Moroccan Madness!

  • 28th January 2014

The allure of Morocco has never seemed stronger.  It’s a magnet for European vacationers and corporate retreat planners.  It anchors travel spreads and cooking shows and inspires both fashion and interior designers.

 

 

Seven Vegetable Couscous from the 'Around the World' Cookbook

Seven Vegetable Couscous from the ‘Around the World’ Cookbook

 

 

Today we showcase one of our favorite recipes from the region which is literally impossible to ruin and celebrate Marrakech-inspired looks for your littlest ones.

 

 

Tea Collection visits Morocco and returns with treasures

Tea Collection visits Morocco and returns with treasures

 

 

Seven is a magical number in Morocco and there are many recipes for this glorious celebration couscous.  The vegetables here are carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions, zucchini, tomatoes and green beans.  You can substitute different vegetables if you desire,”  The Around the World Cookbook.

 

Seven Vegetable Couscous  (Adapted from the Around the World Cookbook):

 

Ingredients

• 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil

• 1 pound lean lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces

• 2 chicken breasts halved

• 2 onions, chopped

• 6 carrots (12 ounces), cut into chunks

• 2 parsnips (8 ounces), cut into chunks

• 1 turnip

• 6 tomatoes

• 4 cups chicken stock

• Generous pinch of fresh ginger

• 1 cinnamon stick (we used two)

• 1 can chickpeas, drained

• 2 cups couscous

• 2 small zucchini, cut into julienne strips

• 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved

• 1/3 cup raisins

• A little Harissa or tabasco sauce  (We used a combination of: 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp ground red pepper and 1 tsp Paprika)

We added 4 whole cloves

• We added 3 whole cardamom

• We added a dash of freshly ground nutmeg

• Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

Diced vegetables ready to sautée

Diced vegetables sautéing

 

 

Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry the lamb, in batches if necessary, until evenly browned, stirring frequently.  Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until evenly browned.  Transfer to a plate/dish with the lamb.

 

 

Browned chicken and lamb.

Browned chicken and lamb.

 

Heat the remaining oil and add the onions.  Fry over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the carrots, parsnips, and turnip.  Stir well, cover with a lid and “sweat” over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice.

 

Add the tomatoes, lamb, chicken and stock.  Season with salt and black pepper and add the ginger, cloves, cardamon, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Here we also added the paprika, cayenne pepper and ground red pepper in lieu of Harissa at the end.  Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 35-45 minutes, until the meat is nearly tender.

 

 

Cooking

Cooking

 

Skin the chickpeas by placing them in a bowl of cold water and rubbing them between your fingers.  The skins will rise to the surface.  Discard the skins and drain.  Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the package.

 

Add the skinned chick-peas, zucchini, beans and raisins to the meat mixture, stir gently and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender.  Pile the couscous on a large serving platter, making a slight well in the center.

 

Ready to enjoy!

Ready to enjoy!

 

 

Other ways to bring Moroccan flavor home, come via the new collection from Tea….

 

 

The new Mosaic Tile Graphic Dress and Peppercorn Loveable Necklace from Tea Collection

The new Mosaic Tile Graphic Dress and Peppercorn Loveable Necklace from Tea Collection

 

 

Mosaic Tile Graphic Dress, tea collection.com, $29.50

Peppercorn Loveable Necklace, teacollection.com, $12.00

 

Tea Collection Confetti Tile Tunic and  Peppercorn Bandana

Tea Collection Confetti Tile Tunic Top in Rosweater and Peppercorn Bandana

Tea Collection Moroccan Rose Twirl Top and Peppercorn Loveable Necklace

Tea Collection Moroccan Rose Twirl Top and Peppercorn Loveable Necklace

 

 

 

Confetti Tile Tunic Top, teacollection.com, $29.50

Peppercorn Bandana, teacollection.com, $14.00

Moroccan Rose Twirl Top, teacollection.com, $24.50

 

 

Tea Collection Mosaic Rose Flutter Wrap Dress

Tea Collection Mosaic Rose Flutter Wrap Dress

 

 

 

 

If You’re Heading To…Laos

  • 26th January 2014

If you are heading to Laos, Ock Pop Tok cannot be missed.  In Luang Prabang, off of the coast of the Mekong River, the ‘Living Arts Center,’ and the accompanying store in town are both a treat for the eyes and pretty easy on your wallet.

 

 

Antique Hmong Skirt in Ock Pop Tok, Luang Prabang

Antique Hmong Skirt in Ock Pop Tok, Luang Prabang

 

 

 

The Living Arts Center Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang, Laos

The Living Arts Center Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang, Laos

 

 

 

The store features all Lao-based textiles, handicrafts and design with richly textured accordion style skirts and luminous, bright silky scarves.

 

 

 

Scarves on display at Ock Pop Tok.

Scarves on display at Ock Pop Tok.

 

 

Ock Pop Tok offers mostly the work of local women artisans who have been trained in remote areas of the country in natural dyeing and weaving.  One of their signature patterns is the Chess Scarf, intermixing gossamer squares with silky squares.

 

 

Red Chess Scarf

Red Chess Scarf

 

 

Chess Scarf, ockpoptok.com, $55.00

 

 

Also a true best-seller and perfect paired with a solid t-shirt and blazer this spring, is their Harry Potter scarf featuring shimmery nautical stripes.

 

 

Harry Potter Red and White Striped Scarf at Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang.

Harry Potter Red and White Striped Scarf at Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang.

 

 

Harry Potter Scarf, ockpoptok.com, $33.00

 

 

Conveniently located in the center of the city, Ock Pop Tok is a must when visiting Luang Prabang, Laos.  Take your time to wander through the two floors and discover hidden treasures all over.

 

 

Ock Pop Tok storefront

Ock Pop Tok storefront

 

 

One of our favorites is this open weave, multi-colored light-as-air silk scarf.

 

Scarf from Ock Pop Tok
Scarf from Ock Pop Tok

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longer shawls and housewares like table and bed runners are distinct and easy to carry back home.

 

 

 

 

Table Runner at Ock Pop Tok

 

 

 

Ock Pop Tok Luang Prabang

 

 

The traditional Antique Hmong Skirts are truly one-of-a-kind and made from hemp harvested by women in the fields.  It can take up to 5 months to design the batik pattern for each of these traditional skirts.

 

 

Antique Hmong Skirt at Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang

Antique Hmong Skirt at Ock Pop Tok in Luang Prabang

 

 

Cloth for these skirts is often dyed up to 30 times.  Women typically make one skirt every year for the Hmong New Year celebration.

 

Antique Hmong Skirt, ockpoptok.com, $95.00

 

 

Ock Pop Tok

73/5 Ban Vat Nong

Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
Telephone: +856 (071) 253 219
Hours are 8am to 8pm

Mix & Match Stripes

  • 23rd January 2014

Inspired by these springtime combinations from Boden, we examine all the best ways to mix and match the nautical Breton look.

 

richmondblazerboden

Boden bistro shorts with Breton striped shirt.

Boden bistro shorts with Breton striped shirt.

 

Boden Richmond Blazer, bodenusa.com, $118.00

Bistro Shorts, bodenusa.com, $68.00

Long Sleeve Breton, bodenusa.com, $38.00

 

 

Bright Stripes Matched With Florals Become the 2014 Spring Uniform!

 

 

Nicole Richie wears Alberta Ferretti. Photo courtesy of: InStyle UK

Nicole Richie wears Alberta Ferretti. Photo courtesy of: InStyle UK

 

 

 

 

Joie, Photo Courtesy of: Shopbop

Joie, Photo Courtesy of: Shopbop

 

 

 

Joie Fola Skirt, shopbop.com, $348.00

Paired with:

Joie Michi Blouse, shopbop.com, $258.00

 

 

JCrew toothpick jean in railroad stripe paired with a silk racer tank in antique floral and Sloane woven leather ivory and navy pumps.  Perfect!!!

JCrew toothpick jean in railroad stripe paired with a silk racer tank in antique floral and Sloane woven leather ivory and navy pumps. Perfect!!!

 

 

 

 

Stripe on Stripe Two Ways:

 

Boden Spring Trench

Boden Spring Trench

Boden Multi Stripe Rainy Day Mac

Boden Multi Stripe Rainy Day Mac

 

 

 

 

Boden Spring Trench, bodenusa.com, $198.00

Multi Stripe Rainy Day Mac, bodenusa.com, $178.00

 

 

 

Michelle Dockery on the Cover of Bazaar Magazine Wears Stripes on Stripes

Michelle Dockery on the Cover of Bazaar Magazine Wears Stripes on Stripes

 

 

 

Stripes & Spots

 

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia

 

 

 

Breton Tunic and Pointed Polka Dot Sling backs

Breton Tunic and Pointed Polka Dot Sling backs

 

Breton Tunic Top, bodenusa.com, $78.00

Pointed Polka Dot Sling Backs, bodenusa.com, $108.00

 

 

Jeweled Stripes:

 

JCrew Collection Jeweled Shoulder Hand-Applied Opalescent Stone Pale Blue Striped Shirt

JCrew Collection Jeweled Shoulder Hand-Applied Opalescent Stone Pale Blue Striped Shirt

 

 

 

Stripes & Monogram:

 

Cara Delevingne carries a Fendi Peek-a-boo-baguette.  Photo Courtesy of:  Cosmopolitan HK

Cara Delevingne carries a Fendi Peek-a-boo-baguette. Photo Courtesy of: Cosmopolitan HK

 

 

 

Bold Stripes Meet Soft Lace:

 

 

Zara T-Shirt with Lace Detail

Zara T-Shirt with Lace Detail

Heirloom Drop Waist Dress from Forever 21

Heirloom Drop Waist Dress from Forever 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirt with lace detail, zara.com, $35.90

Heirloom Drop Waist Dress, forever21.com, $29.80

 

 

 

Burberry Prorsum Cotton Lace Skirt for $2,995.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue

Burberry Prorsum Cotton Lace Skirt for $2,995. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue

 

 

 

Stripes, Lace, Florals and Tassels—You Can’t Believe How Easy it Looks!

 

 

Sundance Timeless Lines Top and Meadow Crewelwork Cardigan

Sundance Timeless Lines Top and Meadow Crewelwork Cardigan

 

 

Timeless Lines Top, sundancecatalog.com, $68.00

Meadow Crewelwork Cardigan, sundancecatalog.com, $148.00

Feather Light Boots, sundancecatalog.com, $174.00

 

.

 

Spring forward to Summer with Three Simple Salads

  • 18th January 2014

Simple to prepare yet robust in flavor these are three perfect salads that beckon to the seasons ahead.

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh.  Photo Courtesy of: Bon Appetit

Quinoa Tabbouleh. Photo Courtesy of: Bon Appetit

 

 

 

Potato Salad with Bacon and Tomato.  Photo Courtesy of: Food and Wine

Potato Salad with Bacon and Tomato. Photo Courtesy of: Food and Wine

 

 

Light, flavorful and zesty Asia Slaw

Light, flavorful and zesty Asia Slaw

 

 

Martha Stewart refers to slaws as a fresh and crunchy combo and this Asia Slaw is no exception.  To make this favorite of our salads we combined two separate slaw recipes from the above publication and the result is tangy, crisp, gingery perfection.  It lasts in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and tastes better with each passing day.  Serve it cold alongside a hot, spicy pot roast or pulled pork for maximum effect.

 

Zesty Asian Slaw                   (recipes modified from Martha Stewart)

 

3 cups shredded cabbage

2 Granny Smith apples cut into matchsticks

3 sliced scallions

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

(prepare the above and combine in a large bowl)

 

Dressing:

Whisk together the below

1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

 

Cabbage mixture before dressing is added.

Cabbage mixture before dressing is added.

 

 

“The classic Middle-Eastern salad gets an of-the-moment upgrade with the “it” grain quinoa.  The tiny nutritional powerhouse is loaded with protein, making this dish a delicious vegetarian main course.”  Bon Appetit.

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh                                      (from Bon Appetit 2012)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh ground pepper

1 large English hothouse cucumber cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 scallions, thinly sliced

 

Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp., salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread out quinoa on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool.  Transfer to a large bowl and mix in dressing, tomatoes, herbs, scallions and cucumber. Toss to coat.

 

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh

 

 

A perfect antidote to a mayo soaked potato salad, this has a mustardy kick and when you use rich Yukon gold potatoes they add their own earthy creaminess.

 

Potato Salad with Bacon and Tomatoes     (from Food & Wine 2004)

 

3/4 pound sliced bacon

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes halved

1 heart of romaine lettuce, thickly sliced and equalling 4 cups (we used wild arugula instead)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spread the bacon in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Top with another baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until just barely cooked.  Remove the top sheet and bake the bacon until browned about 8 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel to drain, then cut into 1-inch pieces.

 

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until just tender, about 12 minutes. Yukon golds cook more quickly than other varieties.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Let them cool slightly.

 

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with mustard.  Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add half of the dressing to the potatoes along with the bacon and half of the tomatoes.  Season it with salt and pepper.  In another bowl, toss the lettuce, scallions and remaining tomatoes with the remaining dressing and season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the greens to 4 plates, top with potato salad and serve.

 

 

Or combine the potatoes with the greens and serve together in one bowl.

Or combine the potatoes with the greens and serve together in one bowl.

 

 

.

Enlist in Navy

  • 15th January 2014

You may not be headed to St. Tropez, or anywhere along the French coast, but making a nod to the Breton top this spring will steer you well.

 

 

Gorgeous Chloe 2014 Nautical Designs.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Gorgeous Chloe 2014 Nautical Designs. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

 

 

The  marinière, or more commonly known striped Breton shirt, was a uniform of seamen in Brittany around 1850.  According to various sources, the original shirt featured 21 stripes, one corresponding to each of Napoleon’s victories.

 

Coco Chanel.  Photo Courtesy of: WikiFashion

Coco Chanel. Photo Courtesy of: WikiFashion

Audrey Tatou as Coco Chanel in a Breton top.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.hk

Audrey Tatou as Coco Chanel in a Breton top. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.hk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a visit to the coast, Coco Chanel was inspired by the seamen’s uniform and introduced it into her collection in 1917.  She paired the top with wide flared trousers (see above).  A style that endures today almost 100 years later and still caught our eye when flipping through Vogue HK.

 

 

Cropped breton top meets flared trousers with a tuxedo stripe.  A look inspired by Coco Chanel almost 100 years ago, still timeless!  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Cropped breton top meets flared trousers with a tuxedo stripe. A look inspired by Coco Chanel almost 100 years ago, still timeless! Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

 

 

Here are a few ways to shop this enduring look:

 

Then

1972 Christian Dior.  Photo Courtesy of Vogue.hk

1972 Christian Dior. Photo Courtesy of Vogue.hk

 

 

Today

 

Chloe 2014 Striped Twill Dress

Chloe 2014 Striped Twill Dress

Chloe 2014 Striped Twill Dress

 

 

 

 

Chloe Striped Twill Dress, net-a-porter.com, $1,895.00

 

 

Stripe Swirl Floppy Hat Anthropologie

Stripe Swirl Floppy Hat Anthropologie

 

 

Stripe Swirl Floppy Hat, anthropologie.com, $58.00

 

 

Chanel Camelia Embellished Striped Sneakers.  Photo Courtesy of:  Cosmopolitan HK

Chanel Camelia Embellished Striped Sneakers. Photo Courtesy of: Cosmopolitan HK

 

(Price above:  Hong Kong dollars NOT US) 

 

 

Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs.  Photo Courtesy of:  Cosmopolitan HK

Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs. Photo Courtesy of: Cosmopolitan HK

 

 

 

 

Keds Kate Spade New York Kick Sneaker in Mariner
Keds Kate Spade New York Kick Sneaker in Mariner

 

 

Keds for Kate Spade New York “Kick Sneaker,” katespade.com, $75.00

 

Kate Spade Seaside Stripe Sutton Hand bag
Kate Spade Seaside Stripe Sutton Hand bag

 

 

Kate Spade Seaside Stripe Sutton Hand Bag, katespade.com, $298.00

 

 

Then:

 

Illustration by Carl Oscar August Erickson--Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Illustration by Carl Oscar August Erickson–Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Photo Courtesy of Vogue: HK

Photo Courtesy of Vogue: HK

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today:

 

Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2014.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.HK

Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2014. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue.HK

 

 

Lightly striped dress from Dior. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue, Paris

Lightly striped dress from Dior. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue, Paris

 

Mango Striped Jersey Dress from House of Fraser

Mango Striped Jersey Dress from House of Fraser

Zig Zag Stripe Shorts from JCrew

Zig Zag Stripe Shorts from JCrew

 

 

 

Mango Striped Jersey Dress, houseoffraser.co.uk., £ 24.99

 

Zigzag stripe short, jcrew.com, $69.50

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Elle Décor

Photo Courtesy of Elle Décor

 

 

Chloe Cosmopolitan HK

Chloe Cosmopolitan HK

Chloe Bib Detailed Fine Knit Sweater

Chloe Bib Detailed Fine Knit Sweater

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe bib-detailed fine-knit wool sweater, net-a-porter.com, $1050.00

 

 

Christian Louboutin Just Soon 85 Striped Canvas Pumps

Christian Louboutin Just Soon 85 Striped Canvas Pumps

 

 

 

Christian Louboutin Just Soon 85 Striped Canvas Pumps, net-a-porter.com, $795.00

 

 

Louis Vuitton 2014 Scarf.  Photo Courtesy of:  Vogue HK

Louis Vuitton 2014 Scarf. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

 

 

 

Then:

 

Photo Courtesy of:  Vogue HK

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue Russia

 

 

 

 

 

Today:

 

Acne Studios 2014.  Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Acne Studios 2014. Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

Photo Courtesy of: Vogue HK

 

 

Thakoon lace-trimmed stripe silk jumpsuit
Thakoon lace-trimmed stripe silk jumpsuit

 

 

 

Thakoon lace-trimmed stripe silk jumpsuit, net-a-porter.com, $1220.00

 

 

 

Asos multi striped shorts
Top Shop Moto Stripe Denim Skirt

 

 

 

 

Asos shorts in multi stripe, us.asos.com, $46.30

 

Topshop Moto Stripe Denim Skirt, topshop.com, $64.00

 

Valentino Crop Multi Stripe Sweater
Valentino Crop Multi Stripe Sweater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentino multi stripe sweater, matchesfashion.com, $1,650.00

 

 

JCrew Textured Stripe Shorts in Navy

JCrew Textured Stripe Shorts in Navy

 

 

Coming soon…..

 

JCrew Striped Tee Linen in C'est La Vie

JCrew Striped Tee Linen in C’est La Vie

 

 

Coming soon….

 

 

JCrew Toothpick Jean in Railroad Stripe

JCrew Toothpick Jean in Railroad Stripe

JCrew Toothpick Jean in Railroad Stripe

JCrew Toothpick Jean in Railroad Stripe

 

 

 

 

 

 

JCrew Toothpick Jean in Railroad Stripe, $135.00

‘Kick’ Yourself Into High Style Color

  • 13th January 2014

 

Solange Knowles X Puma's Girls of Blaze Disc Collection

Solange Knowles masterminds Puma’s Girls of Blaze Disc Collection

 

 

In February 2014 the iconic Puma Disc Blaze collection will be released and more importantly, designed for the first time for women.  At the helm of the collection showcasing four unique versions is an iconic femme herself, synonymous with the word style—Solange.

 

Late last year, Puma announced a special relationship with Solange as she comes aboard as creative consultant for the brand.

 

 

Puma creative sent out via Instagram by Ms. Knowles to announce the collaboration and the Blaze Disc.

Puma creative sent out via Instagram by Ms. Knowles to announce the collaboration and the Blaze Disc.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Jonesmagazine.com

Photo Courtesy of Jonesmagazine.com

 

 

Through her design, Solange points a nod in the direction all eyes will be pointing in 2014—Brazil.  As the country gets ready to hold the World Cup, the collection celebrates the nation’s aesthetic through design.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of: thefashionfoot.com

Photo Courtesy of: thefashionfoot.com

 

 

 

The Disc Blaze first came out in 1992 as the world’s first laceless running shoe.  Today it strides right back into the spotlight with style and street cred.

 

 

 

Solange Knowles Disc Blaze Puma Collection

 

 

Sure to fly off of shelves in February it’s worth that special mark in your calendar.

 

 

Solange Knowles Disc Blaze Puma Collection