Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Precious Little Twists

After watching Giada make these dainty puff pastry twists on her show, I was inspired to make my own version. I didn't have any cardamom on hand, so I stuck to some fresh ground nutmeg instead. I also skipped the homemade sauce and grabbed a jar of my favorite Trader Joe's caramel sauce as a dip. Sometimes it's fun to improvise and tweak recipes to whatever ingredients you have on hand. These are super easy to make and perfect with tea for when you're feeling British. Pip pip cheerio.

Putting my new baking measures to good use.

Brown sugar, cinnamon, sesame seeds, and nutmeg.

I made my twists thinner and smaller than Giada's.
After applying the egg wash, gently press the dough to generously coat the twists. 

Voila! Be careful not to overbake.
Puff pastry burns easily.

Friday, January 27, 2012

No house like Doghaus

the downtown dog: bacon wrapped hot dog 
with an extra egg sunny-side up 

Doghaus takes the concept of making hot dogs to an extreme level. Sure, there's nothing like a plain old hot dog with the standard ketchup and mustard. But DogHaus knows how to amplify and maximize the hot dog experience by throwing in some of the unlikeliest ingredients - avocados, eggs, coleslaw, and tater tots, just to name a few. My boyfriend loves to over-order every time we eat out, so naturally, we had a sampling of practically the entire menu. Two giant hot dogs, chili cheese fries and sliders (not pictured) later, we were stuffed. The result was a massive pig-out. But it was well worth it.

the Sooo cal: mixed greens, diced tomato, 
tempura fried onions, spicy basil aioli, avocado.
the best chilli cheese fries ever.

Left: Stacks upon stacks of sweet hot dog buns.

Right: The open kitchen and the 80s nostalgia music sets the perfect mood for the ultimate comfort food.

Between the hot dogs, we chatted up the friendly owner, who told us that most people find DogHaus irresistible because the sweet buns and the salty dogs complement each other perfectly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

La Provence (Mac Heaven)

the cutest candle i've seen.
splurging for one.
salted caramel, rose, pistachio, lavender, raspberry. 

overwhelming. La Provence

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Croissants (for lazy bakers)

This mouth-watering croissant recipe calls for two ingredients - store bought dough and a jar of nutella. Homemade is always better. This is true. But sometimes, it's just easier and faster to resort to ready-made ingredients that are a sure hit. These are best fresh out of the oven with hot tea, a cold glass of milk, or a latte - whichever tickles your fancy. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Coffee Lover's Dream Dessert: Tiramisu

I wrapped up 2011 by conquering one of my biggest fears - making tiramisu from scratch. Ok, ok. Maybe it wasn't one of my biggest fears. But I've always been hesitant to attempt making tiramisu at home because it always seemed to be a complex dessert with complex flavors. Boy was I right. Between the delicate precision of achieving the perfectly (not excessively) soaked ladyfinger and the difficulty of successfully marrying the flavors of ingredients of very (very) different consistencies, this tiramisu was no easy task! But I'm going to toot my own horn and confess that this was one of the best things I've ever made. I'm filing it under my favorites. Thanks Giada!

 soak each ladyfinger for a split second in room
temperature espresso.
hot or warm espresso = disintegrated ladyfinger.
oversoaked ladyfinger = soggy tiramisu.

assembly is tedious. but it'll be worth it.
trust me.
a note about the cream: i liked this recipe because
 the eggs basically cooked on the double boiler.
 this minimizes the risks of consuming raw eggs,
 which makes me less paranoid about salmonella.

dollops of the cream magically spread
over the first layer.

round 2. 

so beautiful.

for this recipe, I used Amaretto liquor
 instead of Marsala.

after refrigerating the tiramisu for at least 6 hours,
dust the top with cocoa powder just before serving.
slice, serve, enjoy.


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