Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spiced Peach Pancakes

Guess what friends?! This week at Une-deux senses is PANCAKE WEEK!

There's no shortage in my love for pancakes here. You've seen me make oodles of pancakes, from chai-spiced, to creme fraiche & pear, to matcha, to mango & coconut, to ricotta hotcakes, and even cornmeal hoecakes! Whew, that was exhausting going through all the kinds of pancakes I've made... so it's pretty clear then that I love them so dearly right?!

If you can believe it, I have tons more of pancake recipes just waiting to be published in my arsenal of good eats here at Une-deux senses. So I decided to just bang them out in a lovely week I've entitled: PANCAKE WEEK. I just realized I repeated myself but oh well, the excitement here is beyond!

What better way to celebrate a summer breakfast with fresh, juicy peaches? Surrounded in a slightly spiced and fluffy batter and topped with even more juicy, sweet peaches? Dang, I'm in heaven. I caramelized some peaches in butter and brown sugar to top my pancakes with, but that's completely optional. What a great start to my PANCAKE WEEK!

Spiced Peach Pancakes
Yields: about 12 large pancakes
Adapted from my favorite pancake recipe, here.

1 cup whole wheat flour 
1 cup cake flour or ap flour
3 tbsn. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 cups lowfat buttermilk
2 tbsn. butter, melted
2 - 3 large, ripe peaches, sliced thin
crème anglaise, for serving (recipe here)

Preheat a griddle over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Throw some water on the griddle, if it sizzles, it's ready. Turn down the heat to medium-low and grease the griddle with cooking spray. Ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle and lay about 3 - 4 slices of the peaches on top. Cook until bubbles start to arise to the top of the pancakes and the edges lose their sheen. Flip, then cook until golden brown. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Manicure Mondays: The Double Funky French

Plain as pie: I love experimenting with my nails! It's kind of ridiculous... my nail color changes bi, if not tri-weekly. This manicure is something new I tried, inspired by this. This was pretty time intensive only because I wanted to save my "french manicure stickers" and re-used them to make the double stripe. It would have been much easier to just use more "french manicure stickers" and just get it all done at once.

Pretty simply, all you have to do is apply your base coat, then follow with 2 - 3 coats of your base color. Once completely dry, apply "french manicure stickers"to each nail. You want to use two nail strips per nail, leaving space between the two strips - the width being completely up to you. Apply your second color until opaque - usually only takes one coat if you are using a dark color. Remove "french manicure stickers" immediately, let dry, then apply your top coat.

P.S. By "french manicure stickers" I mean those little guide stickers that you can buy in the nail section of any drugstore, such as this.

{what i used}

CND stickey anchoring base coat
Essie sew psyched (base color)
Wet n' Wild black (stripe color)
Seche Vite dry fast topcoat

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vietnamese Green Mango Salad/ Goi Xoai

I'm Vietnamese and I love Vietnamese food. It's my ultimate fave. I love almost all kinds of ethnic foods but even if I wasn't Vietnamese, I think it would still be my favorite. Most people who aren't Vietnamese don't have a clue about what real Vietnamese food is. People tend to think all Vietnamese food is beef noodle soup aka Pho, fried rice or spring rolls. But it's so much more than that - I can testify!

I think this dish is the epitome of why I love Vietnamese food. Our food can be so light and refreshing and often highlights seasonal ingredients. Since it's so damn hot in Southern California right now, this meal is the perfect solution to ending your day with a meal that can be made without slaving over the stove (just the grill for a few minutes). 

Mango is my favorite, so it's probably obvious that I adore this green mango salad. Since the mango is green, it's not too sweet, but delightfully tangy. To freshen it all up, a bunch of fresh herbs are thrown in and the salad gets a bit of bite from some onions. The dressing adds the sweetness that is missing from the mangos and takes it to this whole other dimension. I just love this salad, simply.

Vietnamese Green Mango Salad/ Goi Xoai
Yields: 4 - 6 servings

For the salad:
3 green mangoes, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup dried shallots, fried
1/2 cup vietnamese coriander (rau ram), chopped
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
20 medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined

For the sauce: (makes much more than needed for the salad)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup lime juice

In a large bowl, toss together all of the ingredients for the salad. To make the sauce, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and fry until golden. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the fish sauce, sugar. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, let cool slightly, then add the lime juice. Add more sugar if needed. Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with some salt, pepper and olive oil. When the grill is hot, add the shrimp and cook on both sides until done, about 3 minutes each side. When ready to eat, divide the salad among the serving dishes and top with shrimp. Drizzle each serving with 1 - 2 tsp. of the dressing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tailored Tuesday & Travel

This sweltering heat bores me. I'm ready for fall!

1. Erickson Beamon '22-karat gold-plated necklace'
stunning much?

2. Chloe 'Matte silk satin pussybow blouse'
hahah pussybow blouse. love it.

3. J Brand 'Maria high-rise skinny jeans'
j brand always makes the best jeans.

4. Tory Burch 'Elmini leather knee boots'
gosh these are lovely. i want.

5. Deborah Lippman 'Nail polish in boom boom pow'
have it. love it.

6. Veuve 'La grande dame champagne'
champagne always makes everything a bit more lovely doesn't it?

7. Oliver Peoples 'Emelita square frame acetate sunglasses'
seriously oliver peoples, stop it.

8. Christian Louboutin 'Dancing queen calf hair box clutch'
quite possibly the cutest clutch ever.

9. Forever 21 'Full look lashes'
i have no idea if these are good quality but they sure are pretty.

10. Tom Cecil 'Hipflask'
everyone needs a flask. whether it be this glam is up to you.

11. Chanel 'Perfume in no. 5'

12. Levi's 'Made and crafted canvas holdall bag'
love the colorblocking.

13. Erik Arien 'iPhone facets case'
sooo awesome. now i just need an iphone...

ummmm why have i not been here yet?

these colors are astounding.

this is sooo cool.

i need to be that guy right now.

after my trip to utah, my love of orange rocks has grown infinitely. 

what a nice walk that would be...

cobblestone streets. chic stores. yes!

a nature lovers dream.

i'd sure love to enjoy a sunset here one day.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Tequila Coolers

Friday marks the start of the weekend... so you know what that means! C-O-C-K-T-A-I-L time!

I love this because it's super easy to whip up. Just throw everything together and the ingredients are pretty low-key. Every time I see a delicious cocktail I want to try out, it ends up having endless amounts of liqueurs that I don't have on hand of exotic ingredients that I don't even know where to find. Pineapple juice is almost always on hand since I keep some cans in my pantry and you can literally throw any kind of fruit you want in these! Add a stipey straw and I'm ready for a fun weekend...

Summer Tequila Coolers
Yields: 1 cocktail
Adapted from here.

3 oz. fresh pineapple juice
2 oz. blanco tequila
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh fruit (I used peaches but raspberries, kiwi or mango would be lovely)

Combine the pineapple juice, tequila and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add some ice, shake, strain into rocks glass full of ice. Garnish with spear of pineapple and some fresh fruit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tailored Tuesday & Travel

1. J. Crew 'Jersey cardigan'
my love for cardigans will never go away. this one is especially pretty - love the color. 

2. Juicy Couture 'Printed silk chiffon dress'
very classic - would last a lifetime.

3. See by Chloe 'Fluffy cherry small suede shoulder bag'
my weakness for bags come in the form of cross-bodies - this one is so freaking pretty.

4. Linda Farrow Luxe 'D-frame tortoise shell acetate sunglasses'
i love vintage-y sunglasses.

5. Zoya 'Nail polish in freja'
mmm metallic.

6. J. Crew 'Luggage'
gaaaaaahhhh j. crew.

7. Lights Out 'Sleep mask'
trouble sleeping on planes? this would do the trick splendidly.

8. ROC Nation 'Aviator headphones in black'
very sleek and classic.

9. Canon 'EF 85mm lens'
one of my dream lenses... one day... one day.

10. Nars 'Velvet matte lip pencil in cruella'
vampy love.

11. Converse 'Studded high tops'
pair a bit of trashy with a bit of classy and you've got the perfect outfit.

12. Forever 21 'Leopard laptop case'
leopard is always a win.

possibly going to thailand this year. be jealous.

i don't think i'd ever get the chance to visit antarctica. but i will always have my dreams...

i love city lights.

wow, i bet nepal gets the prize for the most beautiful night sky. it's a shame we can't see stars that well where i live.

this is beyond... 

finally, a place i've actually been to. and yes, it is this gorgeous!

i wish the sky looked like this all the time!

looks like a little slice of heaven.

i'm a big lover of red. this is win win win.

that's it... oregon, i'm coming for you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chapter One: The Modern Local {Santa Ana, CA}

A night out with girlfriends deserves a meal to be remembered. I had heard about The Modern Local for months and when it was time to choose a place to dine out at, the choice was pretty easy. When we first entered, I loved the feel of the place. Casual but hip and definitely the kind of place you'd want to be at on a Friday night.

To start, my friend ordered the scotch egg: a hard-boiled egg wrapped in ground turkey, coated in panko and fried to a golden crisp. By the description, you can probably tell that it was pretty damn delicious. Crispy on the outside and meaty on the inside. Perfect.

For dinner, I ordered the Moroccan chicken sandwich to go alongside my Dutch Courage (an alcoholic concoction made with gin, banana-infused rum, lime juice, acai, celery bitters and simple syrup). The sandwich was served with a simple lentil salad. My meal, along with the martini was a bit sub-par. The sandwich was good but not great and the lentil salad was extremely bland - sadly. 

Even though the drink sounds super exotic, it wasn't exotic tasting. It was weird - I didn't not like it, I just didn't love it and nothing really stood out, taste wise. 

My friend got the Italian Burger, which was cooked perfectly medium rare. The burger was thick, just as it should be and paired with a meaty portobello. Served alongside duck-fat fries, it was pretty delicious. 

My other friend got the southwest salmon blt. Sadly again, it gave us the promise of grandiose flavors. I wish all promises people made were kept. Again, good but not great. 

For dessert, we opted for two, even though we were stuffed. But hey, there's a different stomach for desserts right? On the left is the 'milk & cereal' dessert which was a vanilla panna cotta served with cinnamon toast crunch ice cream and seasonal fruit. The panna cotta was all wrong in texture but still had a subtly great flavor. The best part was the ice cream - it tasted exactly like cinnamon toast crunch! 

On the right is the 'soft chocolate,' which was a soft chocolate ganache, served with crispy wonton strips, chocolate soil and sesame powder. This was a bit too rich for me and the texture was a bit wonky. Not totally creamy and a bit hard - weird. I didn't enjoy this one too much.

I really wanted to love Chapter One: The Modern Local, but it just did not deliver for me. Since I loved the atmosphere so much and did have a great time with my friends there, I'd definitely give it another chance - especially since they have $5 endless mimosa brunches on Sundays!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lychee Martinis

A little libation for your Friday?

Lychee martinis are one of my ultimate favorites. If you've never heard of the lychee, it's a fruit that comes from Asia that's sweet and a bit floral-y. Besides the mango, it's one of my favorite fruits ever! Please enjoy your Friday with one of these - sure makes them go by faster :)

Lychee Martini
Yields: 2 servings
Original recipe here
1/2 oz. dry vermouth
3 oz. gin or vodka
2 oz. lychee juice, strained from pureed lychees (optional)
2 oz. lychee syrup, from canned lychees
2 whole lychees, for garnish

Fill a cocktail halfway with ice. Add the vermouth, gin/ vodka, lychee juice and lychee syrup. Shake thoroughly until well chilled, strain into two chilled martini glasses and garnish with the whole lychees.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tailored Tuesday & Travel

1. VPL 'Stripe b stretch cotton soft cup bra and briefs'
quite possibly the coolest bra and panties ever!

2. Aubin & Wills 'Linwood striped cotton tank'
i love stripes.

3. Current/ Elliott 'The boyfriend mid-rise rigid denim shorts'
awesome color shorts.

4. Oliver Peoples 'Emelita frame acetate sunglasses'
oliver peoples sure knows how to make some banging sunnies.

5. Masterpiece 'Backpack'
reminds me of those mexican ponchos. love the backpack version.

6. Modcloth 'Thoroughly modern musician headphones in pool'
how cool are these?!

7. Nars 'Nail polish in schiap'
the perfect fuschia.

8. Forever 21 'Polka dot brush set'

9. Basil Bangs 'Le pixel umbrella'
i'd be the coolest girl on the beach for sure.

10. Forever 21 'Blotting paper with stripe case'
such a cute case for blotting paper. oily skin = no no. this = yes yes. 

11. H&M 'Hair comb headband in black'
day at the beach = crazy hair day. let's tame it with this!

12. Benefit 'High beam highlighter'
my most favorite thing in the world ever!!! gives you the most awesome dewy-glowy skin.

13. Forever 21 'Hydrating lipstick in rose'
i've never seen this in the store - but such a pretty color.

14. Forever 21 'Rhinestone crowded gem ring'
faux costume rings = win. 

15. Portel Etsy Shop 'iPhone/ iPod touch retro modern pearl leather wallet sleeve'
love this! perfect for the beach when you don't want to carry too much.

party town. gorgeous party town. sounds like my deal.

so massively gorgeous.

wow, i can totally understand why elizabeth gilbert had an 'eat, pray, love' moment here!

planning a trip to miami this year. white sand beaches ftw!

no, i don't only want to go here because the ladies of 'the real housewives of new york' went here. also, please don't mock me for watching 'the real housewives of new york.'

gosh, i'd love to explore egypt. such awesome history!

what is this?!!? can't help but stare at it forever!

picturesque doesn't begin to describe this...

sure looks lover-ly.