Thursday, September 29, 2011

Design | George Chamoun: Iconatomy

This project by George Chamoun was to choose movie icons from two different eras and merge them seamlessly. The result: a Marylin Monroe/Scarlette Johansson, James Dean/Robert Pattinson, George Clooney/Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor/Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn/Natalie Portman.

From the artist: Two things people are wondering about that I thought I could make clear.

1  |  The pictures are not morphed in any way. What you see is a collage of two different people in each picture. Did it take me a long time to find the right pictures? Hell yes it did!

2  |  People are commenting on the “comparison” I’m making with these pictures. About that, I just want to say that I am not comparing anything here. Sorry if you feel that your favourite actor or actress was “paired up” with someone you don’t like.

via Trendland

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Design | Draw In Light

London based studio We Are Useful was approached by Draw In Light to create the branding for their new womenswear label. "We created an identity based around the idea of light and crystals that ran from the logo to the imagery for the AW/10 collection. We art directed, photographed, retouched, designed and produced a look book which incorporated an exclusive numbered screen printed poster. We also designed and created the website."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dish | (Gluten Free) Linguine with Shrimp & Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Growing up with parents whose parents were raised in the south, they were taught to cook food to it's fullest. Sort of Paula Deen style, if you will. While I do agree that that particular kind of food is delicious, it's not necessarily how I choose to prepare things in my own kitchen, and definitely not the way I cook on a daily basis. I like to take my mother's recipes and tweak them from time to time, opting for organic or fresher ingredients I feel more comfortable serving Ryan and our friends.

On my recent trip to Seattle I had the chance to spend a few days with my beautiful sister Danielle and brother in-law Trenton. My sister was one of those kids that had every allergy known to man. We would joke that she was allergic to anything green, basically meaning the outdoors. She went through the allergy shots and that whole mess for years, just assuming that her life would be one miserable sinus cold for, well, forever! Eventually fed up and exhausted from being sick more times then she could count, she asked her doctor about food allergies to which he told her, "You're crazy! It's not that." Not something you want to hear from your doctor! So off she went, on a mission to prove this guy wrong. She felt confident that she had narrowed it down to alcohol, dairy and gluten. She eliminated all 3 from her diet, then slowly incorporated each one back in one at time over the course of 3-4 months. Alcohol was fine, dairy was hit or miss, but gluten was the winner. Since then her and Trenton have completely changed their eating habits in favor of a gluten free diet... and she's never felt better!

I am lucky enough to have no food allergies but last night I had the opportunity to cook for Peter, a friend of ours who chooses to be gluten free; and I just have to say it's starting to look extremely appealing. This recipe comes from Gluten Free Girl, a blog my sister recommended to me, which is full of healthy dishes and fantastic stories.

LINGUINE WITH SHRIMP & SLOW ROASTED TOMATOES  |  Recipe inspired by Gluten Free Girl

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
1½ pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 pound dried gluten-free linguine
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup dry white white wine
Kosher salt or sea salt

1  |  To slow-roast the tomatoes: slice cherry tomatoes in half, spread across a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, pour a glug of olive oil over the top, then sprinkle salt and fresh thyme on top. Toss. Cook in a 275°F oven until the cherries are slightly shrunken and have released their juices, about 2 hours.

2  |  Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook the garlic slowly for 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened but now browned. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and stir to combine them with the garlic slices. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes heat slowly for a few minutes.

3  |  Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. When the pasta is done, drain it from the pot, saving about 1 cup of the water. Immediately run cold water over the pasta, which stops the cooking process. Pour a glug of olive oil over the pasta and toss it.

4  |  Raise the heat under the frying pan to medium-high and add the shrimp. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the shellfish have turned opaque. Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine. Let it bubble for a minute or so, or just until the shellfish are completely cooked. Scoop a ladleful of cooking water from the pasta pot and stir it into the frying pan. Taste and season with salt, if needed. Turn off the heat.

5  |  Transfer the pasta to the frying pan and gently toss the pasta and sauce to combine thoroughly, adding a splash or two more of the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce. Transfer the dressed pasta to warmed shallow individual bowls and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Design | Max Chocolatier

This project comes from Denmark based Muggie Ramadani, an interdisciplinary design studio, specialized in creating intelligent solutions for analog and digital media.

Of the project they say, "The process involved in creating the confectionery is unique, and the result will exceed anything you have ever tasted: at Max you will be savouring some of the best chocolate in the world. Max Chocolatier offers a feast for all the senses. Your nose experiences the scent of truly great chocolate as you approach the shop. There, you can witness the care with which the staff create the products. Opening the exquisite packaging adds to the anticipation. Then, as the chocolate touches your tongue, it’s as if you were tasting chocolate for the very first time."

Chocolate AND design! I'm in heaven. Be sure to check out all of Muggie Ramadani's sleek and beautiful work!

via September Industry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

D&D | Seattle: The Kingfish Cafe, Molly Moon's, & Revel

I recently took a trip to my home state of Washington to visit family and friends in and out of the Seattle area. I had alot of people to see and 6 days to do it in. The one thing I knew for sure was that I would make time to squeeze in some of my favorite and most missed bars, restaurants, and hangouts. The thought of doing an epic restaurant rating had crossed my mind, but in an effort to keep things simple, this is going to be more of a showcase of some of my favorites (including new favorites) throughout Seattle.

Up first is The Kingfish Cafe located in the trendy but quiet area of Capital Hill. This is a bold statement but one I am 100% willing to stand by... The Kingfish Cafe is hands down my all time favorite restaurant. I've been hooked from my very first visit over 5 years ago. On my huge Seattle to-do list, Kingfish was #3, right behind seeing my parents, and seeing my sister and brother in-law. I've tried almost everything on the menu, including: Gumbo, Fried Chicken, Blackened Salmon, and Red Beans and Rice; but I keep coming back to the Mac and Cheese! Their Mac and Cheese is the inspiration for MY Mac and Cheese, and after this last visit, I think I have some minor adjusting to do. Be sure to wash all of this down with one of their house cocktails. My personal favorite is the Mint Julep.

Sho’Nuff Fried green Tomatoes  |  "We brought out this southern tradition for ya to try topped with a cornmeal dredge fulla spices. We brown’em on the griddle and top’em with our house garlic and chipotle sauces. These tasty tomatoes share the plate with our hot out of the kitchen hushpuppies. Let the sky rain tomatoes."

Down Home Mac and Cheese  |  "We use two cheeses, onion and a bit of mushroom for this good sized helping then we bake it up bubbling hot and serve it alongside a cool green salad."

- - -

Living in San Francisco you have a ton of options for great ice cream. While I was living in Seattle, there was no other option, you went to Molly Moon's! From their site: At Molly Moon’s we combine creamy dairy from happy, healthy, hormone-free Western Washington cows with sweet and savory local ingredients. Our attention is focused on seasonal fruits and herbs in combinations that are both familiar and surprising producing all kinds of flavors from childhood favorites to avant-garde adult-only fare. From Skagit Valley's strawberries to Sequim's lavender and Eastern Washington’s cantaloupes, Molly Moon's is committed to using the best ingredients the Pacific Northwest has to offer, and occasionally we reach a little further south for Northern California fruit like organic Meyer Lemons and Napa Valley's Blood Oranges. Our shop is a place where classic flavors like Vanilla Bean and Chocolate live alongside the creative and exotic Cardamom, Balsamic Strawberry, Rosemary Meyer Lemon, and even Maple Bacon in the winter!

I like a double scoop of Vanilla Bean and Vivace Coffee!

- - -

For the finale, I would just like to say that all of the buzz and anticipation around this place is 100% well deserved. Revel is in the Fremont area of Seattle and was "Founded by husband and wife chef duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi who met while cooking at New York’s illustrious Alain Ducasse at the Essex House. While both chefs have a distinctly different point of view, their tastes blend together to create modern, creative and seamless cuisine in their restaurants, Joule and Revel. Rachel’s Korean heritage informs her flavors through her impeccable training in classic French technique. Seif, raised in Chicago, and trained in Portland, Ore. brings a distinctly American flavor to the palate, balancing and complementing his wife both in the kitchen and at home."

My best friend Jared currently cooks at both Joule and Revel and has been telling me since I left Seattle that whenever I came back, we HAD to go to one. It just so happened that Jared had a day off, so we headed to Fremont for what turned out to be one of the best meals I've ever had.

We got there right as the sun was going down. The weather was perfect so we sat around the fire pit with our drinks while we waited for a table.

We tried almost everything on the menu, feasting on: Corned Lamb Arugula Salad, Green Bean Shitake Salad, Pork Belly and Shrimp Pancakes, Short Rib rice with egg yolk, and Smoked Pork Belly and Shrimp Noodles! PLUS desserts!!! The highlight of the evening was definitely the meat plate. Jared informed me that Revel has started the "Grill Shack" which is best described on their site: "Revel is celebrating summer with the grill shack on the deck. Come and enjoy the bbq of various cuts from the whole animals on the wood fired grill. Summer never tasted better."

They are so right! If you're ever in Seattle be sure to check out all 3 spots, just not in one day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Design | Saxton

Beautiful packaging for Saxton Cider from New Zealand based design studio Supply. Be sure to check out Supply's full portfolio!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dish | Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce

Ryan said, "This is one of the best things you've ever made" last night - after dinner - while we were getting ready for bed. He also threw words in there like "elegant" and "simple". I love simple! Simple is what I believe food should be. When I started really cooking (about two years ago) and discovered that I actually enjoyed doing it, something shifted, and I was ready to take on any recipe (or so I thought). I would attempt all of these over the top recipes that I was not prepared for, and the outcome would be a hit or miss meal that I was nervous to serve to guests. I'm not a famous chef, I just like making meals for my friends. These days - when it comes to cooking for myself - I am far more willing to experiment or get a little crazy in the kitchen, because I am the one tasting it, nobody else. When it comes to cooking for friends/family, I keep it simple, because simple is going to feed more mouths and satisfy more bellies. Don't get me wrong, I am all for the fancy! But, I would save fancy for special occasions and holidays.

This beautiful recipe comes from the July 2011 Bon Appétit. I have a copy of that issue, but I must of missed this one somehow because it was brought to my attention by (an incredible resource for chefs of all levels).

CHICKEN BREASTS WITH TOMATO-HERB PAN SAUCE  |  Recipe inspired by Bon Appétit July 2011/

Epicurious says, "The key to this sauté: Cook the tomatoes with the bits of chicken left over after you've seared it in the pan. When the tomatoes burst, swirl in the remaining marjoram butter to finish the pan sauce."

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1  |  Mash butter, garlic, marjoram, and paprika in a small bowl to blend. Season marjoram butter to taste with salt and pepper.

2  |  Melt 1 tablespoon marjoram butter in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet, cover, and cook until no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Tent chicken with foil to keep warm.

3  |  Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add remaining marjoram butter to skillet. Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices; stir 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Design | Diet Coke Limited Edition

The latest evolution in Diet Coke’s iconic “Stay Extraordinary” campaign features a modern new look for fall on the Diet Coke aluminum can and a series of new ads on television and out-of-home. The ads connect with consumers using the witty and smart tone that marks the unique voice of Diet Coke. The can design, created by San Francisco-based design agency Turner Duckworth, features a section of the Diet Coke logo, cropped to feature the “D” and the “k,” set against the brand’s signature silver backdrop, creating a bold look for fall. Despite the change, the great taste remains the same and the can will still be easy to recognize as the number two beverage brand and number one zero-calorie brand in the nation.

“The new Diet Coke design is at once understated and overstated,” said David Turner, partner Turner Duckworth. “The understatement of a monogram, rather than the full name, and the overstatement of the extremely enlarged logo, both demonstrate the brand’s renewed self-confidence.” The new package design has inspired the overall visual identity of Diet Coke, and has been featured in recent digital and out-of-home activations. In a Twitter promotion in July, Diet Coke designed mini-fridges stocked with Diet Coke that were delivered to the brands most loyal followers. In the outdoor campaign, the cropped-logo design is featured in placements around the country.”

via The Lovely Package.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

D&D | Los Angeles: Ben & Bradley of New Era

I have no excuse for not posting lately so lets make this a big one! I am happy to report that I have been on vacation. ALOT of vacation! Things are about to change for me both personally and professionally and in preparation of these small life-changing events I thought it would be nice to take some time off and visit with family and all of my best friends along the west coast! Since July I have gone to Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and my beautiful hometown of Seattle (I just got back).

This particular post is dedicated to my wonderful and talented friends Ben and Bradley in Los Angeles. Ryan and I recently visited LA to spend time with mutual friends - including Ben and Brad - and we were lucky enough to spend our last night in the city at their beautiful home in Echo Park. I recently wrote about the boutique grocer Cookbook they took us to down the street from their house, which brings me to my subject... their house! We had such a great time with them. Ryan and I felt so special for getting to stay in their incredible home! See what I mean:

The house is half of a small duplex built entirely of 2 foot thick concrete walls, allowing for deep windowsills which the boys have covered in interesting objects and exotic plants potted in a mix of glass containers and assorted ceramics designed by Ben and Brad. The boys run an online store called New Era: a resource for an evolving audience of observers and buyers, working within concepts of nature and science, promoting a tradition of work utility and function.

Inside and out, Ben and Brad's house is full of little treasures... most of which were made by the boys themselves. Whether it's an iron skull, a ball of actual gold, or a sample of bedrock core, you can't wait to see what gem might be tucked away on the back of a bookshelf. It truly was one of the best 24 hours I've had in a long time.

I even had a chance to cook brunch for the boys! We enjoyed Mimosas and a Leek, Asparagus and Golden Cherry Tomato Frittata. Here's Ben helping me in the kitchen and a shot of Brad and Ryan relaxing in their yard. Why can't everyday be like this...