Monthly Archives: February 2014

Ralph Lauren Fall 2014 RTW Collection


As NYFW came to a close with some of the heavy hitters showing their fall collections, Ralph Lauren sent some of his best work down the runway. The color palette of winter whites, mauve and grey will grab your attention! They designed everything we want to live in for fall; including refined sweatpants, oversized knits and effortless evening wear. Hope you enjoy the collection as much as I did!

Ralph Lauren 2014 RTW

Style Pantry

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


This is a very rich pie, but oh-so wonderful. If you like chocolate and peanut butter, you’ll like this!


For the crust:

1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick), unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well blended. Press the mixture into the sides and bottom of a nine-inch deep dish pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling:

14 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix well.
Beat in the melted butter gradually. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Gently fold the cream into the peanut butter mixture using a spatula. Do not over beat.
Pour into the prepared, cool crust and refrigerate for several hours until set.

For the Ganache:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped (high-quality such as Ghiradelli – not chocolate chips).

Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over the chocolate in a bowl. Stir gently to melt the chocolate and mix well. Cool slightly and spread evenly over the pie. Chill until served. Cut with a knife that has been heated under hot water and wiped dry between each slice.



My sex appeal is nurtured.
The work is not condensed to digest
in real life.

Superb actor apply within
limits staged in familiar settings
Episodic, sit-com, mini-series
promotional clips – the act
beats living disappointing rehearsals.

Turn up wine bottles
before I light candles or place the
glasses near flowers (I bought myself).
And believe that what I do for you
Is more than what I do…

Ignored ambience, stolen credits,
suppressed applause.
How would I act with a man who sees
the same movie?

Chocolate-Whiskey Soufflé Tarts


Chocolate-Whiskey Soufflé Tarts

There’s just a wee bit of the favorite Irish spirit in these treats. Enjoy!

Serves 8

For crust
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon (scant) salt

For filling
10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
Sweetened whipped cream
Chocolate shavings (optional)


Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend all ingredients in processor just until dough gathers together. Shape dough into log. Cut into 8 equal rounds. Press 1 round over bottom and up sides of each of eight 4 1/2 x 3/4-inch tartlet pans with removable bottom. Pierce crusts with fork. Bake crusts until pale golden, about 18 minutes. Cool in pans on rack.

Make filling:
Set aside generous 1/3 cup chopped chocolate. Place remaining chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Whisk in whiskey, vanilla, coffee and salt, then yolks. Beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold half of whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in reserved 1/3 cup chopped chocolate, then remaining whites. Divide mixture among crusts. Freeze at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep frozen.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Push bottom of frozen tartlets up to release from pan sides. Arrange tartlets on pan bottoms on baking sheet. Bake until filling puffs and begins to crack, about 20 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Spoon whipped cream alongside. Top with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Over The Hump Old School Sound Check- Rufus


Happy Thursday! #MusicfriendsofTenaciousM

Rufus was an American funk band from Chicago, Illinois best known for launching the career of lead singer Chaka Khan. They had several hits throughout their career, including “Tell Me Something Good”, “Sweet Thing”, and “Ain’t Nobody”.

In 1967, The American Breed (Gary Loizzo, Al Ciner, Charles (Chuck) Colbert and Lee Graziano) had a top ten hit with the classic rock single, “Bend Me, Shape Me”. After much success, Ciner, Colbert and Graziano (without Loizzo who pursued a successful production career) created a new group, adding Kevin Murphy on keyboards and Vern Pilder from the bar band “Circus”. They re-emerged in 1969 under the name “Smoke”. In 1970 vocalists Paulette McWilliams and James Stella were added and the group’s name changed again to “Ask Rufus”; after which, Willie Weeks replaced Vern Pilder.

In 1971, the band signed a contract with Epic Records recording an album that wasn’t released after which Epic dropped their contract in early 1972. Willie Weeks was in turn replaced by Dennis Belfield, James Stella was replaced by keyboardist and vocalist Ron Stockert, Lee Graziano was replaced by Andre Fischer (former drummer with Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler), Paulette McWilliams and Chaka Khan had met and became the best of friends through their spouses Howard Towles and Hassan Khan. Chaka would come to most of Ask Rufus gigs when they were performing in Chicago. When Paulette decided she was leaving Ask Rufus, she went to the band and told them she had the perfect singer to replace her; she had also asked Chaka if she was interested. After the band members hesitantly submitted, Paulette remained with Ask Rufus for a few more weeks to teach Chaka all of their material. Paulette also got Chaka a gig with the group formed by Chicago’s Cash McCall called Life. Chaka had been performing at the Pumpkin Room on the south side of Chicago, with a local Chicago group called Lock and Chain, led by drummer Scotty Harris. With that change, and Paulette McWilliams leaving to pursue her solo career, the group recorded the first two albums as Ask Rufus and later dropped the “Ask” and simply became known as Rufus. Wikipedia

Why Leadership Is About Dignity


As most of my followers know, I am always looking for guidelines and information about leadership that make sense to me. I came across the following submission and had to share it. If you are a leader in your family, community or at work, I think you will gain some insight from this take on leadership and dignity. I know I did.


Repost: Denise Restauri, Contributor

“A bold new way of tackling poverty that’s about dignity, not dependence and choice, not charity.” When I first read that on, I thought beyond poverty. I asked myself, “If dignity is about being worthy of honor and respect, what role does dignity play in leadership?”

To find the answer, I went to three Acumen Global Fellows from the class of 2013 – three women in their 20’s who are the next generation of social impact leaders, a new kind of leader who sees the world as it is and knows she can be a part of the solution that creates lasting impact on the ground. A one-year fellowship, 10-12 individuals from all over the world spend two months in New York undergoing intensive leadership training, followed by nine months working with one of Acumen’s portfolio companies in India, Pakistan, East Africa or West Africa. It’s not about sitting around and talking about the problems, it’s about taking action. It’s about leading.

These three Fellows will share their stories with us over the next few weeks. They are from three different countries: United States, Japan and China. They had three distinct experiences. And they all had major learnings about leadership and dignity:

1) Recognize human dignity. Each one of these women started with a goal to recognize and support human dignity. None of them wanted to help people that they felt sorry for, but rather, be part of a solution that recognizes the dignity in all people. That’s empowerment.

2) Do what’s right, not what’s easy. All of them learned by doing, combining their hard skills with new lessons about how to build trust and support teams to have an impact on the ground. It wasn’t easy and sometimes they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but they kept moving forward with great integrity and intent.

3) Share the shining star. Each of them saw as their greatest lesson the need to collaborate with the people closest to the ground doing the unglamorous work of execution, day after day. It was not about being a shining star, proving what they could achieve, demonstrating their abilities. It always boiled down to their ability to listen to and learn from the teams they worked with and help them be shining stars.

4) Leadership is a muscle. Leadership is a muscle that needs to be trained and exercised in real life. The lessons they learned, how they overcame challenges, admitted to and fixed their mistakes – those learnings far outweighed the leadership lessons they learned from books.

J Crew Fall 2014 RTW Collection


In an interview, head of women’s designs, Tom Mora said the collection was “inspired by the cabarets of the Weimar era in Berlin in the ’20s and ’30s.”

J Crew continues to amaze us with feminine contemporary pieces that are comfortable, flattering and easily mix and matched. #fashionfriendsofTenaciousM Enjoy!

J. Crew 2014 RTW

Credit: Style Pantry

Baileys Chocolate Pudding Parfaits with Oatmeal-Walnut Crunch


The oatmeal and nut mixture in this dessert is usually baked on fruit. Here, it is cooked on its own, then layered with currants and a pudding made with Baileys Original Irish Cream topped off with chocolate shavings. Delicious!

Baileys Pudding Parfaits with Oatmeal-Walnut Crunch

Serves 6


For crunch
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dark chocolate shavings

For pudding
1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
12 tablespoons Baileys Original Irish Cream
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 tablespoons dried currants


Make crunch:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture forms moist clumps. Mix in walnuts. Sprinkle mixture onto rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, occasionally stirring gently and leaving mixture in clumps, about 35 minutes. Cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight.)

Make pudding:
Combine 3/4 cup cream, 6 tablespoons Baileys liqueur, sugar, yolks and nutmeg in large metal bowl. Place over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Using electric mixer, beat until custard thickens and thermometer registers 160°F, about 8 minutes. Remove from over water and beat until cool, about 8 minutes. Mix in remaining 6 tablespoons liqueur. Beat remaining 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl to medium peaks. Fold into custard. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Layer 1/4 cup pudding, 1 tablespoon currants and 3 tablespoons crunch in each of six 12-ounce goblets; repeat layering 1 more time. Top with chocolate shavings. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 hour.

Black History Month Salute – Tina Turner


Black History Tina Turner

Tina Turner has long been one of my role models. Born in Nutbush, Tennessee in 1939, international superstar Tina Turner (née Anna Mae Bullock) moved to St. Louis in her teen years and from there she left for California. Although Tina lived in the Los Angeles area for about 25 years, in 1986 she moved to Europe and has lived there since. Living first in London, she later moved with her then boyfriend (current husband) to Cologne, Germany.

Tina formally filed paperwork with the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland on October 24, 2013 to relinquish her United States citizenship, declaring that she “has no plans to reside in the United States in the future.” But before she lived in Switzerland full time, Tina divided her time between Zurich and Nice, France at the French Côte d’Azur. Just like countries everywhere in the world, France adores Tina.

Photo 1: Tina Turner, Paris, 1984: “Tina’s fantastic. She’s one of the best, original entertainers [and] performers in rock ‘n’ roll, in the world. I actually just happened to be in Paris, found out Tina was there shooting a video and went and met her there. It’s kind of great, because Tina’s such a classy lady. To have a picture of her in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower is just kind of a natural, because she is such a world-class celebrity. Paris is the city of romance, and it’s a great place for her to be.” ~Bob Gruen, Rock N Roll Photographer

In 1996, Tina was awarded with France’s highest honor, the Legion D’Honneur Award. “France is very special to me. I received my first encore here in Paris.” >

In Photo 2 at Paris’ Élysée Palace on July 3, 2008 at France’s Prestigious Legion D’Honneur Award celebrating Giorgio Armani.

Photo 3: Tina Turner receiving the honorary citizenship of Villefranche sûr Mer, her [former] home in France, August 7, 1995.

Photo 4: Those famous legs on the back cover of her 1984 Private Dancer album, Tina’s fifth solo album. It has been alleged that Tina’s trademark legs were insured for upwards of $3 million.

Photo 5: Singer Tina Turner performs in concert at Bercy in Paris on April 29, 2009.

Photo 6: Tina Turner on the front cover of Architectural Digest. Her house in France was built especially for her and she decorated it herself > Video of her former home in France via Oprah:

Tsholo Dikobe “Khoi-ness Style”


I am in LOVE!! Botswana has got style. Read more about the woman behind Khoi-fro free issue

I vow to fall in love countless times, everyday. With colour, with ‘Africanism’, with my past, with my future.

Tsholo Dikobe 1