What’s Cooking? New Faces in the Marketplace!

Since April, Paradise City’s vibrant online Marketplace has been bringing together artists and makers with collectors and shoppers. We have put together curated collections for animal lovers, foodies, armchair travelers, gold and gemstone aficionados, decorators, birdwatchers, gift-givers – the list goes on and on.

The Marketplace has taken on a life of its own. The word is spreading, readership is growing, and we’re adding new artists all the time. This week’s collection, “New Faces”, introduces a marvelous group of artists who have joined us in just the last month. Take a look – some you may recognize, and others are brand new to Paradise City. You’ll discover amazing work by jewelers, fiber artists, metalsmiths and more!

We do love facilitating serendipitous connections these days, and it happens pretty often. We thought we’d share this lovely note recently sent by one of Paradise City’s followers: 

“Thanks to you folks, I am working on a glass project with Michelle Champitto, and also had a custom table built by Tom Dumke.  Now I need help in finding a wrought iron artisan. I have a space between two rooms that I’d like to “separate” but not lose light or completely block. Do you know of anyone to recommend? Thank you!”

Of course, we were happy to help.

Laura Zindel; Michael Stoffel; Jeff Pender

Welcome Laura Zindel to the Marketplace! A Show Stopper last fall, her ceramic plates, bowls, and platters are home to a wide menagerie of nesting birds, hedgehogs, even sinuous snakes and fanciful spiders. Acorns, artichokes, squashes and ferns curl across her coffee mugs, vases and milk jugs. We haven’t seen Michael Stoffel’s knockout gold jewelry in person yet, but he makes his Paradise City debut virtually in the Marketplace this month. We love the clean, curvaceous lines of this moonstone ring, but do check out his earrings, too. Jeff Pender, who was also a recent Show Stopper, creates ritualistic earthenware sculpture and totems in his North Carolina studio. The Totems are human-sized interactive sculptures, allowing the viewer to arrange and turn the cubes. Take a bit of time to peruse all of our new participants.

What else is cooking at Paradise City? We are nearing the end of summer’s sweet, juicy peaches. What could be better than a Fresh Peach Upside-Down Cake?

Featured Artists

This Week’s Recipe

We live in the midst of orchards. Apples and pears may be the crisp fruits of autumn, but peaches hold all of the sweetness of summer in a picture-perfect, juicy package. Peaches go into pies, crumbles, jams and salsas, but this upside-down cake showcases their distinctive flavor and their ripe beauty. For the easiest unmolding and pretty fluted edges, use a tart pan with a removable bottom. We always set the pan on a rimmed cookie sheet and/or wrap it in aluminum foil so the caramel doesn’t leak into the oven.

Fresh Peach Upside-Down Cake

3 or 4 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced ½ inch thick.
1 ¾ cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp ground or grated nutmeg
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Oil a 9” or 10″ round tart pan with removable bottom (or use a deep pie pan).
  2. Arrange the peach slices in a circular or decorative pattern covering the bottom of the baking pan. 
  3. Combine one cup of the sugar with the 1/3 cup of water in a skillet or shallow saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the mixture turns a golden amber. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. You now have caramel!
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it evenly over the peaches. Set aside.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and nutmeg together. 
  6. In a bowl, cream the butter with the remaining ¾ cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour mixture. Spread this batter evenly over the peaches, being careful to keep your peach pattern intact.
  7. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the cake has browned nicely. 
  8. Allow the cake to cool for an hour or so. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen it. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. If you are using a tart pan with a removable bottom, you can slip off the outer ring, leaving the bottom part of the pan in place. Then carefully lift the flat bottom off, using a thin, sharp knife to loosen if necessary. If you are using a pie pan, and any of the peach slices stick to the bottom after inverting it, lift them off gently and replace them in the pattern on top of the cake.
  9. Serve with whipped cream, crème fraiche or ice cream.