Women are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying great shoes. I know I can rattle off over a dozen names of amazing designers that create gorgeous kicks, ranging from elegant ballet flats or electrifying stiletto heels. The very best designers make shoes that are a both a joy to wear and that make us gals look simply sensational. Unfortunately, for the boys, the choices are a little more limited. As the devoted girlfriend to a metrosexual hunk, I admit that I devote quite a bit of my free time sussing out cool designers that I can introduce to my sartorially-inclined beau. Being in London for a summer of leather accessories courses at the London College of Fashion meant that I recently had the delightful opportunity to meet George Glasgow, owner of cult bespoke shoemaker George Cleverley.
The first time I paid attention to the word ‘quiche’ was way back in the early eighties, and I did not even know how to pronounce it then. It was from the title of a book, countless copies of which were stacked on a table as I entered a Barnes & Noble store in Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, California.
My wife S and I used to entertain a lot. In the old days, before we had our first child, we had no problem dedicating several days (or nights) preparing to wow our friends with an amazing multi-course feast. But these days, time is scarce. We need recipes that can either be thrown together pretty quickly the evening of, or whose components can be prepped way in advance, ready to be combined à la minute. Recently, I’ve come across a really delicious, quick and easy dessert that I simply adore. A little artful plating and this dish of honey-roasted pineapple with pistachios and yogurt looks like something you’d get in a fancy restaurant. Which is perfect for capping off an evening of entertaining.
Sometimes, less is truly more. When I’m pressed for time but would like to be able to offer a homemade treat, I remind myself to keep things super simple. After all, a distracted mind tends to make mistakes. I’d rather be able to present a small, unembellished morsel successfully executed rather than an overambitious, spectacular flop. This shortbread recipe from Claire Clark, who was head pastry chef at The French Laundry, fits the bill perfectly.
I’ve been fascinated with cold brew coffee since I read about it a couple years ago. Being a caffeinehead in Singapore means drinking a ton of iced coffees – the weather is often too hot for regular coffees or espressos, even in the air-conditioned comfort of my office – and I’d always felt that the conventional method of simply pouring steaming hot coffee over ice compromised the flavour profile of the beans somewhat. The cold brew method, which favours a slow steeping process over the shock therapy of adding boiling water, seemed a lot more elegant; but I’d never been able to find a product that satisfied both my vain predilections and my cold caffeine curiosity. That is, until I discovered the Hario Cold Water Dripper.
My wife S and I, like so many in our generation, are passionate about wine. That doesn’t make us experts. In fact, I’d say we’re pretty far from being considered experts. But we’ve tasted enough to both know what we like as well as to appreciate something really special. Unfortunately, the kind of wine we both enjoy the most, and drink the most of, is Champagne… I say “unfortunately” because Champagne is far from cheap. Sometimes it feels like we’re constantly stocking up and running out of bubbly, while our other white and red wine supplies stay pretty much constant.