Friday, December 30, 2011

Design | Elio Di Luca

From Spanish studio Puigdemont Roca comes packaging design for Elio Di Luca chocolate. Project description from Puigdemont Roca: In a hyper-competitive market, standing out from the competition is crucial. To this end, we decided to show the basic ingredient of each flavour of premium chocolate with a fresh perspective, shooting the images from a zenith angle. In this way, we managed to convey the concept of ‘top end’, and in turn raise a range of emotions in the consumer.

via Lovely Package.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dessert | Pear Tarts With Peach Glaze

Sorry! To anyone that reads this blog... I have been beyond busy. My life recently took a turn for the awesome and I am happy to report that I have an amazing new job that I love. Love! I've been waking up excited to go to the office since the day I started. Freelancing on top of quitting my previous job to start a new one the very next day - literally - has definitely put my blog on the back burner. Not by choice! I guess the excuse can be the holidays seeing as I haven't posted since Thanksgiving. I'm easing back in to it with a delightful and super easy pear tart recipe I saw on Taste Spotting recently.


6 rectangular puff pastry sheets measuring roughly 3"x4"
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 pears, skin removed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons peach jam
2 tablespoons water

1  |  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toss the pear slices in the lemon juice and sugar. Add more sugar if needed. Set aside.

2  |  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease the paper with butter. Place one pastry rectangle on the baking tray. With a sharp knife, lightly slice the tops - do not slice all the way through on the pastry sheet - about 1/2" away from the four edges, creating a kind of 'frame' on the pastry. Brush the insides of the frame with the butter: the space where you will be placing the nectarine slices.

3  |  Arrange the slices on top. Repeat with the remaining pastry rectangles or until your pear slices have been used up. Brush the sides of the pastries with the egg wash. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

4  |  While the tarts are baking, prepare the glaze by bringing the jam and water to a boil. Run the mixture through a sieve and allow to cool. When the tarts are out of the oven, lightly brush the tops of the pears with the glaze.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

D&D | Thanksgiving

I am beyond happy and kind of shocked to report that this is my 100th post! And what better way to celebrate than Thanksgiving! I was thinking about sharing stories of past Thanksgivings... a group of nearly 30 family members and friends all gathered at someone's house (usually my parents). Snacking and drinking all morning in preparation to eat that special dinner you only get once a year. Once a year!? I have so many stories from yesteryear, but this year was my turn, and it felt like the right time to stay at home with friends and make my own memories... and recipes! With the stresses of my current life and the holidays approaching, I viewed Thanksgiving day as an opportunity to remember that I can slow down and enjoy myself in my own home with people I care about.

The recipes I'm featuring are from all over. The turkey was my creation (I forgot to take a photo of the final bird - SO mad at myself - but it was great!), the stuffing recipe came from a family friend, and the rest was a combination of Bon Appétit and Epicurious finds.


3 quarts apple cider, divided
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup whole allspice
8 bay leaves
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
16 whole black peppercorns
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 3”-4” cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
4 quarts cold water  
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into sixths
Melted unsalted butter (for basting)
1 14-16 pound turkey (neck and gizzard removed)

1  |  Bring 2 quarts cider, 1 1/2 cups salt, and the next 6 ingredients to a boil in a very large pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Stir in 4 quarts cold water. Add turkey to brine and press down to submerge. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

2  |  Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels; discard brine. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a large heavy roasting pan and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

3  |  Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine the remaining 1 cup of cider and 3 cups water in roasting pan. Scatter apples around. Brush turkey with butter. Flip breast side down.

4  |  Roast turkey, breast side down, basting occasionally, for 1 hour. Using paper towels, flip turkey. Roast, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 1 1/2 - 2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

- - -


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated Pecorino

1  |  Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

2  |  Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

3  |  Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

4  |  Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

- - -


2 bunches of thin carrots (2 lb.), cut into 1" pieces (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
12 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh clementine juice or orange juice
2 tablespoons Sherry or sweet vermouth, divided
2 pinches ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated clementine zest or orange zest

1  |  Bring carrots, butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 7–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to a medium bowl.

2  |  Add clementine juice, 1 Tbsp. Sherry, and ground cloves to skillet and cook until glaze forms, 7–8 minutes. Stir in carrots and remaining 1 Tbsp. Sherry. Season carrots to taste with salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing, adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with tarragon and celementine zest.

- - -


4 pounds russet potatoes
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons kosher salt plus more to finish
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme or 1 sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
Freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment
Using a food mill keeps spuds light and airy. If you have a ricer, that will work, too.

1  |  Fill a large pot halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" pieces, adding to pot as they are cut. Add cold water to cover by 1" if needed. Stir in kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet. Let dry, 5–10 minutes.

2  |  Meanwhile, heat whole milk, heavy cream, peppercorns, thyme or rosemary, and bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture infuse for 20 minutes; strain. This will add herbal flavor without coloring the liquid.

3  |  Pass potatoes through the smallest disk of a food mill along with butter into a large bowl. Stir in the hot cream mixture. Season generously to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. To hold, press plastic wrap directly against the surface and set bowl over (not in) a large pot of simmering water for up to 2 hours.

- - -


1 large head of cauliflower (2 pounds), cut into 2” florets
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked, rinsed, patted dry
3/4 cup fresh coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1  |  Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; season mixture with salt and pepper. Divide cauliflower mixture between 2 large rimmed baking sheets, spreading out in a single layer. Roast, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is golden and crispy, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Cauliflower can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Reheat before using.

2  |  Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, 5–6 minutes. Add capers and cook until they start to pop, about 3 minutes longer. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, 2–3 minutes; transfer breadcrumb mixture to a plate and set aside.

3  |  Add chicken broth and anchovy paste (if using) to same saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add golden raisins and white wine vinegar and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Do ahead: Breadcrumb and raisin mixtures can be made 2 hours ahead. Rewarm raisin mixture mixture before continuing.

4  |  Transfer warm cauliflower to a serving bowl. Scatter raisin mixture over, then toss to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cauliflower with breadcrumb mixture and parsley.

- - -


1 9x9 pan of corn bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 stalks celery, rough chopped
1 yellow onion, rough chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded, rough chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 sweet apples peeled and diced
1 lb Italian sausage cooked
1/4 cup fresh sage chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups of stock (chicken or turkey)
2 shallots chopped
2 eggs beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

1  |  In a large non-stick skillet heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, apple, and peppers; saute until just soft. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until done.

2  |  Mix the veggies together with cornbread, sausage, and herbs. Add eggs and stock and give it a good mix with your hands. Pour mixture into a buttered pan and bake in a 350°F degree oven for 45 minutes.

- - -


You can find the recipe for this dessert right here on Design & Dishes. I made it last week but it was such a hit that I felt it would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

All-in-all a fantastic meal spent with fantastic people.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Design | John & John Potato Crisps

I came across this project on The Dieline but turns out they found it on Pinterest, one of my favorite new resources and websites for sharing and storing images/inspiration. John & John Potato Crisps is a hard company to find information on, particularly the studio or person responsible for the look & feel of the brand and their products. The website is bold and contemporary and the packaging is insanely stylish, but all I really know is that they're distributed by Market Grounds, a company that develops and produces food and beverage products, so perhaps they designed them in-house.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Design | Saul Bass: Iconic Title Sequences

The legacy of legendary graphic designer Saul Bass and his iconic title sequences remains tangible to this day. Saul Bass: A Life In Film & Design, a tome dedicated to his many cultural contributions, has finally seen the light of day, and is available for purchase through Amazon.

To celebrate, Art of the Title has compiled a short homage to some of Bass’s better known works.

The Title Design of Saul Bass from Ian Albinson on Vimeo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dessert | Pear & Apple Crisp

Do you guys ever get too much sleep? I know it sounds silly, but I think I've gotten so used to sleeping lightly and being woken up by traffic and city noise that I rarely get truly deep sleep anymore. I live in a pretty central area of the city and for as much as I love my apartment and location, the one thing I would change would be the noise. It might sound like I'm exaggerating but my apartment is basically next to a freeway off-ramp so the noise is 24 hours a day and will often include semi trucks gearing up for a big uphill climb which can result in my entire building shaking to the point that you think "the big earthquake" has arrived. In short, it's terrifying and makes for a pretty poor night sleep.

It's not until you visit somewhere quiet that you realize just how bad your situation actually is/can be. This week I had the opportunity to have a 2 night staycation (aka house-sitting) in San Francisco with my best friends Henry and Taylor. Sleeping in a totally quiet space and in an incredibly comfortable king size bed makes for a remarkably relaxing experience! Who knew!?

Amongst wining and dining in our "new" neighborhood we found time to just zone out and relax to our favorite HGTV and Food Network programs, including The Barefoot Contessa (my personal favorite). With my mind and body totally relaxed I figured it would be a great time to make a beautiful dinner for Ryan and I. In the episode I watched, I caught a glimpse of Ina Garten's pear, apple & cranberry crisp, a hearty dessert that seemed just perfect for this time of year. I'm happy to say that Ina and her crisp did not disappoint. The original recipe included cranberries but I honestly didn't miss them.

PEAR & APPLE CRISP  |  Recipe inspired by Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1  |  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into ramekins. 

2  |  Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

3  |  Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Design | Helios

Helios has since 1969 provided organic and environmentally friendly products to the Norwegian market. The products have traditionally been sold purely through specialty shops for organic products. Now the Helios brand is being launched to the people.

Uniform won the pitch to reposition the Helios eco-brand last year. The challenge was to transform the Helios brand from being a brand just for the typical eco-consumer, to become a brand for the regular retail customer.

Uniform has developed a new brand-positioning platform and redesigned the identity and packaging of over 100 varieties. The feedback from the supermarket chains has exceeded all expectations.

In the design process it was important to retain the historical foundation. Helios has a unique position and credibility in the eco segment with many loyal customers. The past few years, new players have entered the market, but not many producers have an equally strong history as Helios.

Through focus groups, it became clear that the name Helios had the highest recognition and was thus the most important item to keep. This gave the project freedom to rethink other aspects of the identity. Uniform redesigned the logo and gave it a prominent place on all packages in order to create a strong recognition in a chaotic grocery store. The logo underpins the importance of the name Helios – the sun god. As the packages will be placed next to well known brands it is important that Helios is evident in the shelves. With a strong and clear logo on all packages we created easy recognition across all product groups.

Different hand-drawn patterns were developed for all product lines. The patterns are based on the shape of a seed, giving associations to leaves and seeds, which supports Helios´ core values of care and naturalness. In addition fresh colors give the packages a modern look.

Common for all the products from Helios is the strong focus on ingredients and flavors. To underpin this, the ingredients will be visible in the packages where possible. Helios puts great efforts into high standards on the raw materials of their products. Together with their long history, this provides confidence and credibility with the customer. It was essential that this very focus and concern on quality was easily recognizable in the package designs.

via Lovely Package 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dish | Open-Face Prosciutto, Arugula, Red Onion Marmalade & Ricotta Sandwich

I just love sandwiches. When I'm older - much much older - and set in my ways, no less then 3 days a week I will still crave a turkey sandwich on dutch crunch, with bacon, avocado, red onion, provolone cheese, tomato, lettuce and just a hint of mayonnaise and cranberry mustard. I guess you could call this MY sandwich seeing as I get it so often. I got to thinking that maybe I could make this sandwich at home for once but honestly I just didn't feel like buying all of that stuff for a sandwich I get at the Whole Foods in Noe Valley for way cheaper. So... the idea of trying something new crossed my mind. This flavorful open-face sandwich comes from the December 2007 Bon Appétit. The original version didn't include arugula or olive bread, but I definitely can't take credit for the red onion marmalade... it takes the sandwich to another level. This was so quick and easy and way cheaper then spending $50 on groceries to make MY sandwich. Here's to trying new things!


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
4 1/2-inch-thick slices olive bread
4 thin slices prosciutto
Fresh ricotta cheese

1/2 cup baby arugula

1  |  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and sugar. Cook until dark brown and tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Mix in vinegar and crushed pepper. Cook until mixture is thick, about 1 minute. Season marmalade generously to taste with salt and pepper.

2  |  Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange bread on baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt. Bake until crusty, about 8 minutes.

3  |  Spread ricotta cheese on each toast. Overlap 2 prosciutto slices on each toast. Top with marmalade. Garnish with baby arugula and freshly ground black pepper.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dish | Roasted Squash Lasagna

I've been under the weather this week with an ongoing flu that has been straight-up kicking my ass. Each night I go to bed thinking, "I'm gonna feel great tomorrow!" which has definitely not been the case. After 3 days of eating the huge pot of chicken noodle soup I had made, my taste-buds (which were barely working) started craving something else. I saw this recipe on Foodess and instantly forced myself to get out of bed and take my sniffly and sick self to the grocery store. That turned out to be slightly painful as it was way too early for me to be out and about, but it paid off in the most delicious way when this bubbly and cheesy butternut squash lasagna came out of the oven. Definitely a keeper!

ROASTED SQUASH LASAGNA  |  Recipe inspired by Foodess

2 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 tbsp minced fresh sage leaves (or 2 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups grated mozzarella
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan

1  |  To make roasted squash: Toss first 5 ingredients together and spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for about 35 minutes, until squash is tender and browned, and shallots are caramelized. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

2  |  To make sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and saute 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk to combine; cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, stirring regularly, until thickened – about 5 minutes. Add nutmeg, and season well with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, and continue to stir occasionally as you prepare the lasagna.

3  |  Spread about 3/4 cup of white sauce in the bottom of a 9×12″ baking dish. Top with lasagna noodles, then another 3/4 cup (approximately) of sauce. Sprinkle with half of the roasted squash and one-third of the mozzarella, then another layer of noodles. Top second layer of noodles with white sauce and the ricotta cheese. Add another layer of noodles, white sauce, the remaining squash, and another third of the mozzarella. Top with a final layer of noodles, white sauce, the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and golden brown.