Archive | September, 2010

Feel Good Food: Julian

30 Sep

While we are on the subject this week of comfort food, I’d like to show you this great brand identity for Julian, a neighborhood restaurant in Brookside by Jordan Gray Creative. The design elements are based on Julia Child’s well-stocked kitchen, who is one of the main cooking influences of their award winning chef, Celina Tio, along with her grandfather Julian.

By the way, the food is delicious too! Have you been there?

{images courtesy of Jordan Gray Creative via Twig and Thistle}


Local Flavor: Dean & Deluca’s French Onion Soup

29 Sep

The overnight temp here in Kansas City will dip down to a very autumn-like 39 degrees this week and do you know what that means?  It’s officially soup season.  That, combined with the fact that the Green Bay Packers played Monday night – which always makes me think of cheese, of course – has me craving french onion soup.  And the best french onion soup I’ve had in this city is at none other than local favorite Dean & Deluca.   It is, as they say, out of this world.  If you can’t make it down to 119th and Roe, or if you possess an adventurous spirit and want to recreate the onion-y goodness in your own kitchen here is their recipe.

It’s soup season folks!  Amusez-vous!


1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
2 pounds yellow onions, cut into slivers (about 6 cups)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 heaping tablespoon flour
3 1/2 cups beef stock, boiling
2 cups water
1/4 cup cognac
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 slices stale French bread (each about 3/4 inch thick)
1 1/2 pounds Gruyère or Emmenthaler (Swiss cheese), coarsely grated


1. Melt butter over moderate heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and sugar, stir well, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until onions are wilted and light golden. Uncover and continue to cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until onions are brown and well caramelized. (Watch carefully, so the onions don’t burn.)

2. Add flour to pan, stir well to incorporate flour into the onion mixture, and slowly stir in boiling stock, water, 3 tablespoons of cognac, salt, and pepper. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, and simmer gently, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add the remaining tablespoon of cognac.

3. While it is simmering, in a preheated 400 degree oven, toast the bread slices for 10 minutes, turning them once after 5 minutes (the croutons should be well-toasted on each side).

4. Divide soup among 4 oven-proof bowls, each with a capacity of approximately 1 1/2  cups. Arrange the croutons on top (try to make an even layer of croutons that tops each bowl). Sprinkle croutons generously with grated cheese, allowing some cheese to spill over onto the rim. Put bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls. Serve immediately.

5. Instead of grating all the cheese, you can cut some of it into wide, thin slices and drape the slices over the sides of the bowls. This helps to prevent the cheese from slipping off the rims of the bowls.

Author’s Note: Satisfy your salty and sweet craving by pairing it with a baby spinach salad topped with mandarin oranges and walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette.    And, of course, don’t forget dessert!

Spicy Pumpkin Cheesecake, Dean & Deluca

Credits:  Recipe published with permission from Dean & Deluca.  For additional recipes and how-to videos, click here.  Or click here to visit their site and order a Dean & Deluca cookbook.     

Photo credits:  feature photo, soup, spicy pumpkin cheesecake.

Wrap It Up

24 Sep

It’s Friday…let’s wrap it up!

+Monday- Carmen hunts down the perfect necklace to Make A Statement!

+Tuesday- Beautiful cakes are transformed into works of art at I Dream of Cake.

+Wednesday- Carmen travels to the chic Maison Moschino.

+Thursday- James Bond turns 70 and gives us his dog wish list.

Hope you have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

credits: package, necklace

Happy Birthday 007!

23 Sep

He’s head of security, keeper of secrets, therapist and of course, secret agent. He’s James Bond, my gigantic Yorkie and he turns 10 70 today! What do you get for the dog who has everything? Here’s his wish list so far…

credits: dog plates, sausages, dogverse, collar, pup dog/pirate, bowl, ibone, leash

Maison Moschino: Designer Dreams

22 Sep

Jetsetter is my absolute favorite members-only travel site to browse for deals on some pretty amazing hotels and vacations.  I recently took a short weekend trip with some of my best girlfriends to the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa through them which was fabulous.  I came across a hotel on their site the other day that was so unique I knew I had to book it and get right on a plane to Italy.  Or at the very least, share it with you.

Italian label Moschino (pronounced moss-ski-no) is among the latest in a line of fashion houses to open its own concept hotel, Maison Moschino, which debuted earlier this year in Milan.  It is, in true Moschino style, very sleek.  And stylish.  And whimsical.  Located in an old neoclassical railway station that dates back to 1840, the interior 65 rooms and suites are all different.  Each room is designed around a fairy tale theme as interpreted in Moschino’s distinctive style by Rosella Jardini and their entire creative team.

Feast your eyes on some of my favorite images.  Can you guess the theme of each room?

The neoclassical façade which stays true to its original style belies a whimsical wonderland which is immediately noticeable upon entry into the grand hotel.

Minimalist furnishings offer a blank canvas for a unique and contemporary  interpretation of classic fairy tales in the 65 rooms and suites.

Not surprising to those who know me, this is my favorite of all 65 rooms.  Delicious!

This runs a close second, though.  A bed fit for a queen!

I just love this little owl!

White, billowy, illuminated.  Quindi molto Moschino!

Credits:  Jetsetter and Maison Moschino, a Hotel Philosophy hotel.

I Dream Of Cake!

21 Sep

Yummm…that looks good enough to wear. Wait…what? You might want to take a second look at these unbelievable cakes. What appears to be a Classic Kelly bag is actually a cake created by artist Shinmin Li and her team at I Dream Of Cake in San Francisco.

Combining the finest ingredients with amazing talent, I Dream Of Cake works with stylists and clients to create edible works of art. If you are in the SF Bay area, you should stop by and check out their award winning gallery. If not, you should at least check out their website. You won’t believe it.

I Dream of Cake, 1351 Grant Avenue (415-989-2253 or

Make A Statement

20 Sep

I have been on the hunt lately for a current version of the “statement” necklace, something that I can wear to a black-tie, televised event I have on my social calendar in early November.  Most of what I’ve come across has been a little predictable and quite frankly, tired.  Few have said “showstopper” quite like the three very different takes on the statement necklace that I am sharing with you today.

I am loving this necklace by Hila Rawet Karni, industrial designer and jeweler.  Rawet Karni blends together her passion for both industrial design and jewelry, using materials like paper, leather, plastic and springs in her collections.  This particular piece is intricate, symmetrical, eye-catching, and completely fabulous.

I have been admiring this next stunner for a few months now and it is a piece from the bloom collection by Ontario jewelry designer Caroline Bruce of Tweak.  In case you’re wondering, yes, that flower is actually a real purple dendrobium orchid bloom that has been preserved in resin.  I love this necklace for its wonderful color and dimension.  Don’t you?

Speaking of flowers, I ran across this beautifully unique necklace designed by Myra Callan of Twigs & Honey.  Before I gush over it let me first say that I love everything on her site.  If you aren’t familiar with her work, you should really give her a visit.  Regarding this piece, though, it seems as if she just strolled on out into the forest, plucked a few blooms and fashioned a necklace with some vine and a few feathers.  I love her attention to detail.  It is fresh, fun, and simply elegant.

Boy, this is a really difficult decision.  Any of these would be sure to earn me many a compliment at the event in November.  Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…..

image credits:  first image, Hila Rawet Karni/second image, Tweak Boutique/feature and final image, Twigs & Honey.

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