Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Coffee and chocolate have always gone hand in hand for me. My childhood home had a tiled floor, and since most of the year in Oregon is rather chilly and my dad's always been a bit tight with the purse strings, the temperature of our house always tended to hover around 62 degrees. I was an incredibly tiny child, not because I didn't eat (most of my childhood memories consist of times I was eating and/or being encouraged to eat by family members) but because my wee Mediterranean genes kept me short and bony. This, coupled with the fact that my weirdly large eyes occupied about 30% of my face, resulted in me looking very much like a malnourished and scraggly baby bird throughout most of my childhood. The small stature I was born into tended to exacerbate my lack of body heat, so I came up with various ways to warm myself up during those chilly fall/winter/spring days, my favorite of which involved sneaking various sweets into my parents' steaming cups of Greek coffee whenever they left them unattended.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I had a hard time adjusting to college the first couple months. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy my newfound independence or my ability to eat cereal for dinner and stay up until two in the morning marathoning Friends, it was that southern California was so incredibly and uniquely different than what I was used to at home in Oregon, and I hadn't prepared myself for it at all. The scenery, the culture, the style; it all came at me like a tidal wave, full of things I didn't know and things I didn't fit in with. Back home, I was used to gray skies, wet sidewalks, the most vibrant of greens, layers upon layers of fleece and wool clothing, and the fact that I could drive 10 miles in almost any direction and hit a farm. I unknowingly took comfort in every one of those things while I was home, not really comprehending that leaving Oregon meant leaving all of that behind, too.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Things have been pretty hectic around these parts the past couple weeks. I've been prepping for our upcoming honeymoon to Thailand, which has included getting a wide assortment of vaccines and buying straight-up deet, (kind of terrified of getting malaria), along with printing out all our various tour/hotel confirmations and compiling them into a binder. Normally I'm a bit more lax when it comes to travel, but I've never visited a country before without knowing anything about the language or the language of a neighboring country, so I've been a been more anal retentive when it comes to this trip. I've also been keeping busy with a lot of freelance projects, too, and in the middle of all this craziness Jeremy and I had our 8-year anniversary. I wanted to make something fun and decadent to help us unwind from the constant whirlwind of activity, so I tried recreating the roasted almond truffles we had when we were in Napa.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
I've been wanting to make a sheet cake again for a while now, they're just so quick to whip up and I love that you can literally throw toppings on top of it and yet it still looks relatively put-together. Because I have a slight obsession with/mild addiction to chocolate, I decided to make a chocolate sheet cake and top it with some toasted nuts and salted dulce de leche. If you've never made toasted nuts before, I CANNOT emphasize how much you need to do so. It's basically a bit of butter and brown sugar in a pan over heat with nuts toasting away in the middle of it all. The sugar caramelizes and then you spread out the nuts on a pan and sprinkle them with whatever seasonings you like, then pop the pan in the freezer to get them nice and hard so you can break the chunks of toasted nuts apart and ingest them as quickly as is humanly possible.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Early spring is rearing its head in my balmy side of the woods, (the seasons just kind of go from fall to spring in LA), and I've done some rearranging around the blog, with a bright and bushy new design. I wanted a little something different to go with the changes of the new year, one of which I am very excited to share with you today. I'm hosting an edible flower workshop this spring on Saturday, March 8th here in Los Angeles and registration is now open. Instruction will include propagating and growing edible flowers, discussing how they can be incorporated into meals, and some light hands-on edible flower preparation. The workshop will be followed by a four-course dinner prepared by yours truly, with an edible flower variety incorporated into each dish. Each guest will be given one trowel and three young edible flower plant varieties to take home with them after the course, as well as course print outs and recipe cards for all the dishes they enjoyed at supper. Friends, I could not be more excited about this event and would love for you to join me. The event fee is $80 per attendee and you can register via the link below.
Monday, January 20, 2014
One of my favorite things to make is a simple roast chicken, especially during the winter months. The skin of the chicken crisps up beautifully and the flavors of the poultry seep into the accompanying vegetables in the pan. Another wonderful aspect of it is its versatility, you can pair it with so many different flavors and make an evilly delicious roast chicken every time, whether savory, sweet, or sour.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Up until a few days ago, the best hot chocolate I'd ever had was in Spain. My junior year of college I studied abroad in Europe and did some traveling while I was there, and since I'm mildly obsessed with planning, I spent much of my free time reading guidebooks and travel guides about the various cities we were planning to visit. Before we arrived in Barcelona, I remember reading about this little chocolate shop called Cacao Sampaka, and how their rich and decadent hot chocolates could not be rivaled by even the finest and most renowned chocolatiers. So of course, I had to go.
Friday, January 10, 2014
The winter weather left me feeling dilapidated and a bit despondent these past couple weeks. I felt myself shuffling around in a haze, not really knowing why I was feeling so low but not entirely sure how to snap out of it. So this past weekend I did what I usually do when I'm feeling down, and I made comfort food. And not just any comfort food, but Mexican comfort food; the richest, freshest comfort food there is. I did it in hopes that the vibrant colors and warm spicy flavors would bring a little ray of sunshine into my gloomy scape, and they did manage to cheer me up quite a bit, at the very least while I was in the process of making and eating them.