Currently Coveting: Parisian Desserts

posted on: Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oh Paris. It's one of those dreamy destinations that is probably high on everybody's bucket list. I know it's on mine. Everyone who's been to Paris has told me the exact same thing: "Chandara, it's just what you've always imagined..romantic, ethereal, and just perfect!" While I long for the day to come, I'm currently living out my dream vicariously through instagrammers who pretty much packed up their bags for the Eiffel Tower and never looked back.

One of my go-to instagram feeds is from Nicole of Gary Pepper Girl, a fashionista who has the dreamiest of jobs--traveling, eating, and documenting her life in this city.  Another Parisian transplant is Carin of Paris in Four Months, a photographer who captures the most amazing images of her dining and sightseeing excursions. We both use the same camera equipment, and I laughed when I read her post about people attributing her amazing images to her camera versus her photographic talent. There are so many times when I get that same remark, and I wonder if I've ever told a host that their food was amazing because their stove was a great chef! Haha! It's probably the worst thing you can say to a photographer because truly, you can give 10 people the same exact camera equipment and I promise you that you will get a multitude of images where you can easily pick out who clearly has talent and who still has yet a ways to go. 

Photography aside, these bloggers have me lusting over Parisian patisseries where the desserts are just as decadent and eye-catching as their impeccably designed packaging and interior walls. These sinfully luxurious sweet pleasures are what I look forward to whenever I can make my way to Paris. What are your favorites? I'd love to hear!

Laduree in Paris | Lexia Frank Photography via Style Me Pretty

L'éclaire de Génie  | via Farfelue
3. Pierre Hermé
Pierre Herme Ispahan | Via Flickr
4. Angelina

Angelina | via Paris in Four Months

While Paris is still a long way from home, I'll definitely make it a point to hit up Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles for their macarons, eclairs, and pastries this summer. I cannot wait!

Bottega Louie | Bryce Covey Photography via SMP Living

Spicy Curried Shrimp with Thai Basil + Kaffir Limes

posted on: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spicy Curried Shrimp with Thai Basil + Kaffir Limes | via Chandara Creative

This is one of my favorite go-to stir fry dishes that I whip up when I feel like something spicy and full of flavor. It's a snap to put together as long as you have the pantry items in your kitchen, and the aroma is out of this world! Kaffir lime leaves are so fragrant when sliced thinly and paired with the zesty spice of red curry and chili paste, alongside the cool notes of coconut milk to tie everything together. 

The last few times I made this dish, I realized that this dish stands out in my mind because it was faintly reminiscent of the flavors my tastebuds experienced while noshing on the famed Kuhuku shrimp plates served from food trucks that line Oahu's North Shore.  Everytime my hubby and I go back to visit Oahu, our trip is never complete without making our pilgrimage to the mecca of fresh Kahuku shrimp--more specifically to our favorite Fumi's Shrimp Truck. After a few quick snap shots next to their awesome truck mural, we make our way to the small window and even when our minds are already made up about placing our usual order of their spicy garlicky buttered shrimp plate, we can't help but drool over the rest of the menu items, including their coconut-battered shrimp.  And just like old times, each plates comes with a good-sized portion of spicy, buttered shrimp nestled on a bed of rice (and extra bits of garlic) with a small salad, a slice of golden Hawaiian pineapple, and washed down with a can of refreshing Pass-O-Guava (passion fruit, orange, and guava) juice. It's a tradition that dates back to over 10 years for us during the time my hubby was living on the island, and I would visit him during my 3-day weekends in college.  After a full day of lounging along the North Shore, we'd cap it off with a shrimp truck excursion.  To this day, Hawaii still holds a special place in both our hearts and we try and visit every chance we can, although I realize it may be a bit tougher now with our little one on the way. But, that of course, won't stop us as I would love nothing more than to share this tradition with our newest addition. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that I'll have a good eater on my hands :) And with that, I hope you'll give this recipe a whirl. 

Fumi's Spicy Buttered Kahuku Shrimp Plate | via Chandara Creative
Fumi's Spicy Buttered Kahuku Shrimp Plate | Oahu North Shore, HI | via Chandara Creative

Spicy Curried Shrimp with Thai Basil & Kaffir Limes
Serves 2

  • Ingredients 
    • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled & deveined
    • 1 tbs red curry paste
    • 1 tbs chili paste with soy bean oil 
    • 1/2 tbs tom yum paste
    • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or more based on preference)
    • 1-2 red chili peppers, thinly sliced
    • 1 tbs ginger, sliced into matchsticks
    • 1/2 tbs kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • • 3 sprigs Thai basil, washed & leaves separated 
    • 2 tbs vegetable or canola oil for stir frying

  • Instructions:
  • 1. In a wok or large saute pan, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat and spoon in the soy bean oil w/chili paste, curry, and tom yum paste. After 1 minute, add in ginger, kaffir lime leaves, and garlic and cook for another minute. 
  • 2.  Pour in coconut milk and allow to simmer with the curry paste mixture for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer, you can add another dollop of coconut milk. Add the fresh red chili peppers and stir well. 
  • 3. Add in the shrimp and fish sauce and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until shrimp is nicely coated and cooked thoroughly.  Turn off heat and sprinkle in fresh basil leaves. Give it one last stir, and serve immediately over a bed of warm jasmine rice. Enjoy!

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