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.