Archive for January, 2012

Parisian Macaroons!!! Spectacular!


  • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely ground sliced, blanched almonds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Macaroon Filling
  1. To make the macaroons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macaroons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
  3. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macaroons is completely dry, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macaroons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
  4. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. Variations: To make coffee-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops brown food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, blend 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon warm water for the filling. To make cassis-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops purple food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, use 1/3 cup good-quality cassis jam for the filling. To make pistachio-flavored macaroons: In step 1, add 2 drops green food coloring to the egg whites after they are whipped. In step 4, combine 1/2 cup macaroon filling with 1 tablespoon pistachio paste for the filling.
  6. Yield: Makes about 16 filled macaroons

This is a Martha Stewart recipe!

More is More! Tony Duquette Estate Jewelry Collaboration!!

Be still my heart! Coach has partnered with opulent jewelry designer Tony Duquette on a new accessories line to be sold under the Coach label. Inspired by Duquette’s higher priced line, the new collection features 20 stunning pieces ranging from whimsical insect stick pins to ultra luxe multi-colored stone bib necklace, similar to one Duquette designed for the Duchess of Windsor, they are sure to make a statement! The Coach x Tony Duquette collection will range in price from $48 to $498. I’m sure we will see every single one of those insect pins adorning everything this spring.
In their latest collaboration with Tony Duquette, the fantastic folks at Coach teamed up with Duquette’s archive specialists and jewelry design squad to recreate the classic statement pieces that Duquette originally conceived in the 1940s for film, fashionistas and other people of the like. These awesome pieces are nostalgic and affordable.

Available beginning in Feburary, there’s pretty much something for everyone in this twenty piece collection — as long as you’re looking to sport some major bling. With the reasonable prices ranging from $48 to $498 you can infuse some glam into your wardrobe no matter what your budget is.

We’re really into how Coach investigated such an influential designer of his day (why don’t more people think of that?).

The gorgeous book More is More by Hutton Wilkinson is a fantastic pictorial and history of Duquette’s designing years.

Rugs!! How to decide???

Pattern in carpets and rugs these days has become extremely popular. Whether it is circles, polka-dots, stripes, geometric, floral or traditional Persians. Most patterns can complement the contemporary and add majesty to the traditional and give pizazz to any room.
Texture is also big news for all flooring including hardwood and laminates …with hand scraped and distressed woods wonderful character and richness is immediately there with installation.
One of the most common things I hear is “I can’t visualize with it will look like”. Don’t think you are alone as this is one of the most common complaints from clients. That is why you need a designer you can trust. Many companies now how exclusive visualization tools to help you see the flooring to help with this problem.

Flooring…Hmmmm What to do??

When picking out flooring you want it to look beautiful, complement your other design elements, reflect your style and provide lasting value. Consider your floor the fifth wall in your room and then you realize what a huge impact flooring has on your overall decor. Some important tips and trends to keep in mind while making these decisions are:
– darker colors make a room appear smaller, lighter shades give a room a larger look
– wood floors look better with age and get that rich patina that we love
– laminates nowadays offer looks so real it is hard to tell them from the real thing
– tile has been used for years …easy to clean and maintain, water is no problem but I personally find it hard to stand on for any length of time if being used let’s say in a kitchen….bathrooms no problem.
– contrary to what most people think, carpet is a good choice for allergy sufferers as it traps allergens so they don’t float in the air and then can easily be vacuum up.
– if you have a large open space and area rug can define a sitting area, make it feel more intimate. Almost every room with a hard surface can benefit from a rug.
The photographs show hardwood flooring, concrete, cork and an area rug. We will discuss over the next few days texture, trends, patters, colors etc.