Welcome to My Blog!

A Sweet Moment, Wedding in the Redwood Forest

Things I love: Peonies ...

Fresh Peonies: Classy, Elegant and With Fresh Dew Drops

... And Photographing Children

Each with his/her own unique energy


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Meals Planned

Lots of food this weekend -

On Saturday, made din with Nora and her mentee, Tasmin - she's very mature for a 13 year old, and I was definitely impressed by how well read she is - I had a lot of fun meeting and chatting with her throughout the evening. At 13, she's already so goal-oriented and mature!

On Sunday, had brunchfest at JP's in the Lower East Side ... it was a large group of eight, and we served Mexican pizzas a la Taco Bel style. Conversation and food turned out well, but clean up turned out to be not so fun (not surprisingly).

Salmon Sliders for Dinner
Boston Cream Cupcakes
Mentee Fun!
Mexican Pizza, Pecan Pie, and Beets with Cheese!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Boston and Maine Weekend

A Morning Reflection in Maine

I made it to "Maine!!" and back to Boston ... and just got back to my apartment. I uploaded a few photos on the trip back, so here is the text and photo update:

Crowds at Boston's South Station

Friday: met up with Marissa's twitter friends (she won a book), drank at Drink
Saturday: beach, played piano, ate tuna avocado sandwiches for lunch, watch a short storm pass by, more beach, full-lobster din with blueberry nectarine cobbler, early pm sleep
Sunday: early am beach walk, crepes with fruit, state/country capitals quiz; NH maple syrup for brunch, beach, Merillfarm, Chase Farm, food shop at whole foods, apple crostata baking ...

A Sweet Lil Sign

Fresh Weekend Food

Super Waves!

Antique-y Collections

Contrasting Beachfront Reflections

Taken with Pocket Camera (Mar and My Legs)

Marissa's Lil Sis

Straight from the Recipe
A Few More Boston and Maine Shots

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Sarah Send-Off Dinner on Thursday

As promised, Sarah came back to the city on 818! After travelling outside of the country for ~ five weeks, she had a short stopover in New York before heading up to Ithaca to start law school. On Wednesday night, we had a girls dinner out at Nanoosh in the UWS and healthily ate hummus. On Thursday, we planned to have a dinner at JP's just like old times.

Since it's been so hot in the city the last few weeks, I have been more into summertime foods, and upon perusing food blogs and sites, I came across to summer-y things to make:

(1) fresh figs with goat cheese, pistacchio, honey, balsamic vinegar and pepper
(2) orzo with papaya, ricotta salata, arugula, basil and olive oil toasted pinenuts

Fresh figs were on sale at Whole Foods ($2/box), and easy to find when in season. Really the papaya in #2 was a substitute for dried cherries ... but theyre still sweet and were 25% of the cost of the latter. Earlier in the day I was talking online with my friend ATB, and he mentioned blueberry pie in conversation, which inspired me to also bake a pie.

Since it was my day off, I headed over to see Sarah early in the afternoon. I caught up with both Sarah and JC; JC was going over her bits of (work-in-process) book, which includes a chapter dedicated to Sarah. The conversation was a bit strange at times, but I still learned random cultural tidbits as JC picked her brain to gain more insight about certain cultural things.

After JC left, Sarah and I mostly just talked, chopped and prepared food. She made a guacamole with rather unripe avocados, but with just the right spice, I think it ended up just fine. I love how we can always have such great random conversations (about spirits, life, philosophy, food, poetry) ... which is always deep and never superficial.

Gosh, just like last time, I'm going to miss her so much when she goes to school.

Food Preparations: Yes I chopped pistachios for 20 mins straight

Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese, Pistacchios, Balsamic, Honey and Black Peppers

An Orzo Dish with Color but not Calor

Blueberry Pie with a Hint of Lemon

Sarah con Vino

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Painted [Blue] Walls

I almost forgot to post pics of my [not so] newly painted apartment. I've been meaning to clean and organize for some time, but keep putting it off. In any case, here is the quick photo update - I wish the lighting was slightly better, oh well!

PS, I love personal days!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hot and Humid in New York

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

It's been so hot and humid lately in New York, and it's particularly bad when I dont turn on the AC at night ... sometimes in the morning when I wake up and go on the scale I notice myself a few lbs lighter. This is why I'm usually a few lbs lighter during the summer.

My baking frenzy has continued and I wanted to make tiramisu cupcakes over the weekend (and even picked up some kahlua for them), but I used up all my whipping cream to make the creamy pasta seen below. Related to the summer heat, the remaining two bananas that were sitting on my counter became ripe too quickly, leaving me with no choice but to make banana buttermilk muffins!

I'll have better posts to come ... I'm looking forward to this week, because hopefully this year-long (plus) project that I've been working on will have some closure and more specially, I'm taking a few personal days off this week for fun.

Creamy Zucchini Pasta with Salami and Peas
Spicy Pasta in a Ziploc Container for Lunch!

Taste-Testing a Muffin

* For someone who doesnt like the heat I do a few surprising things ... like bake dont turn on the AC when I sleep and hangout in a hot room!
** With all this heat, I want to pick up swimming again.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

How Many Cupcakes Can a Person Eat?

Inside Babycakes

Miss Cupcake Girl, Marissa came to visit and as could be expected, the wknd was food-filled! We embarked on Cupcake Tour Part two, and consumed quite a few cupcakes. First stop, was the cupcake truck, a mobile dessert truck that focuses on unique cupcake flavors; they also market their locations and products on twitter!

As an aside, we were so thirsty in Union Square (hot and humid day) and brainstormed where we could buy water the cheapest - but right as we thought about it, we ran into a man handing out free water bottles. He simultaneously passed a card that read, "trust God, he loves you" - to which I replied, "of course he does!" The guy didnt respond to my response and stared at me a lil blankly.

Next stop was Babycakes, a lil bakeshop that is so neatly decorated it would fit well onto any page in a design magazine. Cupcakes though a bit pricier here (close to $4 - how?!), but I really loved the interior decor. The hues of light pastels and the old red lil cash register made it cute.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine was next ... I saw the ladies frost the cupcakes with a spatula and saw the professional mixers in the background working. At $1.50 per treat, this place is one of the more affordable sweet treat places in the city.

Step Inside Babycakes

L-R, Top to Bottom: Marissa and Magnolia's on Orange Line; Cupcake Truck; Nutterflutter and Caramel Macchiato; Lemon, Red Velvet and Brownie; Someone Wanted to take my pic; Lemon Cupcake with Brown Dot; byCak; Sugar Sweet Sprinkles Blue and Pink

At night, we had dinner at JP's and Marissa prepared the mushroom pea risotto recipe I printed out from Giada. Din was good, conversation became more intense about education, art and whatnot, making someone almost late to Milk & Honey. Luckily, the CSA vegetables Marissa brought from Boston lasted through the 6.5 hours worth of transportation time on Friday night. Phew!!

Oh I also made some mini chocolate cupcakes and stuffed them with honey vanilla ice cream for dessert. They were so mini.

Risotto Watching

Double Effort: Cooking and Salting

Saturday Night Dinner (Top-Bottom, L-R): 3 Corn; Green Beans; Ice Cream Cupcake Sandwich; Mini Cupcakettes; Mushroom and Pea Risotto; Tri-Color Salad