August 31, 2013

Time to Pack

I've been spending a majority of the week thinking about what I needed to pack for my little trip. My running list has gone from just a few necessities to a long list of 'do not forget!!' 's. 
Today I had the chance to get everything sorted and packed away. 

- Plethora of shoes: check!
- Abundance of jewelry: check!
- Carry-on necessities: check (and updated from my last big trip
- Any and all work-related items: double check!

shoes on shoes on shoes 
The more jewels, the better! 

For this trip, I've packed an all-purpose ready-for-anything toiletries bag: 
Tide To-Go Pen: For all those rushed meals and "oops"moments.

Colgate Wisp's: A clean mouth can be taken for granted when you're always on the move. So why compromise? I'm taking these little babies with me everywhere. 

butter LONDON Tinted Lip Balm: Better than lipstick and lasts much longer.

Tums: Just in case

Protein bar: When you're always in a rush, a solid snack is worth its weight in gold! Plus, I can't NOT eat! 

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer: To cover up those dark circles under the eyes. Looking haggard isn't cute. 

Aleve: For anything from headaches to sore feet. These little guys do the trick!

Emergen-C: Staying on top of the vitamin C intake can make or break your trip, wherever you go! The last thing you want to be is sick on your holiday.

Gum: Curb your hunger, freshen that breath, gum is definitely your friend.

Vasaline: I never travel anywhere without this! Good to dab under your eyes to keep your face feeling hydrated (especially on the plane!) and doubles as make-up remover too. 
Take-with-you-anywhere items
Now that everything is all packed I can take a step back and relax. 
I'm ready to go!
You might be asking yourself, 'where is she going?'
Well dear friends, you will soon find out...

In the mean time, I'm going to pour myself a nice glass of vino and enjoy Pacific Northwest weather while it lasts. 

August 20, 2013

Eclair's & Profiterole's

I've had been itching to make eclair's ever since they had the challenge on MasterChef a few weeks ago. Eclair's, if made right, are one of my favorite desserts. They're creamy, chocolately and not too sweet. I was a bit spoiled when I was in France last summer, and ever since then, I have a weakness for the fresh whipped cream center of these naughty little creations.

For this post, let me just say that for having made these for the first time ever, my little eclair's didn't turn out so bad. My cream puffs (aka profiterole's) turned out fabulous! 

Now, let's dive in.

For Eclair's you will need:
  • 1 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a rolling boil.
  3. Once boiling, immediately add all the flour, and stir until combined.
  4. Continue cooking until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan 
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Allow to cool for a minute or two. 
  7. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
  8. Put the dough into a pipping bag (or plastic bag with corner cut).
  9. Pipe the dough onto baking trays. The trick with this part is how wide the tip is-- mine was a bit narrow which is why my eclair's ended up a tad thin.  These bad boys will puff up during baking so I separated each piece by an inch. I also created cream puffs by simply piling the filling into a little mountain. 
  10. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until dark golden brown.
  11. When the eclairs  (and/ or cream puffs) are removed from the oven, cut small slits into the sides to allow steam to escape.
  12. Let cool completely.

Easy Filling
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  1. Put cream and sugar in a metal bowl. 
  2. Whisk until cream has become thicker-- but be careful. If you wisk too much you'll have sugary butter.
Chocolate Glaze
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. In a saucepan, heat the chocolate and heavy whipping cream until a smooth chocolate mixture forms.

To assemble the Eclairs
  1. Cut slits into the sides of the eclairs (or just one in the cream puff)
  2. Place the cooled whipped cream in a pastry bag (or plastic bag with corner cut), and then pipe into each slit until each cavity is filled.
  3. Either brush or dip the eclairs into the chocolate glaze, then place on a baking rack and allow to sit until hardened. 
  4. Enjoy!

Like anything in life, baking takes practice. I'm excited to perfect this little recipe and hopefully create Parisian-worthy eclairs and cream puffs some day...! x 

August 16, 2013

Roasted Pig

To honor Adrian's name day, our friends held their Annual Pig Roast!
As always, there was plenty to eat, lots to drink, and interesting people to meet and mingle with. (Vegetarians, beware) ...

My girl Linz

After cooking away in the pig box for a few hours, it was time to give the old porkie the flip. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty experienced in this (3 years in a row, baby!). It truly was the highlight of my day. Well, that and eating the dear thing.

Carl doing scoring the little porkie
About an hour after the flip, it was time to dive in! There were lots of sides to dress the plate with while indulging in fresh pulled pork.

Master Chef Ku carving the pork
Our friends always know how to throw a good backyard BBQ and the Pig Roast was no different. Everyone left with stomach's groaning from satisfaction and plates of pulled pork for the road. 

August 15, 2013

Porque No?

I think by now many of you know that the way to my heart is simple: good food.
Having ventured down to Portland for the last time this summer (*sigh*), it was time to hit some spots I hadn't had a chance to get to earlier.

With that in mind, Porque No? was at the top of my list.

Erin & I waited patiently in line for a late lunch, admiring the menu and getting our fill of Vitamin D. A line outside a restaurant, or any establishment really, in Portland is a sign of good quality. If people are willing to wait around the block for it, it must be good. And that's how it is at this fine taqueria. There's nearly ALWAYS a line.

We both ordered the white sangria-- a brilliant choice on a summer afternoon-- and the Brian's Bowl. As we perched at our window bar, we sipped our sangria and people watched.  Our Bowl's were completely devoured minutes later ...
A year or so ago Porque No? was rated as being one of the best restaurants in Portland. It's one of my favorite places to go-- as long as you're okay with waiting awhile. But let me tell you, my dear friends, every minute you wait outside is totally worth it.