole milk)
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
2 cups of all-purpose flour

Wash and dry the sweet potatoes (keeping the skin on), prick them with a fork and bake for around 45 minutes.  (I hear you can microwave them faster, but I have never had a microwave so I am not sure how long I would suggest if you are using this method.)  Cut the baked potatoes in half (length wise) and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.  Discard the skin.  These are going to be some hot potatoes – so let them cool down a tad before burning your fingers.   Using a fork, mash the sweet potatoes until then are not lumpy.   Then add in the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir thoroughly.   Then add in the flour – 1/2 a cup at a time.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough on your surface or between your hands into long snakes.   Then cut into equal pieces.  Repeat until you have completed the large ball of dough.
I had a baking sheet (with some flour) on the side to place the cut gnocchi.  You can use the back of a fork to create a tine mark if you like.  I personally skip that step.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add gnocchi slowly (don’t just dump the whole tray in at one time!).  The gnocchi floats to the top and cooks in about 1-2 minutes.

Remove with a slotted spoon and you are ready to serve.

Let me know what you think.  This is going to be my new go to fall dinner party recipe for sure!