Hi peeps. It’s been a rad summer so far. I have been working quite a bit lately with long work week hours but I make it up with a great weekend with family and friends. Here’s a mish-mash of photos to give you a quick glimpse of my summer so far.
Despite the heat spell this year, I managed to survive the oven temperature in my kitchen and baked a few goodies for the family including a Key Lime Tart, Mini Fresh Fruit Tarts, and Lemon Bars.
I also made Chocolate Caramel Bars and a Chocolate Star Wars Cake for my nephew. That was a rad birthday party.
My nephew Logan was crazy stoked to defeat Darth Vader at his birthday party.
Some of my favorite summer getaway pictures…
I’ll follow-up with the Key Lime Tart recipe soon and a mish-mash of my favorite Instagram summer snaps.
A short post today friends. I have a few pretty exciting things currently unfolding in my life and I couldn’t be more happier. First, my folks are transitioning into a beautiful new home we are all really thrilled for them. Second, my 6th wedding anniversary is fast approaching and Bearik and I have already been
debating discussing which restaurant to go to. Third, I have a handful of friends who recently got engaged and that means we have plenty of weddings to attend (YAY, I love weddings). Fourth, I found a new advertising gig closer to home with great growth opportunities and wonderful people.
Then talk about today’s Easter fun with the family… great food, great conversations, games plus egg-hunting with little ones, and uplifting time at church. I am utterly blessed.
I’ll let you get back to the rest of your Easter celebration so I’ll close by sharing this insanely easy Ham and Gruyère Thumbprints recipe from Martha Stewart. This recipe is available online and was also published in Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics and a previous issue of Martha Stewart Living Holiday magazine.
The recipe uses a pâte à choux base. Pâte à choux is the dough used for making cream puffs, éclairs, and gougères . These thumbprints are actually very similar to making gougères – a savory dough with cheese and herbs – wherein you incorporate minced black forest ham and shredded Gruyère cheese into the dough.
These are great cocktail party appetizers or as an after-school snack for kiddies. Who doesn’t like ham and cheese, right? Read more…
This post is about 3 weeks late and irrelevant now. Blame it on a last minute Vegas trip and a wild work schedule as of late.
Heather, my sister-in-law, throws an Oscars party every year where each guests bring a completed ballot together with a $5 bill for a little fun and tease and a dish inspired by the best picture nominated movies for our bellies.
As daring as I was before Oscars weekend to make something inspired by The Tree Of Life, I found myself stuck and uninspired because let’s face it, it was my least favorite movie of the year. Fast-forward to February 25th, Saturday, day before the party. I woke up with memorable scenes of Minny’s infamous Chocolate Pie from the movie. And that was it, forget The Tree of Life, we are doing some sort of Chocolate Pie minus the “duty” of course – if you saw the movie, you know what I am referring to.
Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, has a great Chocolate Hazelnut Tart recipe in their self-named baking book. I thought this would be a good version/twist of Minny’s pie. I made the pie with a very slight change… skipped the brandy and just reduced the amount of orange zest. Because ½ teaspoon of zest as the recipe called for just slightly overpowered the chocolate. About ¼ teaspoon is enough to give it another depth of flavor without distracting you from the chocolate goodness. But feel free to use more if you prefer that stronger orange flavor like Tartine’s original. Read more…
I get excited about the Super Bowl and I get a little mushy for Valentine’s Day, but the February tent-pole event/holiday that I am absolutely most stoked about is the Oscars. Having seen all the best picture nominated movies this year, I am predicting that The Artist will win best picture this year, with The Descendants as a close rival.
Last year, I had a clear favorite movie which was The King’s Speech. This year, I can’t exactly pinpoint which one is my favorite… the movie that I enjoyed the most just as a regular moviegoer, not as a hyper-critical film enthusiast. I do have a top three list though, and in no particular order: The Artist, Midnight in Paris, and The Descendants. Loved all these films tremendously but just can’t point my finger to the absolute numero uno. However, last year around this time, I had already established my three favorite films, and this is in order: The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, Black Swan. Toy Story 3 was my fourth in case you were curious.
My sister-in-law is hosting her annual Academy Awards viewing party and attendees have to make/bring a dish inspired by the best picture nominated movies. Perhaps some Black and White Cookies for The Artist? Make Chocolate Éclairs for Midnight in Paris? How about Cream Scones with jam for War Horse? Baseball-shaped cookies for Moneyball or homemade Cracker Jack? Oh the dilemma. I’ll share on the next post what I end up making. Prize awaits for the most creative, most inspired dish. Very eager to take that prize home… whatever it may be.
I thought of reinventing this Blueberry-Pear Pistachio Tart I made not too long ago for the much-awaited Oscars viewing party. The twist was to transform the tart to a pie in honor of The Help’s nomination. I brewed the idea in my head for several days and decided that I want to challenge myself and come up with a dish inspired by The Tree Of Life. Gulp. This trippy movie directed by Terence Mallick is chock-full of imagery, a little non-linear, and honestly a little too long. It tells the story of a boy’s relationship with his father through his childhood memories while intertwining rich images of how the world started and how it became what it is now. Any ideas on what I should make to commemorate the brilliance of this film in the form of edible food? Baking a tree-shaped cake or bread is a total cop-out – although playing with the title seems to be the only viable option I can manage to come up with right now. I’ll share on the next post what my imaginative mind can whip up. Don’t get your hopes up, I might end up with a pie.
Focusing our attention back on this gorgeous tart. This uses pre-made puff pastry dough (please don’t judge) smeared with homemade pistachio paste and topped with sliced pears, blueberries, and chopped pistachios. Making puff pastry from scratch is a big task. Last time I made homemade puff pastry was culinary school days (about four years ago) and since then, I haven’t rekindled my relationship with the sometimes daunting puff pastry. It really is all about technique. It isn’t daunting once you have the technique down. I remember my chef instructor lauding my flaky puff pastry layers when we made Brie En Croute and Napoleons. That was a great feeling. But if you are pressed for time and can’t make puff pastry from scratch, like myself most days, you can opt to use a pre-made but high quality brand like Dufour and still have satisfying results. Read more…