Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries, White Chocolate & Pistachios

  • 16th November 2013
White chocolate chunks, cherries, pistachios and buttermilk add a new twist to the oatmeal cookie.

White chocolate chunks, cherries, pistachios and buttermilk add a new twist to the oatmeal cookie.

The recipe from Martha Stewart featuring white chocolate & apricots that we used as a springboard.

Picture of the Martha Stewart white chocolate and apricot cookie we used as a springboard.

 

Instead of old-fashioned oatmeal raisin, swap in apricots and white chocolate. The white chocolate’s sweetness tempers the tang of the fruit, creating a balanced batch that will appeal to kids and adults alike,” Martha Stewart Living.

 

The words above tempted us to try this cookie.  And it is delicious.  However, the cookie has a more robust flavor when you swap cherries in for apricots.  Adding just 1/8 cup of ground pistachios adds an earthiness and sophistication to the oatmeal.  A dash of buttermilk provides richness and ensures the cookies stay moist for a few days.

 

Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate, Cherries & Pistachios

 

• 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

• 1/4 cup granulated sugar

• 1 cup packed light-brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 2 large eggs

• 8 ounces white chocolate chopped

• 6 ounces dried cherries chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

• 1/8 cup salted pistachios, shelled and chopped

• 1 1/2 tbs buttermilk

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, oatmeal, and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Cream butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low.  Add salt, vanilla and eggs and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.  Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just combined.  Gently stir in white chocolate, cherries, pistachios and buttermilk.  Cover, and refrigerate until cold, approximately 30 minutes.

 

 

Oatmeal, white chocolate, pistachios, cherries and buttermilk ready to be gently mixed.

Oatmeal, white chocolate, pistachios, cherries and buttermilk ready to be gently mixed.

Mixture ready to refrigerate.

Dough ready to refrigerate.

 

 

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges but still soft in the center, 14 to 16 minutes.  Let cookies cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.  Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.

 

Use dried apricots instead of cherries for a milder taste.

Use dried apricots instead of cherries for a milder taste. Photo Courtesy of: Martha Stewart Living

The addition of buttermilk helps the cookies stay very moist.

The addition of buttermilk helps the cookies stay very moist.

 

 

The green flecks are pistachios that add an earthy flavor and texture.

The green flecks are pistachios that add an earthy flavor and texture.

 

 

 

A New Look for Leather

  • 14th November 2013
Perfect Leather Trouser Pants

Perfect Leather Trousers. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Deutsche

 

 

While perusing Elle (Deutsche) we came upon some leather pieces that looked perfectly chic, but fall out of the standard leather comfort zonetight leather pants/leggings, short leather mini skirts and the classic leather jacket.

 

Leather can be perfectly elegant, even when it’s not clingy and body contouring.   It translates just as easily into pleated trousers, a luxuriously draped cape or an a-line knee scraping midi skirt.

 

 

Soft, buttery leather cape.  Photo courtesy of:  Elle Deutsche

Soft, buttery leather cape. Photo courtesy of: Elle Deutsche

 

 

 

The leather a-line midi.  Photo courtesy of:  Elle Deutsche

The leather a-line midi. Photo courtesy of: Elle Deutsche

 

 

Trade the classic leather jacket for a head-turning leather cape

 

Mulberry Midnight Blue Nappa Leather Cape
Oxblood Mulberry Nappa Leather Cape

 

 

Mulberry Midnight Blue Nappa Leather Cape, net-a-porter.com, $3800.00

Oxblood Mulberry Nappa Leather Cape, mulberry.com, $3800.00

 

 

Cara Delevingne wears the Mulberry Leather Cape in Oxblood

Cara Delevingne wears the Mulberry Leather Cape in Oxblood

 

 

Even a Cascading, Long Leather Trench Looks Undeniably Elegant:

 

 

Prada Leather Jackets and Belts.  Photo Courtesy of: Tatler

Prada Leather Jackets and Belts. Photo Courtesy of: Tatler

 

The Mini Gets Replaced With a Roomier, A-Line, Elegant Midi

 

Asos White Midi Skirt in Pleated Leather
Asos White Midi Skirt in Pleated Leather

 

 

 

 

Asos White Midi Skirt in Pleated Leather, us.asos.com, $266.97

 

Katia Circle Skater Skirt

 

Katia Circle Skater Skirt, whistles.co.uk, $156.75

 

 

Lose the Leather Leggings and Welcome a More Forgiving Trouser

 

 

Rachel Zoe 'Phoenix' Cropped Leather Trouser

 

Rachel Zoe ‘Phoenix’ Cropped Leather Trouser, farfetch.com, $1026.47

 

 

Ganni Cordovan Leather Trouser
Ganni Cordovan Leather Trouser

 

Ganni Cordovan Leather Trouser, my-wardrobe.com, $426.00

 

 

T Alexander Wang Leather Trouser

 

 

T Alexander Wang Leather Trouser, otteny.com, $1150.00

 

 

Chanel colorful leather pants.  Photo Courtesy of:  Elle Italia

Chanel colorful leather pants. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Italia

 

 

Instantly Chic 

 

 

Balenciaga Glove Leather Slingback Sandals

 

 

 

Stripe knit T-shirt, T by Alexander Wang, matchesfashion.com, $270.00

 

Balenciaga Glove Leather Slingback Sandals, matchesfashion.com, $725.00

 

 

Their Moment in the Sun Continues…

  • 12th November 2013
Marni Spring 2014 Collection showcases visors.

The visor has 9-lives appearing again on the Marni Spring 2014 runway.

 

 

Early this year, or late in 2012 Lanvin gave a whole new look to the visor via their Resort Collection Look Book and since that bright moment, the visor has remained in the sun.  Marni’s Spring 2014 Collection showcased various specially made visors—either sporting an architectural element or a jewel-encrusted theme.

 

 

At Marni Spring 2014 Visors Complemented all Outfits.

Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

Visors were complemented by sport striped flip-flops and sweat-inspired wristlets.

 

Marni 2014 Resort Collection

 

 

 

While they were made specially for this show, Marni has ensured that this accessory will continue to turn heads even as the year and seasons change.

 

Marni 2014 Spring Visors Up Close

Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

 

 

Visors at the Marni 2014 Runway Show

Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

 

Goodbye to Bad Hair Days!  Fashionable Visors on the Market:

 

 

Larissa Hadjio Cat Ear Visor

 

 

Larissa Hadjio Cat Ear Visor, farfetch.com, $287.00

 

 

 

Helen Kaminski Mandisa Raffia Visor

Helen Kaminski Mandisa Raffia Visor

 

 

Helen Kaminski Mandisa Raffia Visor, harveynichols.com, £135.00

 

 

 

Chanel Visor Sunglasses retail at: £460

Chanel Visor Sunglasses retail at: £460

 

 

 

Opening Ceremony 99% IS-Leather Sun Visor

 

99% IS-Leather Sun Visor, openingceremony.com, $320.00

 

Rihanna in Lanvin Rose Visor

Rihanna in Lanvin Rose Visor

La Vie en Rose—For Real!

La Vie en Rose—For Real!

 

Lanvin Clear Visor in Rose
Lanvin Clear Visor in Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lanvin Rose Clear Visor, shop.nordstrom.com, $389.00

 

 

Gucci GC Visor with Signature Web

 

Gucci GC Visor with Signature Web, neimanmarcus.com, $175.00

 

Larissa Hadjio Black Handmade Calf Leather Visor

 

Larissa Hadjio Black Handmade Calf Leather Visor, larissa-hadjio.myshopify.com, £188.00

 

 

 

Camo Visor Etsy

 

 

Camo Visor, etsy.com, $22.00

Perfect Holiday Meal

  • 11th November 2013

Hearty, rich flavors, vibrant colors, and comforting textures make a holiday meal unforgettable.  As festivities begin in full swing, anchor any of your evenings with these three delicious favorites.  All three are easy to prepare and can be made even a few days ahead with no problem.  Two of the recipes come from the classic Gourmet Cookbook.

 

Slow Roasted Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

&

Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin

 

 

Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin.

Slow Roasted Pork with Sour Cherry Sauce, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots and Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider and Cumin.

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

 

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

Super yummy!

 

 

 

Recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook

This recipe calls for only a smidgen of butter, relying instead on the tangy buttermilk and browned shallots, which add a whole new dimension, to the rich yellow flesh of mashed Yukon Golds.

 

• 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

• 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

• 2 medium shallots

• 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

• Salt and fresh pepper to taste

 

Peel and quarter potatoes.  Combine with cold well-salted water to cover by 1 inch in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer until tender about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over moderately high heat.  Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and deep golden brown about 8 minutes.  Drain potatoes in a colander, return to pan, and coarsely mash with a potato masher.  Stir in shallots, buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

 

 

 

Slow Roasted Pork in Sour Cherry Sauce

 

Recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook

“Sour cherries are plump, meaty and bracingly tart.  Unfortunately, this fruit is almost impossible for most of us to get our hands on, even during its short mid-summer season.  Frozen sour cherries are available in some stores, but we prefer the dried version.  With these in your pantry, you can enjoy sour cherries any time of year.”

 

*This recipe we have slightly modified.  In lieu of chops we have used loins, which we find more tender and much easier to cook.  We brown the loins first on the stove and then cook the pork in the cherry sauce on a low slow heat in the oven.  The wine and cherries are perfect tenderizers and the meat just melts in your mouth.

 

 

Pork Loin Slow Roasted in Sour Cherry Sauce

 

For Sauce:

• 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

• 3 tablespoons sugar

• 3/4 cup dry red wine (the higher quality the better)

• 1/4 cup minced shallots

• 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

• 1 cup chicken stock or store bought broth

• 3/4 cup (4 ounces) dried sour cherries

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

 

Sour Cherry Sauce with a Hint of Lime

 

 

For the Pork

2 pork loins

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Make the sauce:  Combine vinegar and sugar in a 1-to-2 quart heavy saucepan, bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, and boil, stirring until reduced a glaze, about 4 minutes (be careful not to burn the glaze).  Add wine, shallots and cinnamon stick, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.    Add stock and cherries, bring to a simmer, and simmer, uncovered, until cherries plump, about 5 minutes.  Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let sauce cool.  Remove cinnamon stick and put to the side.

 

 

Browned Pork Loin

Browned Pork Loins

Browned pork in red wine and sour cherries

Browned pork in red wine and sour cherries

 

Heat the oven to 275 degrees.  Brown loins with olive oil, salt and pepper on high heat on the stove.  Once browned placed them in a baking casserole dish with the cinnamon.  Salt and pepper one more time.  Add the red wine and cherries with a ladle, being careful not to wash the seasoning off of the meat.  (See above photo).  Cover with foil and cook for 3 hours, turning once approximately half way into the time.

 

 

Roasted Vegetables with Apple Cider & Cumin

 

 

Butternut squash, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beets ready for the oven.

Butternut squash, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beets ready for the oven.

 

It is easy to substitute any winter vegetable in here, varying different types of squash, opting for turnips in lieu of beets or either brussels sprouts or baby potatoes.  We enjoy the mix of vibrant colors and the contrasting textures of a crisp red onion and a soft sweet potato.

 

• 3-4 beets

• 1 small red onion

• 1 small butternut squash

• 4 carrots

• 1 large sweet potato

• 3 tablespoons best quality apple cider

• 3 tablespoons good quality tangerine juice

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 cloves minced garlic

• 1 teaspoons salt

• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper or cayenne pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

 

 

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Peel and cut the onion and all of the root vegetables.  (Take care not to cut them too small, but into generously sized cubes).  Arrange all of the vegetables in a baking dish, minus the beets.  Mix vegetables well with the garlic, onion, juices, olive oil, and seasoning.  Make gentle holes in the mixture and carefully place the beets.  You will have to stir them once before broiling, but try not to stir them too often or they will discolor the other vegetables.  Cover the vegetables with foil and place in the oven for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 

Vegetables are sprinkled with French Sea Salt and returned to the oven to broil.

Vegetables are sprinkled with French Sea Salt and returned to the oven to broil.

 

 

Remove the vegetables and stir gently.  Turn your oven to broil.  If you have Fleur de Sel in the house, sprinkle one tablespoon on the mixture.  Place them in the oven to broil for 15 minutes, to desired crispness.

 

Next day salad is refreshing and tangy.

Next day salad is refreshing and tangy.

We used any roasted vegetables left and mixed them regular salad mainstays.

We used any roasted vegetables left-over and mixed them with regular salad mainstays.

 

Definitely do not throw away any sour cherry sauce that remains in the pan.  It makes an amazingly tangy salad dressing the next day.  We mixed wild arugula, strawberries, halved cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pink lady apples, green onion and avocado with left over roasted veggies and dressed it lightly with sour cherry sauce—delicious, easy and beautiful!

 

 

 

Spring 2014: Coin this Look!

  • 8th November 2013

 

Oversized Coin Belts at Dolce & Gabbana

Oversized Coin Belt at Dolce and Gabbana

 

 

 

How to make coins indisputably cool!  Elle Mexico fashions Dolce & Gabbana's coin accessories perfectly.

How to make coins indisputably cool! Elle Mexico fashions Dolce & Gabbana’s coin accessories perfectly.

 

 

Oversized coins anchor belts, make a splash on sandals and dangle from necklaces and chandelier earrings on the Spring 2014 Dolce & Gabbana runway.  Blazers, minis and blouses also adopt smartly fashioned coin motifs.

 

Coin Blouse Dolce & Gabbana

Coin blouse. Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

Coin motif from Dolce & Gabbana

Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

Ancient coinage and Sicilian antiquity appeared to be the main inspiration.

 

Dolce & Gabbana Coin Sandals up close

Dolce & Gabbana Coin Earrings and Blazer

 

 

According to an article published by the University of Warwick, Research Fellow Dr. Clare Rowan identifies the ancient coin that inspired the large gold coin belt (below) as, a coin type of Syracuse from the fifth and fourth centuries BC.

 

 

Dolce & Gabbana Coin Dress

 

 

Gold Coin Medallion Offsets Playful Polka Dots at Dolce & Gabbana 2014

Gold Coin Medallion Offsets Playful Polka Dots

Ancient Syracuse Coin

Photo Courtesy of: University of Warwick

 

 

 

Dolce & Gabbana Mini Bag and Sandals inspired by Roma Imperiale

Dolce & Gabbana Mini Bag and Sandals inspired by Roma Imperiale. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Italia

 

 

 

 

 

“Syracuse was one of the most powerful states in ancient Sicily and its power manifested itself in the production of spectacular coin designs, which were struck onto very large pieces of silver.  The motif appropriated by Dolce & Gabbana shows the nymph Arethusa surrounded by dolphins. In mythology Arethusa was associated with a spring near Syracuse.”  (Adapted from warwick.ac.uk)

 

 

Coin Medallion at Dolce & Gabbana Runway 2014

 

 

“The image was, and remains, powerful: even today, coin collectors and scholars see the coinage of Syracuse as one of the great artistic products of antiquity.”  (Adapted from warwick.ac.uk)

 

 

The ultimate 'Coin Purse'

The ultimate ‘Coin Purse.’ Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

 

 

Coin head bands from Dolce & Gabbana neatly wrap around a braided up-do in Elle Mexico.

Coin head bands from Dolce & Gabbana neatly wrap around a braided up-do in Elle Mexico.

The Dolce & Gabbana  coins accented by sprays of delicate white flowers are particularly alluring.  Photo Courtesy of:  Elle Mexico

The Dolce & Gabbana coins accented by sprays of delicate white flowers are particularly alluring. Photo Courtesy of: Elle Mexico

 

 

 

Where to Find Wearable Coins Before These Looks Make it to the Masses:

 

Dolce & Gabbana Filigrana Gold-Plated Chandelier Clip Earrings

 

Dolce & Gabbana Filigrana Gold-Plated Chandelier Clip Earrings, net-a-porter.com, $1275.00

 

Dolce & Gabbana Coin Earrings

 

 

Dolce & Gabbana Coin Earrings, store.dolcegabbana.com, $495.00

 

 

 

 

Chanel Dangle "CC" Coin Bangle

Chanel Dangle “CC” Coin Bangle

 

 

 

Chanel Dangle “CC” Coin Bangle, whatgoesaroundnyc.com, $850.00

 

 

Roman Empress Coin Necklace

 

 

Roman Empress Coin Necklace, store.metmuseum.org, $135.00

 

Worldly Statement Necklace Forever21
Worldly Statement Necklace Forever21

 

 

Worldly Statement Necklace, forever21.com, $14.80

 

 

 

Coin Necklace as worn by Faye Dunaway in the 1967 movie, "Bonnie & Clyde"

Coin Necklace as worn by Faye Dunaway in the 1967 movie, “Bonnie & Clyde”

 

 

 

Asos Coin Jewel Chandelier Earrings

 

Asos Coin Jewel Chandelier Earrings, asos.com, $16.00

 

 

Asos Coin Chandelier Earrings

 

Asos Coin Chandelier Earrings, asos.com, $10.00

 

 

Fallon Jewelry Coin Bib Necklace

 

Fallon Jewelry Coin Bib Necklace, shopbop.com, $325.00

 

 

KennethJayLaneGoldplatedcoin
Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Plated Coin Necklace

 

 

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold Plated Coin Necklace, net-a-porter.com, $180.00

 

 

Free People Goldbarr Mykonos Layered Chain Necklace with Coins

 

 

 

Goldbarr Mykonos Layered Chain Necklace, freepeople.com, $108.00

 

 

A Sea of Gold, Medallions and Coins at Dolce & Gabbana 2014.

A Sea of Gold, Medallions and Coins at Dolce & Gabbana 2014. Photo Courtesy of: Gap Press

 

Parting Words…

  • 8th November 2013

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg

 

 

BonConseil

Kale Salad with Bacon Molasses Dressing and Bourbon Soaked Cranberries

  • 5th November 2013

 

Kale Salad with Bacon Molasses Dressing

Photo Courtesy of: St. Louis Homes Magazine

 

 

A decadent salad worthy of a holiday gathering and catered to adult tastes, it’s an easy crowd pleaser.  It comes to us by way of St. Louis Homes Magazine!

 

The bourbon soaked cranberries are a fun spin on a holiday classic.  They cut the sweetness of the molasses perfectly.  If you are serving children as well, keep aside some plain cranberries to substitute in.  A julienned apple can also add texture and tang.

 

 

Kale Salad with Bourbon Soaked Cranberries and Bacon Molasses Dressing

Served and ready to eat!

 

 

Kale Salad with Bacon-Molasses Dressing and Bourbon Soaked Cranberries

 

Serves 8

2 cups bourbon
1 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons dark molasses
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound maple or apple smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
2 pounds fresh kale, julienned

 

 

Kale Salad ingredients
Bacon, always delicious!

Bacon, always delicious!

 

 

In a small sauce pot, heat the bourbon over high heat and reduce by half. Add the dried cranberries and set aside to soak. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar and molasses until well combined. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Add the bacon and toss dressing as needed with the fresh kale. Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with soaked cranberries.

 

 

The Kale Salad with Bourbon Soaked Cranberries and Bacon Molasses

It also tastes great with crisp apple.