Friday, October 28, 2011

the good stuff.

very true.

my kind of housewarming gift.

the good stuff.

can't put this down.

always.

enjoying the little things.
 my painting.

I hope your weekend is filled with the good stuff. We are in L.A. trying to eat our way through the city. Our friends met us with open arms and glasses of homemade stout ... they brew the best beer. This weekend is going to be a sweet little treat for both Marc and I. Enjoy your weekends!!! Bisous.

The good stuff (in no particular order)
painting: this week I put my paints to canvas for the first time in three years
made: an apple pie for our friends as a housewarming gift
reading: Best Food Writing 2010 ... I can't put it down
savoring: every last bit of my peach jam from France
indulging in: coffee ... excited to see what the L.A. coffee scene is like
wanting: this book ...
visiting: in L.A. where would you recommend to eat, dine, drink and where can I find the best coffee?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

strawberry date bars and inspiration

oat flour


long-run cake ... you won't believe what it is made out of

carrot orange plum apple juice

chickpea bruschetta

making strawberry date bars

mmm.

strawberry date bars

can be enjoyed as a snack, for breakfast or dessert

Last marathon, I trained, trained, and trained but ... did not focus too much on the food I was eating. I am a firm believer in balance, however, I could tell there was something missing from my runs. So, this time around I have vowed to change my eating habits and see what happens (don't worry I am not completely swearing off the apple pie). Our meals lately have included more vegetables, fruits, juices, and grains ... and I can already feel and see the difference.

What I love about training for a marathon is that it has made me more adventurous in the kitchen. I made a long-run cake using coco powder, black beans, apple sauce, and made my own oat flour. If you squirm a little when you wonder what black beans taste like in a cake ... don't worry, I did too. BUT, the cake was amazing. You can find the recipe here and trust me, it will help carry you through your long runs.

Marc has joined in on the fun and made some tasty chickpea bruschettas. We slathered a mixture of chickpeas onto toasted bread with an avocado, red pepper flakes, and goat cheese and the outcome was all together delicious. The recipe he used was also found in Runner's.

And, if the long-run cake wasn't enough I made strawberry date bars after being inspired by a recipe in Whole Living. Luckily, strawberries can still be found at my local farmers' market so I snagged a couple of baskets this past Sunday. Both, the long-run cake and date bars are packed full of flavor and will have you wanting seconds ... they are that good!

I love when the smallest changes make huge impacts. Training for a marathon for me has given me a goal, made me rethink what I've been putting into my body, and has allowed me to be more adventurous in the kitchen ... and for me ... that's priceless.

Strawberry Date Bars ... I call them date bars as I love dates
aka strawberry oat bars
(recipe found in Whole Living)


two baskets of strawberries
1/4 of a cup of raw macadamia nuts
1 cup of dates ... pitted
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons rolled oats


In a food processor pulse dates, oats, macadamia nuts, and salt until fully mixed and spreadable
Next, use all of the date mixture and spread onto a small cookie sheet or loaf pan
Crush one basket of strawberries and set aside (I didn't hull them but you can do so if you would like)
Slice the other basket of strawberries
Spread the crushed strawberry mixture on top of the date mixture, covering the whole surface
Place the sliced strawberries on top of the crushed strawberries
Slice into bars and enjoy!!

These date bars can be eaten for dessert, for breakfast, as a snack, and the list goes on. They are packed full of fiber, sweetness, and are overall so satisfying.

Happy Wednesday! Bisous




Monday, October 24, 2011

sometimes, you just have to indulge in a cupcake

October.






This past weekend the weather was amazing. My weekend was filled with running, a trip to a pumpkin patch, a hike by the ocean, a stop for ice cream, and a morning adventure to one of my favorite farmers' markets. Last week, I did double days of yoga and running and I can already see the improvement. For the next four months Coeur de La will have a hefty amount of running tips while I train for my second marathon (I hope you won't mind). However, even with all this training ... sometimes, you just have to indulge in a cupcake. Happy Monday! Bisous.

the weekend
went: hiking in Santa Cruz
enjoyed: chocolate sorbet
learned: how to make chile rellenos from my grandma
working on: a website
running: hit the trails and got in my first long run of training
finding: yoga makes me happy
loving: blogs!
daily inspiration: Cake and Butter

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a creature of habit


I am pretty much a creature of habit. And lately, I enjoy breakfasts that are simple and slow. I am addicted to poaching eggs, love drinking tea and eating slightly burnt toast drizzled with a bit of butter. Life is good here. I've been searching for jobs, working on a couple of projects, and signed up to run my second marathon!! And, I came to the decision that I would love to teach yoga. So, just yesterday I signed up for unlimited classes so I can practice, practice, practice. When you make goals are they short term or long term? And please tell me, what are some of your goals???

Today:
reading: Chi Running (the marathon I am running has banned listening to music)
drinking: creme brulee tea
headed to: flow yoga
working on: projects, projects, projects
looking forward to: a trip to L.A to visit with good friends
currently addicted to:poaching eggs and hiking ...
just watched: Forks Over Knives ... an amazing film that I urge you to watch

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

chicken and waffles ... need I say more

chicken and waffles from the Screen Door

always.

Heart. 


Chicken and Waffles. Have you tried this combo? And, if so, where? I was first introduced to chicken and waffles by my good friend Lauren. She swore the combo was delicious. I on the other hand was skeptical (only because I had never tried it). However, the combination of maple syrup, waffle, and chicken are truly incredible. And, if you are counting calories (who does that during breakfast) just make sure to share.

One of my favorite places to stop in Portland is the Screen Door where chicken and waffles are served with a punch ..... a knife is stuck right into the middle of the waffle and chicken. The first time I saw the presentation it made me want to roll up my flannel and dig in. This past trip to Portland we were eager to take our friends to the Screen Door for .... you guessed it ... chicken and waffles. So, while the guys patiently waited in line ... Monica and I grabbed lattes at Heart. When the Screen Door opened at 9am we were the first ones in line (well almost there was a couple that cut us but, hey we got over that). We ordered two plates of chicken and waffles (almost too much for four adults) ... (keep that in mind) ... and sipped black coffee while we waited for breakfast. My first bite was just like I remembered ... the chicken was perfectly peppered, the maple syrup danced with the chicken, and the waffle was light, fluffy, and delicious.
Happy Tuesday my friends!!! Bisous.

 Screen Door ... Portland
tips: get there early as there usually is a long line
order: really if you can't figure out what to order after reading this post I don't know what to say
CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
must: order a coffee and slowly sip and savor
wear: your best lumberjack chic flannel ... this tip is just for me
before: grab a latte at heart. while you wait

Thursday, October 13, 2011

adventuring in Olympia

Olympia, Washington.






Olympia. A place with sweet surprises around every corner. Last weekend, we took a break from venturing around Portland and took a road trip up to Olympia, Washington. Our friends Daniel and Monica fell in love with Olympia last summer and  could not wait to show us around. One of Monica's good friends .... Ellen lives in Olympia, so she gave us the insider scoop. First stop was The Bread Peddler for breakfast, and I must say expectations were high as Monica and Daniel shared stories of perfectly made pastries, poached eggs drizzled in a balsamic reduction, and a place that has French charm. And, it just so happens those high expectations were met ... The Bread Peddler was in fact DELICIOUS. My chocolate croissant brought me back to France and my poached eggs on toast with goat cheese made me want to scream in joy!!

With full bellies, we made our way to the Olympia Farmers' Market where we admired an assortment of cheeses, bought juicy apples and tried Olympia oysters. For lunch, we grabbed sandwiches at the Bread Peddler and sat admiring the Sound. Yes you read that right, we did go back for lunch ... it was too good not to. After lunch we all had one thing on our minds ... coffee ... so we made our way to Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. Olympia Coffee Roasters is now marked high on my list of favorite coffee spots as the coffee was made just right, shots of espresso weren't pulled too long, the barista was stylish and friendly, and the foam was perfectly made. I sat and savored every last sip and if it weren't for my friends ... I could have sat there for hours taking in the sweet smells of espresso.

Our last stop was Burfoot Park where we walked under gorgeous trees, skipped rocks at the water's edge, and simply soaked in the sights and sounds of Olympia.  Just like when I leave Portland ... I left Olympia in awe of the Pacific Northwest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Sugar Cube ... Revisited

The Sugar Cube





We are back! After four days of eating our way through Portland ... we are home!! And, as usual Portland never ceases to amaze me. Coffees were enjoyed, meals were eaten, friends were seen, and new places were discovered!!

Now, if someone asked me to pick my all time favorite place to indulge in Portland ... some might think I would have a tough time ... HOWEVER ... there is a food cart that simply has my heart, or rather my stomach ... THE SUGAR CUBE.

If you are visiting Portland and want one place that captures the essence of Portland, in my opinion it would be The Sugar Cube. The desserts are rich, heavenly, and so unique. I swear I can taste the passion and love that Kir puts into her desserts. This past weekend we happened to be celebrating my good friend Monica's birthday, so it was only natural to make a dessert stop at The Sugar Cube. We had Kir pick her four favorite desserts and we were nothing but delighted. All four of the desserts were to die for. The chocolate caramel potato chip cupcake was sweet and salty ... my ultimate kind of dessert, and the chocolate plum stout cake was enjoyed in complete silence ... it was that gooood.

So, if there is one place you must go in Portland ... forget going to a restaurant or coffee shop, look no further, because The Sugar Cube will have you coming back for MORE. The desserts are in fact really Made With Love! Thanks Kir for all of the amazing treats!! If you live in Portland or frequently visit, where is your favorite place to go ... a place that keeps you coming back for more?
Bisous

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

apple pie

when you pick apples ... make pie











One of my favorite things to do in October is to go apple picking, as there is nothing like a freshly picked apple. When I was younger my siblings and I would go apple picking when visiting our Nana. The hay rides, fresh apple cider, and apple picking are things I still vividly remember. Apple pie, on the other hand, I could not understand. For example, during Thanksgiving I would bypass the apple pie and stick to pecan pie. I could never figure out what the fuss was about ... until ... I stumbled upon golden delicious apples. Have you had one? And have you made an apple pie with them? Ok, I will be honest, last year I overheard someone saying that the best apple pies are made with golden delicious apples and this person was a fairly accredited source, as his pie won in the annual harvest festival. So, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I had to try and make an apple pie with golden delicious apples.  

This past weekend we went apple picking with our friends Daniel and Monica. We made a day of it and went hiking in the morning, had lunch at Marin Sun Farms, and spent the rest of the afternoon apple picking. We wasted no time picking golden delicious and fuji apples. I was a little anxious to dabble with making my own apple pie as I had heard horror stories that the crust to a good apple pie is key and tricky. Luckily, I found a great recipe, pulsed my ingredients in a food processor, chilled my dough, rolled my dough, and mixed my filling. My filling included: golden delicious apples, brown sugar, sugar, lemon juice, a splash of whole milk, a bit of butter, allspice, and cinnamon. Weaving my lattice crust was the most difficult part, but with practice I can see how one may become addicted to making quilts with dough. Into the oven I put my pie and 50 minutes later I had a light brown, honest to goodness homemade apple pie. Marc and I took our first bites and sat in complete silence. It was then that I realized why so many people love apple pie ... there is nothing quite like it.

So Coeur de La readers, if I can leave you with a bit of advice... make a pie. And if you fail, make another pie and enjoy it for breakfast and dessert.
Bisous.

Monday, October 3, 2011

fig jam.







Figs. I love them. They are sweet, filling, and one of my favorite fruits. As the weather gets colder, I find myself craving fruits and vegetables that leave me feeling warm and full. So ... I went to my local market, picked up six baskets of figs and came home and made fig jam. Being that it was my first time making fig jam I was a bit nervous as to what the outcome would be. But, I should have known that when you mix figs with sugar, honey, and a bit of lemon juice, the results are perfection. I found a jam recipe that called for 1/4 cup of honey which brought out the best flavors of the figs.

So there I was in my kitchen, removing fig stems, watching figs simmer in my jam pot with honey and sugar, and then spooning fig jam into mason jars on a crisp Fall afternoon. I was so excited that I popped open a jar and ate spoonful after spoonful of fig jam as I could not wait till the jars cooled. My snack that afternoon involved a crusty piece of sourdough bread with warm chevre and a thick layer of fig jam. The combination of figs and chevre is one of my all time favorites and I highly recommend you try it.

Toast with fig jam and goat cheese ... simple and filling
toast your favorite type of bread ... I recommend using sliced sourdough
remove from toaster and while still warm spread a layer of goat cheese on one side of your toast
next, spread several spoonfuls of fig jam onto your toast
Enjoy!
And, repeat again!
Bisous.