October 9th, 2020
Holidays can be a very overwhelming, stress-inducing time for many. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and talk about a whole new level of holiday stress! One thing I think the last few months have taught us all is how truly valuable our homes are and the importance of never taking the time spent with loved ones for granted. While your holidays may look different this year, I really wanted to share some tips and tricks to make your home and menu feel special and approachable to celebrate one of my favourite holidays.
To tackle this topic, I partnered with one of my best friends, Devon Edgar who also happens to be an incredible chef. In high school, Devon’s mom who was in the midst of writing a cookbook needed someone who didn’t know how to cook to test all of the recipes. Enter Devon, and after spending the summer testing over 100 recipes, she was hooked on cooking and the rest is history.
We set out to create an easy guide on how to throw an elegant and simple thanksgiving dinner. In our YouTube video we show you how to create a beautiful, modern and easy to execute table-scape. Devon also shares some mouth-watering recipes with us that use affordable and easy to access ingredients. While the menu sounds challenging, all of these recipes are very approachable to execute. We hope you enjoy and if you want to re-create any of this in your own home, I have included the recipes and our source guide.
- Buchanan cocktail mixing glass
- Brushed gold cocktail stirrer
- Danica Kaspar
- Eve coupe cocktail glasses
- Linen sheet
- Linen table cloth
- Caviar dinner plate & salad plate
- Dried floral
- 2 ounces gin (I like to use Hendrix)
- ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¾ ounce rosemary syrup (recipe follows)
- Sprig of rosemary for garnish
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice
- Add all ingredients except rosemary spring
- Shake until chilled
- Strain into a coupe glass
- Garnish with a rosemary sprig
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ c water
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary
- In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, water and rosemary over medium-high heat
- Stir until completely dissolved
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
- Strain through a fine-mesh strainer
CHICKEN LIVER PÂTÉ
- 2 tablespoons of butter + extra for coating ramekins
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ¼ c dessert wine
- ¼ lbs chicken livers, veins removed
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch cloves
- Pinch cayenne
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Pour boiling water in a deep roasting pan and set inside the oven
- Butter 3-4 ramekins & set aside
- Melt butter in a small skillet on medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and cook till soft but not brown
- Add the dessert wine, bring to a boil and cook till most of the wine has evaporated. Allow to cool.
- Transfer mixture to blender and add chicken livers, egg, salt, and spices. Puree till very smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer, then add cream. Mix well.
- Fill prepared ramekins about 2/3 full
- Place in a roasting pan in oven and bake for 35 minutes or till a knife comes out clean
- Remove ramekins from roasting pan and cool. Cover with a thin layer of clarified butter or aspic. Let cool for 2 hours before serving.
(Can be made 2-3 days in advance)
- 2 teaspoon powdered gelatine
- ½ cup cold water
- ¼ cup dessert wine
- Pinch sugar
- Pinch salt
- Combine gelatine and water, stir. Meanwhile, place dessert wine in small saucepan with sugar & salt, bring to a boil.
- Pour the hot wine over the gelatine, stir to combine.
- Let sit for 10 mins before spooning over mousse
- Allow to set completely in the fridge
- 1 cup frozen cranberries, defrosted
- 100 grams white sugar
- 2-star anise pods
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Place the cranberries, sugar, star anise, and water in a pot
- Allow sugar to melt
- Remove and allow to cool
“COUNTERFEIT” DUCK CONFIT
Source: My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
- 4 duck thighs (thigh and leg attached)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon gin
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- Prick the duck all over with a needle, making sure to piece all the way through the skin.
- Mix the salt, gin, nutmeg, and allspice in baking dish that will fit the duck legs snugly, with no room around them. Rub the spice mixture all over the duck legs.
- Put the garlic and bay leaves on the bottom of the baking dish and lay the duck legs, flesh side down, on top of them, making sure the garlic cloves are completely buried beneath. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- To cook the duck, wipe the duck gently with a paper towel to remove excess salt, then put the duck back in the dish, skin side up. Put in a cold oven. Turn oven on to 300 degrees F. Bake thighs for 2 ½ hours, taking them out during baking once or twice and basting them with any duck fat pooling around them.
- To finish the duck, increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for 15-20 minutes until the skin is deeply browned and very crispy.
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoons mustard
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 big handfuls of mesclun greens (“spring mix”)
- Pour red wine vinegar into a small bowl, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the salt. Taste, and adjust as needed.
- Whisk in the mustard.
- Use a fork or whisk to beat in the oil, a tablespoon at a time. Taste as you go and stop when it tastes good to you.
- Toss the vinaigrette with the salad greens just before serving.
ROOT VEGETABLE GRATIN
Source: Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups (1/4-inch-sliced) fennel, top and core, if thick, removed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 pound celery root, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 pound Yukon gold, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2.5 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese (6 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs or panko (what I used)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Heat your oven to 350°F. Butter a 13—9-inch deep baking dish.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large deep (ideally 12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions and fennel. Cooking, tossing occasionally until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
- Meanwhile, in the largest bowl you own, combine the onion mixture with remaining vegetables, cream, stock, cheese, thyme, 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper. Pour mixture into prepared dish and spread until even (I like to put the celery root on the bottom as it takes the longest to cook). Mix breadcrumbs and butter until evenly coated and distribute evenly over top of dish.
- Bake 1 1/2 hours uncovered, or until vegetables are very tender when tested with a small knife and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 15 minutes at room temperature and serve hot.
GREEN BEANS WITH “SNAIL BUTTER”
Source: My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz
- 450 grams beans, tips removed
- 55 grams unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 30g chopped fresh leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Fit steamer basket into a saucepan. Add enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer basket. Cover the pan and heat until the water is at a low boil. Add the green beans and steam until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the beans for the steamer basket and set them on a kitchen towel to drain.
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic sizzles and begins to brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt, and some generous grinds of black pepper. Add the green beans and stir until the beans are completely cooked and coated with the garlicky butter. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the beans, toss a few more times in the butter, and serve.
CORNMEAL POUND CAKE WITH ROSEMARY SYRUP, POACHED PEARS, AND CANDIED ROSEMARY
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup dry or off-dry Riesling
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 8 Forelle pears or other small pears, peeled, stems left intact
- Combine first 6 ingredients in large saucepan.
- Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Add pears and bring syrup to boil, turning pears occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until pears are tender about 20 minutes.
- Chill pears uncovered in syrup until cold, at least 3 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs, beaten to blend in medium bowl
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk flour and cornmeal in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, then salt. Drizzle in beaten eggs by tablespoonfuls, beating constantly, then beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake cake until brown on top and tester inserted into centre comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil and store at room temperature.
SYRUP AND CANDIED ROSEMARY
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 (4-inch-long) fresh rosemary sprigs
- Baker’s sugar or other superfine sugar
- Bring 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rosemary sprigs. Simmer until syrup reduces slightly, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer rosemary sprigs to rack and drain. Cover and reserve rosemary syrup.
- Pour baker’s sugar into shallow bowl. Add drained rosemary sprigs to sugar, 1 at a time, turning to coat thickly. Place on paper towels. Dry at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Let sprigs and syrup stand at room temperature.
- Cut dark ends off cake. Cut eight 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick cake slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half. Arrange 2 halves on each plate. Drain pears. Stand 1 pear on each plate. Drizzle each dessert with reserved rosemary syrup and garnish with candied rosemary sprig. Serve, passing remaining syrup separately.
August 30th, 2017
Well, it’s been a little while since my last post and I have to say I have really missed blogging. We have been keeping busy working on some amazing projects with amazing people I am grateful to call my clients (and now friends). We have also been so fortunate to collaborate with some incredible other creative businesses, so what better time to get back on the horse than to tell you about my partnership with Mobilia and share some insider info on one of my favourite furniture and decor resources.
I was introduced to Mobilia at an event hosted by Janette Ewen, celebrating the debut of her Mobilia capsule collection (which by the way is amazing!) and couldn’t believe I had never come across this incredible Canadian company that has been producing amazing furnishings for almost 50 years. While we focus on luxury projects, we work within a huge range of budgets on our projects and regardless of how big or tight a budget is, all clients share the desire for good value. I really believe great design (and of course good quality) should be available and accessible to everyone, regardless of budget – these are two of the many reasons I love Mobilia and using their products in our work. So, when the opportunity came up to act as Creative Director on some photoshoot’s for their fall campaign showcasing velvets, I jumped at the chance.
We created two looks for the campaign, the first was based around one of their new releases, the velvet “Sadie” chair. I loved that it was a clean, contemporary take on a traditional wingback chair and I wanted to develop a vignette that felt like a sexy, sophisticated & luxurious nook to curl up and read a book or enjoy a cocktail in. I wanted a collection of items that could be easily transported into any space: a library or den, the living room or even the corner of a bedroom. For me, luxury and comfort is often about texture, so I focused on layering a variety of textures that felt inviting. The combination of the rug with silky sheens, mixed metal tones, a walnut screen and Mongolian lamb throws helped create a feeling of warmth. I have to say the screen might be one of my favourites, I love that it not only provides visual interest but can provide privacy in a small or intimate space. I think it’s a surprising piece, and I really think that every space needs a little of the unexpected! See the evolution of our design process from concept (moodboard) to creation.
For our second shoot, I really wanted to focus on velvet in a casual setting. Sometimes I think velvet gets a bad rep for being overly formal or overly feminine, so in this concept I wanted to create a scheme using velvets while maintaining a casual vibe and a gender neutral feeling. I kept the colour palette neutral with a tasseled rug that has a vintage quality, a charred wooden stump (cause, that’s masculine – right!?), a contemporary sofaand an industrial inspired chandelier. Using pieces from a variety of design genres also helps the space develop personality and warmth and feel like it has been collected over time, something I always strive for in our work. Another design element that helps keep this look feeling cool and casual is flexible seating (which is also a personal favourite for small spaces and entertaining). Little poofs/stools that can double up as a foot rest, perch or side table is the perfect addition to any space (ok – they are blush, but I couldn’t resist! Real men like pink, right?). Pillows on the floor tucked under a coffee table are another great way to show guests that this isn’t a formal space – pull up something soft and fluffy to sit on and enjoy a drink, or two or three…
Which look do you like better and why? Would love to hear your thoughts! Stay tuned for some more projects from the incredible team at Mobilia + Gillian Segal Design! If you are planning to attend IDS West in September, you can see some of their pieces in person at the VIP Booth I am designing using their furnishings (so excited to share more with you!). Also stay tuned for some great Mobilia giveaways…
September 5th, 2016
While my school days are long behind me, with September’s arrival (and apparently the fall weather too) I always feel like it’s time to reflect over the last (school) “year”. September also means something else as a Vancouver designer…..design week! The Gillian Segal Design team is looking forward to celebrating our nomination as a finalist for the Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for Western Living Magazine’s Designer of the Year awards! It was such an honour to be included in this category in our second year of business alongside our peers and so much great talent. It has been a busy year, filled with incredible projects and amazing clients. We have a busy few months wrapping up some jobs before we truly ring in the new year, so stay tuned to see more work up on our portfolio soon!