Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Panna Cotta with Honey and Poached Pears


A normal day for me is waking up at 5:50 am to make the gym where I usually hit the snooze button and 25 minutes later I finally get up resigning myself to a short jog around the neighborhood. Then my day proceeds with work promptly at 9 am and when I finish at 6 pm, I either head to church to attend a Wednesday meeting, do my visiting teaching, or I drop by at a family members house to catch up. Otherwise, I head home to start dinner. With everyday jam packed with activities, finding time to relax has become challenging.


But lately I have discovered that when I find a quiet moment to myself, I really enjoy doing nothing. Sometimes it is for 2 minutes, other times it is for 1 hour. But either way, I allow myself a moment to sink into myself. Now don't get me wrong, I don't spend a whole lot of time doing nothing. I just give myself a time to take a mental break.


For a person who often thinks about the future and thinks about everything in the long run, a moment of doing nothing gives me a chance to appreciate the beauty of the present. I get to just let my mind wander to a warm and calm place. Without even realizing it, my mind took a mental nap. Then I snap back to reality refreshed ready to tackle the remainder of the day.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Figs


Figs are a fairly new food to me. I have heard of them but I have never seen them in a grocery store here in Las Vegas. This past weekend at the Farmer's Market I decided to buy a pint so that I might find out why these expensive little fruits are so coveted by food bloggers across the nation.

I decided to try bacon wrapped figs. I figured it was hard to go wrong with anything wrapped in bacon. I was a little unsure how they would taste...but they were surprisingly pleasant. This recipe was really simple so I think it would be worth tweaking the recipe a bit. Just to bring out more flavor. After a little research, I found that you can also use prosciutto and pancetta in place of turkey bacon. Also I have read that mascarpone or ricotta cheese gives the bacon wrapped fig a nice sweet finishing touch.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Doughnuts Cookbook Now Available on Amazon

I am so excited about Lara Ferroni's new Doughnuts cookbook! If you have never heard of her, she is an amazing food photographer and she offers fantastic photo tips and tricks on her blog.

To promote her new cookbook, she created this really cool little trailer. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple Cupcakes and MMA


Its been 4 months since I stopped hitting the bags at the MMA gym. My contract had expired over the summer and I had decided not to renew. At the time Matt ha made the decision to go back to school and get his Ph.D, and I agreed to spend more time at home to be with him and support him. Now 4 months later I am out of shape and I find myself desperately seeking ways to release stress. MMA served as an outlet for me and I miss it terribly. I miss kicking and punching the bags, the rigorous work outs, the painful aches that ensued the following mornings after a tough work out, Miss sleeping better and I especially miss that feeling of being invincible. I felt confident. Now I try to get my fix by jogging in the mornings and by watching The Ultimate Fighter on Spike.

In this season of the Ultimate fighter, Mike Tyson pays GSPs team a visit. St. Pierre has been a fan of Tyson for years and Tyson is a fan of UFC. Tyson stayed to watch a fight and after GSPs team wins, he offers some words of advice. He said, "Its all about confidence. You start thinking better you start feeling better about yourself. You have to think day by day, in every way, better better, than better. Confidence breeds success, success breeds confidence...the whole name of the game is never getting scared." What he said really struck me as fascinating and I thought to myself, "I bet you could apply this idea to everything in one's life". I suppose it is important to train and install confidence in oneself in order to succeed at anything. Its a powerful thing to be able to influence yourself and others.

Although Mike Tyson had gone off the deep end a few years back, I have a profound respect for him as an athlete. If you are interested in wacthing the clip of Tyson playing Guru, here it is: watch


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Tart and Thoughts About Beauty


My father has always said, “no hay mujer fea, sino mal arreglada” which means there are no ugly women, only women who do not care for themselves. I have always liked that saying because it implies that all women are beautiful. Beauty is about taking care of yourself, not looking perfect. There is beauty in the imperfect. I see it all around me.


An asymmetrical heirloom tomato is more interesting than a perfectly formed round and red tomato that is typically found in a grocery store. The heirloom has surprising colors and its story is fascinating.

When I go to the farmer’s market, there are so many beautiful yet simple foods. They come in all shapes and sizes—lumpy, irregular, and imperfect. The colors, shapes, and textures allow me to prepare recipes born from intuition.


The notion of finding beauty in imperfection is the opposite of what our society tells us. But it is a thought that is very compelling. The idea of abandoning perfection is very inviting. Its almost a relief.


In these pictures, I was inspired by the colors of this “pink pearl” apple. It is a heirloom variety. A heirloom vegetable or fruit means that the plant has been passed down through generations. The seeds are some of the oldest varieties of vegetables available. This particular apple is homely on the outside, but shockingly pink on the inside. Its as though they are keeping a little secret inside. The flavor is sweet-tart with a pleasant crisp. If you have not explored heirloom varieties yet, I encourage to do so. You will be pleasantly surprised.