Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Authentic Bourbon Pie (a.k.a. My Pecan Pie)

A dear friend of Monsieur's from Atlanta, GA, sent him a huge bag of pecans.

"I'll make a pecan pie!" I said.

And off I went to google some recipes, of which I found many, each involving a mythical ingredient called corn syrup.  I've never used corn syrup in my life and, quelle surpirse, my local supermarche doesn't stock any.  So I decided to concoct my very own version of corn syrup, based on what I had in the cupboard, and what I assumed corn syrup to be: sticky and sweet.

Below is a photo of the ingredients I assembled.  The black treacle was left over from last Christmas' gingerbread cookies and the maple syrup was in the house because I'm Canadian.  I figured these two sticky and sweet substances (I assumed black treacle was sweet - who knew?) could be passed off as corn syrup under duress.

Below is a screen-grab of the Martha Stewart  recipe that I meant to follow.  You will notice that it calls for a 9 inch pie plate (mine was 10); 1 disc of her Basic Pie Dough (yeah, right) and no Bourbon.  I'm sure  Bourbon was included in one of the other 'authentic Southern Pecan pie' recipes that I'd found online, and unlike corn syrup, my local supermarche does stock Bourbon.  Some things are meant to be.

A few easy minutes of (ersatz) ingredient blending later, I had what looked like a pecan pie on my hands.

And 40 minutes later, what looked like a pecan pie came out of the oven!

It came out of the oven 20 minutes before it was supposed to because I thought I smelled something burning. (The Christmas ham indecent taught me a valuable lesson about the speed with which maple syrup can carbonise.)  But it looked okay, and as we all know, it's looks that count.

A few hours later it was cool and ready to serve and the result was surprisingly edible.  Monsieur enjoyed two slices, declaring my pecan pie a winner.

Style File Followers Take Note:
1. Black treacle and maple syrup are not a suitable substitute for corn syrup.
2. Bourbon rocks.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

...and some more.

Someone suggested I play with the whole diamand thing.  Which, I have to admit, has a certain appeal.  I am, after all, a pretty tacky writer, heavily dependent on alliteration and stilted punctuation for effect.  So a little jeu de mot in the tag seems quite appropriate.


Pepita Style File... and then some.

I'm not happy with random musings.  Random musings sounds so... what's the word... Uppity? Pretentious? Unnecessarily serious and not quite in keeping with the sarcastic tone I'd like my blog to develop?

Rats.  Here I am, a self-proclaimed copywriter, and I'm stuck on the tagline for my personal blog.

What say YOU, my doting readership?  Should I stick with random musings, in the hope that over time my confidence will grow and I will eventually be able to imbue this blog with a kind of irreverence that would make random musings seem humorously sarcastic [breathe] or should I drop the tag and go for something that says it like it is from the outset?

I figure I've got a few options:

Any preferences?  Please let me know. You can leave a comment below which would have the added benefit of helping me test this ingenious aspect of blogging.

And if you have any ideas, please feel free to share.  Just note that I will 'moderate' any comments which suggest that I change my tagline to "style file and pretentious bollocks" because, duh, we know!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Simons' Swan Song for Sander

Jil Sander's coming back and Raf Simons, the creative director who's been leading the label since 2005, is leaving on a high note.  Check out his beautifully structured, candy coloured ready-to-wear collection for fall 2012.

Wonderful and wearable.

So the big question is, where will Mr Simons pop up next?  Did someone say Dior?  (Don't you just love the way rumours get started!)

Measure Sur Mesure

Let's start with a sedate but celebratory piece which straddles both Pepita SF & Paris SF: the announcement by Michelin that Sur Mesure, Thierry Marx’s innovative gastronomic restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, has been awarded 2 coveted stars, just 7 months after opening.

Well done. And well deserved.

Although the decor is like a spaceship that’s literally coming apart at the seams – imagine HAL doing battle with existential demons – the room manages to work, and work well, as a minimalist backdrop to Marx’s outstanding cuisine.

His dishes are light, aromatic and exquisite, employing Far Eastern techniques and the best local produce. Textures tantalize and flavours explode on the tongue. It’s a dining experience that stimulates and teases but never disappoints.

This is dramatic dining without being OTT - and dramatically different for Paris.

Flavour Bomb
Thierry Marx
A Two Michelin-Starred Space Odyssey

Pinterest made me do it.

Pinterest made me do it.

I've been working with websites & blogs for a mighty long time, but for various reasons, I've never pursued a personal blog. I was too busy, too self-conscious, or too scared of attracting detractors.

But having recently used Pinterest to give vent to my inner fashion fascist, I’ve been reminded about how opinionated I am, and how much I like to make those opinions known.

So thank you, Pinterest, for pricking me out of my passive slumber and giving me the naches* to start this one now.

*Yiddish for balls