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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
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Kitchen Envy: All about the Alcoves

alcoves oh my

This kitchen was found via House to Home { again! }, which is proving to be a formidable resource for aesthetic and unique kitchen spaces. The space wasn’t an obvious choice for me, it actually has two things I specifically hate, a low ceiling height and no discernible source of natural light. That aside, the colour and texture of the cabinets intrigued me as well as the unique open shelving design.

Invisible Alcove shelving:
On a list of craven maven loves, this ticks all the boxes. Subway tiles? Check. Open shelving? Check. Glass shelves? Ch-ch-check. Combined into one, a unique idea. The recessed shelving is so polished, simple yet effective that it allows for busy yet orderly stocked items. If you look carefully, there is a lot on the shelves: Salt, pepper mills, cannisters, pots, oils, it’s all there but it doesn’t ‘look’ over stocked. The simple shelving design allows for this. The home owner has carefully selected items that are unified in colour – silvers and black and low on pattern variety. I love it.


Venetian Plaster cabinetry:
Can’t say I’ve seen this before. Forget your usual wood or high gloss cabinets, this gray venetian plaster effect mocks a treatment often reserved for the wall and it works. The space is a bit cavenous and small, so the shadow-like look on the cabinets play up that dark mysterious space feel very stylishly.


Floating Island:
If the island, and I suspect cooktop, in the center of this kitchen had cabinetry it would make this small space much darker and tighter than it already is. The floating island allows for an informal dine space and also for light to flow a wee bit freer than it would.

All in all, a nice space that is largely definied by the open shelving – rightly so. I wish there were more lighting options than just the recessed lights and a floor treatment a little ‘warmer’ than the simple wood – a colourful Kilim would add a really homely feel to this area. What do you like about this space?

image via house to home

Marti Guixe: Food Designing

marti guixe

I find myself somewhat inexplicably drawn to books about food in a graphical context. I say ‘somewhat’ because I love food and I love graphics, so this unlikely hybrid is a logical attraction. Case in point, Marti Guixe’s Food Designing an expression of food in a context a designer would appreciate.

Images of squaring potatoes, molecular structures made from olives and toothpicks and decorating cakes with graphic representations of their contents are just a few of the gems this book contains. I’m inspired, intrigued and peckish all at the same time. Definitely adding this to my wishlist.


cover image by inga knolke via corraini

Good enough to eat: Lover the label meets Bonne Maman Yogurt

lover the label meets bonne maman yogurts

There are very few brands that season after season produce covetous and quality handiwork. Australian brand, Lover is one such label. Helmed by a guy and girl duo, the pair consistently create work that is feminine, strong, delicate yet detailed.

Their new collection, “A Dance for One” has a ballet theme. But don’t expect tulle and flounce, rather through the choice of colour and fabric the collection reflects the elegance and grace of a ballerina.

This particular blouse and trouser caught my eye – it reminded me of the Bonne Maman apricot yogurt I saw in the latest issue of Living etc magazine. Lashing of creamy white dense yogurt atop a smooth orangey apricot base housed in a reusable ribbed glass jar. Divine!

images via lover the label and living etc

Oh Paul, how Sweet it is!

sweet paul spring 2011 cover

Salt and pepper, soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers, mac n’ cheese, some things just go together. It’s apt then that the Spring issue of Sweet Paul magazine is here and it’s a kids special. Kids + Food = a license to play with your food. The whimsy that comes with being a child is often lost when we grow up. We go from eating mac n cheese for supper to dining at Fromagerie’s, wolfing down ice cream for pudding to indulging in ‘whole wheat sorbet‘, it all just get’s a little serious really.

Thanks to the ever sweet Paul Lowe this issue of Sweet Paul reminds us of what makes food fun – I hope that it inspires many to have a rollicking good time in the kitchen and to put stuffiness aside for a bit in 2011.

Some of my favourite articles in this edition:

eggs!

Eggs are one of my most favourite things in the world. Poached, baked, scrambled, fried, I have them any and every which was in any given week. Wonderfully shot by Colin Cooke, “Eggs, Which came first?” contains five recipes for the little and big kids in our lives. From what looks like the perfect egg sandwich to cuddled eggs – I plan on adding each of these to my menu in March.

paul loves coffee

A few years ago on a trip to Australia, I remember watching a five-year-old girl swig about 4 oz of an ice latte from her mama’s cup before anyone could stop her. Some would be alarmed, but for this coffee addict it was incredibly amusing and made me wonder if I was a coffee addicted child growing up. { it would certainly explain a lot }. I was very chuffed to read that as a child Paul himself had a similar addiction..except to Coffee Pots! I imagine a little rotund boy with rosy cheeks and a bow-tie playing in his Nana’s garden surrounded by an array of Scandinavian coffee pots. Adorable!

play with ur food

play with ur food

I was never one to play with my food. Coming from a big family and being the youngest, any delay in polishing off what was on your plate meant that your meal would become a victim of someone else’s fork! In the article Play with your Food Paul get’s creative in presenting morsels in such a way that no child would be able to resist a little bite!

kids choice!

Given the choice any kid will eat something somewhat healthy. Given the choice that is. Putting that theory to the test. In My Favourite Food five little cuties tell us what their favourite dish is, with recipe included. My favourite was young Leo’s: Potatoes with creamed spinach and fried eggs. Yum!

all images via sweet paul magazine

What’s cooking my *blogships?

As with every week, last week was a good week for food focused chatter.

best food stuffs on the blogosphere for 022011-022711

It’s funny just how often the subject of food comes up in any given week. It’s even funnier how often friends give me knowing glances when I am around a conversation that has to do with food, it seems my craven reputation precedes me. The most interesting conversation I found recurring this past week was regarding cooking meals from scratch for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Working from home, I have the luxury to be able to do so. Every day a fresh brekkie, lunch and dinner { and pudding } are served with left overs lasting maybe a day or two at best. I like it that way, call me a control freak, but I like to know what goes into what I eat.

A friend of mine reckons that when I get married and have kids my penchant for cooking every day will quickly fade…I certainly hope not, it’s what my mum did, what her mum did and what I love and plan to keep doing. No fast food dinners in this house!!

A round up of some of the nicest food focused blog posts on some of my favourite blogs from the past week are as follows:

1. Dear golden featured some gorgeous pieces from the Suno collection. This specific dress reminded me of an apron; a really gorgeous-guests are coming over but i’m still in the kitchen and have to look polished – sorta apron. I know i’d wear it.

2. Kind Boutique may have just made my { and my vegan friends } week with this post about Rawtella. What’s Rawtella you ask? It contains only 3 organic ingredients: cocoa, hazelnut, and coconut sugar. I cannot wait to try this, and will be checking online for vendors asap!

3. Fabric of my life, shared the ‘two‘ project with us: two people, with two photographs, one post a week, one theme each month. The result is a diptych that is intriguing and often inevitably populated with food. Having just started in January, the project is in it’s infancy, but I for one will be keeping an eye on it.

4. Bedlam of Beefy – an amazing black kitchen that doesn’t allow itself to be defined solely by it’s shade. From an uber-glam reflective back-splash to an impressive art piece above the sink. It’s a space worth a second, third or more look!

5. Lucy at Design Files interviewed the inimitable Katie Quinn Davies. If you have looked at any food blogs in the past couple of years you will likely be familiar with Katie’s work. Her images have a vibrancy and quality that is insatiable and I get the impression she is the kind of person with whom you could quite easily shoot the breeze. Her story { and food pics } are amazing, so check out the interview! Well worth a read!

all images via respective blogs mentioned
*blogships is a rip on an email I got that opened with ‘ what’s cooking my friendships?’

Food to Fragrance: Paco Rabanne’s 1 Million meets a good ole Indian Curry

paco rabannne one mil v indian curry

Men’s fragrance is a funny old thing – I’ve long felt that it doesn’t get the love it deserves from the male populace and am always frustrated by the lack of adventure most males have when it comes to trying a new fragrance. There are a lot of great men’s fragrances out there and sticking to old habits only deprives males from smelling fantastic across a broad genre of womankind.

Ask any girl and she will tell you, there are certain men’s fragrances that make her weak at the knees, { I very rarely reveal which ones have such an effect on me }, and rightly so. The right fragrance on the right male can make him literally look more attractive. But, there is more to fine fragrance than just making us look/smell good with a view to attraction – smelling nice is socially good, uplifts the wearers mood and gives an impression of cleanliness. Lads, you have been informed!

The Fragrance:
I can honestly say, this is not a fragrance I would usually pay any attention to. The packaging is very eye catching, a bit flashy and the brand one I associate with the 90’s when I wore waay to much XS. But One Million by Paco Rabanne features notes of Frosted Grapefruit, Peppermint, Rose Absolute, Musk, Cinnamon Bark, Blond Leather, Patchouli, White Wood and Amber Ketal. The overall feel is actually a lot spicier and warmer than you would suspect. The cinnamon bark, blond leather and white wood give a warmth while the patchouli and amber work together to add a spicy hint without dominating the scent. The scent starts off with a refreshing sharpness from the grapefruit and quickly settles into the musky spiciness that lingers on the skin and attracts..oh it attracts.

The Food:
An Indian curry. I specifically chose an Indian curry due to the way it’s spices are warmly incorporated into the dish. I often find that Thai red, green and yellow curries are a little simpler in their spiciness. But there is a complexity to the spice of an Indian curry, maybe because it is a mix of several spice ingredients: turmeric, coriander and more, that gives it it’s character. The spice is then typically tempered by either coconut milk or yogurt creating a warmth.

Why it works:
The warmth and spice that is evident in 1 Million are defining characters of an Indian curry. Both literally and in flavour the spice adds a surprising zing which is subdued by the creamy warmth { from the yogurt } paralleling the musk, patchouli and white woods. The yogurt can also add a bit of a citrusy tinge to the dish one that is reflected in the ‘Frosted Grapefruit’ top note in the fragrance.

Fragrance Tip:
Fragrances contain ingredients that can change character incredibly when exposed to warm or overly sunlit environments. Keep your fragrances in the fridge! Somewhere on the top shelf or door is about right, the cool dark conditions will help your fragrance last much longer than if they sit in your bedroom, or heaven forbid your bathroom, exposed to fluctuating temps and direct sun. Also, it just feels good to get spritzed with a chilled substance in the morning!

images via sephora and indian foods co

Kitchen Envy: Pops of juicy orange

orange accents in house and home

If you haven’t looked through house to home‘s kitchen section now is a good time to start if any. For me, it’s like an overdose of my favourite food, leaving me giddy, sightly overstuffed and dizzy. But that’s a good thing. I spied the above kitchen on house to home a few weeks ago and was instantly caught up in the orange accents, they are subtle yet juicy to the eye. But that’s not the only reason I love this space, read on:

High gloss white floors:
Excuse me while I drool. I have a thing for high gloss white floors, the shine is like a jeweled accent to a well put together outfit. It is not dissimilar to the type of floor you would expect to see in a New York art gallery – and being white, it hides the dust and bits quite well. It elevates this space from being just a functional one to being something more.

Open-ness: Proximity to chill out on the couch and the informal dining give this space a nice open communal feeling. I hate kitchens that are boxed in and separate from the rest of the crowd, no banishment to domesticity here! It helps as well that the seating is all in the same shade – as though defining their function through colour and at the same time adding some refreshing colour to the space.

Sleek floating wood cabinetry: It took me a while to notice that the cabinets to the left are floating off the ground. Call it silly, but I love floating cabinets because they look magical to me. Oh, and because it’s a darn sight easier to sweep under them.

Rangehood: The long sleek rangehood mirrors nicely the breakfast bar. It looks as though it operates a dual function as a range hood and spotlight for the informal eating space. It brings an element of continuity, mirroring the rafters in the ceiling and the overall ‘oblong’ shapes that are peppered around: the cabinets, the couch and the windows.

Check out more great spaces at the house to home website.

image via house to home

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