strawberry & cream salad with white balsamic dressing

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I think this is the first salad recipe I have ever posted. I am not much of a salad girl, though as I get a little older, the appeal of ordering a salad at lunch date with friends does often win over a heavy order of fries. Trying to eat more salads, trying to read more, you know all things that are good for you. The journey of growing up.

20130329-IMG_3556madeyedlinblog.comSome friends of our brought a balsamic, strawberry, and spinach salad a few summers ago for a mid-summer dinner. That was my first interaction with the combination of balsamic and strawberries. What a magical pair they make. This is my own spin on that salad. Featuring chunks of brie, and a spin on the classic balsamic vingerette.

This salad features strawberries, chunks of brie, toasted walnuts, chia, and a perfect white balsamic dressing. The strawberries and the brie on the same fork-full create this grown up kind of cream and strawberries.

For your weekend:20000328-Macaron Boxmadeyedlinblog.com

Look at this! My best friend sent me a macaron themed birthday gift. I am obsessed with this macaron pill box. She also made(!) me macaron coasters.

You can order custom made macaron coasters from this etsy shop.

These reusable herb bags are adorable.

If you live in Portland. I love the coffee shop Stirling, in the Pearl District. It’s the kind of coffee shop you feel like you’ll run into JGL while journaling in the corner table.

Del Popolo is a mobile pizzeria in San Fran. Beautiful! (via Oh Joy!)

Holy waffle cake!! (via Cupcakes and Cashmere)

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swaddled pears with cream, maple, and walnuts

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Sometimes I have good ideas. Wrapping pears in pastry was one of my good ideas. It’s further proof that you really can wrap anything in pastry and turn it into one of those, “oh my, why is this so amazing?”, kind of dishes. I got the idea from this cafe, though what I actually ended up doing was far, far from the original idea. It’s basic, yet has a showy quality about it. Just a basic pastry wrapped around a half of a pear, baked until golden, then topped with the luscious combination of whipped cream and maple syrup, to add a crunch I tossed on some walnuts.

Oh how they got their name. I was making them, and my mom said, “Oh, I didn’t think you would be swaddling the pears. How cute.” Hence swaddled pears, I think it’s quite an appropriate name. (My mother is kind of a all things baby nerd)

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chocolate & almond cake finished with whipped gnash

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I turned 19 on Saturday. And of course, I made my own cake, don’t be silly why wouldn’t I? The recipe if  from Julia, Child, Julia Child that is. My brother gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking a couple of Christmas’ ago. Honestly, I hardly ever cook from it, but every time I use it I wonder why I go so long with out cracking the pages of this marvel of a book.

A life lesson on my 19th birthday: cook from Julia as often as possible.

I would say this is a closer relative to a torte then a cake. Think thick, creamy, cake with a layer of incredibly fluffy frosting that when it’s sliced though, it leaves a layer of chocolate smudge of your fork. I (of course) had a second slice for Sunday afternoon coffee, and it was just as good if not better the second day. The flavors had time to intertwine, and the texture turned to a pudding-cake cross.

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stuffed jalapeño with cream cheese, bacon, and blackberry jam

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I just finished my last final for winter term, and thus completes my first term of college, ever. I was thinking back on the first days at college, I was absolutely freaked out, though I never would have admitted it. I think I will always remember my first moments inside a real classroom. Awkwardly making small talk with my seat mates, trying to figure out the line of goodie-two-shoes, and being a good student. I was always at least 10 minutes early for class the first few weeks of school. I would nervously take notes, scared that I would miss something important and somehow instantly fail the class. But, slowly the nervous days melted into a new normal. Even with a whirlwind trip to Uganda I was able to survive this term. Not that I am looking forward to the next term per se, but I am excited to apply what I have learned from this bumpy trial and err last few months, to set sail for a new smooth term.

Some fun links for your weekend!

If  you live in Portland, this weather pie chart rings more true then we would like.

Lusting after this cheese platter

Loving this Portland based food blog

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lemon cupcakes with orange frosting

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Anyones else have leftover frosting from the Nutella and Orange Cookies? Yeah, me too. Actually I gave you the 1/2 batch to what I made for that recipe, hopefully you don’t have any leftover. But I did. And I wasn’t going to let that pretty pastel frosting to waste. And honestly, what goes better with orange then lemon? Um. Nothing. What’s better then lemon cake? Um. Nothing.

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I didn’t realize that I had just done a lemon recipe until I had already made everything and shot it. But I’m sure you won’t mind, will you dear readers?

Also, Tartines lemon bar recipe from last March, and some photographs of lemons from last year.

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soft pretzels

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I babysat my younger siblings tonight, if you remember I have 6 of them. We like to listen to loud music, watch movies, and keep it real by eating instant mac and cheese. And, of course, we watched Ratatouille. Guilt overcame me when the my eyes feasted on gorgeous cartoon food and I sat with a rather large bowl of instant mac and cheese in front of me (hey, at least it was organic). I guess there is a time for gourmet and a time for instant mac and cheese.

Here is a carb overload to start your week.

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poached eggs and mushrooms on toast

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The last toast recipe, promise. But this is an actual legit recipe, and holy moly! It’s so good. Sometimes people (me) say that, but seriously, I’m not even lying, this is amazing. I am on this sautéed mushroom craze, I really don’t know what it is all about, but I am sautéing up a storm around here.

The only thing that’s a little tricky about this, is the timing. You have to poach eggs, sauté mushrooms, and toast bread. But once it’s all assembled, you will forget about the turmoil of juggling 3 pans on the stove.

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Happy weekend everyone! And to my fellow students, good luck on finals! Here are a couple of things to inspire good food thoughts.

If you want to seriously poach an egg, Smitten Kitchen has great step-by-step directions. That’s how I learned, though my egg poaching skills could use some fine-tuning.

Call Me Cupcake, new blog crush! I nearly fainted at the beauty! I wish her cookbook was in English!

Love Design put together some beautiful recipe cards that you can fill out, then print.

Super into chia seeds. Any thoughts on this “super food”?

Going to be reading “The Sweet Life in Paris” for Spring Break!

For my birthday, my family and I are going to Ken’s Artisan Pizza. I am obsessed with his bakery downtown, but I have yet to go to the pizza shop. I got his book for Christmas, and have poured myself into it ever since.

click continue for recipe…

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nutella and orange cookies

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A little Nutella for your Wednesday. I think Mondays, and Wednesdays call for Nutella. And maybe Friday too, in celebration of the weekend.

This is Nutella dressed up for the evening. You see, I made shortbread cookies, and swirled in some Nutella. Then I made a buttercream spiked with orange juice. Sandwich two little pieces of magic together, and: BOOM! You’ve got one chic cookie on your hands.

Prepare yourself for a party in your mouth.

As you can see my buttercream is a little runny, maybe it’s cause I stacked them on top of each other. I really don’t know, but it was being cranky. So be sure you add enough powdered sugar to your buttercream to be thick enough to stand on it’s own.

Other recipes with my infatuation of Nutella: Crepe Cake, and Classic Nutella Crepe

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mini palmier

I first had a palmier (pronounced Palm-e-a, we asked in Paris) in Paris, on a “cafe hop” from Noter Dame to the Eiffel Tower. Last weekend, my sister and I went to La Provence in Portland for breakfast. We got a palmier and I was reminded of this devine pastry. Almost like a cookie, not flacky like a pastry. Last night I was recipe serching, and they turned out to be way easier then I would have guessed. So I tackled the project. All the recipes I found called for store-bought puff pastry, and I have a thing againts that. So I made a rough puff pasty, and honestly it’s easy, and so close to the purchased version.

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