Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cupcake Pop-Up Card

For our little friend Maya, I deviated from the pop-up card book... It took me several tries to get the scale of the cupcake just right. And it took even longer to figure out how to incorporate the birthday candle. Yes, it seems like it should have been a no brainer, but K was the one to offer the ingenious solution to make it pop up as well. Next time, I'll stick to the templates just to save some time :)

Sea Pop-Up Card

This is the second pop-up card I made from Playful Pop-Up Cards, by Takami Suzuki. I chose a sea-themed birthday card for K since we went to the Amalfi Coast this summer. K liked the card for the same reason I do: the boat is on an angle.

Paper Wallets

Paper wallets made with Japanese silk-screened paper. The paper is a little more durable than origami paper, but will  most likely wrinkle after a few the dollar bill. However, they're perfect for giving money as a gift.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lemon Curd Tartlets

Over the weekend, I made lemon curd tartlets for our friend Tomomi's birthday. In an effort to make lemon bars look a little more elegant, I baked them in mini cupcake liners. Not knowing that shortbread puffs up while baking, it left little room for the lemon curd. Hence, 'tartlets' that resemble thumbprint cookies. Anyhow, everyone seemed to enjoy them. The shortbread was light and buttery; the lemon curd—tart and sweet, not to mention super lemony.

The Ultimate Lemon Butter Bar recipe hails from Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, Rose's Christmas Cookies via Epicurious. She gives extensive instructions on how to make the shortbread, including how to make it with a food processor. I chose to make it by hand as recommended. If you wish to see the other method as well as how to make bars, you may find those instructions on the Epicurious link. I have edited the recipe to explain how to make my version. See those edits after the jump.

Banana Bread

I don't think I've ever had bad banana bread. It seems to be one of those foolproof foods. But, you have to try the following recipe that K found on the Food Network website. It makes the moistest banana bread we've ever had. It'll stay spongey for several days just covered in aluminum foil! No need to store it in a sealed container. The recipe originates from Chef Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston.

See K's slight changes to the recipe after the jump.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Japanese Style Dry Curry

K made this Japanese Style Dry Curry last week, but haven't had a chance to post it yet until now. If you like curry and fried rice, you'll certainly like this dish. He followed Just Hungry's recipe, also copied below. The only modification he made was omitting the raisins as we both can live without them.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gino Sorbillo

Remember how disappointed we were by the first pizza we had on our very first day in Italy? Well, Gino Sorbillo delivered. Their pizzas have the char from the wood-fired oven, the chewy crust, and the right amount of tomato sauce and cheese. They also have a distinct flavor that made them unlike any other pizza I've had. K's sister's Italian friend (who is lucky to live across the street from this pizzeria) ordered pies with various toppings for us, but K and I favored the Margherita and the one with spicy sausage and ricotta.


As soon as you step off the ferry at Positano, this is what you see—colorful buildings neatly stacked along the cliffs, all facing the sea. We were fortunate to hold our gaze at the cityscape until sunset at Ristorante Bruno. Perched above the city center, you get one of the best views an eatery can offer. In return, you share the sidewalk with pedestrians, as the tables outside are across the street from the restaurant.

The food here was solid; it was definitely not compromised and the prices were fair. We had scialatielli with seafood, gnocchi with eggplant and seafood, ravioli filled with rocket and local cheese, grilled cheese on a bed of lemon leaves, grilled shrimp and squid, raw seabass and boiled potatoes, and marinated filet of fish with oranges. The latter was like an Italian ceviche, perfect for a summery day. I couldn't stop picking at it.

Ristorante a' Paranza

Ristorante a' Paranza in Atrani, the small city adjacent to Amalfi, is one restaurant that seemed to be very popular among the online travel guides and food forums I checked prior to our trip. I had a feeling that it had to be good because several people insisted that you walk there. Granted it only took us fifteen minutes to get there, but there seemed to be plenty of options in Amalfi. My hunch was quickly backed up by a couple we met in Ischia who highly recommended pezzogne, the grilled sea bream. Sure enough, the food met or exceeded our expectations. In addition to the pezzogne, we ordered scampi gratin (pictured above), fritto misto (fried seafood mix in the photo below), tuna pasta with celery, carrot, and onion (third photo from top), ravioli filled with fresh fish (at bottom), zucchini flowers stuffed with sheep's cheese, shrimp with chickpea sauce, raw seafood platter with shrimp, langoustines, and clams, blue fin carpaccio, and giant prawns in brandy sauce. All were extremely tasty, especially the tuna pasta. That dish stunned us all as the seafood novice chose it.