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Treasures on Tuesday – Eat Your Colors

to 10px; WIDTH: 284px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE7qXSGjYMI/AAAAAAAAFDc/8ourTo0GTnQ/s400/antique+barbotine+knife+rests.jpg” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>My friend Jill DiGiovanni of “Chef in Berlin” – a Berlin Germany based Caterer and English-language cooking school – loves colorful food! Jill writes, “I really like colorful food ~ vibrant squash, heirloom tomatoes, black garlic, peppers, beans, flavored salts (the list is endless).” But when I told her about the Antique French Barbotine Knife Rests for sale in my online shop “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™, “Chef in Berlin” said she had the perfect dish to pair with this great turn-of-the-century treasure from the South of France. Chef in Berlin exclaimed, “You MUST try Truffle Potatoes!”

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 364px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE7q9Z0LZwI/AAAAAAAAFD0/rdThtIdZrxM/s400/web.jpg” border=”0″ />“Chef in Berlin” explains:
“Germans call them truffle potatoes. Upon opening the pack it’s easy to see these are from the ancient Andes culture called Peruvian purple. They have a very long history stretching continents. The skin is dark, almost black and spotted with many eyes. Inside is a vibrant purple flesh. After cooking them the skin becomes almost dark grey and the flesh is an amazing deep purple. These Peruvian purples are the mealiest of all the fingerlings. They are great roasted or fried. Mix them with redskin and white potatoes for a vibrant potato salad. I like mine with a simple vinaigrette tossed with steamed green beans. I recently saw them on a menu at CAFÉ LOFT in Potsdam. They served them boiled with quark (German sort of cottage cheese). However you serve them they’ll make your next meal dazzle with color. Not only that, they taste ummm really much like a normal potato!”

“When purchasing make sure to buy ones that are plump and not shriveled, no sprouting eyes, soft spots or blemishes. Don’t store them in the frig because the starch will turn to sugar and they will become sweet. They’ll keep at room temp or in a cool place for approx 2 weeks. Your extra tip for today is to keep them away from onions and uncooked broccoli because they will decay more quickly from the gas that those veggies give off. That not only goes for potatoes but, in fact, any type of veggie.”

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE7q9iGdpQI/AAAAAAAAFD8/eQcgJLganuk/s400/web2.jpg” border=”0″ />Chef in Berlin German Truffle Potato Recipe for 2:

  • 6-8 potatoes (in general they are all small potatoes)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsely (or any mix of fresh washed herbs)
  • salt and pepper fresh ground from the mill
Boil the potatoes or steam for 10 minutes (til done). On draining you will see they dry very quickly. Quarter them and mix with the remaining ingredients. Enjoy! And naturally, serve them up with style using this Set of 4 French “Barbotine” Pottery Vegetable Knife Rests – available at “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 225px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TE7qXi451xI/AAAAAAAAFDk/lJgfvwR_3l4/s400/antique+barbotine+knife+rests2.jpg” border=”0″ />$45 (or 35 Euro) – And Remember at “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ prices include international shipping!

Until Next Time,

The Antiques Diva™ with a little help from my friend “Chef in Berlin”
(Seen right at La Maison du Chocolate in Potsdam)

Treasures on Tuesday – Cosmopolitans – Diva in The City!

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>This week’s “Treasures on Tuesday” is a seriously sexy vintage Val de Lambert Crystal Martini Shaker. Made by the exclusive European crystal house that I like to call “the Belgian Baccarat”, this treasure is ideal for a “Girls Night In”, perfect for shaking up some Sex in The City inspired Cosmopolitans!

While the traditional Cosmo is made with Triple Sec, I prefer to make it comme les français with Cointreau:

1 1/2 oz vodka
1 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz cranberry juice
Lime peel for garnish

  1. Shake, don’t stir, all the ingredients with ice in a crystal martini shaker.
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass – for fun you can rim the glass with sugar. A trick I learned from my friend, the author of She’s Shopping Now blog, is that you can make your sugar harden like pink candy on the glass rim by first dipping the glass into Crème de Cassis before dipping into sugar.
  3. Last, but not least, garnish with lime.
  4. Serve with a smile!

Cheers!

The Antiques Diva™

Shop online at “Treasures” by The Antiques Diva™ for this vintage martini shaker and other European treasures my team and I sourced throughout Holland, Belgium, France and Germany!

Diva News Network with Special Guest: Chef in Berlin – Making Tea Time Treats

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TBokKogbfcI/AAAAAAAAE5o/yi050bGkomM/s400/003.JPG” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In this special Diva News Network I invited my good friend Jill DiGiovanni to be a special guest on DNN! Together we’re going to show you some behind the scenes details on preparing some super simple recipes for doing an Afternoon Tea Party – Diva Style! Jill is the brains and beauty behind the international cooking school (and exclusive caterer) Chef in Berlin.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 354px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/TBokLieRA_I/AAAAAAAAE6A/KKWEU5voV1A/s400/230.JPG” border=”0″ />What I love about Jill’s classes is how simple she makes entertaining and now – whether you’re here in Berlin or at home across the pond – you can benefit from Jill’s gourmet knowledge as she shares on DNN secret hints and tips on how to cheat in the kitchen. From preparing simple tea sandwiches to a dazzling dessert – no one would ever know it’s down-right easy to prepare!

Diva News Network with Special Guest Chef in Berlin

Of course, this video is only the tip of the iceberg! Want to find out how to make those other 2 treats you see on our tray? Watch Two More Additional “Chef in Berlin” Videos:

Beet & Goat Cheese Tea Time Sandwiches

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Salmon Mousse and Caviar Puff Pastry


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Happy Entertaining!

The Antiques Diva™

(Photo Credit Right: CrissCross)

PS. I’d love to see how you entertain! Send me some pictures to post on my site of your next tea party! toma@antiquesdiva.com

Guest Blog – The Contessa – I hate Summer!

The Contessa is back with another Guest Blog especially for you, dear Diva Readers!!!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sg1YYyUrqDI/AAAAAAAADCk/YyXSSoMrgt4/s320/076.JPG” border=”0″ />Guest Blogger – The Contessa writes:
top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Spring has sprung in New York and all the flowers are in bloom. But we’ve already had some 90 degree plus days and that’s not spring, that’s summer. I HATE SUMMER! There – I said it and I’m not going to apologize for it. Let me explain….As a child, I never got sick during the school year. All my childhood diseases…mumps, chicken pox and whopping cough I managed to get right in the middle of Summer. As an adult, my one major surgery and my heart attack both happened…you guessed it…in the summer. I hate bugs, humidity and sweaty people. I HATE SUMMER.

However, there are a few things I love about summer…fresh veggies, my central air conditioning, a crystal clear swimming pool, Saratoga Springs and cold plates.

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sg1YY_iFxXI/AAAAAAAADCs/i1mAwtk6SZ0/s320/173.JPG” border=”0″ />Cold plates I’m sure are not my invention but I sort of perfected what I consider to be the perfect summer meal without turning on any heat at all. Basically they are a mixture of whatever I have handy that goes together to make an interesting meal…. I usually start with a meat or fish. Meats can be any nice cold sliced meat such as roast beef, ham, turkey or chicken. If I’m in a particularly Mediterranean mood, I add salami, prosciutto or pepperoni. If I’m not in a meat mood, I use fish…cold, iced shrimp or cold salmon (my favorite). You can also use crab, sardines, smoked salmon or trout and if you really want, raw oysters or clams. I also like to use tinned smoked oysters.

to 10px; WIDTH: 240px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/Sg1YYqnQ8XI/AAAAAAAADCc/pj9DVFkTrME/s320/029.JPG” border=”0″ />Now the rest of the plate can be whatever you have available….grapes, strawberries, pate, pickles, cornichons, avocado, artichoke hearts, olives, coleslaw, corn relish, 3 bean salad, macaroni salad, grilled veggies, hard boiled eggs, chow-chow, and of course almost any kind of cheese….cottage, swiss, brie, cheddar, feta, etc. To finish it off, I always add some fresh veggies…tomatoes, radish, green onions, cucumber, mushrooms and carrots.

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The Contessa,
Guest Blogger – Diva of the Day

Reader’s Kitchen Tip and Soup Recipe – From The Contessa

Dearest Diva,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>I just have to tell you about the most marvelous kitchen tool my husband, Sir Jeffrey, bought me. It’s called a Mezzaluna and he got it from the Nigella Lawson Living Kitchen catalogue. It’s shaped like a crescent moon and is made of stainless steel. The moon edge is very sharp and makes chopping and cutting a breeze. I’ve used it on fresh herbs and most recently on several pounds of mushrooms. I was making one of my signature recipes (a divine cream of mushroom soup) and had to chop lots of mushrooms and also shallots. The Mezzaluna made the whole job so easy; I couldn’t believe I ever chopped with knives. It has handles on both sides so you just rock and chop. I love it!

Just a little tip for those foodies that read your blog.

Bon Appetite!

The Contessa

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Contessa’s Divine Cream of Mushroom Soup!

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2 lbs of fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter ( I used salted)
4-5 shallots, chopped fine
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup of sherry or other white wine
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
optional garnish…chopped fresh parsley

First of all regarding the mushrooms…You can use any kind that your local market has fresh. Sometimes I use your basic plain mushroom but sometimes I like to mix it up with shitake, baby bells, chanterelles, etc.

Finely chop the mushrooms and shallots.

In a large pan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots; turn the heat up a bit and sauté, stirring frequently about 20 or so minutes. When the mushrooms look like a dark brown paste and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the flour
and stir.

Add the cream and deglaze the pan, then simmer about another 15 minutes until it thickens. Be careful it doesn’t stick. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Now at this point, if you want your soup to have the consistency of bisque, you can puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Personally, I prefer to keep it chunky.

Before you serve, add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and finally the wine. I have tried it with sherry and white wine which I prefer. A nice dry white wine is great.

Serve with a nice crusty bread and salad and you have a wonderful dinner!

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