Because Some People DO Need A Recipe for Toast

More accurately, a recipe for the toast du jour: crostini. But in the grand scheme of things there really is no measurable difference in preparation except for the use of an oven in lieu of a toaster. Either way, there is no denying that this crostini recipe with blackberries and goat cheese is not only the easiest thing to make for a brooding All Hallows brunch, it also tastes and looks bomb.com. It’s the only recipe that you don’t really need to be told to you, but we’re doing it anyway. Because let’s be real, there are some cooking-challenged-souls out there who are just a few steps past getting water to boil. We promise, this recipe you can do!

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Blackberry and Formage Blanc Crostini

1 basket of fresh organic blackberries
1 fresh french baguette
formage blanc (or substitute your favorite goat cheese)
2 T wild flower honey
fresh mint for garnish

Slice baguette into 1/2 inch diagonal slices. Toast baguette slices in oven, at 400 degrees, until golden brown. Set on your favorite platter and spread generoulsy with cheese {as much or as little as you like!} onto one side of the crostini. Place washed berries on top {you could also quickly warm them slightly to really get their dark juices flowing!}, drizzle with honey and garnish with freshly chopped mint.

Since this dish is so incredibly simple, it’s really all about picking the very best ingredients. We’re suckers for local San Francsico faves Cowgirl Creamery and Acme bread. Definitely make a point to search out the best sources for top notch ingredients in your area and you won’t be disappointed. These crostini would be equally good with pears or apples. We just might try all three this weekend!

Catch up on the rest of our All Hallows Brunch right here.

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick 

How to Shoot With Film 101

This summer during a trip to New York, our editorial intern and Instagram guru, June, traded her phone for a film camera in an effort to capture simple moments in the bustling city. Before we had to sadly bid her adieu for the new school year, we picked her brain on all things old school photography and New York! We think you’ll love her observations – and photography tips – as much as we do!

Manhattan looks different on film. Sure, the lure of provocative new exhibits, ever-changing eateries and the buzz of a sleepless city never fades. But in contrast to the speedy snapshots we’re surrounded by everyday, there is a revisited sense of stillness that comes from capturing New York City on film. When I found out my family was traveling to Manhattan for a week this summer, two things immediately came to mind. First, that I would melt in August’s humidity. Second, this same heat would not hinder my efforts to explore and document as much of the city as I could!

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All of you film enthusiasts know that there is nothing more satisfying than pulling the camera’s metal lever, hearing the film strip move forward, followed by the ringing ‘click’ of the manual button. We’re so used to pristinely edited photos, taken quickly and by the masses. Seeing the grain of film photos is such a rare pleasure. Having bought a film camera earlier this year, the best advice I can give to new shooters is to simply pick up the camera and start experimenting, like I did!

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Top 3 Tips for Shooting with Film:

> Lighting and Balance: Although professional classes aren’t necessary, a little technical knowledge will go a long way. Light balance and exposure are the most important factors for a film camera, and especially after using a digital camera, you’ll want even more natural light than you typically need.

> New perspectives are everything. Try things from different vantage points. If you’re taking a shot from above, try cropping certain objects in the frame in interesting ways. Disproportionate details can help an image look far less staged!

> Price- or lack of service shouldn’t stop you! Film is expensive and finding stores that develop film can be a challenge. But the result? Completely worth it. Just be sure to understand the correct loading and unloading method- this will save you from an accidentally overexposed strip!

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Now that I’ve shared a few tisp for getting behind the film camera, I can’t leave without sharing a few of my fave New York stops!

> Cafes: Grand Cafe Lafayette: order croissant with apricot jam + mocha, Toby’s Estate in Flatiron or Brooklyn: order cortado and avocado toast

> Bookstores: Dashwood Book, McNally Jackson, and Creatures of Comfort

> Restaurant: Saxon+ Parole

>Leisure: Washington Square Park at night, Egyption Room at the Met Museum

Whether you love photography or simply wish to see things from a new {or should I say older!} perspective, picking up a film camera and exploring a new city is so incredibly rewarding. There is nothing instant about it and that’s what makes it so worthwhile! — June

photography by June Rustigan 

Brooding Brunch: Heirloom Tomato Tart Recipe

We love holidays as much as the next blogger. It’s always fun to dream up the ultimate way to gear up for the most festive time of year. That said, last week we admitted to being less than Halloween enthusiasts. While costume parties may not be our thing, we did share our ideal spin on the celebration: a beautiful, haunting brunch with friends!

A tabletop overflowing with dark and moody seasonal goodies and a menu to boot, is going to make you forget all about all hollow’s eve and have you nightmarishly obsessed with hosting a spookily easy meal with friends! First up on the menu, a “bloody red” Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart.

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Heirloom tomatoes are some of the prettiest produce available in the fall and with their varying colors, from deep purple to bright blood red and squash yellow, they are the perfect fruit to experiment with {yes, fruit. We triple checked}. This tart is your light and bright dish of the meal- it’s fresh, bold and beautiful. And no need to be a professional food garnisher {is there even such a thing?!} – the tomatoes totally do all the work!

“Bloody Red” Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Ingredients:

2 large Heirloom Tomatos
1 package Goat Cheese
1 sheet Puff pastry
Oregano, salt and pepper for garnish

First, bake puff pastry according to box instructions and let cool to room temperature. Then spread goat cheese on pastry – as much or as little as your heart desires. Then slice tomatoes thinly and arrange in a circle- starting with a base and then alternating tomato variety for a gorgeous finished tart. Season with oregano and salt and pepper to your heart’s desire. You can also bake the tomatoes on a partially baked puff pastry sheet, but their flavor is so meaty and delicious that we prefer them fresh!

And there you have the easiest dish you’ve ever made. It’s sure to impress- no one has to know it only took you 15 minutes to put together!

Just thinking about it makes us hungry. Stop by here if you need tabletop ideas and stay tuned for the rest of the recipes to this perfectly delicious, brooding brunch as we continue to share them all month!

original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick // original recipe + styling by Apartment 34