I have been having a week when I have really been craving sweets, not much different from other weeks in that I always want something sweet, but... this time it has been particularly insatiable. So, I made these sugar puffs which are very similar to cream puffs but without the cream. There is little sugar in them as it is really just water, flour and egg with dashes of salt and sugar. I felt very french making them. Ooo lala! Oui Oui! Monsieur!
So these are my ingredients. I ground the salt up a little bit because I only had the coarse salt. One thing that I realized would have been helpful for this recipe is a kitchen scale... and more space. The thing is in pastries the temperature of your eggs and the weight of your ingredients can make a major difference in the way things turn out. You can't just do "one cup" and it be the same every time, so I will be investing in a kitchen scale soon!
This is what the dough looked like as I cooked it but I forgot to take a picture of the final version of the dough where it pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, for that I apologize.
Before you cook them, they look like this... and the dough is very tacky so it holds on to the chocolate chips and pearl sugar very well. Then you just have to pop them into the oven and wait.
Then out they come and they are quite delicious. I like them when they cool a little bit rather than when they are straight out of the oven and scald your mouth. Yes, I had it both ways. :)
I love simple art in kitchens, I have made a lot of it over the years and when I was looking around on Etsy.com I noticed I kept being drawn to what I like to call "kitchen art." I particularly like these because they make me smile, and I rarely feel I have a reason to smile before coffee in the morning. And then art about ice cream? 'Nuff Said. Wednesdays are my busiest day of the week and when I get home... I am officially ready to relax over a bowl of ice cream and last nights Rachel Zoe.
1. Alexander Wang Fabiana Cape Heels
I saw these shoes about a month ago while in Barney's and tried them on, since then I have looked at them online just about everyday. They are amazing. In the pink they are a bold way to have fun with fashion, and in the black they are a way to sneak in fun when you have to be professional. Both colors are wonderful and I can't get them out of my mind.
2. Burberry Cable-Knit Trenchcoat & Leather Tie Belt
I love this coat, and what is not to love (except maybe the pricetag), I mean it's winter white, cableknit, leather, and fitted perfectly. I could picture myself wearing it everyday it is cool enough to do so... It looks like the most wonderful thing to wear while walking through a park on a crisp day. Oh... I am so ready for winter, thanks a lot jacket.
3. Helmut Lang Leather and Wool Dress
Hello Nurse is all I have to say about this asymmetrical dress from Helmut Lang. I am obsessed with the way this fashion house has mastered draping and I love anything that brings an element of femininity to leather. The juxtaposition of the leather with the feminine silhouette just melts me.
What about you, are there any pieces that you can't stop thinking about this season?
I find my obsession with cupcakes and cake pops to pale in comparison to my love for macarons. Part of why I love them is probably the fact that they are harder to come by and I like things that require a bit of knowledge and hunt. There are only a handful of places in Austin that make them, all of which I have tried, so I took advantage of being in a much bigger city (Houston) to try some new ones.
This brought me to the kind of bakery I dream of having one day, you know in my spare time: Sweet
They had their counters filled with beautiful cupcakes, the walls covered with chalkboard paint and typography, and salvaged furniture filling the floors coming together in an amazingly simple and cozy way. The colors were all simple and as I looked around I saw that the packaging was eco-friendly as well and I was sold.
If it were not early in the morning and I hadn't just eaten I would have gotten one of these cupcakes because they looked fluffy and delicious. I love all of the cake stands and different levels on the counter, and it reminded me of how much I want a big kitchen and vintage cake stands.
Parisian Macarons are so delicious, but they are just as fun to look at. They are so colorful and delicate that I can't help but smile when I see them. They are not overly sweet, which is good for people who are not into tons of sugar. They are small, and these are even a little smaller than the ones I have had other places, but I don't mind. I love miniature and bite sized foods.
If I would have thought about it I would have definitely bought some of these extracts because passionfruit and lavender are some of my favorite flavors and I know I could find some used for them. The cute labels are a plus.
Now I am back in Austin, I am sorry I took the last half of last week off... sometimes life gets rushed and time gets away from me. I will do better this week!
Hope you all had a great weekend!
So I posted this recipe a few weeks ago and finally got around to making it recently. I love a good mac and cheese anytime, but am always looking for a good twist on it. So, when my sister told me she got a chance to make it and said it was wonderful... I started chomping at the bit to make it myself. I loved it! It's an easy recipe too, I made it while I wasn't feeling well if that is any indication. Here is the recipe again for easier access.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love cheese?
ACL is such a fun time and the 10th Anniversary was no different. I had a blast all three days with the girls listening to wonderful music and eating great food. I discovered new bands I had never heard before like Seth Walker and Alexander, and I listened to old favorites like Ray LaMontagne and Iron and Wine. My favorite shows were Cut Copy, Arcade Fire, The Head and The Heart, Ray LaMontagne, and Brandi Carlisle. Another great thing about Austin City Limits is that there is not only great music but the food trailers that show up are wonderful too, and not over-priced like a lot of festival food. I had Chicken and Avocado Mighty Cone, Lucy's Fried Chicken, Tons of Sweet Leaf Tea, Garrido's Carnitas Tacos, and a P. Terry's Cheeseburger... I really wanted Tiff's Treats but was always too tired to walk back to the Food Court.
This is the 10 year anniversary of Austin City Limits. The first time I went was way back in 2004 and I have tried to go every year since, but I admit I have missed a few. It's a great three day festival that is everything you could ever want in a weekend. Yummy food trailers, spectacular music, beautiful art, and lots of people watching. The highlights for me are going to be The Head and The Heart and Ray Lamontagne. I can't wait!
I am not doing a weeks end this week because there is too much on my plate with the festival and school, but I would still like to know what you are up to this weekend!
It's still too hot in Texas to wear pants and a jacket all day, but I still must follow the dress code for law school and dress presentable. I wanted to wear something that would be comfortable, and on Wednesdays I have to be in my office for my fellowship hours so I try and spruce it up a little bit. I put on a yellow shirt passed down from my mom, one of my favorite skirts that fits just right even when nothing else seems to, and my black pumps I got at the Saks summer shoe sale (wow that's a lot of alliteration).
The outfit was easy to wear all day whether I was in my office or running between classes. When I came home though I changed into a swimsuit and sarong and was off to barton springs for some frisbee and swimming with old friends. I had a blast with them and it reminded me that I need to work harder on staying in touch with people I care about. All in all it was a good day and it reaffirmed my belief that a great day starts with a great outfit.
So as the sun rose of over Target this morning, I was there... waiting, not alone, but with about 40 other women who all wanted to be one of the lucky ones to get their hands on some of the new Missoni for Target line. There was a lot of chatter about the drama surrounding the pop-up store that was at Fashion's Night Out and was forced to close early due to being cleaned out so quickly. One girl announced that her mom was at a store in Chicago and there were hundreds of people waiting outside. I felt a little silly being outside with these women whom all seemed to be foaming at the mouth and ready to knocked down the poor boy who unlocked the door with their big red carts, but I did not care. Missoni is one of my favorites and I could not pass up getting some of these goodies for a fraction of the price of the normal line.
The things I knew I wanted before going in were the throw blanket (pictured above) and the brown tunic dress with the same print, which had been snatched up by the time I made it to that section of the store by one of the red cart women no doubt! I browsed the rest of the store for objects that I may need and this is what I found:
I wasn't even aware they were going to have bathroom things, but I was in need of a new shower curtain and floor mat... so, I picked up these two little pieces that are so soft and look great in my bathroom!
Next I picked up this serving platter and soy candle with the Tuscan Sunrise scent. And I grabbed this hat too... just to think about it, but as I carried it around everyone kept asking where I found it in the store. Since I can hardly resist hats anyway, I decided I needed it.
When I came home to look online at other things I missed, Target's website had crashed due to high traffic and wasn't up again all day. Way to go Missoni! I think it is fair to say it's a hit, I know it is for me at least.
When I was in undergraduate I used to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, Banter, regularly because of how much I loved their couscous (among other things). I became obsessed with the stuff and have always tried to make one that I like as much as theirs. Most of the times that I like a couscous though it is more of a fall/winter dish with ingredients such as butternut squash and cinnamon, so last night I tried to come up with a summer recipe, and I think it was a success.
It is an easy recipe which is great for me when I have long days in class and am just exhausted by the time I get home. The beauty of the ingredients and the brightness of the colors make eating alone a little bit more enticing.
It has gotten much easier to find Israeli couscous than it used to be, or maybe it's just living in Austin that makes it easier. I pick mine up at Central Market because I haven't seen it at the HEB, but that's not to say that it's not there as I often get lost in giant supermarkets. One thing about couscous that always surprises people is that it is much more similar to pasta than to whole grains, as it is formed by semolina flour. Even though it's not a whole grain, it is delicious though! Hope you enjoy!
For the Roasted Tomatoes
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
5 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Couscous
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup spinach
Roasting the tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 25 minutes.
Peel and dice the garlic and whisk with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of your roasted tomatoes in a bowl.
Make the couscous:
Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.