Archive for February, 2013

Photo Finish

February 27, 2013

Photographic prints in black and white are taking the Fall runways by a storm this season. From street scenes to faces, these photo-realistic scenes provide the perfect landscape for sculpted dresses, shapely skirts and fluid blouses.

 

Marni’s forest print, with a criss-crossed fur neck piece :

Marni

Marni

Ports 1961 mixed tweed with photo-real flowers for a turtleneck dress:

Ports 1961

Ports 1961

Mary Kataranzou’s street scenes lent themselves beautifully to her modernist dresses:

Mary Kataranzou

Mary Kataranzou

Silhouettes of trees on a sheer white blouse at Maria Grachvogel:

Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel

A collage of head shots adorn a pencil skirt at Frankie Morello:

Frankie Morello

Frankie Morello

Antonio Marras masterfully blends flower gardens with modern art, for a tromp l’oeil effect:

Antonio Marras

Antonio Marras

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Unrecipe of the Week: Mushroom and Goat CheeseTart

February 26, 2013

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I love savory tarts! These mushroom tarts make a perfect light meal when paired with a salad, or served as a simple yet elegant starter.

While they are best when eaten fresh out of the oven, they are also fine at room temperature, making them a great buffet item.

Mushroom Tart and Goat Cheese Tart

Prepare dough as instructed here.

Line the tart shell with foil, and fill with either dried beans or pie weights. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the beans and foil, and place the tart back in the oven until brown, about 10-15 minutes more.

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In the meantime, saute sliced mushrooms (about a pound or so) in butter until they release their liquids and start to color slightly. Add more butter and a chopped shallot, and saute for about 5 more minutes until the shallot is transparent. Season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg, and set aside until the crusts are ready.

Crumble goat cheese into the pre-baked crust. Add mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until heated through.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!!!

photos: glasshouse images

Kitchen Tips: How to Soften Brown Sugar

February 25, 2013

Exposition

If you are a baker, you know that annoying moment when you reach for the brown sugar to add to a recipe, only to discover something more akin to that which is found on an archeological dig. Before you toss that petrified rock  in the trash and dash across the street to the grocery store in your pajamas (oh yes I did), there is a solution.

To soften brown sugar, place the hardened sugar into a glass casserole dish. Cover the sugar with moist paper towels, and then cover the dish. Microwave in 30 second intervals until the sugar is reverted back to it’s soft, pliable stage. Do not over cook it, or it will melt completely. Be careful when handling it. The sugar will be hot.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Back to the Gym: Day 1

February 21, 2013

Young woman stretchingFor those of you who know me, my workouts were part of what defined me:six times a week, every week.

I took hardcore cycling classes, ran intervals, and did circuit training, rowing and weight lifting. If I was really sore, or my Saturday cycling teacher was on vacation, perhaps I’d throw a little Pilates into the mix.

Then, in early November, something snapped. Literally. My patella, or kneecap for those not familiar with anatomy, cracked in a perfect, horizontal line.

I barely moved for a few weeks, and then worked my way up to a hobble. After about 8 weeks, I was walking with a limp. I have been progressing well in my physical therapy, and with the week off from my crazy work routine, I decided the time had come. I removed the medical freeze from my membership and gingerly hit the gym.

I started on the ARC trainer, a variation on the elliptical machine, which has a resistance setting of 1-100 and an incline setting of 1-10. Normally, I would do this at 10 and 100. Today, I left the incline relatively flat, and started slowly at a resistance of 15, working my way up to 50 at a steady but moderate pace.

Next, I tried some upper body weights. I was able to do about 80% of my former weight, and did some seated rows, lat pull downs, bicep curls, triceps pull downs.

I worked on most of the leg exercises that we do in physical therapy, this time working both legs. Although the left leg did most of the heavy lifting during the healing time, now it’s wounded sister gets all the attention. It’s time to show them both a little love.
I did floor based abdominal exercises with a small medicine ball. No standing cable twists, and no decline bench, which can put strain on the legs.

I stretched and iced and I am good to go.

I feel energized, accomplished and really, really hungry!

I expect to feel some soreness tomorrow, but hopefully the good kind, where you challenge your muscles and they let you know that they did their best.

I know I will get stronger everyday. It is hard to restrict myself from doing too much, but I know if I injure myself again, I will be sidelined for another few months. Moderation is everything.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

February 20, 2013

Young woman flexing muscles

After 13 weeks of nursing a fractured knee, I am ready to go forth gently to the gym.

It isn’t going to be easy. I lack the strength and muscle tone that I once had just mere months ago, and no longer have the aerobic stamina to push through my grueling cardio intervals.

I know I need to start slowly, but the warrior woman in me is going to need to be tamed to avoid over doing it.

I have worked my way up to enough exercises in the last 6 weeks of physical therapy to be able to go it alone.

Stay tuned, as I work my way back to strong and fit in the hallowed halls of Equinox.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Curses, Foiled Again

February 18, 2013

Fall 2013 Fashion Week has moved onto London, where the trends continue to evolve.

While metallic has been a big idea for a few seasons now, we are seeing a slicker version. These foil finishes take the metals to a whole new level of shine.

KTZ

KTZ

KTZ shows an oversized coat with a gold foil finish.

L'Wren Scott

L’Wren Scott

A ladylike pencil skirt in sleek gold at L’Wren Scott.

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Foil finish for fingernails.

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In New York, Marc Jacobs added a mix of gold and silver to his shimmery gown and fur scarf.

Jen Kao

Jen Kao

Jen Kao took an athletic approach to silver foil.

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Daks got into the act with a cropped gold leather top over a simple black dress at London Fashion Week.

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood foils a deep wine hue for a shimmery dress.

Purple Reign

February 16, 2013

In a sea of black and grey, one color seems to be emerging for Fall 2013. Shades ranging  from bright orchid to inky purples are entering the fashion scene with rich fabrics and eclectic color mixes.

Rag & Bone merges orchid boucle with olive, black and a hint of royal blue:

Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone

Catherine Malandrino works a deep orchid blouse with olive green trousers:

Malandrino

Malandrino

Marc by Marc Jacobs merges shades of cool purples for a pencil skirt and top:

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Regal satins with an urban edge at Rag & Bone:

rag & bone

rag & bone

Raf Simons’ hot magenta anorak:

Raf Simons

Raf Simons

Siki Im adds a colored wrap to his slouchy menswear look:

Siki Im

Siki Im

Olive and ink with a shot of orchid at 3:1 Phillip Lim:

Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim

Narcisso Rodriguez mixes magenta and rust for a modernist top:

Narcisso Rodriguez

Narcisso Rodriguez

Victoria Beckham adds a pop of purple to tailored menswear fabric for a sexy dress:

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Unrecipe of the Week: Winter Comfort

February 15, 2013

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The weather in New York has been cold and miserable. Last night’s blizzard left us thankfully unscathed, but we are in the mood for hunkering down at home. What is more soothing on a lazy winter night than the all-American classic, tomato soup and grilled cheese?
This simple soup has few ingredients and lots of taste. The grilled cheese croutons offer an unexpected twist. It is quick enough for a weeknight meal tomorrow’s lunch, with a little Parmesan cheese, instead of the croutons.

For the Tomato Soup:

Saute a diced onion and a few diced cloves of garlic in olive oil until soft and transparent. Add about 52 oz. (2 tetra packs or large cans ) chopped tomatoes and about 36 oz.vegetable or chicken stock. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs. I added a bay leaf, and some cayenne pepper for a little heat. Oregano and basil are also nice touches. It’s an unrecipe…use whatever flavors you like to season the soup. Simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree the soup at return it to the pot. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a little cream to the soup if desired. Enjoy with grilled cheese croutons.

Grilled Cheese Croutons:

Butter the bread of your choice. Fill sandwiches with cheese. Gruyere adds a sophisticated jolt of flavor, but good old cheddar is fine too. A used a shredded 4 cheese blend that I had on hand. Grill the sandwiches on both sides until they are golden brown, and the cheese is melted inside. Cut into 6 or 8 squares and serve in the soup.

Enjoy!

Artsy Fartsy

February 13, 2013

New York Fashion Week is in full swing, proving even a blizzard can’t keep a good fashionista down.

In a season of very somber, mostly solid clothes, a modern art sensibility is emerging from the depths of darkness. Designers seem to be channelling contemporary artists, using prints influenced by their work to complement their own. Below, see how life imitates art for Fall 2013 .

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Kate Spade

Jean Miro

Jean Miro

Concept Korea

Concept Korea

Banksy

Banksy

VPL by Victoria Bartlet

VPL by Victoria Bartlet

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Tess Giberson

Tess Giberson

Otto Freundlich

Otto Freundlich

Unrecipe of the Week: Avocado Frites

February 12, 2013

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This is a delicious and unique way to serve avocados. In this interesting twist on tempura, the avocado gets sliced, breaded and quick fried. It’s got a crispy exterior and a melt in your mouth center.

Peel and slice a ripe but firm avocado into 2/3″ spears.

Dip each one in flour, then scrambled egg, and finally Panko (Japanese bread crumbs.) Lay them out on a plate until ready to fry.

Heat enough canola oil to fully cover the bottom of a frying pan.  Fry the breaded avocado slices until golden brown, turning to cook both sides.

Drain them on paper towels to remove any excess oil, and sprinkle with sea-salt.

Keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Enjoy!

*I keep thinking that these could be enhanced by adding a little grated parmesan cheese. Try adding about 1/2 cup of parmesan to the flour, and see what happens!

photo:Glasshouse Images


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