Veggie Food With Balls: Cranberry and Za’atar Goats’ Cheese Balls with A Roasted Pepper and Cashew Dip

Published March 3, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

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Some people think vegetarian food is boring.

Some people say it can be dull.

I say: Nonsense!

Vegetarian food can be the boldest, funkiest, most original and creative of all cuisines! The following recipe is the perfect illustration that vegetarian dishes can indeed be quite ballsy, both figuratively and literally in this case. The cute, little beauties you see in this picture are fried goats’ cheese balls in a crunchy almond crust and are flavoured with dried cranberries, za’atar and lemon zest. These gorgous croquettes are already delicious on their own, but combined with a salad of purslane and broccocress (the cress version of broccoli, because why not?!) and dipped in a heavenly dip made with roasted red peppers, garlic, harissa and cashew nuts this dish becomes a true flavour sensation! An explosion of magnificent colours, textures and flavours, all complementing each other beautifully: what better example of delicious veggie food could you possibly wish for?

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Ingredients (serves 1):

For the goats’ cheese balls:

  • 200gr matured, soft goats cheese
  • Handful of dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp of lemon zest
  • ½ tsp crushed pink pepper corns
  • 1 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • Black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Flaked almonds (approx. 100gr)

For the roasted pepper and cashed dip:

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • ½ tsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp honey

For the salad:

  • 150gr purslane, washed
  • 100gr broccocress (or regular water cress/ garden cress/ mustard cress)
  • A small handful of cranberries
  • Lemon juice
  • Tiniest bit of olive oil

Method:

  1. Put the chunks of red pepper, tomato and garlic on a roasting tray and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Put in a preheated oven at 250°C for about 10 minutes until the edges of the peppers are starting to char.
  2. Remove from the oven and put the roasted ingredients in a blender together with the cashew nuts, an extra tablespoon of olive oil, the harissa and the honey and mix until you get a lovely dip. Season to taste with salt if necessary. Put aside. (You can either serve this dip warm, cold, or in between. It will always be delicious!)
  3. Mix the goats’ cheese, cranberries, peppercorns, za’atar and lemon zest together in a bowl. Let it infuse for about 10 minutes, while you go on with the other elements of the dish.
  4. Mix the purslane and cress together with cranberries, a squeeze of lemon juice and a tiny bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter the salad on a large plate and put the pepper dip in the middle.
  5. Now you can start rolling your balls! Take a tablespoon of the goats’ cheese filling and roll it into a bowl. This will be a sticky and fumbly process, but it doesn’t have to look perfect. Then roll the ball through the mix of flour, corn flour and pepper and you will see that the drop of cheese will start to look a lot more “ballsy”. Now drop the ball in the whisked egg and finally roll it through the crushed flaked almonds.
  6. Heat a layer of approx. 0,5cm of olive oil (or regular vegetable oil) in a small pan and fry the balls for a minute on every side, so that they look gorgeously golden-brown and are warm in the middle.
  7. Remove from the pan and let them drain on a piece of kitchen paper.
  8. Scatter the balls on top of your salad and dig in!

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Baking With Booze: the Schnapps Edition! Apple and Poppy Seed Cake With Schnapps

Published February 26, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

This is an unconventional twist on two of Austria’s most classic desserts: the Apfelstrudel and the Mohntorte.

Think: caramelized and spiced apples mixed together with a poppy seed sponge and drizzled with Schnapps. Things really can’t get more Austrian than that!

WARNING: Eat too much of this cake and you may start to yodel.

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Ingredients:

  • 140gr caster sugar
  • 170gr butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 140gr flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50gr poppy seeds
  • 75gr nuts (mix of your choosing)
  • 2 tbsp fruity Schnapps (apple or apricot), 2 extra to drizzle over the top

Method:

  1. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry the apples with a tbsp. of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon until golden brown.
  2. Blitz the nuts and poppy seeds together in a blender until you get a fine dust/paste.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Mix the sugar with the butter until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder and spices.
  6. Add the poppy seed mix.
  7. Stir in the fried apples and add 2 tbsp of Schnapps.
  8. Pour the batter in a loaf tin and bake for approx.. 50 minutes.
  9. Once the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle on some extra Schnapps (2tbps, or more!)
  10. Serve with a glass of Schnapps on the side.

The Oscars 2015: ScarJo’s Necklance, Gaga’s Gloves and Bradley the Vampire

Published February 23, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

Last night was the night we had all been waiting for: The Oscars!

It was a splendid show, not only because Neil Patrick Harris showed up in his underwear (yassss)

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or Eddie Redmayne won (he won!),

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but especially because the marvelous Patricia Arquette had the guts to stand up and demand equal pay for women in the industry. Her speech gave me goosebumps and looking at how Meryl and J.LO reacted, I’m guessing it gave them goosebumps too…

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Anyway, what a wonderful night it was indeed!

So back to the dresses, because there is plenty to be said about last night’s parade. First of all, I often do NOT agree with the general opinion of all the other fashion bloggers. Why does everyone hate ScarJo’s necklace? Seriously, I luuuuuuv it. Why did they despise Gwyneth’s giant shoulder flower so much? I thought it looked amazing! And yes, maybe Lady Gaga’s gloves were a bit weird, but for heaven’s sake, it’s Lady Gaga we’re talking about!

So here is my very own red carpet report. Take it or leave it.

Just really really pretty…

You can always count on Kerry Washington to bring some elegance to the party.

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This Miu Miu gown with peplum may not be as bold as some of the other looks, but it definitely is really really pretty.

I’ve never been that much of a Jennifer Aniston fan. Not when it comes to her acting, and definitely not when it comes to her wardrobe choices, but damn, even I have to admit that that is one hell of a nice dress!

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I’m a huge sucker for black and white colour-blocking myself, so Reese Witherspoon’s Tom ford ticks all the boxes in my opinion.

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Jennifer Lopez often has the tendency to show off too much of her curves… and although you really can’t miss her very present plunging cleavage, the combination with the nude tones, the  transparency and the embellishments makes the entire look much more refined and classy.

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I love the colour of Chrissy Teigen Zuhair Murad’s gown. But if there is anything I am truly thrilled about it’s her dark lipstick. Absolutely gorgeous!

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Oprah Winfrey demonstrated that you don’t need a size zero to look stunning on a red carpet. This nude toned Vera Wang is sheer perfection.

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Did Dakota Johnson take another trip to the Red Room of Pain to find inspiration for the colour of her dress? Whatever she did, it paid off, because this red gown with a bold cut is just every fashionista’s dream!

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The boldly beautiful 

I have no idea why so many hated the necklace. Scarlet Johansson is making me green with envy over her stunning jewel! (pun fully intended)

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Kudos to Rosamund Pike! Her intricate, corset-like, Givenchy dress is seemed to the brim with roses.  It’s bold. It’s beautiful. It’s exactly what an Oscar dress should look like!

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Emma Stone wearing Elie Saab. Things really cannot get any better than that.

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Although the slightly greenish gold is a difficult colour to pull off, Emma does it so well. Sigh.

Jennifer Hudson’s classic silhouette becomes stunning in this bold mellow-yellow hue.

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The beautifully bold

Lady Gaga wore hands down one of the most interesting dresses.  She looks totally otherworldly in this structural Azzedine Alaïa dress!

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And my guess is that, given the dish-washing gloves, she might as well be hiding a detergent spray underneath her skirt. To get rid of all those hateful comments about her dress, I presume. Haters gonna hate, Lady Gaga, so don’t care about these conservative party-poopers!

Why everyone else was so against Gwyneth Paltrow’s flower, is beyond me. Maybe all those critics simply aren’t blessed with the gift of looking at life through rose-coloured glasses?

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Anyway, I think Gwyneth’s cotton candy, regal-looking dress is awesome and all the haters could really use some fairy dust sprinkled in their asses.

The “Hmpf, you can do better”

Marion Cotillard may be wearing Dior, but it more looks like she took down her own shower curtain, perforated it with the perforator on her desk and if that wasn’t enough, decided to create a pouch at the height of her beautiful derriere with what seems to be scotch tape.

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Summarized: not the most flattering silhouette, Marion!

If I were still a Disney-loving six-year old, I would have adored Felicity Jones’ Cinderella gown. But I’m not six anymore. My princess-aspiring days are over (well sort of anyway), and even though I love the top part of the dress with the embellished high neck, the bottom part is just too bombastic and tent-like to be considered pretty in this age of realistic simplicity.

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Admittedly, Lupita has set an insanely high bar for herself on the red carpet, for she has always looked like a true goddess in all of her previous gowns. Although she still looks pretty god-like, I’m not very fond of her pearled Calvin Klein dress.

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For a dress that reportedly took an incredibly long time to make (with over 6000 pearls, pfew!), it seems pretty dull to me.

That gorgeous statement necklace aside, Cate Blanchett’s black gown is the perfect example of how black can often become boring.

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The Men: More than Meh!

See that, ladies?

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Chris Pratt wants me. So hands off!

Matt McGorry looks incredible in this very bold, yet stunning textured jacket.

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Benedict Cumberbatch may not have won, but he secretly had some liquid comfort tucked away in his jacket.

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Can I take a sip, Benny?

And last but not least, I would like to take a moment to ponder the weird transformation Bradley Cooper has undergone these last few months. Is it just me or did he indeed go from sun-kissed (sometimes a tad too orange) God to an eerie-looking Vampire? Not sure whether this look is for a new movie or maybe he got allergic to self-tanner, but in any case,

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somebody seriously needs to give the man some vitamin pills.

Cauliflower Tabouleh with Glazed Tempeh: Heavenly Healthy and Devilishly Delicious

Published February 18, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

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This title probably has far too many alliterations and rhyming vowels in it.

No scratch that. It definitely has too many alliteration and rhyme in it. But who cares? This dish was simply too life-changing, mind-blowing, heart-warming for me to ever care about such trivialities like wordplay.

Mark my words, dearest readers: THIS. WILL. BLOW. YOUR. MIND. (and taste buds, for that matter)

But enough with this uncontrollably euphoric gibberish! I’m assuming you all would like to know more details about this “cauliflower tabouleh with glazed tempeh”, right?

Cauliflower tabouleh, as the term suggests, is a tabouleh made with cauliflower (duh.). So instead of using couscous, I blitzed an entire cauliflower into my blender until it looked like couscous grains. I then tossed in some heavenly healthy hemp seeds, toasted almond flakes, cumin, fresh mint, lots of pomegranate seeds and last but not least topped it all off with a devilishly delicious dressing of harissa and maple syrup.

This tabouleh on its own already is the tastiest thing you can ever imagine –and a brilliant lunch alternative!- but since I wanted to make the meal a bit more substantial,  I added some glossy glazed tempeh; the sticky glaze made with –again!- maple syrup and harissa.

Ingredients:

For the tempeh:

  • 100gr tempeh, cut into thick strips
  • 1 tbsp mapley syrup
  • ¼ tsp harissa pasta

For the cauliflower tabouleh:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mint
  • ½ pomegranate
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 4 tbsp almond flakes, toasted
  • ¼ tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp harissa
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Put the mint and cauliflower together in a blender and mix until the cauliflower has a couscous texture.
  2. Transfer the cauliflower and mint mix to a large bowl and add the pomegranate seeds, spring onions, hemp seeds, toasted almond flakes and spices.
  3. Mix the harissa, maple syrup and harissa together and pour over the cauliflower mix. Stir well and season with salt to taste.
  4. Meanwhile, fry the tempeh in a pan until golden brown. Pour the mix of maple syrup and harissa over the top and lower the heat. Let the tempeh caramelize.
  5. Serve the cold cauliflower tabouleh with the hot and glazed tempeh

Partying with Paneer: fragrant Indian Green Beans and Lentil Curry with Fried Paneer Gems

Published February 13, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

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Julia Child once said that “a party without cake is just a meeting”. To my mind, the same kind of metaphorical analogy can be made about the wonderful South Asian cheese paneer :an Indian dinner without paneer is just bad takeaway. (Ha! Put that on a bumper sticker!)

Just like the better-known (at least to us, Westerners) halloumi cheese, paneer is a firm cheese, ideal for frying, because it marvelously holds its shape. Unlike halloumi, which has a rather pungent, salty flavour (some pussies would say too salty), paneer is subtler and creamier in flavour and therefore balances perfectly with the strong and spicy flavours of a wonderful Indian curry, for it slightly mellows the fiery blow.

The vegetarian curry I decided to pair with the seared paneer is one containing a very comforting mix of green beans, lentils, bell peppers and lots of ground spices. To make the curry truly stand out, I added a fruity touch to the mixture… yes, I added a heaped tablespoon of apricot jam with chili flakes. I recently bought this very delicious jar of jam and was so delighted by its flavour, that I decided to throw it in savory dishes as well. The fruity jam is a great alternative to palm sugar, which is traditionally used in Asian dishes. The jam will not only slightly sweeten the curry and balance all those spices, but it will also add that heavenly fruity touch of apricot… Sigh. Sometimes, I really am … good.

So here it is: the perfect Indian meal! Rejoice!

Green Bean and Lentil Curry with Fried Paneer

Please don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients! It’s mainly all spices, and you cannot make a good curry without the appropriate load of spices.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 250gr paneer cheese, cut into cubes
  • 80gr dried lentils
  • 350gr green beans, cut into chunks
  • 1 orange bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 heaped tbsp. apricot jam (with chili flakes, if you want the truly fancy stuff)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Method:

  1. Put a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, coriander stalks and all the spices (apart from the garam masala). Sauté on a medium heat until the spices start to smell incredibly aromatic.
  2. Add the lentils and stir in the tomato passata and coconut milk. Add a teaspoon of salt and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chunks of pepper and the apricot jam and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Finally, add the green beans and the garam masala and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are soft and the beans tender.
  5. Taste the curry. Season with salt and a bit more chili if necessary.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a pan on maximum heat and add the chunks of paneer. There is absolutely no need to add oil to the pan, the paneer will fry beautifully on its own!
  7. Serve the curry and paneer in cute bowls and sprinkle with coriander.

Bold. Beautiful. British: a BAFTA red carpet report

Published February 9, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

Whereas most eyes were fixed on the Grammys , there was also plenty of glitz and glamour happening across the Atlantic at the Baftas. As befits a proper posh British party, there were no weird, distasteful, skanky outfits detectable (eat this, Grammys!). On the contrary, this year’s Baftas was a celebration of sheer elegance!

Here is my shortlist:

Keira Knightley finally wears a dress that truly matches her pregnancy glow. Much better than the monstrosities you wore at the other award shows, Keira!

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Eddie Redmayne, per usual, looks like an old-school, I-will-climb-your-ivory-tower gentleman in his velvet Armani suit and his wife Hannah Bagshaw is wearing a glorious dress that is making me even more envious of her being Eddie’s wife . Some girls truly have all the luck…

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Natalie Dorner’s dress may not be mention-worthy enough to make it onto my best-dressed list but the gloves! Those gloves!

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Not sure why both Lea and Monica look as if they got something sharp stuck up their ass. Why the sour faces, ladies? You both look stunning!

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Sunglasses. At night. At a red carpet event. With a tux. And a scarf. Any other man who would ever dare to wear all these things together would look absolutely ridiculous… not Cuba Gooding Jr., though. He looks like a god. A weirdly awesome and bonkers god.

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Luke Evans and Douglas Booth: not exactly memorable outfits, but who cares? Look at them. When you are that handsome, you could probably even pull off wearing a garbage sack as a pair of boxers. (Now, wouldn’t that be glorious?)

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There was only one Hollywood actress that missed the elegant boat that night: Felicity Jones .

According to E! Online she “wowed” in this Dior gown…

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Not sure what they mean with “wowed”, but it looks to me as if her dress has been made during “arts & crafts” hour by a group of pre-school toddlers.

The Meh, the Weird and the Fabulous: It’s The Grammys (What Else?)

Published February 9, 2015 by fashionfoodandflirts

Last night the Grammys were –as expected- not only an ode to music, but also a celebration of weird and wonderful fashion. Some outfits were –yamn!- booorrrinnnngg, others were completely bonkers and –thank God!- some were absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful.

So without further ado, I present to you the Meh, the Weird and the Fabulous!

The Meh:

Miley Cyrus shows some skin… again…

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Nicky Minaj… shows off her curves…and boobs… once more…

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Nothing we haven’t seen before.

Although I absolutely adore Beyoncé and her sense of style, her choice of dresses has been rather predictable lately.

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Black. Sheer. Lace. No matter how gorgeous this combo is, when you wear it all the freakin’ time, it can get quite dull, Queen Bey!

The Weird:

Madonna in Givenchy, also known as “This Is What Horror Looks Like”

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I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something just seems off with Katy Perry’s dress…

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Or maybe it’s just her purple hair that is making me hallucinate. Both are possible.

Lady Gaga:

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Yikes.

The Fabulous:

Gwen Stefani looks fierce and foxy in Versace

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Another Versace lover: Ariana Grande finally embraces her inner glamour queen and let go of the slutty teenager look. I wonder how long this is going to last though?

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Taylor Swift demonstrates once again that you really can’t go wrong with Elie Saab. And I luvvv how she colour blocked her shoes with her dress. Go Taylor!

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Iggy Azalea is elegant yet incredibly sexy in Armani Prive

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Rita Ora shines –both literally and figuratively- on the Grammy red carpet in this stunning Prada sparkling silver gown. Gimme Gimme!

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Normally, Rihanna doesn’t shy away from skin-showing, daring, provocative outfits, but let me tell you: this new, pink and puffy version of Rihanna is a true revelation!

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I never thought the following words would ever pass my lips: I like what Kim Kardashian is wearing.

Boom.

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Surely, this must mark the end of the world?

Or maybe my approval of her dress has nothing to do with Mrs. West, but everything with the gorgeous design of Jean Paul Gaultier? Yes, it’s probably the latter. Everyone – even the skankiest skank (no offence, Kim)- would look classy in Gaultier.

Phew. Thank God that’s been cleared.

And here we have Jane Fonda in Balmain.

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One word: WOW.

Let’s not forget that there were some fabulous men at the Grammy’s at well! Not a lot, I have to confess (most of them wore boring suits or weird gangsta outfits), but a couple of our favourite dudes opted for more class. For example the ever so cool Aloe Blacc.

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