Thursday, July 31, 2014

“Above All I Am Most A Woman”~Jackie











This week would have been Jackie's 85th birthday. Whether as a student, a mother, in official duties as First Lady, in service to history and the arts, as a Doubleday editor of two decades; Jackie did her utmost...

Keenly aware of the symbolic meanings, she choose peonies to backdrop her official White House portrait for they exude femininity, distinction and symbolize beauty and wealth in all things... 

From her 5th Avenue apartment where she lived after the White House and for the rest of her life--she could see the 15 BC Egyptian Temple of Dendur lit-up at night in MoMA in honor of Isis and Osiris... 

As First Lady, it was Jackie who was most instrumental in securing America's help to save over 500-ancient artifacts threatened by the flooding from the Aswan Dam Project. When asked to choose a gift among saved relics--this was the one she chose.

Paris, the City of Lights where she was a Sorbonne student, and later wowed as First Lady on her first official trip there in 1961, was named for the Goddess Isis.

At the end of her life, as a Doubleday editor, Jackie was responsible for two books based on the legend of Isis and Osiris. To Jackie...she and Jack were Isis and Osiris. And like Isis who'd overflowed the Nile with her tears and then put Osiris back together, Jackie put JFK back together after his death by instituting honors in his memory and name. 

She wasn't blessed with a long life—but an enduring one. She and JFK remain among Gallup polls Top 20 most admired figures of the 20th Century. 

Speaking as one of America’s top equestriennes she said to a friend at the end, “I had a good run.”  And to her children at her bedside her last words were, "I'm going to be with your father now"...(HERE).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Raspberry Tart With Pistachio Crust And Rosé~


Photo Credit: Stephanie Foley

The Provence wine estate of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt~


Another view of the star couple's Provence estate~
Sacha Lichine's wine estate where his "Whispering Angel"
is created...


This pairing will make any Summer gathering anywhere sparkle...

The Raspberry Tart with Pistachio Crust Tart is from NYC’s Pastry Chef Jennifer McCoy--and delicious to present as it is to savor. Made extra dazzling alongside one of these two Superstar wines...

Miraval is the hit from Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Provence Estate: (HERE). Whispering Angel is created by Sacha Lichine--son of the global wine legend extraordinaire, Alexis Lichine.

After a lifetime in the wine business, Sacha acquired the Château D’Esclans estate in the gorgeous Pennafort Gorges near St. Tropez Bay (More on that little known gorgeous Provence spot tomorrow) to create Whispering Angel that has also been a mega-success from the Seychelles to St. Barts...

Raspberry Tart With Pistachio Crust~

Preparation time: 1 hour
Allow total 2 hours, plus time to chill.  
Serves: 8 to 10

Pastry:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 ounces unsalted pistachios, finely ground (1/2 cup)

Filling and Topping:

2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 to 3 half-pints of raspberries

Finely chopped unsalted roasted pistachios, for garnish

In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the sugar and salt at medium speed until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and beat until smooth. Add the flour and pistachios and beat just until incorporated. Scrape the pastry onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the pastry into a disk, wrap in the plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. Remove the plastic and ease the pastry into a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom; trim the overhang and patch any tears. Refrigerate the pastry until firm, about 10 minutes.

Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 15 minutes longer or until golden and cooked through. Let cool completely.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk with the vanilla bean, seeds and salt and bring to a boil. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the cornstarch and eggs. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the pastry cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Spread the pastry cream in the tart shell and arrange the raspberries on top; sprinkle with the pistachios to garnish. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Make Ahead: The pastry cream can be refrigerated for 3 days. The tart shell can be stored at room temperature for 2 days~

Gorgeous abundant beauty from La Provence: (HERE) Thank you so much for stopping by~

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Escape To Beauty And Peace~







The resort's private villas are at the foot of the mountain~
above the olive grove...






The former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright offered her professional view on the state of the world today: "It's a mess." If you're feeling the need for a restorative escape...you're not alone. Beautiful stress-reliving music: (HERE).

The scenic peaceful hills above Nice and Cannes also offer a tranquil natural paradise away from the summer crowds below on the Côte d'Azur...

The 5-star Château Saint-Martin Resort and Spa was voted the Best Luxury Romantic Hotel on the planet. Situated on 32 acres of what was a 12th century Knight’s Templar fortress--the airy large guest rooms all have balconies overlooking bucolic grounds. Also available are 6 private guest villas.

The onsite La Prairie spa treatments utilize the best of beauty technologies high on the cliff with views of the sea. With full salon services also available.

The resorts two Michelin-star restaurants offer outstanding dining experiences with an added grill on the panoramic terrace and a wine-tasting lair on picturesque gardens shaded by century-old olive-trees. Head Sommelier Géraud Tournier takes you into the wine cellar: (HERE).

Other amenities are a fitness center, two tennis courts, an underground car park and helicopter pad.

Located in Vence known for its pure spring water...special events include wine tastings and a Slim Aarons photography exhibition with classics like his iconic snap of CZ Guest at her Villa Artemis:
Thank you so much for stopping by~ 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Aix-en-Provence's Fount Of Beauty~









       Madly in love with Aix~
As a ritzy, sophisticated arts and university town with fountains splashing throughout--Aix-en-Provence amplifies effervescent life...

Dating back to the ancient Romans, Aix retains the ethos of excellence in arts and humanity imparted by its Good King Rene who rode with Joan of Arc--and is thought to be the emblem of the Renaissance: “Rene’s essence”… 

Another name synonymous with Aix is that of native life-long artist, Paul Cezanne: L’Atelier de Cézanne

Visitors notice the golden glow of Aix--often not realizing the secret comes from the Bibémus Quarries, and now a public park in honor of Cézanne, which the artist painted obsessively from 1895 to 1904. In operation from the time of the Roman Empire, the golden rock was used to construct Aix’s 17th and 18th c buildings. 

At the heart of the City of Fountains is Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur on the leafy Cours Mirabeau—one of France’s most beloved strolling boulevards. 

The original church--founded by Saint Maximinus who arrived in Provence with Mary Magdalene—was constructed over an Apollo temple on the old Roman route--Via Aurelia

The Cathedral was re-built from the 12th through the 19th century and thus is a pastiche of Romanesque, Gothic and Neo-Gothic elements, and with Roman columns as part of the baptistery that dates from the 6th-century church. 

A must visit temple is a gastromic one, and yet, the visit is not for its cuisine. Les Deux Garçons, also on the famed Cours, might rightly be said to be resting a bit on its laurels—yet, quelle laurels. Enjoy an aperitif and soak up the spiritual vibes of every artist, singer, writer, star or famous politician who arrived here from 1792 …

Aix-en-Provence Ratatouille~ 

Why are French women so vibrantly slim, attractive and healthy-looking at every age? You are what you eat is the inescapable truth. The cuisine of Aix reflects that in this classic dish prepared from freshest Farmer’s Market ingredients.  

An enduring symbol for me was my grandmother's French friend, Miss Colburn. Married to an American diplomat, even at age 90 her irrepressible charm and joie de vivre was a treasure. Delightfully outfitted each day in cashmere and pearls, she remains the ever witty symbol of all that's best in France for me. She ate healthily, laughed always, and loved a daily glass French wine...

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 unpeeled large eggplant diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 
4 ounces goat, diced 

Prepare: 

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add eggplant, green bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, zucchini and basil. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stir occasionally, about 25 minutes. Uncover simmer until juice thickens, stir occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Can make ahead and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread ratatouille in 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

An excellent short video on Aix: (HERE). Thank you so much for stopping by...Cheers your prospering week!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

San Francisco Awash With Billionaire Dough~










Which country/city is truly the richest in the world, today? London, Paris, San Francisco, Monaco? Do the charts tell the whole story?

Monaco might be the second smallest state in the world, but it’s obsessively, obscenely rich--compared, that is, to discrete Paris--population 2.3M and the most visited city on earth. 

Postage stamp Monaco's population is 37,500 with more Millionaires by far than anywhere on earth and with a land mass of a mere 500-acres...

Despite that. my former hometown of San Francisco—the Sister City of Paris—with a relatively tiny major city 837K population is bursting with billionaires.  

In fact, per capital, San Francisco is leaps ahead of Billionaire-ing compared with the rest of the globe. SVP:

London’s population is 8-million, nearly 10-fold the population of The City By The Bay…with a "mere" 72 Billionaires to San Francisco’s 42...ahem...

And on it goes with the measuring, calculating, sprinting to some invisible, elusive Richie-Rich finish line awash in derivatives shorts that keeps getting dimmer as it pirouettes on into the sunset... 

I am a bit concerned about Paris. The people are scarfing McDos and the President zips to trysts on a scooter. If France is a woman...maybe she should try to woo Monaco back...