Hi, it’s Liz and I’m so glad to be here today because I’d like to take you on a little trip to delicious food for celebrations starting this month on decor8! It feels like spring just took off this weekend where I live after an endless winter (at least it felt endless!), and all of a sudden green is everywhere! People are simply longing for the sun — they’re sitting on benches and on the grass eating their lunch, turning their faces towards the sun. At our market, the stands are filled with the first local plump red strawberries of the season. Isn’t this when you enjoy inviting people over again? Last weekend I kicked off the BBQ season and had friends stop by for a spontaneous evening of food and drink. Why not start planning some nice get togethers of your own to celebrate spring or even a birthday, or anything else that feels good and gets you together with those you love? I’ve started the celebration theme by making a multi-tiered cake with poppy seeds for you today and I’ve filled it with layers of yogurt, cream and berries. Yum! This should get your inspired to invite over some friends!
Berry & poppy seed cake (8 inch diameter)
3 tablespoons poppy seed
1 cup unsalted melted butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
2 cups crème fraîche
1 cups yoghurt
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 lb raspberries
1/2 lb strawberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. For the dough, roast the poppy seeds in a pan (without oil) and let them cool. Melt the butter and allow to cool. Mix the flour with the baking powder. In a bowl, mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the melted butter, poppy seeds and flour and mix. Lightly grease a silicone baking pan and pour a third of the dough into the pan. Bake in the oven until golden, approx. 25 minutes. Repeat twice more with the rest of the dough.
For the filling, mix the crème fraîche with the yoghurt and vanilla sugar. Whip the cream until stiff and fold under the yoghurt mixture. Hull the strawberries and slice into halves. Place one of the cakes onto a plate and place some berries on top. Spread some of the filling over the berries. Repeat with the other cakes. Decorate with some berries. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
I was just dropping some cash at H&M on boyfriend jeans and tunics when I clicked over to their blog and found yummy food recipes by New York-based blogger Julia Gartland, who is the photographer and food stylist behind the Sassy Kitchen blog. I’d not heard of her until now but was excited when I clicked over and found her beautiful gluten-free cooking blog. I’ve often thought to go gluten-free. I don’t have gluten allergies that I know of, but I do love the idea of trying something new and even a bit healthier. Aren’t her photos and recipes just scrummy?
Hope you are doing well, you guys! Sorry I’ve been a little absent lately. I’ll talk about it more on the blog soon.
Ok so my last post sorta bummed me out so let’s talk about creative handpainted gold leaf baked goods before the weekend hits. I don’t want to end my blog this week talking about dead birds! Downer! I decided to launch a new column on decor8 that I believe I can actually stick to called Instagram Fave Friday because I find a bevy of great stuff on IG and I feel so limited when trying to share great IGers. And trust me, I find some amazing IG peeps because I have a baby and my iPhone is my best friend when he’s asleep in my arms – so I surf and save constantly. I’m an IG machine. So I figured to just devote a weekly column that you can visit on Friday to end each week looking at beautiful things from talented people. Sounds like a plan.
I was thinking this morning that IG doesn’t have a real way to share, does it? I mean, you can see some stuff in that News feed but it’s not that great if you follow say, more than 50 people. You miss stuff unless you are refreshing the News feed every 10 seconds and I’m just not into that. Sure, you can fave images but no one can see your faves (which in all honestly I sorta like) but on the other side, when you WANT to share stuff you can either repost or regram it, which I just don’t like, or you have to tweet it but still a tweet doesn’t have much reach these days like a blog post. I still find that my blog posts go the distance when it comes to shares.
Yeah, so I’m going off topic slightly… But I’m going to take you on a little Instagram Fave Friday, my debut installment, right now. Today I’m highlighting IG extraordinaire, Nectar and Stone, who is Donna-Caroline Khoo a Dessert Designer with dreams to open a cakery someday in Melbourne. All I can say is MY GOD SHE SHOULD. Support this woman, people. If you live down there and have some leads for her, or ideas, or whatever she is someone that I believe could do beautiful things with a brick and mortar bakery. What talent. And hello publishers… Book deal alert!
On IG Caroline shares the things she makes and bakes, chocolate with gold leaf! Cupcakes! Girly Smoothies! Zebra cookies! Mini ice cream cakes in cones! Ice cream-shaped cookies! I know, I’m really living it up with these exclamation marks but oh! my! so! cute!
I love what she says about her growing brand, “Nectar and Stone – it’s who I am, what I love, my passion and creativity. I tell a story each day with my designs, colours, photography, flowers and style – it’s a collection of things from my past, present and future. I’m not here to make a quick dollar – my brand is about building loyal followers who love what I do and believe in me. I encourage people to find new ideas and concepts… ” So nicely stated. Makes me want to support her even more.
Yeah, this post is going to blow my diet too.
(images nectar and stone)
Hey guys, its Kelly Brown and Holly asked me to stop in from time to time to post tours of beautiful spaces that I shoot professionally so you get to see them first. This is my debut post on decor8 so I hope that you enjoy it! I am so excited to share with you a shoot I did recently at Gracias Madre, a plant-based (vegetarian & vegan) Mexican-inspired restaurant in sunny West Hollywood, California. In my opinion, the only thing better than eating a really, really great meal, is eating it in a beautiful atmosphere. Wendy Haworth and her design team along with patio designer, Scott Shrader, have created just that at Gracias Madre. By the way, you can click on any image below for super large views to ohhh and ahhh over the details and to pin!
I visited the restaurant during a recent trip to LA and immediately fell in love with the space, not to mention the food! I couldn’t help myself but to walk around the entire restaurant checking out every inch of the space and noting all the amazing design features. Lets just say its on my “must go to” list in LA. The plantain fritters and the sopes, so delicious! Oh, and the drinks! Small batch mescals and tequila with housemade syrups, shrubs, tinctures, and bitters! Yep, I had myself a good time!
With a Mexican flare, the interior is fresh and bright, perfectly utilizing color and pattern to balance out the large space. Cozy corner nooks and an amazing outdoor patio makes you want to stay there eating and drinking all night. Its no surprise that Gracias Madre received the People’s Choice Award from The American Institute of Architect’s 10th Annual Restaurant Design Awards in Los Angeles.
Executive Chef, Chandra Gilbert and Beverage Director, Jason Eisner go above and beyond to create beautifully distinct dishes from local and organic ingredients. Here’s what they say about the restaurant: “We first conceived the idea of Gracias Madre while visiting the families of our employees in Mexico. We wanted to both; offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California. Inspired by some of the recipes of these families and the love of their mothers, Gracias Madre serves organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavor and love.” So, what do you think? Wouldn’t you love to eat (and drink!) in this beautiful space?! I know I can’t wait to go back! -Kelly
(text/photography kelly brown)