February 28, 2011
Dracula sucked the life out of me this weekend. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I did feel like I spent the majority of my free time reading. Let's just say that Count Dracula is a lot different than Edward Cullen. While I wasn't consumed by literature, I...

had some of the best pizza I've eaten since I was in Italy. Oakland's Pizzaiolo does it right.
reminisced about Florence with some friends over chianti and lemon pasta (coming soon!)
went to my very first ballet-- Swan Lake. It was a little weird seeing this side of the story after watching Black Swan, but it was still really lovely and elegant. Raine and Mina are on their way to becoming ballerinas.
ate "America's best English Muffin," from The Model Bakery, brought down all the way from Napa by sweet Jenna.
america's best english muffin
had a celebratory brunch with the roommates, complete with bellinis and mimosas.
portobello + mozzarella + sundried tomatoes
and spent lots of time goofing around with this little cutie pie while my sisters bought their Toms.
this cutie
Favorite Raine-quote from this weekend:
Celeste: Raine, when's your birthday?
Raine: When I turn 4!

Of course.

summer in potsdam

February 25, 2011
lily pads
german wine bar
happy in the summer
summer pasta
at the park
This isn't wanderlust. I don't just want to go anywhere, I want to go back to summertime in Germany. When I was in Europe I was able to visit David three times and each time Potsdam was so lovely. Eating outside, shorts and dresses, walking everywhere.

Maybe it's because yesterday I spent two hours in traffic, in the rain. Or maybe it's because David finally posted his Potsdam photos (with a lot of encouragement from me). But every time I look at these I get a lot of nostalgia for a place I just barely got to know.

apple galette

February 23, 2011
golden [brown and] delicious
My first galette! A few months ago my sister made a really delicious berry galette, and when Norris told me she'd like an apple galette for her birthday I knew it was finally time to try it myself. I went to the ever-useful, Deb, for advice, but unfortunately this was the first time that a Smitten recipe didn't come out perfectly for me. The apple to dough ratio was a little off so I've fixed it below for future reference. But, even though there were holes in my dough and apple juice burned along my silicone liners, everything was still [golden] delicious. Okay... no more puns.
golden delicious
coring and slicing
setting and wrapping galette
sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon

apple galette
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) of just softened butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/2 tablespoons cold water

3 medium golden delicious apples (or which ever firm type you'd like) peeled and cored
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter at low speed until the dough looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the rest of the butter, until the largest chunks resemble peas. Slowly dribble in a tablespoon or so of water, then mix and add more until the dough begins to come together. Run your fingers through the dough and begin forming a ball (if there are dry patches, add another tablespoon or so of water). Form a disk 4 inches in diameter, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once ready, on a lightly floured surface, begin to roll dough out with a floured rolling pin (or muddler, or wine bottle..). As the dough thins, smooth over and repair cracks at the edge so it's one continuous circle. Roll the dough out to 14 inches in diameter, 1/8th - 1/4th of an inch thick.

Place dough on silicone mat or parchment paper. Assemble apples in the middle, with at least 2 inches from the perimeter of the circle. Begin to fold dough onto the apples, making vertical pleats in the dough. Brush apples and dough with melted butter then sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes, rotating the galette every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least a few minutes before you enjoy it warm and fresh.*

*Homemade whipped cream is a highly suggested addition.


February 22, 2011
morning seaside "coffee"
my favorite
little lucca's veggie sandwich
smoked salmon salad
chinese new year feast!
happy birthday norris!
my first galette
amazing shrimp
Yet another weekend where all of the photos I take revolve around food:

1. Morning chai lattes with Hanry and Anna, right next to the rainy seaside.
2. Proof of the rain and my adoration for my boots.
3. Saturday lunch.. and dinner. Little Lucca's is heaven.
4. Sunday lunch: avocado, smoked salmon and cranberry salad; courtesy of my sister.
5. Chinese New Year feast at Norris's house! No but really, there was so much food.
6. Pretty candles on a beautiful (and delicious) cake for Norris's birthday.
7. My first ever galette (recipe coming soon): my birthday present to Norris (and Monday dessert).
8. My second weekend feast thanks to Jenna. Shrimp, cabbage, carrots and rice. Healthy and filling!

But really, sometimes I think this food-picture-taking has gotten a little out of hand... but it also makes me want to document an entire week in food. Hmm...

make up as art

February 18, 2011
my other favorite
cosmic make up
darker shades
the palette
perfect skin tone for these colors
my favorite
These are some of the close ups from the fashion show I shot a few weeks ago. The make up (by my friend Yanran Lu) is amazingly well done. The colors work perfectly with each model's skin tone. I like to think of it as having a kind of "cosmic" look with stardust and fantastic colors. So bold and delicate all at the same time.

cafe brioche

February 17, 2011
wall decals
frosted glass
my boy
chalkboard menus
vegetarian benedict
me take 2
What's better than brunch on a sunny Sunday morning at a French cafe? Brunch on a sunny Sunday morning at a French cafe with BEIGNETS! While we waited for our table we strolled the California Avenue farmers' market (David was tempted to get a German pretzel and I really wanted more fresh flowers but we resisted). I don't really have much else to say... my eggs benedict was exactly what I was looking for, and our impromptu beignet order made everything exponentially better. They were light, pillowy perfection. I think we need more brunch in our lives.

the academy at night

February 16, 2011
see the turtle!?
butterflies everywhere
overhead aquarium
under the sea
After our delicious Indian feast of huge naan and biryani, my residence went to NightLife at the California Academy of Science. I remember walking around the gigantic museum as a kid and just being amazed by everything. Even though we only saw two exhibits (the rainforest and the aquarium) on Thursday, I still felt the same childhood feelings.

And not to say that I don't love children, but it was really nice just walking around the museum without kids screaming and running around. I got to take my time with my photos (I'm so proud of that iguana!) and the evening went by so quickly. I never thought that the museum at night would be so much fun (cue bad Night at the Museum jokes).