Archive for January, 2007
Foodie Michael Chiarello takes the best that wine country has to offer and infuses it with innovative global delectables. Take the almond praline spread, for instance. The smooth concoction, which hails from Andalusia, Spain, is more than enough to make a simple piece of toast simply mouth-watering. Peanut butter, move over! Available from Napa Style.
Germany-based Rosenthal Designs deal in elegant yet subtly innovative domestic designs. No razzle-dazzle here—just simple, gorgeous items that’ll get you complimentary remarks from houseguests without raising eyebrows too much. Our favorite morning juice fix has found its home in Rosenthal’s 10-inch juice jug, which sports a sleek concave design—making it easy to grasp and much fun to pour.
We all know that when it comes to cakes, beauty runs dish-deep. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, no? Well, obviously La Patisserie’s cakes taste just as amazing as they look or we wouldn’t bother with this blog. They’re produced from an assortment of Canadian and European exports: Belgian and French chocolates, fresh cream, sweet butter, fresh seasonal fruits, and fruit purees (sans preservatives or fillers).
If you’re tired of boring wine soirees, Carl Mertens’ bar briefcase will make you the life of any party you happen to grace your presence with. By day, it’s the most functional briefcase you can think of—by night (or on lazy afternoons), it’s a gala in a box. It comes with a glossy 14-piece stainless steel bar set, which includes everything from a strainer to a jigger to a bottle opener to liquid pourers. If you don’t know the slightest thing about bartending, don’t worry—the learning part is half the fun.
There’s nothing wrong with casual weekend gnoshing—Charles and Marie both love the occasional nacho fix at their favorite Baja restaurant whilst gazing out at the placid Pacific on sunny days that call for margaritas and fiestas. If the salsa spirit hits you, Khodi Feiz’s dainty salsa set, which includes a gleaming stainless tray and frosted dip bowl (in ice or orange), adds a dash of glamour to otherwise basic indulgences.
Boule’s 12-piece gift box is the perfect belated present for friends with a sweet tooth who are sworn to their dieting resolutions. Simple, light, but oh so satisfying, these pate de fruit are replete with delicacies like saffron, Griottine cherry, and Meyer lemon. Other surprising ingredients make the set way better than your basic box of gourmet chocolates.
Michael Aram’s gorgeous organic ceramic and steel collection of dishware brings everything back to basics. Soup bowls, dinner plates, and dessert plates molded in the shape of wavy lotus fronds turn any old sandwich or potato leek soup into a calming, artful arrangement.
We love Urbana’s uber-modern Plywood and fabric trays because they remind us of flying carpets, but they’re also comfy to grasp, given the slightly-turned up ends, which function as handles. Bold colors like yellow, orange, blue, and green take us back to the salad days of a simple dorm breakfast in bed, but the design is anything but callow.
Move over, Earl Grey. Zhena’s Gypsy Tea offers a medley of flavorful organic blends of fruit extracts, spices, flowers, and global seasonings—in heady brews that amount to more than your regular ol’ cuppa. It’s no wonder the company’s tagline is “a tea for all your senses.” Case in point: their Fireside Chai is a caffeine-free, velvety elixir teeming with delectable stuff like ginger, cinnamon chips, clove buds, cardamom, and California orange peel—making for a tasting experience to coddle all your senses.
It doesn’t get much better than this: homemade Pineapple Upside-down Cake. The memory of this one will stay fresh on your memory for months to come, and possibly conjure up thoughts of your summer trip to the Hawaiian Islands. Suffice it to say, it’s wise to order in bulk. Each one serves up to 14 people.