Monthly Archives

July 2012

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Three Hostess Gift Ideas for Bakers

hostess gifts for bakers

hostess gifts for bakers
Gingham Spatulas on sale at $3.00 to $5.99 at Sur La Table | Progressive Brown Sugar Keeper $14.95 at Sur La Table or Chefs Catalog | Chicago Metallic Individual mini pie pan $24. 95 USD at Sur La Table or Crate & Barrel

I suggest pretty, useful and stylish for these mini gift round up. The Gingham Spatulas will add pretty in your kitchen. It reminds me of something that the girls in Pushing Daisies who uses to bake.

I read good things about the next product. Who does not look for a solution that prevents its brown sugar from drying out? There is nothing more annoying than to find out in the middle of a recipe that your brown sugar is hard as a rock. A moist terra cotta disc does the trick. Remember to re-soak the disc every 3 months for 15 minutes if you do not wish to have a bad surprise. You can store the disc in the airtight lid of Progressive brown sugar keeper when not in use. I own a few Progressive products and they work well.

Last but not least, have a look at this individual mini pie pan set that will enables you to serve beautiful savory and sweet pies to your family and friends. It comes with a neat two-sided dough cutter that will assure the perfect top and bottom crust size. The best part is the festive design.

http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-899286/Sur-La-Table%26%23174%3B-Gingham-Spatulas

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

STACT Modular Wine Wall

stact column

stact modular wall wine storage

Forget the big flat panel TV!  STACT may become the prized possession of your man. I must admit that I prefer it to his huge TV.

You know that I have a thing for modern, efficient, space-saving item. When I saw it this morning in my inbox, I was intrigued.  STACT is a modular wine wall system created by 2012 ICFF award-winning designer Eric Pfeiffer for the Vancouver-based wine storage company of the same name.

You can mount a single panel, create your own custom pattern and plan, or grow your system as your collection evolves over time. It comes in six finishes. I like how it can fill an otherwise empty kitchen wall.

stact column

This is a project funded through Kickstarter. To make it a reality, STACT needs to raise $20,000.  The STACT modular wine wall system suggested retail price is $129.99 each but if you can get up to 40% off the suggested price if you pre-order yours on Kickstarter.

COCKTAILS + wine FOOD + DRINK

Blueberry and Basil Collins

blueberry basil collins

blueberry basil collins
photo: Maxime Juneau for At Home with Kim Vallee

Last week was the annual Bombay Sapphire event that I like to attend. I am in love with this year formula because it enables me to get unique content. For the occasion, the new Bombay ambassador, the master mixologist Raj Nagra, made three summer cocktails that fit my own taste. Any of those could become a signature drink for my outdoor parties.

I am sharing today the easiest one of the three. It is a girlie twist on the classic Collins. I love the color! The swizzle stick looks like a piece of jewelry. I was kind of hoping that I found a set inside our gift box. To be fair, the gift box was nice and I will be proud to serve drinks in the tumbler glasses that they gave us.

Blueberry & Basil Collins recipe

  • 2 parts (60 ml) Bombay Sapphire
  • 8 Blueberries
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 part (30 ml) Fresh lemon juice or the Juice of one lemon
  • 1 part (30 ml) Simple syrup
  • Soda water

Glass: Highball

Method: Muddle blue berries and simple syrup. Add Bombay, basil and lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain over ice. Top with soda water and stir gently.
Garnish: Blueberries on a swizzle stick

I will try to share the two other recipes before the weekend shortly.

DESIGN and style LIVING

The Reveal of My Business Site

new website for kim vallee

→ But I am Still a Lifestyle Blogger

new website for kim vallee

Today, I published my new Web site for Kim Vallee. This marked an important moment for me. For years, I felt the need to have a cover page where I could highlight the several business hats that I wear. I finally have it!

Update: I forgot to mention the best part about the design of my business site.  It has a responsive design, which means that its layout automatically adjusts to fit the screen of your device. Try it on your iPhone and iPad. I love this feature.

You might have noticed that I write less often over the past year. Now, you know that it was not just the baby that kept me from writing more posts. Do not worry, At Home with Kim Vallee will continue to be a big part of my life. And yours, I hope! I still want to inspire you with my stylish finds, time saving tips and design ideas. As a matter of fact, my next post series will be about tasty summer cocktail recipes that was made just for me by a renowned mixologist.

Joli PR

I am excited by my latest project. And if you are a lifestyle blogger, I believe that you will enjoy Joli PR. I designed it with lifestyle bloggers in mind. Joli PR is the visual, interest-based app that I wish that I had for years, instead of an inbox filled with mostly irrelevant pitches. To make it a win win solution, I make sure that it delivers something great for brands and PR people. If you want to be amongst the first people who have a peak at Joli PR, sign in here. I promise not to spam your inbox.

FOOD + DRINK RESTAURANTS

Food Truck Lunch: Takoyaki Montreal and La Mangeoire

takoyaki montreal

takoyaki montreal

Since the Souk at Juste pour Rire is filled with gourmet food trucks, containers and fishing cabins, I decided to make the best of it by having lunch there. Today, I stopped by two food stands.

mushroom or octopus japanese balls

I started my meal with a trio of Japanese balls. My husband ordered the octopus balls while I opted for the mushroom balls. I enjoyed them both. The balls are covered with Japanese crepes topped with mayonnaise, sauce and bento flakes. Delicious!

la mangeoire cocotte sandwich

Then, I ate a sandwich from another newcomer to the food truck Montreal scene: La Mangeoire. Their menu has 4 sandwiches made on order. I ate Cocotte, which is a grilled chicken sandwich with tomato confit and a kale pesto. That was a hit with a glass of iced green tea with lemongrass.

Until July 28th, I plan to try more places for lunch. The souk at Juste pour Rire is located in front of the Complexe Desjardins on Sainte-Catherine Street ouest between Place Des Arts main entrance and Saint-Urbain Street.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Dream Closet for Men

custom closet for men

When I talk about my ultimate closet space, I usually share features that would be great for me. But what about the man in my life! He deserves a stunning space where he can neatly organize his clothes and fashion accessories.

custom closet for men
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

It is hard to beat the functional side of this closet designed for a male couple living in the iconic Habitat 67 here in Montreal.

white modern kitchen at habitat 67
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

I invite you to check the rest of their interior at Maison et Demeure (the French-speaking edition of House and Home) since their home is modernly stunning. Interior designer Maria Rosa Di Ioia of Idea Design rethought their blank canvas space. I like what she did with the space.

CAKES + desserts ENTERTAINING

Angry Birds Sweet Table

angry birds birthday boy sweet table

Angry Birds continue to be a popular theme with grade school kids. Elena and Sandy from Style Me Sweet styled a beautiful sweet table for a 6 years old birthday boy.

Kids were presented with an assortment of Angry Birds lollipop cookies, cupcakes and a stunning birthday cake. See more pictures at Amy Butler’s blog.

HOME + GARDEN HOME office

Amy Butler’s New Tech Skins

amy butler ipad skins

amy butler ipad skins
Amy Butler’s Apple iPad skin in Heirloom Blue Sky $29.99 USD at Skinit

Skins give characters to your mobile devices. I also think that it is a sure way to make sure that no one miss theirs for yours. Although I’m afraid that Amy Butler’s bohemian patterns might be too busy for the front of my device; they look stunning from the back. I bet that iPad had never look so stylish.

I need a case to protect my iPhone — I dropped my iPhone a couple days ago while crossing a street. But, by looking at the above picture, I am contemplating the idea to let go on my case and dress up my iPad with one of her fabulous skins.

amy butler iphone skins
Amy Butler’s iPhone 4 skins $14.99 at Skinit – shown here: Gypsy Cobalt Charcoal and Floral Couture

If you are interested, pop by Skinit to pick out a new favorite amongst her 25 patterns and take advantage of the  current 20% savings offer with the code STYLE.

LIVING TRAVEL

The Italian Train of Taste

Italian Train of Taste

Italian Train of Taste

If you happen to be near Lombardy region this summer, you should try to book yourself a ticket on board of  il Treno di Sapori — meaning “Train of Taste”. Passengers will be served local food and wines as they enjoy the scenery of the region. It is a nice way to discover local cuisine.

train local food

You can sit down in the dining room or sit at the bar. From what I could undertand from the Google translation, the Train of Taste travels from Iseo through the Franciacorta region along Lake Iseo and through Valle Camonica.

Train of Taste view

I love the view. And there are plenty more stunning landscape images at the il Treno di Sapori Web site.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Turn your Instagram Pictures into Prints with DeepSquare Prints

deepsquare prints of your instagram photos on a desk

deepsquare prints of your instagram photos on a desk
Photo: DeepSquare Prints $25 for 4 assorted prints of your Instagram photos

Today, I am happy to report about a cool product for all Instagram fans. Today is a great day for the two founders of Static Pixels, Massimo Farina and Lawrence Tenuta, since they launched their first product: DeepSquare Prints. They saw a market with Instagram prints. Like they say on their Web site, it’s hip to be square.

deepsquare instagram prints hung on a wall

What you get is a 5-inch square print of any of your Instagram pictures printed on recycled paper-based board. Each print has its own stand and wall mount. I imagine DeepSquare Prints to be used to make a love story wall at a wedding or to share memories at a milestone birthday. They are also an easy way to decorate your office with pictures that you speak to you.

deepsquare prints stand

You can order 4 five inch prints on rigid paper board for $25. Shipping is $5 across North America or $10 for international delivery. They are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Their InstaOrder program enables you to order from your iPhone 4 prints of the photo you have just taken. This eases the process of giving actual prints to your friends and family. Visit Static Pixels for more details.