One of our favourite summertime desserts makes its annual debut.
These delectable blackberry cheesecake bars are sure to be a crowd favourite.
One of our favourite summertime desserts is making its annual debut, freshly decked out with a delectable blackberry gelée on top to set it apart from its more pedestrian competition. We couldn’t be happier to see the seasonal advent of fruit-based desserts start its yearly parade.
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2 Butter an 8" square baking pan; line with a piece of parchment paper to extend up two sides and set aside.
3 In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, almonds, brown sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer using a glass or your fingers. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes; let cool.
4 Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend together the cream cheese, mascarpone, eggs and sugar until smooth. Pour the mixture over the graham cracker crust and return to the oven; bake until the filling is set but the centre is still slightly wobbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature.
5 To make the blackberry gelée, purée 2 cups of the blackberries with the sugar and the lemon juice in a blender; strain the mixture into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat to reduce the liquid by a third and form a syrup.
6 Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup water to swell; stir into the blackberry syrup until the gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then pour the syrup over the cheescake; garnish with the remaining blackberries.
7 Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 3 hours.
8 To serve, slice the cake in half, then slice each half into five equal bars.
Tip: The addition of mascarpone to this classic cheesecake base gives a lighter, silkier texture.
Amy Schumer's skylit Manhattan apartment
Amy Schumer's cozy and inviting Upper West Side apartment is anything but a train wreck.
It's happening. The opportunity to get one giant step closer to Amy Schumer has arrived. The Trainwreck star is moving on and has listed her Manhattan apartment for $2,075,000, which seems relatively modest for this Upper West Side address.
This top-floor pad of a five-unit townhouse co-op is a sweet little oasis in the big city - no, really, it even has a private rooftop garden. The one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath unit also comes with:
We can only hope Schumer's next move will be to head west, toward best gal pal, Jennifer Lawrence in Beverly Hills.
For the full real estate listing, click here.
This top-floor unit in an intimate five-unit twnhouse co-op is more than spacious for one, but Amy is packing up and leaving. Will you move into the charming pad?
It's love at first sight with this beautiful pre-war building, just steps away from Central Park.
Keeping to a similar colour palette and introducing different textures is the best way to ease yourself into an eclectic look. The green and blue accents work nicely together to keep the spaces separate, but cohesive.
Built-in bookshelves offer plenty of open and closed storage with areas to display books, objets and, of course, wine. With a bar cart in the corner and a wood-burning fireplace, this living room couldn't be more inviting.
While it may more be the most generous space, even the smallest kitchen can be functional (even a galley kitchen!). Can't complain too much when you have a Wolf range to work with.
Many overlook their staircase as a place for design inspiration, but the wall space is key! Hang photos, artwork or mirrors to liven the otherwise dull area.
The calming blue and white palette and (second) wood-burning fireplace in this master bedroom makes this an ideal retreat in the city.
In a smaller apartment it's key to take advantage of the space you do have. Adding a simple chair and ottoman by the fireplace makes it the perfect place to read before bed with a cup of tea.
Bathe with a view in this ensuite, thanks to the claw-foot bathtub positioned under the window. While the room itself may lack flair, the grey and white colour palette with black and white floors keep this bathroom classic and timeless.
Having a rooftop patio in general is a bonus, but when it's this wonderfully lush and inviting, you have it made. With red wood making up the base of the patio, coloured pots, bins and natural greenery make this the perfect summer party spot. Mix up some drinks and break out the apps because you'll be the host with the most all summer long!
Small space: Relaxing neutral condo
When decorators Nicola Marc and Beth Gold of Marc Gold Interiors came across this one-bedroom suite in a reovated 1920s building they knew they were in for a challenge. They agreed that the 800-square-foot condo in Montreal's trendy Le Plateau neighbourhood offered the right bones, needing just a few modifications.
"This was the first time that we had worked on a project where the client didn't want any colour," says Nicola. "As a result, we had to look closely at texture, scale, shape and form." The client's only other request was tied to the desire for a soft palette in grey and pebble. She wanted her new home to be a calming, serene retreat - a place she could return to after a busy workday and sigh contentedly.
Before: Living room
The wall dividing the living room and dining room was knocked down, the one separating the kitchen (shown above) was left intact.
After: Living room
The hardwood flooring was stripped and finished in a soft white-washed grey, custom wood radiator coverings were built, the wall between the dining room and living room was removed to open up the main living space for entertaining.
The oversized custom rug connects and ground the living and dining areas. Its diamond pattern lends a subtle yet distinctive design element, explains decorator Nicola Marc.
The rough-hewn mirror in the living area acts as a focal point but doesn't overwhelm. Petite sconces enhance the mirror's large scale and keep the look au courant.
The ornate vintage coffee table, painted in a neutral hue, offsets the modern boxy sofas. "The coffee table can be easily moved around to accommodate traffic during a party," says Nicola. Indigo blue was chosen as the only accent colour because it embodies calmness.
The sightline into the kitchen from the dining room was designed to appear un-kitchen-like. The wall in view was covered in a seagrass wallpaper, which provides warmth and texture and balances the kitchen's custom finishes (like the Carrara marble mosaic floor) and sleek stainless steel appliances.
"For kitchen renos, even ones on a budget, we encourage homeowners to consider custom components because it allows you to make the most of your space," says Nicola. A small work area in the corner is a better use of space than cabinetry.
Stainless steel appliances
The galley-style kitchen features a pleasant mix of modern (stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops) and classic (marble mosaic flooring and recessed-panelled cabinetry) elements. Opting for seagrass wallpaper instead of a tiled backsplash lends the narrow space depth, warmth and texture.
The elegant smoky grey settee in the dining area converts seamlessly into extra living room seating post-meal. The pair of white porcelain pendant lights offers a lovely soft touch, while the client's existing rustic wooden dining table adds a warm textural element to the space.
The neutral palette condo offers an equal devotion to balancing sharp lines with delicate curves, softening glints of shiny metal with milky porcelain and enhancing natural textures with subtle patterns.
"The effect is an intimate tone-on-tone space that feels very harmonious," says Nicola.
A kitchen boasting restaurant-design pedigree
Trendy meets traditional in this family home built from scratch.
Homeowner Tanya Krpan (pictured here) saved on accessories by loading the family room sectional with an assortment of ready-made toss cushions.
Tanya isn’t afraid to play with negative space, as seen in the home’s grand entryway. “Normally, you’d expect a mirror or big piece of art hanging above the wainscotting,” she says. Leaving the wall blank and layering small pieces on the console allows the millwork to shine.
Black casement windows and decorative accents create contrast in the neutral space. Tanya scored the vintage coffee table when her office was being redecorated.
The family room’s classic-cool mix feels right for a young family.
The kitchen, of course, is the true star of the show. Tanya’s restaurant-design pedigree shines through in the room’s floor-to-ceiling tiles, mix of open and closed storage and high-end appliances. She opted for white Shaker-style cabinetry and warmed up the space with a walnut island and brass hardware statement lighting and fixtures.
Another bistro-inspired touch was her choice of dark honed-limestone tiles for most of the main floor. “The tile grounds the space since there’s an abundance of white everywhere,” Tanya explains. “And it’s proven great for hiding dirt.”
Everything in the Krpans’ home is designed for everyday life and entertaining, from the large sectional in the family room to the round tables in the dining room and the kitchen’s eat-in area. “It’s more social to sit at a round table,” says Tanya. “You see everyone’s faces.”
Cabinets with glass doors allow Tanya to display her favourite serving pieces and special glassware. She had the back of the kitchen cabinets tiled to highlight this focal point of the kitchen.
Tanya and Jure – with their sons, Ivan, 3, and Cruz, 2 – have recently welcomed a baby girl named Belle.
The living room’s crisp white, grey and black scheme gets an energy boost from fresh greenery, pops of pink and plenty of pattern – check out the Moroccan-style rug, the ikat-print and chevron-patterned toss cushions and the graphic stool fabric.
To offset the costs of the more expensive permanent elements, Tanya was meticulous with her decorating budget. She incorporated secondhand pieces, such as the family room coffee table, and sourced inexpensive art for the living room mantel. Affordable colourful accessories add youthful edginess to the living spaces. “I love the femininity that the splashes of pink add to the living room and family room,” she says. “Plus, by the time I got to the decorating, I was living with three boys!”
In the dining room, Tanya likes the juxtaposition of the modern Sputnik-inspired chandelier with the traditional coffered ceiling. The artwork was a DIY project Tanya and Jure painted together on her 30th birthday.
Though this house has been well loved for years, there’s a sequel in the works: Tanya and Jure are in the process of building a new home. “We’ll keep some of the same elements but go a little more modern in the kitchen,” says Tanya. We’ll definitely stay tuned.