Friday, October 28, 2011

Sabroso: Tequila

Guest blogger and Mary's darling, Iain, considers himself to be a Tequila Connoisseur. What better way to kick-off the weekend (and our trip to Mexico!) than by learning a bit about this Mexican spirit and maybe even having a little to drink too!

Iain's rules on Tequila:

1. Tequila is to be sipped, preferably out of a cognac type glass (see below). A new trend is to sip tequila out of a champagne glass to better enjoy the complex aromas. Mary and Candice think this is cute.

2. Tequila should be sipped (not downed in a shot) because it is similar to wine in that different ages and makes have different notes, aromas and flavors. Try many tequilas, sip them, really taste them and you will see how complex they are.

3. You don't need a chaser. The only dignified one is sangrita in my book. It's the reddish orange shot in the pic below next to the Victoria (which deserves a post of it's own) and the limoncello. Hey, I was on vacation.

4. Much to Mary's dismay, I believe to be a true tequila connoisseur, you must only stock tequila at home so your guests have no choice but to imbibe with you. We have a tequila bar but I've noticed other liquors are being snuck in. In my opinion, they don't deserve to share the space.

5. Buy cool looking tequila bottles when you see them, but only drink and serve your guests the good stuff.

6. Save the good stuff for a special occasion but at some point drink it. Tequila is meant to be enjoyed and drank not displayed up on a shelf because the bottle is "pretty".... Mary....

7. Once you start to enjoy the flavors and complexity of good tequila, you will start to lean towards reposados and anejos. People are sometimes a little afraid of anejos but they are actually the smoothest.

8. It has a bad rap but tequila is actually a very sophisticated liquor and should be treated as such.

9. You can enjoy tequila anytime, anywhere, with any food. It goes with anything, not just mexican food. Enjoy it all the time. I do, I'm a happy man.

10. Screw these rules. I contradict myself all the time and am about to in my next rule.

11. Don't be a snob. It's tequila, drink it. Even though I may prefer to sip on my anejo out of a cognac glass, if someone offers me a shot of some cheap blanco, do you think I'm turning it down?

Some of my favorites are Tres Manos, Tres Generaciones, Fortaleza and Corzo.

I have much more to say on this topic but it's late and I need to catch my flight to Mexico so I can... you guessed it... drink tequila.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Web Trésors: Carpet Bags

We never tire of beautiful textiles and since we've run out of floor space with all of the rugs we've acquired, why not start wearing them?

Carpet bags are an easy accessory to punch up any outfit and are also quite sturdy to travel with.

Below is a roundup of some beauties we've seen recently...


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moda: Traveling

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.
-Coco Chanel

We couldn't agree more. Express your style even when
you are in commute to your next adventure.

Passport... check!

Color-coordinating with luggage...

Always stay with your belongings...

 Don't pack your hat, carry it on...

Black is a great traveler and very chic.
Of course, don't be afraid of a little color...

Love the boho style traveling...

Remember if you can't find a thing to pack or if you forget something, go shopping when you get there!
It's always best to shop where you go and stock up on local wares.

Bon Voyage! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Arte e Cultura: Dia de los Muertos

The festival that became the modern Day of the Dead fell in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar, about the beginning of August, and was celebrated for an entire month. The festivities were dedicated to the god known as the "Lady of the Dead", corresponding to the modern Catrina.

José Guadalupe Posada created a famous print of a figure that he called La Calavera de la Catrina ("calavera of the female dandy") as a parody of a Mexican upper-class female. Posada's striking image of a costumed female with a skeleton face has become associated with the Day of the Dead, and Catrina figures often are a prominent part of modern Day of the Dead observances.

Most areas of Mexico celebrate Dia de los Muertos November 1st, honoring children and infants, and November 2nd, honoring adults. Altars are built to give offerings to the deceased that include sweets, food and flowers, all keeping in mind the preferences of the individual being honored.

One of the favorite sweets are sugared skulls, brightly colored and often adorned with a name.

The classic recipe for Pan de Muertos is a sweet bread recipe sometimes including anise seeds and orange flower water. It is shaped like a bun and often decorated with bone-like pieces. The bones represent the lost one and there is normally a baked tear drop on the bread to represent sorrow. The bones are represented in a circle to portray the circle of life.

Mexican marigolds are known as the Flor de Muerto, Flower of the Dead, and are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. They are sold on roadsides leading up to the festivities.

Contrary to the name, Dia de los Muertos is actually a celebration of life. Festivities include music, fireworks, parades, and above all else, love.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Voyage: ¡Mexico!

We couldn't keep it from you any longer...

This Friday we depart to the "alluring land of enchantment"...

Otherwise known as the "land that lovers love"...

First stop... the Great Metropolis...

Next stop... among others...

Just in time for this!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sabroso: Algonquin Hotel Punch

Happy Friday means Happy Cocktail Time for us!

Not only were we super excited to find a new go-to party drink but The Food Life is amazing!

The Vena Cava lovelies offer up some culinary tidbits including this recipe for the standard bar punch at the old Algonquin Hotel.

“It’s a go to for our parties. It’s basically all alcohol and sugar.We combine a bottle of dark rum, a bottle of gin and a bottle of champagne with mashed raspberries and mashed lemon peel and sugar. Long island ice tea is a poor mans version of this. I have my grandmothers old punch bowl with feet on it, so that is what we like to serve it in. Everyone gets sloshed-it makes a great party-it was the standard bar punch at the old Algonquin hotel.”
Lisa Mayock, Vena Cava

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Arte e Cultura: Edward Swift

Edward Swift was born in Texas but spent most of his life in New York before relocating to San Miguel de Allende, a city many artists are drawn to. There he runs the Galería Edward Swift. 

He is best known for his Munecas...

small androgynous figures that represent nightmares, clowns, and forgotten gods.

Ceremonial Staffs 

Magic Sticks - Bastones Magicas

Edward's story behind his "Nightmare Chasers":
The name came to me in a flash. One day a psychiatrist came into my gallery and took an interest in these figures. I think he must have been a Jungian. He asked me what I called them. At that time the figures had no name. I instantly said:  "They're Nightmare Chasers, created to chase away your worst dreams and fears." Immediately, the doctor purchased 9 of them for his patients. In Spanish the title is Atrapadores de Pesadillas.  The "trappers" of nightmares.

The artist with some of his work...

And his lovely home in San Miguel.