Archive for the ‘bookmarks’ Category

Bookmarks: My Vietnamese Kitchen

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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cover of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book with dried noodles, pak choi, lime, chilli, ginger and garlic

My Vietnamese Kitchen is the most recent, successful undertaking of Saigon-born Londoner, Uyen Luu.

title page of "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Amongst other things, she’s a prop stylist, photographer, film-maker and supper club host.

fried fish recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It’s a gorgeous book – full of culinary delights with striking colour and flavour combinations.

breakfast chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

A distinctive feature is the wonderful photography and superb staging of ingredients & prepared dishes.

rice roll recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

It really makes the food live!

omelette soup recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The first section covers the wide variety of herbs, spices, rice & noodles that are staples – then moves onto chapters featuring breakfast, soups, snacks, noodles, lunch & dinner and sweets.

herb photo from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Recipes are clear & easy to follow – a quick browse and you’ll want to get cooking at the first opportunity.

beef stew recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Uyen’s mother is a great influence – and there are many family dishes, methods and memories. She also draws in the culture & ceremony of food in Vietnam.

sticky fingers chapter from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Compared to say Chinese, Indian or even Thai food, Vietnamese cuisine is not the most widespread or indeed available outside its own borders. Uyen makes the cuisine very accessible – the book really conveys the fresh, healthy & exciting range of fare.

pork belly recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Whilst dishes are distinctly South East Asian, there’s also a French influence in places. Don’t these filled baguettes look irresistible? A perfect illustration.

sandwich photo in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

The book is a real insight into Vietnamese tastes, lifestyle & customs – and we can thoroughly recommend it as cookery course, travel brochure or food styling guide. You’re also sure to get some interiors inspiration too!

skewer recipe in "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

Also available on Hive, Amazon and our A-store

avocado ice cream from "My Vietnamese Kitchen" cookery book

[Many thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for this review copy]

Bookmarks: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales book with a teddy bear and lit candle

This edition of The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen edited by Noel Daniel is a sumptuous collection of the author’s work.

TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales book cover

The book opens with a detailed biography which is truly fascinating.

The Heart and Soul of the Modern Fairy Tale

In describes how Hans rose from humble origins to become one of the most famous authors of the time – much celebrated by society – even fêted by royalty of the day.

The Little Mermaid illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His father was a shoemaker but had taught himself to read and unusually for the time actually owned a cupboardful of books. He could actually provide his son with “story time” – probably a rare treat for children of the time.

The Swineherd illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His mother was illiterate, but strongly influenced by the verbal story telling tradition of the region. She was actually deeply superstitious and firmly entrenched in the world of Scandinavian folklore where creatures such as goblins, trolls, witches & spirits roamed.

Thumbelina illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

You can see how the combination of these two important role models would lead Hans on his path to literary fame.

The Princess and the Pea illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Hans himself became a voracious reader and spent much time alone immersed in books. He also had a puppet theatre – no doubt a magical world where he developed story lines & characters, made costumes, adapted language & voices.

The Nightingale illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Another important influence was actually his local asylum! His grandmother tended the garden there and Hans often accompanied her. He would sneak off to the spinning room – the social heart of the place, where old women of the town would tell tales to amuse themselves whilst spinning. It was full of gossip & exciting chatter for a small boy – a place where he could get wrapped up in the oral tradition of peasant folktales. In this world even inanimate objects had their own minds & special powers. An ability to anthropomorphize objects became a hallmark of his work.

The Ugly Duckling illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

He was actually very ambitious and craved recognition. We like this quote of his: “Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg”. A true statement of intent.

The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

His stories have become classics, much loved by successive generations – The Ugly Duckling, The Princess & The Pea, The Tinderbox, The Snow Queen, The Darning Needle, The Little Match Girl – to name but a few.

The Darning Needle illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Each tale has its own dedicated chapter. The title page has a few introductory words encompassing a short overview, origins, influences and other little snippets related to that particular story. Then follows the tale itself with accompanying illustrations.

The Little Match Girl illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

This collection of tales is again illustrated by a wonderful array of artists. The artwork is stunning throughout and everyone will have their own favourites. It might even change with each reading!

The Little Match Girl illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

Josef Palecek (The little mermaid), Einar Nerman ( The Swineherd), Katharine Beverley & Elizabeth Ellender (The Snow Queen) are some that particularly caught our eye.

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

The Snow Queen illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

In fact we loved the Snow Queen so much we’ve included 3 illustrations. They were done in the 1920s. The stark black & white with flashes of red is just stunning.

The Tinderbox illustration from TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

 The book closes with artists’ biographies; again well researched & very interesting.

Artist biographies in TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

We reviewed companion publication, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm last year – it complements this Andersen collection perfectly!

TASCHEN's Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales and Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales books

A wonderful book for adults & children alike – you never know where “story time” might lead!!

The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen is available from its publisher TASCHEN, Amazon and Hive.

[Many thanks to TASCHEN for this review copy]

Bookmarks: Style your Modern Vintage Home: A guide to buying, restoring and styling from the 1920s to 1990s

Friday, September 13th, 2013

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Style Your Modern Vintage Home book with vintage crocheted blanket and bright yellow goose neck desk lamp

Today’s ‘Bookmarks’ review post has a slight twist – and quite exciting to be honest. Well,  it’s not everyday that your own home stares back at you as you turn the pages!

Sarah's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We’re one of a few houses to be featured in  Style your Modern Vintage Home: A guide to buying, restoring and styling from the 1920s to 1990s.

Our home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

It was written by fellow vintage dealer & blogger, Kate Beavis of Your Vintage Life – and of course we’re very flattered.

Our home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We’d been looking forward to our copy arriving for weeks and not just because we’re in it. We were also very keen to see how other people style their homes using vintage finds.

Paloma Faith into page in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Kate managed to bag the chic & stylish Paloma Faith to write the intro – and following it is 150 pages of interior eye candy!

mosaic of vintage homewares in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

It’s packed full of wonderfully decorated homes with vintage pieces from the 1930s all the way through to contemporary retro designs.

Annie's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Kate features seven different homes across the UK and interviews each of the owners…

Carla's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

…including little snippets on how we achieved our ‘looks’ (ooooh listen to us!! :-) ).

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Another of our online vintage chums, Heather from Eclectic Chair, is one of the others featured. We’ve long admired the bold & individual decor of her home.

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

We shouldn’t really single one house out though, as they all look great.

60s and 70s chapter

The chapters are broken up into decades with a short introduction about the social history of the time.

vintage kitchenware

Then further sub-divided by room covering topics such as ‘cooking utensils’, ‘furniture’, ‘lighting’ and ‘storage’.

50s tableware

The distinctive looks, shapes & materials of each decade are described & classic pieces from the various eras are highlighted.

50s kitchen

 There are also useful styling tips, cleaning & restoration advice and cautionary notes on avoiding pitfalls.

Heather Linnitt's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Some of the houses completely recreate the atmosphere of a certain decade…

Anna's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

…others use vintage pieces from various eras for an eclectic look.

Annie's home featured in Style Your Modern Vintage Home

Being vintage lovers, it goes without saying that even Kate & Adam’s kids’ rooms are given the treatment!

child's play room with shelves of vintage toys and games

The vintage exterior isn’t ignored either – how to furnish, use and improve gardens and outdoor areas is also covered.

Our garden

At the back of the book you’ll find a directory of places to go to buy vintage homewares in the UK, US and online – and books, magazines and websites to read up on vintage. Great for both old hands or if  you’re just setting out on your vintage journey.

Get Kate’s book on Amazon or Hive

Bookmarks: Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

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cover of Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern surrounded by antique wooden bobbins

It’s been a while since we did a Bookmarks blog – we have a trio of textile design books to review – the first being Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern.

portrait of Jacqueline Groag

We did a very short taster blog post about Jacqueline Groag last year but we’re going to delve a bit deeper here and share many more examples of her fabulous work.

Jacqueline Groag design for David Whitehead and used at the Festival of Britain in 1951

Many of the plates in the book are taken from the vast collection (over 300 examples of post-war British design) of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III who are customers of authors, Rayner & Chamberlain’s Target Gallery. As well as Groag they have extensive examples of the work of Robin & Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Evelyn & Jerome Ackerman and other post-war, mid century modern artists & designers.

Two Jacqueline Groag designs using urn motifs

The collection formed part of the exhibition Designing Women of Postwar Britain which toured the Fashion and Textile Museum London; Michigan State University; Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs and Textile Museum in Washington.

Jacqueline Groag design of columns and urns

Groag was a very versatile and prolific designer; her textile designs included dress fabrics, upholstery material and carpet. She designed on paper – wrapping paper, wallpaper, magazines and even playing cards; and from the 1950s, her designs were used in plastic laminates for use in furniture such as tabletops and cabinets.

Jacqueline Groag cover design for "Design Magazine"

She’s been associated with may big companies and organisations. If you’ve ever taken public transport in the UK you’ll probably have seen her work. She designed for BOAC, London Transport and British Rail…

Jacqueline Groag design for Associated American Artists London Underground upholstery designed by Jacqueline Groag

…her designs were retailed by the likes of Liberty, John Lewis, David Whitehead Ltd

Jacqueline Groag design for David Whitehead inspired by her Festival of Britain design

…they were published within and on the covers of magazines such as The Ambassador and Interiors Magazine…

Jacqueline Groag design for "Ambassador" Magazine

…and she was commissioned by greetings card companies such as Oxfam, Hallmark and American Greetings.

Jacqueline Groag design for Oxfam Christmas cards Jacqueline Groag Jacqueline Groag hearts design for valentine card

Much of her work is very distinctive with many of her designs encompassing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms.

Jacqueline Groag bird design showing fine-lined grid patterns Jacqueline Groag design showing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms
Jacqueline Groag bird design showing fine-lined grid patterns Jacqueline Groag design showing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms

Her designs were inspired by colour and nature and also by Austrian folk art dolls the latter’s whose influence appears frequently in her work over the years.

Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls

If we’ve sparked your interest there are a few more examples to be found in the V&A’s Jacqueline Groag archive.

Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls

And if you happen to be in the vicinity, there’s currently an exhibition of her work taking place in Denver from 19 May to 22 Sept ’13.

Jacqueline Groag's monochrome "Cleo" textile design

As well as the publishers, the book is available online from Hive and Amazon.

[Many thanks to Antique Collectors' Club for the review copy]

Bookmarks: Cheesecake

Monday, April 15th, 2013

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"Cheesecake" book by Hannah Miles with chocolate & ginger cheesecake and little jug of creme fraiche and squares of dark & white chocolate

Cheesecake by Hannah Miles (Masterchef 2007 finalist and a lawyer to boot!) arrived through the letterbox at a very opportune time – the eve of Justin’s birthday.

baklava cheesecake recipe

We’ve blogged about cheesecake before – in fact, it’s one of our most visited posts – there are a lot of cheesecake fans out there!

chilli chocolate cheesecake recipe

So we’re looking forward to sharing a load more varieties in this post.

berry sundae cheesecake recipe

Each double page spread presents you with a delicious cheesecake recipe on one side with beautifully styled and photographed image on the other.

valentine cheesecake recipe

The range of recipes in the book (there are 60 in all) spans mini-cakes, cake pops, baked cheesecake, no-bake cheesecakes, even cheesecakes with jelly on top!

whisky and raspberry cranachan cheesecake recipe

They’re divided up into chapters such as fruity cheesecakes, candy bar cheesecakes, party cheesecakes and around the world cheesecakes.

mini popcorn cheesecake recipe

There’s also a useful introduction that includes types of cheese you can use, troubleshooting (I’ve been asked in the past about how to stop cracks appearing – it’s covered here) and information about storing & freezing.

sticky toffee pudding cheesecake recipe

No great amount of equipment is needed for most of the recipes – usually just a 23cm/9-inch spring form cake tin. A few of them call for perhaps a silicone mat, piping bag & nozzle, push pops, chef’s rings, sugar thermometer or blow torch.

vanilla cheesecake recipe

Anyway, back to Justin’s birthday – cheesecake is his favourite kind of cake so I told him to choose a recipe from the book and I’d make it for his birthday. He decided on the chocolate ginger option.

"Cheesecake" book by Hannah Miles with ingredients to make a chocolate & ginger cheesecake

Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake

Yield: serves 12

Chocolate Ginger Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • For the crumb base
  • 300g/10½oz ginger biscuits/cookies
  • 150g/1¼ sticks butter, melted
  • For the filling
  • 650g/2¾-3 cups cream cheese
  • 600ml/2½ cups crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g/½ cup caster/white sugar
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate, melted & cooled
  • 6 balls preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs ginger syrup (from the preserved stem ginger jar)
  • 150g/5½oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2tbs plain/all-purpose flour, sifted
  • For the topping
  • 150g/5½oz white chocolate
  • 30g/1oz dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3.
  2. To make the crumb case, crush the biscuits/cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean, plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the base & sides of the prepared cake pan firmly using the back of a spoon. You need the crumbs to come up about 3-4cm/1½ inches high on the side of the pan so that they make a case for the filling. Wrap the outside of the pan in cling film/plastic wrap and place in a roasting pan half full with water, ensuring that the water is not so high as to spill out. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, eggs, sugar, melted chocolate, finely chopped ginger, syrup and chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir in, then pour the mixture into the crumb case. Bake in the preheated oven for 1-1¼ hours until set but still with a slight wobble in the centre. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely in the oven, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.
  4. Once chilled, melt the white and dark chocolate for the decoration in separate, heatproof bowls set over 2 pans of simmering water. Leave to cool slightly, then spread the white chocolate in a thin layer over the top of the cheesecake. Spoon the dark chocolate into the piping bag and pipe swirls over the top of the cheesecake in pretty patterns. If you don't have a piping bag, you can swirl patterns of the chocolate using a spoon. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set before serving.

Notes

Equipment:

23cm/9-inch spring form cake tin, greased & lined A piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle/tip (optional)

http://hisforhomeblog.com/bookmarks/bookmarks-cheesecake/

I felt a bit of pressure as I knew we’d be photographing the finished product as part of this post. I dreaded it ending up as one of these “Nailed it!” Pinterest pins! Fortunately it turned out well – we’ve just had a slice each with coffee.

slice of baked chocolate and ginger cheesecake with small cup of black coffee

Cheesecake is available from Ryland Peters & Small the publishers, Amazon and Hive.

[Many thanks to Ryland Peters & Small for this review copy]