Happy Birthday to Snickers

March 8th, 2012 · 23 Comments · Cakes, Personal, Recipes

doggie bday cake 6

Note: this post is pretty much about my dog. If you’re not a dog lover, be forewarned. There is a recipe at the end of the post, but it’s for a dog birthday cake. Again, you’ve been warned!

It was just over a year ago that a little 20 pound ball of fluff came into our lives, and we’ve been the proud owners of a beautiful cockapoo ever since. I remember feeling super nervous at becoming a first-time pet owner – what if she’s not housebroken? what if she turns out mean? what if our house ends up reeking of dog? what if she’s high energy and needs ten walks a day? but it’s all turned out so well and been such a fun year, and can’t imagine our lives without Snickers now.

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Venice: Farewell Honeymoon, Hello New Year

January 11th, 2012 · 11 Comments · Custards, Personal, Recipes, Travel

new tiramisu

Happy New Year! I hope your 2012 is off to a wonderful start. I’m back from Hong Kong and Vietnam, and eager to write a post about that trip, but first I need to finish another vacation post…about the last stop on my honeymoon. Thanks for your patience and I hope you’ve been enjoying the recaps…it took longer than I thought but I hope I did the trip justice!

The last stop on our honeymoon was Venice, that classic city for romantics. One of the best things about being on a cruise ship was that we got to enter the city from the sea, and essentially sail along the entire length of the city. We were advised by the captain to be on deck, as this was one of the most spectacular port entrances in the world.

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The Dalmatian Coast and Dog Treats

November 8th, 2011 · 15 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

split waterfront clouds

Almost finished with my travelogue from summer – thanks for still tuning in! Our next to last stop on our Mediterranean tour was the town of Split, Croatia. I’ll be honest, in the midst of researching Italy and Greece, Croatia slipped off our plate and we arrived with no idea of what to expect. We discovered an absolutely gorgeous seaside town with fascinating ruins and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. I learned that Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, which frames the eastern edge of the Adriatic sea, has been a desirable vacation spot for centuries, due its sunny weather and picturesque landscapes. We arrived on a particularly stunning day, a perfect postcard of cloud-strewn sky and turquoise waters.

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Pierre Hermé, Macarons, and Me

October 12th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

mint pea macaron tray

Hello! I’m back from a week in sunny Florida, where it didn’t feel like fall at all. But I have a surprise side story: while I was there, I made a quick side trip to New York, and the 6th Star Chefs International Culinary Congress.  I didn’t intend to mix business with pleasure, but there was one reason why I couldn’t pass up this opportunity: Pierre Hermé. Any of you who have read my blog know that he has been one of my biggest pastry heroes and inspired me to go to pastry school. The master himself was at the congress to judge a pastry competition, and to give a pastry demonstration. It is extremely rare for him to make an appearance in the US, so when Bravo North America kindly offered me the chance to sit in on Hermé’s class, there was only one answer: YES!

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A Plum (or Dog) By Any Other Name

September 7th, 2011 · 24 Comments · Fruit, Personal, Recipes, Tarts

pluot tart overhead

Taking a brief break from vacation recapping…just a few more stops left to cover! I swear I’ll finish my vacation scrapbook before summer is over!

I couldn’t not post about stone fruit season and the sunset-hued wave of fruits enveloping farmers’ markets right now. If you haven’t bitten into a ripe, outrageously fragrant autumn plum yet, do so. I have a soft spot for Elephant Hearts, but most any variety will do, including the increasingly odd-named hybrid cousins of plums.

Pluots, I can get behind (they’re a big favorite of mine). Or plumcots (essentially the same thing, a cross between plums and apricots). But some other mixes I find a little less mellifluous to my ear: aprium? peacotum? nectaplum? They just don’t have the same appetizing ring. It reminds me of when we went looking for a dog to adopt and discovered all these non-official cross breeds. I knew about goldendoodles and labradoodles, but the mention of shih-poos and whoodles just made me laugh. Not all portmanteaus are meant to be, at least to my ears.

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Mykonos and Melomakarona

August 30th, 2011 · 12 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

mykonos melomakarona

My second favorite Greek island would have to be Mykonos. This part of our trip was essentially fairytale Greece: sunwashed beaches, gorgeous white houses, unfailingly blue sky. Not to mention the Greeks’ fairly relaxed concept of time…meaning it’s pretty impossible not to feel mellow and lazy after staring at the ocean with lemonade in hand for a couple of hours.

mykonos bay

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