Month: June 2011

summer recipe: fresh fig tart

Every summer I cannot resist buying a basket full of figs from my neighborhood farmer’s market. I prefer to eat them freshly washed right out of the basket. But while commuting home last night I contemplated incorporating the figs into a light dessert. Check out what I found here: For crust 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground) 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water For filling 1/3 cup sour cream 1 cup mascarpone cheese (8 oz) 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons red-currant jelly 1 tablespoon honey 1 1/2 lb fresh figs Special equipment: an 11 1/4- by 8- by 1-inch rectangular or 10-inch round fluted tart pan (1 inch deep) with a removable bottom preparation Make crust: Pulse together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter and rosemary and pulse until mixture resembles …

the other bag for the working woman

Why is it so difficult to find a bag, in addition to the purse, to carry lunch and walking shoes while commuting to work? (I know a mouthful) Well, for some strange reason I have had alot of trouble locating the perfect tote bag to do jus that. I have, over the last 6 months, purchased and returned 12 bags and at this stage, as a result of my frustration, have settled on a simple Eddie Bauer Rippac Everyday tote for 20.00  to do the trick, as well as hold me over, until I can find the best tote bag to carry my necessaties every day to and from work. I am not picky, it’s just most bags are not designed properly to hold everything in place or if the compartment is designed correctly, the handles are not, if that is just fine, then securing the bag isn’t designed to detour theft while commuting on a crowded train. So, I suppose I either need to design the perfect bag myself or hire someone to create …

condo remodel: kitchen flooring

As we slowly continue the remodel process, we finally and proudly can say the kitchen floors turned out better than he expected. I already knew it would turn out well, but convincing “my client” in this case was somewhat difficult. Again, just a reminder, we have to work with a small budget, a speedy turnaround time, while making an effort to modernized an outdated condo for a quick sell. Check out the before and after pictures of the kitchen floors. :). For product reference please click here.

a villa in tuscany – vacation paradise

Between the condo renovation, work hiccups and other matters of family and home, I actually needed a break from the norm today by focusing on my vacation plans for the Fall. Although I love Paris and will consider spending every vacation day there, every single year, I have opted for  a trip to Italy this year because I needed material for my second novel. This time, I am considering  a villa stay in Tuscany just to “veg out”  and get inspired to at least draft the outline for the novel, if not more.  Since that is my plan, I  turned to my favorite site here which I used to use during my travel planning days, to get information about villa rentals abroad. The problem is, most villas house 3 or more vacationers and only a handful are available for just 2 guests. But through my persistance,  I found one villa just perfect for my needs. The problem now is I have to do alot of convincing to hopefully book the villa for our Tuscany portion of the …

fall 2011 shoe mishaps

Although summer officially started today or yesterday depending on which calendar you look at, but fashion, as we know it runs on a different calendar. So I couldn’t help but take a peek and out of all the shoes, I came up with a list of the worst I have found so far. I think the only inspiration for some of 2011 shoe fashion is Lady Gaga. I have one question, what ever happened to safety, sensibility and sophistication? {for reference:}

sophisticated white marble bathrooms

Every year I fall in love with one specific color even though I am not particular. Last year it was red  this year, it happens to be white (which is perfect) because, although I had tossed around the idea of  the color white in bathroom and kitchen decor for my dream apartment, I have often retracted my suggestion because I just couldn’t make up my mind. But this year, with me falling madly inlove with the color white, I decided to search online for sophisticiated marble bathrooms to give me  a visuals of what I have contimplated for years. So here are my favorite photos, which I found here:   Enjoy them and tell me what you think?

healthy dessert – woopie pies

I was first introduced or shall I say, I introduced myself to woopie pies at Dean & Dellucca in Napa, CA.  First time, I only purchased one and savored it all the way home and after devouring it practically in one gulp, I realized I should have bought a couple of more. Don’t worry I made up for it on my second visit. 🙂 Anyway, since I am also a conscious or a healthy eater, I knew I had to stay away from them until of course I found the recipe here. To make it easier on you, I have also copied it below from the Eating Well website. 16 whoopie pies Active Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 2 1/2 hours (including chilling time) INGREDIENTS COOKIES 1/3 cup canola oil 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup nonfat milk FILLING 1/2 cup cold water 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin …

happy moments and proud parents

I had forgotten how important a child’s graduation is to parents, until of course, I received am email invite a while back to attend one this coming weekend.  So, I am excited to report that I am off to catch a flight  across the country, so that I can  attend the college graduation ceremony for two of my favorite people in the world. Congrats to you both. My dears, your hard work has truly paid off and you have made your parents very proud. 🙂 Have a truly nice weekend everyone!!!