Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Springing and Cooks Cooking

Met the lovely Elizabeth from About New York and The House in Marrakesh for tea yesterday and had a nice stroll through the Green Market where we both agreed Spring is in the air but it's a little early here to plant herbs...she inspired me to make tagine for dinner...I ordered a gorgeous clay tagine as soon as I got back from Morocco so we could relive some of the delicious meals we had there. We are sentimental like that...for food.

I decided to make Lamb with Caramelized Shallots, Honey, Dates and Almonds...a romantic sounding meal for a chilly spring Monday, no? (OK, we didn't eat 'til 10 pm but who's counting?) Picked up some organic lamb shoulder and the wonderfully oily Marcona almonds from Whole Foods...I had to ask Elizabeth how the hell to use this gorgeous thing...she told me to brown the meat on the stovetop, add a little water and spices and then let it stew for a few hours. So that's what we did. There were a few more steps in the middle but the flavors were great...taking us back a few weeks back to Marrakesh...

Bonbon's Lamb Tagine
with Caramelized Shallots, Honey, Dates & Almonds

3 lbs. lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into a few pieces
1 onion, grated or chopped very fine
olive oil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger or ground
1 small cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground
1/2 tsp saffron
black pepper and salt
1 pound shallots or cippolini onions (or both!)
1 tsp honey
10 dried dates
handful of almonds or better yet, marcona almonds
1 Tbs. chopped parsley and cilantro

This was kind of a synthesis of a few recipes...You don't need the fancy shmancy clay tagine to pull this off although it really does impart a fantastic earthy flavor to the dish--you can come over if you want to try it! Otherwise a nice sturdy casserole pot will work. This recipe is a little sweet for some people so I'd say if you don't want it too sweet either don't add the dates or don't add the honey!

-Heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil in a large casserole pot over medium-high heat and brown lamb. Add grated onions and stir until onions seem soft. Add ginger, cinnamon, saffron, a pinch of salt and a generous crack of fresh black pepper (which will counter the sweetness of the honey yet to be added). Add just enough water to barely cover. Stir and lower heat.
-Simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours over low heat, stirring and turning lamb to prevent sticking sometimes.

-Meanwhile, parboil shallots or cipollinis in boiling water for 5 minutes, then run under cold water and peel (they should peel easily!) Sauté slowly in olive oil in a shallow pan until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Your house will smell great.
-After the lamb has cooked for 1 and 1/2 hours, add caramelized onions and the honey and another crack of black pepper. You may have to add more water and keep stirring to prevent sticking.
-After 20 minutes add the dates!
Cook for another 10 minutes and garnish with parsley.

Serve with couscous or roasted potatoes and some good crusty bread and enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Dose of I:The Blooming Desert

Spring in the Agafay desert just outside of Marrakesh. We spent a few days here--there had been so much rain over the winter in this little oasis, we found little riots of color at every turn along with green fields of mint, wild rocket, and our room in our very healthy olive grove...just thought a little riot of color would start the week off right...happy monday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Upcoming Classes at Make and... right here in our Studio!

Big Teaching News! I am excited to announce I'll be teaching some classes here in our very own studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn..We decided it's time! See below for details on that but before that, I am teaching the next three Thursdays at my favorite place, Make Workshop on the Lower East Side! It's such a fun easy place to be and I love when Diana, the President of Make is there...it gets even funner!
There's still some space left in those classes so check it out! And look at what one of my incredibly talented graduates has gone on to do:

The Memento Assemblage Workshop is a two part course and it's going Thursday, April 2nd and Thursday, April 9th, 6:30-8:30! I'll teach you the basic skills you'll need to design a necklace or bracelet that tells your own story, kind of like what we do at Bonbon Oiseau. In addtion to disclosing the dirty secrets of using jewelry making tools, we really focus on the design aspect of the pieces you build and encouraging you to use vintage scraps and baubles to recreate something entirely new and all yours.

In The Earring Workshop, on Thursday April 16th, 6:30-8:30, we'll learn the basics of using jewelry making tools and components and I'll teach how to create your very own earrings using vintage parts and beads from my stash. A source list is also provided so you can go it alone on the mean streets of NY or the interwebs...

The first ever Bonbon Open Studio Workshops on Monday April 20th from 12-2:30pm (daytime!) and again on Wednesday, April 22nd from 6:00-8:30pm (evening!). The first class we'll do is a workshop for beginners or intermediate students--I'll go through some basics skills and then we'll go from idea to design of a necklace using some of our exciting vintage stash and different sized chains...new tricks and sources will be revealed as will the magic of bonbon hospitality: wine, snacks and endless shmoozing will be served. Class is $60 plus $15 for materials! Hurry! Space is limited to 6! For more info on our Studio Workshops contact me here.

We' want to do a few each month, covering all the kinds of fun things we do ourselves...future classes: hair ornaments and pins using our fun feathery stash, advanced earring and necklace clinics, bead and chain mixology, feather jewelry....we'll have a calendar out soon!

Thanks J.W!

If you're in UO and see the Bonbons
please send a pic to deb at bonbonoiseau dot com!

Jade the Jewelry Whore is such a cutie ...she just bought an Urban Bonbon! Check out what she has to say here!

Hey, if you see our Oiselette Collection (our designs, produced by Urban Outfitters) at a UO near you, please snap a photo! I can't be everywhere! I want to see how they look in the "wild"...if you do I'll be sure to send you a bonbontastic surprise! oxo!

The Moment I've all Been Waiting For

I finally got the pictures from Morocco and Paris onto my computer. It was like waiting for the rolls to be developed and back from the Fotomat. The waiting was the hardest part and now there are so many little stories to tell. I'll have so many more to show you soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The "Visit Us in Dumbo Please" Project!

The "More People in Bonbons Project"

We decided to say goodbye to winter this weekend for real. We want to see more people in Bonbons so we'll be at the fabulous Dumbo Pop-Up Market 11am-6pm, this whole weekend with some great big sales: We'll have samples as well as some of our beautiful Spring Collection (finally!) and all kinds of great gifts to give away and to keep for yourself (heeheehee)!

We'll also show one-of-a-kind-pieces and unless I ever get around to creating an etsy shop, this is the only place you'll see them! Come and visit us and meet Vanessa who'll be there too!)
Details here.

(Apparently Tyra Banks, Marisa Tomei, Jason Schwartzman (who I want to play me in my movie), Liev Schreiber + Naomi Watts, Marcia Gay Harden, and Ally Sheedy have all dropped by the Dumbo Market recently...pretty cool--I hope they (but especially YOU) come this weekend!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Pop!

Today my father turned 89! He still looks pretty spunky huh? HAPPY BIRTHDAY POP!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A new House (and Wear)

pretty wrap please
Tango bag!
with this bonbon, called Pomme Vert (Green Apple!)
and maybe these earrings, the Sweet Peas...
or these, the Peach Blossoms
This just in from the coast...please come see us here on L.A. based interior designer extraordinaire Carrie Fundingsland's lovely side project House + Wear...I'm so happy to see my Spring Bonbons with all of Carrie's carefully edited Scandinavian (and beyond) goods...it makes me feel...so pretty.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Dose of I: Go(ing to) Fly a Kite

Hope you had a great weekend everyone... I'm back with a Monday Dose of Inspiration to kick-start a wintry windy spring week. As you know I have a few projects underway and each is going so well, I'm adding a new one: I want to hold the First Annual Bonbon Oiseau Kite Flying Festival Extravaganza to welcome spring only I've been looking everywhere for the little paper kites kids fly in India, especially during the yearly Spring Heralding festival called Mankar Sakranti, where rooftops all over India are filled with kids flying kites! Kites to no avail--I can't find them here in the states.
I found this bit of inspiration from the amazing files of my newest flickr crush, Meanest Indian, now I just want to bring these kites here for the First Annual Bonbon Oiseau Kite Flying Festival!