race you to the finish

Hello again, blogosphere!

These past couple of weeks have been busy and as a result, I haven’t been posting as often as I have. (Waking up for work at 3 am in the morning for 3 consecutive days does that to you.) For Thursday night, I was planning on taking a nap at 8 pm, not anticipating that I would end up sleeping until 7:30 am, well after the time I usually wake up for work.

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Photo quality isn’t that great (understandably from my iPhone). Purely for documentation–just a couple minutes before the cocktail dinner.

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Love the lights–getting some ideas for my place. It’ll be a great addition to the living room.

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Short ribs with fried onions and horseradish…perfection.

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Those garage doors are reminiscent of Keen’s flagship store in Portland.

On Friday, I hit up Searsucker, the premier happy hour place in downtown Austin. This VIP cocktail dinner was to raise money for a good cause, City of Hope. In the end, I ate my fair share of jumbo shrimp, short ribs, brie and jam with toasted sourdough bread, paired with a bottle of Chardonnay (didn’t drink the whole thing!), and a prickly pear sangria. This sangria was so good that it reminded me of the time when I went for brunch at Calle Ocho on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The weather was already beginning to take a nosedive Friday afternoon when a cold front passed through, bringing with it rain and lightning. I guess walking around downtown without an umbrella to the cocktail dinner helped me get prepared for Saturday’s race (my first one!).

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Way past the finish line with Anil.

pb&j macarons

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There’s nothing better than waking up to freshly made macarons and a cup of chai latte in the morning. I admit it took me several tries to get this right and I’m still improving. One time, I didn’t space the batter far enough and they ended up “globbing” together. Rookie mistake!

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Look at those peaks!

Here’s a recipe I came across from Tartelette that I’d like to share:

The Players

Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)
Your choice of filling (peanut butter and jelly for the win!)

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.

2. Mix the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with a stand mixer (it makes your life so much easier to get those soft peaks). While mixing, add in the granulated sugar gradually until stiff peaks form.

4. Take the bowl and fold in a third of the almond flour. Be careful not to overfold or mix.

5. Now for the fun part, pour in the mixture in a Ziploc bag. A cool trick I learned is to put the bag in a cup when you pour. This will keep your bag upright when there’s no one present to hold the bag for you.

6. Make sure your bag is sealed tight without any air trapped inside. Cut a corner off and start piping one-inch mounds of batter onto the parchment paper.

7. Place the macarons in the oven for 5 minutes and then take them out. Raise the temperature to 375°F. Once the oven is at this temperature, place the macarons back in for a final bake for an additional 8 minutes or until they turn golden brown on the edges.

8. Cool the macarons for half an hour.

9. Add a dollop of peanut butter on the inner side of one macaron and and jam on the other. Put them together and enjoy!