Oscars 2011 Fashion Highlights

Mila Kunis Elie Saab

Most notable in fashion during last night’s 83rd Annual Academy Awards was Mila Kunis dressed in Elie Saab, Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein and Anne Hathaway in Oscar De La Renta.

Gwyneth Paltrow Calvin Klein

While Hathaway boasted quite the change in her wardrobe lineup, it was this disco fringed sparkled gown that really shined.

Anne Hathaway Oscar De La Renta

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SCRATCHbread Brooklyn

Scratchbread
With a lingering presence at the Brooklyn Flea Market I finally managed to get my hands on some of  ScratchBread’s highly coveted and always vanishing Plantain Bread with Mole Streusel. The muffin shaped piece of heaven is brashly salty and sweet. Having established that, it is also peppery and creamy. An eruption of explicit flavor, this takes baked goodness to a different level.

Ristorante Il Melograno

Ristorante Il Melograno

Off the beaten path but still very much Hell’s Kitchen is Ristorante Il Melograno, an Italian neighborhood eatery that likes to stud almost all of their dishes with pomegranate seeds. This makes much more sense if you’ve figured out that melograno is pomegranate tree in Italian. While the character of the space leaves something to be desired, this is a straightforward pasta joint with a palatable home-made tagliatelle.

Ristorante Il Melograno
501 W 51st St
(at 10th Ave)
New York, NY 10019

© 2011 Faris Habayeb

Adele 21

21

An international award magnet, Adele’s 21 is going to be a hearty slice of the best pop we’ll be hearing this year. Am I the only one who is so bored of Lady Gaga these days?

An impressive comeback, 21 is just as solid as 19 but with a stronger point of view. Encapsulated, the tracks present a powerful break-up anthology that percolates amidst a bluesy and gospel canvas.

21’s only blemishes are due to some overproduction. The studio version of “Someone Like You” is disappointing compared to the live version which is epic. “Don’t You Remember” and “I’ll be Waiting” seem like Adele is trying to prove that she can sing and that’s been clearly established.

Having said that, the rest of the album is truly glorious.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

I’ve always appreciated the idea of Lemon Bars yet found their creation to be vague, laborious and the disappointing reoccurrence of a flavor that is wimpy on the citrus but strong with egg always made me cringe. Nonetheless, I decided it was an experiment I wanted to experience and perhaps dispel some of these experienced Lemon Bar negativities.

The results for an inaugural attempt were successful. A trick to keep in mind with these luscious squares is that the longer they chill in the fridge, the yummier and more congealed the lemon filling becomes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Crust:
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Lemon Curd Filling:
4 eggs
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar (confectioner’s preferred)
1 tbs. of flour

Dusting:
Confectioner’s sugar

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″ x 13″ pan (approximately) with a little butter
2. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar and salt. Slowly cut butter into the dry mixture. If you have a mixer slowly, integrate the ingredients. If not, dust your fingers with a little flour and knead the mixture till you end up with a dough.
3. Pad the mixture into the greased pan and level it out with the tips of your fingers
4. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes
5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and let it cool
6. In the meantime you can prepare the filling by adding eggs to sugar and whisking till smooth
7. Add lemon juice and flour and continue to whisk
8. Pour over crust and bake for 25 minutes

When the pan has cooled you can score and outline your squares and then cut. Before serving, dust with confectioners sugar and trim any brown edges that you may have on the sides. Keep Lemon Bars refrigerated.

© 2011 Faris Habayeb