Sunday, December 26, 2010

vanilla salt truffles!

A few days ago, my mom and I took a truffle-making class at a local cooking school, which was absolutely fantastic! Both of us got to make our own batch of at least 30 truffles (perhaps 40?) from scratch. We started with a bowl of melted butter (I think half a stick? exact recipe will be put up later...), 64% dark chocolate discs, and about a tablespoon of dark cocoa powder. Next, the instructors gave us 1/3 cup of HOT cream to pour over our mixture, which we then mixed after waiting a few minutes to let our bowl's contents settle. I then added my vanilla (1 tsp) and salt (1/2 tsp) to my mixture, an unusual yet surprisingly delicious combination. This was the formation of the ganache, the basis of these truffles. Next, I took the pastry-chef route and filled my pastry tube with the ganache in order to squeeze little swirls of chocolate onto my cookie sheet. This proved harder (but more fun) than mom went for the 'melon-baller' route and formed perfect vanilla-cinnamon half-spheres. Next, we refrigerated our truffles. After this, we were able to coat our truffles in either cocoa powder or melted chocolate (I went for the former, my mom went for the latter), and refrigerate them. And that was it! An AMAZING experience.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

loving these artsy fashion photos...

from a practical yet gorgeous winter-y purple skirt, leather jacket, and classic boots ensemble (which i will attempt to channel this winter...) to the byzantine-inspired chanel snapshot and an artsy fashion shoot featuring christian louboutin's god-daughter, these photos are absolutely stunning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

about to bake some Christmas cookies - and wishing I had time to try these holiday macarons!

while I am making traditional Christmas sugar cookies (to be frosted, ofcourse), these macarons seem like the perfect nontraditional alternative! maybe I'll try these next times...and wowwww how is the color so vibrant and concentrated?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

spiced cocoa roasted almonds!

these just look amazing! and also remind me of walking down Navy Pier and stopping by the roasted nuts stands, smelling the delicious cinnamon before actually reaching the stand...except these are cocoa roasted!!

courtesy of

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

white snow + dreams of fluorescent and saturated colors

with all this snow falling lately, I just can't help but be attracted to contrasting saturated and beautiful colors, both in clothing and living spaces...
via because i'm addicted and

Sunday, December 5, 2010

German Apple Pancakes (!) make me think of snowy Sundays

I absolutely LOVE German apple pancakes...they remind of me of chilly and snowy days spent inside, all bundled up and waiting for my Teta to whip up this favorite breakfast.

German Apple Pancake
serves 4-6

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 extra large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/4 + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
confectioners' sugar for dusting

Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position.  Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
In a large bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until there are no lumps.  
Heat a 11.5-inch oven proof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the butter and melt.  Add the apples, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Using a heat proof rubber spatula, sauté the apples until they are golden brown, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.  Stir to combine.
Quickly pour the batter evenly around the apples. Place the skillet in the oven.  Reduce the temperature to 425ºF and bake until the pancake edges are brown and puffed, about 18-20 minutes.
Using oven proof mitts to protect your hands from the hot handle, remove the skillet from the oven.  Loosen the edges with the heat proof rubber spatula and invert the pancake onto a serving platter.  Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.  Enjoy!

courtesy of

Thursday, December 2, 2010

a few gorgeous fashion photos...

LOVE the mix of patterns / textures / colors behind the scenes at the proenza schouler show; also, the absolutely over-the-top fur collar and yellow dress peaking out combination, and the brilliant royal blue tapered pants! 
via my new favorite fashion blog, because i'm addicted.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving puts me in the mood for the holidays!

happy thanksgiving! but, on another note, these holiday looks from Zara are absolutely stunning and making me want to go to a few holiday parties already! LOVE the cinched waist and voluminous skirts on these numbers, plus that red just reminds me of the holly berries on Christmas wreaths...
via the beauty file

Saturday, November 20, 2010

heavy-knit sweaters + sparkly cocktail skirts and dresses

these boot and heavy knit sweater and cocktail skirt/dress combinations are absolutely perfect! the contrast is phenomenal; I'm always looking for that edge in my outfits (whether I'm successful or not...) and this seems like a great way to integrate tough and pretty. thank you German Vogue!!

via i'm addicted

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

pumpkin bread pudding with caramel rum raisin sauce - divine!

WOW, this recipe looks amazing!! it is from one of my new favorite blogs, Chocolate and Tea.
I absolutely love anything pumpkin, and combining that with one of my all time favorite desserts - bread pudding - seems like my ideal recipe. I will definitely be trying this out over winter break!!

crazy rock violin!

rock violin !!!!

okay, so I kind of want to be a 'violin rock star' like Linzi Stoppard and Ben Lee in this video!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

clock windows!

wow these are probably the most amazing windows ever! I absolutely love the graphic yet timeless (...have to stop with the puns) quality, also aren't the shadows the best ?!
from the Brooklyn Clock Tower building penthouse via Luster

Monday, November 15, 2010

comfort food chocolates? yum!

wow, I feel like the new market / start-up venture for food boutiques is delicious yet strange ingredients with chocolate! these look fabulous, who would ever think a college night staple like ramen noodles would ever translate into gourmet chocolate?
via Cup of Jo

Modern Art and the CIA?!

Modern Art used as a CIA 'weapon'

this is the perfect combination of art and the CIA / propaganda...two of my passions!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

new foodie website!

I was just introduced to the other day, and have fallen in love with the "community driven visual potluck" very similar to my all time favorite food site,!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

baked french toast with chocolate and banana - seems like the most perfect breakfast!

I absolutely LOVE chocolate-dipped bananas, so how could banana-chocolate baked french toast not be delicious? While this dessert is quite impractical to make in a college kitchen, I really want to give it a whirl over winter break - this seems like such a cozy, winter's day type of breakfast.

courtesy of

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

leopard print + polka dots!

today I decided to step my outfit up and combine two unlikely patterns - partially inspired by this fall's runway looks involving unusually mixed patterns. For mixing patterns, its best to keep scale in mind (these two are almost a little  too close in scale...but because black is a prevalent common tone in each it somehow works!). also, I tend to ground my crazy pattern combinations with a unifying solid color (today, it was black...I hope you're reading this Teta!).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

words of wisdom from Robert Henri

"Originality: Don't worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

pumpkin spiced hot chocolate - delicious!

wow, pumpkin and chocolate seem to be a pair I can't get out of my mind today. maybe because it's halloween? maybe because there was chocolate-pumpkin pie for dessert tonight at the dining hall?
I have never thought of combining hot cocoa and pumpkin spices/flavor in drink, but I can't see how it would be anything but comforting / delicious / seasonally perfect.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

lemon ricotta donuts - so fresh!

these donuts just look very refreshing and light - they are baked instead of fried. plus I always love the combo of lemon and ricotta!

courtesy of

Saturday, October 23, 2010

my favorite look has to be the red dress / fur vest / draped bag!
such unexpected silhouettes with the structured shoulders, and a great mix of vintage-inspired pieces and modern touches.
honorable mentions go to the amazing tulle skirt, the great draping effect of the nude-colored look, and the casual-ness of a pretty fancy cheetah vest.

courtesy of

Friday, October 22, 2010

Walter Crane via John Sloan

so, for art history I am doing research on John Sloan and one of his continually mentioned influences is John Crane...naturally I looked up his work, and these three prints/paintings really caught my attention.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beauty, to me, is all about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.
Gwyneth Paltrow

modcloth revival

I hadn’t looked at in a while, and happened upon several quirky / amazing finds! I really love the organic and whimsical quality of the purple flower string lights, the mod yet up to date scalloped black and white dress, the hilarious Russian doll earbuds (Margaret, are you reading this? order these now!), the almost tacky yet glitzy purple gem bag, and the over-the-top, gold-buttoned, military appeal of the jacket. Great finds!

passionfruit yogurt cheesecake?
these seem delicious and unusual all at once!
courtesy of - check it out!

another fall-y dessert

for some reason this chocolate-pumpkin marble cake with cream cheese seems to wrap up festive fall desserts for me! I wonder how the chocolate and pumpkin would taste together…guess this means I ‘have’ to make this, yum!

nostalgic for summer shopping on southport ave.

oh how I miss browsing the anthropologie sale room on southport…
LOVING the rainbow palettes on these flow-y numbers…maybe all the cold, rainy weather is making me nostalgic for the colors and temperatures of summer!