Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dark Was The Night

Get your grubby paws on this NOW! Immediately. Ahora. Maintenant. Jetzt.
I have been listening to this non-stop. On a loop in my room, in my car, in my heart, in my head!

My personal favorites are:
The National - So Far Around the Bend
Yeasayer - Tightrope
Feist & Ben Gibbard - Train Song
Stuart Murdoch - Another Saturday
Andrew Bird - The Giant Illinois
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - Inspiration Information
Beirut - Mimizan
Grizzly Bear & Feist - Service Bell
(Ummm... basically the whole CD!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I LOVE So You Think You Can Dance!

I love crass reality tv shows; my family thrives on it. You can often find my mom watching I Love Money (strange, I know), but So You Think You Can Dance is not one of these. Yes, reality. Crass? No. This show is amazing! Oh my goodness I love this show, I love this show, I LOVE this show. The talent showcased on this show is beyond amazing and my favorite part? It introduces all kinds of dance from contemporary (my favorite), to hip hop, to traditional ballroom and even Bollywood-style. This show forces their dancers to learn all forms of dance and master them, it's in situations like this where you'll find a classical ballet dancer putting on a tough face to perfect the attitude of Krumping and a hip-hop dancer fine-tuning his movements to fit the technical details of a waltz. Watching this shows makes me hate myself for being so uncoordinated!

Here are some of my favorite choreographies (though it was VERY hard to narrow the list): 

Elisa - Dancing
Wait for it... wait for it.... holy shit did you just see her grasp him like a spider??!?! Perfectly aligned to the song and so amazing. I love contemporary dance because it has so much emotion and you can literally see sadness/ fear/ anger running through each flick of their arm or arch of their back. 

Junior Boys - In the Morning
This song was one of my favorite songs of Summer 2007 and then being able to watch it transformed into this amazingly playful choreographies made me love it that much more! 

Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown - No Air
The moment Katie pushes his leg down and he rises up kills me. I watched this... I don't know how many times... many, many, many times. All I could think of after I watched this was: PASSION.

Memoirs of a Geisha - The Chairman's Waltz
There are no words...
P.S. Hok was one of my favorites of the season, you might recognize him from MTV's America's Best Dance Crew.

Neyo - Make It Work
UGHHGHGHHGH why was I cursed with two left feet! 

Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
A great way to interpret the song and amazing use of an table! When he "breaks" her legs and slides her across the table... wow. The height he maintains as he rises above her shows his immense strength as a dancer.

Om Shanti Om - Dhoom Thana
BOLLYWOOD! How amazing is it for them to incorporate this style of dance into their program? I think it is immensely amazing... don't you?

Friday, May 29, 2009

FFF (Friday Flickr Favorites)

Vintage photos of my hometown: Orange, California. Happy Friday!

You can find the rest of my favorites here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"Here is my secret. 
It is very simple: 
One does not see well but with the heart. 
The essential is invisible to the eye."
- The Little Prince

Crispy Thumbprint Cookies


This picture does not do these cookies any favor but my words sure will! 


These are so, so, so yummy! My cousin, Ly, made them for her memorial day BBQ! They are slightly crispy and sweet from the jam; simple goodness. She used a recipe from The Cake Mix Bible, basically a cookbook which bases its recipes on cake mixes, amazing really since it's filled with hundreds of delectable recipes which are so simple and relatively cheap to make! I literally ate like 15 of these and I am so ashamed... 



Oh, and thanks LY (best cookie maker ever)!!!!

Crispy Thumbprint Cookies
Yields: approximately 3 dozen
Recipe from The Cake Mix Bible

1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
3 cups rice krispies cereal, crushed
6 tbsn. strawberry preserves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional - she didn't use them)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine cake mix, oil, water and egg until well combined. Add the cereal and fully incorporate until well blended. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an un-greased baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an indentation into each cookie, spoon about 1/2 a teaspoon of preserves into each cookie. Bake for 9 - 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tailored Tuesdays

Ah what's up with this gloomy Fall-ish weather?!? I'm almost done with school and it better not still be gloomy by that time!

1. Missoni "Knitted mini jumper"
2. Diane von Fusternberg "Jane printed bikini"
3. Jimmy Choo "Zulu woven clutch"
4. Linda Farrow Luxe "15 horn sunglasses"
5. Kors by Michael Kors "Scorpion leather sandals"

all images can be found at

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pampas Churrascaria {Los Angeles, CA}

A day spent at the Farmers Market in LA always puts a smile on my face. Number one, I get to get my grubby little hands on some real deal French macarons and number two, the food selection is always amusing and delightful. Exhibit 1: Pampas Churrascaria, a Brazilian buffet stand. I've had Brazilian once before and because I am a carnivore at heart, I immediately fell in love. Meat is something that the Brazilians do well and something they also tend to do in pounds upon pounds. You will find no lack of meat here, nope definitely not.

First of all, the line was beyond ridiculous. We planned to eat at the Farmers Market first before heading to the LACMA, but the LA marathon ruined our plans and we had no access to food until 2pm! I still cannot believe I survived until then simply on just some green tea and half a muffin. So you can bet we were starved, but this place looked so good the line didn't bother us much. I loved how everything was self service, that way you can try a little bit of everything without being stuck with a plate of something you really don't like and feel bad about throwing out. But that didn't matter anyway because everything I got was delectable!

The selection of meats:
An empty box: Oh, the possibilities!
Self-service buffet line, where you pay by the pound:
Salad and veggie bar:
On this plate: Garlic rice, Chicken Strogonoff, Garlic Bread, Black Bean Stew, Bacon wrapped chicken, Garlic beef, Collard greens, Brazilian sausage (Linguica) and Plantains
On this plate: Sirloin Cap (Picanha), Lamb Leg (Carneiro), Fried Yucca, Collard Greens
A delicious bite of Cheese Rolls (Pao de Queijo): the most delicious little thing ever!
The Brazilian sausage (Linguica) was especially delicious!
For the meat, the bacon chicken was the only thing I didn't enjoy much, surprisingly. It was just a bit too dry for my taste. The Sirloin Cap (Picanha) was amazingly tender, juicy and well seasoned... ahhhhmazing. The sausage was also delicious as well. Their spicy chicken and garlic beef were good, but not my favorites.

Some of my favorites of their hot dishes were the cheese rolls (pao de queijo) which was almost similar to a gougeres but much better! It was chewier and much tastier too (sorry Tartine...)! I also enjoyed their garlic bread but that's only because I am a garlic fiend and tend to love all things garlic. Plantains are always delicious, so I had no doubt. Their fried yucca was interesting... it was kind of hard to bite through but the flavor was good, almost like a french fry but with more depth.

Overall, I enjoyed this place very much! My stomach was bursting half way through the meal but I managed to pillage on despite all cries from my over bloated stomach.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mascarpone Cupcakes with Mango & Berry Glaze

Another 310 Purple Cupcake! This one was probably the easiest out of the whole batch! It uses a box cupcake mix (shhhhh!) and I was hesitant at first but after reading hundreds, and I really do mean hundreds, of great reviews on it, I decided to give it a try! They were SO delicious that I decided to make them again! The second time, varying the recipe a bit by trying a mango glaze as well. I really couldn't resist as mangos are my favorite fruit and are in their peak right now.

 Each were delicious though the mango flavor didn't translate as well as the berry did... sadness! But these cupcakes are amazing and beyond moist and creamy! Have you ever heard of a creamy cupcake??? Well that's the only way to describe it... CREAMYYY. Originally the cupcake was intended for mini-cupcakes but I made them into full sized cupcakes. I didn't think it was important then but these cupcakes are extremely fragile and break apart easily so as long as you don't mind cracked cupcakes, full sizes are still equally delicious. Cracks are welcome here any time; flawed is gorgeous and in this case, delicious!

Mascarpone Cupcakes with Mango and Berry Glaze
Yields: about
Original recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, which can be found here.

1 cup of mascarpone cheese, softened 
2 egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 box white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup frozen berries, thawed and drained OR 1/3 cup fresh mango
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cheese, egg whites and oil, beat until well combined and creamy. Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth. Fill the cupcake tin about 2/3 full and tap against the counter to get the air bubbles up. Bake until puffed and golden or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 - 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before inverting them. In a blender or food processor puree the berries or the mango. In a bowl combine the sifted powdered sugar and the puree until smooth. Once the cupcakes are cool, add about one tablespoon of glaze per cupcake. Let the glaze set up for a couple of minutes and enjoy!

I made these at night, I just love the lighting!

Friday, May 22, 2009

FFF (Friday Flickr Favorites)


You can find the rest of my favorites here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Absolutely Obsessed

With this gorgeous song...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Red Velvet Black & White Cookies

I've always wondered about the mystery that is the Black & White cookie. It seemed like a mystical fantasy cookie to me because I've often heard of it, seen it on blogs far far away, but have never ever tasted one or seen one in a real life bakery. All I knew was that it was delicious (as I had heard many, many times) and I wondered why it was missing from my life!!! So I decided to give them a go and they were definitely yummy. Only strife is that I think the vanilla glaze tastes a little too powdered sugary or fake, next time I'll try flavoring it a little better!

So Joy the Baker once asked her readers, "How do you eat a Black & White cookie?" And sadly, then I was not able to answer. But now, here's my secret: I like to eat right down the middle, then chomp away the vanilla and save the best for last, the chocolate glaze! Delicious if I don't say so myself.

Red Velvet Black & White Cookies

Yields: about 10 large cookies

Original recipe from Joy the Baker, which can be found here.

Printable Recipe

For the cookies:

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tbsn. cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

5 tbsn. butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tbsn. red food coloring

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

For vanilla glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For chocolate glaze:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate

3 tbsn. butter

1 tbsn. light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Using a mixer, combine the butter with the sugar until fluffy, then beat in the food coloring and the vanilla. Mix in the flour alternately with the buttermilk until well combined and smooth. Place 1/4 cup scoops of batter 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and spread the batter with a butter knife, but do not make them completely flat, about 1 cm thick. Bake until an inserted toothpick into the center comes out dry, about 10 - 13 minutes. Let the cookies sit for about 5 minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

To make the glazes, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and corn syrup. Add 2 tbsn. of hot water, stir until smooth. In a seperate bowl melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Add the syrup and stir until smooth. Once the cookies have cooled, face them bottom side up on a clean surface. Spread half of the cookie with vanilla glaze and the other half with chocolate glaze. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow the glazes to set and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tailored Tuesdays

Light and airy for Springtime and future Summer bliss.

1. Stella Mccartney "Scalloped trim silk top"
2. Stella Mccartney "Linen blend crop pants"
3. Landver "Vermail strand necklace"
4. Chloe "Suede multi strap wedge"
5. Miu Miu "Large east west tote"

all images can be found at

Monday, May 18, 2009


Make a plan.
Set a goal.
Work towards it.
But every now and then, look around.
Drink it in.
Cause this is it.
It might all be gone tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Samoa Cupcakes

Samoa! Ohh how I love the word, the cookie, the legend. For Cherish's 310 Purple Screenings I made these delicious beauties as one of the options. What can I say about these to make you drool, dream and covet? I don't think I have to say anything... they speak for themselves:

Samoas Cupcakes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Slightly adapted from The Cooking of Joy, which can be found here.

For the cupcakes:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, room temperature

For the ganache:
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. instant coffee
1 tsp. vanilla

For the coconut topping:
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
6 oz. good quality chewy caramels
1/8 tsp. salt
3 - 4 tbsn. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake pan with liners, set aside. Prepare cupcake batter according to the box. Fill each tin about 3/4 full and bake according to directions on the box. Once done, let them cool completely. 

To make the ganache, stir the cream and chocolate over a double boiler and stir until melted. Add the vanilla and instant coffee and mix. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. 

To make the coconut topping, unwrap the caramels and place them in a large microwave safe bowl with 2 tbsn. milk and the salt. Microwave on high for 3 - 4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt (I had to add some more milk to make it smooth and creamy). When smooth, add the toasted coconut and stir until combined.  

To assemble, inject some caramel into the center of each cupcake. Next, smooth on a light coating of ganache and then let them refrigerate about 15 minutes to let it harden. Next, use a spoon to spread on the coconut topping evenly, top with some more toasted coconut and drizzle with some more ganache (you might have to re-warm the ganache to get a drizzling consistency).

Friday, May 15, 2009

FFF (Friday Flickr Favorites)

Happy Friday everybody! I'm tired and a little cranky but hopefully a nice dinner with nice company should remedy that quickly! Oh and p.s., I've been dreaming of Paris recently and a lot of other things I probably shouldn't be thinking of... can you tell?!
You can view the rest of my favorites here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes

So for the 310 Purple order, they wanted a total of 50 cupcakes. I originally only planned to make Samoa, Berry Mascarpone and Chai cupcakes but they didn't total up to 50!! So at the last minute I had to whip these up. I had leftover ganache so that was an easy choice to top these with it and after making those Smores Cupcakes and loving the marshmallow frosting, I decided to use it again and voila, these were born! How did they taste you wonder?! Well think about it: it's chocolate, it's marshmallow, and then more chocolate. Delicious of course! Definitely a little messy though...

Devil's Food Cake with Marshmallow Frosting & Chocolate Ganache
Yields: approximately 24 cupcakes
Cake recipe from here, frosting recipe from here.

For the cake:
9 tbsn. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup strong coffee, or water
1/2 cup milk, (I used lowfat)

For the marshmallow frosting: 
4 large egg whites
1 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the ganache: 
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake, sift together the cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix together the coffee and milk. Add half of the flour mixture, then the coffee-milk mixture, then the rest of the flour mixture until well combined. Pour into pre-lined cupcake pans about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting, place the whites, sugar and tartar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and the eggs are warm to the touch. Transfer the bowl back to the machine and whisk, starting on low speed then eventually moving to high speed. Whisk until glossy peaks form, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add vanilla, mix until combined. Now frost your cupcakes! You can spoon the mixture on or use any tip you like. You can also either broil the cupcakes to toast the marshmallow or use a blow torch (which I used).

For the ganache, place the chocolate into a medium bowl. In a saucepan, heat the cream until it reaches a boil, but watch carefully because this happens quickly and it can boil over. Once at a boil, pour over the chocolate in the bowl and let sit for about a minute then stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and let sit for about 10 - 15 to slightly cool before drizzling on the cupcakes.