Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harlem Shake - Sweet 16 John Hancock Edition

Antiquaire had a wonderful time this weekend designing the most gorgeous setting for a Sweet 16 Party high on the 95th Floor of the John Hancock Tower in Chicago!

We will be bringing you all of the before anfd after photos, "how-to's" on all the decorations and invitations! You'll also see the behind the scenes decision-making and actual setup.

In the meantime, please take a look at the video below that we produced for the kids.  The kad a complete ball as they were completely unaware it was about to happen.

Please see the link below:

Hope you enjoy it!  We'll be back soon with the gorgeous before and after pictures.  Stay tuned!

Here's a picture of the cake!  It was delicious!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is our personal Valentine to you.  We hope you'll be our Valentine. Posh in Downtown Highland Park, IL asked Soledad Zitzewitz Interiors to design a beautiful window display for Valentines Day.  Soledad's design team selected some beautiful pieces from Antiquaire to showcase within Posh.  Check it out below.  Owner Pam Hillman's high-end Posh boutique carries designer lingerie, yogawear, and other great women's lifestyle items that we love and you should too.

 The chic and seductive display houses a beautiful Antique French Chandelier overlooking red accents and a beautiful  Gustavian Swedish Column Back Side Chair with an elegant fur draped over it's front.  The chair is paired with a gorgeous Round Gustavian Table. You can find all of exquisite pieces at Antiquaire by clicking on our photos.

Melissa Edelman Antiquaire and Soledad Zitzewitz Interiors are again featured in the 2013 Lake Forest Showhouse Be sure to check back soon for updates on special discounts for the Showhouse.  We will be sure to forward you the information about Advanced Ticket Purchasing Online when it comes our way. Check back soon and have a Very Special Valentine's Day!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Spy....

Let us take some time to appreciate the finer details here at Antiquaire. Here is your second episode of guess what this is. Click on the photo to find the answer. Good Luck.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bon Appétit, Antiquarians!

As you may well know, we are quite obsessed with Gastronomy here at the Antiquaire Blog.  The feature film, "Julie and Julia" embodies this completely. The movie is based on a true story, where Meryl Streep plays world-renowned chef Julia Child.  It portrays Child as a budding chef to her current fame, and a blogger, Julie,  that cooks her way through the book - recipe by recipe.  

The film starts with a young Julia Child in Paris looking to take up a hobby.  She is quite interested in cooking and to her detriment there are no cookbooks in France which are translated into English.  For her birthday, she receives a famous cookbook, Larousse Gastronomique, outlining French dishes and technique.  In the midst of trying to translate the book completely written in French, she gets the spark to pursue French cuisine seriously by training at the famous Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School.

Melissa, during a quest for antiques in France, came across a rare first edition ©1938 of Larousse Gastronomique that we want to share with you.  It is the same book that you see in the movie clip above!  


Julia Child labored to translate and convert measurements of this book to teach Americans in Paris to cook (and later around the world).  She traversed the French culinary culture becoming a world-class chef and writing her own book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  In the movie, blogger Julie Powell aspires to cook all 524 recipes in that book.

As a special treat and to prove that we're putting our interests to good use, here is a peek into Melissa's kitchen.  Today you will enjoy Steak Au Poivre with Pomme Frites by Melissa Edelman

 Bon Appétit!

These are two super easy and quick recipes that anyone can prepare quickly after coming home from work.  Quick does not need to be bland and boring! Also, this is a great dish to prepare in front of guests and many enjoy watching the flambéing.

Pomme Frites

4 Russet Potatoes
Coarse Salt
Vegetable Oil 

Serves 4

Peel potatoes and cut into square strips about 1/3" thick.  Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet. Start on high then turn down to medium heat when oil starts to bubble. Add only enough oil so that it coats the bottom of the skillet, and is perhaps only 1/8" deep. Keep oil at this level by adding a little more as you continue to brown the frites on all sides.  The potatoes should not be able to completely submerged in the oil.  Add the potatoes adding only enough at a time so they are not piled on top of each other. Using tongs, turn frites so they brown evenly on all sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove onto plate lined with several layers of paper towels.  Repeat with any remaining potato strips.  Sprinkle with salt to taste. I guarantee you, no ketchup necessary with these frites!

Browning the Pomme Frites

Steak Au Poivre

2 Steaks (3/4" to 1" thick)
2 Tbs. Whole Peppercorns (mixture of several kinds)
1/2 Cup Cognac or Brandy
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Serves 4

 Crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.  If you do not have one, a resealable sandwich bag and rolling pin do just fine.

 Pat steaks dry with a papertowel.  Steaks will not brown if moist. Rub and press crushed peppercorns all over steaks. Or you can use the Shake-n-Bake method and put the steak and crushed peppercorns in a plastic bag and shake.  Rub off loose or extra peppercorns. You do not need to completely cover the steaks as the pepper will become too overpowering.

Heat a cast iron skillet with a 50/50 mix of butter and olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet.  Add extra if it starts to run dry. 


Sauté the steaks in the oil and butter about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Regulate heat so steak do not burn.  Steaks are done medium rare the moment you see some juice starting to puddle on the steaks. 
Add the brandy and swirl around to deglaze skillet. Now it is time to flambé.  It may look intimidating, but is rather very easy.  Your guests will be so impressed!  For the novice, using a candle lighter, ignite the brandy.  If you are more experienced, you can carefully tilt the skillet (making sure the brandy does not spill out) and let the flame from the burner ignite the brandy.

Move (shake) the skillet back and forth until the flames subside when the alcohol is cooked off. 
Add the heavy cream a little at a time until you see a desired creaminess.  Stir.

 Cook down the liquid for 2 to 3 minutes.

 Plate the steak and drizzle the brandy sauce over the top.  Add pomme frites and garnish with a sprig of Rosemary for color.


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