Same song, two different equally gorgeous interpretations:
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Same song, two different equally gorgeous interpretations:
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I love watching the videos from Boogiezone, a dance collaborative/workshop in Irvine. I happened upon this class video, which I adore because I would have never expected this beautiful lyrical dance to come out of this manly man.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Sorry I've been neglecting this blog the last two weeks. I have been preparing to launch officially my new photography venture. As of now, said venture is launched!
Please check out the brand spanking new blogsite for Doubly Happy Photography.
I'm excited to hear what you think!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I'm a little bit obsessed with the photos of the Ballerina Project. Now they're making films. So gorgeous!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
|A preview from my new dance-inspired portrait series.|
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I've been sort of obsessed with Adele lately. And Adele + Kyle Hanagami (one of my favorite hiphop choreographers) is perfection.
Monday, September 19, 2011
When Broadway meets hip hop . . . .
Friday, September 16, 2011
For foods that need reheating or finishing in the oven or stovetop, I like to put a post-it with the oven temperature and heating time on the dish itself. This way I can put away all the recipe books ahead of time and have all of the important details at the ready.
As you can see, I also try to do much of the set-up in advance, so that all I have to do the day of is finish making the food and placing it on the appropriate serving vessel.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Kate Jablonski might be one of my favorite contemporary choreographers. She has an amazing capacity to choreograph for every sound.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Let's say one had an overenthusiastic husband who bought a GALLON of maple syrup in Vermont. And said gallon of maple syrup sat on one's kitchen counter for a long time, leering and jeering as one went about one's usual kitchen activities. What would one do?
- Begin by making the glaze. Mix 1/4 cup dark soy sauce (use a Chinese or Vietnamese brand if available; the Japanese will not be as intense) with 1/2 cup maple syrup (you can substitute in honey if you don't have the syrup). Grade B maple syrup, which is more intensely flavored, is better for this recipe (and cooking in general) than Grade A, so use the cheap stuff.
- About half an hour before you start roasting the chicken, brush the glaze over the bird. Don't worry if not all of the glaze "sticks" -- it'll be a lot easier to glaze once the chicken has started roasting. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 475 degrees (if you have a convection oven, use it for the first 30 minutes of cooking).
- Heat a saute pan just large enough to hold the chicken. When the pan is hot, place the chicken breast-side up into the vessel. You should hear a sizzling sound. This step will help prevent your chicken from sticking to the pan.
- Roast chicken for 30 minutes, basting the top of it with the remaining soy-maple glaze every 15 minutes. If the tips of the wings or drumsticks are burning from the sugar and heat, wrap a tiny bit of foil around them. I actually quite like the smokiness of a slightly burnt glaze, but if you don't you can also postpone the basting until after you flip the chicken (next step).
- After the 30 minutes are up, flip the chicken over, baste it again, and roast for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Turn the chicken breast side up again, baste it again, and then return it to the oven for 10 minutes to recrisp the skin.
- Once the chicken is done, remove from oven, set the chicken on a cutting board, and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Taste the pan drippings. It should be very savory and sweet, though you can add 1/4 cup of water to it if it's too flavorful. Pour out as much of the fat as you can from the pan, then boil the pan juices until they reduce to a syrupy consistency.
- Cut the chicken into pieces, place over rice or cous cous, then spoon the gorgeous soy-maple reduction over it. The rice or cous cous will absorb all of the chicken, soy, and maple flavors and become super delicious.
Enjoy! If you love this (seriously, you will), you can thank my mom for the inspiration.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Some beautiful footage and motivational words from Mia, recorded at WGI.
I was in Winterguard in high school, but never got to do anything as amazing as this. It makes me want to go dance with a flag RIGHT NOW.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
They arrived the other day in the cutest packaging, complete with a darling little flower and a handwritten note. The box was so small I thought it was a mistake: maybe they sent me dwarf-sized Tieks? It turns out the shoes fold up really, really small. The nerdy origami-loving girl inside of me did a little dance of joy and wonder upon unpacking the box.
The brilliant thing about Tieks is that they have a split sole, like my favorite Capezio ballet slippers. So they fold up right in the middle and fit compactly in a small carrying pouch. Once folded up, they are no more than 3.5 or 4 inches long! They could probably even fit in a small evening clutch that way. Also included with the shoes is a fold-out bag I can use to carry the stilletos I'm not wearing for my commute, as well as pant clips that have already come in super handy.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
On our way down to Chester, we stopped in Quechee (near Woodstock) to have dinner at the Simon Pearce Restaurant.
The restaurant (and store and workshop) are located in a mill that is adjacent to a historic covered bridge and the stunning Quechee Gorge. The night we were there, local kids were having a blast jumping off the rocks under the bridge into the gorge -- it totally freaked me out, but no one seems to have gotten hurt.
The restaurant's terrace overlooks the falls. The rush of the water provided a melodic soundtrack at dinner.
And while we were waiting for a table, we checked out the glassblowing workshop, where a few artisans were crafting some of Simon Pearce's delicate (and expensive) glassware.
Of course, even an extravagant afternoon tea wouldn't keep me away from a delicious dinner experience. We managed to score a last-minute reservation to Restaurant Verterra at the Inn at Weathersfield. The chef at Verterra is at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, and we were treated to a menu of Vermont delights, beginning with a corn chowder with a corned beef hash.
The main course was a soy-glazed sirloin, from cattle raised on a local farm.
The dessert was a carrot cake with cream cheese ice-cream (!), pickled rhubarb, and peach chutney.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Perhaps because it's so time-consuming, taiglach recipes are hard to find these days. It was thus particularly meaningful and important that Bubbe Jennie taught us her recipe last week.
To make taiglach, you begin by taking your bubbe shopping. If she's like our bubbe, she already knows the location and price of every item in the store. If you are making this recipe sans bubbe, then you'll have to procure the following items for yourself:
For the dough balls:
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons Mazola oil (plus 1/4 cup or so for the baking sheets)
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- a pinch of salt
- enough flour to make a soft dough (about 3 cups)
- 1 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- a pinch of cinnamon (if desired)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon oil
- shredded coconut
Begin by making the soft dough. Beat four eggs. Mix in four tablespoons oil, 4 teaspoons sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Mix -- either by hand or in a mixer -- the egg mixture with the flour until you get a soft dough. To ensure that the mixture doesn't get too tough, start first with one and a half cup of flour. Then add the remaining flour, a half cup at a time, until you achieve the right consistency.
Once the dough is manageable, you can turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it gently, integrating more flour as needed to get the dough into a soft, but not sticky, consistency.
You'll know the dough is ready when it can hold its shape. To test the dough, you can cut a small strip of it, roll it into a tubular shape, and see if it retains its shape. If not, add a little bit more flour.
Now you're ready to make the dough into mandlen. Cut the dough into small strips. Roll each strip into a small tube, then cut the strip into little pieces, about 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. in size. Try to make the mandlen regular in size if possible. (Check out Bubbe Jennie's knife skills, by the way. She's got the shakiest hands, but she still managed to cut all the mandlen.)
Put about 1/4 cup of oil into a rimmed baking sheet. The oil should reach about 1/8 in. up the side of the baking sheet. Put the mandlen on the sheet.
Bake the mandlen for 5-8 mins. in a 350 degree oven. The oil will get foamy, and the mandlen will brown. You should check on the mandlen often, making sure to flip (or stir) half-way through baking. You can remove the mandlen when both sides are lightly browned.
Set the mandlen aside to cool.
Then make the honey syrup. Put 1 1/3 cups of honey, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon into a large pot and bring to a boil. The mixture should become syrupy. You'll know it's ready when a drop of the mixture in cold water forms a soft ball. At this point, remove the mixture from heat, and add in a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of oil.
In the meantime, lay a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle a layer of the shredded coconut onto the parchment. Place the mandlen into the syrup, mixing well until all of the mandlen are coated with the honey mixture. Next, pour the syrup-covered mandlen onto the coconut, spreading it out to about an inch in thickness.
Sprinkle a bit more shredded coconut onto the emerging taiglach. Then allow the mixture to cool.Once the taiglach is cooled, slice it into small diamond shapes using a wet knife. (We ended up having to make two batches because we didn't boil the syrup long enough on the first batch, and the mandlen wouldn't hold together. I assure you though that if you are more patient than we were, the mandlen will in fact hold together and make very pretty diamonds.)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
For quite a long time, he's been complaining about the poor quality of the lox and smoked salmon we've been getting lately. Finally, he got fed up and decided to make his own. Technically, he made gravlax, as the salmon is merely cured, not smoked. All it took was some good quality salmon from Whole Foods (still cheaper than good lox); a sugar, salt, and water brine; and a little patience (the salmon has to cure for about 2 days).
Let me just admit that I am not a huge fan of lox. It's my least Jewish characteristic. (Though I don't like pickles either, so I'm totally goying myself out here.) But even I thought this lox was really good: fresh, delicate, not at all fishy. Don't tell him, but I was kind of impressed.
If you're intrigued about the process of curing your own gravlax, my husband used the recipe available here. Have you ever made your own lox? Are you a lox and sesame bagel fan? Or a super goyish chocolate chip bagel with butter fan like me?