Archive for the ‘INSPIRATION’ Category

11.26.18

CALIFORNIA OLIVE RANCH HARVEST TOUR!

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

we just took a quick trip to sacramento (i’ve never been, love how laid back it is there!) to visit during their annual harvest. i’m sure you’ve noticed their signature green oil bottle in many of our recipes posts, it’s been the only olive oil we use at our studio for years so we were excited when they asked us to join the trip.  i’ve been in total learning mode when it comes to food and i loved seeing the harvest in action.  their team really cares about the quality of their extra virgin olive oil and giving it to the consumer at an affordable price, and i loved spending time learning about their process and getting to know their small team.

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

we learned how to properly taste olive oil and got to taste many different varietals which was a really cool and new experience to me. we even did a blind tasting with a competitor oil currently on the market and saw an extreme difference between the two. it was actually pretty shocking when tasted side by side! olive oil can be the foundation of so many dishes, and the quality and taste is super important. i also go through so much oil with how much i cook so keeping it affordable is key.

california olive ranch | designlovefest

we got to visit one of their fields during harvest and were able to ride on the harvester and watch the olives being picked off the trees and then got to see the olive oil being made from start to finish at the mill. i definitely felt more connected to the experience since i’ve been cooking so much and it feels good to dive deeper into the process! they also just launched their Destination Series which is extra virgin olive oil sourced from all over the world and brought back to california to their mill where they curate blends of the international growers oil mixed with the California oil. we got to try some of the blends and they were delicious!

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

i also love that it’s a california-based olive oil brand. when i travel to europe i’ve brought olive oil back at times because i really felt a big difference in the taste and quality and is bringing that to the states. they really don’t cut any corners when it comes to their product which is awesome.

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

we ate so much good food while we were there too! had dinner at in sacramento, brunch at which i was really impressed by and then had a really beautiful meal and wine at  their wines were delicious, especially the mossback pinot!

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

i never cease to be impressed by the diversity of california’s landscape and i feel so lucky to get to call it home!

california olive ranch | designlovefest
california olive ranch | designlovefest

thanks for a fun trip !

(this post was created in sponsorship with, a brand we’ve loved and used for years!)

11.09.18

HAND-DRAWN LOVE / 113

the words of paul simon in a hue from an image. –

(photo and hand drawn type by for designlovefest)

11.02.18

PIE WORKSHOP!

pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest

this is a post you’re going to want to bookmark because we’re giving away some serious pie secrets from the dessert genius Valerie of . we first met valerie a few weeks back at the Samsung dinner we attended and we were blown away by her pies and her charm. we asked if she’d want to offer a little pie workshop to get us prepped for the holidays and she kindly agreed and our friends over at , who are always game for our fun food related ideas, offered to sponsor the event. we had the best afternoon, making pies, sipping mulled wine, eating cheese and feeling very fall and festive! and we’re sharing all the recipes below! let us know if you make one, we’d love to hear how it turned out.

pie workshop | designlovefest

we started the day with making a roasted grape galette which is essentially a pie without the top crust. it’s really easy to make and doesn’t require the crimping or a pie pan.

Roasted Grape Galette

2 Quarts Purple Seedless Grapes, sliced in half
2 Ounces salted butter
2 teaspoons corn starch
12 ounces Vanilla cream (recipe below) 
one 13” Pie dough Round (pie dough recipe below)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ teaspoon Fleur de Sel

• Heat Oven to 350F

• In a medium sized bowl, pour melted butter over prepared grapes and thoroughly combine.

• Sprinkle cornstarch over the buttered grapes and mix until evenly coated.

• Place the dough on a baking sheet. Evenly spread the Vanilla cream in the center of the dough creating a 9 inch circle.

• Pour the prepared grapes onto the vanilla cream creating a tall mound.

• Lift one side of the dough onto the fruit and press down so it gently adheres. Continue all the way around the galette creating 5-6 folds in total.

• Refrigerate until firm to the touch. valerie and i are pictured below with the that i’ve had for a little over a year now and love!

pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest

• Using a pastry brush, evenly paint egg wash over the dough. Generously sprinkle sugar over the entire

• Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

• Finish with bits of fresh thyme and a sprinkle of fleur de sel.

Vanilla Cream

6 ounces whole milk
1.75 ounces sugar
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla paste
2 ounces heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 ounce unsalted butter (cut into small chunks)

• Combine the milk, sugars, and vanilla paste in a medium saucepan and bring to just a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

• Whisk together the heavy cream, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Continue whisking as you slowly stream in the hot milk mixture. Pour the vanilla cream back into the pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the cream thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted.

• Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin, refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest

the foundation of every good pie, the pie crust! Valerie is a crust lover and rolls her dough out thick, it makes it easier to handle and gives a solid base. one tip she gave and that i found helpful is that once your dough is rolled out, don’t pull on it. you can pinch it, fold it, etc but no pulling!

Buttery Pie Crust
makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie, two 9-inch single-crust pies, or fifteen 4-inch hand pies

2 ½ cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 to 1/3 cup (2 to 2.5 ounces) cold water

• To make the dough in a food processor: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in the processor bowl and pulse once or twice to combine. Drop the pieces of butter through the feed tube, continuing to pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add 1/4 cup water as you continue pulsing a few more times, then add more water if necessary; stop when the dough just starts to come together.

• To make the dough by hand: Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a medium bowl and mix together with a fork or small whisk. Cut the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or a large fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 1/4 cup water directly over the dough, mi with the pastry cutter or fork, then add more water if necessary, mi until the dough just comes together.

• Remove the dough from the processor or bowl and form into 2 equal disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months; thaw in the refrigerator.

pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest
pie workshop | designlovefest

CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE RECIPES!!

(more…)

10.24.18

MINI LIVING IN BEIJING!

do you remember earlier this year when i hosted a dinner and showed you guys a tour of the MINI LIVING Urban Cabin in downtown LA on the rooftop? this has been one of my favorite jobs this year. i truly think they are so innovative and i love the concept behind living small. this month we visited Beijing to explore the new Urban Cabin that was right next to the bird’s nest stadium where the Olympics were held!

I LOVE the gold reflections! this space may be small (15 square meters) but it does not lack amazing attention to detail. for each Urban Cabin the team links up with a local architect to bring in a special feature that speaks to living in their city. Chinese architect Sun Dayong, the founding partner of designed the “experience room” in this inhabitable space. he was inspired by life in the hutongs in Beijing. if you sit in the swing and look up at the gold facets you can actually see all sorts of different images reflecting from outside, giving you a peek into the busy life that Beijing has to offer.

the  Urban Cabin also has smart design features like revolving doors and windows, a bed that rolls outside, a hammock on the roof, and a peg system on the wall for hanging shelfs and belongings. they really remind us to simplify our lives into the necessities and to remember what is important. there are skylights throughout the Urban Cabin that let in tons of natural light, which i love. natural light is very important to me in a home and this space really provides that.

you can see the bedroom above which has a super simple layout and the option for the bed to be fully inside or partially indoors and outdoors which would make for the best sunny reading spot.

when you have such a small space every single detail counts and it forces you to really consider what you have in your home and decide if it is useful and beautiful. they had these hooks all over the Urban Cabin that you could move throughout so that you can adjust the space based on your needs. i love that they made them yellow, the pop of color is pretty against the light wood.

we spent a half day at the summer palace. i recommend going at 8am when it opens to avoid all the crowds and tour groups. it’s a very pretty place to walk around and explore the history.

 

a few favorite things we did in beijing:

• strolling around the hutongs was our favorite. (a hutong is a type of narrow street or alley commonly associated with northern Chinese cities) start around the  and explore that area!

• then walk to . we loved everything we ordered! (they moved locations but just down the street, there’s directions on a sign)

• the great wall of china is a must. but if you’re like me (lazy ha) and you don’t want to hike for hours, we did the short way and highly recommend! our hotel helped us hire a driver to take us to (a section of the wall that isn’t very crowded but still has amazing views) and then the driver waited for us to take us back. (that was about $80-100) you take a short shuttle from the station, ride the cable car up to the top, walk as much as you like on the wall, and then slide the toboggan down (SO FUN!!!) really happy we did this…

• walking through the  was interesting. i found some really cool ceramics and gifts there to take home.

• we loved our traditional peking duck dinner from 

more random tips:

• important! VPN – i used  from the app store. make sure to download it and sign into itbefore you leave home. this will give you access to all your social media apps, google maps, etc that will be blocked once you arrive.

• i thought the subway was super easy to get around and understand. bring cash in low bills to purchase the tickets from the machines. cabs are also very cheap and sometimes quicker. bring a business card from your hotel with the address because communication if you don’t know the language is often times tricky.

• i downloaded the google translate app. this way you can speak or type what you want it to translate quickly when you need to. it also has a cool feature that translates menus and words. very helpful!

thank you so much to  for allowing us to experience a new culture and explore your beautiful cabin in Beijing!

and here is a 

(photos by designlovefest, in partnership with )

10.17.18

HAND-DRAWN LOVE / 112

a little ingrid bergman in a palette inspired by . –

(photo and hand drawn type by for designlovefest)

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