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February 9, 2012
Love dumplings? The soupy, Shanghai-style ones filled with juicy pork? Puck-shaped Beijing ones with beef? Pan-fried? Steamed? Boiled? There are Vietnamese dumplings made with rice flour wrappers folded around chunks of sautéed shrimp. Or beefy Lebanese dumplings blanketed with yogurt-garlic sauce. Or hat-shaped Afghan dumplings served with stewed pigeon peas, yogurt and dry mint. If you're on the hunt for dumplings, check out these slingers from recent Find columns. - Linda Burum, Miles Clements, Betty Hallock and C. Thi Nguyen Afghan Express Be sure to order mantu . No one in L.A. makes these chubby, meat-filled dumplings like Laila Shinwari.
July 22, 2011 | By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
Lucian Freud, a British artist who gained fame for his intense and deeply textural nude paintings, has died. He was 88. Freud, the grandson of the pioneering psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, died Wednesday at his home in London following an illness, according to a representative for his New York dealer, William Acquavella. The artist's best-known works feature subjects in anguished, anti-erotic poses, their psychology externalized onto their fleshy bodies. He liked to use impasto, a technique involving the thick application of paint, to create his highly textured portraits.
May 5, 2011 | By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times
Heralded as "the first new cake in 100 years" when it was introduced, the chiffon cake — one of the darlings of midcentury cuisine — became famous for its wonderfully light and airy texture, seemingly weightless as angel food but with a moist tenderness almost like a rich butter cake. And the delicate creation was originally developed by a Los Angeles insurance salesman. Though it may seem like a Betty Crocker-era relic, the cake is as relevant today as it was when it first revolutionized the baking world more than half a century ago. Chiffon is really a simple cake to make, lending itself to a host of flavor possibilities and accents.
February 5, 2011 | By Ahdaf Soueif
Writing from Cairo ? Was it ridiculous that I was perched on top of a ladder hanging curtains before going out to join the revolution in Tahrir? I don't know. I know I had taken my bedroom curtains down and they'd been laundered and needed hanging ? otherwise they'd get creased and have to be ironed again. So I took 10 minutes to hang them and half a minute to take pleasure in their soft, billowing whiteness. Then I slung my bag over my shoulder and left. We live in Zamalek, a leafy residential neighborhood that is a 5-minute drive from the bridge that connects it to downtown.
September 4, 2010 | David A. Keeps
As a sculptor and industrial designer working with found objects and castoffs, Aaron Kramer has a simple credo: "Trash is the failure of imagination. " The artist, subject of "Salvaged: Aaron Kramer and the Secret Life of Objects" at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles through Sept. 12, also applied that philosophy to the renovation and decoration of his Santa Monica home. Plunked between a 1930s movie-star mansion designed by Richard Neutra and a residence by the contemporary architect Melinda Gray, Kramer's 1936 house was, he says, "a mish-mash, a blend of Cape Cod cottage with a little Santa Fe flair and New York loft details.
June 27, 2010 | By Sam Adams, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The great French critic André Bazin said of director Luchino Visconti that he filmed the Sicilian fishermen in "La Terra Trema" as if they were "tragic princes." In the 1963 epic "The Leopard," rapturously presented on a new Criterion Blu-ray, Visconti reverses the equation, pulling a family of 19th century aristocrats down to earth. Set in Sicily during the Risorgimento, the period that marked the end of Sicily's existence as an independent monarchy and the emergence of an Italian state, the movie exults in the last gasps of the nobility's opulence, even as it acknowledges and — ambivalently — endorses the necessity of its end. Perhaps the most overtly dialectical of Visconti's movies, "The Leopard" embodies the contradictions inherent in his identity.
April 1, 2010 | By Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times
Dear SOS: Would you furnish us with a recipe for the delicious zucchini tea cake served at Huckleberry's in Santa Monica? I know by taste it is not low in fat, but I was told it was baked with only the whites of eggs. It will soon be the season for an abundant crop of summer squash at outdoor markets. Thank you. Alice Mitchell Santa Monica Dear Alice: We loved the combination of flavors and the rich, dense texture of this tea cake. We liked it best served warm out of the oven.
March 18, 2010 | By C. Thi Nguyen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Behold the majesty of banh it kep banh ram , one of the most dementedly wonderful versions of the one-thing-stuffed-inside-another-thing idea on this green earth. Deviously enough, banh it kep banh ram takes the concept a step further — stuffing one thing inside another version of itself. It's a glutinous rice cake, gently steamed, then stuffed halfway inside a deep-fried glutinous rice cake. One bite will take your mind apart. The steamed part is soft, gooey and sticky — like a starchy, savory taffy.
March 8, 2010 | By Melissa Magsaysay
That annual Oscar conundrum -- how to make a fashion statement on the red carpet while honoring tradition at the same time -- was solved this year with one easy concept: texture. The actresses who made some of the grandest entrances stuck to architectural details and dresses that looked as though they were sculpted for them. Whether it was the black and ivory frayed chiffon camellias adorning Diane Kruger's Chanel Haute Couture gown or the layers of pleated raspberry ruffles swirling down the front of Vera Farmiga's Marchesa frock, some of the most striking dresses came in 3-D this year -- no goggles required.
February 27, 2010
The eminent Italian architect Mario Bellini created the aptly named Dune tray, whose rippled appearance is something of an optical illusion: Between the smooth top and bottom, shatter-resistant polycarbonate is textured to give the material some depth and to produce a play of light. The small version, $83, is about 18 by 12 inches; the large one, $113, is about 22 by 15 inches. Neither comes with handles; that keeps the minimalist design intact but makes carrying the tray a little trickier.
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