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french

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L&G Lost in Translation on Marie Claire Maison


L&G's servers got mentioned on Marie Claire Maison blog! They wrote bunch of stuff in French....I wonder what they wrote....
Here's to google translate....

Exit () COVERED!

It all started with a crucial question: What color, salad servers? They took what color?

Let me explain. Is what you've ever pick up a virus of the fever that makes you for hours and between two bavouilles on the pillow, you done spouting things without rhyme or reason? (There, there must be fewer players who say yes, otherwise I'll feel very lonely ...) Anyway. Me, it happened to me once and it seems that I posed the above question (with a hint of annoyance in his voice too!) Needless to say, this story haunted me long (partly because that 'I have been reused many between the dish and the cheese - when the salad, so) Now, I can still confidently say that I found my happiness.

These covered for the service are published by Ladies & Gentlemen, a design agency founded by John Lee and Dylan Davis. and to answer my own question: I want every color!

Apparently Google even translated my name to "John Lee"...so to all the French people who read the post, Dylan & I are one fabulous gay couple!
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UPDATE: I asked my French brother-in-law about the post title which I assume "Exit () Covered!" got a little lost in Google translation... But here's a better explanation from an actual French speaking person:
"sortez les couverts : put out the utensils. Couvert stands for utensil for sure. Sortez can be translated by come out, put out, going out ... buttttt there are playing on the words. Writting les in parantheses is funny. sortez couvert means go out protected (or stay protected/wear condom)... these french people, even when speaking of utensil they need to put a sex feeling in it !!"

Ahh...It all makes sense now...
Oh....wait a minute! So the part about "finding my happiness" means...oh dear...
So to add to the idea that Dylan & I are a gay couple to all the French readers, we're also the designers who makes serving utensils that also serve as sex toys...just perfect.

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Simple Justice

I recently flew on Virgin America for the first time coming back from SF. Their planes are crazy...a little silly, but entertaining nonetheless! I wished I had a reason to try the absinthe cocktail drink they served on the plane....but I was by myself, so it would of been a little weird to do that. :P
I ended up listening to the French electro house duo, Justice, and it just reminded me how much I love their D.A.N.C.E video. Even though it's pretty old, I still love the video AND the song!
Just thought I share this.

Have a great weekend!

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MUSIC: Phoenix

I'm excited to hear Phoenix's new album, Wolfgang Amadeus. Yet another wonderful French rock band. I fell in love with them couple years ago because of the song, Too Young. (I'd put that song on every mix I made!)
I love their slight 80's optimistic sounds and beats!! Makes me wanna jump around!

You can hear some of their songs, here.

I'm SUPER bummed that they're not stopping in Seattle during their tour to the west coast though. They're gonna play in SF and LA end of June! Totally unfair...You luck bastards who lives there!
Perhaps in the future they'll come play in Seattle....at our house. That'd be sweet....

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L&G Storytime No.4: Parlez Vous Francais? Oui!

Bonjour à nos amis! Today’s Poppytalk Storytime centers around the graphic treasures of the 1960 French language book Parlons Francais.

 

You don’t want to end up like Brett and Germane, so follow us and Parlons Francais and brush up on your French!

What better motivation to learn a foreign language than the promise of an incredible, neat illustration waiting for you on the next page? Learn some words and you can impress pretty much anyone! We learned some French terms and now use them on a daily bases! We like to walk the corner market “Sept-Onze” (or more commonly known to Americans as 7-Eleven) and pick up a croissant and a slurpeé using our superior French speaking skills. We come off so cultured.

 

Parlon Francais is a set of 8 mini-books that are full of charming illustrations that make the leafing through them a delight. The best part is that each book has pages that can be removed and played on a record player for pronunciation.

Here are a few lessons along with some darling visual aids for you (read and repeat aloud…you want to learn French don’t you?): Comment allez-vous?” - How are you?
l'oiseau est dans l'arbre” - The bird is in the tree.
L’Oiseau et Le Chat” - The bird and the cat.
"La Famille" - Family
"Nous allons en vacances" - We go on vacation.
"Mes chaussures sont de très petites" - My shoes are very small.
Je voudrais un grand ballon rouge, s’il vous plait” - I would like a large red balloon please.
Regardez-vous les animaux” - Look at the animals

Now you know all these phrases, your homework is use them and we'll gurantee that you'll impress someone...unless that person happens to be French. Au revoir! You can see more images, here.

 

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Oh My Goldness!

Saw this via Garance Dore. with tons of fantastic people with great styles. They're all too cool for school.
I'm absolutely in love the this gold yellow coat. Simply clever.
I'm in need of more sunshine, and wearing gold and yellow is a perfect way to brighten up an outfit without depending on the moody weather in Seattle.
Some nice use of the color.

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Black Sesame Macarons

I've been meaning to post about my experiments in making some black sesame flavored macarons after my first successful batch of macarons. These don't have the colorful charm that most French macrons have, but the taste is seriously out of this world!
You can get pre-ground black sesame packs at most Asian grocery stores. It's easy, you just have to memorize whatever character and proper pronunciation for black sesame depending on what type of Asian grocery store you go:
Japanese store, ask for "GOMA"胡麻
Chinese store, ask for "HEI-ZHI-MA" 黑芝麻
Korean store, ask for "HEUGIMJA" 흑임자
Cantonese store, ask for.....
Or you can just ask someone who can speak english or get it at any grocery store...that would probably make things a little easier. :PBlack Sesame Macarons recipe:
I got it from Martha Stewart, but altered it a little so the macarons arent' too sweet and won't get burn:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely ground blanched almonds ( I get Bob's Red Mill pre-ground almond flour here.)
  • 1/4 cup finely ground black sesame
  • 6 tablespoons fresh egg whites (from about 3 extra-large eggs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and ground almonds and black sesame. Sift it couple of times, so there's less clumping. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites with salt on medium speed until foamy. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners' sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch #4 round tip, and fill with batter. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little. Let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull.
  3. Double stack the tray (so it doesn't burn on the bottom) and then bake with the door of the oven slightly ajar held open with a water soaked wooden spoon or metal spoon. Bake for 5-6 minutes, turn the tray and bake for another 5-6 minutes if your oven bakes unevenly.
  4. Remove baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macaroons from the parchment. If it's sticking to the paper, spray the bottom of the paper with water. This will help peel it off easier. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Butter Cream Filling:
This is pretty much the same, make the butter cream and then add ground sesame. This yields more filling than the amount of macarons. So I take third of the filling, and mix half cup of ground sesame. You can save the rest for another batch or make different flavors with it.

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites and sugar. Set the mixer bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and warm mixture, whisking often, until it feels warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until mixture is stiff and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, and continue mixing until butter is thoroughly incorporated. The filling can be kept, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before stirring.
  3. To fill the macaroons: Fill a pastry bag with the filling. Turn macaroons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling. Sandwich these with the remaining macaroons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges.
VARIATION: You can replace black sesame in the macrons with other ground-able ingredients like, coffee beans for coffee flavored macarons, or hazelnut flour for hazenut flavor, or poppyseed for that poppyseed texture! Have fun and experiment!

 

All this talk about macarons is making me wanna make them and of course....eat them too! God. I love them!!

 

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Success! I Mastered the French Macarons!!

After my first attempt in making some French macarons last week, I made another batch...and this time without Dylan's "help." and what do you know??....it was a TOTAL success!!
I decided to experiment with making coffee macarons with Irish cream filling. And I have to say....It was AWE-SOME!!! (other people agreed with me.. just so you know, I'm not making this up) Will...I'm sure some real Macaron conisseur would disagree and nippick them, but I was happy with how it turned out as it was only my second attempt in making them!

So Check it. This time, I made sure that ALL the ingridents got mixed. I beated the egg whites to a shiny stiff peak, I replaced a quarter of the almond flour with finely ground coffee beans and carefully folded in with the egg whites.
I piped it and it actually looked like how it's supposed to..stiff and shiny! Coco&Me has step by step photos of how they're supposed to look like, which is super helpful for a visual learner like me.
Then I put it in the oven..and I discovered something new that's different from what Martha's recipie said to do. I actually set the oven to 325degree instead of 350. And left the door slightly open...you can use either a metal or wet wooden spoon.
I baked it for 5 minutest first and then turned the pan, and then baked it for 5 minuets more and it was perfect. Martha said to bake it for 15 minutes, which I feel like it would of burned it...I also placed another pan on the existing pan, so no direct heat was burning the bottom of the macarons (this was not mentioned in Martha's recipie) Sorry Martha, I have to disagree with you on this one! I think every oven heats up differently, but it's better to bake it for less time to check on it before it's too late. And Voila! I got the so-called "foot" where it's slightly crusty on the bottom edge and the top is smooth and round...they're so cute!
So ta-da!! My successful batch of delicous macaroons! I was so happy with them that I was jumping all over the place yelling "I did it, I did it!" I felt like I was a scientist or something....except I didn't invent anything great...okay maybe that's not the right comparison. I feel very accomplished nonetheless. :)
Every batch only yields 16-18 or so, which is not enough to go around when they're so small and easy to just pop in your mouth. Now I just need to be able to make multiple batches with various colors and flavors...
Here are some flavors I'm thinking of expereimenting with...
Black sesame
Matcha with redbean cream
Lemon with ginger cream
Cinnamon with chocolate ganache (like mexican chocolate)
Lavender with lemon cream
Cardamon with carmel cream
Hmm....the possibilities are endless. Any other ideas??

 

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I Love & Hate You, French Macarons! But Mostly Love...

Ah..French macarons....oh! oui oui...how I love thee. I mean, who doesn't, right? They look and taste like perfection and heaven in every way.
I've been wanting to make them. But every time I start reading about how to make them, I always just give up before I even try....fearing that I would fail miserably. I read all the warnings, the unsuccessful stories, and the mixed approach and opinions from friends who made them, blogs, food forums, and so on. It's been a year or more of thinking about this and I've yet made them.....But I'm tired of being scared of these macarons! I finally decided to confront my own fear by approaching it with an entirely new mentality....and that is...."I'm going to fail and make the ugliest French Macarons ever!"
Yup! This is my way of setting the bar super freaking low and actually expect something to go wrong in the process.....I'm totally gonna screw it up and it's gonna be great!! no shiny smooth surfaces, no perfectly round dome, no 'foot' on the bottom, no chewy texture....I'm just gonna try it and if I achieve even one of those things listed?? That means I did something right...

I did my share of research...and got some great tips and tricks from Coco&Me, Syrup And Tang, Serious Eats, some Forum and of course Martha for all the things I need to know to prepare myself a little bit.

So I followed the tips to sift the almond flour and confectioners' sugar couple of times....I mixed the egg whites without over beating it...I folded in the dry ingredients carefully without flattening the batter....I left enough space between the macarons.....I let the piped macarons sit for a little bit....I doubled stacked the trays so the bottoms don't burn....I left the oven door slightly open.....
Check. Check. Check.Then I look over to the counter....there was one little bowl with some ingredient still remains....it was a quarter cup of granulated sugar that I had forgotten to put in!!! OMG!!! Serious!?
I threw a total hissy fit since Dylan was supposed to read the steps to me...It's complicated..... okay, well... he was using the computer, and I didn't want to kick him off the computer entirely and just thought that he's CAPABLE of reading at least straight from the recipe that's right in front of him!!! I trusted him! But NOOOO, he said because he was multi-tasking on the computer, he was too "distracted", and didn't mention to throw in the granulated sugar while I was making them!!!
I thought I had mentally prepared myself for failure in making these macarons...well, I did...I just didn't prepare myself to loose my faith in MEN!! That'll be the last time I ask him to follow instructions or any cooking recipes! GAUWWWD! (roll my eyes...)
But I decided to bake them anyways, just so they don't go to waste. And it turned out that they had an itty bitty little structure remained....as you can see that they're a little flat, but it's something. And the result was actually....not bad! I made 18 of them...and only 4-5 of them looked half way descent. So...here's to my very FIRST batch of macarons!! I went with the rustic look...Then I used one of my more "charming" macaron (I put black sesames as it's eyes to make it have sad eyes...) to tell Dylan that I was sorry for getting pissed at him the next day.... Dylan ate the little macaron guy and was happy again. He's easy like that. :)

I think I'll make another attempt soon now that I've conquered my own fear. So much for the year of mental preparation and then somehow ended up putting our relationship on the line...and all because of these damn macarons!! I hate you for being so difficult! ....oh! I'm sorry...I didn't mean it!! I'm saying things that I don't mean.... You're so tasteful and delightful!! I love you, macarons!

 

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