by Meli C

Posts from — August 2010

Moving madness

The moving process began on July 30 when my boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment together. We were so happy to finally rent a place together after so many years of weekend backpacks, sleepovers and commuting. Needless to say, this is a big and exciting step for us!

But now, to continue with the point to my story, it has been exactly one month since we moved in together and I unfortunately cannot say that the process has officially ended! As it turns out, the apartment we rented has been sold and of course there is a clause in our contract explaining that we would have to move out in the (unlikely?) event that a sale should happen.  So, just as we had gone through every box and bag in our apartment (becoming professional de-clutterers in the process) it is time to move again.

All I can confidently say is that the donation place around the corner is really happy with us: it turns out that the more times you move, the fewer the objects you want to keep around the house…that worn-in, cozy old chair doesn’t seem so cozy anymore when you have to keep lugging it around!

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August 30, 2010   10 Comments

Macaron vs. Macaroon

Alright people, it’s time to get it straight! There is a HUGE difference between a (French) macaron and macaroons. For someone who doesn’t even like macaroons that much to begin with, it’s quite nerve-wracking to have the two constantly confused.  I feel like I’ve had this conversation so many times, having to clarify that I am not talking about a coconut cookie. Anyhow, I was laughing a little bit to myself today when I ran into this post.

I first tried macarons three or four years ago here in Miami, at a small French restaurant in Brickell (Le Boudoir) that makes the delicious treats. They were amazing, and I kept coming back for more – but my real passion for them really began during a trip in 2008 to visit one of my best friends who was living in Geneva. After having tried a few of the most delicious macarons in the whole world (in flavors such as pistachio, green tea, passion fruit, chocolate, coffee, vanilla), I made it my goal to try as many flavors possible, at every single place I saw them sold. I think I’ve tried them all!

I have found a few more places in Miami that have them, although they are never as good as their swiss counterparts. Namely, Wine Bistro (good) and Gelateria Parmalat on Lincoln (not so good)… yet I’m sure that they will start popping up everywhere, since they have become a trendy item recently. You can even order them online these days (although I wouldn’t recommend this, they become stale quickly).

I have looked at a few recipes and have been tempted with taking on the challenge, but haven’t yet because the recipes do look a little intimidating. Plus, I’ve been told that it helps if it’s cooler outside – unlike hot & humid 100 degree Miami summer weather.

But anyway, I was reading one of my favorite blogs today and saw that Emily made salted caramel macarons. They look irresistible, and I think I am going to take a stab at that recipe very soon. I’ll let you know if I do and how it goes.

Note: A special thanks to YumSugar.com for the picture I am using to illustrate my point.  They also have a great explanation on the differences between them here.

August 25, 2010   3 Comments

Me & my Fisher-Price

My cousin Khania sent me this picture today after she read my post about cameras. In the photo I am 9 years old, and at summer Camp Mishannock in Kingston, MA (which I Googled and still exists!).  Khania and I spent  a few weeks of summer of 1990 together at Mishannock…. I realized after seeing the photo that this was the first trip I took my very first camera on!

Thanks K, for these memories!

August 19, 2010   5 Comments

The “Wendy’s” salad

To continue on the salad theme, let me tell you a story:

A few weeks ago on a busy day (on moving day to be precise), I drove by Wendy’s and decided tried one of their new salads (Apple Pecan Chicken Salad) in an attempt to get the healthiest-looking item on the menu.  I’m always skeptical about fast food salads, but it looked good and relatively healthy, so I gave it a try and I loved it!  So much so that I decided to make my own – even healthier version – at home.  Here it goes:

Ingredients:  one chicken breast, fat-free crumbled feta cheese, spring mix, green apple, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and light balsamic vinaigrette. (The original version includes blue cheese instead of feta, red apple, roasted pecans and pomegranate dressing).

Preparation:  marinate the chicken breast in the fridge for an hour or two, then grill it (cook it for 1 minute on each side on medium-high, and then cover it and cook it on low for 6 additional minutes). Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and set aside. On a bowl, arrange the spring mix and add the cherry tomatoes (I cut these in halves), dried cranberries, green apple slices chopped into smaller bite-sized pieces, the crumbled cheese, and lastly add the chicken and vinaigrette.

Here’s my salad in pictures:

August 17, 2010   5 Comments

Burrata salad with figs

In an effort to be more creative in the kitchen, I decided to take a stab at recreating a simple yet amazing salad by Chef Francis Mallmann, which I tried some time ago at his  restaurant Patagonia Sur in Buenos Aires. To get it just right,  I followed his step-by-step video instructions.

The recipe only requires a few ingredients: arugula, burrata, figs, lemon/lime, olive oil, sea salt & pepper.  I was able to  find all ingredients at my local supermarket except the burrata, which I substituted for buffalo mozzarella (burrata is just that, filled with cream) and it turned out just as amazing as I remembered it. There were several varieties of figs to choose from and I went for the brown figs, which I highly recommend.

Preparing this salad couldn’t have been easier (it took me 5 mins to make). It’s simple, delicious and will surely impress anyone you make it for! I can already see myself making this one over and over again.

August 16, 2010   6 Comments

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