Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two things: peach bread pudding + a basset hound video

{homemade peach bread pudding}

My friend Sarah cooks the most incredible things, even on weeknights after work which are the days I'm the least inclined to get fancy in the kitchen. I have no idea how she does it, but I absolutely love her for it. Last night I was over at her house, and she served homemade naan to accompany our chicken yellow curry dinner. For dessert she pulled out this warm peach bread pudding with a bowl of luxuriously thick whipped cream. Is it wrong that my mouth starts to water every time I am invited over?


{Bilbo the Basset}

I love Basset Hounds, especially Bilbo. He's been on Quiet Like Horses a few times now, but it's been a while, so here is a video of him hydrating after a leisurely afternoon of sunbathing. (Watching him drink water always makes me giggle).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sugar Baby

The other week my friend Jennifer sent me a copy of Sugar Baby in the mail. It's a gorgeous and sassy recipe book for cooking with sugar. While I was flipping through, I bookmarked at least a dozen recipes that I want to try. And it made me realize this is the only cookbook I own! Most of the time when I'm looking for a new recipe, I surf the food blogosphere or FoodNetwork.com for recipes. How funny it is to be in this day and age where a food lover hardly owns any books on the subject.


{these rock candy tips might have helped in making these}

{fancy jello shots}

(gummis -- my favorite candy of all}

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Shoe Love: the Pocomo by Indigo by Clarks

Every summer, as a wide-footed girl, I search desperately for cute shoes that are dressier than a pair of flip flops and often come up empty-handed. For a long while I had my eye on these shoes, but they were way out of my price range. Then when I found these at a fraction of the price, I rushed into the store to try them on and was disappointed when my foot spilled out from all sides. I had almost started stocking up on flip flops, when I randomly decided to stop by the comfort shoe store (super sexy, I know) and try on these Indigo by Clarks shoes (seen here and here). It was love. These shoes and I are seriously meant to be. They're wide, go with everything, and have extra comfy padded soles. The best is how I can wear them to the office all day and then walk around after work without having to change shoes right away. Brilliant! This is my second pair of Indigo by Clarks (my first pair seen here), and they just keep getting better. I can't wait to see what sassy comfort shoes they have in store for me and my wide-footed friends this fall.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Appreciation

Update: We heard back from the geneticist this morning and the preliminary news is that Alan tested negative and doesn't have anything to worry about -- HURRAY!

Many people started reading this blog in the midst of a very scary time in my life when Alan was battling late stage colorectal cancer at the age of 25. It's been just about a year now since he had his last operation and finished all treatment, and I've been wanting to write an update post about how great he's doing now. But then, a few weeks ago, his oncologist brought up Lynch Syndrome as a new potential concern that he should get tested for. Basically, people with Lynch Syndrome are more likely to get colon cancer at a younger age (like he did), and they have an increased risk for a ton of other scary cancers. He's getting tested for it now, and we're anxiously holding our breath that he tests negative. Thinking about him possibly relapsing tears me up inside and makes me feel sick, it always has and probably always will. But when I think about things like that, it really does make me stop to appreciate all the sweet, seemingly small things that I take for granted every day. (And for now, they are a nice distraction).

{like how my cousins Denise + Justin brought back the prettiest box of Laduree macarons for me from their recent trip to Paris}

{like how Alan didn't judge me when I ate 7 macarons in less than 5 minutes on the car ride home and didn't even ask for a bite}

{like watching my friends Preethi + Birt be cute and lovey at their engagement ceremony}

{like Preethi's mom grabbing my hand to lead me upstairs so she could dress me in traditional Indian-celebration attire + jewelry}

{like convincing Alan to try the cod roe, snow crab, bacon, wild mushroom pizza at Gochi and having it taste so good}

{like waiting until Saturday to buy flowers from the little sweet lady at the farmer's market + seeing them brighten up a room}

Monday, June 20, 2011

Spicy tuna rice bowls

It was so warm in the apartment last night (I don't think it helped that I baked a loaf of bread in the afternoon :/) that the last thing I wanted to do was to spend time cooking dinner over a hot stove. Instead, I made spicy tuna rice bowls which needed minimal cooking (just the rice) but tasted delicious and fresh. Rice bowls are so easy to make that I can already tell they're going to be a summer staple when I want to stay in for dinner but don't feel like cooking. (My other favorite rice bowl combination is fried eggs sunny-side up or over-medium with soy sauce--yum!)

Spicy tuna:
half pound sushi-grade tuna (I get mine here)
4-5 teaspoons soy sauce
2-3 scallions, chopped (the white and green parts)
2 teaspoons kewpie mayo
2-3 teaspoons Sriracha

Rice:
1 cup sushi rice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Toppings:
roasted seaweed
avocado
cucumber
sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instructions. Transfer to a bowl and stir in rice vinegar. Set aside. Chop tuna and place in a small bowl. Add scallions, soy sauce, mayo, and sriracha to tuna and mix together. Place rice in serving bowls and add spicy tuna. Garnish with desired toppings. (Note: adjust spicy tuna seasonings and rice vinegar to taste -- I like my spicy tuna a bit spicier than most and a little less mayo-y).


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Little Polished Slouch

Wilfred pants, Indigo by Clarks shoes, Gap tee, Miss Albright hobo

What a busy week! So much has been going on at work that I find myself drawn to wearing light comfortable clothes that I can move around in. This week I've been living in these high-waisted pleated pants from Aritzia. If you know me, you know that I love the look of almost all high-waisted slouchy pants, but these are really something else. They're especially easy to throw on with even a t-shirt for a simple, polished look.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fresh Finds from the Santa Clara Farmers' Market

{peaches, plums, and nectarines}

I've been a fan of farmers' markets for a few years now, but just in the past few weeks have I really started to appreciate the one in my own neighborhood. Yes, the one in Santa Clara is just a couple blocks long, but it still has all the essentials of what I consider a good farmers' market: fresh fruit, flowers, and food stands for picking up a quick breakfast while you stroll. This weekend I bought peaches to make this peach pie and flowers from the sweetest lady. She sells her flowers at the best prices I've ever seen -- the hydrangeas below cost $3 (they look a bit wilted from being in my trunk for 6 hours but later revived themselves just fine). I can't wait to visit throughout the season to see how the produce selection changes and to stock up on $3 bouquets!

{Flowers really do brighten up a room. I think I'm becoming addicted to having them around.}

{perfect snack to eat on the walk back home}

Monday, June 13, 2011

Old-Fashioned Lattice Top Peach Pie

The peaches I found at the farmer's market this weekend filled my car with a sweet aroma and were juicy and ripe. I knew they'd be good in the peach pie I wanted to make, but I didn't realize just how good. I've found some fruit dessert recipes take away from the wonderfulness of eating really good fruit by itself, but this pie recipe made the peaches taste so much better. It was also my first time rolling my own pie dough and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I used this recipe (but had to double the amount of water called for) because it's called "Mom's Pie Crust" (moms always know best!) and only uses butter (shortening kinda freaks me out). It wasn't as flaky as I thought it would be, but I love doughy pies so it was perfect for me. I followed these instructions to make the lattice top and was really proud of how pretty it turned out.

This pie is seriously good. In fact, yesterday I ate 3 slices of it before the part of me that realizes it's swimsuit season decided to slice the rest of it up to share with family.






Friday, June 10, 2011

Rhinestones & Pastries

H&M top, vintage rhinestone necklace, Urban Outfitters skirt, Clarke's booties

We've been having a bit of unseasonable June gloom lately with some more cloud coverage forecasted for this weekend. I think this is why I'm surprised every time I see kids dressed in their gowns for graduation -- it doesn't quite feel like summer is upon us yet. It kinda just makes me want to put on cozy layers, drink hot coffee and eat buttery pastries. My latest favorite place to do just that is Flower Flour in Willow Glen. Part florist and part patisserie, it's equal parts adorable and delicious. (I'm a big fan of their glorious morning buns and poppy seed croissants.) It's also conveniently located around the corner from It's A Girl Thing, a really great shop that specializes in vintage jewelry and accessories. I'm fast falling for rhinestone jewelry and picked up this rhinestone necklace to add some sparkle to everyday outfits.





Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Favorite Travel Accessories

Traveling to Boston last week was super fun. I'm still dreaming about the charming brick buildings everywhere. I wanted to share a few fun things I packed for the trip and the few pictures I managed to take when not running from meeting to meeting or riding the T.

{I flipped when I saw this adorable laundry bag at the Gap the other week. It's the perfect size for holding a week's worth of unmentionables. The two zippered compartments--the other side says "clean"--makes sorting laundry a cinch.}

{MAC lipstick in Ravishing is my new favorite lip color. It's a subtle shade of coral that helps brighten up your face for those extra early, jet-lagged mornings.}

{A friend gave me this drawstring shoe bag years ago, and it's such a cute way to pack a second pair of shoes.}

{The Liberty Hotel was such a cool modern venue--it used to be the Charles Street Jail! Can you tell where the cell blocks used to be?}

{the dessert bar--YUM}

{Delicious noodles from Wagamama--a pan-asian noodle chain with only 3 U.S. locations, all in Boston!}

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sticky Buns from Flour

One of my favorite things about visiting a new city is trying the local food. I'm a huge pastry fanatic, and so I knew one of the first things I had to find on my trip to Boston last week was a good pastry shop. Luckily, I was staying just up the street from Flour, a mouth-watering bakery and cafe owned by Joanne Chang. She threw down with Bobby Flay to see who could make the best sticky buns--and she won! I had to try one of her buns for myself and walked the mile from my hotel the very next morning. It reminded me of Tartine in the sense that I wanted to devour everything in sight, and in my lust, I almost forgot what I had come for. But then, I remembered. I took my sticky bun and coffee, sat down at a corner table, and ate the entire thing. It was sticky and sweet and topped with nuts, and I barely had room for lunch later that day. Amazing.





Friday, June 3, 2011

Dream Job Dressing


Who was it that said "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?" Sometimes I'll think about this when I'm standing in front of my closet in the morning. I think it's a great way to constantly remind yourself to chase your dreams. I'm finding that everyone has a "secret" dream job, and I absolutely love it. A few dream jobs my friends have that I think are particularly sweet: to be a voice actor, to be an artistic research photographer, to be the first Nike figure competitor spokeswoman, to own a tea salon, and to be the next Rick Steves. My current dream job is to be a professional blogger--this is what I'd wear if that included lunching with my fave pro bloggers like Joanna, Emily, Joy, and Kelly (A girl can dream right? :) Tell me, what's your dream job?



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Boston

I landed in Boston last night and am here through Friday. I wanted to write a longer post with more pictures, but my internet connection is crummy. Instead, I'll tell you about my day, it being a particularly nice Wednesday. This morning I woke up early, walked to Flour for one of their famous sticky buns (amazing) and marveled at 1) how warm it was (it's warmer in Boston right now than it is in California!) 2) how all the buildings are made of brick and there are gorgeous green parks everywhere 3) how stylish everyone is. After I got back from my sticky bun breakfast, it started thundering and pouring rain out of nowhere. I navigated my way through the "T" stations to our rent-a-office in Cambridge. At one point, I got a teensy bit lost and asked someone for directions and 2 other people standing nearby turned to help me. Everyone is so nice here! While on the subway, I pictured Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (you know that scene where he's riding the T?) and the pony-tailed guy sitting next to me told me he worked in the music department at Harvard which I thought was pretty fitting for the day, and this made me happy. Tonight it rained hard, but more impressive was the thunder and lightning. Frightening and beautiful all at once. It's been lots of fun being in a new city. Hope you all are having a grand week!
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