Niki Kantor Rubin, proprietress of Papery & Cakery in Boca Raton, Florida brings a unique background to her unique business, a stationery and patisserie boutique. With an educational background in history and a law degree from George Washington University, Niki began her career clerking for a criminal judge. From the beginning, her law practice failed to be completely satisfying and she had never shaken her lifelong passion for design, art and creating. Then a few years ago she starting planning her wedding to her “camp sweetheart” – they met while both working as counselors at a summer camp nearly a decade ago – and realized how much she loved planning all of the stationery and paper details that they incorporated in their celebration. Along the way, she met the owner of the stationery store that is now Papery & Cakery – one thing led to another and when Niki was offered the opportunity to buy the store she did so. And she never looked back.
These days, Niki loves working with clients to create the stationery of their dreams. Unlike her days in law practice, she’s now inspired by what she does and feels lucky to help people celebrate the special occasions in their lives. Niki shares, “I’m inspired by everything around me. Florida weather is truly amazing. We live near the ocean and walk our golden retriever [and Papery & Cakery mascot], Ray, to the beach almost daily. I try to carry environmentally friendly vendors, like Smock for all of my clients. I’m a magazine junkie, and get butterflies when Martha Stewart arrives in the mail. There is so much to see on the web, I try to keep up with the blogging world, and keep my blog contemporary and chic.”
We’ve mentioned it before, but in addition to all things paper and letterpress, here at Smock we have a pretty deeply rooted love for yummy treats, too. The Papery & Cakery blog is one of our favorite reads because it celebrates two of our favorite things – stationery and delicious sweets. Each week, Niki’s sister Ali, who was a pastry student when Niki launched Papery & Cakery and is now a freelance baker in New York City, shares her inspired recipes in her Cakery Friday feature. Last week, she showcased her recipe for festive pumpkin spice marshmallows, which Ali and Niki were sweet enough to share here on the Smock blog…
Its no secret that I adore the farmer’s market. It make me feel hopeful and inspired and, well, just like that ‘kid in the candy store.’ Most Saturdays we zip over to our local market which is quaint and neighborly and somewhat predictable in its offerings. But when we are feeling the need for the unexpected we load up the car and head to Madison for the BIG kahuna of markets.
My kids love the sights and samples and crowds. And the man with the bee-hive hat. And I love seeking out that odd vegetable that will inspire a new recipe and on a good week, may even convert one of my (very outspoken) strange-food-naysayers.
Taking our commitment to the environment and green living seriously, Smock happily subsidizes CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships for all employees through a local organic farm, Grindstone Farm. We receive weekly deliveries of fresh, organic veggies and herbs that are typically picked within just hours of reaching us – and they’re incredibly delicious, too! Because the old warehouse we call home, the Delavan Center, is the Downtown Syracuse drop-off location, our CSA deliveries literally come right to our door. We love seeing what awaits us as we fill up our bags and head home to cook. Tuesday becomes our favorite day of the week during CSA season!
Usually we can count on receiving an assortment of great lettuces, kale, fresh herbs like cilantro and dill, broccoli so delicious you’ll never want to eat anything other than organic broccoli again, garlic scapes, cool daikon radishes that resemble white carrots, and lots and lots of beautiful red radishes. As the season is progressing, so are the crops, but radishes have continued to greet us every week, which led a few of us to start looking into recipes that use radishes and ideally the radish greens too. After a while, we’ve found ourselves at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them other than slice them up for salads. After some hunting around, one of our letterpress printers, Carrie, who is one of the finest artisans we know to ever run an Original Heidelberg windmill, found and tweaked the following recipe that was so good, we just had to share it in the event any of you are at a loss as to what to do with radishes. If you like food with an Asian flair, you will love this recipe.
Asian Hamburger Skillet
- 1lb lean hamburger (although many of us are vegetarians so we substituted the Morning Star ground “meat” instead)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced about 1/4? thick then cut into 2? lengths
- 1 bunch of radishes, cut in matchsticks
- 1 bunch of radish tops, cut roughly into 1? pieces
- 4 carrots, julienned or cut into 1/4? slices
- 1-1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (although we’ve also tried General Tso’s sauce and it was delicious!)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lime (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large sauté pan, cook hamburger (or meat substitute) over medium high heat, until just beginning to brown, breaking into small bits with spatula. Stir in onion and radishes and cook another 2-3 minutes. Stir in carrots, radish tops, ginger paste and fish sauce and cook 5-10 minutes until onions are softened and hamburger is cooked through. Sprinkle with lime juice (if using) and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately…and feel free to share your CSA-inspired recipes with us and we’ll post them here on the Smock blog!
SIMPLE DESSERTS. I am not much of a baker. Which is to say that although I can bake I rarely do. This has as much to do with the fact that I don’t really need additional sweets in my life with the fact that its a time-constraint thing. But the holidays bring out the baker in me. So here are some of my go-to deserts. Hershey’s bars (my Dad’s favorite) and homemade chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting (also my Dad’s favorite). And Miette always helps with clean up.