Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

What's the best part of the winter for you (if any!)? For me all that cold is only good for one thing - the snow. And let's keep the snow on the mountain for scenic and recreational purposes only. Otherwise snow just means cancelled travel plans and horrendous traffic snarls.

Today we were lucky enough to get some respite from the city smog and escape to the snow for some cross country skiing.

It was so peaceful and quiet. There was hardly anyone around while just on the other side of the mountain were the busy ski lifts and downhill slopes. It makes me question why I should go downhill skiing instead.

The view of the lake with the surrounding mountains was just beautiful. And It felt deliciously warm under the sun.

What a change from my week sitting in the office all day.

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No, we don't bake all the time. Our friend gifted us with huge bags of almonds fresh from his family's trees, so this was the least we could do in return.

The almonds, by the way, were delicious. We had to crack the shell to get to the nut. I've never tasted them this fresh before.

This is of course the recipe from Stefano's sardinian grandma. Stefo and his mom did most of the work. I just showed up in time to help with the white sugar glaze and the multicolor fun.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kiwi Tart

So I'm not the only baker in the house. Every once in a while, inspiration (or more likely, a craving) hits and my other half will disappear into the kitchen for a little bit. And then voilĂ ...

A crostata topped with a homemade kiwi jam from our friends Leo and Nadia.

The sweet guy even attempted to form a heart shaped piece in there. Awww...

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Attack of the Cupcakes

We are going over to a friend's baby's full moon party later so I baked some cupcakes for the occasion.

These chocolate espresso cupcakes have been making regular appearances since I first made them for a potluck last September. They are fairly easy to whip up, and are super moist and chocolatey (you don't taste the coffee at all). The recipe is from Make these if you want to wow your friends.

My chief taster got a couple of his own too.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gong Hei Fatt Choy

Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Our little dinner was lots of fun. The baked spring rolls were a hit. We tossed the homemade yeesang to ensure a good flow of luck for the new year. The steamboat worked out well, using the fondue set we got for Christmas (thanks, Valeria & family!).

Our guests were thrilled when we pulled out and handed them their angpow red packets. The first ever, for R.

In a blink of an eye, it was already almost midnight. Time flies when you're having good laughs!

We then slurped down the water chestnut and coconut dessert our guests brought - perfect for ending the night.

May the new year bring you good luck, happiness and good health!

Xin nin fai lok!

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