Friday, November 21, 2014

The Arms and Armor Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have walked through this exhibit many times, in awe. I felt it was time to photograph some of the splendor for you. These displays are amazing in person, and the museum does a fabulous job of educating and well as exciting the visitor.  

Arms and armor have been a vital part of virtually all cultures for thousands of years, pivotal not only in conquest and defense, but also in court pageantry and ceremonial events. Throughout time the best armor and weapons have represented the highest artistic and technical capabilities of the society and period in which they were made, forming a unique aspect of both art history and material culture.

The principal goals of the Arms and Armor Department are to collect, preserve, research, publish, and exhibit distinguished examples representing the art of the armorer, swordsmith, and gunmaker. The focus of the collection is on works that show outstanding design and decoration, rather than those of purely military or technical interest. Unlike the great dynastic armories now preserved as museum collections in Vienna, Madrid, Dresden, Paris, London, and Stockholm, the Museum's collection is a modern one, formed through the activities and interests of curators, trustees, private collectors, and donors over the past 125 years. The collection comprises approximately fourteen thousand objects, of which more than five thousand are European, two thousand are from the Near East, and four thousand from the Far East. It is one of the most comprehensive and encyclopedic collections of its kind. 
The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court offers the most extensive selection in the United States of rare and finely made sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European armor for men and horses, created for kings and noblemen to use on the battlefield and in tournaments.
The gallery features a group of elaborately decorated Greenwich armors, from the English Royal workshops founded by King Henry VIII, and one of Henry's personal armors, made in Italy and worn by the king in his last campaign against the French at Calais in 1544. 
So cool to see these up close and personal.  

The following text will attempt to correct some of the most popular misconceptions, and to answer some of the questions most frequently asked by the public during guided tours of the Museum's arms and armor galleries.

Misconceptions and Related Questions Relating Armor
1. Armor was worn only by knights.
2. Women of earlier times never fought in battle or wore armor.
3. Armor was so expensive that only princes and rich nobility could afford it.
4. Armor is extremely heavy and renders the wearer immobile.
5. Knights had to be hoisted into their saddles with cranes.
6. How did men in armor go to the toilet?
7. The military salute originates from the raising of a visor.
8. "Chain mail" or "mail"?
9. How long did it take to make a suit of armor?
10. Details of armor: the lance rest and the codpiece explained.
11. Did Vikings wear horns on their helmets?
12. Armor became obsolete because of firearms.
13. The size of armor indicates that people in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were smaller.
14. Men's clothing usually closes and buttons left over right because early armor was closed in such a manner.

You can go to the Metropolitan Museum's website HERE for the answers to questions above which are very interesting!! 

Armor Garniture of George Clifford (1558–1605), Third Earl of Cumberland
Made under the direction of Jacob Halder
(British, master armorer at the royal workshops at Greenwich, documented in England 1558–1608)
Date: 1586
Geography: Greenwich
Culture: British, Greenwich
Medium: Steel, gold
Dimensions: H. 69 1/2 in. (176.5 cm); Wt. 60 lb. (27.2 kg)
Classification: Armor for Man 

What's On View

Approximately eight hundred objects from the collection are on permanent display in the arms and armor galleries located in The John Pierpont Morgan Wing. These date from about the fifth to the late nineteenth century and offer a broad range of the best examples from Europe, America, Japan, India, and various Islamic cultures. In addition, the Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gallery has periodically changing displays that focus on varied aspects of the collection.

Leave it to me to find a Smith and Wesson with Tiffany "jeweled" silver. I suppose if I were alive in 1891-1892, this would be my revolver of choice!  

I hope you enjoyed this little visit to "The Met" with me. There are so many various displays here, it really can target many interests. When you visit New York City, be sure to find some time to stop by this amazing museum and enjoy all it has to offer!!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Photo Gallery Thursday "Kate Spade Saturday"

I had the opportunity to pop in the Kate Spade Saturday store in Soho, it was a fun place. The one thing I really loved was this charging station! How cute is this? And you can place your devices on the pillows as they charge up, and you shop! I think every store should have one of these. The store was small, so you could keep track of your item, not really too worried about it being stolen. I guess you could also sit on the seats with your device while it charges. Wonder how long it will take for these to be in more stores.............

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dessert Mash-Ups Cookbook Review

I was sent this great baking book to review, and I just really love to bake. The item on the cover just looked so amazing, I was excited to see what else was inside! Creative and totally yummy are two ways I would describe this cookbook. Dorothy explains to you all about the ingredients you are going to use in the recipes, and gives some great hints about the best way to work with them. I love the gorgeous photos as well, that is very important in a baking book! 52 amazing recipes to dazzle your family and friends await in this wonderful selection! Here are 2 of the recipes in the book which are making me very hungry just looking at the photos! 

With “Dessert Mash-Ups,” you’ll enjoy two-in-one treats from morning to night with Blueberry Muffin Waffles, Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast, Mint Chip Truffles, S’more Cookies, Turtle Pudding Pie, Strawberry Pie Cupcakes, Brownie Peppermint Bark and much, much more.

The step-by-step instructions and gorgeous photos from Dorothy Kern, the mastermind behind the blog Crazy for Crust, make it easy to create all the scrumptious, crowd-pleasing treats in “Dessert Mash-Ups.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
If there is one food I cannot stop eating, it’s a cinnamon roll. Seriously, don’t leave me with a pan unattended or you’ll come back to crumbs. I've turned cinnamon rolls into cake and crust before, but this is one of my favorite versions: a cookie. A sweet sugar cookie dough is rolled in a cinnamon-sugar filling and then sliced and baked. Topped with a sweet icing, these are the perfect way to enjoy a cinnamon roll . . . in a cookie!

Yield 3 dozen cookies 

Prep Time 20 minutes 
Chill Time 1 hour 
Bake Time 10 minutes

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar 
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
6 to 8 teaspoons whole milk

Make the Cookies

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and 1⁄4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the salt and flour and beat until the dough just comes together.

2. Stir together the remaining 1⁄4 cup brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Divide the dough in half. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a cutting board. Place half of the dough on the waxed paper and flatten slightly with your hands. Place a second layer
of waxed paper over the top and roll into an 8-inch square. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper, sprinkle with half of the brown sugar–cinnamon mixture and roll up the dough. Repeat with second half of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

5. Slice the dough logs into 1⁄4 to 1⁄2-inch-thick cookies. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake
for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms just start to turn golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheets before moving to a cooling rack. Let cool before frosting.

Make the Frosting

1. Whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Transfer the frosting to a plastic bag and cut off one tip. Pipe onto cookies. Chill to set frosting. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tip: Add 1⁄2 teaspoon of maple extract to the frosting for a new flavor twist.

Mint Chip Truffles

Yield 18 truffles 
Prep Time 30 minutes 
Chill Time 1 hour

This recipe is for my daughter, Jordan. She is a mint-chip addict! No matter what, when I ask her what treats I should make or what birthday cake she wants, she asks for chocolate and mint. These candies are buttercream truffles that taste like mint-chip ice cream. She proclaimed them, “Fabulicious with a side of blingy ding ding awesome!” and I hope you feel the same way.

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄8 teaspoon peppermint extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 drops green food coloring
1⁄4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
8 ounces melting chocolate or semisweet baking chocolate
Sprinkles (optional)

1. In a large bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until crumbly. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and salt, then mix until smooth. It will seem like it takes forever, but it will happen after a few minutes. Depending on your hand mixer, you can turn it up to medium or medium- high speed and the mixture will come together faster.

2. Once smooth, mix in the green food coloring on low speed. Then stir in the mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Scoop 1-tablespoon balls of cold dough and place them on a waxed paper–lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes.

4. When you’re ready to dip the truffles, melt the melting chocolate or semisweet baking chocolate according to the package directions and line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove the truffles from refrigerator and roll into smooth balls. These soften pretty quickly, so it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator and only remove 4 or 5 at a time to dip.

5. Dip each truffle in the melted chocolate (see Candy Dipping Tips, page 30), tapping off any excess, and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sprinkles, if using. Return to the refrigerator to harden. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; they soften quickly. The truffles will keep for several days when kept cold.

Tip! Be sure to buy peppermint extract not mint extract. They are two very different flavors, so be sure to check the box!

Please let me know if you try one of these recipes how they came out for you! This book would make a fabulous holiday gift for that baker friend, sister or Mom for under $20.00! I tell everyone I have a cookbook "collection" because I have so many at this point, sounds so much better that way! I am a big fan of Barnes and Noble, and I do not receive any commission on this link, but like to promote them when I can. You can purchase HERE for under $16.00 which is just an amazing deal !!

Happy Baking Everyone!! 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Quote of the Day for November 18, 2014

One of my very favorite quotes today. It really makes you think, and understand that our reaction to things makes all the difference in the world. I hope you all have a most fantastic Tuesday!! 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Thanksgiving Selections at Financier Patisserie

Last week I paid a visit to one of my favorite places in New York City, Financier Patisserie. They now have a total of 10 locations in the city, with more being planned as we speak! I really find this a great place for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. Everything is made fresh, with simple ingredients which make a most tasty product. 
They have some great new items for the Thanksgiving holiday season, that pumpkin cheesecake in the middle is one of them. How gorgeous does that look? 
The 2 other new offers are the Apple Pie and of course Pumpkin Pie. I love the mini desserts, but you can order a full pie for your family gathering, any item can be ordered with 72 hours notice at any one of their locations. 
They also have many new savory items on hand, I really love a good quiche. This mushroom one I selected was just over-the-top good. This makes a fabulous light dinner, and also easy on the wallet in New York City. When I am in the city, I don't always want to do a fancy sit down restaurant, and this works very well for me. 
These are some of the new sandwich selections, and I must say, the combinations are really fabulous. That salmon and dill guy to the right is calling my name! 

Okay so all the new selections are just amazing, but I choose 2 to really show you today. This is the mushroom and chevre which looks so so good. You can also select a half sandwich with a salad which would work well as the size of these are pretty generous. I am really a mushroom lover, any kind, and they are very healthy for you. 
The hummus and sprouts selection is just too pretty to eat! I love all the colors, the roll looks so amazing. My Mom is a big fan of hummus and got me hooked on it, another healthy choice that tastes good as well. 
The new dessert selections for Thanksgiving are oh so special 
Fresh apples topped with almond crumble for the apple pie 
Pumpkin puree with pumpkin pie spices topped with almond crumble 
Traditional cheesecake with pumpkin spices topped with hazelnuts and cranberries 
Your guests would be quite pleased with these little desserts after their turkey dinner!! 
Grand pumpkin spiced macaron along with a banana caramel one too ! The flavors in this gems are just so incredible! You must try them while they are available! 
I had to show as well the mini dessert options as they are just PERFECT for holiday parties! They are sized just enough for your guest to have a little something sweet, and if they want to try more than one type, they can very easily. They are almost too pretty to eat. Almost! 

You can click HERE for all locations and hours of Financier Patisserie 
Please be sure to stop by while visiting New York City, I cannot recommend them enough!! 

Financier Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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