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Holiday Miracles Ohhhh, the weather outside is frightful.... but golly don’t I look great wearing nothing but a towel and a big smile? Yes, it’s a season of miracles and I’m thankful for Photoshop and its ability to visually transplant my head onto the shapely image of travel contributor Kathy Buckworth who takes a cold plunge in Dabble Dare. If that doesn’t metaphorically embrace the season I’m not sure what could.

See the real model on page 108.

It’s been a joyful year for all of us at Dabble and you, dear reader, are a big part of it. Thank you. We thought of you often as we crafted this issue and hope you’ll love our Dabble Does Quebec City feature on page 82 and our festive snowshoeing party on page 132. We sure had fun bringing the seasonal stories to life. We trust the winter is friendly wherever you are and we wish you a season of warmth and joy.

Kimberley Seldon

Editor in Chief

Follow me... t f

@kimberleyseldon November/December 2011 dabble 5

NOV/DEC 2011

Kimberley Seldon Editor in Chief

Simon Burn Creative Director and Principal Photographer

Cheryl Horne Managing Editor

Victoria Drainville Associate Editor

Bob Seldon Captain Crisis

Design Contributors Lisa Canning, Christine Da Costa, Nyla Free, Erin Mercer, Nicholas Rosaci, Janet Villeneuve, Joy Zaczyk

Travel Contributors Kathy Buckworth, Heather Greenwood Davis, Stephanie Gray, Beth Halstead, Anne Taylor Hartzell, Jennifer Weatherhead

Food Contributors Theresa Albert, Corey Burgan, Jameson Fink, David Laudenback, Fiona Van Alstyne

Design & Styling Team Kathy Seale, Bret Tinson, Linda Jennings

Advertising and Promotion Aysun Kuck

Media and Public Relations

Owned and Published by Kimberley Seldon Productions Inc. Cheryl Horne, Managing Director

909 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Z6 101 California Ave, Santa Monica, California 90403 While every effort has been made to ensure that advertisements and articles appear correctly, Dabble Magazine and Kimberley Seldon Productions Inc. cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the contents of this publication. All material is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editor. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

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y er ev in sue is


DABBLE DOES QUEBEC CITY Join Dabble’s contributors as they search for the best design, travel and food Quebec City has to offer.

14 Dabble Here, Dabble There, Dabble Dabble Everywhere 15

On the Web


Dabble Digs

144 I dabble in... Nellie Huang 146 Special Feature Happy New Year 148 Just a Dab

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Take 3 All Fired Up


Reality Check Holiday Decorating


Quick Tip Chix Rustic Winter Party


What’s Trending Polyhedrons


DIY Guy Candy Coated

62 Industry Profile Nate Berkus, Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold 67


It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere Steven Stewart


'Tis the Season Lisa Canning


Red, White and Green Lynnette Eisen


Country Christmas Stylist Barbara Koturbash


A Fabulous Christmas Design Special

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Infusion Ngoc Minh Ngo



Road Raves Galapagos Islands


Snapshot Vietnam


Room with a View Water and Ice

108 Dabble Dare Taking the Plunge 112 Best Places For Festive Markets 114 Exposure A Winter Wonderland

November/December 2011 dabble 11


FEATURED 124 A Day With Chef Cat Cora 132 Entertain Me Snowshoe Party

118 A Taste Of... Holiday Treats 122 From Scratch Potato Gnocchi 128 Dinner Date Salmon says, 'I'm sorry' 130 There’s an App for That Wine Pairings 142 Sindulgence Cocoa Chanel

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CityLine: Dabble Day

Nov 8

Kimberley and the Dabble team hang out with host Tracy Moore as guest design, travel and food experts on CityTV’s CityLine.

Home for the Holidays

Nov 26-27

Designer Nyla Free transforms an historic Calgary home into a magical display of festive decor for a home tour to raise funds for Kids Help Phone.

Design Express 2012: Charleston & Savannah Find out what Dabble’s contributors have on the go this holiday season.

June 13-17

Join Kimberley Seldon for a truly unique travel experience. Immerse yourself in the land of southern hospitality. 5 days, 4 nights, 2 amazing cities. customized events ~ nothing straight off the tourist menu fine travel ~ stay in luxury accommodations great design ~ including private home tours amazing architecture ~ taking in southern history delicious food & wine ~ amazing tastes await your arrival and good friends ~ that’s where you come in!

On the web...




t os P t es u G

Exploring Slovenia From the captivating centre of Ljubljana to scenic Lake Bled and the medieval towns along the way, Slovenia offers a complete vacation, in one compact country. Read more...

pe ci Re ed Featur

Ginger Rogers Cookies In celebration of a woman who could do everything her partner did— but backwards and in high heels—a small indulgence with big impact is in order. Read more...

Enter to Win

Hosting this holiday? Serve guests an exceptional cup of coffee from this stylish, single-serve coffee machine. Divine. Win 1 of 3 NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Piccolo.

in W to ter EnWin 1 of 10 copies of the

delicious new book One Sweet Cookie: Celebrated Chefs Share Favorite Recipes by Tracey Zabar.

! s on ti la tu Congra

Jan McGrath and Karen Corness each won a signature pink toolbox from Tomboy Tools. November/December 2011 dabble 15

All that glitters is not gold, but design contributor Lisa Canning continues to mine for holiday treasure. Dabble says, give family and friends the ol’ razzle dazzle this season.

World Traveller Golden antlers keep the world spinning on a stylish axis. Antler Globe, CA$40, Indigo Chapters

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Pretty Place Setting Use these beautiful lace-like place mats as the base for your holiday table. Dahlia placemats, US$8, Chilewich

Feather Your Nest Add some glimmer to the tree with delicate gold ornaments. Gold Feather Ornament, CA$4, Indigo Chapters

Dazzling Deal Add luck and sparkle to your next hand with this luminous set of playing cards. Golden Playing Cards, CA$22, Drake General Store

Gorgeous and Gold Carry your iPad in glamorous style. Quincy iPad Case gold and fuchsia, US$80, Jess LC

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Handcrafted Homegrown Give the gift of handmade with hand spun, embroidered, layered textile wall art. Wall Art, CA$45+, Shibang Designs

n ig Des Antlers Aglow Add rustic, natural flare to your tabletop this holiday season. Horn Candle Holder with glass, CA$25, GlucksteinHome

Carry Your Carols Keep holiday music close at hand in portable style. Tivoli iPal Radio, CA$250, Indigo Chapters

l ve Tra

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Cozy and Classic Snuggle up with a luxurious cashmere version of the iconic Canadian stripes. Multistripe Pure Cashmere Travel Set, CA$350, Hudsons Bay Company Collections


Serve On Shagreen Make a chic statement all year long with this luxe shagreen desk. Couture Shagreen Plain Pattern Desk, US$12,300, SkateModerne

Egg Cozy These felted egg cozies make a whimsical addition to any holiday breakfast. Set of 3 Felt Egg Cozies, CA$20, Indigo Chapters

Colourful Coasters Give guests a gorgeous spot to set down their drinks. Diane von Furstenberg Home Decal Coasters, CA$27 set of 4, The Bay

Chatty Chocolate Each piece of chocolate comes individually wrapped with its own conversation starter—a great hostess gift for the party circuit. Organic Chocolate Conversations, CA$16, Green and Black’s Organic Visions of Lemon Drops Old fashioned lemon drops are a nostalgic gift idea. Hammond’s Old Fashioned Lemon Drops, CA$10, Indigo Chapters

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We asked our designers...

What is your fave holiday colour scheme?

Victoria Drainville

Nicholas Rosaci

Victoria is the Associate Editor of Dabble Magazine and an interior designer. She explores her passions by managing design features, working with international designers on home tours and creating dead-smart layouts for Dabble.

Nicholas is an award-winning designer and appears as DIY Guy guest expert on CityTV’s CityLine. As a designer, he creates chic, confident and glamourous environments. Nicholas believes every space should inspire you to live better, greener and, of course, more fabulously. @vickeydabbles @nicholasrosaci

"I like to embrace the season’s weather by incorporating a cool holiday colour scheme in the home: white, robin’s egg blue and silver. These colours look particularly refreshing against a traditional backdrop.”

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“Precious metals—Nothing signifies the holiday season like gold, silver and bronze. If you keep things simple and traditional, you can always add a touch of colour into the mix to make it feel new!”

Nyla Free

“This is one of my favourite seasons, so as a result my holiday colour scheme changes every year (insert husband shaking head and rolling eyes here). This year I’ll be decorating with celadon, grey/silver, pale gold and ivory with a little more of a vintage feel.” If it’s interior design related, then Nyla is passionate about it. Nyla also loves travel and says she keeps her bags packed and ready at the door. Hint, hint Dabble. @nylafree

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Take 3


There’s nothing like the scent of a wood burning fire to make the winter seem friendlier. Here are three stylish ways to stack, store and style firewood. One is sure to kindle your creativity.

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Stack it Modern This sleek white Corian log holder from Constantine Interiors is practical and stylish enough for even the most devout modernista. The slim form handsomely corrals dozens of logs, keeping them close at hand.

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Stack it High The discrete wall niche keeps a steady supply of logs neatly in place and nearby throughout the winter. This type of built-in storage solution is an ideal option if you are building from scratch or have limited floor space.

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Design Tips

T Reuse last year’s

ribbon for an earth friendly approach.

T Use birch logs to add

a touch of winter white.

T Have an old leather

belt lying around? Use it to bundle your logs for a more masculine look.

Three Stack it Stylishly Purists love the ease and simplicity of this simple storage method. Gather a small stack of logs into a tight bundle, then wrap with twine or a decorative ribbon. Adorn with fresh greens and decorative elements, such as the beaded berries we chose, to create a festive, holiday arrangement.

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“Decorating for the holidays,” says interior designer Nyla Free, “needn’t be stressful.” For clients, Nyla finds the key to success is paring down and brightening up.

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Step 1: Choose a Colour Scheme Enhance existing décor by choosing complementary colours for holiday ornaments. In this case, icy blues sparkle against the warm neutral tones of the client’s contemporary furnishings.

Step 2: Target Select Areas

Avoid the “no surface is safe” approach to holiday decorating by carefully targeting high impact areas. Beyond the tree, give the dining table a festive makeover.

Step 3: Keep it Seasonal

Extend the life of “holiday” decorations by using an abundance of seasonal elements including fresh greens, pine cones and festive branches which continue to look great beyond New Year’s Day.

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Step 4: Playful Design

A variety of baubles and ornaments mingle festively in this striking yet simple centrepiece. Fill glass bowls or vases for a similar effect.

Step 5: Bring Out the Good Stuff There’s no better time to dust off the china, iron the linen napkins and polish the placeholders. Setting a festive table creates excitement and lets guests know they are special.

Step 6:Â Tree of Life

Ornaments are typically collected and accumulated over a lifetime and family members often have their favourites. Make sure to hang cherished pieces in prime locations. After all, it’s the memories that really make your tree one-of-a-kind.

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“Make holiday preparations a family affair.” Step 7: Fresh Foliage

Step 9: Sparkle and Light

Step 8: First Impressions

Step 10: Sit back and Relax

To add a traditional touch to holiday décor, dress the mantle or coffee table with fresh flowers such as paper whites or amaryllis. For a more modern approach, place live branches of fresh berries into a tall glass vase.

Welcome family and friends with a large wreath at the front door. Fill available planters with greens, berries and mini-lights. Think of it as a gift to the neighbourhood.

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The warm glow and twinkle of mini-lights, beaded garlands and thick candles provides welcome detail that makes shorter days and cooler temperatures just a little more pleasant.

Pour a hot cup of cocoa, light the fire, play some favourite carols and wrap yourself in a warm blanket. The holidays pass all too quickly. Enjoy.


x hi C ip T Quick

Rustic Winter Party WORDS BY Joy Zaczyk AND Janet Villeneuve PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

Winter is the perfect time to host an intimate dinner party for family and friends. The challenge? To set a table so warm and inviting guests want to linger long into the evening. Here’s how our Quick Tip Chix, Joy and Janet, create an enticingly cozy setting.

November/December 2011 dabble 31


1. Use What You Have

Go ‘shopping’ right at home, gathering interesting and unique items to dress the table.

Tip: A casual mix of serving pieces such as vintage ironstone,

glass and pewter creates a welcome, not-so-fussy ambience.

2. Unique Seat Assignment

Guests feel extra special with a placeholder. Look for items in multiples like the vintage glass bottles we used (LEFT) to provide inspiration. Bottles can double duty as conversation starters by inserting a scrolled piece of parchment with a hand-written fortune or debate producing question.

Tip: Use twine or raffia to tie a paper tag with the guest’s name to the neck of the bottle.

3. Family Style Service

Keep the party simple by serving family style. Use wooden cutting boards or even rustic planks as serving vessels.

Tip: Collect cutting boards of varying sizes, shapes and heights to hold platters and bowls at the table.

4. Don’t Do ‘Matchy-Matchy’

Communicate warmth and ease with a layered, deliberately mismatched look for the table.

Tip: Mixing colour, texture and provenance (vintage and new) helps achieve a charming and rustic setting.

5. Dressing Down

Protect a vulnerable table with a suitable table covering. Stray from obvious choices such as an all white or damask patterned tablecloth to create a more interesting setting. A plaid blanket, matelasse coverlet or even a length of burlap work well.

Tip: Look for interesting textiles whose original purpose might not have been a tablecloth. Janet and Joy used a vintage ‘rag rug’ as a runner (RIGHT).

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6. Decant the Wine

Not only are wine decanters beautiful, they serve a practical purpose, allowing red wine to open up.

Tip: Source inexpensive decanters in various sizes at thrift

stores, flea markets and yard sales. Look for ones that have unique charm and group them at the table.

7. Light It Up Centrepiece

Incorporating candlelight into the centrepiece creates instant warmth. Start with a wooden box and fill it with vintage jars and assorted candles.

Tip: Fill gaps between jars with dogwood branches or seasonal greens.

8. Flatware Flair Liberally mix vintage flatware with a variety of patinas into the table setting. Pair traditional silver flatware with more contemporary Bakelite or wood-handled items to add character and warmth.

Tip: Vintage flatware and silver is readily available and often very affordable at house sales, flea markets and auctions.

9. Stow Dainty Stemware Winter is the perfect time to shine up the heaviest stemware. Chunkier vessels and deeply cut details add visual weight and interest to the setting.

Tip: To create a pleasing balance, make sure to pair chunky goblets for wine with heavier water glasses.

10. No Better Time For Linen

Pressing heavy-weight fabric napkins into service lends a sense of occasion to the party.

Tip: Don’t fret if napkins are mismatched. Just make sure they feature similar warm colour tones.

November/December 2011 dabble 33



Perched high on the cliffs in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, this penthouse condo with its stylish “cocktails-at-five” mood reflects the talents of Australian designer Steven Stewart. The quiet inner-city dwelling suits his client’s busy lifestyle. As a bonus, it’s also an ideal meeting spot for friends to gather before heading out for a late dinner at one of the area’s fabulous restaurants.

34 dabble November/December 2011

DESIGN OPPOSITE The living room’s sectional sofa

is covered in creamy, textured linen. Sitting adjacent is the iconic Platner chair and stool. “To me, the Platner series represents ultimate glamour,” the designer says. Steven opted for Resene Marsale paints in industrial hues—like the dramatic charcoal seen here—to complement urban views.

November/December 2011 dabble 35


Floor to ceiling glass, dynamic city views and overscaled accessories create a dramatic setting for dining.

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Spacious and airy, chic open-plan living and dining rooms lead to outdoor entertaining areas as well as stunning, unobstructed views of the city and its brightly lit Story Bridge. Although it’s an optical illusion, it almost feels that the illuminated bridge—which crosses the Brisbane River, connecting the city’s northern and southern suburbs— is within easy reach. In the dining room, eight alabaster leather chairs border the gleaming black table, ready to accommodate the owner’s frequent dinner parties. Two vintage Chinese vases from a local antiques dealer sit on top. “We purposely chose white vases to add a spark,” says Steven. Despite its ultra-urban vibe, the burgeoning neighbourhood of New Farm gets its name from the city’s early years as a rural community. “Since this is the condo’s only penthouse,” says Steven, “it’s affectionately called the New Farm Penthouse.” The towering metal sculpture, purchased by the owner in Italy, strikes a pose against Brisbane’s evening skies.

November/December 2011 dabble 37


“Black and gold Chinoiserie provides a stunning backdrop to the luxury textiles and finishes,” says designer Steven Stewart. A gleaming bar cabinet with glass shelves and mirror backing displays crystal wine goblets, ready to oblige a future soirée. The decorative details of the chinoiserie work beautifully against the dark and dramatic interior accents. Steven explains the term Chinoiserie is a French word that means ‘in the Chinese taste’ and describes a European style of decorative detail, wildly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Clearly, it’s still fashionable today.

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Europeans were fascinated with the Far East during the time of explorer Marco Polo. A closer look at the cabinet's details reveal animated people in ornate dress and elephants in ceremonial costume. November/December 2011 dabble 39


The luxurious silk-panelled walls embrace the bedroom’s cozy ambience. 40 dabble November/December 2011


Bedroom walls are seductively panelled in a sophisticated silk textile, custom-dyed to match the paint finish on adjacent walls. Not only does the treatment create a cozy environment for sleeping, it’s an effective way to dampen noise as well. Underfoot is a cozy taupe carpet. “Bedrooms don’t experience the same heavy use as say, the kitchen, so I took the opportunity to use more extravagant materials,” the designer enthuses. In addition to carrying the home’s industrial colour scheme throughout, Steven introduces a Chinese motif on the decorative pillows to echo the chinoise elements throughout the condo. The faux fur throw adds a welcome layer of luxury.

November/December 2011 dabble 41

It’s that time of year. Pull the decorations out of storage and hang the ornaments on the tree with the kids. Lisa Canning shows us you don’t need a lot of space when you’re decorating for the holidays— just a lot of love. 42 dabble November/December 2011


‘tis the season

November/December 2011 dabble 43


For Dabble Design Contributor Lisa Canning, home is a place she goes to relax after a hectic day of designing rooms for clients or being filmed for a television show. But it is more than just that; it’s a sacred place to raise her two beautiful children, John and Evelyn, with hubby, Josh. As busy as she is, juggling career and family life (and with a third bundle of joy on the way) Lisa loves to make time to prepare her 300 square foot living room for the holiday season.

“For holiday decorating, stick to a neutral colour palette with a pop of colour.” This year, Lisa’s using a silver and white colour story with pops of teal for her holiday decorating. She decks her small white tree with an assortment of neutral ornaments from a favourite source, Indigo Books, and complements them with teal ornaments which she’s collected over the years. The teal and silver colour scheme continues in the dining area as Lisa sets the table with her Ralph Lauren dishes. Says the designer, “It’s great to introduce a festive colour, but the entire look should be cohesive with your current décor.” She added a modern arrangement of hydrangeas and faux foliage as a centrepiece.

44 dabble November/December 2011


To give the dining room table a cohesive look with the rest of space, Lisa uses extra ornaments from the tree at each place setting. November/December 2011 dabble 45

HOME TOUR John and Evelyn are rewarded with a few early Christmas presents for being such great helpers decorating the tree.

When it comes to holiday decorating, go beyond the tree. Lisa exchanges decorative pillows on the Elte sofa for others with glitter and sheen to complete the look. Lisa’s secret to this holiday colour scheme is the 70-25-5 rule: ”Stick to a neutral palette with a pop of colour. I use 70% of one colour, 25% of a secondary colour and 5% of a surprise hit.” At Lisa’s, the primary colour is grey, white is secondary and teal is the surprise element. This allows for the room to feel cohesive and calm, just perfect for relaxing with the family during the busy holiday season that lies ahead.

46 dabble November/December 2011

“In order to make rooms truly comfortable any time of year,” says Lisa, ”flexible lighting is key. A layered lighting plan—combining decorative sconces with table lights and overhead ambient lighting— is a great strategy to create cosiness.” When asked about her favourite piece in the living room, Lisa points out the painting of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro (seen above the mantle on page 43) as it’s sentimental to the family, reminding them of the weeks they spent there volunteering.


what’sng trendi #polygon WORDS BY CHRISTINE DA COSTA

Industrial chic is all the rage right now. “In combination with this style, we are seeing new shapes take centre stage in home décor and furniture design,” says trend contributor Christine Da Costa. The complex polygon takes its turn looking futuristic or contemporary.

Objet du Jour Nancy, of Marcus Designs blog, is lusting after this miniature brass sculpture, ideal as a paperweight. Brass Polygon, CA$15 Indigo Chapters.

Eye Candy for the Ceiling Ivan Meade of Meade Design Group chose the Polyhedron Pendant as his eye candy of the week. ‘I just love when complexity can be this simple’, says Ivan.

Hedronic Chair: designed by anOther Architect

Simply Complex The Marionette Pendant light fixture with its multi point polygon shape is unique. Marionette Single Pendant US$395 (single), US$1,595 (chandelier), Objeti.

The Future Looks Grand The Contemporist, a daily source for architects and interior designers, loves the Hedronic Chair. Based on the simple mathematical solid shape called a polyhedron, the sleek sit is made from a single piece of folded stainless steel. Its white colouring and origami-like folds create the impression of a light paper chair. November/December 2011 dabble 47


Lynnette and Mitchell Eisen created a family home that combines elements of their respective childhoods—hers, beach front New Zealand, and his, a wraparound porch in Toronto. The charming result is a practical home that welcomes family and friends with natural light and and casual comfort.

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red, green


Pine Adirondack chairs— painted “Mountain Stream” from Pittsburgh Paints— sit sentry year round on the wraparound porch. November/December 2011 dabble 49



Lynnette uses white Stargazer lilies throughout the home as a reminder of Christmas in New Zealand, where people typically decorate for the holidays with an abundance of fresh cut flowers.

50 dabble November/December 2011


“Find something from nature like the bark on a tree, or a sentimental decoration, and use that as inspiration. Be creative and let the design reflect your individuality.� ~Lynnette


Winter whites and natural earth tones bring nature’s palette indoors. The effect is enhanced by large windows that make the connection stronger still, infusing the country home with natural light.

LEFT Simple parson chairs strike a festive pose when tied with a bright red ribbon and decked with humble ornaments. November/December 2011 dabble 51

ID Y Guy



Nicholas Rosaci turns Jujubes into a sumptuous showpiece. “This festive DIY is deliciously easy to make.” MATERIALS REQUIRED Styrofoam cone: 24” H, 6” diameter base 4 pounds of Jujubes (approx.) Toothpick for each Jujube 5” cake pin Decorative bead or crystal 8” candle base

OPTIONAL Hot glue gun /sticks (For a non-edible Jujube tree) Automotive spray paint

52 dabble November/December 2011


1 2 3 4 5


When selecting Jujubes, choose the colours, shapes, and sizes that complement your style and décor. Candy canes, peppermints and rock candy are great alternatives to Jujubes. Remember to buy extra candy since you’re bound to eat a few while making your tree.


Starting from the top and working in rows, insert a toothpick into each Jujube and push them, one at a time, into place on the Styrofoam cone. For a decorative, non-edible Jujube tree, affix the candies to the cone with a drop of hot glue. Make sure the glue gun is set to “low” so the glue doesn’t melt the Styrofoam.


Up the glam quotient with a crowning crystal bead (available at craft stores). Slide the jewel onto a cake pin (also available at craft stores) and insert the pin through a larger Jujube. Push the crystal adorned Jujube finial into the top of the Styrofoam cone.


In a well ventilated area, spray paint a candle base using automotive spray paint, which is durable and comes in a variety of glittering metallic finishes. Nicholas is using a shimmering green to complement his blue Jujube tree.


Finish the festive masterpiece with a feather boa wrapped around the bottom of the tree base. Tip: To give your Jujube tree as a gift, wrap the entire thing in clear cellophane and top with a ribbon.



November/December 2011 dabble 53


Urbanites Andrea White and Brian Koturbash find the holidays move a lot slower in their beloved country home, north of Toronto in the Creemore Hills. And that suits them just fine.

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Country Christmas

November/December 2011 dabble 55


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Surrounded by nature’s bounty, the couple turns to Brian’s sister, professional stylist and designer Barbara Koturbash, to infuse their home with a holiday atmosphere that suits country living. “There’s little doubt about the focus of holiday decorating,” says Barbara, “it nearly always centres around the Christmas tree.” Tall enough to touch the ceiling, the tree is decorated by Barbara with traditional ornaments and colours that complement the couple’s existing décor. Throughout, natural elements such as fresh greens, pine cones, terracotta and twine are used liberally. However, cautions Barbara, “In country decorating, nothing is ever fussy. Humble accents, like the simple stockings hung by the fire, work best.” Finally, says the designer, “Never aim for perfection; country looks thrive on their casual appearance.”

RIGHT Over the mantle, a large wreath tops the room’s focal point, the Rumford fireplace. Due to its tall and shallow cavity, logs are placed vertically on the fire rather than horizontally, resulting in less smoke and improved heating.

November/December 2011 dabble 57

I’ll us lo have fabu a blue Christmas

58 dabble November/December 2011


on top

Think outside of the box.

Add sparkle to packages with vintage or costume jewelry. Rhinestone broaches, shiny clip earrings, and chunky plastic beads all look great when displayed with enthusiasm. Try this idea at the table too, by attaching jewelry pieces to napkins.

Dabble Savvy: Keep it simple. A tree adorned only in white lights or completely bare allows you to marvel at nature’s perfection. Wrap the base in natural burlap, a luscious throw made of wool, or a cozy quilt.

November/December 2011 dabble 59


A penny for your thoughts.

s nt me orna

Glittering spheres with iridescent silver or gold, luminous cream and effervescent ivory—classic neutrals are always in fashion and they combine effortlessly with other colours to create a fresh and vibrant holiday scheme that changes from year to year. Accent a ‘basic’ collection of ornaments with bold red and plaids creating a traditional look, with spring greens creating a more contemporary look, or with chocolate brown and blue, a handsome holiday classic.


For he’s a jolly good fellow. She’s ready for New Year’s Eve. Make sure holiday decorations are relevant to the festivities. This garden statue takes pride of place on the handsome staircase. She’s a great conduit to lively costume sessions throughout the year.

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h at wre

A room of one’s own.

Delaney, the family pug, can’t remember a holiday she’s anticipated with more enthusiasm. (Can’t you just tell? It’s written all over her face.) Though she isn’t used to sharing the spotlight, this large wreath is an attention getter. To get the look, start with a large, permanent wreath as the base (an excellent investment) and add fresh noble fir, eucalyptus and white pine. Then finish with white lights and festive pepper berries. November/December 2011 dabble 61

y tr Joy and Janet get face us Indfile Pro time with Nate Berkus


62 dabble November/December 2011


We loved him on Oprah and now that he has his own show, we just can't get enough of Nate Berkus. The Quick Tip Chix ask the talented and adorable Nate what he thinks about timeless design, trends and holiday decorating. DM: How has your personal design aesthetic changed over the years? NB: On my mom’s first visit to Chicago I couldn’t wait to take her on the proverbial house tour of my new apartment. When she arrived, I don’t even think she got her coat off before I was dragging her from room to room. When we were done, she turned to me and said, “Would it kill you to have something living in here…a plant maybe?” It was so edited and sparse. But, now, I live in a home that is so packed full of stuff, you can barely put a glass down. And, honestly I don’t know when the shift happened. Just one day I looked around and realized I had surrounded myself with the things I loved most; now I can’t imagine living any other way. DM: What design trends do you feel are timeless? NB: I don’t believe in trends. I don’t think someone should be made to feel bad because red was sooo last season. Making your home your own is the best way I know to make its design withstand the test of time. If you love it, you’ll never tire of it. DM: What are the best ways to bring together a cozy winter look without breaking the bank? NB: I love entertaining at this time of year. To me that’s what keeps the chill out. A well set table, great wine, good food and many laughs makes for the perfect cozy night at home.

DM: We know that one of your design philosophies is that ‘your home should rise up to greet you’. What advice would you give our readers to achieve this? NB: Decorating is like getting dressed. You have to know who you are and what looks best on you in order to marry your style with your fit. Homes are the same way. Know yourself first and then design to fit your budget. When you don’t do that, when you dress to keep up with the mean girls down the block or the ones we watch each week on Bravo, that’s when it’s not working. You shouldn’t be a version of someone else’s definition of style, and neither should your house. DM: During the holiday season, what do you Dabble in? NB: That’s a good question…and a difficult one. If I’m vacationing, then the blackberry gets tucked away and the flip flops come out. If I’m antiquing, I’m racing from room to room and store to store to find the best finds. So, I can’t say I dabble so much as a I obsess!

s: ip T y da li Ho ’s e Nat

filled with mercury glass T Bowls ornaments in silver and gold make for T an elegant centerpiece. bird ornaments everyone adds to T The the tree for good luck make clever place T card holders. using all the tree’s trimmings, T Consider just forgo the tree. That means no T pushing furniture around the living room to make a place for the tree. No pine needles to sweep up. No tree. No rule book says you have to have one anyways. Visit Dabble’s website for more of Nate’s holiday tips.

November/December 2011 dabble 63

y tr Sasha Adler and us Indfile Pro Lauren Gold

e ur at Fe e Doubl HOLIDAY SPECIAL

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Young, beautiful and talented are the directors of Nate Berkus Associates, Sasha Adler and Lauren Gold. At the top of their game, these two best friends know how to put fun and passion into their work. For a growing body of clients they create timeless, classic and well-designed interiors.

DAB: What sentimental object do you pull out of storage every year for the holidays? LG: My grandma has always collected Lalique, and I have Lalique votives that I only bring out for special occasions. I love the warm glow they give my home.

Dabble asked the two designers to share some holiday decorating tips.

DAB: What do you and Sasha have most in common when it comes to design views/ beliefs? LG: We believe that interiors should be a collection of things that you love.

During the holidays, Lauren dabbles in shopping and good food.

DAB: What is the secret to creating a timeless interior à la Nate Berkus? LG: The secret is to create a layered, eclectic mix of modern and classic pieces.

DAB: What do you feel is this year’s trend when it comes to holiday decorating? LG: I try to steer clear of trends and “holidaythemed” decorating. Timeless, seasonal accessories would be the way to go for me. DAB: Holiday tree: artificial or real? LG: Real. Hands down. DAB: When it comes to colours for the holiday season, do you prefer classic colours or a daring colour scheme? LG: I prefer classic colors with a splash of something vibrant like a lemon yellow or a kelly green. DAB: What one element do you feel instantly brings comfort to a room? LG: I always love a jute rug. The warm honey colour immediately envelopes the space and roots the furniture.

Lauren Gold: Joined Nate Berkus Associates in 2001 after graduating from Harrington Institute of Interior Design. Lauren’s appreciation for antiquities and travelling stems from her parents, Chicago-based antique dealers, and her love of worldly design. November/December 2011 dabble 65

INDUSTRY PROFILE DAB: What is your favourite combination of colours this season? SA: This season I am reaching for my favourite basics—natural Belgian linen, gray flannel and crisp white mixed with something bright like cobalt blue, mustard yellow or bottle green. DAB: How do you incorporate warmth into a room at this time a year? SA: Lighting is the key to creating a warm, inviting environment. I have all of my fixtures on dimmers and fill the room with candlelight so the whole room glows.

During the holiday season, Sasha likes to dabble in red wine. Sasha Adler: Began her career in fashion as an editor for a French magazine based in New York. As her passion for design grew, she thought her talents would be better expressed through interior design. In 2004, Sasha moved back to her home town, and joined Nate Berkus Associates in Chicago. DAB: Do you think a person should follow trends when it comes to holiday decorating or invest in pieces they can use from one year to the next? SA: I think you should always invest in quality pieces that will withstand the test of time. If you build a collection of pieces you love, you will be excited to use them year after year. DAB: Holiday tree: topper or no topper? SA: If you decide to use a tree topper, I would select something simple and classic. Nothing that flashes or blinks.

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DAB: What holiday item do you have that always brings back good memories? SA: I have my great grandmother’s china and I always feel so nostalgic when setting the table for family events. DAB: How can one achieve a layered look in the style of Nate Berkus Associates? SA: Arrange your accessories to tell a story. Combine items in varying heights or group a collection together in an interesting way. DAB: How do you and Lauren mesh your design styles together? SA: Lauren and I have pretty similar styles to begin with, but when we work together our ideas springboard off one another and push the design to the next level.


At this time of year, life is go, go, go. Victoria Drainville takes a few minutes to find inspiration through Ngoc Minh Ngo’s fast-paced photography.

Revival Mahogany


Sunset Skyline

Stirring Orange


Mountain Moss

Terra Brun

The hustle and bustle has begun... or perhaps it never stops? The malls and streets are packed with people shopping for the perfect gift. What will you be buying?


Area carpets create texture and warmth underfoot.


You have a nice home, why shouldn’t your fish? Finally, a stylish fish bowl.


Mid-century modern style and a comfy place to rest your feet. November/December 2011 dabble 67

We asked our travellers...

Stay home or get away? Where will you be over the holidays?

Heather Greenwood Davis

“We’ll be away from home for the first time this holiday season, exploring Africa as part of our Around the World Trip. It’ll be interesting waking up to warm climes after all those Canadian winters.” Heather is an award-winning freelance writer. Her articles have taken readers to the hills of Peru, the shores of South Africa, the kitchens of Italy and beyond. This year she’s adding more pins to her map as she heads off with her family on a one-year trip around the world. @greenwooddavis

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Jennifer Weatherhead “I’ll be going home to visit family but ringing in the new year somewhere exciting.”

Stephanie Gray

“This year I’ll be going home to Ottawa, which means sleeping in, baking and watching movies.” Jennifer and Stephanie, co-founders of Pretty Chic Travel, tour the globe and share their fantastic finds—be it out-of-the-way boutiques, must-see art exhibits or stylish hotels. Both with editorial backgrounds, they are thrilled to offer up their take on the world of travel. @pc_travel

Kathy Buckworth

“I will be staying at home, trying to get away from my kids.” Kathy is an award-winning writer, public speaker, television personality and the author of five books, including Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay. A feature writer for and a columnist for various national and international publications. @kathybuckworth

el trav November/December 2011 dabble 69



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Heather Greenwood Davis takes a year to travel with her husband and two sons. Her adventure continues here in the Galapagos Islands. They look like drunken sailors. Leaning lazily against the rails of the boardwalk, slumped in doorways of long-closed restaurants, squeezed in between bigger versions of themselves on the stairs to the pier so that you have to step over them to get where you need to be. Every morning on the island of San Cristobal it’s more of the same. Big Alpha Males to slippery newborns: Sea Lions are everywhere. Shopkeepers sweep around them in the morning when they come to open their shops and fishermen seem oblivious to the hulking masses perched around, under and in their boats. They are a part of the landscape and the way of life here. “Here” is the Galapagos Islands. A few weeks into our yearlong Round the World Trip, we had already visited western Canada, Argentina and Peru. Now, after a few days in Quito, we headed out to Ecuador’s furthest finger to explore an older way of life. We came to see what Darwin saw. Over a hundred years ago Charles Darwin noted the 15 varieties of finches and solitary giant tortoises that would lead him to develop his theories of evolution and the survival of the fittest. We found them and more.

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“And there is a pride of place and genuine love of country that is shared in every encounter.”

The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, so far away from land as we know it that we really don’t expect to see much. And yet, it’s a tiny chain of islands, each smaller than the last, surrounded by miles and miles of ocean. Each one offers even more reasons to stay longer, explore further. Our guide is a local. Juan Carlos Zamborino Garcia is the Gap Adventure ( tour guide who takes our motley group of 10 Canadians on an 11 day excursion. Aimed at families with kids as young as 5, our trip is action-packed and filled with adventure. Every night we all fall into bed drunk from the kind of giddiness only a full day of activity can provide; and every morning we get up excited about what the next day has to offer. We’re never disappointed. From the 20 km hike up and down a muddy volcano, to a full day of snorkeling. From watching a family of humpback whales in the waters from the side of a speedboat, to swimming, side by side, with a sea lion who’s as curious about you as you are about him.

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These are encounters that can’t be planned and are all the more memorable because of it. Our group only makes it more fun. The odds are with us and we end up with a group (Al, Judy and daughter Lauren, 10, from Mississauga, Allana and daughter Kyela from Kitchener Waterloo, and my family of four including my two sons under the age of 10) that gets along easily and laughs most of the time. The locals have made environmental protection a way of life here. Perhaps, because they look out every day on pristine waters, they know exactly what is at stake. I watch a shopkeeper leave her store unattended in order to retrieve a wayward plastic bottle some tourist lazily discarded in the street. I see another head out with her broom to sweep the sidewalk. And there is a pride of place and genuine love of country that is shared in every encounter. I listen in, making out every other word of the Spanish exchanged as our guide explains to a taxi driver how we’ve decided to make an impromptu visit to the countryside so he can show us some local fruits and flowers.


The Islands Isabella

With its sand swept streets, giant iguanas and well-toned surfers, Isabella is the island we all remember for the bakery that opens at 3 pm each day. You smell the bed breaking all afternoon and when you join the locals to buy a 15 cent roll (or 6) you’ll swear you’ve never tasted anything better.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin research centre, waters meant for surfing, beautiful local art shops and a fish market where fishermen battle pelicans and sea lions for the catch of the day.

San Cristobal Here, the locals are relaxed and charming. There are fewer tourists and even more sea lions. A short walk to a museum offers all you need to know about the way the islands came to be. If I have to choose a favourite, it’s San Cristobal. Even the cacti have soft spikes on this island. With no predators to defend themselves from there’s no need to become rough around the edges. And the people are the same way.

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And then the taxi driver happily offers to take us to her own farm and, when we accept, she makes sure that each of us leaves with pockets full of the sweetest oranges and bananas. No charge. I like that the people here have a love and pride in community that doesn’t need to be regulated by governments. I like that local youths may be swayed to leave for a while but tend to find their way home and make a difference in their own communities. I like that not everyone can move here, that people discourage the use of plastic water bottles and that there’s a chance, slight but a chance all the same, that these islands may last as they are for another hundred years. And most of all I like that there are fairly untouched places like this in the world where you can still take lots of pictures and leave with a million memories but not one stone.

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As we approach the end of the trip, there are days like this one when we realize that we have found it – our happy place. We’ve been around long enough that the lady at the store next door knows how I like my café con leche and takes the time to make conversation while it brews. We are familiar enough that the little son of the shopkeeper down the road recognizes my boys as they approach and runs to get the ball they’ve been playing soccer with for days. And as I’m sipping coffee, watching the sunset and listening to the boys play and the sea lions honking their goodnights as they make their way down the pier to find the perfect place to flop for the night, I realize how easy it would be to stay here forever.

Follow Heather on her journey at:


th wi m oo R view a

Water & Ice

After a snow-filled day of activity, these wintry getaways provide watery relaxation and pristine seasonal views.


WHO: Amangani

WHO: Riffelalp Resort

WHERE: Jackson Hole, Wyoming,

WHERE: Zermatt, Switzerland

United States

WHAT: At the snow-capped peak

WHAT: Breathtaking panoramic

of East Gros Ventre Butte, one of the world’s heartiest ski destinations, rests an ultra-luxurious all-season resort. Hit the slopes or spend the day reading by a roaring fire. After skiing, head to the outdoor pool and marvel at nature’s bounty.

mountain views are yours just 2,222 metres above sea level in the heart of Europe’s finest ski district. This grand hotel treats its guests to luxury services while offering a diverse range of activities such as glacier tours, ice-skating and outdoor swimming.

COST: Rates starting at US$595

COST: Rates from CHF665 per

per night.

night. Minimum 7 day stay required. Open mid-December to mid-April.

WHO: Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside WHERE: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

WHAT: Maybe it’s the pristine

mountains or the intimate lodge environment that prompts visitors to return year after year. Either way, they’re greeted by a friendly staff and well-appointed suites that feature a kitchen, fireplace and balcony. The outdoor pool, open year-round, is set against spectacular views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.

COST: Suite rates from CA$299. November/December 2011 dabble 75



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Vietnam is full of breathless beauty and I was determined to see it with my own eyes.


Vietnam is a country that can’t help but be overshadowed by the devastating and controversial war that lasted from 1955-1975. However, stopping any investigation of Vietnam due to the past is a mistake. Though the adventurous tourist can still find remnants of environmental devastation, overall Vietnam is full of breathless beauty and Beth Halstead is determined to see it with her own eyes. Hanoi, located in the North, was voted one of the most beautiful cities in Asia and is nicknamed “the city of lakes.” That sounds like an ideal starting point to me. With a population of 6.5 million people, Hanoi, the second largest city in the country, is heaped in history. Inhabited since 3000 BC, it is the political centre of the North and overflows with culture. Although my pre-trip research reveals that Vietnam was inhabited by the French for many years, I am still taken aback to discover that influence on aesthetics, particularly visible in Colonial Hanoi where tree lined boulevards (Phan Dinh Phung Street is a nice example) and French colonial architecture dominate. Wanting to take my time and capture as much of the beauty as possible with my camera, I venture on foot to explore. After hours of wandering I notice that most visitors opt for a cyclo tour. Guided in a rickshaw style bicycle looks like an equally joyful way to drink up the vintage atmosphere. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in this area for a meal there are several excellent French restaurants, complete with large selections of cheeses and wines from the motherland. November/December 2011 dabble 77


The Old Quarter, despite having more than 70 streets, is also known as “36 old streets.” Trust me, if it’s exotic, you’ll find it here. The area started out as a snake and alligator infested swamp and over time developed into a busy centre where skilled craftsmen lived in clustered villages, their houses perched on stilts. Today, it’s somewhat less romantic to find tube style homes, designed to avoid taxes as citizens are charged by the width of the building where it meets the street. Ingenuity encouraged residents to build up rather than out, thus maintaining the desired 2-4 metre frontage. In addition to a talent for artisanship, new villagers brought their religious practises and 80% of Vietnam practises Buddhism. This accounts for the proliferation of temples and pagodas, at least one on every street. In some cases, they have now been converted into shops and homes as younger generations do not attend places of worship frequently, if at all. At one time street names reflected the particular guild or specialty of its merchants. 78 dabble November/December 2011

Today silk traders, jewellery makers, tailors, silver smiths and, yes, those abundant knock off stalls bustle for attention. The Old Quarter with all of its charm and vibrancy is sadly overcrowded and polluted, so opt for a late afternoon or evening visit. As an avid seeker of treasures, I love the Dong Xuan night market, held Friday-Sunday. I did not escape without buying jade amulets, old Chinese pottery, a few traditional style silk tops, and most exciting hand-rolled incense (all for a few Dong or Vietnam dollars). A calculator is a good tool to have as the money can get complicated. As an example,10,000 Dong = 50 cents. Another “not to be missed” form of evening entertainment is the famous water puppet show. If you plan to go, purchase tickets when you arrive in Hanoi. A first class seat is 60,000 Dong or roughly $3.00 US/CA. The tradition of Mua Roi Nuoc (water puppetry) dates back to the 11th century, originating in the villages along the Red River as a diversion for locals when rice fields flooded. It was also an offering to the spirits, believed to have had a hand in the misfortune. Now performed in a theatre, the lively performance includes eight puppeteers


acting from behind a split bamboo screen, telling folklore tales, often with a humourous twist. The enchanting music of a Vietnamese orchestra includes drums, horns, wooden bells, cymbals, gongs and bamboo flutes, as well as an accompanying “Cheo” or opera singer. The entire production tells a story by creating a magical ambiance for the ancient tradition. I love every minute of it. After days of braving the unimaginable volume of traffic in Hanoi, I learn to tuck in beside a local and move at his or her pace. In this way, I avoid colliding with the pedestrians, cars, bikes and motorcycles. Quite content with my street savvy and purchases, I am ready for something a little less chaotic, so I find myself a junk. A junk is a popular watercraft where you can spend a couple of days floating on the turquoise waters and admiring the limestone karsts (rock formations) that jut out of the tranquil waters of Halong Bay. The junks vary in size but are polished wooden boats with large fanlike sails. Located 3.5 hours north of Hanoi, Halong Bay can be reached by public

bus, minivan, hired car or helicopter. One of the world’s natural wonders, this archipelago offers offshore coral reefs, freshwater swamps, mangrove forests and sandy beaches as part of a vast ecosystem. Translated, Halong Bay means “bay of descending dragons” and it is said that the Jade Emperor instructed the mother dragon and her offspring to descend from heaven to spit pearls, jade and jewels into the sea, forming a natural fortress against invaders and saving its people. The peaceful group of islands continues to be a priceless gem. Back in Hanoi, my last stop before heading south is the famed Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum of the infamous communist leader. Closely modelled on Lenin’s Moscow tomb,the impressive and austere looking marble edifice houses “Uncle Ho’s” preserved body, laid under glass in grand communist style. Interestingly, this is a violation of Minh’s request to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in three different regions of Vietnam. Viewings are from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and conduct includes no cameras, bags (check in is provided), shorts, hats, tank tops, hands November/December 2011 dabble 79


in pockets or smiling or talking while waiting in line. Despite the daunting list of “don’ts”, I am moved by the experience on the whole. Spending an hour in line, quietly observing the locals dressed in their best clothing, paying silent homage to the body of the man who many revere as the liberator of Vietnam from colonialism. I sense the impact, contribution and determination that makes an individual a leader. By means of a rustic sleeper train (let’s just say no one is surprised to see a few cockroaches) I make my way 1760 miles south to Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon. When the communist government gained power over the south in 1976, they renamed the city Ho Chi Minh City to glorify their leader. Locals still lovingly refer to this vibrant centre as Saigon, the “Pearl of the South.” Located on the banks of the Saigon River with more French influence evident, Ho Chi Minh City has the charm of a provincial town with Vietnamese flourishes. With a population of nine million, I wonder where everyone sleeps. For the most part, street level shop owners have converted their upper floors into apartments with several families living harmoniously in small units. The merchandise in shops is similar to what I found in the North but, by this point, I’m feeling confident to venture into the tailored clothing shops. Choosing from hundreds of bolts of silk and trying to settle on a suitable pattern to wear back home is slightly overwhelming. But the task is exciting thanks to the enthusiasm of the girls who run the rolls and present samples to choose from. Prices are inexpensive and turnaround is quick. I’m very happy with my purchases, but I would recommend paying the 80 dabble November/December 2011


higher asking price for the long-term upgrade in quality. In Ho Chi Minh City I am slightly alarmed when the hotel asks to keep my passport. It’s a little unnerving but it’s all standard procedure. Also standard are the drive-by vehicles bellowing propaganda through crackly speakers. I suddenly feel like communism is alive and well in southern Vietnam. Without prying, many locals speak openly about the Vietnam War. Perhaps that’s why I line up at the entrance to the War Remnants Museum on my last day. I hope to gain some insight into the human spirits that stood on both sides of the conflict. The experience was more profound with the addition of a bus load of visiting American veterans (now elderly), who come to view the rooms of photos and artefacts, their tears speaking volumes of the cry for peace I believe resounds in all. Each trip I take into an unknown culture delights and challenges my perception. My delights, which were numerous in Vietnam, include making and sampling Shrimp Pho (rice noodle soup), having tea with a local up and coming photographer and his wife in their home before purchasing three magnificent works, and having my future read by a Buddhist monk. Each experience worth the price of my flight. My challenge this trip was not physical endurance or comfort, but the acknowledgment of the great chasm of fears we drive between one another, a sobering insight when visiting a war-torn country. Vietnam past, present and future, your pain and beauty hold something for all and I have such gratitude for your gifts. November/December 2011 dabble 81

There is a fairy tale charm to exploring Québec City in the wintertime.

Québec Dabble does


82 dabble November/December 2011



Little wonder Québec is affectionately known as la belle province. Its European style charms are many. According to Executive Chef Jean Soulard the eager tourist is wise to begin a love affair with Québec with a stay and a meal at the exclusive Le Château Frontenac. After all, he says, “The food here is better than almost anywhere in the world.” Come and see for yourself.

November/December 2011 dabble 83


aby it’s cold outside...but that B doesn’t deter our Dabble travellers.

Associate Editor Victoria Drainville, travel contributor Kathy Buckworth and Cocktail Deeva, Dee Brun, find warmth in the rich Québécois culture.

Parliament Building ABOVE Dabble contributors take a peek into one of many charming stores on la rue du Petit-Champlain.

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The Petit-Champlain Quarter on a crisp winter’s night. march/april dabble8513 November/December 20112011 dabble



Victoria falls in love with an easy to pack linen pillow sham from Un Fauteuil Pour Deux. 86 dabble November/December 2011


One of Québec City’s best features is its walkability. “That is,” says Victoria Drainville, “if you have the right boots for the job.” Little else is required to enjoy this truly great Canadian design destination. Mà Mobilier Actuel




Start the day with a stroll in the Quartier Petit-Champlain. Lined with charming stores and quaint restaurants, the area has a European feel thanks to some of the most beautiful stone buildings in the country. If you love to cook, don’t miss a visit to Pot en Ciel. Many of the shop's kitchen items are imported from France.


In the Old City, make your way to Un Fauteuil Pour Deux. Furnishings from all over the world reflect owner Nancy Ricard’s passion for travel. Victoria’s fallen for some pillow shams (left).


If you agree with the idea that a room is never complete without at least one antique, then you’ll love Québec City. The Antique District on la rue St-Paul is Victoria's go-to spot and a must visit shop is La Nouvelle-France Antiquités for Québec folk art. Owner Yves Duval is happy to share the history of any of his pieces.


Zone Maison

Mà Mobilier Actuel, located in the new and upcoming Saint-Roch District, sells contemporary furniture that reflects the look and style of the Orient. Their exclusive collection is predominantly made of tropical woods that originate from controlled forests. 5

After a satisfying day of shopping in the Old City and Saint-Roch District, it may be time to splurge on a cab ride back to the upper city. If you still have energy, make your way to Zone Maison and enjoy trendy home décor at reasonable prices. With fabulous gadgets and accessories for humans and our four-legged friends, you’re bound to find an inspired holiday gift.

November/December 2011 dabble 87


Victoria’s perfect



Take the 170 steps from Lower Town to Upper Town (the top of the hill) to see the Édifice Price, one of Québec City’s tallest and oldest skyscrapers. The 15-storey art deco building dates from 1929 and is said to have been influenced by the Empire State Building.


A must-shop spot is the vibrant SaintRoch District. If you are staying in Upper Town, cab it to the hip restaurants and urban stores that line rue St. Joseph. If you are looking for some trendy tableware or bedding, target Baltazar.


Tinsel on the trees and a wide selection of vintage Christmas decorations make a annual appearance at Le RendezVous du Selectionneur on Antique Row. Choose from ornaments, garlands, trees and crèche displays. Victoria couldn’t resist a small German sheep from the owner’s personal collection.


Before leaving the Old City, grab a quick but elegant bite at Matto. This restaurant is sure to satisfy your cravings for great food and trendy design. Order the thin crust pizza, just one of the recipes from the owner’s mother’s repertoire.


Québec City is loaded with history, but you’ll enjoy the contrast of a contemporary hotel stay with Hotel Le GermainDominion. Custom headboards sport digitalized photography that captures the city’s best architecture.

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Folk art furniture, like the primitive chair seen here, is Yves Duval’s specialty. BELOW Yves’ storefront,

La Nouvelle-France Antiquités.


t is yl la P ’s a ri to ic V

Jazz up the holidays with these French Canadian favourites. La Bottine Souriante - La ziguezon Gilles Vigneault - Mon pays Marie Myëlle - Navigateur Celine Dion - A cause Josh Groban - Petit papa Noël

Vintage decorations, like the bottle brush trees and glass ornaments from the 40s and 50s, are plentiful on la rue St. Paul in the Antique Row. November/December 2011 dabble 89


A thin crust pizza and a glass of white wine are an ideal lunch at Matto. 90 dabble November/December 2011


Try a savoury dish like Petit salé aux lentilles du puy and you’ll swear you are in France. November/December 2011 dabble 91


Jean-Alfred Moisan founded this Gourmet Grocery store in 1871 and lived in the apartment above it. 92 dabble November/December 2011

"Clothed in a fluffy blanket of snow, it's easy to surrender to Québec's wintry charms," muses our Dabble Dare contributor Kathy Buckworth, "but having my photo taken in a towel.... now that takes courage."



First on the agenda is a trip to the aptly named Sibéria Station Spa, located 20 minutes outside the city in a wooded sanctuary. The “Nordic Spa” experience involves sliding into an outdoor hot pool, before plunging into the cold water version. Kathy's pretty sure she knows which pool she'll like most before she even tries them.


Next on the agenda is Le Marché du Vieux Port. The local Farmers Market sells fromage non affine a pâte ferme (aka unpasteurized cheese), an item dear to Kathy’s poutine-loving daughter. If you are nouveau to poutine, it is actually French for “mess”, but the combination of fries, cheese and gravy... c’est magnifique.

See if Kathy takes the plunge Page 108.




Join the Bonhomme de Neige (official Snowman mascot) for the 58th Québec Winter Carnival, January 27 February 12, 2012. The largest winter festival in the world features diverse cultural activities such as sleigh rides, skating, dogsledding, canoe racing, snow rafting and ziplining.


Directly behind the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is the imposing statue of Québec City’s founder, Samuel de Champlain. His figure marks the boundary of Upper Town, characterized by the grand buildings and gardens of the Legislature. The best way to see this part of the city is with a somewhat ubiquitous horse and carriage ride. The ripe horsey smells and scratchy wool blankets to keep you warm are part of the complete experience.


Sibéria Station Spa

After exploring Upper Town, a toonie (two dollar coin) is all it costs to ride the Funicular back down to Lower Town, where the scene is a magical, snow-filled holiday post card setting of shops, restaurants, cafés, and the occasional sugar shack. November/December 2011 dabble 93


Kathy’s perfect



History buffs can learn all about Québec City at the Musée de la Civilisation, but the Fortified Wall is by far the most impressive attraction. Measuring 5 kilometres long, the formidable stone structure surrounds the old city and remains the only fortified city wall in all of North America.


After a day walking, it's liberating to rent a pair of ice skates and glide around the Patinoire de Place d’Youville skating rink. There is no better way to appreciate winter. If skating's not your thing, take in a musical performance at the nearby Palais Montcalm.


A favourite food area is the Quartier PetitChamplain, which houses boutiques, art shops and simple pubs like Le Cochon Dingue, which serves a welcome glass of cheer and a delicious Croque Monsieur à la Française. Of course, no meal in Québec is complete without dessert, so head over to La Fudgerie and sample the Maple Pecan Fudge Pearl. Ah! Que c’est bon!


For many, the Auberge St. Antoine is the best ‘otel in Canada. From the outside, the unimposing building is deceiving, but enter the lobby and the crackling fireplace wins you over. Upon closer inspection, crisp white walls are an ideal backdrop to historic artefacts housed behind thick glass. The best of old and new Québec.


Don't leave Québec City before visiting J.A. Moisan Grocery Store, the oldest grocery store in North America. Grab a coffee on your way in and shop for delicious treats, artfully displayed in the historic setting.

Le Marché du View Port 94 dabble November/December 2011


Patinoire de Place d’Youville and Palais Montcalm

La Fudgerie

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac November/December 2011 dabble 95



Did you know? • Québec City was founded in 1608. In 2008, it celebrated its 400th birthday—and she’s more beautiful than ever. • Kébec is an Algonquin word meaning, “where the river narrows.” • Québec City originated as a fur trading post. • The United States of America tried unsuccessfully to capture Québec City in 1775. • Poutine originated in Quebec in the late 1950s and is now a staple dish across Canada.

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H么tel du Parlement, a French Second Empire style of architecture.

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This Gratin D’escargots et Fromage Chèvre from Le Moine Échanson is every bit as delicious as it looks. 98 dabble November/December 2011


The J.A. Moisan Grocery Store has a classic European feel and friendly staff to match. November/December 2011 dabble 99


Quebec City FOOD

Dee enjoys a glass of vino at Savini Resto-Bar/Vinothèque. 100 dabble November/December 2011

Driving into Québec City, Dee Brun feels suddenly transported to a quaint Paris neighbourhood, only, as she says, "with a shorter flight and way more snow." The cobblestone streets and whimsical shops are embellished with the most beautiful Christmas décor, helping our travellers to get into the spirit with ease.





Start the day on la rue St. Jean wandering in and out of shops, at whim. Driven by a desire to sample the city’s best pastries, Dee heads into Paillard Le Café-Boulangerie. Turns out Bill Cosby found his way there first but, thankfully, the award winning pastry Chef Sebastien Bonnefils has plenty of his melt-in-the-mouth croissants to go around.


Great food experiences don’t always involve eating. A pampered visit to Payot Institute at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for a maple sugar hand massage is a no-calorie treat. If you're getting a pedicure, they’ll let you use their iPad, but don’t check email. Instead, it's a great chance to catch up on your Dabble reading.


Next, find a seat at the bar and prepare for a cocktail experience at the St. Laurent Bar & Lounge on the main floor of Le Château Frontenac. The bar boasts amazing views of the St. Lawrence River and a roaring fire to warm the body and spirit. Try the signature ice wine martini, made from local wine. Terrine de bison, bison fumé et bettrave. Even if you don’t know what it means, try it at Le Moine Échanson.


Seeking a truly French meal? Then make your way to la rue St. Jean to Le Moine Échanson. This restaurant comes highly recommended from locals, who tend to be demanding gourmets. Every dish is paired with a wine recommendation. Be sure to make reservations if you want to enjoy this unique culinary experience.


For a night out on the town, grab your sexiest pumps and head to Savini Resto-Bar / Vinothèque on Grande Allée. Share a pizza with friends and dance the night away.

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Dee’s perfect



Experience the old world feel of the city by staying at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac which dates to 1893. Québec City is a walking city; after a comfortable night’s sleep you'll wake up feeling like a king or queen. Dabble Savvy: While most of the views are lovely, the best is from the Princess Grace of Monaco Suite (Rooms 1401-02).


Québec is known for maple syrup and Les Délices à l’Érable is the place to get your fix. Order a cappuccino drizzled with maple syrup. Take your drink upstairs and have a quick look at various maple syrup relics in the Maple Museum. Maple candies in clear plastic paint cans make for a lovely gift but, if you are looking for something different, buy maple pepper, vinaigrette or tea.


If your teeth haven’t fallen out from all the sweets, make your way to the Érablière de la Boulogne for some more sugar fun. This is where magic happens; the sap is collected from the maple trees in the spring and boiled into maple syrup. There is a wide range of activities in the winter months, so sit down for a meal or roll taffy in the snow.This beloved sugar shack is located approximately 20 minutes north of the airport.


If you visit Québec City after Christmas, you’ll want to check out Hôtel de Glace. The Ice Hotel is constructed entirely out of.... you guessed it, ice and snow. Hôtel de Glace reopens for the 12th year on January 6, 2012.

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Pastry Chef Sébastien Bonnefiis


Visitors are often greeted personally by Yves Simard and his wife Rebecca when they enter Paillard. Using traditional French techniques, this popular breakfast and lunch destination sells soups, sandwiches, pastries and a decadent selection of breads.

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s se eu Joy ! fĂŞtes

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Taking the


“You’re sending me to Sibéria?” Kathy Buckworth, our Dabble Dare contributor, has flown a plane, surfed the ocean and walked on stilts. This time, have we gone too far by sending her to Sibéria? I have to admit, I was a little afraid. But, I soon discovered that Sibéria is a cold and remote country, but it’s also an amazing health spa in a cold and remote part of Québec. ‘What’s so daring about a spa?’ I wondered smugly. The Dare: Plunge into freezing cold waters. (And have your photo taken in a towel.) The Sibéria Station Spa is located about twenty minutes outside Québec City and promises to leave visitors with an “unmatched sense of well-being.” After freezing you blue, of course. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Nordic Spa, it is an experience where the bather alternates between hot and cold pools and relaxation periods. Having experienced it firsthand, I now know that Nordic Spa translates to, “pretty freakin’ freezing.”

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The dare:


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DABBLE DARE As I change out of my perfectly warm, and appropriate, winter clothing into a fluffy white towel, I hear soothing French voices around me as other (warmer) visitors enjoy massages. Not for the first time I wonder, “Why can’t a massage be a dare?” Although I am keen to reap the promised toxin cleansing results, I am more excited about the warm portions of the program. So, I start with a 10 minute sauna and allow my pores to open while toxins evacuate my body. (After a night on the town, this could get interesting.) All too soon, comes complete submersion in a cold pool, which purportedly rinses said toxins (Who gets to clean out that pool filter?) away and tightens my pores. Tight pores mean younger looking skin, right? I muster my courage. With a last deep breath of the warm, cedar sauna air I dash out the door, through snow and ice to the cold pool. I’m not even in the water yet and my toes are freezing, icing up with each staccato step. Though I’m tempted to turn around and run back, I take the plunge and, “Oh my god. It is really, really cold!” How long do I have to stay in here? The suggested 10 minutes seems like an hour but eventually time is up and I race back to the sauna and the feeling of goose bumps all over my body is soon replaced by a feeling of true bliss. The verdict? Yes, it is cold. However, nothing is permanently damaged and I tell myself my pores have never looked better. So, I Dabble Dare you to try it out too.

Québec City, Québec Toronto, Ontario




Blue Mountain, Whistler, Mont Tremblant


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for s ce la p best

festive markets



“There’s something special about a festive market,” say Dabble travel contributors Stephanie Gray and Jennifer Weatherhead. “The sounds, the sights, the smells—all working together to bring out the best of the holiday season.” Whether you travel near or far this season, there’s likely a local market where you’ll find the perfect ornament, a wealth of holiday gifts, hot cocoa for sipping and the unmistakable scent of roasting chestnuts. Here are some favourite festive markets around the globe. 112 dabble November/December 2011

New York, New York

There’s nothing like the holidays in New York City. Twinkling lights, bustling streets, horse-drawn carriages and of course, the magical window shopping along 5th Avenue. It’s the stuff movies are made of. Add the festive Union Square Holiday Market to the mix and you’ll want to return year after year. Shoppers browse through tented stalls, filled to the brim with one-of-a-kind gift ideas from local artists, while sipping on apple cider and indulging in traditional German sweets such as gingerbread and marzipan (if you can’t get to Munich, this is the next best bet). Come prepared as you’ll be tucking glassware, accessories, leather items, trinkets, crafts and much more into your shopping bag. Union Square Holiday Market runs November 18 until December 24.

TRAVEL Christmas markets are a deeply-rooted tradition in Germany and this is where you’ll find some of the best in the world. Though even small towns offer quaint markets, our favourite has to be the grandfather of them all, the Munich Christmas Market. Dating back to the 14th century, the enormous market is located in downtown Marienplatz Square, one of the prettiest and liveliest in Europe. While the setting looks like a Christmas card during the whole winter season, it’s most beautiful during the market when its huge Christmas tree is decked in thousands of white lights and decorations, and German holiday music plays throughout. Troll through the stalls and pick up Bavarian gift ideas such as wooden carvings, handmade trinkets, glassware and of course, traditional foods such as beer and sausage. Munich Christmas Market runs November 25 through December 24.



Munich, Germany

Enjoying the festivities.

The Danes seem to do everything to perfection, even festive markets. Set in Europe’s oldest amusement park, Tivoli, Copenhagen’s market has a central location and a fantastical setting amongst cafés and restaurants which are draped in lights and encircled by colourful stalls and endless decorations. Search for Danish toys, crafts and cards, and make sure to save room for Danish treats—a mouthwatering array of pastries, candies, jams and preserves. Sip on a hot drink to fend off the cold (Jennifer and Stephanie recommend gløgg— a spicy, red wine drink paired with æbleskiver, a fried dough dipped in sugar and jam). Tivoli Market runs November 11 through December 29.


Copenhagen, Denmark

New York

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa is undoubtedly a favourite winter city, so it’s the perfect spot for a festive market. The 30 Days of Christmas at the ByWard Market offers a new treat or experience for each of the 30 days, tempting shoppers to visit on multiple occasions. Nibble on a Canadian goodie, the Beaver Tail, which is a doughy sweet that goes best with a hot cup of tea. Peruse local artists’ stores, pick up a decorative Christmas tree, hunt for fashion and jewels, find home décor gift ideas and even stop by the York Spa to pick up a gift certificate (or treat for yourself). 30 Days of Christmas runs November 25 through December 24. November/December 2011 dabble 113



: s ip T ter Win

Shoot in low light to capture winter

• texture and detail.

Use fill-in flash to effectively capture

• faces in bright sunshine and snow.

Keep a spare battery in a jacket pocket, • where there’s body heat. Battery power drains quickly in extreme cold.

• Wrap at least one of your tripod’s legs in

insulation foam or rubber. There is nothing worse than holding an ice-cold metal tripod.

• Keep your camera consistently cold while

shooting outside. Don’t be tempted to warm it under your jacket. Keep it in its camera bag for a few hours once you head inside, allowing it time to acclimatize. Consider placing the camera and lens in a sealed plastic bag before bringing inside.

Winter is a great time to photograph nature. As a bonus, you don’t have to drag yourself out of bed in the early hours to capture the rich dramatic light that follows sunrise, since it lasts for much of the day. Likewise, you won’t miss dinner from having to stay out late to capture the setting sun. There are lots of interesting details to shoot in wintertime. Frost on early morning leaves, a fresh snowfall balancing precariously on tree branches, ice patterns on a lake—all make great subjects. The biggest challenge people face is getting the right exposures. On auto settings, the camera is often fooled by bright snow and the result is a photograph that is underexposed, leaving the snow dark grey and unappealing. It’s best to overexpose by one or two stops to compensate. This can be done by using the EV compensation dial or, better still, by working in manual mode.

DABBLE SAVVY: There are fewer great winter images because most people would rather stay indoors and keep warm. Budding photographers who make an effort in harsh or bitter conditions are often rewarded. 114 dabble November/December 2011


Capturing a winter wonderland

PHOTO Purcell Mountains, British Columbia.

Rising early to capture winter’s first light pays off.

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We asked our foodies...

What dish will you be serving this holiday season?

Fiona Van Alstyne

Theresa Alberts

Cat Cora

A food and travel writer who loves to inspire others to eat and travel broadly. Born in Europe, Fiona has travelled extensively, living, working and eating her way around the globe. Each journey adds to her knowledge of and passion for food, travel and global culture.

As a Food and Health writer, Theresa is thrilled to focus more on sweet pleasure here at Dabble. Her love of food comes straight out of the days in her Tante Louise’s Kitchen in a tiny town in Quebec. In fact, it’s her middle name, Louise.

On and off-screen, celebrity chef Cat Cora continues to make an impression on the culinary community. She was the first and only female Iron Chef America on the Food Network and now she is bringing a taste of her culinary influence to her first stand alone restaurant, Walt Disney’s World Boardwalk Resort.

“Brussels sprouts. Roasted with pancetta, chestnuts, shallots and fresh thyme. Winter holidays wouldn’t be the same without them.” @ediblesociety

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“I always make sausage and apple stuffing! If I don’t, my family defaults to a package which is an unforgivable sin that could prevent Santa from coming.” @theresaalbert

“During this holiday season, I will be serving my delicious and beloved Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Capers, and Parmesan Cheese. It is one of my family’s favourites.” @catcora

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Use chocolate with a 60% or higher cacao content for the best flavour.

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Who doesn’t love a pretty box filled with sweet treats? Surprise friends, family and neighbours with edible gifts from lands afar. Switzerland


Chocolate-almond spice cookies are naturally gluten-free, and they fill the air with magical holiday aromas while baking.

These cute little cakes are wildly popular in Australia, and they’re as fun to make as they are to eat. Serve with hot cocoa and holiday movies.

Basler Brunsli


Place almonds and sugar in food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add chocolate and pulse until well blended. Add spices and egg whites. Pulse until a stiff dough is formed.

Cut cake into 16 squares and set aside.

8 oz whole almonds 1⅓ cups sugar 1 tbsp sugar 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped 1½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves 2 large egg whites

Sprinkle the additional 1 tablespoon of sugar onto large work surface and place dough on top. Cover with a sheet of baking parchment and roll out dough until ¼ inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters until dough is used up. Place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheet and set aside to dry while oven preheats. Preheat oven to 325F.

1 day-old sponge/poundcake, baked with your favourite recipe or store bought 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 3 tbsp unsalted butter ½ cup whole milk 2 cups desiccated coconut, unsweetened

Place confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk into a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water, and stir mixture until smooth and pourable. Using two forks, dip cake squares in chocolate mixture until all sides are coated, then roll in coconut. Place lamingtons on a wire rack to set.

Bake until slightly firm to touch, about 10 minutes.

Tip: Halve the squares of cake and fill with raspberry jam before you frost them.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Makes about 16 little cakes.

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Substitute other frozen fruits like strawberries for variety.

France These jewel-coloured jellies are a popular holiday treat in France, and they’re super-easy to make.

Pâtes de Fruits

Line a 9 x 12 cake pan with baking parchment or wax paper, set aside.

2 cups frozen raspberries, defrosted 1¾ cups pectin powder 2¼ cups granulated sugar 3 tbsp light corn syrup 2 tsp lemon juice

Place raspberries in food processor and blend until smooth and puréed. Place pectin and 2 cups of sugar in a small bowl and stir together.

Makes about 9 dozen jellies.

Remove mixture from heat and stir in lemon juice. Pour into prepared pan and allow to set for 2 hours at room temperature.

Place raspberry purée in medium pan and bring to boil. Stir in sugar/pectin mixture until completely dissolved. Boil mixture for another 2 minutes. Stir in corn syrup and continue to cook until mixture starts to thicken (about 2 minutes).

Cut slab of jelly into 1 inch squares using a very sharp knife. Toss squares in remaining sugar. Store in an airtight container and place in the fridge where they will keep for up to a month. 120 dabble November/December 2011


Italy Crunchy, chewy Tuscan cookies are great for scooping up ice cream. Who cares if it’s cold outside?


1¾ cups sliced almonds 3 tbsp flour 2 tbsp orange zest (about 1 orange) ½ cup dried cherries ¼ tsp sea salt ¾ cup sugar 2 tbsp heavy cream 2 tbsp honey 5 tbsp unsalted butter ½ tsp pure vanilla extract 6 oz bittersweet chocolate to decorate

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with Silpat or baking parchment. Place almonds in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Stir in dried cherries, flour, orange zest and salt. Set aside. Place sugar, cream, honey and butter in a small pan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and almond mixture until just combined. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. When mixture is cool enough to handle, roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on baking sheet about 4 inches apart to allow room to spread. Bake until flat and golden brown all over, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and harden for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Drizzle or sandwich with melted chocolate when completely cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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Chef Corey Burgan, says you’ll dazzle the crowd with single serving potato and spinach gnocchi. 122 dabble November/December 2011

FOOD INGREDIENTS 1½ lbs spinach 1¾ lbs potatoes, peeled 1¾ cups all-purpose flour (extra for dusting) 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten ¼ cup butter ⅔ cup parmesan cheese Salt Directions Wash spinach but do not pat dry. Cook in a pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain, removing as much water as possible. Chop finely and set aside. In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, cover and let cook for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and drain water. Mash the potatoes in the pot while they are still hot. Add the spinach, flour, salt and egg yolks. Knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the pot and place on a cutting board dusted with flour. Rinse the pot and refill with water. Bring to a boil as you finish preparing the gnocchi. Divide the dough into 6 sections. Roll each one into a long tube, approximately ⅔" in diameter. Cut each tube of dough into ¾" pieces. Dust both of your hands with flour and gently roll each piece between them forming a ball. Lightly press down the top of each piece with the back of a fork. Drop the gnocchis into the pot of boiling water and cook for around 5 minutes or until they float to the top of the water. Drain well. In a large pan, sauté the gnocchis in butter over medium heat until golden brown. Serve in individual bowls and top with parmesan. Serves 4 November/December 2011 dabble 123

Celebrity Chef Cat Cora knows how to stir things up. In 2005 she made television history as the first and only female Iron Chef. In 2006 she was awarded the title of Executive Chef by Bon Appétit Magazine. More recently Cat’s partnered with Macy’s, opened her first stand-alone restaurant at Walt Disney World’s BoardWalk Resort and founded Chefs for Humanity, a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for hunger-related causes.

A day with

Cat Cora PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEBorah JONES and david carlson

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PHOTO BY: David carlson photography

Here, Cat offers us three of her favourite recipes from her book, Cooking from the Hip.


I love to dabble in outdoor activities with my family, such as hiking, playing soccer or going to the beach. For a mom whose constantly on the road, 'free time' means family time.

breakfast Lemon, Butter and Sugar Crêpes For Crêpes (makes 10 - 12) ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 large egg, beaten 1 cup milk 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted for brushing crêpe pan or skillet Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Finishing Touches 10-12 crêpes 2 tbsp unsalted butter 5-6 fresh lemons, cut in half ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (optional) 20 strawberries, sliced (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, egg and milk until smooth. Place a 6-inch nonstick crêpe pan, a heavy skillet, or a griddle over medium-high heat. (A nonstick pan is easiest.) Brush the pan lightly with the butter and wipe out any excess with a paper towel.

Reheat the crêpes one at a time in a large nonstick skillet. When the crêpe is hot, put ½ teaspoon of butter on a knife and gently rub over the surface.

Pour in just enough batter (less than ¼ cup) to cover the bottom of the pan. Holding the pan by the handle, tilt it so the batter runs across the bottom and covers the entire base of the pan. After about 1 minute, the crêpe will turn golden brown and the edges will crisp and pull away from the pan. Then, turn the crêpe over and cook for 30 seconds, until the second side is lightly browned. Remove the crêpe from the pan and place on an ovenproof plate to cool. As the crêpes cool, you can form a stack and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining melted butter and batter.

Squeeze juice from half a lemon over the crêpe, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar sparingly over the juice, then fold the crêpe in half, and in half again to form a quarter circle.

Serve immediately, or store in the freezer by placing sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap between crêpes, then wrap the entire batch in plastic wrap.

If you like, dust a little confectioners’ sugar on the top and garnish with a few fresh strawberry slices. Serves 4-6

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Sunday Cheesesteak Sandwiches 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 green bell pepper, sliced thin 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin 1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin 1 large onion, sliced paper-thin 2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped ½ tsp kosher salt 1½ lb rib-eye steak, 1” thick 4 crusty Hoagie Rolls, sliced 1 tbsp unsalted butter ½ lb Provolone Cheese, diced small 2 large egg yolks, beaten 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 1½ cup whole milk Preheat the oven to 250 F. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers and mushrooms. Sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until it’s just the way you like it. Transfer the veggies to an ovenproof platter and place in the oven to keep warm. Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add oregano, salt and pepper to taste and sauté quickly. As soon as the seasonings are hot, sauté the steak for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the steak and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare. Remove steak from pan, place on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. While is sits, make the Homemade Provolone Sauce. Half-fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and place over medium heat. Melt butter in the top and add the cheese. Let soften slowly, while stirring. Slow, gentle heat is the key to a smooth, creamy cheese sauce. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, flour and milk. When the cheese has melted, pour the egg mixture into the top of the double boiler and whisk until sauce is warm and begins to thicken. Continue to cook while whisking constantly. Salt and pepper to taste. Once sauce is thick, lower heat to keep it warm while you assemble the sandwiches. Thinly slice the steak. With tongs, divide the meat among the hoagie rolls and top with the onion mixture. Spoon the cheese sauce over the meat and vegetables, cover with the top of the roll, and serve. Cover and refrigerate any leftover sauce. Serves 4

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Crispy Fried Chicken 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 1 2½-3 lb fryer cut into pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings) ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground 2 cups cornflakes ½ cup light buttermilk 1 tbsp dijon mustard ⅛ tbsp cayenne pepper (optional) 1 tsp paprika ½ tbsp sage, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425F Pour the olive oil into a baking pan large enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer without crowding. Using your fingers, rub oil over the dish so that it’s completely, but lightly coated. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a large plate, season the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour until it’s completely coated. Tap the chicken against the side of the bowl to loosen any excess flour and set pieces aside. Discard the flour. Crush the cornflakes by placing them in a large resealable plastic bag, carefully pressing the bag to remove air. Seal the bag (leaving as little air inside as possible) and crush the flakes using a rolling pin. Pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or onto a large plate. In a bowl large enough to dip the chicken pieces, mix the buttermilk, mustard, cayenne (if using), paprika, and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath, then roll in the crushed flakes. Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 375F and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. (The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife.) Serve. Serves 4-6 November/December 2011 dabble 127

te da r ne Din

Salmon says, ‘I’m sorry’ The best way to a man’s heart is cooking. David Laudenback says the same is true when it comes to earning a good impression from the Mrs.

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Wine Pairing A pinot noir from Oregon adds sweetness to the diverse textures and flavours.

Oh So Sorry Salmon INGREDIENTS


2 6oz salmon fillets 1oz olive oil salt pepper ½ cup pistachio nuts ½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 425°F.

VINAIGRETTE ½ cup high pulp orange juice ¼ cup olive oil 1tbsp cilantro, chopped 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tsp honey 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (found in the Mexican food section)

Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet. Brush salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the pistachios and the dried cranberries in a small bowl. Divide the mixture evenly and spoon over top of the salmon fillets. Cook salmon in the oven for 15 minutes. Prepare the orange-chipotle vinaigrette while the salmon is cooking. In a food processor combine orange juice, olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, honey, cumin and chipotle chilies in adobe sauce, then blend for approximately ten seconds. Remove salmon from the oven and pour the orange-chipotle vinaigrette over it. Serve with a side of rice and a sheepish, ‘I’m so sorry’ smile. Serves 2.

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Sometimes one pairing just isn’t enough. Dabble wine expert Jameson Fink steps behind the bar to make his selections.


When you add sweet figs to expertly grilled beef, I crave a wine loaded with rich red fruit. I liken Spanish Grenache (“Garnacha”) to a super-charged Côtes du Rhône, plenty of muscle to handle bold and broad flavours. Not feeling so fancy? Make it a burger with fig jam and bacon along with this juicy red.


Behind the bar at Dinette in Seattle.

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I have acquired an unbridled fondness for Italian white wines, especially those from Campania. (Don’t worry France, I have not forsaken you.) Seared tuna, frisée, citrus? No problem for this ultra-pure and refreshing white, which accommodates zesty fruit, snappy greens, and seafood with aplomb.



The App

Wagyu beef tail, mission figs, pistachios and demi glace.

Jameson’s Pick

2009 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha

2 Both appetizers from Poco Wine Room in Seattle.

The App

Seared ahi tuna with roasted serrano créme fraiche, shiso aioli and blonde frisée and citrus salad.

Jameson’s Pick

2010 Terredora di Paolo Falanghina

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Snowshoeing is nearly as easy as walking, but oh, so much more fun say our conga-line trekkers. Follow their lead and celebrate winter with a snowshoe party. Grab your toque and earmuffs, then gather adventurous friends.

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snowshoe party

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With a roaring fire and warm friends on hand there’s no need to fear the cold.



To build a fire: Gather tinder such as dry needles, plants and grasses and place at bottom of fire pit. Add dry kindling such as small twigs and sticks. Finally, stack logs in the shape of a teepee. This way they’ll fall into the fire as it burns. With a solid arrangement in place light the fire. Always have a bucket of water (or snow) nearby.



Winter Revellers


Christine Horne.


Cheryl Horne, Steve McCarthy, Delaney and Trason Fernandes.

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Pre-party warm-ups Fire up your guests’ anticipation with a pre-party loot bag. Plaid covered, fake fur earmuffs are a practical enticement.

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Snowshoeing A fast-growing sport, snowshoeing burns about 600 calories an hour, it’s easy to learn and relatively inexpensive.


Dinner by fire The fire is roaring and dinner is served. Wrap salmon steaks, potatoes and green beans in heavy foil and cook over open flames (see recipe on the next page).

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Dabble’s Managing Editor Cheryl Horne eyes dinner.

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Snowshoe Salmon

Ingredients 1 lemon, juiced (keep skins) ½ onion, diced Ÿ cup butter 2 6oz salmon, skinless 1 sprig dill 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper

Directions Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and add onion and garlic. Once melted, add lemon juice and remove pan from heat. Cover salmon in oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay salmon on a piece of tin foil with lemon skins. Cut the sprig of dill in half and place half on each piece of salmon. Pour butter sauce over salmon, then wrap with tin foil. Place foil-wrapped salmon on a grill and place over open fire to cook, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Note: If an in-kitchen cooking experience is preferred, preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Snowshoe Hot Toddy Ingredients 1 oz white creme de cacao 1 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur 4 oz hot chocolate 1 can whipped cream Sprinkles (optional) INSTRUCTIONS In a thermos, add creme de cacao, raspberry liqueur and hot chocolate. Shake well, pour into a glass and top with whipped cream. Add sprinkles for a festive touch. Recipe by: Dee Brun, Cocktail Deeva

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Biscotti are the ultimate hot chocolate dipping tool.

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When it comes to choosing dark chocolate, you really do get what you pay for. Be sure that “cocoa” or “cocoa liquor” is the first ingredient.

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e nc ge Sindul



Take your time when you sip this deeply satisfying dark chocolate treat. Aim for cocoa that is 70% or higher and feel free to languish in your enjoyment of this indulgence. I’ve given you two versions—guilt-free mixed with buttermilk or pure decadence made with half and half. Only you’ll know which version you’re serving. INGREDIENTS

2-3 oz dark chocolate 4-6 oz half and half cream or buttermilk

INSTRUCTIONS Use the microwave to melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in 20-30 second increments until very soft and then use a whisk to stir. In a separate bowl, warm your choice of liquid—either buttermilk or half and half—for 30 seconds. Then blend the chocolate and liquid together, pouring an ounce at a time and whisking to blend.

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I dabble in...

Nellie Huang is an independent journalist with a passion for travel and thrill. Currently living in Spain, she’s had her passport stamped throughout South America, East Africa and Europe. Nellie’s articles have been published by National Geographic Intelligent Traveler, CNN Go and Food & Travel. Her blog, WildJunket, reflects her daring personality and her love for the unknown.

...writing “I enjoy stringing memories into words and seeing my name in print. It’s exhilarating flipping through the pages of my favorite travel magazines and seeing my own labor of love.”

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...skydiving “In the quest for adventure, I have climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, followed the trails of sea lions on Galapagos Islands and dived the depths of Borneo, Malaysia.”

“I enjoy pushing myself to my limits.”

“There’s nothing more fulfilling than the adrenaline rush and energy boost that comes with doing an adventure sport like skydiving. I’m not an athlete myself, but I like to tread on the wild side of life and enjoy pushing myself to my limits.”

...adventure Follow Nellie... f

t @WildJunket


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Happy New Year 146 dabble November/December 2011

From all of us at Dabble, wishing you a happy and healthy New Year. We’ll see you January 31, 2012 for Dabble’s anniversary issue. Happy Holidays

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Issue 5 - NovDec'11  

Each issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...

Issue 5 - NovDec'11  

Each issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...