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  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
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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

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To have and BHLDN: My Chemical Romance..

The third in this weeks series of wedding table settings inspired by the launch of bridal haven BHLDN is something that really appeals to MY heart: science.

Often misconstrued as being cold, emotionless and unfeeling, Science often get’s the short end of the stick. But don’t let those beakers and thermometers fool you – for a fire burns in the science lab that is hotter than any bunsen burner. Many know the name Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to do so for two different fields – that of chemistry and physics. But what many might not realise is that Marie was married to Pierre Curie. The pair met when Marie moved from Poland to Paris to become a student of Science, Pierre, at that time director of the lab soon fell for the young Marie and a connection was formed that was only to be separated by death. As a couple, the Curies won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, and bore daughter who later went on to become a physicists herself.

my chemical romance


The bridal elements

a. origami pleated dress – $260
b. daguerreotype necklace – $520
c. simplicity flats – $120

The table setting

1. supper exhibit dinnerware – $68-$98
2. the new terrarium book – $25
3. bubble place card holder – $6
4. ribbon of light tumbler – $14
5. bendy flatware – $98

see also: weck juice jar set – $24 and printed jar set – $28

Why it works

There is a certain simplicity to the origami pleated dress that lends itself to function { a wedding dress } rather than the often more elaborate fashion adorned on such an occasion as do the simplicity flats. The only accessory? A Daguerreotype necklace, made with antique celluloid photographs in vintage brass. Daguerreotypes are a rarity nowadays – the first type of photo development they require a heady mix of alloy, silver and mercury to produce an image..truly an adventure in science.

The objects for the table setting all have one thing in common – creating curiosity. They feature spirals of colour in glass plates { which on closer inspection looks like a whirling solar system of sorts }, ribbons of light in drinking glasses, seemingly magically bent flatware and test tube glass reminiscent, bubble placeholders. The Terrarium Book is a point of reference for the couple to create home made terrariums {or mini-worlds } as centre pieces thus satisfying their interest to create. Overall the objects welcome further inspection and investigation – a quest for answers.

Honorable mentions of the weck jars and printed jar sets are for gifts for the guests made by the bride and groom themselves – pickled peppers? Jam cooked up in the lab using unique ingredients? The possibilities are unlimited.

Only one more BHLDN inspired moodboard left…what will it be? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

all images via anthropologie, terrain and bhldn

To have and BHLDN: From India, with love

As a continuation to yesterdays punk inspired wedding borne from the launch of the new bridal one stop haven, BHLDN, today I give you part two of the series: From India, with love.

It is the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, married as teens in 1612, whose love surpassed the confines of death and whose story has evaded the obsolescence of time. After the death of Mumtaz, a forlorn and grieving Shah erected one of the world’s most wonderful works of architechture, the Taj Mahal, as a monument and mausoleum for his beloved wife. To this day it’s curvaceous lines and outstanding beauty continues to wow the world and has made it one of the most recognised buildings of all time.

From india with love


The bridal elements

a. greenbow lace gown – $600
b. baguette halo – $140
c. brocade d’orsay heels – $350

The table settings

1. zinnia thicket plates – $12
2. nifty napkins – $32 for six
3. opalescent tumbler { in green } -$12
4. whizbang bowl – $32
5. platinum petals coupe – $14
6. rediscovered flatware – $36

see also : glass bottle and basket – $238 and bell finial cloche – $28

Why it works

This beautiful crochet dress has a keyhole in the back, a most elegant ‘cooling system’ for a wedding in a hot location. The baguette halo as headpiece and brocade d’orsay heels add an element of exoticism and sun capturing glintz.

Translated to table setting this concept brings a mixture of brightly coloured elements and patterns that are gently restrained by the shapes and facets that give a somewhat colonial feel. The zinnia plates and whizbang bowls scream with their highly saturated hues and bold pattern. They made me think of the unabashed joviality of sari colours and patterns.

By way of contrast the rediscovered flatware, inspired by vintage flatware, coupled with the platinum petals coupe contributes a regal air that feels decidedly English and formal. The honorable mentions of the bottle and basket and finial cloche { via terrain } add an old world feel to the table and make it seem like the table scape is a collection of inherited items that have traveled from back home that have mashed-up with styles newly acquired in ones new more exotic home.

all images via anthropologie and bhldn

To have and BHLDN

As many of you by now know, the company that owns such brands as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People went live with their bridal one stop shop, BHLDN yesterday. There were sighs and cries from girls who love all things flowy and eclectic from Brooklyn to Portlandia. Trust me. I was one of them. But while I was beguiled by the dresses and shoes { oh the shoes }, my mind wandered to the table settings – plates, forks, spoons, glasses oh my! Imagine a truly Anthro table setting.

The good news is that decorations, tableware, favors, etc will be available in May and you can be sure that I will be keeping my eyes peeled for what develops. In the meantime pulling from Anthro’s current inventory of tablewares and whatnot’s I’ve gone ahead and put together my own mood boards of Anthro table settings based on some of the greatest love stories of all time. Check back each day for a new board!

punch drunk love

The bridal elements

a. ribboned silk gown – $1600
b. unabashedly gloves – $60
c. jelly slingbacks – $190

The Table Setting

1. on a whim dinnerware – $10-$48
2. damara napkin – $8
3. fleur-de-lys juice glass – $6
4. salt and pepper cellar – $22
5. milky way votives { candle votives, but for schnapps drinking! } – $6
6. radiance flatware – $19.95 { on sale }

See also: beast feet platter – $128 and laguiole steak knives – $78 for six.

Why it works

Punk is a very visually strong genre and let’s face it under the guise of a wedding celebration it’s a look than can end up looking gaudy and tacky. Bright colours and clashing patterns are tempered by using subtle colours and ‘nod’s to the genre rather than blatant interpretation. I love the on-a-whim dinnerware – a plaid design in pastels is a nice nod to the beloved fabric of all things punk: tartan. These colours add a touch of femininity to it all.

The radiance flatware is a rich dark colour but not black which could be seen as too stark. This lighter shade adds a contrast and ‘disturbance’ to the table as it is not in sync with the rest of the ‘colour scheme’ but what is punk if it doesn’t cause somewhat of a ruckus?!

A less than perfect looking votive is a nice addition for drinking shot of booze while the pink fleur de lys glass adds yet another texture.

Honorable mentions, such as the beast feet platter add a slightly gothic yet definite masculine air to the table..no room on the mood board for that one, but surely not to be overlooked!!

all images via anthropologie, bhldn and terrain

Last Suppers

I have always wondered what I would choose as my last supper if I were an inmate on death row about to be executed. I don’t know which is more disturbing, that I have thought about it often, or that I can never satisfyingly conclude what taste I want to linger on my lips as my life ebbs away. One thing I am fairly certain of, is that I would probably chose some of my mum’s cooking – heaven knows that lady knows her way around a kitchen..and her chicken curry has had many of our Indian friends claiming it reminiscent of the stuff they grew up with. Yum.

james reynolds last supper donut

The idea of last suppers it seems has been on the minds of others, not just yours truly. Artist, James Reynolds has created { and I am hoping will continue to develop } a series titled ‘Last Supper’s, a series of photographs documenting former Death Row prisoners’ requests for their last meal before execution.

j reynolds last supper eggs

The choices are interesting to say the least – from the expected { a pack of cigarettes } to the absurd { a black olive } to the intriguing { a medley of fresh tropical fruit }. Nevertheless, the series is brilliant and makes me feel like I’ve shared a nod of ‘understanding’ with someone who no longer walks this earth.

james reynolds last supper fruits

Check out more from James’ project here.

all images via james reynolds

Stylin’ picnic’ing in Vogue { almost }

vogue 2007 outtake

I came across the above 2007 Vogue outtake picture of a rather stylin’ picnic on model Coco Rocha’s blog. The shot is a perfectly heady mix of costume, eclecticism, beauty and charm { I love the little French Bulldogs! }.

It seems like last year every blog I read and person I met was determined to do one thing and one thing only before the summer was over: picnic. I blame it on the assault of a horrid winter that made us all just want to grab a blanket, some of our favourite nibbles and head for the outdoors. I picnic’ed twice, Central Park at night, and on the rocks of Brooklyn Bridge Park on a balmy afternoon. Both were so mentally and edibly refreshing.

I like to think that picnic’ing/eating outdoors is yet another way the human family is united. It doesn’t discriminate against budget, race or background – and depending on what you bring, you can make of it what you will. Goodness, I love picnics! Coming off the tail end of our fifth that’s right FIFTH blizzard you can be certain that I will be having many a picnic once this weather becomes fair!


image by steven meisel via oh so coco

Gruyere Thyme Gougeres by Tartine

gruyere gougeres

Speaking of Tartine..the lovely bakery have released a cookbook of their treats. I stumbled across the above gruyere gougeres by Tartine on the lovey blog Oishii Eats – follow her step by step instructions if you want to make the choux pastry treats for yourself this weekend!


image via oishii eats