“What’s For Dinner” Photo Contest

Tell the truth, work hard, and come to dinner on time.
Gerald R. Ford

 

And the Winner is…

Are you hungry?

If not – that’s good. You can take a look on the winning photos below!

Congratulations to our Winner, M.j. Vitelli from I like to Bake and Cook Blog. We just love your amazing pictures and dinners. Thank you for participating in our contest!

And thank you, our dear readers, for your great dinner photos that you sent us. It’s always such a hard decision to choose the winning photo.

We’re looking forward to the next contest!

Thank you for all the fabulous submissions. We love you!

PS I’m so hungry now!

Endless Happiness This Fall!

Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.
Marilyn Monroe

Endless Happiness This Fall, my dear readers!
Don’t forget about our Photo Contest.  You have two weeks.

 

 

A Pumpkin/Shrimp Soup from The Voice coach

My favorite word is ‘pumpkin.’ You are a pumpkin. Or you are not. I am.
Harrison E. Salisbury

You know what I like about fall? It’s all about delicious food and beautiful colors: from a pumpkin spice latte to a butternut squash bruschetta. And, of course, a pumpkin soup.

There are a lot of different recipes of a pumpkin soup. You will find them everywhere – especially during Yellow Leaf Season – online and in all print magazines.

But I really (I’m telling you – really) like the recipe below.

If you’re a fan of The Voice show you will like that this recipe came from one of The Voice coaches.

Pelageya is a famous Russian singer and a coach on The Voice in Russia. She’s talented, intelligent, and beautiful. I would love to have a book with her recipes but unfortunately it doesn’t exist.
So here is the recipe.

Ingredients:  

1 Small Pumpkin
3 Tomatoes, sliced
8-10 Baby Carrots
5-7 cloves Garlic
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Basil, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked (Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the shrimp about 5-7 minutes.)
Mozzarella cheese
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (or pepitas)

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Cut pumpkin and tomatoes. Combine pumpkin, tomatoes, carrots, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice; toss to coat, then spread in a single layer.

Roast until pumpkin is tender – about 30 minutes.

Let cool, then remove pumpkin skin.

Puree all ingredients in a blender.

Place pureed soup into the soup pot. Add spices and herbs.

Add half cup of water and heat through, stirring. If the soup still seems too thick, thin out a little more but remember to taste and adjust seasoning.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve in a bowl adding shrimp, pieces of the mozzarella cheese and tomato. Top soup with pepitas and enjoy!

Best Bakeries in Boston

I have a constant sweet tooth, so I like anything from the bakery, like cupcakes, cookies.
Carmen Electra

It’s a great idea to start your day with a small cup of coffee and one of the delicious desserts. It will definitely brighten your busy daily journey. Boston may offer a lot of remarkable bakeries with its own New England flair and French atmosphere.

Canto 6

Jamaica Plain in Boston is full of marvelous restaurants and bakeries. Consequently, there is no surprise that one of the best bakeries in Boston is located here, in J.P.
According to Boston Magazine, Canto 6 was the best bakeries of 2007. Now, 7 years later, it’s still perfect.
It’s a pretty tiny space that local people love to visit. If you are curious where to buy the best croissants in the city – come here. Chocolate, buttery almond or gruyere croissants – not too rich, but fresh and delicious.

Flour Bakery

Would like to learn how to bake? Visit Flour Bakery in Boston or in Cambridge. And don’t forget to try their famous Sticky Bun.
All pastries in the cafe are usually huge and can easily be shared (I’m not sure you would like to share them though). The line is often long – but of course, if everything is so good here.
They also have great coffee – and what I really like about it – it’s not over-roasted.

Sweet Tooth Boston

If you’re thinking about Wedding or Birthday cake or if you would like to send a dessert to you friend – then Sweet Tooth Boston is for you.
You can order their delightful designer cakes and desserts online and you will get exactly what you would need. But if you can visit them in Boston it would be even better – just to try their Chocolate Pizza or Breakfast pastries.

Clear Flour Bread

Brookline is another area in Boston where you can find extraordinary restaurants and bakeries. Clear Flour Bread concentrates in making the authentic breads of France and Italy. From baguettes to loaves – you would find out it from its name. But forget about a diet (just for a day) and try their Brioche, The Morning Buns or Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Moschino Ice Cream

I love dessert. All kinds. But there’s something about ice cream that makes me happy. I am drawn to its simplicity. I am perplexed by the endless supply of constantly growing flavor options. And I am always in the mood for sprinkles and a sugar cone. Rachel Nichols

If you need some ice cream – get it here: Moschino iPhone 5 case.

Marlene Dietrich’s Favorite Recipe for Stuffed Cabbage

The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. Alice B. Toklas

Marlene Dietrich met Jean Gabin in Los Angeles:

“I got to know Jean Gabin when he came to Hollywood. He had fled from occupied France. As always in such cases, I was asked to help him get used to his new life. My task was to speak French, translate, and to hunt around some French Coffee and French bread. […] But Gabin was supposed to perform in English. And he wanted to accept the challenge. So I taught him English. […]

I would cook native French dishes for the many French friends he had brought with him. One of them was Jean Renoir [a film director and son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir]. Renoir loved stuffed cabbage, had an enormous appetite, and left immediately after the meal. At that time I was known in Hollywood for not taking offense at such behavior: You could come dine with me and leave when you pleased. No fuss, no fawning, Renoir greatly appreciated that. He was a frequent guest, and I made stuffed cabbage for him each time.”

My grandmother used almost the same recipe, my mother cooked Stuffed Cabbage (or “Golubtsy”, or “Provencal-Style Stuffed Cabbage”) for me, and now I cook it for my family.

Ingredients:

– 1 medium head cabbage
– 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal
– 3/4 cup raw long grain rice
– 1 egg
– 1 (12 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
–  garlic powder to taste

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Place cabbage in water, cored-side down; cover pan, and reduce heat to low. Steam 20 minutes, or until cabbage leaves pull apart easily. Drain and set aside.

Pull off large leaves, cut out the large vein.

In a separate large bowl, combine the beef (pork, veal), rice, garlic powder and the egg, mixing well. Place a small amount, about the size of your palm, into the center of a cabbage leaf and fold leaf over, tucking in the sides of the leaf to keep meat mixture inside.

Arrange them in a large, wide pot. Put the larger leaves on the bottom. Add the tomato juice and enough water to cover.

Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, letting them simmer covered on the stove on low for about 60 minutes.

Serve hot, topped with sour cream.

Bon Appetit!

National Donut Day

The only circle of trust you should have is a donut.
Unknown.

 

It’s beautiful outside – warm and sunny.

It’s Friday!

And it’s first Friday in June! So it means that it’s National Donut Day!

Don’t forget to get your free donut. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a free donut with purchase of a beverage.

I already got mine. Did you?

Happy Friday, my dear readers, and Happy Donut Day!

All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Event in Boston

I know I have to run 20 more minutes if I eat ice cream. Basically, I eat everything, but I just do more training.
Jackie Chan

 

It’s hard to believe now that Scooper Bowl, Boston’s huge all-you-can-eat ice cream and cancer research fundraising event, started with only 4 local ice cream companies and lasted just for 6 hours in 1983.

Today it’s the most popular and definitely the nation’s largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. The 3-day event involving 20 tons of ice cream donated by the famous ice cream companies: from Ben & Jerry’s to Baskin-Robbins.

Don’t miss this event that is sure to be fun every first week of June in Boston.

This year it started yesterday in the Government Center area. But you have two more days – today and tomorrow, from noon to 8PM.

I like the idea that you can enjoy the ice cream but also you know that you have an opportunity to make an important contribution to the live-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber and help to raise money for the Jimmy Fund.

The Offline Glass

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle. James Surowiecki

You don’t know how to stop checking email/Facebook, etc.? Go to Brazil: The Offline Glass, designed by the Fischer & Friends ad agency in Brazil, is a beer glass but…with a notch cut out of the bottom exactly the size of an iPhone. The beer has to balance on your phone, otherwise it’ll tip over!

Best Weekend Breakfast: Baked Eggs in Ramekin

My body is like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don’t think about it, I just have it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Are you ready for weekend? Just two more days…

Here is the easiest weekend recipe. You can modify it as you wish.

The only rule is do not forget to smear a bit of butter or oil in ramekin. And then you can add everything – from cheese to spinach and tomatoes.

Models… Behind the Scenes

My first modeling job in Paris, the photographer said, ‘Tue es belle,’ which means, ‘you are pretty,’ and I thought he said, ‘Tu es poubelle,’ which means, ‘you are the trash can.’ I burst into tears. He was not happy about that.
Rachel Nichols

 

It is a sunny day on the beach.  Tonight I will go to the Unbelievable Fashion Party where I’m going to meet all celebrities. I have my huge paycheck and I don’t know how to spend it.

If you’re going to be a model only because of the reasons above – I’m not sure it’s a good idea. The reality of modeling is, of course, a little different.

First off all – you have to be ready for long hours and a lot of work.

But if you’re still reading this article – it means that you would like to be a model anyway. So that’s a good sign – you’ll definitely reach the stars.

I’m not planning to give you any advice – I just want to share my experience with you. And you may pick the right decision that is right just for you.

My good friend, a publicist and a Fashion Editor of Fashion Industry Magazine, Crissy Leatham, invited me to participate in an editorial photo shoot for a great project – The Models against Bullying Campaign. I already wrote about this Campaign last year – but now MAB Models also got ready to pay tribute to the Boston Marathon.

The first time I came to the MAB shoot as a journalist and photographer (of course! That is what I do for almost all my life) – so this time the photo shoot was promising to be the polar opposite of what I was used to.

I had several wardrobe stylists, a hair and make-up team (they were so amazing!) – I came to the photo shoot as a model not a journalist. It was so interesting to feel how it is to be a model. I never did modeling before.

So for me the photo shoot was definitely a prodigious experience. Being a journalist, I wrote a lot of articles about fashion models but now it was my turn to be at the other side of the lens, and I was so worried how to make everything right.

What is it like to be a model? – I asked that question to professional models who helped me a lot during MAB project. I just can’t stop admiring them!

Olea Nickitina, a model, Miss Vermont US International 2014:

“Being a model is like constantly being on adventure. I never know what look/role/character I’m going to play at a shoot/fashion show, so it’s always exciting to explore new styles and meet incredibly talented and creative people.”

Emma King, a model: 

“It’s a very fun job! Getting to meet such creative people on a regular basis and creating something beautiful together is a great feeling. I also enjoy how this industry allows you to really be able to connect and express your creativity.”

Annie McKelvey, a model: 

“I very much enjoy being a model. I love to meet new people in the industry and express myself creatively. Being a model is a lot of work and dedication and is not easy contrary to popular belief. It really takes a strong person to model due to all the rejections you will receive based on your appearance.”

I got some really helpful advice:

Anthony Mancini, a model:

“To anyone looking to model, I’d say 1) don’t walk into a shoot thinking you know exactly what’s going to happen, because you’ll always be wrong. 2) just have fun with it. There’s no need to be stressing about every little thing. That’s the person in charge’s job. And 3) don’t let anyone drag you. My coworkers harassed me nonstop when they found out I was doing a photo shoot. But I didn’t let it get to me and I ended up having an incredible time.

And as far as looking great in every photo, let the emotion show through your more than anything. The eyes are the gateway into a person’s inner most thoughts, you can tell everything about a person through them. So take whatever emotion you’re trying to project, find a memory of that emotion, and let it fill you up. Your body will naturally take care of the rest for you.”

Emma King:

“I would say an important tip would be to only shoot what you feel comfortable with. It’s important to stand up for yourself and your values. If a concept or someone you’re working with is making you feel uneasy or is pushing you to do something you don’t want to do, it’s always okay to say no and even remove yourself from the situation.”

Model Secrets: How to look great in every photo? “This may sound a little goofy…but I always, always, always jut out my chin and stick my tongue to the roof of my mouth. I know it sounds weird, but this trick actually helps to accentuate your jaw line and lengthen your neck.”

Olea Nickitina:

“To all the girls looking to get into the modeling industry I would like to say don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Try to work with versatile designers, stylists, & remember there’s always room for growth. The road to a super model status could be long and winding, but definitely thrilling.”

Model Secrets: How to look great in every photo? “Looking great in every photo would be amazing, but I don’t think that’s how it works. Realistically photographers tend to take a bunch of photos and then select the most excellent ones for further editing. The best shots are usually taken when a model feels confident and is radiating great energy. Learning great poses comes with experience, but after all the eyes are really the mirrors of the soul and true beauty comes from inside.”

Annie McKelvey:

“Please don’t try to be like anyone else! Be yourself and embrace your unique look. If you have a feature that is thought of as a flaw embrace that and use it to your benefit as your signature. Also lots of hard work and dedication. And be prepared for many rejections but keep on pursuing your dream.”

Model Secrets: How to look great in every photo?  “Know your angles and practice in the mirror. Negative space is your friend so keep limbs away from the body.  Also remember whatever is closer to the camera will appear larger!”

It is also really important not to come late:

Crissy Leatham, a Publicist and a Fashion Editor of Fashion Industry Magazine:

My advice to any model starting out in the industry is to always be on time, communicate with your agency on a consistent basis and always look to set yourself apart in your own way. The last thing I would say is be sure to drink water and eat healthy.”

Kristy Downer, a freelance Wardrobe Stylist, Personal Shopper:

“This isn’t really my expertise, but something that really stands out for me when working with models is a sense of humor and punctuality.”

And just be yourself:

Crissy Kantor, a Stylist & Founder of Chill Spa, Manchester, NH:

“Let go, don’t worry about what other people think, be yourself, have fun and get in character. Embrace the moment and your confidence will shine though.”

Sometimes we’re not sure what profession we need to choose. But for a lot of fashion professionals it wasn’t a question:

Crissy Leatham:

“I was very young, I started out by attending modeling school at the age of 15. However, my mother was in Fashion as well.”

Kristy Downer:

At an early age I played dress up in my mother’s closet. 80’s hammer pants and cowboy boots. The interest never went away.”

Crissy Kantor: 

“When I was a very young girl, around 11 years old, I would go visit my Aunti Henni in NJ and I would help her in her shoe store. I loved being surrounded by all of the beautiful shoes and accessories.”

What I really liked in my short modeling experience was the great feeling that you’re like a princess – a lot of people would like you to be the most beautiful girl in the world – Creative Directors: Christi Enwright Guthrie and Crissy Leatham, Sedurre North End boutique and its beautiful wardrobe, top designers like Jacqueline Ortega, top photographers:  Sergei Pyuro, www.yourfashionphotographer.com, and Irina Danilova, Idealcapture, top wardrobe stylist Kristy Downer and top Hair and Make-Up team: Crissy Kantor, Coco Lever, Sawyer Phaneuf, top models: Annie McKelvey, Olea Nickitina, Anthony Mancini, Emma King, Anna Thomas. Just to name a few tremendous individuals who were part of the editorial photo shoot.

“You know, everyone says, ‘Modeling and acting are so similar’… they say, ‘It’s so natural for models to become actresses because they use the camera.’ I don’t think of it in that way”, – Gisele Bundchen said. But it works in an opposite way. As a person who didn’t have any modeling experience before this photo shoot – my little acting experience helped me a lot.

Of course, my experience was so positive because I worked with friends, with a great team of high professionals – the best designers, stylists, photographers in the industry.

Modeling is a competitive field, but if you don’t try it – how would you know it?

PS Useful resources for models:

The International Modeling and Talent Association: www.imta.com

Supermodels Unlimited magazine: www.supermodelsunlimited.com

Helps models to find model agencies, model’s memorable moments and interviews: www.models.com

Trends: Spring/Summer 2014 Fashion Ad Campaigns

I used to follow trends and try to do exactly what I saw in the magazines, but I’m not a Victoria’s Secret model who can wear anything.
Khloe Kardashian

 

We reviewed Spring/Summer 2014 ad fashion campaigns and we can definitely tell you: it’s all about color. After our cold winter with its more than “fifty shades of grey” – we need all colors from the rainbow.

And also don’t forget about:

  1. Metallic pleats
  2. Fancy florals
  3. Inspiration from Art (from abstract to…)
  4. Sporting Spirit
  5. The Biker Jacket
  6. Polka Dots

Would you ever hire a wardrobe/fashion stylist?

Fashion changes, but style endures
Coco Chanel

 

You like your own style, you have a close friend or family member who you think has a perfect sense of style, or you’re completely lost and you’re not sure what to wear? Anyway – you are our amazing readers and your opinion is very important to us:

[polldaddy poll=7905210]

Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris “Supermarket” Show

You have to like the present; if not your life becomes secondhand, if you think it was better before. Or that it will be better in the future.
Karl Lagerfeld

 

Food and Fashion. This news is definitely for our blog.

Chanel’s autumn/winter 2014 runway show took place last Tuesday inside a fake supermarket designed by creative director Karl Lagerfeld at the Grand Palais in Paris.

A lot of celebrities arrived at Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris “supermarket” show, including Rihanna, Keira Knightley, Anna Wintour and Leigh Lezark.

Models filled their baskets with Chanel-branded food as they made their way around the supermarket.

As the show ended, Cara Delevingne (a British fashion model, “Charlie Chaplin of the fashion world”, – Karl Lagerfeld said) walked through the supermarket with the designer.

 

A New Interactive Fashion Tool

The worst thing to happen at the Oscars would be if nothing happened. You want something unscripted, something to riff on, something kinda out there.
Seth MacFarlane

 

If you love Oscars fashion – you would love a new interactive fashion tool launched last Monday by The Guardian and BBH. Explore and share ten years of red carpet style thanks to the Guardian‘s fashion team. You can choose your favorite looks, share “Style Profile” with your friends, filter everything by color and style or by actor, designer and date.

“To feel superheroes”

I love hats and winter is the perfect time for them. I love winter time fashion.
Rebecca Ferguson

 

Still cold, still winter… here, in Boston…

I’m thinking about a jacket from AI – Riders on The Storm – an ultralight down jacket with built-in and interchangeable lenses.
“To feel superheroes”

 

National Flags Made From Each Country’s Traditional Foods

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
Saint Augustine

 

As part of a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, the advertising agency Whybin/TBWA created flags from 18 international countries using popular foods from each country.

I would like to go to France again. So where are you planning to spend your next vacation?
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