Monday, February 28, 2011

Food For Change

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I am in love! Designed by Diana Eng, these handmade fortune cookie coin purses are created from 100% recycled leather (yay for recycling!) and each purse has a unique number on it so you can track its origin. A little pricey, but cute as can be, and definitely a great gift idea, as they come with a special message inside!  Reminds me of the ones Nick made me. :-) Available at dianaeng.com for $65.

 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love at First Bite: Bon Bons

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VIRTUALLY EVERYTIME I make a resolution, I know I will invariably change it or create loopholeslike the one time I promised not to eat cheese for a month, which soon whittled down to 2 weeks, and finally turned into 2 weeks without blue cheese (which I despise and therefore made my conviction suddenly seem very strong). That's why it probably doesn't surprise anyone that it hasn't even been 2 months and I am already reneging on my cake a month vow. What can I say? I'm consistently inconsistent.

I decided that cake is too limiting, and it's not even close to dethroning cookies in my mind, so instead I will be whipping up a more general birthday dessert every month. I also failed to mention that I started a new job last month, which has kept me busy and picking up the phone to order takeout rather than picking up the spatula to bake. ;-)

Since my friend's birthday falls a couple of days before Valentine's Day, I sent her some not-so-secret admirer chocolates. Her father works at a chocolate company (uh, hello new Best Friend) so I hope her refined taste buds enjoy these Brazilian bon bons.


INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • unsweetened coconut
  • chocolate sprinkles

DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine coconut milk, condensed milk, butter, vanilla extract and corn syrup. Using low heat, stir often for 20 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  2. Wait for mixture to cool and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  3. Roll teaspoon-sized scoops of mixture into small balls. This can be messy, but if you slightly moisten your hands, it will keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  4. Coat the bon bon in your favorite topping: I used shredded coconut and chocolate sprinkles which are both pretty and tasty.



Apologies in advance if my posts become increasingly sporadicworking full time and trying to maintain a job is a new challenge for me. You know what they say though... every exit is an entry somewhere else! :)

MARGARET

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentines for your Valentine

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LOOKING FOR last minute Valentine's Day gifts? To help get your creative juices flowing, I compiled a list of things I am not-so-secretly admiring. For once, sweets aren't on the list! Nothing is more timeless than red rosespaper red roses, that is. Another favorite of mine is the umbrella built for two. Check out more ideas:


1. Red Sweetheart Roses Kit, $17. papersource.com2. Shirley Temple Earrings, $12. modcloth.com. 3. Heart Doily Rubber Stamp, $6. papersource.com4. Martha Stewart Collection Medium Square Cakestand, 10", $20. macys.com5. Umbrella For Two, $49. umbrellastand.com6. Mascarpone Dress, $115. modcloth.com.

love // MARGARET

Monday, February 7, 2011

Red Bean Coffee Pudding

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DECONSTRUCTING a delicious dessert in my head and attempting to reproduce it is challenging for me because of all the things that could go wrong (e.g. the correct proportions of each ingredient, taking care not to miss the subtle hints of certain spices, over- or under-baking). Moreover, making minor mistakes are much more noticeable in baking than in cooking. Despite the potential for catastrophe though,  I love to experiment even if it isn't successful.

After some trial and error, my mom and I unearthed the golden proportions for this amazing, and I am not exaggerating, coffee and red bean pudding. It has a custard-like consistency and uses agar to help with the thickening process. Upon making this recipe, I discovered that gelatin (what my mom used) is derived from animal protein, which of course, I am totally against. You can get a vegetarian gelatin, but I haven't scavenged yet. (Let me know if you find one!) Luckily for vegetarians, powdered agar can be substituted in equal measure for powdered plain gelatin.

A pick me up, but also a weigh me down. ;-)




DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine coffee with hot water and let cool.
  2. Combine unflavored gelatin with cold water and microwave for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Mix gelatin mixture with coffee mixture.
  4. Combine heavy whipping cream and Azuki red beans.
  5. Distribute evenly among 4-5 medium-sized ramekins and refrigerate until firm.

Hope you enjoy!
XO, M

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Naturally Sweet Stickers

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GUYS AND GIRLS, you must check out this super sweet and totally free Valentine’s Day sticker set by Kathleen at Twig & Thistle. You can download them for apples, pears, oranges, bananas, passion fruit, and blueberries. You'll be head over heels for them; I sure am!



 
I'm going bananas over you!

 You're the apple of my eye!

Orange you glad you're my Valentine?


XO // MARGARET