entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: camilla engman

by Grace Bonney

as d*s changes and grows along with me i try to keep the content as fresh and as accurate a representation of my current tastes and interests as possible. for the past few years i’ve developed a deep passion for all things cooking and food related but i haven’t felt right launching into food talk on a design site. i’d been playing around with a few ways to combine the two topics when my good friend kristina at three layer cake suggested a column that felt like the perfect fit. “what if you shared recipes from your favorite designers and photographed them in a way that fit the look of the site?”. i loved the idea right away but didn’t feel right running with kristina’s idea so instead i invited her to run the column on d*s, working together to select artists that we felt would be a good fit for the site.

so i’m thrilled to welcome kristina to the d*s team as our new “in the kitchen with” editor. born in the South, kristina now lives in rome and works in the field of humanitarian assistance. she spends her free time learning photography (she’ll be shooting some of the recipes herself), trying new recipes and playing with her painfully cute border terrier, crash!. kristina also runs three layer cake where she interviews rising stars in the fields of design, food and lifestyle.

every friday afternoon, kristina will share a recipe and photos from one of our favorite independent designers, along with step-by-step instructions and beautiful photos for each dish. i love the idea of ending each week with a recipe to create over the weekend, so i hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do. our first designer recipe this week belongs to artist camilla engman (who drew the cutest pictures on top of her photos), please click “more” for the rest of the post!

Camilla Engman grew up in a small Swedish town named Trollhättan. This is where she began looking at life from a perspective that most of us see only momentarily, and just a few are able to record. Camilla practiced her skills at the Dome Art School and later at the School of Design and Craft, Gothenburg University, where she acquired a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Often through animals or people, Camilla’s pictures inspire their audience with a wide range of feelings. Her work has a knack for allowing the viewer to grasp a notion without robbing her of her own personal interpretation, regardless of whether it’s an acrylic painting, paper-on-paper or mixed media.

For us, Camilla did a step by step of one of her seasonal favorites:

Beet slices with Feta cheese

This is what you need:

Beets (fresh)
Feta cheese
Dijon mustard
Olive oil

Just clean the beets and trim their “hair”, not too short then they will start to cry.
Boil them until they are ready, about 45 minutes, sometimes longer.

In the meantime, wash the lemon carefully. With a zester or a very sharp knife, zest the lemon (Cut off the yellow part of the lemon peel. You don’t want the white it is bitter.) Slice the zest into thin pieces.

Make a vinaigrette using vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. You can also add some finely minced garlic.

When the beets are soft enough, hold them under running cold water for a little while. Then gently squeeze away the peel. It’s so easy and you get nice pink hands :)

Cut the beets into thick slices and arrange them on a plate. Pour the vinaigrette over them and crumble the feta cheese over (don’t do that too early, or the cheese will turn pink!). Sprinkle the lemon peel and some lemon juice over it all. You can use some thyme or flat-leaf parsley, if you like.

Serve with some nice bread and lemon pieces. Voíla!

What Camilla says about the recipe: I chose this recipe because I like when you don’t have to measure. I don’t eat beets very often and this course always surprises me. It’s easy to make and incredibly tasty. And on top of it all it looks lovely and colorful.


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  • Grace – your new site looks AMAZING!!! I’m so impressed with how clean and beautiful it looks. Great job and CONGRATS!! :)

  • Great new feature! Design, food, art = love. I am going to try this recipe this weekend…it sounds so good and looks so pretty.

  • i love the idea of showing little things like where to snip the beets or how the lemon zest should look while being playful and making everything look gorgeous. it’s a fantastic way to present a recipe!

  • aren’t those little drawings the best? i love the little guy poking out of the mustard jar and sitting in the bowl ;)


  • What a great new column! I love beets so a new recipe to try out. Camilla’s pictures are just the cutest with her drawings. : )

  • this is a wonderful addition and not only is camilla’s dish perfectly photographed and illustrated but perfect for my family! we love beets!
    thanks so much!

  • love the combo, art+food. 2 things no one should be without. i alone, in my family am a beet fanatic, color, texture, taste – the whole dealy! so – thanks for this new recipe and congratulations on this new column. beautiful styling and photography too!

  • Grace, your whole site is one of life’s simple pleasures–its a little treat that makes the day just a bit sweeter..thanks!

  • thank you so much everyone, i’m so glad you like the column! kristina is always full of great ideas. and it doesn’t hurt to start with someone like camilla who is endlessly creative.

    hope you all have a great weekend

    grace :)

  • The site looks great! A question more than comment…just wondering if Camilla would be willing to sell a print of the vinigrette ingredients? It’s terrific…

  • Yes Grace- this site is just getting splendid- I am still savoring the Wed DIY, now a truly original Fri Recipe!

    Is Design*Sponge- the Magazine in the works?

  • hi imelda! all of those drawings are camilla’s genius! all of the credit goes to her! she’s really amazing, isn’t she!!?? i like the guy in the mustard, too, and of course I have a weakness for the last photo!

  • I’m so not a chef, but this is wonderful inspiration! Love how she photographed the food and I utterly adore the little diagram and figures out of beets. . . And I must say I thought the old D*S was great, but you have raised the bar and really shown the potential of what good [web] design can do!


  • I was thrilled to see that this will be a weekly column! And how wonderful that you kicked it off with the one and only Camilla :)

    I used to despise the kitchen until about 2 months ago. Now I’m starting to get excited about cooking, which is such a strange feeling since we used to be polar opposites. But I’m slowly testing the waters, so these Friday features will be quite an inspiration for me.

  • oh and i just saw those cute little drawing peeking out of the mustard jar and bowl! how cute! that camilla – so creative! and this recipe looks delish!

  • I made a fresh beet salad with blue cheese a few days (possibly a week) ago and I have a newfound appreciation for beets. I like the fresh so much better, the canned always taste like dirt.

  • I love the new food slant as food is something always on my mind. That beet picture is so cute!

  • guys, this new feature is AMAZING! i love it..what a beautiful collaboration and those drawings on camilla’s photos are too great. i would totally buy a print too!

  • this looks seriously yummy :) i bet the doggie thinks it too… wonderful site, goes into my bookmars for sure. looking forward to new inspirations and all things pleasing to the eye

  • Fabulous….so fabulous.

    …the little drawings are just inspired, and my being in a serious beet groove right now means I am so look forward to preparing this asap! :)

    I love this new feature so much!

  • This is just too fabulous. Maybe these recipes and darling photos can be turned into a book later on?????

  • I love this new feature and love this recipe. Beets are among my favorite foods of all time and always make my think of the book Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. ;)

  • I love this recipe! Also try roasting the beets and substituting goat cheese instead of feta with a little bit of rocket in the middle! DE-lish!

  • I just discovered this new feature…wonderful…I enjoyed it very much and I can’t wait to see who’s next on Friday!

  • lots of comments already, but since i actually made this recipe i wanted to report that it came out great! it was beautiful and tasty. thanks for the great idea and great recipe!

  • i am late to the party, but i just found this recipe while trying to create something delish to treat an old friend of mine. The salad turned out amazing! I’m salivating now as I type….hehe. Thank you for the wonderful and easy recipe. Love the graphics too!