I am so excited because, at last, Anthropologie first store in Montreal will open this Friday. This means that I will not alway leave the store empty-handed because I don’t want to carry big bags to the plane. My husband will appreciate too since we won’t need to visit the store every time we go to the States. By the way, I booked our flight to New York City today. We will go for a long weekend this November. On my agenda is to bring our son to the toys exhibit at MoMA.
To celebrate Anthropologie store opening, I compiled a list of baking things that I want. The first thing that caught my eye are the Spades measuring cups. They are simply too cute! The same is true for the Resaro bakeware series and the Jacquard Tea Towel Set. I have less than 48 hours left to make room in my kitchen cabinets.
I’m curious to know “What is your favorite item this fall at Anthropologie?”
FYI, Anthropologie will be located at 2130 rue de la Montagne in Montreal.
We all have a go-to meal for when we are too busy, we don’t feel like cooking or to make us feel good. For me, it’s soup. I could eat it every day. I appreciate its versatility. On a 3-week trip to Portugal, I ordered a vegetable soup almost every day and none were similar. Plus, a soup can be as sophisticated or rustic as you want. You will not be proud to serve this roasted tomato, squash and coconut milk bisque to their guests.
A soup is an affordable and easy way to eat tasty, healthy food. I feel even better knowing that it helps me manage my vegetable drawer. I build my recipe from what I already have. If you are busy (we all are), keeping a supply of frozen, portion-sized homemade soups will simplify your life. I appreciate even more my supply of soups now that I have a toddler. When he is too hungry and that supper is not ready, I serve him a bowl of soup while I continue cooking. His delight comes quickly. I keep my microwave in my kitchen just for these moments.
Early fall, with the wide choice of fresh vegetables, is the ideal time to make soup at home. Take advantage of it. If you do not know where to start, you will find recipes for broths and tasty soups in Vegetable Soups by Deborah Madison (I own it). Often, I simply start with the traditional onions, French shallots, celery, carrots base and build flavours from that. Since I work from home, a break provides me enough time for the prep work. I let the soup simmer as I continue to work. At other times, I start a big pot of soup while I cook dinner.
I’m telling you
One way to simplify your life is to keep a reserve of good homemade soup in my freezer.
If you are looking for a small and unique hostess gift, have a look at Karoto. When Israeli-based designer Avichai Tadmor imagined Karoto for Monkey Business he started by enlarging the basic pencil sharpener. He then added a vegetable peeler to one end. The end result is a 3-in-1 kitchen gadget that lets you peel, sharp and create curly ribbons from vegetables.
Available in yellow or black, Karoto makes it easy to style carrots, zucchinis, cucumbers for a vegetable platter or a salad. And the best things is that everyone will be able to give you a hand with your food preparation.
You can watch this short video to see Karoto in action. At $15 a piece, you may want to stock a few for your small Christmas gifts.
Lately, I have been tired of my classic white ramekins. They work well but the style feels a little bit dated. Therefore, I start a search for more modern options. So far, I found four colourful ramekins that caught my attention. My short list reads like this:
No. 1 – My favorite is a part of the House by John Lewis collection. I love the steel color of this uncluttered ceramic ramekin. Safe up to 200°C (392°F) £3 each
No. 2 – The Rachael Ray Round Ramekins are top rated at Cooking.com. I like that they are oven safe to 500°F. They are available in many colours: orange, indigo blue, green, yellow, chocolate brown. $24.95 USD /$25.30 CAD for 4 at Cooking.com
No. 3 – Another popular model are the Bakeware Ramekins by Chantal. It looks great in lime. It also comes in apple red, indigo blue, vanilla (beige) and plain white. $19.95 USD / $20.15 CAD for 4 at Cooking.com
No. 4 – My last choice might not be as modern but it earns its place for convenience. Like the ramekins by Rachel Ray, the two-tone stoneware ramekins by Trudeau are oven safe to 500°F. $4.95 CAD at Linen Chest
I am still undecided. Therefore, I welcome your input.
The Shops at Target is an innovative collaboration project with small boutiques that Target launched in May 2012. The program enables small business owners to sell a collection of products created for Target but at the image of their brand stand. That provides great exposure for the selected shop owners. For the fall 2012 edition, the four small businesses are Kirna Zabete, The Curiosity Shoppe, Odin New York and Patch NYC.
sourcing: Ceramic nesting measuring cups $15 for 4, Silicone baking utensils $9, Milk bottle $15 at Target
I adore The Curiosity Shoppe at Target collection. The dinnerware collection from this shop located in San Francisco’s Mission District is designed around an Americana road-trip. I imagine using them as a basis of an end of summer fun party or a kids birthday theme.
US Fans of in Food Network will be glad to know about this new free iPhone and iPad app. There are roughly 3,000 U.S. restaurants, food trucks and hot spots that you can search by chef, TV show, city, type of food from Food Network On The Road app.
The app can help you decide where to eat next in your home town or to plan a road trip. As you would expect from that type of app, there is a badge system, a la Foursquare.
At first glimpse, Food Network have decided to tap into their huge content database to bring added value to its audience. You can download the app at the Apple store.
Have you tried Food Network On The Road, yet? Will you download the app? Does it appeal to you?
I was overdue for an apron showcase. I usually opt for a modern design when I buy an apron that I will wear everyday. I own several since I like to vary my look. Maison Simons (in Montreal and Quebec City) carries some kitchen linens by the Australian brand Ladelle but I did not see these models. The Mix, Cook and Serve is my favorite due to the darker color and large pocket. Simons still sells the Geisha apron by Ladelle that I bought several months ago.
When I host a party, I want to look fabulous in the kitchen. I keep a selection of feminine, vintage style aprons for when I entertain. For those aprons, Anthropologie is my place to shop. Anthropologie always carries a vast selection of fabulous aprons. These three are on my short list to be added to my collection.
Add style to your closing ceremony get together by serving a bronze, silver and gold metal cocktails. Or be the judge and pick one as your signature drink.
The recipes are from Bombay ambassador, the master mixologist Raj Nagra who made the cocktails for me at the Bombay Sapphire event in Montreal two weeks ago. I already shared the recipe for the Bronze medal cocktail. Now, it is time to share the silver and the gold medal cocktail recipes.
Silver medal: Watermelon and Mint Collins
2 parts (60 ml) Bombay Sapphire
4 Chunks of ripe watermelon chunks
8 mint leaves
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
2 parts (60 ml) Processo
Glass: Wine glass
Method: Muddle, mint and sugar in your shaker. Add other ingredients and shake with ice. Pour in wine glass and top with the Processo. Garnish: Long mint tip
Gold medal: Citrus Splash
1 heaped tsp Citrus marmalade
1 part Spiced syrup
1 part Fresh lemon juice
2 parts Bombay Sapphire
1 Egg white
Glass: Cocktail coup
Method: Shake all ingredients (except nutmeg). Shake again with ice. Strain into cocktail couple. Garnish: Fresh nutmeg and grapefruit wheel
All three drinks were delicious. If I have to pick a favorite it would be the Watermelon and Mint Collins. To my surprise, I was delighted when I took a sip by the Citrus Splash; I was unsure that I would like it when I saw some of the ingredients. But I did!!! The ingredients remind me of a late late brunch.
Are you planning something special for the Olympics closing ceremony?
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.
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
4 basil leaves
1 part (30 ml) Fresh lemon juice or the Juice of one lemon
1 part (30 ml) Simple syrup
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.