Thursday, November 29, 2007

Year gone by...

As I flipped through the dog-eared pages of my trusted moleskine journal today, I noticed how many to-do's I've accomplished over the past year. From the mundane (pick up dry cleaning) to the unimaginable (Macarune) -- I managed to fulfill EVERYTHING noted within the pages. Of course being the practical sensible Virgo as I am, I hardly wrote the absurd (jump off a cliff). And even when I did, each was followed by a disclaimer (I kid. Work makes me feel like jumping off a cliff).

Starting at the age of 7, I made many resolutions year after year. Most failed left in the hands of procrastination (application to Harvard) or just from the fact that I was born and raised in Malaysia (start a Holiday Craft Class for kids in the neighborhood). I guess I lived in my own Hollywood (or American) dream of setting up lemonade stands and selling cookies door to door, only to be disappointed.

Vivid memory: At age 9, I gathered all my used (but like NEW!, as Amazon would say) books, placed them neatly in a box and went from door to door trying to make some honest cash. After 3-4 doors, 1 of which came with a screaming woman, I gave up. "Why are people so mean?" I wondered.

During my teenage years, I realized that to-do's didn't matter. A straight-A student by national aggregate, I was really nothing at school because the teachers didn't favor me (Was it because I made 1 of them cry by insisting that the cheerleader team's skirts remain the length proposed? Or was it because I fell asleep during my Physics trial? Or was it because, as a prefect I shouldn't have organized school dances that were deemed taboo?).
After all those years of dealing with unreasonable school teachers, forcing myself to accept the norms of nepotism, not to mention, screaming neighbors, I'm glad I didn't swear off my to-do's or I wouldn't have been as loved by my college professors.

So while I sit at my work desk reveling in my accomplishments at twenty-something, I can't help but chide myself for being constantly glum or angry.

I just don't have the right to be.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wine, dine & it's all fine...

The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving were a blur with work (lots of it) and Macarune orders. Any time the bf and I had, we spent with Shawna. Here are pics, cause I really need to hit the gym.

Trip to Napa:

Guess where?

The bf: normal

The bf: not-so-normal

View from the top

The weather was just amazing. Perfect day for Napa



Ahi tuna tartare with a touch of ginger atop a bed of seaweed

Duo plated foie gras

Seared ahi tuna

The bf's usual: chicken breast with crispy skin

Veal sweetbreads millefeuille


Group shot

The bf

The girls

...and me

At the Mondavi estate where Shawna got a bottle of Moscato D'Oro. Next time, I promise we'll go somewhere else

Yee ha!

Dinner at Koo restaurant:

Shy Shawna

Hamachi-stuffed jalapenos and ahi tuna

Tokyo crunch, Kamikaze roll and toro roll

Chocolate pyramid with ginger ice cream

Shawna's birthday:

Making a wish with pretzel candles

The crew


Monday, November 19, 2007

Macarune in SF Chronicle

Macarune's in the news again! This time, it's the
Style section of SF Chronicle -- Northern California's Largest Newspaper. In other words, the NYT of San Francisco -- within a Marie Antoinette feature. Click here to read the article>

...and here for an up-close shot>

It's exciting to be featured in an article that directly relates to 1 of the many things that inspired my macaroon baking: Sofia Coppola's biopic of Marie Antoinette. Admittedly, I watched the film twice on a long flight and was mesmerized by the vibrant colors. It was hard not to be delighted by Kirsten Dunst's costumes with their splashes of pinks, violets and aquas. I am a girl after all.

And the pastries! Oh the pastries. How I longed for them as I chewed the dubious meat from the flimsy aluminum tray rested upon my lap. Was I lucky enough to land some place I could get my hands on the unmistakable
Ladurée macaroons? No - I reminded myself. I was going to SEA. And so the baking began, shortly upon my return to SF.

This article was also in the Sunday papers dated today, 11/18/2007. Shawna bought me a copy at the market and watched in shock as I tore into the 3 1/2 lb paper looking for my article :) Such impatience. I'll be sure to scan a copy for posting soon.

*Bubbly toast. Here's to more PR and perfect macaroons fresh OOTO!

Friday, November 16, 2007

AC's visit

Aunty Christine's flight took her to town once again. After our ritual of champagne/home made goodies swap (champagne from her, goodies from me) we worked on the itinerary, keeping it simple with food as the main focus. I was too busy stuffing my face so -- no pics of food. Oops!


The bf's usual butt shot. I must remember never to leave him alone with the camera the Ferry Building Marketplace

Brunch at Boulettes Larder (for me)

Then dinner at The House of Prime Rib (for AC)

Salad's my favorite part of the meal here

Mr. Server with Harry Potter glasses tossing salad

At AC's hotel after work with proof of cookies I made for the fam:
Pistachio lemon biscotti and French lemon macaroons

AC hiding behind a paper bag when I tried to take her pic

...who later succumbed with a similar-to-mine pose (with carrots for props instead)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hugs for comfort

A dear friend lost someone special to him and his family unexpectedly last night.

As unreligious as I am, I ask for God to make this possible:

1. Him to feel better cause time heals all wounds (and I can't stress enough what a great son you are).
2. Friends to be there for him during this painful time.
3. Everyone to take a moment and appreciate life the way it is.

I'm truly sorry for your loss.

*Hugs and kisses from afar.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Not your usual shopping expedition

Shawna convinced the bf and me to visit the Alameda Antique Fair last weekend.

As much as we love tag sales and picking out unique Eames era furniture via Craigslist, we're still highly perceived yuppies who shop at Crate & Barrel. Or worse, Pottery Barn. Not only is that 1 of my Superlatives on Facebook, our ex North Beach neighbor, a raving poetic socialist, once commented (in repulsion) how ridiculously expensive our living room couch was. Of course "ridiculous" is relative. That said, this antique fair was an experience.

I left the bf with the camera and here's what we ended up with:

These were jumpsuits if you can tell from the drawing. The kind a farmer would wear. I'm assuming they're getting it on in a barn?

Between Shawna and I

All that, and kettle corn I'm eating right now.