Saturday, January 29, 2011

 Happy Weekend!!!


Homemade Doughnuts


Is there anything more fantastic then a homemade doughnut from scratch? Definitely a weekend treat.
There are all kinds of recipes out there....cake, yeast, baked etc....Here are a few photos of my doughnut making adventure. I picked a great simple recipe from allrecipes.com
The results? Amazing!!!










Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 quart oil for frying

Directions

  1. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk and egg until smooth. Knead lightly, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a doughnut cutter, or use two round biscuit cutters of different sizes.
  3. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, a few at a time. Do not overcrowd pan or oil may overflow. Fry, turning once, for 3 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Happy Weekend!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goodbye Weekend!!!

Missing the weekend and already looking forward to the next one.

 xoxoxox
VU

Treasure Hunting at the Santa Monica Antique Fair


I spent the weekend treasure hunting at the Santa Monica Antique Fair.
I love these starfish.

I have my grandmother's Samovar but this one is just as beautiful.

These lace trims remind me when I worked as an assistant designer to Connie Crebbin at
Le Lace. I was in charge of shopping for buttons and lace trims.

I adore these vintage opera binoculars.

The dealer had a wonderful assortment to select from.

These vintage necklaces with dog portraits were adorable.


Silver and crystal bits and bobs.

I really, really would like to get a vintage cameo but they can be expensive. 
I found this brass cameo for $8.00 that I know I will enjoy wearing until 
I save enough for the real deal.

Remember these? I've been thinking and thinking about them and I promised myself
that if they were still available for sell I would get them. Let's just say it was a belated 
birthday present for me, from me.

Happy Weekend!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Magnolia Bakery West Hollywood


I decided to treat myself to a Red Velvet Cupcake from Magnolia Bakery in 
West Hollywood on Friday afternoon.
The place is adorable and the people who work their are so friendly.
It was the perfect afternoon pick me up.











I haven't check out the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook but
I hear it's pretty good.


Magnolia Bakery
8389 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles CA 90048
323.951.0636


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just for today!!!






Happy Thursday!!!


Photo courtesy of momblognetwork

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ile Flottante



Photo courtesy of Petite Chef

I was really inspired to try something new and different this weekend.
I love all meringue desserts so I thought for sure this was going to be so simple and
a total success. Some things just don't turn out the way you want them to.
But I know that I put by best foot forward and I tried.
Somewhere along the line I took a wrong turn and total disaster stuck.
I have another recipe that I am going to try and see if my luck changes. For now
this is a posting on my adventure gone wrong.
No laughing please...

So I started by whipping the meringue to perfection...

My pan was lined with sugar and everything seemed to be going smoothly

I'm still on track....

I'm so excited to see this coming out of the oven and I can
hardly wait to take it out of the mold.

Only to discover that I baked a life preserver....and I'm not kidding....
it tasted like one to....but I am getting ahead of myself....

The almond brittle was fantastic... I should have used sliced almonds.....opps....

The creme anglaise was wonderful....liquid gold as far as I'm concern.

but once it was put all together it was completely off.
So It's back to the drawing board.
I think I'll try Ina Garten's Recipe which I've posted below.


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) sliced almonds
  • 8 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Creme Anglaise, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the caramel, heat 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the syrup turns a warm caramel color. Don't stir, just swirl it in the pan. Off the heat, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla; be careful, the syrup will bubble violently. Stir and cook over high heat until the caramel reaches 230 degrees F (thread stage) on a candy thermometer. Set aside.
For the praline, combine the almonds with 1/4 cup of the caramel and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature and then break up in pieces.
Lower the oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
For the meringues, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy. Turn the mixer on high speed and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy. Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. With dessert spoons place 12 mounds of meringue on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
For serving, pour creme anglaise on the bottom of individual plates. Place a meringue on top of each serving, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with praline, and serve.
To make a day or two ahead, leave the caramel and praline at room temperature
and refrigerate the creme anglaise. Bake the meringues before guests arrive and assemble the desserts just before serving.

Creme Anglaise:
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 3/4 cups scalded milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Cognac
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean, optional
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. Thecustard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't cook it above 180 degrees F or the eggs will scramble!
Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add the vanilla extract, Cognac, and vanilla seeds, if using, and chill.
Yield: 2 cups
Happy Baking!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New at VU Design Studio









Happy Shopping!!!

Tudor House in Santa Monica

This weekend I met up with my friend Suzanne and her son Zachary and we 
went to the Tudor House in Santa Monica for a traditional English Tea.
 Back in the day Suzanne and I had Afternoon Tea all over Los Angeles, New York, England and Paris. 
My personal favorite????
The Ritz in London but the Tudor House is just as charming.

The Afternoon Tea Menu

Tea

We had an assortment of finger sandwich's


Sconces with Devonshire Cream and Jam.

Mini Eclairs.

Our next stop was to the British Store that was located next to the tea shop to stock up
on supplies.
I love tea and stock pile it at home.

 Earl Gray is my favorite. I adore the smell of Bergamot.

 Lemon Curd. Homemade lemon curd is the best but this is pretty close.

I'm on the look out for new cups and though that these would be perfect.

At last but not least we picked up the British Weekly to catch up on what's happening in
the U.K.
I adore Colin Firth and I'm so happy to see that he got a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Happy Weekend!!!


A special Thank You to Muse in the City!!!!