Monday, December 2, 2013

Elegant San Francisco Wedding

Vanesa Traina's intimate San Francisco wedding at her mother's beautiful Pacific Heights home.

images via Vogue

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pear & Cinnamon Cake

I bought a beautiful cookbook called Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose while I was traveling in London a couple months ago.  This weekend, I finally got a chance to make one of her recipes.  While searching for the perfect fall treat for my brunch, I found her pear and cinnamon cake and knew it would be perfect.  She uses honey and maple syrup in place of granulated sugar, and hearty flours in place of all-purpose.  For this recipe, I used a cinnamon infused maple syrup that I found at Williams-Sonoma.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but this cake turned out delicious.  It wasn't too sweet, which I prefer, and it was very moist and dense.  I served it with yogurt and blackberries.  It was a perfect addition to a fall brunch.

Pear & Cinnamon Cake
[ by Amber Rose, Love Bake Nourish ]

200g unsalted butter, softened
200g white spelt four, sifted
3 large free-range eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
200g maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pear peeled, cored & finely grated
unrefined icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a cake tin.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until pale and fluffy.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour and beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Continue to beat until you have a light fluffy mixture.  Fold in the rest of the flour, the baking powder and cinnamon.  Then add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and pear, folding in gently until thoroughly combined

Scape the mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the tin.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Brunch

This weekend I had some friends over for brunch to see my new apartment.  It's very quaint, so I set all of the food on the coffee table and we gathered around to eat and catch up with each other.  To celebrate Fall, I kept the menu seasonal.  We had pumpkin spice coffee (thank you, trader joes!), pear ginger bellinis, pumpkin granola with yogurt and berries, pear and cinnamon cake, and a spinach and feta frittata.  We also taste tested fresh croissants and scones from a couple bakeries in the city that we have been wanting to try.  It turned out delicious, and was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Basil & Lemon Cocktail

It is summer here in San Francisco and I finally purchased these beautiful coupes that I've had my eye on for a while, so a nice refreshing cocktail was a necessary addition to my Saturday afternoon.  I made this cocktail up, although it likely exists out there somewhere.  I always play with different additions and proportions, so feel free to do the same.  Below is (approximately) what I used.

Basil & Lemon Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce St. Germain
juice of 1/2 lemon (or more if you prefer)
3-4 basil leaves

Add the lemon juice and basil leaves to a cocktail shaker; muddle.  Fill with ice and add the vodka and St. Germain. Shake very well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with basil & enjoy!
Optional: if you want to top the cocktail off with something else, consider using a splash of soda water, ginger beer, champagne, or a light, crisp white wine.