Browsing Tag



Grilling Trends: Fruit and Dessert Recipes

grilled watermelon au poivre

grilled watermelon au poivre

Have you ever thought about grilling watermelon on your BBQ? I didn’t until I saw this picture of watermelon au poivre. It looks delicious.

banana s'mores

I noticed when I flipped the pages of the latest BBQ cookbook from Weber that they want us to cook almost everything on the grill, including desserts. You can find on Weber’s Website recipes for Stuffed Brioche French Toast, Grilled Banana S’mores and Apple Cake with Cinnamon Sugar.

+ Watermelon au poivre recipe – photo: Johnny Miller for The Wall Street Journal
+ For Americans: Weber’s Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance $14.67 USD [affiliate link]
+ For Canadians: Weber’s Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance $17.24 CAD [affiliate link]


2011 Food Trend: Honey

honey spoons
honey jars

Pie may be getting all the buzz, but there’s something even sweeter on food trend lists this year: honey.

Perhaps a reflection of the local food movement, beekeeping is making its mark in urban backyards. Food and Wine magazine reports the Carmel Valley Ranch in California allows guests to check on hives located all over the property, while the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto added a hive high above the city to help pollinate its rooftop garden and keep a steady stock of the hotel’s signature honey ready for chefs to use in sauces and dressings.

honey spoons

If you don’t plan to make bees a part of your backyard oasis, look for local honey in a variety of flavours at better food stores and farmer’s market. Try swapping sugar for some of honey’s natural sweetness in your everyday meals.

For hundreds of recipe ideas, check out the U.S. National Honey Board.

+ Homemade Honey article from Food and Wine
+ Urban Beekeeping from House and Home
+ U.S. National Honey Board


Design Trend: Laser-Cut Accessories

laser cut design decor

lonny magazine laser cut

I couldn’t get enough of this spread in the January/February 2011 issue of digital lifestyle and decor mag Lonny, which highlights lace-inspired laser-cut accessories as a spring trend.

But Grandma’s doilies need not apply: this design trend is delicate without being dainty thanks to unexpected materials like acrylic, leather and felt.

Inspired by the trend, we rounded-up a few items that made the cut.

laser cut design decor

laser cut ledge shelf

laser cut curtains

+ Check out the January/February 2011 issue of Lonny
+ Laser Cut Aluminum Pendant Light from Zero
+ Bloom Laser Cut Table Runner from Selina Rose
+ Red Felt Doily from Eden & Eden, $38
+ Snowflakes Cake Wrap from Paper Orchid Stationery
+ Type Coasters from Alan Chao (via Ponoko)
+ Black Nesting Tables from the Grand Soir Collection, Acrila Mobilier Design
+ Laser Cut Ledges from Brocade Home, $99
+ “Bon Genie” Laser Cut Curtains from Élitis


2011 Food Trend: Pie

Low-carb impossible breakfast pie by sheknows

Low-carb impossible breakfast pie by sheknows

I love cupcakes as much as the next girl, but I’m not alone in thinking they reached their (sweet, fluffy) peak last year. Pie sliced through its sweet competition to top countless lists of predicted food trends for 2011, including Serious Eats, Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine, and England’s The Independent.

No surprise there: its versatility straddles the sweet and savoury divide. There’s a pie style for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, plus it can be dished out in miniature form, a true qualifier of “it food” status.

Best of all, homemade pie almost always takes the cake compared to store-bought or restaurant-created versions, which is why I couldn’t resist rounding up a few must-try recipes.

Pie for Breakfast

A slice of leftover fruit-filled pie makes a surprisingly satisfying breakfast indulgence, but for a more traditional option pair eggs with other breakfast staples like bacon or sausage. Pair them with fruit or a smoothie for a balanced meal.

+ Low-Carb Impossible Breakfast Pie from She Knows
+ Mini Smoked-Salmon Quiches from Eat My Shots
+ Egg Pie from Kayotic Kitchen

Pie for Lunch

Pie is open for interpretation, but typically always includes an inventive filling in a flaky crust. Try these with a side salad or soup for a light lunch.

Pie recipes for lunch

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Quiche from Closet Cooking
+ Tortilla and Black Bean Pie from Martha Stewart

Pie for Dinner

Pie for dinner will need to be include a substantial filling, incorporating meat, vegetables. Be sure to add a side or two to round-out your meal.

pie recipes for dinner

+ Classic Tourtière (Québec Pork Pie) from Simple Bites
+ Butternut Squash Quiche with Kale and Sausage from My Kitchen Addiction
+ Chicken Parmesan Pot Pie with Mushrooms from Modern Comfort Food

Pie for Dessert

The options for dessert pie are truly endless as almost anything tastes wonderful inside a slight salty pastry base. I looked for interesting twists on three classic pies: apple, lemon meringue and pumpkin.

dessert pie recipes

+ Mini Lemon Meringue Pies from Flaming Pot
+ Apple Caramel Cheesecake Pie from The Fig Tree
+ Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crunch and Cranberries from The Meaning of Pie


2011 Pantone Color of the Year: Honeysuckle

Pantone 2011 Color of the year Mood Board

Pantone 2011 Color of the year Mood Board

Each December, designers from all aspects of the industry await Pantone’s color of the year announcement. As the global color authority and provider of color standards for all areas of the design industry, Pantone’s selection influences product development and design decisions in fashion, home and industrial design.

For 2011, the color of the year is honeysuckle, a warm pink that straddles the line between coral and poppy red. Since pink is one of those shades that you either love or loathe, it’s no surprise that honeysuckle was met with mixed emotions from the design community.

pink accents in a kitchen

When it comes to pink and decor, it can be hard to think beyond nurseries and little girl’s rooms. But honeysuckle is far from a lifeless pastel, adding a contemporary burst of color and a much-needed hit of summer during dreary winter months.

West Chin Room

Just check out this amazing yet otherwise neutral space by New York architect and interior design firm West Chin spotted on Desire to Inspire. Gorgeous as the space may be, my eye was immediately drawn to the simple vase of pink peonies. The tone of the flowers adds life and vibrancy to the room – proof that you don’t need to make a major investment in this trend to update and add impact to your decor.

If you’ve been waiting for the day you can add a major pop of pink to your home, this is the year to do it. You’ll have no problem finding wallpaper, furniture and fabric in this mood-boosting hue. For a less committed approach, consider inexpensive room accessories such as a framed print, cushion cover or area rug. After all, only Pantone knows just what color 2012 will be.

Will you add pink to your decor this year?

+ Learn more about Pantone 2011 Color of the Year
Custom birth announcement by Apple Blossom Print, $28 USD
Malama black/grey/pink wallpaper, Wallpaper from the 70s
Louis Poulsen Pink Collage Pendant Lamp by Louise Campbell, $1,455.40 USD
Nisse folding chair, $18.99 CAD at Ikea
Schumacher Zenyatta Mondatta lumbar pillow in Berry, Woody Liana, $75 USD
Paris Tea Towel £8.50 at Lovelylovely
Pink accent kitchen photo: Freshome
+ Living room designed by West Chin on Desire to Inspire


Revisiting Swimming Pool Trends on HGTV

revisiting swimming pool trends

revisiting swimming pool trends

For my monthly column on Style Sheet by HGTV Canada, I took a look at stunning, modern style swimming pools designed by architects. I would in heaven to get a pool like that in my backyard. Maybe one day, when we move to sunny California.

I also discussed the latest trends in pool equipments. There are a lot more options than in the past. It’s best to get informed before selecting which system would be best for you. I invite you to check my post on Style Sheet.


Imperfection is Hot Again

jesper larsson

jesper larsson

Jesper Larsson said on Moco Loco that 2009 was the year people started to appreciate imperfection again. I think that it started somewhere in 2007-2008 but that the momentum happened in 2009. I based that on the modern rustic style that we see since 2007 or the rebirth of vintage accessories like you get at Three Potato Four. The important thing is that we agree on the principle.

From my viewpoint, the Appreciation for Imperfection movement was triggered by many elements: the 3R of environment (reduce, reuse and recycle), the rise of handmade products that emerged due to a new breed of talented artists (and etsy), and Web 2.0. People reinvented the production standards when they published on You Tube, their blogs and other user generated content sites.

+ via Moco Loco


Reviewing the Top 2010 Food Trends According to Chick Advisor

top food trends for 2010 according to chick advisor

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Kate Comeau revealed her 5 food trends for 2010 on Chick Advisor. I wish that she is right about the demise of soda, reduced sodium in packaged food and restaurant food (I already do not put a lot of salt on my home cooking) and more sustainable food harvesting not just with fish but for everything that we put on our plate. Go on Chick Advisor to read her 5 trends.

Our busy lifestyle often means that we depend more and more on outside sources for cooking when we entertain and when we work late. The biggest food trend that I see right now is help in preparing our home cooked meal. I noticed a sign at the fresh fish counter when I went to Pusateri’s last month. The sign said that they can make the fish marinade the way we like it while we continue shopping. Therefore, once you arrived home, you simply have to grill your fish. This beats ordering take-out.

+ photo: Chick Advisor


Christmas Decor Trends from Christmasworld 2009

airy decor theme for christmas :: christmasworld 2009-2010

Every year, Christmasworld dedicated a section of their fair to 4 trends that represent customers’ desires according to style expert. The general theme for Christmas 2009-2010 is “Express your dreams”. It is declined in 4 decorating trends: Airy, Sweet, Comfort and Obsession. Each trend also represents a season. So feel free to be inspired by the Comfort decor theme to decorate at Thanksgiving.

Airy = Spring

airy decor trend :: christmas world 2009-2010

Airy is characterized by lightness and transparency. It feels romantic in a modern way. Soft pastel colours, blurred motifs and fluid structures lure the observer into a fairylike fantasy world. Plenty of glass vases, baubles and crystal are a must.

The colour parameters are created by chalky pastels ranging from cream to pink and pale grey, all combined with lots of white. Transparent, translucent materials are as light as the colors.

Sweet = Summer

sweet girlie christmas theme :: christmasworld 2009-2010

Sweet is the most feminine decor. It is unusual to see pink floral patterns at Christmas. Do not be afraid to use a multicolor palette. This decor feels fresh and girly with a hint of kitsch. The milky palette extends from sand, aqua and turquoise to violet, lime and slate grey. Materials include plastic, varnish and porcelain, tulle and satin ribbons. Surface are over-sugared, candied and glazed.

For me, this decor screams more bridal showers and tea parties than Christmas. For that reason, I am not sure about it as a good Christmas theme. On the other end, you will probably reuse most of decorative elements the rest of the year.

Comfort = Autumn

comfort decor theme :: christmasworld 2009-2010

Comfort is an evolution of the birch bark, the deer and the natural theme that was popular on the last two years. Comfort plays with contrasts in textures, materials and styles. Make sure to include pieces made with natural materials. Feel free to oppose modern style objects with driftwood. A must are the touches of red or orange to enliven the decor.

Comfort is the only trend that is sure to appeal to both genders. I guess that it will be theme used by Boyd Ferguson (re: modern rustic kitchen).

Obsession = Winter

elegant Obsession decor trend :: christmasworld 2009-2010

This is by far the most glamorous decor for Christmas. I see Obsession as the next wave of the Hollywood Glamour theme. You mix metallic colors. Quartz pink and mauve lighten up mahogany, aubergine, violet and gold. I am impress with the lilac against the silver and gold. It might be something I try this year. You will need to look for curved lines, ornate objects, luxurious materials and fabrics like velvet and silk to reproduce the Obsession look.

Nov 4th, 2010 Update: Do not miss my White Wonderland Theme coverage. where I talked about the many declinations of that Christmas theme.

+ via Christmasworld


Restaurants are Embracing Twitter to Reach their Customers

Boston restaurants on twitter

I told you on my other blog that Twitter can be an efficient marketing vehicle for businesses. One type of business that benefits well from the free marketing platform that Twitter provides are local restaurants.

What I like is that I decide which local stores and restaurants I want to follow on Twitter. This way, I can learn in advance what is on today’s menu and when they host special events.

Cheap and On the Spot Survey

The benefits for small businesses do not stop there. Twitter is great to survey the opinions of customers. You can directly ask questions. Or you can set up a Twitter poll in less than a minute. I recommend twtpoll.

Myers + Chang‘s chef and co-owner Joanne Chang used this method to validate a request from a customer. She tweeted: “Should cilantro be listed on menu item when it’s an ingredient?” Four hours later, she received enough answers to be convinced that plenty of customers would like to know which dish has cilantro in it. She went further and decided to give the option to have the dishes without cilantro.

Twitter allows businesses to quickly find information, features and services valued by their customers and to react accordingly. In a competitive market, it is an opportunity that small businesses cannot afford to miss.It costs almost nothing to tweet a few times a day. You can tweet with any smart phone. It does not require a computer or any technical knowledge. Your account can be up and running in less than a minute. Unlike a blog, it could take only a few minutes a day to maintain.

I now follow a few Boston restaurants and restaurant reviews accounts on Twitter. I will be in the know when I will go there next August. You could also explore the Alfresco dining options in Boston for some clues on where to eat.

+ Restaurants using Twitter for cheap, effective marketing by Devra J. First for The Boston Globe
+ Pictures: L’espalier on Twitter and Myers + Chang on Twitter


Bright Colors in the Kitchen at the Home and Housewares Show

bright colors for housewares and cooking gadgets

Yesterday I browsed the photo coverage on Core77 of the 2009 International Home and Housewares Show that happened March 22 to March 24 at the McCormick Center in Chicago, IL.

One common element is that the new housewares products are available in a big spectrum of happy colors. I like that! Although there are many European brands like Bodum and Brabatia, Canadian and American companies are embracing the color movement. I think of brands like Kitchenaid and Trudeau that have been introducing colors for several years now.

I will review my favorite products in details in the coming weeks but I wish to give you a head start.

+ Images by Caroline Linder & Lisa Smith for Core77