Easter and the coming of spring has been celebrated around-the-world for hundreds of years. Thus, it seems apropos to take a world-tour to find some of the most distinguished chocolate Easter eggs out there.
Two ateliers that must be highlighted for beauty, taste and popularity come by way of São Paulo and Copenhagen.
We begin with a look at Sweet Brazil:
Almost too gorgeous to eat!!! (Almost!)
Egg Chrysanthemum, sweetbrazilchocolate.com, $64.00
Egg with crispy pistachio, hazelnut and almond, sweetbrazilchocolate.com, $130.00
Egg Orabolas, sweetbrazilchocolate.com, $59.00
Born in 1986, Sweet Brazil has a commitment annually to create collections that are as exciting to the eyes as they are to the mouth. Chocolatiere Paula Lima uses the purest chocolate, mainly sourced from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and the Ivory Coast. Her thematic Christmas and Easter collections are renowned. Her signature blend ‘pleases the tastes of Brazil': smooth, with hints of honey that melt in your mouth.
More from her Easter collection include custom-made Fabergé eggs:
Fabergé Egg, sweetbrazilchocolate.com, $167.00
Fabergé Basket, sweetbrazilchocolate.com, $160.00
Al Raja Gabaglia, 155
Vila Olimpia, Sao Paulo, SP
Tel: +11 3842-0006
Across the Atlantic to Copenhagen!!
The first of the highly sought Fabergé eggs was made as an Easter gift for the Empress Marie of Russia from her husband, Tsar Alexander, in 1883. It featured a small gold egg in an outside shell of platinum and enamel.
Today, replicas filled with three tantalizing chocolate eggs are produced annually by Sv. Michelsen. They are a true-love of the Danish. Beautiful inside and out…
Sv. Michelsen Chokolade Fabergé Eggs
This year’s ‘specialty’ egg is a copy of 2011, the Red Cross Egg has 3 handmade chocolate eggs inside and 10% of the proceeds go directly to the Red Cross.
svmichelsen.dk, Kroners 120—200.00
Sv. Michelsen Fabergé eggs are also available at Illum department store
Østergade 52 1100 Copenhagen, Denmark
We know it’s technically in the men’s section, BUT….
We absolutely love this bracelet which steals a look from the boys!
Miansai, saksfifthavenue.com, $80.00
It looks fabulous paired with:
a multitude of of slim gold, stone-studded bangles
Gold Stone and Pearl Bracelets, windsorstore.com, $10.90
A feminine white tunic dress
Shirley Crochet Kaftan by Melissa Obadash, matchesfashion.com, $334.00
Bernardo Vintage Couture Moon Sandal, shop.bernardofootwear.com, $270.00
First it was feathers…now it is full-on birds as an adornment of choice and a trend that has taken flight with one and all this spring. From the sage owl to the fluttering hummingbird and flashy parrot, many a chirping friend is represented here. Playfully perfect for spring!
1.) Pull Pampana, paulandjoe.com, 380.00 €
2.) Audubon Birds Vase, store.metmuseum.org, $55.00
3.) Sydney Evan Small Bird Cage Pendant, ylang23.com, $1080.00
4.) Hand Beaded Flamingo Clutch, anthropologie.com, $68.00
5.) Silk Minaudiere in Hummingbird Floral, jcrew.com, $248.00
6.) Bird Bistro Furniture, grandinroad.com, $129.00-$399.00
7.) Betsy Johnson Love Bird Heart Earring, betseyjohnson.com, $55.00
8.) Pier One Jute Bird Napkin Ring, pier1.com, $3.95
9.) Needlepoint Guilded Blue Songbird Pillow, thesouthernhome.com, $79.00
10.) Vintage Bird on a Wire, oliverbonas.com, $18.00
11.) Chloé Bird Print Tee, harrods.com, £57.95
12.) Bird Tureen with Stand, mottahedeh.com, $300.00
13.) Asos Kissing Birds Across Body, asos.com, $30.00
14.) The Birding Life Book, rshcatalog.com, $49.00
15.) Painted Owl, wisteria.com, $49.00
16.) Girls Birdsong Print Dress, jcrew.com, $68.00
17.) Macaw Danglers, anthropologie.com, $348.00
18.) Accessorize Eden Flower Garden Bird Zip Top, accessorize.com, $18.00
19.) Set of 4 Blue bird Candles, oliveandcocoa.com, $78.00
20.) Marni Bird Pendant Ribbon Necklace, neimanmarcus.com, $447.00
21.) Peacock Hooked Wool Rug, garnethill.com, $328.00
The world’s longest serving head-of-state King Rama IX is not alone in his love for this “land of the free.” Designers the world over are drawing inspiration from the former Siam through its resplendent natural beauty, dazzling palaces and colorful markets.
Gorgeous Thai Inspired Looks from Anthropologie:
Skyscape Maxi Dress, anthropologie.com, $168.00
Smocked Malee Dress, anthropologie.com $148.00
Paisley Trails Tee, anthropologie.com, $88.00
Embroidery Tufted Pendant, anthropologie.com, $48.00
Dao Ikat Jumpsuit, anthropologie.com, $88.00
Day Wanderer Pullover, anthropologie.com, $118.00
Colima Maxi Skirt, anthropologie.com, $118.00
Ruched Pompom Scarf, anthropologie.com, $58.00
Inspired by her trips to Thailand the Caroline Issa collection for L.K.Bennett London, features sizzling hues, pom poms and rich embroidery.
Parrot Embroidered Point Toe Heel, us.lkbennett.com, $445.00
Bamboo Embroidered Flats, us.lkbennett.com, $395.00
Tacca Embroidered Leather Sandal, us.lkbennett.com, $495.00
Amanda Brighton’s Thai inspired and produced jewelry.
Amanda Brighton Eastern Star Earrings, wolfandbadger.com, $6,465.00
Amanda Brighton Eastern Star Necklace, wolfandbadger.com, $6,765.00
A retro-Thai inspired look that’s a true steal:
Siam Red Linear Drop Earrings, 1928.com, $18.00
Flavors to Ponder:
This mouth-watering salad is a stand-by in our kitchen recipe repertoire and a favorite for entertaining. It’s copied from the Williams Sonoma Collection Salad Cookbook to which we’ve added a few ingredients.
Thai-Style Grilled Beef Salad
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai chillies or 1 serrano chile minced (if you are preparing for children too try using 1/4 of a chili)
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 cups torn red or green-leaf lettuce leaves
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup fresh torn basil leaves
1/2 cup minced fresh mint, plus several sprigs
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 lb beef sirloin or tri-tip
We added a handful of: thinly sliced radish, french green beans sliced vertically down the center, chopped green onion
Prepare a fire in a grill, or preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, chiles, lime juice, water, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and the brown sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, bean sprouts, carrot, basil, minced mint, and cilantro and toss together. Spread the mixture on a platter.
Rub the meat on both sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Place on grill rack or on a broiler pan and cook, turning once, until seared on both sides, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut against the grain into strips, 1/4 inch thick.
Arrange the beef strips over the lettuce mixture and pour the garlic mixture evenly on top. Garnish with the mint sprigs if desired and serve hot.
Variation Tip: This salad can also be eaten wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Use 2 cups torn leaves, and keep 8-12 leaves whole. Toss the torn leaves and other ingredients with only half of the sauce, and put the rest of the sauce in a small bowl for dipping. To eat, place a leaf in the palm of your hand and fill it with some of the salad. Fold the sides over and then roll up loosely to eat out of hand, after first dipping it in the remaining sauce.
This is a great cook book!
Williams Sonoma Collection: Salad, overstock.com, $13.39
Put gold leaf on the back of a Buddha image.
Meaning: Do good deeds without seeking attention.
We love this ensemble because while it is truly ‘fashion magazine glamorous,’ it has accessible elements and little touches that we can easily steal. Scarves are ubiquitous this season and we love how the effortless drape brings a casual flick to the look.
The silver cuffs toughen things up and the tribal necklace adds definite edge. With such a bright color and statement jewelry the up-do is also key to providing balance. The above ensemble costs well over $8,000, but we were able to put together a more attainable look for around $750.
Silver Metal Bracelet, shoplatitude.com, $30.00
Sari Necklace, calypsostbarth.com, $185.00
Indah Tahani Cowl Dress, shopbop.com, $238.oo
Wide Foil Cuff, couture.zappos.com, $198.00
B-Low the Belt Braided Hip Belt, neimanmarcus.com, $62.00
Silk Diagonal Stripes Scarf, cwonder.com, $68.00
There’s nothing like a new twist on an old classic. I am a die-hard believer in pancakes, syrup and a dollop of rich beurre. But, upon discovering Lilikoi syrup, a Maui specialty, I was sold. Fruity, but delicately aromatic and not over-powering, it adds a sophisticated island spin to a morning standby.
In the event that you are like I was and have no idea what Lilikoi is, it’s just another exotic name for an already exoticly dubbed fruit, the Passion Fruit.
If you are reticent to shake up your morning routine or your standard brunch/entertaining fare, then you can add Lilikoi Syrup into the mix at dessert time. For an intensely tropical experience serve it over or alongside coconut sorbet or lychée ice-cream (available at most Indian and Chinese grocery stores).
Lilikoi syrup can be made at home. But, it’s advisable to have access to some pretty fresh and delicious Passion Fruit. (There are many recipes for home-made syrup on the internet and I cannot espouse one over the other since I have not tried any.)
However, after consulting with locals I can confidently say that the preferred syrup available for purchase comes by way of Maui Jelly Factory. (This brand was also our breakfast time treat!)
Passion Fruit Syrup, Mauijellyfactory.com, $30.00 for three 10 ounce bottles
Any post mentioning syrup should include a shout-out to great pancakes. Our favorite recipe is provided by the tried and true: The New York Times Cook Book.
Basic Pancakes (Makes about 1 dozen, 5-inch pancakes)
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk (Here we sub in organic whole goats milk. It gives a much richer flavor and actually fluffier consistency)
2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
We add one tablespoon of vanilla bean paste ( we use Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste—see post 1/28 for more information)
1.) Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
2.) Beat the egg, milk and butter until blended
3.) Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir only enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do no beat or the pancakes will be tough.
4.) Heat a griddle and lightly grease it. Drop the batter from the tip of a large spoon or a 1/4 cup measure and bake until the entire surface of the pancake is dotted with holes. Turn and bake the other side just until light brown. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven until all the pancakes are cooked.
These pancakes are superb re-heated as well. We often make a double batch on the weekend. Wrap them securely in foil and saran wrap and refrigerate. Heat them in the microwave for 45 seconds for an easy breakfast on school mornings.
The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne, amazon.com, $24.75