Friday, September 30, 2011

Nouveau Neons

I recently discovered Tom Binns' jewelry.  I would describe his pieces as more statements then just simply trendy jewelry.  I love how he treats iconic status jewelry as a blank canvas on which he places his "graffiti."  Reminiscent of the Stephen Sprouse and Louis Vuitton collection, (one piece which you can see here: Even his logo is just awesome....But his pieces do not come cheap....some necklaces have prices of $16,000.  Something to dream about.  (Images from and

Ethno Teknic collection

My favorite doubt someone defaced a treasured inheritance piece

One of his exclusives for

Monday, September 26, 2011

Americanina Relocation

So you may be wondering why there seems to be a lack of posts for the month of September?  Well, I have recently quit my job and will be relocating to Europe to start a new one October 1st.  My husband and I will have a long break at my mother-in-laws in Italy first (I am sure some great posts will come from her kitchen) and then onto our new home in England.  So I haven't forgotten about Americanina or given up I am just in transition.....savoring my last days in sunny southern California.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Favorite Things

Saw this feature in Glamour recently and loved it!  Two of my favorite things : Nails and Dogs!  As we all know nail art is back in a major way.  Check out these links for more nail art interest :

Is this a frenchie or a pug?  I guess pug.

My favorite, as my little frenchie Luna, is all black with one white toe

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Creamy Spaghetti Piccolino

This is my go to dish when I don't have a lot of time or energy.  It is really a comfort meal due to the addition of the cream, but you don't feel so bad eating it as it has both tomatoes and I guess vegetables trump the cream?  Also feel free to swap the pasta for another like orzo.  This is a great dish for kids too.....also something I guess since currently there are no kids in my house!  Anyway enjoy!

Cook shallots and garlic chunks in olive oil

Add a small can of diced tomato, you can use 3/4 of the can if you don't like a saucy pasta

After the tomato cooks down add your peas (frozen organic work well) and cream

Then add your cooked pasta to the tomato cream sauce, pasta should have flavor as you for sure salted the water!

I grate up the parmigiano cheese into the whole dish before serving....a lot of it....meaning if you think it is too much keep going!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday from Chuck, an engineer by trade but really a passionate foodie.  Chuck and I used to have endless conversation about The Food Nework tv shows and their hosts as well as the food...I'm sure everyone around got to know about The Food Network whether they wanted to or not!

Name:            Chuck Papineau
Affiliation:     Coworker & Fellow Foodie
Occupation:      Studio Engineer
Location:        Mission Viejo, CA
Birthplace:      Detroit, MI

1.) What recipe do you consistently make at home?
When I was single years ago, soup was a constant in my kitchen.  My two favorites were split green pea and beef barley.  I loved the heartiness of these two soups, particularly in the winter.  I always enjoyed adding choice ham and beef pieces to each recipe.  These soups made for easy warm-up meals during the week.  I think I still have my “vat” that I cooked my soup in!  It was huge.

2.) Name three items you have in your refrigerator?
When I was single, I always had skim milk, cheese and half & half for coffee.  Jan has helped me become a much more refined foodie so I would now substitute fresh spring greens for the skim milk and keep the cheese and half & half.

3.) Tell me about your most memorable meal.
I have two most memorable meals, one good and one bad.  The good one was with my girlfriend (now wife) Jan at a small Italian trattoria in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.  All of the food was of the highest quality and very fresh.  It started off with a spring greens salad with heirloom tomatoes that were so sweet you could eat a bushel of them.  It continued on to a beautiful pecan encrusted piece of sole and was finished off with a piece of tiramisu that almost floated on its own it was so light.  The coffee with the tiramisu was fabulous as well.  The meal was followed with a long walk with Jan down beautiful tree-lined streets looking at some of the most beautiful older mansions metro Detroit.  The bad meal was a Valentine’s day dinner with Jan at the Van Dyke Place, a five star restaurant in Detroit that was converted from a French chateau style mansion.  Jan ordered an appetizer of Chinese Pot Stickers.  After eating part of the appetizer, she became violently ill and was stuck in the bathroom for an hour.  Jan has a nut allergy and it was determined that the pot stickers were sealed with peanut butter.  Although the food was very good, Jan’s horrible experience made this the worst meal I’ve ever had.

4.) What are your favorite restaurants and what do you order there?
Italian restaurants.  I always order the eggplant parmesan as a first meal.  It is my benchmark.  Otherwise, I tend to order seafood as I love fish cooked in a Mediterranean style.

5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
Some of the seafood I’ve had in Korea.  I would say that much of it I didn’t know what is was.  Their vegetables can also taste unusual as well.

6.) Of all the places you have traveled, which has the best food?
I have not traveled internationally much but I would say that I enjoyed seafood in Alaska the most.  Talk about fresh!  I will never forget some of the halibut I had there that was just caught earlier that same day.

7.) What is your drink of choice (alcoholic)?
That depends on the meal.  Most meals I tend to stick with a simple iced tea.  However, I always enjoy a wonderful Chianti with Italian food and a margarita with Mexican food.  A high quality hamburger usually demands a nice beer or ale, preferably Killian’s Red if it is available.  A Mediterranean seafood dish, like salmon, gets paired with a medium dry white wine.

8.) What is your ultimate dessert?
A kiss from my wife!  For a “food” dessert, I have moved away from heavier, calorie-laden items and go for something lighter.  Tiramisu that is on the light side is good.  I also enjoy miniature cannolis.  If a pecan pie is available, that is hard to turn down.  I just make sure to get a small piece.  Of course, dessert must be accompanied by coffee.

9.) What is a food/dish that reminds you of your childhood?
Stuffed green peppers.  My mother is part Polish and loved to cook certain traditional Polish meals.  The stuffed green peppers were simple yet very flavorful.  This meal, along with beef stroganoff, were cooked for me when I came home from college.  Nothing made me feel more relaxed!

10.) What is your go to meal for a dinner party?
I have never cooked for a dinner party but I can tell you what I like.  I’m a bit of a “grazer” so I enjoy small bits of everything.  My favorite foods at dinner parties are typically various cheeses with fruit, crusty bread and a nice white wine.  I absolutely adore cheese!  I tend to prefer chardonnay or pinot grigio with these foods.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Design Digest

Dwell is on it as I already have the October issue!  Here is some design news across the board....transportation and interior. 

I have always like Jack White of the White Stripes but to think he also has design!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Street Food

Wynwood Kitchen & Bar in Miami....a blend of art, design and food!  Totally my thing.  Saw this coverage in the August Interior Design magazine and was loving the large graphic like paintings and color loads of color, and the menu doesn't look too bad either.  Check it out if you are ever in Miami...Art Basel Miami soon?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Foodie Friday

This week is my older sister.  She has long been the family cook, known for her tasty and comforting meals.  Her specialty is everything as nothing she makes ever turns out weird, bad or anything else negative.  (She has the golden spoon of cooking.)  Thus we all found it ironic when it was I who landed the Italian husband with non-english speaking Italian mother in law who I have learned to cook from....go figure.

Name:            Jeanne 
Affiliation:     Sister
Occupation:      Ex-accountant/counselor/housewife
Location:        Seattle, WA
Birthplace:      Louisiana

1.) What recipe do you consistently make at home?
I have two awesome boys so my go to kid friendly meal would
have to be Bolognese Sauce with rigatoni (their favorite type
of pasta).  I always turn the leftovers into a baked ziti or
lasagna for another family favorite meal later in the week.
This works great for soccer practice nights!

2.) Name three items you have in your refrigerator?
I always have the much needed items like eggs, butter and
various cheeses.  However, it is the three items not in my
refrigerator that define my style of cooking.  I always have
onions, garlic and cayenne pepper in my kitchen.

3.) Tell me about your most memorable meal.
My husband and I went to Italy for our honeymoon and we had a
most romantic lunch sitting in front of Mediterranean.  The
view was beautiful, the local people all around us were so
charming, and the food was incredible. The dish we had was
pasta with scampi in a spicy red sauce.  And, of course, we
shared a wonderful bottle of wine.           

4.) What are your favorite restaurants and what do you order there?
I am really torn between two loves.  I love to eat at Italian
food and Tex Mex restaurants.  If we are looking for a more
formal occasion, my choice would be Italian and I love just
about anything there.  However, for a more relaxed, fun loving
evening there is nothing better than salsa, chips and
margaritas.  I usually order seafood enchiladas or fajitas, it
depends on the particular restaurant.  To be a truly good
Italian restaurant I would say they would have to make fresh
pasta and likewise, for a truly great Tex Mex restaurant, they
must make their own tortillas.  Both of these things make a
huge difference!

5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever eaten?
If you read this section from two weeks ago, you heard from my
mother about Cowboy stew.  Yes, I used to have to eat that
stuff when I was a child and I have to say that it was never
enjoyable to me. 

6.) Of all the places you have traveled, which has the best food?
Well, I loved the food in Italy so it deserves mentioning, but
I have to say that I really adored the boulangeries and
patisseries in Paris.  I could walk into either one of these
places and find something delicious to eat for breakfast, lunch
or dinner.  They are divine.  French baguette is my all-time
favorite thing to eat.

7.) What is your drink of choice (alcoholic)?
I really enjoy a good margarita, on the rocks with salt.  It
must be made with fresh lime juice.  I also prefer Patron

8.) What is your ultimate dessert?
My sister and I grew up around Louisiana women that were
wonderful cooks.  Our mother, my grandmother and our cousin,
Adeline, are just the greatest cooks.  I am always asking for
any recipes that come from Adeline.  She shared with us a
recipe for a homemade cake that is so delicious.  It is her
Pecan Cake.  The cake is a sweet white cake and the filling is
made of ground pecans, sugar, butter and evaporated milk.  The
cream cheese frosting finishes it off perfectly.  This dessert
just speaks to me in a way that the moss does when dangles from
the oak trees in Louisiana.  It is a truly southern delight.

9.) What is a food/dish that reminds you of your childhood?
Any Cajun dish reminds me of my childhood.  In particular,
seafood dishes because members of my family would bring home
freshly caught crawfish, catfish, shrimp, snapper and blue
crab.  My grandmother would cook it up and usually prepare what
came in several different ways to please everyone.  I must
mention that it was always wonderfully seasoned -not over done,
but enjoyably spicy. 

10.) What is your go to meal for a dinner party?
I like to serve a roasted beef tenderloin with a horseradish
sauce and a vegetable gratin.  And, if my guests are lucky,
they will get Adeline’s Pecan Cake for dessert with coffee.
I often will have guests request that I make some Cajun dishes. 
I like to make gumbo, shrimp etouffee or jambalaya for friends.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Throwback Thursday

Old article from Bon Appetit....I love the title...."Less is More, Italian-Style."  This highlights the Puglia region (my husband's father is from this area, the heel of the boot of Italy.)  A area famous for mussels and "Mmooohh!"

Dig the old cinque cento!