Saturday, February 12, 2011

Silverware by Linda Newmark Marcus

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/home/article_1656e0c3-ae0f-59e3-8679-89bae6ed47c9.html

Made in St. Louis: Linda Newmark Marcus
BY KAREN DEER • kdeer@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8239 Posted: Sunday, February 13, 2011 12:00 am

• Explain your design process. I use stones, beads, check patterned glass, glue and wire. I glue some of the larger beads and wire wrap the smaller pieces to the stemware to create colorful designs.

• Where did your inspiration come from? I love to entertain and show off a decorative table setting, especially for a summer party. One day, I was setting a table with a certain serving bowl and realized I didn't have a decorative serving spoon. I've always had creative juices in my veins, and I immediately thought of a unique way to design the spoon. I added beads and wire and created a spoon to use with the bowl. It's all about presentation.

• Where do you shop for your serving pieces? I attend giftware shows. I'm heading to New York where I hope to find new pieces.

• What type of flatware do you work with? I only work with stainless pieces, but I am experimenting with silver-plated stemware to see how well it holds up.

• What's been your biggest project? My salad sets. They're very popular. They sell from $25 to $45 a set.

• What can you offer that other designers can't? I offer a large selection to complement any kitchen décor, and I can personalize pieces for gift giving.

• Is this your full-time job? No. I'm a travel consultant for TravelPlex American Express in Creve Coeur. I spend about 20 hours a week working on my stemware designs.

• How does someone preserve your flatware designs? Hand wash only and towel dry.

• Do your customers purchase your pieces for daily use or for show? Most of my customers purchase them to use on tabletop settings. But I've had customers tell me they're framing them for wall hangings.

Shows

March 23 • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Norwood Hills Country Club, 5601 Lucas and Hunt Road

April 2 • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Spoede Elementary, 425 North Spoede Road

April 14 • 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Meadowbrook Country Club, 200 Meadowbrook County Club Estates in Ballwin

Also be sure to read: Special cookies are a family tradition
http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/article_4cbbfee6-adfd-5a70-b326-999268fb658a.html

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flaco's Cocina - Part Two

Well, it turns out the universe heard me and I got the opportunity to go back a second time and try a whole bunch of new foods at Flaco's Cocina! (http://www.flacoscocina.com/) Since I enjoyed everything I ate, I thought I would go ahead and blog a second time.

I got to start off the night with three appetizers: seared tuna, crab cakes brigantine, and baked goat cheese. The seared tuna was my favorite, probably because I'm such a fan of sushi. The crab cakes were tasty, but breaded on the outside without that thick, creamy sauce that I have become accustomed to. The baked goat cheese came in a romesco sauce that was a little overwhelming with a spicy finish, again catching me off guard. I did love how the goat cheese melted over the toasted bread but I'm not sure the spicy finish was for me.

Since I had some friends to help me with the appetizers, I still went ahead and ordered some fish tacos because my visit would not seem complete otherwise. I was too late on one of the specials, so I ordered a scallop fish taco and a mahi mahi. Both were good, although not as good as the baha or seared tuna I had the week before.

The best meal of the night definitely was the lobster empanadas that my tablemate so kindly shared. There was a full lobster flavor in each bite! It's probably the only thing that could distract me from the fish tacos on a future visit.

I also got to try the sangria, which was very mild. My friends let me try the Ultimate Margarita (too strong for me!) and the Peach Jalapeño Margarita (what a spicy kick!). I think I will be sticking with my fruity drinks, thanks.

P. S. There are still more appetizers I wanna try, o universe!

For Lovers of Food and Wine

After several months off, the food and wine pairings at Provisions restarted this month with a theme of “For Lovers of Food & Wine”. Angie, aka STLwinegirl (http://www.stlwinegirl.com) , tried to pick the type of foods one might select for special occasions when dining out. All of the pairings, especially the food, was top notch as always.

You certainly can’t go wrong with having cheese on the menu and a Goat Cheese Tart was the appetizer course. It had a strong onion flavor with a rich, creamy texture so you know it needed a sweet, white wine to cut through that! The “Sofia” Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine with a sharp, pear flavor was a good match for sure.

I was super excited about the Oyster Rockefeller next and it was even deshelled for us, but the wine that was paired with it, a Muscadet, was rather bland. I know this was done on purpose so that the wine did not outshine the food, but I would not waste my time drinking something that has little flavor.

The chicken marsala definitely required a red wine with such great flavors in the sauce, and was paired with a GSM, which I learned is a blend of Granche, Syrah, and Mourvedre. The blend was very mild with low tannins so a real mellow balance.

The high tannins could definitely be tasted in the Syrah that was paired with the Beef Wellington. Delicious! Both definitely complimented each other well and the wine calmed down a lot.

I really thought the goat cheese or the Beef Wellington was the best pairing until we got to dessert. Normally I do not enjoy dessert wines because they are so ungodly sweet. I tried a Framboise for the first time and it too, was overpowering to taste. Think Raspberry cough syrup. But then Angie cut it with sparkling wine and it really did become a true dessert in itself. While it could have been served as an ice cream topping, it helped to cut the SUPER rich flavor of the best chocolate molten cake that I have ever had. Oh. My. Goodness. Yes, that good. I am pretty sure I spent 30 minutes on this course alone, enjoying each bite…

Here is the pairing list while I savor the dessert memory….

Tomato & Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Tart
“Sofia” Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine
California

Oyster Rockefeller
2008 Domaine de L’ecu Muscadet
Loire, France

Chicken Marsala
2008 Paul Mas G.S.M.
France

Beef Wellington
2006 Casa Lapostolle “Las Kuras” Syrah
Chile

Chocolate Molten Cake with Raspberries
Pacific Rim Framboise
Washington State

The next Provisions class will take place on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30pm with an Irish / Spring theme!