Friday, February 14, 2014
Hope everyone has some snazzy Valentines Day plans, I myself have decided to somehow squish massive amounts of homework along with blog postings, wedding errands, and a fancy dinner all in one day all without the consumption of caffeine (doctor's orders). Help me.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It's that time of year again, the time when you buy unnecessarily large amounts of candy, watch terrible chick flicks, and eat dinner at a place you probably can't afford, and I must say I kinda love it. Even in my single years I was always a little excited about Valentines Day, I used to shamelessly hand out my cheesy homemade cards which were usually paired with a pastry of some sort. Now that I'm practically married, this day is even more fun! It gives us an excuse to do a something thoughtful for each other or to bake cakes!(Not that I needed an excuse for that).
I know I've mentioned this before, but marzipan has to be one of my all time favorite baking ingredients. It amplifies fruit desserts like tarts and apples pies, it makes a great filling for breads, and it also can be baked into cakes! There's something so heavenly about that nutty almond scent coming from the oven that no other ingredient can compare. By separating the eggs and beating the whites, you're creating a light and fluffy textured cake with the slightest taste of almond and the light and creaminess of the whipped frosting, this cake is sure to please both you and your valentine this year.
Layered Italian Almond Cake for Two
Makes two 9 inch cake layers (or one heart cake)
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
8 oz almond paste
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract + a few drops of red food coloring (I only had pink hence less than desired pepto bismol shade.
Original recipe from Molly Yeh
1.Preheat oven to 350ºf. Prepare two 8- or 9-inch or three 6-inch cake pans and set aside.
2.Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
3.Beat almond paste and egg yolks until well blended, mix in vanilla and almond extract, and set aside.
4.In a separate large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture and then gradually fold in the flour mixture. pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Let cool. I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to make the cake
For the topping, whip up the whipping cream and add the almond extract and red food coloring.
Check out my ombre layered cake I made last year HERE
Friday, February 7, 2014
So it's been a while since I've done a restaurant review but I managed to climb over the mountain of smartfood bags and empty monster cans out of my cave and into society to enjoy a lovely meal. I went to The Blue Fish years ago (pre blog era) and enjoyed the goat cheese salad so I was looking forward to my long overdue return. Blue Fish is a classy joint, focusing mostly on fresh seafood dishes (gee, ya don't say) their menu ranges anywhere from a simple soup and salad combo to a full out dinner portioned entree.
To view their lunch menu, click HERE
It was a cold and windy day so we both started out with a cup of soup. I ordered the seafood gumbo (pictured below) which was a cajun spiced roux with hearty lumps of shrimp, crab, scallops, crawfish, and white fish, basically it's the ultimate seafood soup. I was blown away from the flavor and the warmth that came from the cajun spices. There was a good meat-to-broth ratio and all the seafood was fall apart tender.
The other soup we tried was the crab bisque which is a cream based soup with a touch of sherry and loads of crab! It was everything you'd expect from this comforting classic, rich and creamy in texture with chunks of sweet crab meat, I personally could have had a bit more sherry to cut the grease but it was still very tasty.
When it came to choosing an entree, my eyes were immediately drawn to "scallop mac and cheese" never has any phrase sounded so ungodly delicious to me. Imagine a wonderfully decadent cheesy mountain of noodles topped with perfectly seared sea scallops and grilled asparagus (because something has to be healthy). I am not gonna lie, that first bite of scallop and noodle sent me straight into a full on foodgasim, yes I said it! It was SO good. Coming from experience it is difficult to cook scallops, especially one of that size, but this one was spot on. My only complaint about the meal was that the shrimp, while they were cooked to perfection had a very strong freezer after taste which I have unfortunately been experiencing a lot lately. If I had known this, I definitely would have opted for the all scallop option and skipped the shrimp.
We also tried the Horseradish crusted catch which was pan searched with scallion oil and served with garlic smashed potatoes and squash medley with your choice of either trigger, Mahi, or Salmon (I choose the triggerfish). The horseradish added a unique element of flavor and the fish was moist and flaky (having never eaten triggerfish before I was super pleased). The potatoes were creamy and flavorful and the squash and zucchini medley was good as well.
After all these years I am so glad I finally made a return visit to The Blue Fish.It's cool blue atmosphere and various menu items make it easy to accommodate any preference or price range. These people truly know how to cook fresh and flavorful seafood.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I sadly cannot remember the last time I was able to relax and bake something. My days/weeks have been a whirlwind of research papers, wedding plans, and work...oh, and on my days off I get to go to the dentist. I have discovered a new favorite girl band called BOY (you should check them out they have finger mustaches). Beautiful beachy sunsets and breakfast with friends makes me happy. I am getting married in 31 freaking days!
I hope to be posting some Valentines recipes and DIY projects soon if my schedule will allow it, here's to hoping!
Follow me on instagram @ artsygal21
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I immediately fell in love with the wonderful work of Anais and Dax. My favorite type of photography has always been lifestyle shots, capturing life's little things like a morning cup of coffee or paint on your hands after a long day of creating. Good art should always evoke emotion, specifically the desire to eat, to explore, to live and celebrate every little moment of it.
If you wanna check out more pictures, head over to their website by clicking HERE