Eating for Two

December 17, 2013

A lot has happened since my last post. I graduated from pastry school at the end of July after 9 awesome months. Around that time, I found out what I’d be doing for the next 9 months…

It's a BOY!!!

That’s right…I’ve got a bun in the oven and he’s apparently the size of a rutabaga (according to one of my many expecting-a-baby apps). Another app told me that he’s the size of a small sack of sugar which is much easier for me to visualize…

Our little guy is due around the end of March and we are thrilled. Larry has no idea what he’s in for but we’re hoping they’ll be best buds.

Big Brother

Pregnancy has been pretty uneventful thus far and for that I am so grateful. Professional kitchen work is on hold until after the baby is born but in the meantime, The Holidays have been a good excuse to whip out the piping bags.

I recently made some teeny tiny gingerbread boys and snowflakes using my go-to gingerbread cookie recipe. I used a different royal icing recipe to decorate this time because I’m avoiding raw eggs. It was a great consistency for intricate piping:  just mix 1 pound of confectioners sugar with 5 tablespoons of meringue powder and then gradually add around 1/2 cup of water. Since these little guys were mini-sized at two inches, I found that 4 minutes was the ideal baking time.

More to come! If you don’t believe me, I understand-I know that I’ve been posting  at a rate of once every 6 months or so…

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New Things

March 7, 2013

Hellloooo!

A few things:

1. Random facts about my life:

-I have eaten cake for breakfast for the past 5 days.

-I stopped going to gym in November.

-The most strenuous workout I get these days is when I need to whisk something by hand.

-I mostly wear pants with elastic waist bands.

These are temporary lifestyle choices, of course. I hope.

Breakfast of Champions

2. I love school. I have been crazy-busy (hence the lack of posts-but you know…excuses, excuses). I just took my midterm exam which blows my mind because it feels like I just started. It is flying by. For our midterm project, we had to design a 6 inch cake for a special occasion. I made this birthday cake for our friends’ little girl who just celebrated her birthday. This isn’t the greatest photo, but it’s the only one I have:

Lemon Chiffon Cake filled w/Raspberry Bavarian/covered in Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3. I need to change the tagline and “about me” section of this blog because we moved to Brooklyn in January and I no longer have an itty bitty kitchen. I’m now the proud renter of full sized appliances and the owner  a formica breakfast table with vintage nailhead diner chairs. There are entire shelves devoted to my cookbooks and unnecessary appliances. I can flip omelets and bake muffins in a stream of natural sunlight with a view of the empire state building! Before I start to sound too braggy, I should tell you that the ceiling is cracked and appears as though it might cave in at any moment. Still no dishwasher. Also-I’m pretty sure there’s a creature living and/or playing around in the walls (which are kind of crumbly). I like to pretend that it’s a squirrel rather than a rat. Oh NYC….

Our whole apartment was quite the project–a ginormous DIY fixer upper; I might do a whole post about it one of these days. For now, here are some before/afters of my beloved new-old kitchen. The theme is “grandma-chic.” Apparently:

Did you spot that Kitchenaid mixer on the counter? Dreams really do come true.

D installed this backsplash, which looks like tin but is actually plastic:

try to pretend that those dirty dishes aren't there

I always wanted a chalkboard wall and I’m especially fond of our retro inspired trash can, which was a splurge item. Priorties…

I loved Hell’s Kitchen but I am so happy to be in Brooklyn right now. I am loving the space and the pace and there are SO many new restaurants to explore.

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Pastry Student Pics

October 10, 2012

Here’s a picture of my first project:

French Apple Tart

I took this photo from afar so you can’t see the gloppy glaze or the uneven apple slices. It may not have been a perfect tart but it sure was delicious.

I’ve decided to share my future pastry school projects via Instagram through an online album. You can find the link here and also in the lefthand sidebar of this blog. I’ll be updating the album as I complete recipes (every 2-3 days) so check back often (you’re also able to subscribe to the album).

I’ve been in school for a week and I’m loving it so far! It’s been challenging and humbling but I’m thrilled to be there and I look forward to every class.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a walking state of discombobulation in that kitchen but the feeling will hopefully subside as I become more acclimated, skilled and efficient.

For the record, D and I polished off this tart in 3 days:

I definitely need to add some more cardio to my workout routine.


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Apple Cheddar Scones

October 1, 2012

Fall is has always been my favorite season and living in the Northeast has made me appreciate these months even more. We recently went to a pick-your-own farm and these apple-cheddar scones were the first thing I made with my handpicked apples. They are wonderful; so delicious that scone-hating D even loves them (the cheese probably helps).

Read On!

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I’ve been performing (in some form or other) since I was 12 years old. For nearly the past 2 decades, it’s all I’d ever imagined myself doing.

An early stage performance: I portrayed an elegant clown

I moved to NYC in 2006 with a suitcase, a dream and 2000 bucks (which seemed like a lot of money at the time…it wasn’t). In my pursuit to make a living as a performer, I’ve had amazing and rewarding experiences as well as some heartbreaking disappointments. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve had over a hundred random jobs, including a blow up dot (see photo below) and post-NYC parade trash collection. Glamourous stuff, I tell ya. I viewed it all as a means to a gloriously imagined end.

Not my ideal job

Fast forward 6 years and I’m still in New York City and I’m still an actor. There are times when I have not left this industry on principle; I am not a quitter. Never give up, etc. etc. I will not walk away from my dream.

This was before I realized that it is possible for a dream morph into something else entirely.

This past Spring, I was rifling through a newspaper in search of a Loemann’s coupon with which I would purchase these heavily discounted Ray-Bans (happy birthday to me):

I own these now

I did not find the coupon but I did find this:

I experienced one of those lightbulb moments that had seemed like the stuff of cartoons until now. How did this idea not occur to me sooner?

I never thought there’d come a day where being in the kitchen would be more fulfilling than being on stage or in front of a camera, but alas, that day has come.

I believe that you should do in this life what you love. It’s why I wanted to be an actor and it’s why I have now decided to embark on a new career.

After some intense research, contemplation and lots of discussion with D, I decided to enroll in The International Culinary Center (founded as the French Culinary Institute) to study pastry through their 9 month Classic Pastry Arts Program. I begin classes next week and I couldn’t be more excited. This will mark the beginning of a new journey and I can’t wait!

Stay tuned…

I must give a shout out to the most amazing husband I can fathom. D is an artist himself and wears many, many hats to make a living and yet he’s ridiculously crazy-supportive. I can’t thank you enough, D (but here’s another one…in public).

proof that I've always loved cake batter and that D has always been REALLY excited about eating

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What I Buy At Trader Joe’s

September 20, 2012

Today is my baby sister’s birthday. She thinks she’s really old now.

Sis, you will always be younger than me. Does that make you feel better :) ?

She’s the best. Here we are making stuff:

And eating stuff (Mom, what were we eating?):

That was twenty-something years ago (if the wallpaper didn’t give it away)!

My sister lives in Texas. A few days ago, she sent me this text: “We finally got a Trader Joe’s! I need a list of things to try there.”

Cole, if you were here I’d bake you a fluffy layer cake with buttercream frosting. Since you’re 1500 miles away, I made you this list instead. Happy Birthday!

I’m still THIS happy you were born:

Click below for the list

Read On!

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Shrimp Creole

January 30, 2012

Here’s a healthy weeknight dish for you…

My mom-in-law made it over the holidays and it was so easy and tasty that I nabbed the recipe and whipped it up for dinner as soon as we got home. It’s super easy and yields a good amount of food that reheats nicely (if you’re into leftovers…which I am).

Read On!

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Pinterest

January 24, 2012

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I heard about a few months ago but I didn’t check it out until my sister encouraged me to do so over the holidays. It’s basically a virtual bulletin board; find an image of something that sparks your interest online and save it by “pinning” the image to a categorized board. It’s also a community where you are able to connect with other Pinterest users. The social networking aspect of it allows you find and share all of those nifty things you see on blogs and websites. The pin links back to the original source. A lot of people use it to plan weddings and other design projects and to collect ideas (for gifting, organization tips, decoration schemes, DIY inspiration, etc). I’ve found a lot of great recipes and food inspiration (see the board Mmmmm) but I’m apparently most interested in designing my imaginary life (refer to board My Someday House).

You can peek at my boards by clicking the little red button on the top lefthand side of this site. If you are already a Pinterest member, feel free to follow me and I’ll follow you back. If not, you can e-mail me and I’ll send you an invite. Otherwise you can request an invite from Pinterest but I think there’s a waiting list. Oh, and it’s free.

I’ll probably be referring to Pinterest in upcoming posts…so now you’ll know what I’m talking about :)

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Dirt Pudding (AKA Dirt Cake)

January 20, 2012

I made this over the weekend because I had a sudden and inexplicable/out-of-the-blue craving. Plus it was Larry’s fourth birthday. In his honor, I was going to put paw prints in the “mud.” It didn’t work out. He was pretty mad about it (see above photo). He was also angry about not being able to taste it. I don’t blame him. It’s AMAZING. The last time I had this stuff was probably early 1990-something at a potluck or birthday party of some sort. It was served in a plastic pail with gummy worms. I’d forgotten that it’s one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world.

Read On!

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Happy New Year

January 10, 2012

Hellooo…is anyone still there?
I hope you all had a great holiday season…and an awesome Fall…and a nice summer. I’ve been a bad, bad blogger…but I’m back! I’ll be writing about food again soon so stay tuned. I would also like to let you know that I am now the proud owner of a CROCK POT! I think it’s going to change my life. Also, Larry says “hi.”

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