Air-conditioned homes and shopping centers combined with irrigated green landscaping sometimes make it difficult to remember that Santa Clarita is a desert, but step outside during the summer and the blast of oven-hot air will quickly bring you up to speed. What does this obvious reminder mean? Besides the mantra to stay well-hydrated and practice common-sense safety measures, it also means embracing the brightest color of the visible spectrum: white.
Cardamom, coriander, cumin, cinnamon... Our new passion is to use these precious spices in cooking (no - not baking - cooking!). We recently attended a chefs course in Napa at the Culinary Institute of America. Chefs from Morocco, Tunisia, India, Persia, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain and the United States came together to talk about food trends both ancient and modern. There we learned how spices have united us. No matter what continent, no matter what style of food, there are spices involved.
Before you think that this article is just another way of getting out of housework, consider this: Studies conducted by the EPA suggest that the air inside homes and buildings is on average two to five times more polluted than the air in even the most industrial cities. This toxic environment can lead to allergies, sinus problems, frequent cough, asthma irritation - even cancer.
Maple or walnut? Espresso or burgundy? Full-sets or mix-and-match? When it comes to decorating your home's interior, it often seems like the choices are overwhelmingly extensive. In the following pages, the newest trends in home interiors will be simplistically described.
It seems that every year, RSVP Catering has the yummiest offerings at Taste of the Town. When are you going to give us some of those recipes?
Recently, I was asked to share my favorite Taste of the Town recipe. I sat in front of my computer for what seemed like ages trying to decide between several options.
Thanks to tradition or mere serendipity, certain holidays are linked to certain foods. At Thanksgiving there is turkey, at Christmas it is prime rib. At Easter it's lamb, or at most homes it's ham. The tradition of having ham in spring goes way back into history. The early Romans used to store pork underground by the sea in winter in order to have salty cured ham in spring.
Embarking on a color journey for the entire house or just one room is a terrifying task. Will it look good at night? Will the shade accent already-existing color schemes? Is there a special mental institution reserved for people who have lost their minds trying to determine the difference between the paint colors "Candle Light" and "Sunlight?"
If we had a nickel for every time we've barked that at our kids, well... it'd be a lot of nickels. Truth is that we should be more concerned about the fridge door left open for the trip to the cupboard to pour a glass of milk and really concerned when we inch the thermostat down to 70 degrees. Electricity has been a hot topic lately and we should all be very concerned about saving it, not just for the immediate satisfaction in our wallet but to prevent a crisis in the future. Remember the '70s and those lines at the gas station? How about mandatory black outs?
Dear Catering Mentors,
I have been waxing poetic about olives, and my friends are starting to regard me strangely. Please, help redeem me.
They are on your pizza. They are in your martini. When you were young, they were on your fingertips. And up until a few years ago, they were only green or black.
The latest in interior design is repurposing. In other words, use what you have, use it in a new way or reinvent it! Anne had grown tired of her home office and felt that she needed a change, but she couldn't financially justify redoing the entire room.
Go ahead and procrastinate on those taxes a few extra days this year. The deadline to file your individual tax return (or request an extension) falls on Monday, April 17, 2006. For those of you who actually like to plan, March is the perfect time to dig out all those receipts and hit the accountant's office. Santa Clarita Enrolled Agent and Certified Financial Planner Michael L. Green encourages you to file electronically this time around.
So you have a gaping hole on the wall and you need to fill it with a beautiful piece of art. Forget about the fabulous piece of art and think plates. There are plates available in just about every shape, style and size imaginable! A collection of plates hung on a wall works with just about any style of decorating.
Dear Beacons of Culinary Bliss,
As a guest at a recent RSVP catered party, I met the love of my life. No, not a drop-dead-gorgeous doctor, but something more satiating and sweet - your Bread Pudding. Fess up, Darlings. I won't have another Valentine's Day without the delectable comfort of pudding-goodness at my side.
Dear Kitchen Mavericks,
Spill it. We know that you have some hip new recipes hidden up your chef-coat sleeves. We do have a hot new food trend to pass on. Our latest passion is the pomegranate. Foods from Persia, Morocco and Turkey are incredibly popular right now.
You wouldn't dream of wearing that little black dress without the perfect shoes and pair of earrings, would you? Then why skip hanging window treatments when decorating a room? I recently helped a couple with most beautiful living and dining rooms, except there were no window treatments anywhere. He didn't want to obstruct the beautiful views, as they had just spent a small fortune on landscaping.
"Nesting." The concept's premise basically suggests that the more tumultuous the world becomes, the more apt we are to create a better, more entertaining home environment and the less likely we are to explore outside the home. Key to the nesting philosophy has been home theaters; they allow for cinema-esque quality without leaving the house.
This month, we will take a look at various ways that screens can be used to accessorize your home, a few fresh ideas for some new holiday decorations, and two designers that have turned their visions into hot product lines...
Dear Culinary Geniuses,
Last Thanksgiving, I was teased about my reliance on store-bought, "it's still shaped like a can even though it's out of its can" cranberry sauce. I'm not interested in a repeat offense. Help!
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce - and we are not talking cranberry sauce from the can, people!
Information for all of your home needs including Real Estate agents, Banking & Loans needs, Insurance agents, Indoor & Outdoor Building Contractors, help with Tile, Granite, Marble & Design, Shelving needs, Plumbing help and Vacuums / Sewing needs.
In the next three months, a minimum of two major holidays will be celebrated, an untold number of guests will trample through your home and you'll lose approximately a million hairs stressing out about the whole ordeal.