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Treasures on Tuesday – Eat Your Colors

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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!”

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“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.”

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  • 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™

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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)

Amsterdam’s Best Kept Secret – Annette Brederode’s Open Door Days

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top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Over the past few years I’ve come to eagerly anticipate the arrival of postcards from Annette Brederode, announcing her twice-annual “Secret Sales” – known locally as “Open Door Days” in Amsterdam, where Annette literally throws open the doors to her private residence and lets you shop your heart out inside her living room. This is a woman with Style – and do note that is style with a capital “S”! She oozes good taste and then combines that flair with innovative and creative ideas, putting together eclectic finds and traditional French antiques in a manner that inspires! After a visit into her shop-in-her-home, you’ll want to go home yourself and redecorate. Apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way, for she (and her home) has been featured time and time again in Dutch decorating magazines! Her shop doesn’t have a store front and she doesn’t run a website or advertise. Instead her Secret Sales dates tend to be spread via word-of-mouth along with her twice-annual post-cards announcing the dates to former clients. This year’s post card (see image above) came with a note attached “No Old Shoes, Simply Antiques”, and the following explanation:

“Dear Diva,

This is my new invitation – I needed a break from my yearly beautiful cards picturing the things that I sell. This old shoe is over 100 years old. I found it in Italy and it symbolizes the beauty of things that we don’t throw away, but keep instead, until they themselves are antiques.
Warm Regards,
Annette.”

Where?
Annette Brederode
Lijnbaansgracht #56D
Amsterdam

The sale takes place on the 3rd floor in an inconspicuous building. Ring the buzzer and climb the stairs for shopping paradise! When you’re finished here pop over to Johan de Feijters Secret Sale!

When?
Dec 11-13, 2009

Loving the concept of appreciating the beauty in all things, I knew I had to share her words with you in addition to sharing some pics I took recently while visiting Annette Brederode’s private shop with Diva Clients. Mark your calendars for Dec 11-13, 2009. Should you miss the sale dates, do note that you can book a private appointment to visit Annette’s home/shop at your convenience!

A few items for sale Chez Brederode:

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This painted armoire has a patina like I’ve never seen before! And I love the long, rustic farm house table!

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You can’t help but wonder how far this funny little gnome has traveled!

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I considered buying these peacock feathers for my mother-in-law, but the real draw in this picture for me is the clustering of vintage and antique bird cages in the background. What unique décor!

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This “Koffie” canister would be adorable in my kitchen and the woven table takes me back to yesteryear, memories of summer wine and eating fresh strawberries off the bush!

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Here one of my clients is in a serious quandary – “Which should I buy?” she asked! My response: “Both!”

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That gnome keeps making an appearance. I love how light and airy this room is!

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Another Diva client pondered the “café au lait” bowls.

These pics are just the tip of the iceberg. Look back at some past Diva posts to see more of Annette’s sensational inventory!

Read This One: Brederode Secret Antiques

Or what about this one: Last Chance!

Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

Swisstory Interviews The Antiques Diva – Do You Want Me to Interview You?

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Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Last year, while researching an article I was writing for Expatica, I stumbled across toryblog.com/” target=”_blank”>Swisstory, a great blog written by an American expat named Jessica who along with her Australian spouse is writing her own “Swisstory”. As I “got to know her” through her blog, I discovered that our paths have nearly crossed in the past as we’ve lived in the same areas but at different times in our life. She now lives in Zurich and me in Berlin and we’re both expat bloggers. Perhaps it’s this latter reason that I felt a connection to her when reading her blog, or maybe it is that I have 2 good friends who also live in Zurich and visiting her site was like visiting them. Either way, before long she had enchanted me in her own right. And though she didn’t know me, I considered her to be a 3rd friend living in Zurich.

It’s funny how blogs have the ability to shrink the world, allowing us glimpses into one another’s lives, making friends we never knew we had. Jessica made me laugh and I love laughing. She’s incredibly witty and has a dry sense of humor. Her blog discusses expat life, dispenses advice on living abroad, and ridicules the European life as much as she raves about loving it. And she writes about food – my true passion in life. She posts pictures of meals out, shares details of restaurant experiences and blogs about her travels. One day while reading a post on her site, toryblog.com/2009/02/mrs-mac-interviews-me.html” target=”_blank”>Mrs. Mac Interviews Me, I saw that she was “looking to interview” some of her readers just as Mrs. Mac had interviewed her. Needless to say, I raised my hand. Delightfully, she selected me (as well as a few of her other readers) and today I bring you :

Swisstory Interviews The Antiques Diva

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Where do you think you would be right now if not in Berlin?

With 6 moves in the last 12 years, it’s difficult to imagine where else I might be living. The world is my oyster and my husband and I are open to moving anywhere. That said, over the past number of years, opportunities in Asia have popped up, so who knows? Perhaps we would be living in Mumbai or Tokyo.

What do you like the most & the least about living in Europe?

Most? Europe is my playground. I love to travel – crossing borders, exploring new countries, trying new foods. I love to try on a new culture the way one tries on a new coat. I even like struggling to speak a new language – for it’s surviving the struggle that makes it feel so darn good when you finally succeed! I love meeting foreigners (or rather the locals – who view me as the foreigner). I love sharing ideas, commonalities and differences. I love being a foreigner here myself. I love living a life that feels less ordinary.

Least? The lack of closets! You heard me query in a previous post, “How does one move into an apartment without a closet or cupboard one?” This is my struggle-of-the-moment, but I’m an optimist and, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining… at least I have an excuse to go shopping for antique armoires!

If you could only live with one accessory for the rest of your life, which would it be?

ton.jpg”>ton.jpg” border=”0″ />That’s a hard one. In a world full of gorgeous purses, shoes, belts, scarves, coats and more….How does one choose just one? If I must chose, I would pick the gift my husband bought me for Valentines 4 years ago – the Louis Vuitton Viva Cite bag.

At the time when I was explaining the logic in wanting a Louis Vuitton purse I explained, “The French buy their purse for life… better one excellent quality bag, than 20 inferior bags”.
That said, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Paul Smith’s Swirled Isobel Handbag,(another great quality bag, and really – who wants just one purse… clearly the French are out of their mind!) but I recognize this is a fleeting passion, like a one night stand that’s destined to go nowhere. And so, Dear Louis Vuitton, I pledge myself to be true. As the Former US President Jimmy Carter might have said, “I’ve looked on a (lot of purses) with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.” But to you, “Dear Louis Vuitton, I’ve always been true!”

Why do you blog and which blog/s inspire you most?
How does one go from talking about lusting for purses and then wax poetically about blogging? I blog for a million different reasons, but to quote myself from too-long-apart.html” target=”_blank”>a post I wrote last year:

“Sometimes when I post a blog, I wonder as I’m sending my words into cyberspace if they are read and wonder why I spend so much time writing for little reward. But then I get another comment from a reader, or realize I’m nearing the 20,000 hits mark, (Sidenote to Reader: I’ve now passed 50,000+) or I receive another email from a stranger on the other side of the globe wanting travel shopping advice and I realize that you, my readers, are as much a part of my life as my neighbor next door. Sometimes my neighbor an
d I ignore one another across our terrace, giving each other the briefest of waves, but other times we stop one another for a long, convoluted chat catching up over a loaf of bread as we’re both in the bakery, or sit down for a cup of coffee in a café on the town square. But last week as I was lamenting the loss of contact with my readers, I realized that I write my blog as much for myself as I do for my readers. Through writing my blog & giving you antique shopping addresses, I prioritize my database, fine-tuning the information for the antique shopping tours I lead or the public speaking I enjoy. I review what I’ve done in a given week or plan what I’m going to do in the next and occasionally, every once in a while, I give you personal glimpses into my day to day life – the life I lead when I’m not The Antiques Diva™.”

It’s in these latter moments that I reveal myself to me. Writing is therapy – it’s an act of meditation. Blogging has become a part of who I am and who I want to be.

Regarding blogs that inspire there are tons out there…. I lurk the decorating blogs and two of my favorites are Cote de Texas and Habitually Chic. They inspire, educate and amaze me with their tenacity at regular blogging and providing top notch content, gorgeous images, and well written diva-worthy news.

And stealing from Ms. Mac, Swisstory asks, “If you had to choose a flavor of ice cream that most fits your personality, what kind do you think you would be?” Feel free to make one up if necessary.

If I am an ice cream, I am strawberry ice cream. It’s my secret indulgence at the end of the day. It’s a classic ice cream flavor. The one I’ve chosen since I was a small child going to an ice cream stand. It’s a traditional favorite, with the perfect burst of sweetness, a sometimes shocking tartness, and in a world with flavors that come and go, strawberry endures. It’s fresh and creamy and reminds me of summer days running barefoot in the grass, picking fresh strawberries and begging mom to turn on the ice cream maker. Like many things, it’s best served with a few ingredients on the side… a piece of short bread, a sprinkling of strawberry puree, a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry on top for a perfect summer sundae.
As for me, I hope I too am a treat, a relaxing break for my readers, a break from a busy over-burdened day. My favorite compliment I’ve received since starting to write The Antiques Diva™ blog came from one of my best friends, JoLynn from Oklahoma.

She wrote:
“At the end of the day, I lock myself in the bedroom (so the kids won’t bother me), snuggle down with a glass of wine. I turn a hot bath on and before dipping in the tub I read your diva post of the day – my secret indulgence.”

Now, the question: WHO WANTS TO BE INTERVIEWED??

The rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure you link back to the original post.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tschüs!

The Antiques Diva™

August Special Edition: The Great 2008 Coleslaw Cook-Off

THE ANTIQUES DIVA™ TOURS – CLOSED FOR ANNUAL VACATION DURING AUGUST – REOPENS SEPTEMBER While my tour guides are taking a much needed holiday and I’m away for the month of August sipping champagne at sunset on a Mediterranean Cruise (after taking a driving tour of Italy), I haven’t forgotten you, my loyal readers, in my absence. August 2008 you’ll enjoy a multitude of guest blogs, pre-posted light blogs and miscellaneous reader questions. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more great addresses and shopping tips this fall! All email inquiries or posted comments will be responded to come September!

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

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>While The Antiques Diva is lounging on deck aboard Holland America’s Noordam enjoying her 20 day Mediterranean Cruise, two American At Home Chefs, La Reine & Lady Lotus, take hold of the reigns for today’s blog, going head-to-head in The Great 2008 Coleslaw Cook-Off. In one court, we have La Reine with her soon to be famous mayonnaise-free coleslaw recipe. In the other court, Lady Lotus brings forth a very diva-colored pink coleslaw designed to impress friends and foes alike. Both Home Cooks claim their non-traditional coleslaw recipes make them “The Coleslaw Queen”. Only you can decide which contender takes home the tiara!

Contender # 1 – La Reine

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“I was just asked AGAIN for my soon-to-be-famous coleslaw recipe. A couple weeks ago we had a guest marathon and I was cooking one healthy and one very unhealthy meal. The only thing on both menus was my coleslaw. I hate mayonnaise, but love coleslaw. So in almost any restaurant, when they say: ‘Would you like coleslaw?’ I say, ‘Is it made with mayo?’ They say, ‘Yes’ and I say ‘No.’ So, I’ve concocted my own recipe, which since it’s been asked for so many times recently, I will share with you too.

I always make a huge batch, I never make it just for The Big Guy & me, but I made enough so that I can keep some at home while taking the rest to potluck lunch or BBQ. This easy, fast & healthy recipe is also inexpensive to make and keeps for several days in the fridge. What more could you want? “

La Reine’s Coleslaw Recipe
Mix:

  • 1 large bag shredded cabbage
  • 1 small bag shredded broccoli
  • 1 small bag shredded carrots
  • 3 chopped apples, I use Fuji but Granny Smith would be better except The Big Guy thinks they’re too tart
  • 4 chopped green onions

    Dressing Mix:

  • 1 large spoonful sour cream
  • 1/2 can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 4 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs poppy seeds

    Add dressing to greens. You can add additional vinegar or apple concentrate to make it sweeter or tarter, to taste. Add raisins, cranberries, or nuts as preferred. You can also add broccoli florets or other tiny vegetable to taste (and color). Let blend in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving, better over night. Serve cold. Keeps several days.

Contender # 2 – Lady Lotus

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Lady Lotus’ Horse-Power Slaw

  • 1/2 head shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 head shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onions
  • 2 cups shredded broccoli stems (remove crowns first and save for another meal)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup nonfat mayo
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons creamy prepared horseradish (Or, better yet, do it yourself, a la Lady Lotus Style – Peel fresh horseradish root and cut into chunks. Toss in blender with a little water. Grind. Add half a lemon to neutralize).

Combine the cabbages, carrots, onions and broccoli stems in large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegars, sugar, and salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage mix and toss thoroughly. Refrigerate 30 minutes. In small bowl, combine mayo, yogurt, and horseradish. Stir. Add to slaw mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate again 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

So, Diva Readers, what do you think? Is one better than the other? Have an alternative suggestion? Let me know!!

Until next time, keep enjoying this wonderful summer!

The Antiques Diva™

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