An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
As summer closes and fresh figs, peaches and nectarines flood farmer’s markets, this vinaigrette is the perfect way to celebrate their flavors. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and can be used on sandwiches, salads, to marinate meats and for the perfect savory appetizer, as we have done below.
5 fresh black figs (flesh scooped out)
1 nectarine cut into quarters (flesh scooped out)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (best quality)
1/4 cup olive oil (best quality)
1/4 tbs rice wine vinegar
1/8 tbs soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic quartered
Salt & Pepper
Blend and enjoy. (You can modify the thickness by varying the amount of olive oil).
For the toasts:
Spread a dollop of the vinaigrette on melba toasts.
Add hand-torn black forest ham, sharp good quality brie cheese, 3-4 pomegranate seeds for extra tang, generous salt & pepper.
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
In the Chanel Pre-Fall collection (pieces are in boutiques now and selling-out rapidly) Lagerfeld took the medieval ornamental ‘sporran’ and transformed it into a gorgeous line of purses and minaudieres. We’ll highlight those today, alongside another beautiful and famous transformation, that of Inverlochy Castle into a renowned destination hotel.
The Sporran as a handbag:
Typically made of leather or fur, often with feather ornamentation, the sporran is a traditional part of male highland dress and functions as a pocket, for the pocketless kilt.
Below it is gloriously adapted per Chanel, even for those not Highland-bound:
A few more favorite handbags from the collection include:
The luxurious tartans and tweeds, pearl embellishments and delicate feathers from the Edinburgh Pre Fall collection could not be more perfectly suited to the impeccably resplendent grounds of Inverlochy Castle Hotel.
Just a four hour drive (through the Scottish countryside) from Edinburgh, Inverlochy Castle Hotel is a 19th century-baronial mansion located near the town of Fort William.
It was built in 1863 and retains all of the elegance the time-period afforded.
Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy in 1873 remarking, “I never saw a lovelier, more romantic spot.” The Queen’s suite allows you to share in her wonderment.
The mansion has been a hotel since 1969 and in 2006 Inverlochy Castle Hotel was voted, “Best Hotel in Europe” by Travel + Leisure magazine. Much of its fame is due to its renowned cuisine.
True that some of the best game hunting and sport fishing is just steps away, but even a walk through the rolling grounds or a canoe-ride across the lake is activity enough.
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Put any prejudice aside and prepare for fun. If you’re in need of retail therapy, an end-of-summer pick-me-up, some wardrobe pizzaz, gifts for girlfriends…whatever, it’s here.
With the same fervor that some scour estate sales, it can be just as much fun to scour the endless pages of jewelry on Forever21. Every third or fourth page there is an amazing find. Even if it only lasts for one season (though we’ve never found that to be the case) it has barely cost you as much as a muffin and a fancy latte (nothing costs more than $15.00). In fact, the whole bundle above came in at just over $100.00 ($100.32).
All of the these pieces pair perfectly with this summer’s beloved maxi dress, a simple white long sleeve t-shirt ushering in autumn and the last hint of a summer glow.
Goddess Crescent Earrings in navy, forever21.com, $6.80
I know we’ve posted it before, but it is very hard not to LOVE this cheetah ring.
Rhinestoned Cheetah Ring in gold, forever21.com, $5.80
xo Ring Set, forever21.com, $4.80
Edgy and modern…
Shell plated triangle necklace in pink, forever21.com, $8.80
A few fun ‘art-deco-ish’ pieces…
Chained Art Deco Earrings, forever21.com, $6.80
Sparkling Art Deco Earrings in mint, forever21.com, $6.80
Knotted braided chain necklace, forever21.com, $9.80
Bold emerald cut earrings in dusty pink, forever21.com, $6.80
Ropes & ropes…
Braided Chain Necklace in navy and gold, forever21.com, $8.80
Faux Suede Woven Necklace, forever21.com, $5.80
Box Chain Choker, forever21.com, $14.80
Flirty and fun…
Heart Shaped Hoops, forever21.com, $2.80
The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.
A few years ago I tore a page out of Martha Stewart Living that became an absolute go-to guide for me, flower obsessed with not a stitch of training in arrangement.
In this conversation with floral gurus, Nicolette Owen and Sarah Ryhanen (google them immediately), they describe how elaborate bouquets require movement and arrangements look better in three tiers.
“Bulky real estate items like heather and lilies create form and structure. (Tier 1) Showy “face” flowers like tea roses give a bouquet their focus (Tier 2). Gestural, attention getting elements give a sense of finish. (Tier 3)” I love this and it has given me direction and confidence ever since.
Today’s trip to the Farmer’s Market and the backyard gave meaning to their above words. I am not a floral designer so my rendition did not look as elegant. But, anyone can easily do four of the below arrangements in less than $25.00 and less than 20 minutes following their technique.
Love in the mist and a sturdy hydrangea stand in as the solid foundation—Tier One. Vibrantly hued dahlias and garden roses with their explosive pops of color serve perfectly as the “showy face flowers”—Tier Two. But, my favorite is the ‘gestural’ detail, because it is only in bloom for a few more weeks…the Tuberose—Tier Three. What better gesture than it’s plump creamy buds bursting with sweet fragrance.
Another tip from Rhyanen, is to avoid the all too easy and deadly “pyramid” arranging. Stagger heights of flowers and create asymmetry with beautiful movement.
Finally, for the showy “face flowers” avoid the temptation to sprinkle them about. Instead, cluster like colors, shades and shapes together.
Another look for inspiration, from Ryhanen’s blog, Saipua….
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
This is not your every-day pasta salad. It’s a surprising, unique combination of flavors that translates beautifully for many differing tastebuds across families and peer circles.
Serve it slightly chilled and:
—It’s perfect to pack up for a picnic, the beach, a plane-trip, your lunch at work
—It looks pretty, colorful and healthy served at a party
—It can be made ahead and in fact tastes better the next day….and the day after that!
2 cups orzo pasta
1 can chickpeas (make sure they are pre-shelled) drained
2 small, 1/2-pint containers of cherry tomatoes cut length-wise (mix red and yellow here for added color)
1 English hothouse cucumber left unpeeled and diced
1/2-cup roasted red peppers from a jar chopped coarsely
2/3-cup finely chopped dill
1/4-cup finely chopped parsley
1/2-cup olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2-tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2-tsp red wine vinegar
1/8-tsp rice wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
(The higher quality vinegars and olive oil you use, the better it will taste)
Cook orzo until tender. When done please rinse the orzo with cold water and drain it well. Mix with chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, dill and parsley.
Prepare the dressing separately, whisking the olive oil, cumin, and three vinegars together. Add the dressing to the salad. Salt and pepper to taste.
Chill slightly, 1/2 hr-45 mins before serving.
*Note: For a little extra heat you can throw in chopped radish or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, for extra tang you can add the whites of a green onion diced.