Friday, March 30, 2012

Past time pleasures.

Been spending more time on some of my favorite past times that have gotten neglected once I started working last year; one of them being studio art. It almost feels foreign to hold a paintbrush in my hand after not doing so for a couple of years! I painted this simple illustration for my bff's birthday -- it's the eiffel tower made of french macarons, a shared favorite of ours. The frame is vintage and I painted it white to complete the look. Tip: update an old frame you find at the thrift store by painting it white!

After painting, comes the culinary arts...

I've been in a cooking/baking frenzy for the past month through experimenting with different recipes I've found on blogs or recreating old favorites. Perhaps I will give french macarons another attempt once I've mustered enough patience! For now, here are some fun and simple-to-make foods I've been into:
puffed pancake adorned with sliced strawberries, whipped cream and agave syrup | fluffy pear tart | lemon-yogurt pancakes | Chinese green onion pancake | Cara Cara sliced orange 
I discovered these beautiful and tasty Cara Cara oranges at the Farmer's Market last weekend. I found out they were a hybrid of cranberries and oranges. Though completely unrelated to the grapefruit, the taste resembles its tartiness but sweeter in an orange-y kind of way. They are only in season for a couple more months, so get them while you can!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


top-bottom: | gluten-free vegan waffle sundae from kindkreme | storybook house we fell in love with | adorable prints found at Anthropologie | The Bunny Museum | 'letteCulture 22 Restaurant |

It hasn't even been a month since the last time I went back to Pasadena, and I found myself there again with my buddy Cindy. She had a groupon for Culture 22 and wanted a companion to dine with, so of course I agreed! Even though it was a bit overcast and gloomy, we made the most of the day. We first stopped by kindkreme to sample their raw, vegan ice cream. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the ice cream turned out to be rather fresh and tasty. The girl working behind the counter was super sweet and told us all about the ingredients they put into their foods. We ended up with a delicious nut-based waffle sundae -- it was so tasty that we didn't even miss the gluten! Afterwards, I went to drop off a package for a friend and stumbled upon a series of beautiful homes right out of the storybooks. 

We also decided to visit  The Bunny Museum, a quaint little house which holds over 28,000 pieces of "bunny" memorabilia. The whole collection began with the husband and wife giving each other bunny gifts as a token of their love. This living museum is free to visit and you can bring own your veggies to feed the live rabbits living inside. Definitely a must for bunny-lovers and those of you who enjoy all things kitsch and out of the ordinary.

Before stopping for dinner, I spotted the new 'lette (formerly known as "Paulette") macaron bakery in Old Town. The macarons here definitely look better than they taste. The texture and taste just didn't seem to satisfy my craving. I find it difficult to find decent macaron places here in Southern Ca. Merely Sweets in Brea is perhaps the closest bakery to my house that makes decent macarons, but they are also missing something. Any suggestions? : ) But anyway, macarons need to have a separate post on this blog. 

Finally, we went in to eat at Culture 22, located in Old Town Pasadena. The place was reminiscent of a Vegas-style lounge. We shared a couple appetizers that were pretty tasty, and ordered the pork chop with a stuffed onion filled with bleu cheese corn grits as our entree. Perhaps I was already full from the appetizers, but I think I could have passed on the entree. All in all, the service was great but the food was mediocre. 

And that concludes our daytrip, with more to come!