“Fashion is more usually a gentle progression of revisited ideas” –British fashion designer Bruce Oldfield

Innovative Design. Iconic Styling. Inspired Dishes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

POUNCE ON THIS...Part 1 of Leopard Series

Leopard print has always been synonymous with edgy fashion, whether gracing an antique Bergère or draped as a stole.  Its chic quality creates a tension unparallel to any other fabric design.  It remains forever a classic, yet always feels fresh and contemporary.  Sophisticated but saucy, this irresistible print is perpetually desirable and au currant.  Fashion houses including Valentino, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli and most famously Dolce and Gabbana, have courted the print and continue to reinvent its presentation, keeping it a runway constant.   Interior designers have equally been beguiled and fabrics emulating the spotted print abound, but none quite as famously as the Brunschwig et Fils silk velvet leopard print fabric.  Introduced in 1956, it has been selling consistently for over 50 years.   Produced by hand on a loom in France at the rate of only 11” a day, the looped threads are hand cut with a special tool to produce  the unmistakable luxurious pile.  The subtle nuisances of color and the sheen of the silk give the velvet the look  and feel of an actual pelt.  At nearly $6000 a yard retail cost, it’s no wonder this legendary fabric has landed in the homes of the world’s rich and famous, including Givenchy’s Grand Salon in Paris, Oscar de la Renta’s New York City apartment and Valentino’s London flat.   Showcased on a settee in the most recent issue of
Veranda magazine, we pounced on the chance to take a look at this coveted print and sink our claws into it.  Seeing it in the context of this unique pastel color palette shows how versatile and grounding a leopard print can be in a setting, adding depth and sumptuousness.

[1] MADE GOODS thano mirror
[2] BRUNSCHWIG & FILS fabric on sofa in Veranda Magazine
[4] DOLCE AND GABBANA miss sicily handbag
[5] HOUSE OF L custom chair (contact House of L)
[7] DONGHIA luna chandelier
[8] VIETRI lastra collection spring 2012 (contact House of L)
[9] SURYA decadent rug (available at Marshall Carpet)
[10] GUERLAIN eyeshadow

        Loom in France                                     Velvet Swatch at the Ohio Design Center

We Can Dish It, If You Can Take It

Mushroom Risotto

Home cooks often hesitate to tackle a dish like risotto because the results can often be disappointing. A chef in Italy once told me that good risotto always has an “onda” or wave, which was his way of describing what the end result should be: creamy with enough liquid to give movement and body to the rice. The best results come from frequent stirring, as it helps break down the starch in the grain. Adding liquid gradually ensures a perfect al dente bite.  The rice has a tendency to absorb liquid at a rapid pace so it’s easy to overcook it, resulting in a clumpy mess.  Keep some teaspoons next to the cook top to taste for doneness as well. I prefer to use nano valone or carnaroli imported Italian rice over arborio which can be found in Italian import stores such as Gallucci’s in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side  
2 cups nano valone or carnaroli rice
2 tsp unsalted butter
4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped finely
3-4 cloves of garlic, left whole
2 cups good white wine Pinot Grigio (open to drink and throw some in!)
4 cups chicken stock (added gradually)
¾ lb mixed mushrooms such as Bella or Cremini
1 pack dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1 cup boiling water (approximately 1/2 an hour) to extract liquid
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Coarse kosher salt
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Add olive oil and butter to pan and melt at medium high heat, reserving one tsp of olive oil for mushrooms. Sautee onions in a deeper pan (preferably with sides that slope-this helps the liquid reduce quicker).  Toss in the garlic cloves with onions (for a more pungent garlic taste, crush garlic but use caution as it scorches easily).  Add rice and sautee with onions for about 2 minutes to coat the rice.  Start by adding wine first and then stock, one cup at a time and stir frequently.  Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add mushrooms and cook until golden brown at high heat.  The rice will take approximately 20 minutes to cook from start to finish.  Once the grain has only a slight “bite” to it, finish by adding the ½ c mushroom liquid from dried porcinis,1 TBSP of heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano.  Stir ingredients thoroughly together and serve immediately.


Tiramisu is the Italian’s version of the classic English trifle dish.  Its literal interpretation means “pick me up” which probably has some reference to all that strong espresso in the dessert!  It can be made in a rectangular 9 x 12” baking pan or for a prettier presentation, use a footed glass bow.  It is a snap to pull together and usually a big hit.

Serves 8-10 
4 packs of ladyfinger cookies  
Cook’s Note:  these are typically available in a crisp variety, but they are also available soft as well, which resemble a very thin sponge cake.  If using the crisper variety dip cookies quickly on both side in espresso; if using the thinner, layer in dessert and brush espresso only on top, otherwise they will disintegrate in the coffee)
6 yolks
½ c sugar
½ c freshly brewed espresso coffee, chilled
2 TBSP coffee flavored liquor such as Kahlua
1 lb mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese, available at most grocery stores)
½ pint heavy whipping cream
8 oz block of milk chocolate, preferably Callebaut (to create shavings for top)

Brew espresso coffee and put in a shallow glass pan with liquor.  Separate eggs and place in a small heatproof bowl.  Cream egg yolks, adding sugar gradually, so that yolks are not scorched.  The mixture should become thick and pale yellow, forming ribbons when the mixer is pulled out.  Set over a pot of simmering water. Add a dash of liquor and continue to mix until double in volume, creating a zabaglione.  Next, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form, adding vanilla and a TBSP of sugar just as the whisk starts to form “tracks” in the cream.  Using a large spatula, fold the whipped cream into the zabaglione mixture.  Begin to quickly dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and layer in container of choice so that they are close together. 
Spoon enough of the zabaglione mixture to completely cover the ladyfinger cookies and add another layer.  Continue to do this, ending with a layer of the zabaglione.  Using a vegetable peeler, create “curls” with the chocolate to sprinkle on the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on
this blog loading? I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

my web site move next
My page: view more

Anonymous said...

What's up to every body, it's my first go to see of this webpage;
this web site includes amazing and truly fine stuff in favor of readers.

Also visit my page view

Anonymous said...

Truly no matter if someone doesn't be aware of then its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it occurs.

my homepage: screen next
my website - view more about

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging
for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!

Have a look at my weblog :: next

Anonymous said...

Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new
to me. Anyways, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!

Feel free to surf to my homepage: move next

Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring
on other sites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and
would really like to have you share some stories/information.
I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested,
feel free to shoot me an email.

Feel free to visit my blog post ... next

Anonymous said...

I always used to read piece of writing in news papers
but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am
using net for articles, thanks to web.

Feel free to surf to my blog post - move next

Anonymous said...

Thanks very interesting blog!

Also visit my blog - view more about

Anonymous said...

I have read so many articles about the blogger lovers however this article is in
fact a fastidious piece of writing, keep it up.

Also visit my web site :: spanner

Anonymous said...

That is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Short but very accurate information… Thanks
for sharing this one. A must read post!

Here is my webpage ... bonfire

Anonymous said...

It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now i'll
settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to new updates and will talk about
this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

My web site; locazione

Anonymous said...

Nice respond in return of this matter with solid arguments and telling
the whole thing about that.

Here is my web site lonouhard

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this website is actually fastidious and the visitors are in fact sharing pleasant thoughts.

Here is my web page - balimia

Anonymous said...

Thanks for finally writing about > Untitled < Loved it!

Also visit my website ... jamaca

Anonymous said...

Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to see your post.
Thanks so much and I'm looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

Take a look at my blog; kenrick