Mac & Cheese

when i asked Jessica if she’d like to contribute a food related guest post I didn’t give her any direction because I knew that anything she made would be amazingly tasty. i had a good laugh when she sent me this. i was having a discussion with my brother just the other day about what our last meals on earth would be if we could choose, and of course i said mac and cheese. my mom’s mac and cheese, more specifically, but Jessica’s version looks it might be the winner (probably due to this line: “Aim to use as much cheese as possible!  More than you think is appropriate.”)


Diana and I have known each other since we were 7 years old.  That’s almost 22 years I have been witness to her love affair with cheese.  On occasion she has described herself as having “a penchant for nice cheese”.  More like fervent enthusiasm.  I have a letter from our schoolgirl days in which Diana compares our friendship to no less than 25 different cheeses:

“… the legend of the Cheesemasters will live on … like mozzarella melting over a tomato covered pizza base … like Cheddar, Pecorino, Emmenthal and Parmesan; like Havarti, Sweetmilk, Motali and Brie … ” dot dot dot etcetera dot dot.

Her #1 cheese based dish of course, is Macaroni and Cheese.  It has to be the ultimate comfort food.  And boy is this recipe not the most delicious macaroni cheese I have ever tasted.  Aim to use as much cheese as possible!  More than you think is appropriate.

I adapted this recipe from Hawksmoor at Home.  They make use of distinctively English cheeses, namely Stilton, Ogleshield and Montgomery Cheddar.  I chose Taleggio for its excellent melting ability, and an aged Gruyere for its fruity flavour.

  • 500g macaroni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 600ml milk
  • 60g butter
  • 60g flour
  • 250g Strong Cheddar, grated
  • 200g Gruyere, grated
  • 150g Taleggio, crumbled
  • Maldon sea salt
  • white pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  1. You can make four individual macaroni servings, or bake in a medium-sized oven proof dish.  Brush the dish with half the olive oil and rub with the cut clove of garlic.
  2. Cook the macaroni in salted water until al dente.  Drain and refresh under cold running water, then mix with the remaining oil.
  3. In a saucepan bring the milk up to boiling point, then reduce the heat and keep warm.
  4. In another saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, whisk in the flour and keep whisking until you have a pale golden ‘roux’ or grainy looking paste.  Return this saucepan to a medium heat and ladle the hot milk into the roux, a cup at a time, whisking all the time and completely incorporating each cup of milk before adding the next one.  After all the milk has been added, continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and bubbles gently (about 2 minutes).
  5. Take the pan off the heat, add the taleggio, gruyere and 125g of the cheddar, and stir until completely incorporated.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  6. Pour three quarters of the sauce over the pasta and mix well.  Tip the mixture into the baking dish.  Top with the remaining sauce and half the remaining cheddar.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle over the rest of the cheddar and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until brown.

 

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Petals and Glimmer

if you don’t already read Jen’s blog Honey Kennedy then you should head over there right now and subscribe. Jen is the queen of finding pretty things to look at, and i especially love when she shares new & interesting lookbooks from small and  independent designers.


Hello there! My name is Jen and I write the blog, Honey Kennedy. I’m happy to be here guest blogging for Diana today while she moves to her new home in the city. Thanks for having me, Diana!

My post is loosely based on my love for those pretty light pink and metallic boxes you get when you buy macarons from Ladurée. Now that I’ve put my collage together, it has become clear that I was also inspired by the hints of spring and blooms that have been teasing our minds lately here in the Pacific Northwest. OK, without further ado, here are ten things I’ve been admiring. I hope you enjoy them, too!

1. The Fellini Blouse from Toujours Toi Family Affairs
The perfect amount of shimmer. I really love the weight of that cotton with the silver–so pretty.

2. The Nimphaea Collar by Licia Florio
I love how these look like coral rose petals. I like to imagine that they also smell like beautiful summer garden roses!

3. The Rhinestone Burst Bobby Pin from Twigs & Honey
Myra’s new collection of hair adornments and veils is absolutely stunning. I love this little dazzler.

4. Small Metallic Notebook from Alder & Co
I love these little leather notebooks! The worn look to the silver and gold makes me so happy. They also remind me of a clutch I have.

5. New Blankets from Pendleton’s The Portland Collection A/W 2012
I own one of their blankets from last season and can’t wait to get my mitts on another in the fall! See my recent Pendleton post —> HERE.

6. 1921 Sterling Walker & Hall Fox from Pullman Gallery
I would love to have this naughty fox snarl at me from my desk.

7. Pink A/W 2012 Dress by Jil Sander
This Jil Sander collection was one of my fashion week runway favorites for Autumn 2012. Sadly, it seems this may be the last for the line from creative genius, Raf Simons. The colors are so exquisite! The color of this dress is DREAMY–so soft, yet vibrant.

8. Vintage Dress from Xtabay Vintage
The details on the sleeves for this pretty 20s silk chiffon wedding dress kill me. I wish everything in fashion was this thoughtful.

9. Block Print Bedding from ABC Home
I am obsessed with this pretty bedding. I love the Aqaba, Zarqa and Provence prints! I’ve been going to look at these beauties several times a week for the past couple months. Love!

10. Vetyver Bouquet Glass Candle from Curio Noir
I love nice candles. This one contains notes of Cypress, Orange Flower, Jasmine and Vetiver. I love their packaging and handcrafted glass jars. I’d love to get my nose on Tubereuse Noir, too.

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The Red Dress

today’s guest post is from Mallory of Where The Lovely Things are. we share a love of many things, but we really bonded over our shared love of Melvin Udall in As Good as it Gets.


I’m Mallory (I mostly blog here, but also here & here, plus I tweet & pin) & every season I’m compelled to at least glance at every designer’s collection who presents during fashion week. I have no reason to do this (thus why it’s a compulsion). Do I work in fashion? No. At a magazine? Nope. Could I ever hope to buy something from a collection? Ha! Yes, I sometimes blog about my favorites, but I don’t look at the collections because I’m going to blog about them, I blog about them because I spent all that freaking time clicking through each look. I think – “I might as well throw together few posts. Don’t totally waste hours of your life, Mal”.

A week or so ago I lay in some sort of zombie-daze state looking through collection after collection and I realized that I got a little jolt of excitement every time I found an awesome red dress. I realized (or at least I tried to convince myself) that that was why I ended up scrolling through all these fashion fests when I should be sleeping: I’m looking for red dresses. Because I looooooove red dresses.

When I was a little girl and my mother dressed me, red dresses were always prevalent. When I started dressing myself they cropped up just as much. My favorite dresses I ever wore to dances in high school – red. If I’d been invited to the Oscars I’d have worn the color of the carpet. And when I get married someday I may wear white, but only for a little bit (if at all) then it’ll be… yeah – red.

So, for this guest post I thought I’d put together some of my favorite red dresses from the Fall 2012 ready-to-wear collections as well as some of my favorite red dresses from movies (because I love movies as much as I love red dresses). Here we go…

Felder Felder / See by Chloé / Imitation of Christ / Emilia Wickstead

Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna in Inglorious Basterds

Karen Walker / Monique Lhuillier / Jonathan Saunders / Calvin Klein Collection

Alicia Silverstone as Cher in Clueless

Matthew Williamson / Michael Kors / Marchesa

Grace Kelly as Margot in Dial M for Murder

Thakoon / Jonathan Saunders / Michael van der Ham / Christopher Kane

Stockard Channing as Rizzo in Grease

St. John / Tadashi Shoji / Monique Lhuillier / Sachin + Babi

Nicole Kidman as Satine in Moulin Rouge

Sophie Theallet / Monique Lhuillier / Imitation of Christ / Monique Lhuillier

Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei and Jane Russell as Dorothy in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Emilia Wickstead / Reed Krakoff / Jil Sander

Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins in (obvs.) Mary Poppins

Finally, I had to include Helen Hunt as Carol in As Good As It Gets because one of the reasons Diana is awesome (other than her amazing blog) is her ability to recognize quotes / references from this movie. I’ve encountered few people who know what I mean when I say “Good times, noodle salad”, so I totally appreciate when I find someone who does. Sadly for Carol the Waitress, Melvin insults her lovely red dress when they go out on their date. But then to make it up to her he tells her “You make me want to be a better man” and she says it’s the best compliment of her life, so it’s all okay. For a few minutes, at least.

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Food & Art

ooooh you’re in for a treat! regular readers will be familiar with catherine of wolf eyebrows (if you guys don’t read her blog already, you should). i have said this before but sometimes i think cath is my blog twin, we have very similar tastes in almost everything. she’s put together a visual comparison treat for you – check out some of her other art & food posts here and here and make sure to follow catherine on twitter & pinterest. she also blogs for Nice Work which is an excellent inspirational resource for designers or anyone into all things creative.


Some of you may know that Diana and I run a tumblr dedicated to the most important meal of the day: breakfast. So when I was asked to contribute a guest post to this wonderful blog my mind immediately wandered to all things culinary.

Since Diana is the queen of artistic and aesthetic comparisons, I decided to create a series of visual comparisons that marry my love of food with my appreciation for art. I hope they satisfy your eyes and your stomachs.

A Dinner Table at Night by John Singer Sargent / Cranberry White Chocolate Tarts / Roasted Apple Pie for One / Portrait with Apples by August Macke

Club Sandwich / Holyday by James Tissot / The Milk Maid by Winslow Homer / Hot Fudge Bourbon Milkshake

The Cheese Vendor by Edouard-Jean Dambourgez / Cheese Souffle / French-pressed Coffee Ice Cream / Blue Enamel Coffeepot, Earthenware and Fruit by Vincent van Gogh

Salmon and Quinoa with Toasted Seeds / The Poor Fisherman by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes / Detail from The Infant Jesus Distributing Bread to Pilgrims by Bartolome Esteban Murillo / Roti

Thanks for having me Diana!

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Fashion Month Favourites

as you’ll see in her disclaimer (haha) kate does not actually work in fashion – but you might think she does considering that she occasionally styles mini-editorials, frequently updates her fashion-fueled tumblr, contributes to wearing the pants and writes cool pieces for local blog it’s what i’m into (including a Q&A with current  street style it-girl eleonora carisi). we often gab on gchat and twitter, she’s an absolute favourite.


I should probably start off with a disclaimer: I know nothing about fashion. Except that I look at it. A lot. I’ve been working on this post for about a week, actually, maybe two. And with every day and every show it gets more and more difficult to edit myself. There’ve been a ton of collections with stuff I would wear (let’s face it I’m not one to turn down designer gear), but if it’s made it onto this list it means I really liked it. And when I say “really liked it” I mean it filled my heart with pure, unadulterated fashion joy! In keeping with Miss Moss’ fashion week rules, I have decided to limit myself to 4 outfits per collection, because otherwise things would get crazay. So, here we go!

Prada

I am a huge fan of Miuccia Prada. In fact, I may name my future daughter Miuccia (even though I have no idea how to pronounce it), that’s how cool I think she is. I mean, the lady was born in 1949, but season after season she creates these fresh, unimaginable women. A little bit classy. A little bit quirky. Always left of centre.This season’s eccentricity came in the form of an army of bad-ass steam punk villians. It was like Dr Evil meets Willy Wonka. Purple, green, tan, yellow & orange sat side by side in perfect harmony. Even the black ensembles didn’t bore. Miuccia, ti amo!

Carven

Fashion and art collide on the runway with a collection that, according to vogue.com, was “borne of the fantasy of a girl walking through a museum filled with sixteenth and seventeenth century art and stealing things off the wall and out of the display cases for her wardrobe”. I like that. A lot. The first time I saw this collection, I literally started chanting “Carven! Carven! Carven!” in my head. I went all tingly inside and I couldn’t breathe. It was very strange and I’m a bit worried about my mental health. I think I went temporarily crazy for Carven.

Proenza Schouler

Personally I don’t think liking Proenza Schouler needs any explanation. Have you seen how cute they are? Dream-boat designer boys aside, I thought their Fall collection was pretty cool. At first, I just liked the hair. But the closer I looked, the more I liked. In fact, I think one of those satin Asian inspired padded jackets has punched its way up to the top of my Dream-On Fall 2012 Wishlist. (You can throw in the sweaters too).

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc’s collection fulfilled all my schoolgirl fashion fantasies. Although undoubtedly the least flattering skirt length ever, I couldn’t help but fall in love with his prim & proper, post-war appeal; complete with it’s very own technicolour dream kilt.

Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel’s collection appeals to the part of me that wishes I dressed like a grown up. Or a lady. Or a grown-up lady. Super chic knits graced the runway in cream, a colour I would never dare to wear because of my tendency to spill things on myself. The black headbands added a cool flapper charm and kept the luxe looks from taking themselves too seriously.

Marni

Marni was back with a Bang! (Hair Pun!) I’m not gonna lie, the white tights threw me a bit. They reminded me of the medical kind you have to wear to keep varicose veins under control… I think they call them compression stockings? Anyway, back to the runway… I love the combo of red and baby blue, and the fact that the red came in the form of a cape to rival all capes was an added bonus. The embellished tee & matching bag was a feast for the eyes. And #3  reminds me of a colouring book slash pajamas, which looks super fun to me.

Kenzo

Kenzo, so cool. I know it’s sad, but that’s all I can think of when I look at the Fall collection that was worn by the 50 models who travelled up and down escalators in a 4-storey high building for the audience at Paris Fashion Week. Tiger print sweaters tucked into satin column skirts. Tasseled shirts & skirts that turn to armour. Tablecloth prints and monochrome clashes. It’s bold, without being ridiculous and totally 100% wearable, if you’re that way inclined.

So I think I’m done. And, as this was a completely subjective look at Fall 2012, I encourage you to head on over to vogue.com to check out all the collections and pick your own favourites!

Images via Vogue

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L’amour Fou

as i mentioned in my post a week ago Mariah blogs over at Quite Continental, and i was thrilled when she sent me this post because one of my favourite things to delve into at her blog are stories of great loves – you also need to read her post about Winston Churchill & Clementine Hozier.


In February, my mind frequently turns to great love stories: stories of grand gestures, of passions that burned brightly and then out, of couples that stayed together for years, of couples that could not live without each other.  Coincidentally, I finally saw L’amour Fou this month, a documentary detailing the 50 year relationship of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and the record-breaking auction of their massive collection of art and objet d’art that ultimately totaled €342m in sales.

A heart-breaking, quietly mournful story, you easily glean a sense of how hard a man Saint Laurent was to love and the fact that Bergé never stopped loving him.  At the time of Saint Laurent’s death, the two had actually been separated for some years, but married a few days prior to Saint Laurent’s passing, in a final symbolic gesture of their relationship: Bergé would be left to handle the tidying up the details of their long partnership and life together.

“I remember your first collection under your name and the tears at the end. Then the years passed. Oh, how they passed quickly. The divorce was inevitable but the love never stopped.

I don’t know how to say good-bye because I can never leave you. We will never watch a sunset together again. We will never share the emotions together before a painting again. Someday I will join you under the palm trees of Morocco. 

I want to tell you my admiration, my profound respect and my love.” 

Bergé at the funeral of Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent became an apprentice to Christian Dior at the age of 18, and became the head of the fashion house at the age of 21 when Dior suddenly died in 1958.  In 1960, Saint Laurent and Bergé founded the fashion house that bears the Saint Laurent’s name, which is where he would design his tuxedo or “Le Smoking” for women and many memorable collections.  But by 1976, Saint Laurent and Bergé had ended their romantic relationship.  Remarkably, they remained business partners and close friends.

One of their most special places can be found in Marrakesh, Morocco: the Jardin Majorelle.  A botanical garden that dates back to the colonial period when Morocco was a protectorate of France in the 1920s, it was designed by French expat Jacques Majorelle and was a favorite place of Bergé and Saint Laurent.  Open to the public since 1947, when the garden was in danger of being purchased and converted into a hotel in 1980, Bergé and Saint Laurent simply purchased it so that it could remain a public place.  Their foundation maintains it to this day.  After his death, Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered in their beloved garden.  Bergé will one day join him.

L’amour Fou is an exceptionally well-done documentary that examines one of the greatest names in modern fashion through the eyes of the man who loved him fiercely in life and now mourns him quietly in death.  It traces their relationship from the first painting they bought together to their first trip to Morocco to the last fall of the auctioneer’s gavel.  I cannot recommend it enough and I hope one day soon I will walk through their bright blue garden in Morocco.

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Lover’s Eyes

Alison of Teenangster always discovers the most amazing jewellery, which she often shares on her blog, pinterest and twitter. so i was excited when she sent me this post about Lover’s Eyes. jewellery with a story, my favourite.


So, I’m a bit of an antique jewelry fiend. Ever since I got engaged, it’s only gotten worse; I now spend way too much time hovering on eBay and Etsy vintage, seeking out gray seed pearls, an engraved band from the 1930s, European-cut diamonds, mourning jewelry. You name it, I’m watching it.

And then I found out about lover’s eyes: hand-painted portraits on ivory which were popular in England between the 1780s and 1830s. What a game changer! My love of eyes, art and jewelry, united in one convenient, covetable form.

So, the history of this jewelry style is as juicy as the paintings are gorgeous. Since romantic love didn’t typically exist within the confines of a marriage at this point in history, affairs were pretty common. So how would you show your loyalty to your lover? By wearing a sentimental portrait of an unidentifiable part of their person, of course.

According to the Smithsonian, “One of the earliest known eye miniatures was painted in 1786 by the English artist Richard Cosway for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The miniature showed the eye of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the prince’s mistress.” And since just the eye of one’s lover was visible, the piece could be worn while your inamorata’s identify remained secret. It’s also been theorized that the “single eye also symbolized the watchful gaze of a jealous partner, who feared that his or her lover might stray.” Scandalous, juicy, royal and pretty: my kind of history.

I’ve found that, once you start digging, it seems as though lover’s eyes are everywhere you look. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see one in person. Philadelphia, I’m coming for you!

 

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