While playing with my food is a hobby that lives happily in my past, the Food Face Plate by Fred is tempting me to reawaken those creative juices, or at least encourage them in my friends’ kids. And I’ve “wanted it now” for a long, long time. Overwhelming demand has made it sold out everywhere for months, but I’ve kept my ear to the ground and am thrilled to report that many retailers are receiving new shipments this week. Currently available at PopDeluxe for $16.99, the plate will reportedly be available for closer to $11 at Patina , Perpetual Kid, and Oliebollen in the next few days. Certain retailers, like Spoon Sisters, have already sold out this shipment, but are expecting more in mid-late January. More may also become available at Baron Bob, Kitchen Kapers, and shopRockCandy. Finding the Holy Grail might be easier, but I’ll never give up the seplace! — Sarah C.
I don’t have much space for a bar in my apartment, so I went with this tray setup. Then I saw this awesome hanging bar and began to dream of a bar makeover. Just today I spotted the Coco Mini Bar and I’m officially in full-on jealousy mode. Leonhard Pfeifer brings us great design (and an even better tagline—”a mini bar so delicious you’ll want to have it home for a drink”) with his Mini.BarBoudoir series. I’m particularly smitten with the Coco Mini Bar design which uses classic Chanel nail varnish as the hand-painted finishing touch. According to Design Milk, the colors Pfeifer uses are Chanel No. 159 Fire Red, the classic movie star shade, and No. 18 Rouge Noir (worn by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction). The bar is part of a collection of eight limited edition pieces. — Erica P.
Photo via Design Milk
When I grow up I want to be like Paola Navone. The renowned artist and designer exudes warmth and a love a life that is evident in all her work, whether it be Anthropologie’s vibrant color-pop bedding, overly-tufted, welcoming sofas or her new vibrant and playful pieces at Crate & Barrel. She’s also a not-to-be overlooked Italian who gained prominence in the male-dominated design space, and displays a short hairstyle and a prominent nose that I can’t help but identify with. If I can’t grow up to be like her, perhaps we could have dinner one day?
I’m not sure how or when that may happen, but in the meantime I am going to take some inspiration from Crate & Barrel and channel a little Paola for my gatherings this fall. She’s created three collections all centered around entertaining.
The Como collection features bold blue on white designs with organic swirls and patterns. It reminds me of dining al fresco in Sicily, with smells of almond pastries mixing with Mediterranean breezes. Splashes of red wake you up.
The Mallorca collection is more calming, with white on white ceramics that have delicate, feminine edges. Aluminum trays with gentle dimples appear ready to elevate any dish.
All three themes bring a worldly sophistication to the table, without being stuffy or too precious. As the holidays encroach it’s easy to get drawn towards Northernly designs, but a few Navone bits sprinkled about will make sure your dinners always have a sunny disposition. Here’s a little peak at the artistry behind the work.
As if her new designs weren’t enough to inspire some noteworthy dinners of our own, Crate & Barrel even offers up a few recipes from the master herself. This one below, pasta with zucchini, in an interesting take on one of my favorites. I would add a sprinkle of crushed pastachios before serving, to give it a final hint of richness.
Pasta with Zucchini by Paola Navone
What You Need:
2 lbs. baby zucchini; no more than 1¼’ in diameter
Extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup fresh mint (smallest leaves only), thyme, rosemary
Saffron threads, a pinch
Fresh cracked pepper
Ground red pepper
Coarse sea salt
1 lb. uncooked dried mezzi rigatoni – shorter, ridged rigatoni
1/4 cup coarse sea salt to season pasta cooking water
To pass at the table:ricotta di bufala *
** Buffalo milk ricotta is less sweet than cow’s milk ricotta.
How To Make:
1. Wash and drain the zucchini. Slice into ¼-inch-thick “coins” and set aside. If using larger zucchini, slice lengthwise, core out the seeds, then slice.
2. Place a large, nonstick sauté pan over low to medium-low heat. Glaze the pan with olive oil. Add crushed garlic, herbs and saffron to the pan to flavor the oil. (Reserve a small handful of the herbs for garnish.) Stir and cook until the garlic just starts to color and become fragrant. Do not let the garlic burn. Remove garlic.
3. Add the zucchini to the pan and season with ground pepper and sea salt. Sear the zucchini until slightly soft and the zucchini begins to brown and caramelize. Remove from heat.
4. Remove ½ of the zucchini mixture; place in a food processor and puree.
5. Add a small drizzle of olive oil to the sliced zucchini still in the pan; gently fold in pureed zucchini. Add more olive oil to taste, but sparingly. The consistency of the sauce should be creamy, not thick.
6. Fill a large pasta pot ¾ full with cold water and place over high heat. Add ¼ cup** of course sea salt to water and bring to a rolling boil. Add dried pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.
7. Drain pasta (reserving a cup of the pasta cooking water) and place in large serving bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
8. If needed, thin zucchini sauce with a bit of the pasta cooking water. Add zucchini sauce to pasta and toss gently. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately. Pass ricotta di bufala for guests to stir into their pasta, to taste.
Note: This post is sponsored by Crate & Barrel.
I love this set of “paper” origami boats from A+R. Made by Stockholm designers Form Us with Love, the pieces have a great sense of humor and would look lovely at the kids table during the holidays. It doesnâ€™t get more adorable than the buoy shakers! — Katie D.
We love this idea for a baby shower spotted at Offbeat Mama: a party where guests decorate onesies for the impending arrival — but the hitch is, it “doesn’t suck”! Author Joriel Foltz points out that even though not everyone is a gifted artist, “as a long-time crafter, I have faith that anyone can make something adorable with the right tools and support.” Visit Offbeat Mama for her guidelines, and view more fun photos here.
There are those of you who will think less of me for this confession, Iâ€™m sure. Those of you who are judgmental and naive to the appeal will roll your eyes and suck your teeth. Iâ€™m not afraid. Go ahead, look down your noses at me if you must, but I am obsessed with the Twilight series. I attended a Twilight viewing party with my fellow Twi-hards to prepare for todayâ€™s New Moon premiere (Squeal!) and I brought these delicious, cherry-filled cupcakes with me! The recipe is after the jump. (Just for the record, Iâ€™m Team Edward.) — Katie D. Click for vampire cupcakes! (more…)