Wow, It has been a while! Tiramisu Recipe for you!


Dear friends, sorry for my absentee posts! The first 7 months of residency have kept me busy, but I am resolved to get some balance back! As an olive branch, I offer you our Family’s Tiramisu Recipe! I enjoyed sharing it with one of my co-residents this weekend! I forgot the joy in sharing cultures and recipes and desserts together!

Mondello Tiramisu Recipe


  • 500g Mascarpone Cheese
  •  5 large eggs
  • 5 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 30-40 hard lady finger cookies (savoiardi) cookies (I like Alessi Brand)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brandy
  • Espresso Coffee  (illy, lavazza, alessi) & coffee maker (You’re going to need a stovetop espresso maker, Water goes into the bottom chamber, espresso coffee goes into the middle, and then screw on tightly and heat over low heat until coffee comes out of the top) an alternative to espresso maker/water is to take espresso ground coffee and fill up a coffee maker with it so that the coffee comes out strong. the stronger the better.
  •  Bitter Cocoa Powder


Coffee mix:

  1. Make espresso (about 4-5 shots)
  2. Add one cup of water to 4 shots of espresso.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons brandy to this.
  4. Place mixture into shallow pan


  1. Separate Egg Yolks from Whites
    YOLKS: Add the sugar to yolks and mix well. Add mascarpone cheese and mix really well until creamy
    WHITES: Whisk egg whites until snowy, white, foamy, fluffy (makes peaks, need electric whisk).
  2. Add  foamy Whites to Cheese/yolks mix really well
  3. Add a tablespoon of brandy to this cream mix.


  1. QUICKLY dip cookies one at a time into coffee and then line bottom of deep baking pan/cassarole dish with them. Don’t get them too soggy, they will become really saturated as you pour the cream on and then it just gets really soggy and gross.
  2. Cover bottom layer with thin layer of cream mix once you have filled the bottom of the pan with ladyfingers.
  3.  Sift some cocoa powder on top
  4. Add another layer of dipped cookies then cream then cocoa.
  5. Repeat until desired height/you run out of cookies. Usually two or three layers.
  6. Cover and Refrigerate cake overnight (at least 2 hours). I thinkTiramisu is best served 12-18 hours after made.




WOW! I’m Engaged!

These posts just get happier and happier! I’m engaged to the wonderful and very patient love of my life! More on the story with photos to come! (I know, I’m horribly behind!)



Wow! I took a 3 day road trip to Minneapolis!

Hey Friends,

This is just a sneak peek at the wonderful girl’s (thanks E&N!) road trip to Minneapolis made possible by my awesome beau who trailed us, with the dogs, in the 24 foot Budget truck. A quick itinerary of our pit stops along the way:


Day 1:


Day 2:



WOW! Minneapolis is Awesome!


Perhaps my Minneapolis post from my apartment hunt didn’t really reflect on how excited I am about my new home. I have had a hard time convincing my dear Texans that I will not be covered in snow, and indeed, Minneapolis is a cool (no pun intended) town. 

In light of these realizations, I decided to make a Minneapolis Top 10 Itinerary. All you Minnesotans, take this with a grain of salt, I have only been there twice. All you Texans, this is a quick rundown of my suggestions if you come visit me! 


TOP 10

10. Take a stroll down Nicolett Mall, make sure to visit Target HQ to experience the shopping cart escalator inside!


Strolling down Nicollet Mall, Target HQ!

9. Treat yourself to an overnight stay at The Hotel Minneapolis (We found a groupon!). I am a sucker for their typography but their pillows proved to be amazing as well. It is also very conveniently located in along the SkyWay, an awesome adventure on it’s own. Skip the Hotel Restaurant to find Broadway Pizza and grab a slice!


Hotel Minneapolis, Typography Love at first Sight


8. Take the Minneapolis Light Rail directly from the Airport to the Mall of America (you can rent jumbo lockers for $13) Make lego versions of yourself at the Lego Store in the Mall of America. While you’re at it, live a little, and ride the SpongeBob Roller Coaster at Nickelodeon Universe! And, since you’re there, go ahead, and visit the Sharks and Jelly Fish at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium (HINT:buy tickets online for a reduced price!)

Make yourself at the Lego Store, MOA


8. Take a Flâneur and duck into one of the many cute-as-a-button coffee shops to warm up! I liked Moose and Sadie’s in the Warehouse District or Boiler Room Coffee near the Minneapolis Institute of Art


7. Rent a NiceRide,MN bike and ride along the Mississippi River. Make sure to cross over on the Stone Arch Bridge!

Stone Arch Bridge from the Guthrie

Stone Arch Bridge from the Guthrie

6. While near the Stone Arch Bridge, get an awesome view, from the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theatre. 


Reflection of myself in the doors of the Endless Bridge, Guthrie Theatre

5. Picnic at Loring Park then visit the Walker  and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. If you’re Catholic, go ahead and attend Mass (if you’re not, take a peak anyways) at St. Mary’s Basilica across the park. It is absolutely beautiful. 



4. Bike, walk or take a bus a mile south to Uptown, grab a snack at The Wedge, and head to Lake Calhoun to enjoy the many historic houses and some of nature’s own art.

3. Continue on the theme of nature and catch a ride on the Minneapolis Light Rail to Minnehaha Falls!  Even frozen over, it was an awesome sight!


Minnehaha Falls Frozen

2. Go Ice Skating on the Lakes! I have yet to try this myself, but I hear that there are free loaner skates in warming houses near the awesome lakes in Minneapolis. Can’t wait to try this out on my first Winter. (Read: many a wow moment as I try to figure skate)

1. After a pancake and fancy chai at the Boiler Room, visit the Minneapolis Art Institute, a free must see. I have traveled across the US and Europe and visited many a museum, and love this one. Find a sculpture “Diego” by my favorite Swiss, Giacometti. 



So there you have it. If you aren’t convinced yet, come visit me, snow or sunshine, this city is thriving. 


Wow! I built a Canoe! (Part one)

Good afternoon!

I have been living in the Austin, Tx area for the past two years. Since my move here, my older brother has asked me to participate in a Canoe building workshop with him. We coordinated and emailed and synchronized our watches until we found my last two Saturdays in Austin to build said canoes. We enrolled into Michael Bull’s workshop. My brother drove in from out of town and we prepared for our labor with a sunset meal at The Oasis on Lake Travis.

ImageThe next morning, lunches packed, we headed to begin the course. I was skeptical at first. Moreover, I was intimidated by the power tools. I pulled myself together, after all, these tools were not too far removed from the ones we use at work, right? Mike reassured me and so, we began.

We drilled, glued, sanded, forstnered, fiberglassed, glued and sanded again. After two Saturdays we had created, to my amazement, two beautiful, canoes.

The experience not only gave me the opportunity to work alongside my big brother, it also reminded me of the fulfillment that comes through crafting. In the face of my upcoming move, this project rekindled the drive that has helped me achieve my personal and career goals.

And while it may seem like silly advice, if you find yourself in a funk, try building a canoe! Worst case scenario, you have spent some time and have a canoe to show for it. Best case scenario: you have a confidence boosting boat as a constant reminder that a little determination, courage and hard work pays off!

Me and my Bulwark

Since this canoe has become such a powerful reminder, I am set on taking it to Minnesota. It is a race against the clock to paint and varnish the canoe before the big move. So far, after a week alone on Walden Pond (Cedar Creek Lake), it is looking pretty shiny and polished.

I appreciate that Mike leaves the finishing for our own leisure (or rush).  It let me brainstorm and problem solve and led to personalization that come with independent work. I chose the solid wood stain colors, ordered a Forstner bit, learned about sandpaper grit, thinned and applied varnish. (I felt one with the canoe, just kidding!).


The final product is a few days away! Stay tuned for part II: Canoe on Camry.

Best of luck with your Canoes! Let me know about the projects that rejuvenate you!


Wow! Celebrity Success Edition


Today was an epic Monday!

I was in a cute coffee shop, reading what I love, getting through myendless to-do list,  and enjoying a delicious Dirty Soy Chai Latte.  A pretty perfect morning, by my standards. (

As I glanced over I saw a face I recognized from my youth but moreover from a month at Dallas Children’s Hospital. It took me a minute to connect it together. It was no other than NFL hall of fame, Dallas Cowboy, three time superbowl winner, Troy Aikman.

Then, an unexpected wave of memory from my month of Dallas Children’s wash over me. I thought of my anxiety, of the very sick kids, of the hard working staff and how the hospital decor brightened everyone’s day. I had an overwhelming need to thank him for the interactive football floor in Dallas Children’s. It is a respite from the hospital for  the children, the parents, the doctors, students and staff. It reminded me of the bigger picture.

It took a minute to build my courage to approach him. In five minutes, I considered whether my thank-you was a good enough reason to invade someone’s privacy, I consulted a friend, I self talked, I sweat. And then, I pulled it together. It was now a personal challenge (yes, a thank-you to a celebrity), I counted to 10 and went for it.


Mr. Aikman couldn’t have been nicer. He even signed a napkin for me! Thank-you again, philanthropists of the world, it matters!

Tell me about your epic Monday or your celebrity encounters!