Summer favorites...

What does summer mean to you? To me, it means listening to Sebastien Tellier, plenty of bossa nova, indulging in rosé wine and long beach/boat days on the water that end with a whole fried fish and a very sandy bed. 

I'm on a summer break, if you can call it that.. after being in college and getting about 5 months off a year, this 10 days off seems a bit cheap, but I'll take it. I finished off my Bread and Viennoisserie class with an A+ and my next is Advanced Patisserie Technique. Finally, I'll be knocking out some tiramisu and maybe even an opera torte. Rumor has it we'll be making frozen desserts too. Add a day or two in cannoli making and I will be on cloud nine.

Here is the rundown in photos of my last two weeks before break.
Channeling a fancy strawberry shortcake~ Napoleon filled with Bavarian creme and strawberry preserves
Handcut pithivier filled with almond creme... I have knife skills..
Cute sugar crusted miniature palmiers
Croissants worth writing home about
Chocolate croissants

Goat cheese, sun dried tomato & basil croissants
I was told not to make bear claws look like actual bear claws, but I couldn't help myself!

This is the "correct" bear claw formation, both filled with pecans, cinnamon and sugar.
Guava filled danish pastry

The second way to do a danish- covered in apricot glaze and flat vanilla icing, filled with apples.
A little slice of heaven if you love honey as much as I do... Baklava.

I brought it home to my mom to share with her friends.
And now finally to the summer favorites list... 

If you are like me then you LOVE sangria....here are two recipes I've been dying to try out: CHOW.com's Lambic Sangria looks like everything that's good in the world. Bon Appetit ( of course) has me salivating over their Rosé sangria with pinapple and guava.

I am kind of obsessed with having a bento box for lunch. A bento box is something so nice looking you don't want to eat it. Food art. It feeds into the Japanese side of me that I claim is real. I had a bento box today. Check them here

I like weird photos. I pride myself in collecting them. Find your own here

Art things. Bellwether Gallery

Fashion things. Les Nouvelles

Where I wish I was spending my summer holiday: Capri, of course. 

And now, I'll send you off with classic Tellier's "Kilometer".........

Sebastien Tellier - Kilometer from Lucky Number Music on Vimeo.


The grass is greener....

Ever been to Assateague? I only surfed it once during my random summer spent in Ocean City, MD, but I think about it often. It is a beach inhabited with wild ponies. They run the show. If they want to trample your towel and eat from your cooler, chomp on your beer cans and whinny all over your folding chair, then move over. I remember watching it from the line up and my jaw nearly dropped in excitement. The reason I recall that day, other than the territorial animals, is because I lived every moment as it came along. Each wave. Each conversation with my girlfriend surfing with me. The clouds. The air (chilly!). And the horrified look on a middle-aged woman's face as a proud pony snorted in her face and stomped on her woven sunhat and rattan beach bag, only to run off with its friends and start an all out stampede.

Sometimes we focus so much on what's to come, we forget to look at what we're actually doing. I am definitely guilty of that right now. I find myself constantly planning ahead, looking to tomorrow, next week, month, and so forth. But what about now? I had to tune back in today. I've been on autopilot. I've noticed it even more since I moved to Orlando. Now when I go to the beach, almost every weekend, I want to spend every minute like it's an hour, and you'll often hear me saying jokingly it's the best day of my life. But when I lived on the beach, I was unhappy, unsettled, and felt like I was wasting my potential... And the cycle continues....and so the grass is greener always it seems. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this habit.

It doesn't help that I've been in a Bread and Viennoiserie class for over a month. The concept of breadmaking is "hurry up and wait." Three and a half hours of this. Make your dough, let it proof, fold it, scale it, rest it, shape it, proof it and so on. I miss baking little sweet treats! Atleast we made puff pastry and did some different formations. There is a lot of photos because I have waited until now to post all the bread pictures. I figured it wasn't that exciting but maybe someone will be fascinated by it. In that case, feel free to drop me a line and I'll tell you all my bread secrets.

This is our main bread oven. I wish I had a single oven this wide in my house. Maybe one day.
J'aime des baguettes.
White pan bread at its finest, aka white mountain bread if you shop at Publix.
Fresh sage, garlic, and rock salt epi formation with baguette dough.
And now in a fougasse (foo-gahz) formation.
And we made brick oven pizzas. I let my partner put meat on the pizza because I wasn't going to eat it.
Rosemary and rock salt focaccia.

Swirled pumpernickel loaf.
 Pain de campagne. Sounds fancy, tastes pretty standard. Contains animal fat. Meh.
 Ciabatta! Mussels marinara anyone?
 Soft rolls in several formations.

 Amish pretzels... they have little fu-man-chu mustaches..
Black sesame, poppyseed, and coarse salt bagels.
Apple cinnamon coffee cakes, double chocolate chip muffins, and cranberry chocolate scones.
Strawberry boulee formations of puff pastry.
Apple or guava turnovers.
Puff pastry pinwheels.
Rosemary olive oil cake with bittersweet chocolate chunks. I can't take credit for this one. I made it from Heidi Swanson's 101 cookbooks website. It smelled divine.
 Challah bread. Pronounced Hollllllaaa... Can I holla atchu?

And finally my brie en croute from outer space. My fluted round details on top really blew up. In hind site, a simple handcrafted leaf would have been better. But I am fond of my little cheese pastry martian.

And now, only 2 weeks left until my "summer break" which lasts 10 days. Can't wait to lounge in my bikini for the entire duration, slam coconut waters, use the ocean as a shower and live like an island child, because that's who I am.