INtrigue INsider – Margarita on the Move

We’re pleased to announce the addition of Margarita Active Wear to Intrigue Imports.301

With a vivid palette of latin inspired color and a cute daisy logo, the flattering Brazilian cut style means that you will get “bottoms up!”  Made in Israel with quality, detail and comfort.  Here is a sampling of the colorful brand’s attire.

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Please note that we’re currently in the process of adding more stock so please check back for frequent updates.  Now at http://www.intrigueimports.com510503555T

Daisy Logo

style & design – Prints Charming!

034It could be because I’m in Palm Springs and under the influence of  the “mod squad” but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of  Pucci designs.028 - Copy

Emilio Pucci (1914-1992) was crowned “The Prince of Prints” by the international fashion press and hailed from one of Florence’s oldest and noblest families.  The press were smitten by his exuberantly colored prints and simple, effortless designs, so radical for the time. Their feminine and free-flowing body-conscious shapes translated seamlessly into weightless silk jersey dresses, resort-style sportswear and glorious evening gowns — must-haves for the jet-set crowd.  Not to mention a good friend of mine who is in the process of buying out the recently re-launched Pucci sunglass collection that bears her same last name.

Vogue shoot by Irving Penn - 1990

Vogue shoot by Irving Penn – 1990

The Pucci brand is famous for its pattern with geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colors. Not for the faint of heart.  Along with swimsuits, scarves and lounge wear for suburban moms, he designed uniforms for flight attendants, insignia for the Apollo 15 astronauts and outfits for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,  Marilyn Monroe and even Madonna.027

Pucci is today widely known for its fashionable luxury items and is 67% owned by the French Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton Group.

030You can shop for Emilio Pucci accessories, including handbags, scarves, hats, shoes and eyewear, from eLuxury.com, Net-a-Porter.com, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and at many boutiques around the world. The Emilio Pucci official website (Visit the Site) features runway videos, backstage photos and information about upcoming items.024025026031023028 - Copy032  Coming soon to Intrigueimports.com (I wish).

Simply Satisfying – Orange Cranberry Breakfast Cake

Orange Cranberry  breakfast cake slicedAs soon as I saw this recipe on a food blog I knew that it would turn out wonderful.  Especially since I had orange flavored cranberries at home.  I didn’t have brandy but substituted with over proof rum.  Okay, so it was a little bit stronger but nonetheless tasted excellent.

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried cranberries

½ cup of brandy (I used overproof Rum)

½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup of sugar

zest of 1 orange

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup of milk, room temperature

juice of 1 orange (mine rendered 1/3 cup)

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp. of baking powder

1 tsp. salt

turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top

 Preparation:

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-ince square baking pan.

In a small sauce pan add cranberries and brandy (or rum).  Warm through over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  The brandy should evaporate. Turn off heat and set it aside to cool.

Using a standing mixer, cream butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Then add in milk and orange juice and continue mixing until combined.

In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt until combined.  Slowly add in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  The batter will be thick.  Fold in ¾ of the boozy cranberries into the batter and spread it evenly into the greased pan.  Sprinkle the remaining ¼ of the cranberries on top.  Then sprinkle some turbinado sugar evenly on top of everything else (batter and cranberries).

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick/tester inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let the breakfast cake cool in the pan on the cooling rack.

Adapted from “For the Love of Cooking” by unihomemaker.com and then by intrigueimports.com

Scene in the City – Real Estate

THE COST OF HOUSING – In and Around PALM SPRINGS

If you compare the following prices to the equivalent in Vancouver, B.C. you’ll find a HUGE difference. You can buy a palace here for the same price as a knock down there.  It’s just the way it is.  Here is what you can buy in P.S. for just under $100,000 +

For an asking price of $99,900. – a 900 sq. ft. two bedroom, two bathroom condo in secure gated community about a 15 minute drive from the center of town. Living area has a vaulted ceiling, newly re-modelled kitchen and the balcony off second bedroom overlooks pool and hot tub with partial mountain view.  Quite attractive.  See below:

From front entrance - one bedroom with ensuite on left.

From front entrance – one bedroom with ensuite on left.

Balcony off second bedroom.

View from balcony off one of the bedrooms.  Mountain view to the right.  Asking $99,900.

Kitchen as new granite counter top and tiles.

Kitchen has new granite counter top and tiles.  Asking $99,900.

For an asking price of $279,000. you can buy a 1,400 sq. ft. Adobe style home with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  Two beautiful outdoor spaces – one off kitchen with private hot tub and a gorgeous large upstairs deck with mountain views.  Complex has a swimming pool and there’s a golf course close by.  See 2 photos below.

santa fe   Asking $279,000.

For an asking price of $535,000. you will get a 1,500 sq. ft. uniquely private home in a gated community close to town with only 12 houses in the whole complex.  Absolutely gorgeous home with 2 spacious bedrooms (each with own ensuite) at opposite sides of house.  A nice office space, 2 car garage, outdoor living with private salt water swimming pool, hot tub and mountain view064.  Large kitchen area. See 2 photos below.Outside - house

This complex across the street was originally selling for $1,000,000.  (I know because I looked at it a few years ago) and now it's going for $500,000.

Units in the complex you see across the street were originally selling for $1,000,000. (I know because I looked there a few years ago) and now the only two remaining are going for about $500,000. – half the original asking.

stairs 2stairs 1These are just tiled stairs that I really like.  I love Mexican tiles.

A Road Runner

Until now the only Road Runner I was familiar with was on Bugs Bunny.

AWay with Words – Quotes about Modernism.

By Modernism, I mean the positive rejection of the past and the blind belief in the process of change; in novelty for its own sake; in the idea that progress through time equates with cultural progress; in the cult of individuality, originality and self-expression.                          – Dan Cruickshank

Parker Palm Springs Hotel Lobby

Parker Palm Springs Hotel Lobby

Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.               – Salvador Dali

Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable. – Charles Baudelaire

Post-Modernism was a  reaction against modernism.  It came quite early to music and literature and a little later to architecture.  And I think it’s still coming to computer science. – Larry Wall

“The modern artist is working with space and time and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.” – Jackson Pollock

Parker Palm Springs Lobby

Parker Palm Springs Hotel Lobby

“The pure modernist is merely a snob; he cannot bear to be a month behind the fashion.”- G.K. Chesterton,  All Things Considered

“In his own way the modernist becomes as irrelevant as the fundamentalist. The fundamentalist has something to say to his world, but he has lost the ability to say it. The modernist knows how to speak to his age, but he has nothing to say.” ―  William E. Hordern

Great Mailbox

Great Modern Mailbox

B Well – other intriguing uses for Herbs & Spices.

tumeric

tumeric

Did you know…..

thyme

thyme

tarragon

tarragon

oregano

oregano

lavender

lavender

ginger

ginger

fenugreek

fenugreek

dill

dill

cumin

cumin

cloves

cloves

bay leaf

bay leaf

anise

anise

Ancient Romans hung Anise plants near their pillows to prevent bad dreams?

Pinning a Bay Leaf to your pillow on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day lets you see your future spouse in a dream.  This according to Elizabethan lore.

Clove oil is a natural pain killer, used for centuries.  In 17th century Britain, cloves were literally worth their weight in gold.  Unfortunately times have changed.

In the Middle Ages, Cumin was believed to keep lovers (and chickens!) from wandering.  **That’s why you should always use cumin in cooking.

Drinking Dill water removes a witch’s spell.  So happy to finally get that bitch witch off my back.

Studies have shown that Fenugreek can increase milk production in nursing mothers by up to 900%.

We all know that Ginger helps to cure a sore throat but ginger is also extremely effective for curing nausea.

Cleopatra wore Lavender perfume while seducing Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.  In the 19th century it was used to cure vipor bites and swooning fits.

Hippocrates used Oregano as an antiseptic.  Ancient Greeks crowned brides and grooms with sprigs of oregano to banish sadness.

Tarragon was believed to cure snake bites.

In the middle ages, Thyme was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Too bad the Lion from Wizard of Oz didn’t know about that.

Tumeric can be used to deter ants in the garden.  I suppose this can also be used in the house but only if you don’t mind your wood floor or carpets dyed a bright yellow.

It’s nice to know about these other ancient purposes but I’ll stick to using them mostly for cooking.

But does anyone know where I can get an Anise plant?

Also,
**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.
Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

P.S. – Some books I really like.

Books are some of my favorite things.

Books 1

More and more people are using a kindle but there’s nothing

I should have written this one.

This should be mine.  Glamping by Debbie King

like turning the pages of a book. I’ve always fantasized about having a library.  My friend Natalia has built an enviable floor to ceiling library in her house in L.A. – if only I had the space.  I go into stages of reading and not reading and have many books to catch up on.  My friend Louise recently gave me the book “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle which I’ve wanted to read for the longest time.  I must be the last person on the planet to be reading it. Here are a few coffee table types that recently caught my eye – from and about Palm Springs.books 2books 3

Considered the Cadillac of Campers.  I wouldn't mind one of these.  Always loved the Airstream rounded aluminum bodies.

Considered the Cadillac of Campers.  I wouldn’t mind one of these.  Always admired the rounded aluminum body of an Airstream.

Of course our visitors would have their own guest house.

Of course our visitors would have their own trashy guest trailer.

INtriguing ART in Palm Springs

At the outdoor FINE ART FAIR over Presidents’ Day long weekend. Beautiful works of ART

art - sunglassesA wonderfully diverse collection of art.  Something for everyone including sculptures, pottery and jewelry.

Fine Art Fair

Fine Art Fair

Love this life like bronze sculpture and her turquoise neclace

Love this life like bronze sculpture and her turquoise necklace.

art - marilyn

Sculpture in town centre

Sculpture in center of town

Cowboy Art

Cowboy Art

art - beach

This was made with only newspaper clippings and an exacto knife.

This was made with only newspaper clippings and an exacto knife.

Mixed media - S. African artist.

Mixed media – South African artist

Desert Landscape with molded frame - no visible joints.

Desert Landscape with molded frame – no visible joints

Abstract

Abstract

I loved this one best

I loved this one with wild horses the best

Simply Satisfying – The Best Caesar Salad

Caesar salad has always been one of my all time favorite salads but I could never get the dressing quite right…..until I ordered it once in an Italian restaurant in Niagara Falls of all places.  The waiter came to our table with this wooden stand and placed a huge wooden bowl on top and then started mixing from scratch right in front of us.  He looked so professional doing so that I tried to memorize his every ingredient with the correct proportions.   I don’t believe anything is left out, in fact I added another two ingredients.

Wood bowl from Durban, S.A.

Wood bowl from Durban, S.A.

Start with fresh ground pepper right in the bowl (preferably wooden) that you’ll be serving from.

Purists will tell you that Caesar Salad has to be made with fresh anchovies but I admit to using about 1 inch of Anchovy paste instead.  A good quality one works as a nice replacement.

Crushed or finely chopped garlic (a couple cloves…or more)

About 1 tsp. of dried mustard like Keen’s

1 egg yolk

a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and Red Wine Vinegar.

Mix well.

Then:

Whisk in the juice of ½ fresh lemon.  Add anywhere from ¼ to  ½ cup of olive oil bit by bit – whisking slowly in with the rest.  It depends on how thick you like the dressing.  More often than not I end up using about 1/3 of a cup.  Finally mix in ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Toss in enough  romaine lettuce for the dressing, tearing it with your hands.  Add more parmesan & pepper if you like once plated.  Also bacon bits and croutons if desired.

NOTE:  Since then I was at another restaurant where the waiter added some capers and a splash of Tabasco.  You can add that before the lemon if you want – it’s a great addition.

For tasty croutons just cut up some bread into little squares and add it to a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil and Italian spices until they start to get crispy.  You can also freeze them for later use.

**p.s.  I thought yesterday was Wednesday so I posted something on design.  Normally I post a recipe on Tuesday. Might have suffered a bit of heat stroke in Palm Springs. Does anyone really care? Do you bloggers follow some kind of format or just post haphazardly?

décor & design – It’s a Mod Mod World!

It’s Modernism week in Palm Springs.  I think they invented just modern Mid Century Modern.

modern 2Modern 7modern 3Modern 6It’s so opposite of my current home style but because it’s so different I kind of like it.  Maybe I’ll even consider it for my next place – especially if that place is in Palm Springs.

Paris, Tokyo, New York

Paris, Tokyo, New York, Rome……Just Kidding!

A view

A view