Living in the land of Spring Break, as Gilding does, bars cum night clubs line the strip between massive beach side hotels. From a night club boasting to be the largest night club in the U.S. of A. and the other boasting a rock arena, bar hopping to the next locals hangout to another is but a crawl or truck bed away. So while bars are no new thing to this beach local, MiNiBAR is certainly a new kind of bar.
Never again wait for bar service as MiNiBAR is a self service bar. You check in with a concierge who’ll provide you with a key to one of 45 MiNiBAR fridges. Each MiNiBAR is stocked with premium quality beverages and snacks and contains all the classic beers, wines and spirits, and a few extra surprises. As for the alcohol induces munchies, snack from the assortment available in the MiNiBAR or order from they’re delivery menu of fresh sushi and seasonal dishes.
The first MiNiBAR is located in the heart of Amsterdam. [Via trendsnow]
Gilding wants some tea infused sensory overload.
Known for her custom-blended scents for London’s Miller Harris, perfumer Lyn Harris has turned her nose to creating delicious smelling and tasting teas with local tea specialist Timothy d’Offay for her recently installed tearooms in her Mayfair and Nottingham shops. So far she has used her sharp sense of smell to create a trio of haute herbal blends. Served in vintage Wedgwood china cups along with fresh lavender shortbread and orange blossom cake, the teas make for a subtle sensory experience.
Oh, by the way, the above image is from Lyn Harris’s Mayfair tearoom. Check out that gorgeous bench. Gilding has dreams of having one just like it in her apartment dining nook.
So while we in the U.S. are grassing up baskets for this weekends cushioning of chocolate Easter Bunnies, Australia is cuddling their Bilby and damning that furry fluffy eared bunny bandit that has already caused the extinction of the Lesser Bilby and threatens to do the same to the now less than 1000 Greater Bilbies left in the wild.
Hmmm…to Bilby or to Bunny? What is an American to do?…Wait, there’s only 2 days till Easter? Bunny it is then.
It’s rare that Gilding’s mother-in-law ever makes banh bao (or steamed meat buns) — usually we are graced with a basket of them after she has taken a trip to New Orleans or Atlanta or when one of the sisters comes home for a visit from one of these sisters. But the reality is that their preparation is usually more hassle and time is forgiving enough to allow for when you have a restaurant to run.
But this recipe seems just simple enough that Gilding may give it a try. And their fuzzy white bunny slippers inspiration makes them just too cute to resist not having for this Easter weekend celebrating. Of course, Gilding’s laziness is enough to balk most flights of cutesiness.
Behold the yumminess. You could buy them, but think of all the dastardly cuteness you could create by making your own. Twig & Thistle shares her peepilicious recipe for Gilded Lily corruption.
Ever looked at your juice box and thought “Gee, I wish my fruit juice box looked like it tastes.”? No? Then you have no imagination…or even as a child had better things to think on. But that’s why the world needs artists like Naoto Fukasawa.
Fukasawa’s imagined that if the surface of the package imitated the color and texture of the fruit skin, then the object would reproduce the feeling of real skin.
Guess its a play on that old psychological mind fuck of putting a glove on your hand to trick the mind into feeling like someone else is jacking you off, only less dirty and acceptable in public.
See more of Fukasawa’s juice box designs on the dieline.
So this beauty may become Gilding’s centerpiece this Easter. This lovely creation is crafted from California-grown oak moss, lavender, oak leaves, yellow feverfew and dried miniature roses. A Williams-Sonoma creation, the nest comes with “robin’s egss”–delicious chocolate truffles cloaked in while chocolate and finished with a speckled candy shell.
Found in Maine to Pennsylvania’s Amish country, to small pockets around the country from New England to Ohio, have enjoyed the delectable whoopie pie. Sometimes described as a cookie, though that isn’t quite right, either, the closets description may be a cake-like sandwich.
So it seems now whoopie pies are migrating across the country, appearing in specialty shops and grocery stores, finding their place right next to cupcakes.
Popular flavors are chocolate and pumpkin. Being noted as “pure edible nostalgia” by Williams-Sonoma, the snack’s popularity comes from is homespun era feeling, evoking comfort in a time of economic gloom.
The filling of the whoopie pie is generally one of two types: a thick, sweet frosting made from Crisco shortening combined with confectioner’s sugar, or a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff.
The cake itself is typically not especially sweet, and is often a bit on the dry side, lending all the sweetness to the gooey center.
And now for a Whoopie Pie recipe
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cinnamon, plus cinnamon sugar for sprinkling.
4 ounces butter/ cold and cubed
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 large egg
1/2 cup cream or half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 f.
Mix dry ingredients.
Add the butter and blend until mixture is crumbly.
Add blueberries and stir.
Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl and then incorporate into dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
Cut ball of dough into two pieces. Roll out one at a time, into a small circle. Cut into 6 triangles. Repeat with second ball.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Green Eggs and Ham
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted in microwave and liquids drained
1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream, eyeball it
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
8 slices deli ham or prosciutto di Parma
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter and sweat the shallots a few minutes. Add the spinach and stir in the cream, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little grated nutmeg. Cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened, 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
Fold each slice of ham or prosciutto in half and line the nonstick cups with 1 slice of meat each. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of the cooked spinach into each of the cups, then crack an egg into each, making sure it stays whole (hint – if you’re worried about breaking the egg yolk, crack the egg into a small bowl first, then pour it into the muffin cup). Season the tops of the eggs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake in the oven until set, about 15 minutes. Allow the baked eggs to cool in the muffin cups for a couple of minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve immediately.
The tastiest carbs — er, cards — you’ll never eat.
Art on the Menu artist Patianne Stevenson brings to us from her Cardboard Kitchen earth friendly, salivating inspiring, cardboard divinities. All items prepared include a list of ingredients so you can see where your food originated.
Stevenson chooses the cardboard for each piece by carefully studying its color, texture, and surface variations.
This particular cupcake is
inspired by that of a friends
soon to be wedding
cupcakes. It’s a soft
mound of white airy mousseline buttercream, piped on with a #809 tip for that cloud like spiral of frosting, topped off with stamped fondant flowers nestled on a bed of lightly toasted coconut…or so its edible version is. But this one will last forever, so take that edibility, take that !
You know those gag gifts that come in novelty stores, such as Spencer Gifts, and ubiquitously there will be one such bottle called “Happy Pills”. Always filled with some brightly colored — and rather horribly tasting — hardshell coated candy, Happy Pills can be found damn near everwhere — in other words, ubiquitously. (Teehee…Gilding loves that word.) Though their horrible tasting contents always make the pills just frickin nasty and, frankly, anything but happiness inducing. But what if it didn’t have to be that way. What if those little pills of promised happiness were actually a cure all of happiness…wait, me thinks that came out wrong. Oh well, you get the idea.
Marion + Merche, of the graphic design and architecture firm, Studio M, launched their first project: a candy store in Barcelona called Happy Pills. Posed with a difficult store location — hubbed direct of center of cathedral churches, several other stores, and no where near the open smiling mouths of caramel consuming children and their schools — Studio M had to come up with an extra clever marketing design to grab the attention, and money, from its demographic of Barcelona adults and tourists. Given that adults, even as piggish as they are, don’t eat candy in the same fervor as children, it was necessary to treat candy as something that appealed to the senses; “to eat something sweet entails a small ascent of the mood.” Thus candy for this store has become small mouthfuls of happiness — and so the store’s name was born, Happy Pills. Given a pharmecutical touch with its clever packaging of first aid kits, medicine bottles, and days of the week pill sorters, Happy Pills markets its candy as colorful drops of delicious aspirins and vitamins.
Cute and clever, the candies and their chic medicinal inspired packaging make them an any-time-of-the-year gift, but perhaps Gildling shall try creating her own packaged version this year for Valentines.
Link: Marion + Merche
Ah, a serene picturescape for those with food bowl aggression — or for those of us who dearly like playing with their food — or for the fat kids dreaming away in their room that one day some foodovative artist will come along and create photographic works of art made entirely of food…and for those of us who are all of the above!~
London-based photographer, Carl Warner, makes foodscapes: landscapes made with food. A hands-on artist, Warner also works with model makers and food stylists who help him create his foodie little scapes from the composition sketches which start out this photographic venture. The scenes are then photographed in layers from foreground to background, as the process is time consuming and food quickly wilts under the lights. The images can take up to two or three days to build and photograph coupled with a fe more days of retouching and fine-tuning to blend together all the elements photographed.
So who could possibly be the muses to this sort of odd vegetable staring and food playing process. Warner cites as his influences the photographer Ansel Adams and films such as The Wizard of Ozz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
“Sanctuary” by ph. Baldovino Barani; model: Brooke Bonelli
It is said that if you use a Yixing teapot for many years, you can brew tea just by pouring boiling water into the empty pot.
This is just one of the properties of these poetic little teapots. For hundreds of years, aficionados of the many varieties of tea found in China have extolled Yixing (pronounced yee-shing) teapots as superior to all other types for brewing it. The special zisha clay (containing iron, quartz, and mica and found only in Yixing) from which they are made absorbs the delicate flavors of the tea and the teapot becomes more seasoned with each use.
Two things that make Gilding a happy girl are her Cafe Du Monde coffee pressed in a French Drip over condensed milk and topped with a heaping pile of ice in the morning , and sweet tea. Want to get Gilding on your bad side — fuck with her sweet tea. Nothing pisses Gilding off more than going to a restaurant and being told that they don’t serve sweet tea, but that she can order unsweet and just add sugar. Hell hath no fury like a Gilding being told to add sugar to cold tea. That is just un-fucking-American, and wrong too boot.
However, Gilding does appreciate a good spot of hot tea with Baileys in it. Really great tea is like really great coffee. Its a marriage of flavors, of the region the bean or leaf are grown in, how its collected and processed, and how its brewed and served.
Mariage Frères has been in the tea business for generations. Beginning around 1660 when Nicolas Mariage made several voyages to Persia, the East Indies, and the Moghul Empire as part of a deputation dispatched by King Louis XIV and the French East India Company, Nicolas’s brother, Pierre, traveled to the island of Madagascar. A century later, Jean-Francois Mariage was still trading in tea, spices in Lille, where ie taught the business to his four sons — Louis, Aimé, and Charles jointly took over the firm from their father and expanded the company in Paris with Auguste Mariage & Compagnie. Aimé’s sons continued the tradition and founded Mariage Frères tea company and added to their business with trade in the most distant trading posts in China and Ceylon. After 300 years of business, Mariage Frères now sells more than 500 high quality teas grown in 35 different countries over the counter and by mail-order.
But on top of great tea, Mariage Frères perpetuates the fine art of serving tea — also an important aspect to the refinery in taste expected of fabulous tea — through the design and reproduction of exclusive teapots and tea services. That’s where this beauty (pictured) comes in — the Happy Tzar glass samovar.
The fluted glass samovar is crowned by the Happy Tzar teapot of Russian inspiration. This unique glass feature incarnates the age-old skill of France’s master glassmakers. Together, the pieces rediscover the charm of imperial gathering in Muscovite palaces, of belles of the ball twirling on twinkle-lit ballroom floors to the music of violins.
Link: Mariage Frères
1 bottle white zinfandel wine
1 bottle raspberry-ginger ale (such as Reeds)
3/4 cup pomegranate schnapps
1 pint raspberries
Stir together wine, ginger ale, schnapps, ice and raspberries, in a large pitcher, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings.
Recipe by Emiline
Link: Visions of Sugar Plum