Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July Treats

As it is the 4th of July, I wanted to make something fun to celebrate the holiday. When thinking of what to make, I immediately thought of ice cream sandwiches because they are a treat that cools you down in the heat of summer, but are also fun, delicious, and  obviously semi-messy to eat. You can pretty much make any variation of these ice cream sandwiches but I chose to use my favorite recipe for double chocolate cookies and to balance out the chocolatey flavor of the cookies, I used vanilla ice cream. Other appealing combos might include chocolate chip cookies and banana ice cream, oatmeal raisin cookies and butter pecan ice cream, or cornmeal cookies and strawberry ice cream. 

Flour Bakery's Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 ounces (114 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped, +2 ounces (36 grams) finely  shaved.
5 ounces (140 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, +4 ounces (112 grams) chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter - 1 stick
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
4 eggs
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (70 grams)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

In a heat proof bowl, combine the 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, the 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, and the butter. Place over not touching barely simmering water in a sauce pan and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment or a hand-held mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about five minutes, or until light, thick, and pale yellow. On low speed, slowly add the chocolate mixture and mix for about 15 seconds. The mixture will not be well mixed at this point, but that's okay. You will finish combining all of the ingredients by hand.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, espresso powder, the remaining 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, the remaining 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate,
and the walnuts. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the sugar butter mixture just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. 

For the best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 3 to 4 hours before baking. When you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Drop the dough into 1/4 cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are cracked on top and soft but not liquidy when you press them in the middle. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cornmeal Almond Biscotti

Whenever I feel stressed or bogged down with too much work, I resort to my favorite cookbook: Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. Many of the pages are dogeared or marred with colorful post-it notes, because I simply want to make everything in the book. This past week, I decided to tackle cornmeal almond biscotti which turned out to be a very good decision. These biscotti are crunchy and flavorful, with a perfect texture, thanks to the cornmeal. 

Cornmeal Almond Biscotti (adapted from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax)

Makes about 4.5 dozen biscotti

1 1/4 cups whole unbalanced almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or generously butter the baking sheets; set aside. Scatter the almonds over a separate baking sheet and toast until dark-medium brown, usually 12 to 15 minutes. 

2. Cool slightly on a wire rack; leave the oven on. Chop enough of the almonds to measure 1/4 cup. Set both the chopped and whole almonds aside.

3. Cream the butter with the sugar using an electric mixer just until combined, no longer. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Add 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and all of the almonds; mix until combined and the nuts are distributed. Stir in enough of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour so the dough comes together, but is not sticky (the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl).

4. Working on the prepared baking sheets, shape the dough into 4 long logs, each about 1 inch wide and 3/4 inch high. 

5. Bake until the dough is set and beginning to turn pale gold at the edges, about 15 minutes (This time might fluctuate due to your oven. The biscotti might take longer - this is okay!) Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes; leave the oven on. 

6. Cut the biscotti into even slices about 1/2 inch wide. Arrange the slices, cut sides up, on the baking sheets. Return to the oven and bake the biscotti again until very lightly browned, about 10 minutes. 

7. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container. (These biscotti keep well for about a week, however in my house, they were all devoured in approximately 5 days.)

Sunday, February 21, 2016


I've never been one who feels full satisfaction from drinking cold pressed juices, but they certainly are rich in nutrients and provide a simple way to get your daily fix of fruits and vegetables. When I heard about EatPops, I was seriously intrigued because they have the same healthy concept but rather than a juice, EatPops are compressed into a refreshing popsicle. They come in all different flavors ranging from Kale, Banana, and Pineapple to Beet, Apple, and Carrot. For a quick on-the-go snack or even a dessert on a hot summer night, these EatPops will certainly be making an appearance in my freezer! Check them out here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jump To It

Jumpsuit - Forever 21
Turtleneck - TSE
Sneakers - Golden Goose

The jumpsuit, in general, is such an easy piece, because one can simply wear it with a pair of sneakers and have a totally cool and effortless outfit. This denim jumpsuit has often been equated to that of a technician in an auto shop, but I actually find it quite stylish. Because the weather was a bit cooler, I wore a black turtleneck underneath to keep me a bit warmer, but you could also wear a white tee or colorful sweater underneath as well.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year

Dress - Zara
Chambray Shirt - Peek
Boots - My Mom's Closet

Happy New Year to you all! This winter, knee high boots have become my favorite go-to and I have been experimenting with various different ways in which I can make them interesting. The main way which I have been wearing them is with skirts or dresses and so when thinking of what to pair them with for this simple look, I opted for a classic, ivory-colored dress. Because of the unusually warm weather in SoCal, there was no need for me to wear a jacket, but I felt a bit bare in just a tank dress so I added a chambray shirt, knotted at the center. I happened to wear it to a birthday lunch, but this outfit could easily be worn to a meeting with a blazer exchanged for the chambray shirt, or to school with a navy blue backpack. Xx

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello December

Skirt - Zara
Denim Jacket - Urban Outfitters
Flannel - CP Shades
Shoes - Supra

When I think of winter, I think of a multitude of textures including wool coats, ribbed sweaters, chunky turtlenecks, and way more. But these definitely aren't the only textures which can be worn in the winter, especially in California. For this specific outfit, I blended a colored leather skirt with a flannel shirt, a denim jacket, and sneakers with perforated sides. For me, playing with texture is about adventure and achieving the unexpected while having fun. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November Jams

Here are a few of my favorite tracks lately, pulled from my Soundcloud. Enjoy and you can follow me at