Archive | March, 2011

Impress Your Friends: Bake Coconut Macaroons!

31 Mar

I made these for a nite of hanging with friends at their home in Beverly Hills! (Woo!) Any time I’m wanting something balls-out decadent, I stop by Barefoot Contessa. Ina don’t mess around with low-fat nonsense. This recipe includes just a few simple ingredients, with rock star results. *I melted some chocolate and dunked each cookie up to its midriff.

What you need:
14 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 12 oz bag Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool on wire racks.

Put the “oo!” in macaroon:
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. (2+ mins, while stopping to stir a few times)
Dunk cookies in melted chocolate. Let excess drip off.
Lay cookies on parchment and harden in the fridge.
Return cookies to room temp. Eat at leisure. With friends. Or alone, late at night while you’re blogging. –What.

You are the MACAROON MASTER.

Vosges Haut Chocolat.

30 Mar

I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to acquire an Easter basket and fill it with these bunnies and mushrooms. I’ve been toying around with switching my diet to that of a vegetarian. Or a no wheat/dairytarian. Or maybe a vege-pesca-tarian to start. (Is that a thing?) And I had the irrational “oh my God, I’ll have to give up chocolate it’s my favorite thing in the world” thought.

Then I had another thought after that one, which said to me “Crack ho, calm yourself. Vosges makes a-may-zing chocolate, some of which is vegan, gluten free AND yummytown.” And in this case, really really cute! {Look at those wonky eared bun buns…}

Chocolate fix: “The (not vegan, 1lb) Enchanted Mushroom”, “Red Fire Easter Bunny” and “Orchid Vanilla Bunny”. *I call dibs on Red Fire Easter Bunny as my superhero name this Spring.

Eat at: St. Honoré Boulangerie.

29 Mar

LA’s got salad. There are organic, local, sustainable greens actually growing in our glove compartments. But I’ve seen nary a Niçoise that compares with the one that stole my heart once upon a time at St. Honore in Portland, OR. Yukon Gold potatoes, haricot vert, roma tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, tuna fish, Niçoise olives, anchovies, house vinaigrette, and mixed greens. It’s the heartiest salad west of the Seine.

Stick around for an espresso and a bag of puffy pastry Chouquettes. Or really take a Parisian plunge and get dessert. Get two desserts! Especially delicious are the toasty Hazelnut Caramel Dacquoise and the summery Strawberry Mille Feuille. *I feel well traveled just typing French words…

Pull up to the bar with a glass of wine while you wait, and get a free ticket to the gun bread show! Watch the French baking wizards work the clay firebrick oven right before your eyes. Listen for authentic French accents in the crowd at the NW location. It’s a bustling neighborhood favorite just about any time of day.

Do it: Runyon Canyon

28 Mar

When you think of hiking Runyon Canyon, what do you think of first? CHIHUAHUAS! I know, right?! I hiked Runyon yesterday with my friend K and we found these adorable poopoo’s for adoption just inside the main entrance. $40 and all of my baby chihuahua dreams could have come true… (Cute, but my heart belongs to Frenchies!)

For me, Runyon began with the feeling of: 1. Too many people 2. Too-easy trails 3. Too many snakes. These signs say “Be afraid of fire, snakes, unleashed animals and poo. Have fun!”

But soon, I had forgotten all about the snakes (and the poo) and was hyper aware of the current state of my ass and thighs: BURNING.

Well, geez, if Tony and Barbie made it this far…(Sorry, cactus. *And Ken.)

Oh good, another dog! (And Chevy Chase on the trail…) Let’s get a close-up:

I snapped a quick shot of this little fuzzball and his owner quickly offered a posed shot. The dog obeyed and sat politely. It was such a professional impromptu photo session that I almost expected to be handed his dog actor resume right there on the trail. (If you know who he is, let me know!)

While I love the opulence of plants and trees in LA, I’m a sucker for an amazing urban vista.

All in all, Runyon, while truly one of the most popular trails in town, can be a really great workout. Your eyes will be working to spot celebrities, while your body will be working to hike those hills. Bring your dog, bring a friend and slather on that SPF! It’s a beautiful view from the top…

Parking fail.

25 Mar

I’m an official resident of LA.

Two Tarts Bakery.

22 Mar

I miss these little sandwich cookies from Portland. They were kinda perfect. Lil Mamas, Honey Graham Cracker & S’mores, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and my favorite, Peanut Butter Creams. Mmmm. If you are in Portland, go eat one for me. If you are online, go here and get em mailed to you: Two Tarts Bakery!

Get glam.

21 Mar

Flora by Gucci. I took this pic on my bedroom windowsill, in a small pool of rainwater that has managed to work its way through my closed window.

Sometimes all you need is a little razzle dazzle. On the days when you’ve tried on everything in your closet and find nothing to wear. When there are just dirty pennies loitering at the bottom of your bag and a gum wrapper you’ve mistaken for a crumpled dollar.

A savior: one bite-sized, totally free, perfume sample. Yeah, scents are not for everyone. So I won’t recommend one (although, hello yummy!). But I do love the fact that a tiny drop of some regularly high-priced toilet water can really feel like bedazzling yourself in some kind of glamour. What it looks like: “Girl in ratty sweatpants, greasy hair tucked in hat, sheets marks on face”. What it feels like: “First class femme fatale. Suck. It.”

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