Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Design | Mr Porter: Mens Store

Mr Porter is a specialty mens store located in the UK. They sell it all: clothing, shoes and accessories! Mr Porter carries an impressive list of designers including everything from J. Crew to Alexander McQueen, and they have a large section dedicated to trends and style. I want a little bit of everything!

The branding was handled by the insanely stylish London based studio Saturday. Taken from their site:

Saturday is a creative agency offering advertising, branding, digital and editorial consultancy for the fashion, luxury and media industries. Saturday was founded with a simple belief; that aspirational design brings commercial advantage. In creating intelligent and strategic campaigns for clients around the globe, Saturday has a proven ability to build a brand's competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dish | Roasted Asparagus + Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce + Strawberry Compote with Mint

I feel like a bad San Franciscan! After living here for nearly 2 years I finally made my way over to Falletti Foods. It's only a 15 minute walk from my house and although the market is relatively small, the selection is sufficient. I can't use the excuse that it's uphill anymore. The produce was both fresh and beautiful and the meat selection was impeccable! I was able to pick up everything I needed for my spring inspired menu.

First up is the Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Balsamic Vinegar. This is one of those simple Spring/Summer dishes that require very little work but has great flavor and looks surprisingly impressive.


24 large asparagus spears (about 2 pounds), trimmed
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Parmesan, for shaving

1  |  Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle oil over asparagus and turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and just tender, 18-20 minutes.

2  |  Transfer asparagus to a platter. To serve, drizzle vinegar over hot asparagus and use a vegetable peeler to shave Parmesan over the spears. 

In the previous post, my inspiration for the Mango Coolers came from Bon Appétit's feature on Gwyneth Paltrow. Well, this delicious dish comes from the same article! Paltrow's Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce is easily going to be a go-to dish for future dinner parties. The sauce takes a little work but it's totally worth it!

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH PEACH BBQ SAUCE  |  Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit June 2011

1 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce or 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Vegetable oil

1  |  Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

2  |  Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill chicken until browned and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Brush on all sides with reserved sauce; grill until glazed and cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. Slice crosswise. Serve remaining sauce alongside.

Now for the dessert! I tend to favor savory foods but some combinations of sweets can be so good that they (almost) take things to a whole new level of bliss; and apparently, they can make you giggle at the sight of them! My Strawberry Compote had a very exciting reception when my dear friend Henry burst into laughter at the sight of it.


1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and cut lengthwise into 6 segments
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon sugar
6 mint leaves chopped, plus extra for garnish

1  |  Combine berries, Grand Marnier, zest and sugar in a medium bowl. Toss; let stand 30 minutes.

2  |  Bring juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat; reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. Pour over strawberries, and toss to combine.

Add the mint to the compote right before you serve! Spread the compote on cake or with vanilla bean ice cream like we did! I'm starting to think I make this too much.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drink | Mango Cooler

So I've been wanting to do this for awhile... I'm starting a new section for the blog: Drinks! I had a blast making dinner for some friends last night - which I will be posting shortly - but I have to say the cocktail was everyone's favorite part, including mine!

The new Bon Appétit with Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover has some fantastic Spring recipes, including Paltrow's delicious Peach Cooler, which is a spin on a Pimm's Cup, a cocktail from her adopted hometown of London. I decided to throw my own spin on it by substituting peach for mango.

MANGO COOLER  |  Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit June 2011

2 ripe mangos, peeled, cut into 1/2in. wedges
6 tablespoons mango juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup vodka
1 English hothouse cucumber
2 cups chilled Prosecco
1 1/2 cups chilled soda water
12 fresh mint leaves

1  |  Using a wooden spoon, mash mangos with juice and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir in vodka (can be made 4 hours ahead). Cover and chill.

2  |  Cut 1/3 of cucumber lengthwise into 4 spears for garnish. Thinly slice remaining cucumber. Stir Prosecco, soda water, mint, and sliced cucumber into pitcher. Fill glasses with ice. Pour cooler into glasses; garnish with cucumber spear and mint.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Design | Studio Spotlight: Girlfriend

I love Girlfriend! No - that is not a typo - I'm talking about New York based design studio Girlfriend. Their site sums it up pretty clearly: American Design. New York City. Girlfriend is a design, branding and technology studio creating quality products, services and digitally-driven experiences for its clients and peers. Girlfriend’s process is iterative, responsive, and powered by late nights, pizza and beer. Established in Downtown New York City in 2010.

Edition Hotels  |  From Girlfriend's site:

Edition is an experiment in lifestyle resort boutiques that take the best of their locations and curate them in the image of their surroundings in Barcelona, Waikiki, Istanbul, and many more of the world’s top locations. We (Girlfriend) worked with Monolith NYC to conceptualize a digital lifestyle magazine that would support the brand through editorial and user-contributed content.

Oh web design, you are not (typically) my friend. I'm the first to admit that I am not necessarily a web designer or comfortable/strong with it. If you've been following Design & Dishes for the short time I've been posting, then you will know that I favor print design. Then here comes Girlfriend making me all sorts of jealous of the beautiful art direction and visual design they have given Edition Hotels for their website. The seamless blend of photo and typography is both chic and beautiful and the thin serif font being used is very fashion-forward for web design.

Red Square Agency  |  From Girlfriend's site:

Red Square is one of the south's fastest growing ad agencies. When they asked us (Girlfriend) to rebrand their new online and offline presence, they had one request: “Make it awesome.” That was easy. With a brilliant staff, a powerful voice and the most Mardi Gras-ready office in the world, Red Square is for many things. This time those things were a fresh identity, a modern HTML5 web presence and lots of personality-driven merchandise.

With most studios, what you see is what you get. You don't get to see the conceptual phase or what goes in to the final product so I appreciate Girlfriend for showing branding concepts for some of their projects, like Red Square. I'm particularly drawn to the simplicity of the top left and bottom right logos.

On one hand, Girlfriend's aesthetic and approach to web design is making me think I might need to take a class and/or put a little more effort in to learning the vast realm of experience design. On the other hand, their blog makes me think everything is going to be okay just the way it is.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dish | Pear & Goat Cheese Bruschetta with Rosemary + 'Love' Pasta

These dishes are coming from a small impromptu dinner party I had last night. It was the perfect storm of friends and food and a few bottles of wine! Like I mentioned in my last post about pasta, I make it a few times a week and always make an effort to buy seasonally. The bruschetta was a random last minute decision but it all came together so perfectly!

I had gone to the store with my best friend Henry to buy wine and the ingredients for making pasta, but we completely spaced on appetizers until we got home and realized we wanted something to snack on while we cooked. Drinking and eating while I (or you) cook is a must! We decided to make bruschetta after reading Bon Appetit's The Toast with the Most: a beautifully photographed feature on bruschetta. Your options are relatively open so I decided on a whole wheat baguette with pears, black pepper goat cheese and fresh rosemary.


1 whole wheat baguette, sliced
1 pear, thinly sliced
1/4 cup goat cheese of your choice
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for drizzling

1  |  Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice baguette into 1/2 inch sections. Brush baguette slices with olive oil. Top baguette with pear, goat cheese and a sprig of rosemary.

2  |  Bake until baguette is golden and goat cheese is perfectly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serves 4.

Now for the pasta! I've been making 'Love' Pasta for the past year or so. The first time I made it for Ryan he declared it would forever be known as Love Pasta. I guess that means he liked it? Since then I have made it for a handful of dinners and I have to admit, it has never disappointed. I put love into making it and have felt the love back from happy friends with full bellies. Enjoy!

'LOVE' PASTA aka PASTA WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS, BUTTER LETTUCE & PROSCIUTTO  |  Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit April 2009

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1/2 pound spring onions or green onions (dark green parts discarded); white parts cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, pale green parts cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 2 pounds peas in pods)
1 pound medium shell pasta
1 head of butter lettuce, cored, leaves cut into 3/4-inch-wide slices
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus additional for sprinkling
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips

1  |  Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallot. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until liquid is reduced to glaze, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer; set aside.

2  |  Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 5-6 minutes. Add asparagus to pot of boiling water with pasta until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Add peas and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain everything, being sure to save 1 cup of the pasta water.

3  |  Reheat onion mixture. Add lettuce and stir just until wilted, about 1 minute. Add drained pasta, asparagus and peas; stir until heated through. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese to skillet with vegetables; toss, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle prosciutto over; drizzle with olive oil. Serve, passing more cheese alongside.

I'm eating leftovers as I write this! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Design | Beyonce: Who Run The World (Girls)

I see the beauty in all forms of design, including fashion, which is why I just couldn't resist doing this post! Beyonce - pop/r&b goddess - teamed up with none other then my personal favorite music video director Francis Lawrence for her new female empowered video for "Who Run The World (Girls)".


Look 1: Alexander McQueen Fall 2010  |  Look 2: Givenchy Spring 2011 Couture by Riccardo Tisci

The majority of the accessories seen in the video are from New York based Laruicci. Beyonce is seen wearing a full set of Laruicci Claws and Power Earrings

Look 3: Gareth Pugh Fall 2011  |  Look 4: Emilio Pucci Spring 2010 + Sergio Rossi Black Embossed Leather Gladiator Borderline Boot.

Look 5: Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2011 Couture  |  Look 6: Emilio Pucci Fall 2011

Other looks seen in the video were provided by Norma Kamali. Beyonce's upcoming album will be titled "4".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dish | Potato, Red Onion & Rosemary Pizza + Salami, Mushroom, Kalamata & Red Onion Pizza

Pizza! It's so exciting, I know. I wouldn't say San Francisco is necessarily considered a pizza city, but with the amount of incredible grocery stores and farmers markets, it's too easy to make your own. Ryan and I typically order from our local favorite - Patxis Pizza - here in Hayes Valley, but yesterday I decided to take a stroll in the gloomy weather to the Mission District to hit up my favorite market for pizza ingredients. Bi-Rite Market is a San Francisco gem! I only recently started making pizzas at home and it is my favorite one stop shop. They sell freshly made whole wheat and regular pizza dough for $3!


Whole wheat pizza dough
4-6 unpeeled yukon gold potatoes, sliced into very thin rounds
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic gloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (preferably old fashion if you can find it)

1  |  Preheat oven to 500°F (temperature varies depending on dough). Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and potato slices in single layer and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Cool briefly.

2  |  Spread dough on rimmed baking sheet. Scatter onion and potato slices over dough, leaving a small border. Sprinkle with rosemary, garlic, and chili flakes. Sprinkle with cheese to cover.

3  |  Bake pizza until crust is crisp and cheeses melt, about 8 minutes (time varies depending on dough). Using a metal spatula, loosen crust from sheet. Slide onto platter or board and serve.


Pizza dough (we tried the regular dough for this one)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
6 oz mushrooms (your choice), sliced
6 slices salami (use as much or as little as you like)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (preferably old fashion if you can find it)

1  |  Preheat oven to 500°F (temperature varies depending on dough). Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté another 3 minutes. Cool briefly.

2  |  Spread dough on rimmed baking sheet. Spread tomato sauce over dough, leaving a small border. Place salami slices over sauce. Scatter onion and mushroom slices over salami. Sprinkle with olives and chili flakes. Sprinkle with cheese to cover.

3  |  Bake pizza until crust is crisp and cheeses melt, about 8 minutes (time varies depending on dough). Using a metal spatula, loosen crust from sheet. Slide onto platter or board and serve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Design | Cosa Fina Jewelry

Trendland really caught my attention with their feature on sisters and designers Karina Kuhary and Ninette Paloma of Cosa Fina Jewelry. I don't even wear jewelry but their Raw Collection is full of stunning and intriguing pieces.

More on Cosa Fina:

Cosa Fina throws open the window of the fine jewelry industry with a fresh and approachable way to wear precious gems. Raised by their Guatemalan artist mom in a notoriously bohemian Chicago neighborhood, sisters and designers Karina Kuhary and Ninette Paloma, always knew a desk job was never in their cards. After a combined 15 years in the fashion retail industry both sisters trained in metalsmithing under the guidance of renowned Chicago goldsmith, Virgil Robinson. Ninette and Karina are passionate and committed to the art of design and technique, drawing inspiration by their cultural background and travels. The sisters create a streamlined collection of organic and modern precious metal jewelry peppered with gemstones. Currently, cognac diamonds, brilliant sapphires and raw, uncut gemstones tops their list. Karina currently resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, while her sister Ninette, lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Design | Alvhem Mäkleri & Interiör

I was catching up on Desire to Inspire - an interior design blog I check from time to time - when I came across a feature they did on Swedish based real estate company Alvhem Mäkleri & Interiör. I'm interested in showing design in all of it's many beautiful forms on Design & Dishes, so I'm excited to finally be posting a bit of decor, if you will.

I live in a pretty classic San Francisco Edwardian flat so I've become somewhat accustomed to dark wood being everywhere; including, but not limited to: the floors, walls and ceilings! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the history and rich craftsmanship of my apartment, but sometimes it can be like living in an old boat.

The amount of light in the materials and surfaces in this apartment and/or condo is so refreshing! It's also unbelievably Swedish, which I mean in the best way possible. Like all of Alvhem Mäkleri & Interiör's work, this space is beautiful and modern without feeling cold or uninviting. You can find more pictures of this charming space at Desire to Inspire.

Dish | Linguine with Burrata Cheese, Spinach, Lemon, and Toasted Almonds

Pasta is my go-to simple dinner. I'd say I make pasta 1-2 nights out of the week. I love it because you can add almost anything to it which makes it fun and easy to cook seasonally. The different pairings of proteins or vegetables are almost endless. Of course there are some solid recipes I have on standby year-round, such as my Spaghetti Carbonara with Poached Eggs, but I'll save that for another time. The joy of just going to the market and grabbing a few random ingredients is what makes pasta so fun. You can't really mess it up if you're willing to try.


1 pound linguine (you can really use whatever pasta you feel like)
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 cups spinach
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pound burrata cheese, cut into medium chunks

Burrata is a luscious Italian cheese made by mixing cream and unspun mozzarella curds together (for a texture similar to ricotta): the mixture is then inserted into the center of a ball of fresh mozzarella. It can be found in some supermarkets, at specialty foods shops, and at Italian markets. Substitute fresh mozzarella if you can't find burrata.

1 | Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and lemon peel. Drain pasta, transfer to a large bowl.

2 | Place spinach and almonds on top of hot pasta. Pour the hot butter, olive oil and lemon mixture over spinach. Toss until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Top with burrata cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve. Serves 4-6.