Monthly Archives: March 2012

Nothing a little baked oatmeal treat won’t fix…

So…I’ve been really missing cooking up fun and exciting dishes this week because of a disaster I had on Monday morning. I came home from an early morning client to pour myself some coffee, and was itching to slice a piece off my Brioche Loaf #2, when I gave my thumb a flat-top. I didn’t know what happened until it happened. Luckily, the bleeding slowed eventually and it was clear that the wound wasn’t deep enough to require stitches. My fianc├ę helped me clean it out and bandage it and it has been healing ever since, but hurting the top of your thumb isn’t conducive to working in the kitchen. The only good thing is that it also isn’t conducive to washing dishes ­čśë

Of course I had to injure the thumb on the hand with my new bling:

Anyway, enough with the self pity. I mostly just wanted to share this so you guys would know that I’m not just being a lazy bum…

My blogger friend over at┬áCreative Noshing posted an awesome Baked Cranberry Oatmeal recipe a little while ago, and it seemed harmless enough for me to make. It turned out AMAZING. Go, go check out the recipe. It didn’t make very much though, so I will be making this again here shortly, but I’ll probably be quadrupling the recipe (and maybe adding a couple more ingredients, stay tuned). Yes, I’ll admit it, this portion size just isn’t enough to feed Mambo. But still, I had it this morning with my greek yogurt & agave and it made me so happy.

Thank you Creative Noshing! Turned out YUMMY!!

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I Feel Big

“When I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up – many people feel small, because they’re small and the universe is big – but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of connectivity and that’s really what you want in life, you want to feel connected! You want to feel relevant, you want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you – and that’s precisely what we are, just by being alive.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Happiness is a perfume…

“Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Brioche! Brioche! Brioche!!!!!!

Is it right to be THIS EXCITED about making bread, successfully? YAHOO!!!!

So, I have never made bread before. Pumpkin bread, yes. Banana bread, yes. But REAL bread, the kind that requires yeast and takes time to rise and all that good stuff? No. Not until yesterday. This is why I was so freaking excited when they came out of the over beautiful & delicious…

Of course I had the itch to make brioche loaves after we returned from France. I could really get used to having bread at each meal the way they do. I know, I know, as a trainer, you’d probably expect me to be on a high protein diet with minimal carbohydrates, but I am also a long distance runner and I was also raised on good, delicious carbs like bread and pasta and cookies. Bread is not the devil. In fact, quite the opposite…

Before I get off track on this topic, let me post the amazing recipe and some pictures. I bought the Barefoot Contessa Paris Edition while in Paris (bad choice, I should’ve just bought it cheaper online but I was too excited), and this is the first recipe I tried. I’m still jumping for joy that it turned out, considering I didn’t have a water temperature gauge nor a mixer with a paddle attachment. This just proves to me that you don’t need all the fancy gadgets, although the fancy gadgets may save you some prep time ­čÖé

BRIOCHE LOAVES

recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110-120 degrees; if you don’t have a gauge, just make sure it’s not too hot that you can’t dip your fingers into it)
  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 medium egg mixed with 1 tbsp low fat milk, for egg wash

1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a medium/large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve.

BEFORE: when the warm water, yeast, and sugar are first combined

AFTER: 5 min of sitting, the mixture will smell yeasty and foam up a little

2. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes.

3. Now the mixture starts getting too thick for the rinky dinky hand mixers, so you will have to switch to using your hang to knead the dough and to continue the mixing process. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Using your hands, break off chunks of the soft butter and mix for 2 minutes, until well blended. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and knead/mix enough so that the dough looks smooth throughout.

4. Set the dough into a medium/large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grease two 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and cut in half. Pat each portion into a 6×8 inch rectangle, then roll up each rectangle into a cylindrical loaf. Place each loaf, seam side down, into a greased pan. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until double in volume, 2-2.5 hours.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have rises, burs the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 45 minutes. The tops should have a slightly hollow sound when tapped. Let the loaves cool. Makes 2. I keep one in the fridge while we eat the other, so it stays fresh!

I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes in this book!!!

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Spr├╝ngli – Z├╝rich

The most heavenly place on earth…

So after my fianc├ę and I left Burgundy, we went on our adventure thru the French Alps, Turin, and came to settle for a couple of nights in Z├╝rich, Switzerland. A friend of mine was born and raised there, and we felt like this was as good a time as any to see Z├╝rich, and to catch up with my friend!

One of the first things she showed us was the Spr├╝ngli (aka best truffles ever) shop. Wow. It will blow your mind, and frankly, I am shocked there are not a few within the whole vicinity of Los Angeles County…! The Swiss really know and love their chocolate. I mean, you have to see the gas stations there – they carve out entire aisles for all the various flavors of Lindt chocolate!

The best part about Spr├╝ngli is definitely the quality – ┬áthe infamous Truffes du Jour – fresh made truffles every morning, and when they sell out, well, that’s all folks! The second best part about Spr├╝ngli is the presentation, which you can see from the pictures…you can practically smell the chocolates. Ahhh, so many choices, so little time…

So many choices, so little time!

We definitely got those cute little boxes of "Truffes du Jour"!

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Katelyn Benton & her next Album

I’m proud to say I know this lovely lady named Katelyn Benton, and she is insanely talented. She also needs help with finishing her next full-length album. I’m posting one of my favorite songs/music videos by her, so check it out for yourself and decide if you’d like to contribute! She offers incentives for each amount that you donate, so you don’t end up empty-handed.

Here is Impossible Love:

And here is her link to support her next full-length album:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1603980128/katelyn-bentons-new-full-length-album/widget/video.html

ENJOY!!!! (I do!)

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I’m baaaaack!!!

First off, thanks to you all for not forgetting about me! I tried my best to keep posting pictures whenever I had a spare moment, so hopefully everyone who looked enjoyed them. Needless to say, I had an amazing experience in Europe. We ended up traveling from Paris, to Burgundy, to Gap, to Brian├žon (both in the Haut des Alpes in France), to Torino, to Z├╝rich, then back to Paris. It was an awesome adventure that I’ll never forget, obviously – I don’t think it’s possible to forget getting proposed to on the Pont des Arts bridge on the Seine….

I am SOOO looking forward to reading everyone’s recent blog posts and catching up with everything. I’m not back to work today yet (jet-lag recovery) so hopefully I can get thru a lot. Yay! Here’s a video that is not only beautiful, but represents the way I feel right now.. ­čÖé

Annabelle – The Serpentine Dance, from an 1894 silent film:

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Regarde le Ciel

“regarde le ciel”… This is the hot street art going around near the Rive Gauche area in Paris. I really like the message (look at the sky) and it became a game for me these last couple of days to takes pictures of everywhere I spotted the tag phrase and/or the swirl image that goes with it. Fun fun!

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Burgundy, France

We’ve been having SO much fun on this amazing trip. We travelled down to Burgundy for a bit to enjoy the countryside and it is truly incredible there. We ended up staying a couple of nights with friends of friends- they have this amazing chateau in Bessey Les Citeaux. Here are some pics:

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While we were there we took a day excursion to the amazing Chateauneuf en Auxois. The chateau has parts that were built in the 12th century. France is so incredible with all its history. These pictures are from that day trip and foods we ate in that little town:

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These final pictures are from the drive back to the chateau, and a really nice dinner we had it Nuits St. George. Absolutely fell in love with Buorgogne, it was beautiful in every sense of the word.

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J’aime Paris

More pics from Paris:

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The Louvre

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Jardin des Tuileries

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Arc de Triomphe

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A statue of George Washington

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Eiffel Tower

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Seafood Tartare

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Pumpkin Soup

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Jardin du Luxembourg

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Eric Kayser

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Pli├ę au Chocolat from Eric Kayser

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