Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Strawberry shortcake

Another little test run. I made a batch of creme fraiche (extremely easy), whipped it up with a little vanilla and powdered sugar, threw it together with some homemade puff pastry and sliced strawberries. Hello, summer picnics!


Cake in Action

The final cake (flags made by the bride)

Chiffon cake, fleur de sel caramel filling, vanilla buttercream

Photos taken by Mike (these are the raw and unprocessed images)


Thursday, May 13, 2010


Just a little test run from last week.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Laduree vs. Pierre Herme

First day in Paris I headed to Saint Germain for a head to head of the city's food icon: the Parisian macaron (different than, say, the "French macaron" since varies per region). Smooth, delicate, yet still crisp and chewy, these are really incomparable to any in California let alone New York.

It's crazy how much of an institution Laduree is - supposedly the creator of the macaron, this chain is probably one of the single most suggested places to visit in Paris. Most of the flavors were very traditional (cassis, pistachio, salted caramel, etc), but what really struck me was the branding. The packaging and window displays are impeccable, reminiscent of places like Sprinkles or Miette. Who wants to eat pretty things wrapped in pretty boxes? Me, and just about every other person in the world!

The food itself, however, was much better at Pierre Herme. His flavors are known to be more adventurous, and while I didn't get a chance to sample any foie or truffle macarons, I did have some delicious olive oil-vanilla and jasmine green tea ones. Not very out there, but still far more inventive than the standard Laduree palate. The flavors were also just stronger, bolder, and more satisfying at PH, even for the classics like salted caramel and pistachio.

Pierre Herme is also known for ispahan, a combination of rose, lychee, and raspberry that works in an amazingly feminine way. The traditional version is in macaron form, and you can just see the difference in quality. Laduree's (on the right) just looks chunky and pedestrian compared to PH's, and the taste was reflective. My sister had a really delicious ispahan croissant, filled and glazed in such a way you could still distinguish the three flavors separately but still melding into ispahan bliss. This was definitely something worth going back for.


Thursday, May 06, 2010

Food + Flânerie

Denise Acabo's eclectic candy shop - she knew right away that I found her through David Lebovitz

It was closed but luckily every single shop around it served the famed ice cream. Caramel beurre sale et noisette? Yes please!

A nice hefty sourdough (luckily they sold quarters of their gigantic loaves). Their pain au chocolat and flan-cake-thing were good too

With bread comes butter! So fresh it really tasted like sweet milk/cream

Perfectly plump. On the right, the glory of E. Dehillerin where I picked up some copper cannele molds

Galettes (buckwheat crepes) and cider at Breizh cafe. I had no idea andouille is not the same there

The famed hot chocolate from Angelina, and Gerard Mulot's cherry clafoutis (very different from any clafoutis that I've ever had or made)

Stroll down Rue Montorgeuil where I picked up this incredibly boozy baba au rhum from Stohrer (so boozy even the college kids couldn't take it)

Mini pain aux cereals from Eric Kayser and comte from La Fermette: a match made in heaven

Random bistro in le marais we walked into and the pizza shop van next to it

The first of 3 trips to the best falafel I've ever had!

My sister indulges me on my food escapades, so I must indulge her.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

London Calling

Top 5: Proof that British food isn't so bad

1. St. John

2. Brick Lane weekend market: okonomiyaki hits the spot every time

3. The Thomas Cubitt

4. Prufrock Coffee

5. Jaffa cakes: strangely addicting!


Monday, May 03, 2010

Kathy Goes to Washington

I haven't been to DC in years, but the newlyweds and the cherry blossoms (that I missed; I have the worst timing!) gave me an excuse to visit. I didn't have high ambitions for its food scene, but there were definitely a few treasures.

Fried chicken, mac n cheese, collard greens, yams, brisket, cornbread...

Polla a la brasa not as good as Norky's but how can you really compare; Ben's chili half smoke

Hot chocolate from Chinatown Coffee Company was really decadent with the perfectly steamed milk! Georgetown cupcake actually isn't bad... very moist cake

Ginormous oyster po boy from Acadiana, cute Baked+Wired signage