Friday, December 30, 2011

Thai Chicken Broccoli Salad

My friends Jan and Tara invited me to have lunch with them at their home a few months back. The chef was Jan's husband. It was sooo good! Jan is gluten intolerant, so he made this dish with quinoa pasta. You could use regular semolina pasta if you wanted, but using quinoa is nice for a change...and healthier.


4 ounces uncooked quinoa linguine

½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 2X1/2-inch pieces

2 cups broccoli florets

2 T. cold water

2/3 c. chopped red bell pepper

6 scallions, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces

¼ c. creamy peanut butter

2 T. hot water

2 T. soy sauce

2 t. dark sesame oil

½ t. red pepper flakes

1/8 t. garlic powder

¼ c. unsalted peanuts, chopped


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet.

Add broccoli and cold water to skillet. Cook, covered, 2 minutes. Uncover; cook and stir 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Removed broccoli from skillet. Combine pasta, chicken, broccoli, bell pepper and onions in large bowl.

Blend peanut butter, hot water, soy sauce, oil, red pepper flakes and garlic powder in a small bowl. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Top with peanuts before serving.

Serves 4

Fettuccine with Jalapeno-Lime Cream and Shrimp


3 T. olive oil

½ lb. peeled medium shrimp

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 c. each green, red and yellow bell peppers, cored and cubed

1 medium red onion, cubed

1 T. minced jalapeno pepper, seeds removed

Juice of ½ lime or more to taste

½ c. heavy cream

½ lb. egg fettuccine

Minced fresh cilantro or basil


In a large heavy cast-iron skillet, heat 2 T. of the olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté over high heat until nicely browned and slightly charred. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a cutting board and, when they are cool enough to handle, cube the shrimp.

Add the remaining 1 T. oil to the pan. Add the bell peppers and red onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat until soft and slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure not to burn the peppers.

Lower the heat and add the jalapeño, lime juice, and cream. Bring to a simmer and correct the seasoning. Set the sauce aside.

In a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and return to the pot.

Pour the pepper-and-shrimp sauce over the pasta; toss with two spoons. Add a large grinding of black pepper and the minced cilantro, and serve in individual soup bowls.

Serves 2-3
Note: for variation use grilled chicken

Monday, December 19, 2011

Whitney Cake

I made this cake for my niece Whitney Murdock. It was done all in Ivory fondant. I hadmade the roses in ivory gumpast and then painted them with luster dust. The hydranias and rose buds are also gumpaste, as well as the beading. There were about 50 gumpaste roses on just the top part of the cake.

Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe I have modified from Giada De Laurentiis. I used homemade turkey stock that I made with the left over turkey carcass and herbs from Thanksgiving. The stock you use for this recipe really makes it or breaks it. I highly suggest a rich, tasty stock.


1 small white onion, finely chopped

1/3 c. finely chopped and packed fresh Italian parsley

1 large egg

1-2 t. minced garlic, about 4 cloves

1 ¼ t. fine sea salt

1 large slice rustic Italian bread, crust removed and torn into small pieces

½ c. grated Parmigiano reggiano

8 oz. ground pork

8 oz. ground beef

Fresh ground black pepper


12 c. homemade turkey or chicken stock

1 lb. Kale, curly endive or escarole, coarsely chopped (I use Kale)

2 eggs

¼. c. freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 c. cooked, drained and rinsed, tiny pasta (pastina, or stars)


Heat up 12 cups of stock to a simmer.

To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 teaspoon, shape the meat mixture into little meatballs then add to simmering stock.

While meatballs are simmering, chop the kale and also add to stock. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin strands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook and drain the pasta. Rinse with cold water. Add 3 cups of cooked pasta to stock. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fashion Network Seattle

The Bellevue Scene Magazine

A Model’s Story – Audrey Parrish

By Gabrielle Nomura on May 24, 2010 – 1:51 pmNo Comment

Audrey Parrish
Audrey Parrish Photo by Leo Lam

Story by Tatevik Aprikyan | Courtesy Photos
On a typical drizzly Wednesday afternoon in April, I arrive at Audrey Parrish’s home where she resides with husband Brad and their two daughters Arianna, 5 and Olivia, 2. As I walk up the steps Parrish opens the door door wearing a printed wrap dress with black leggings and signature black Tory Burch flats. Her long blond hair frames her classic face. She is instantly charming, very down to earth and evident that she embodies that certain je ne sais qoui that makes her such a favorite among the fashion industry.
We walk through her immaculate and beautifully decorated home into the living room to conduct the interview. She grabs a glass of water and sits on the couch next to me and says with a laugh “So you just want my life story, easy enough! Well, where do I start? I was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Draper, Utah, and let me guess your next question is going to be am I Mormon and can I ski. The answer is yes and yes,” she adds laughing.
Parrish, one of five children grew up in a traditional American household. Her father was vice president for  the holding company Brown and Young, and was an avid gardener. “We all worked in the yard growing up and my job was mowing the lawn every Saturday. Sometimes I would even mow it twice, it was so perfect you could putt golf on our lawn,” she recalls. Parrish’s mother ran a finishing school and authored an etiquette and dating book titled, “Dating, Dining, Dancing and other Teen Dilemmas.”
Growing up like any other teen girl Parrish flipped the pages of magazines eyeing the models and the fashion trends but never seriously considered modeling. A friend of her mother’s, Melanie LaPatin, (currently of Tony and Melanie, former world champion ballroom dancers and who have choreographed for Dancing with the Stars to So You Think You Can Dance) knew Karen Lee, a scouting agent for Elite Modeling Agency in New York.
LePatin told Parrish’s mother that one day your daughter is going to be a fashion model. Parrish, twelve years old at the time was flattered by the comment but her mother shrugged it off. Two years later, LePatin once again suggested for Parrish’s parents to seriously consider modeling for their daughter. This time for her 14th birthday Parrish took glamour shots with a local photographer. Six months after her parents went to New York on business and decided to take along those photos to Karen at Elite Modeling Agency and visit Ford Models while they were in New York to see if the agencies would be interested in their daughter.
Glamour shots at 14
After taking a look at the photos both agencies were very impressed with Parrish and sent scouts to Utah to meet with her in person. “I was so thrilled they were interested in me. Modeling was definitely something my friends and I thought was very cool,” said Parrish.
Upon finishing the school year Parrish and her mother flew to New York that summer to meet with the agencies and do test shoots.
Filled with excitement Parrish thrilled to be in New York, however her first experience would cause hesitation to enter the modeling world and paint a grim picture of the industry.
“My first test shoot was with a photographer for Elite. There were racks of clothes but I had to wear this very sheer outfit. It was far too revealing for a 14 year old and I felt very uncomfortable not only with the clothes but the photographer too,” she said as she played back that day in her mind. “I just couldn’t go forth with it so I went behind the camera and told the photographer I didn’t feel comfortable in these clothes and if I could please wear something else. I was so young and it wasn’t like this was a job, it was just a test shoot. He took my reaction badly and in his very thick French accent started to yell saying I would never make it in this business and that the body is a beautiful and not to be ashamed of. He told me to leave.”
As the other models and set crew witnessed the incident, Parrish felt humiliated and immediately changed and left. “I played back what he said as i was leaving and thought then this business is not for me. I tried to hold myself together, but as soon as the elevator doors closed behind me I burst out crying,” she recalled.
Later that day a tearful Parrish explained to her mother what had happened and how she was leaning toward quitting modeling all together. Her mother called a friend who was a model working in New York for Ford Model Management. “I was so upset. I came to the hotel, washed my make-up off, pulled my hair into a ponytail and put on sweats and went to her house.” After speaking to the friend who had called and explained the situation to Ford Models, the agency asked for Parrish to come and meet with them right away. “I had the attitude like I don’t care, I’m not going into this business, but I went anyway. Dressed in sweats and with no make-up,” Parrish said.
As she got off the elevator a lady passing by stopped her. “She asked me who I was and took me into her office. She looked at my pictures and talked to me and in 10 minutes offered me a contract with Ford. It turned out she was Katie Ford.” Ford predicted her career in fashion would span over a decade. Parrish looked over the contract with her mother and even though still hesitant after the Elite shoot, Parrish signed a contract with Ford Model Management at the age of 14.
Owner of Elite Modeling, John Casablanca heard of the test shoot incident with Parrish and offer standing with Ford Models. Casablanca personally wrote Parrish a letter of apology and stated the photographer had been let go and offered Parrish a contract with Elite as well.
In a predicament over which agency to sign with, after careful consideration and discussion with her mother, Parrish decided to sign with Ford Model Management that summer at the age of 14.
Test Shoot in NYC
Test Shoot in NYC
Parrish returned home to Utah to finish her ninth grade year and enrolled in a program through Bringham Young University that would allow her to continue with her schooling while she travelled the world modeling. “I would work for two to three months then return home to Utah for a few weeks and a break from modeling, but I’d have my head in the books eight hours a day trying to catch up on school,” she said.
Parrish and her mother moved to New York City and Parrish began her fashion career. “I would get up, go and check in with the agency and get my schedule for the day which typically involved three to four casting calls and then spend the rest of the day casting,” she said.
Parrish landed her first modeling job for an editorial spread in Latin America’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine at 14-years-old. “I remember I couldn’t stop staring at pictures when I saw them. I just kept thinking that doesn’t look like me,” she said as she pulled out the black and white spread from her portfolio.

Harper's Bazaar Editorial Spread
Harper’s Bazaar Editorial Spread

Harper's Bazaar Editorial Spread
Harper’s Bazaar Editorial Spread
Harper's Bazaar Editorial Spread
Harper's Bazaar Editorial Spread
After booking several other jobs in New York City that summer, Ford decided to send Parrish to Japan. There she shot several bridal spreads. After Japan she signed with Ford Paris and began to work in Europe.
In the European market Parrish became the face of French cosmetic line Jean Marc Meniatis and was featured in the magazine French Votre Beaute, ran Pepe Jeans campaign in Holland and graced her first cover for Germany’s Charakter magazine at the age of 15.
Following Katie Ford’s prediction Parrish continued modeling for the next ten years appearing in Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Italy’s Anna Magazine, Twist, Utah Bride, landed parts in several commercials and walking the runways for local designers in Seattle.

April 1997, Cover of Charakter Magazine
April 1997, Cover of Charakter Magazine
Votre Beaute
Votre Beaute
Even with her tremendous success in such a competitive industry, Parrish underwent scrutiny about her weight. Her agency in Paris took a polaroid of Parrish and told her to keep it with her. “They said to always have it as a reminder to lose weight. When I saw the picture all I thought was ‘Wow I look good!’” She said with a laugh.
Parrish candidly explained her struggle with her body image and behaviors. “I did compare myself to the other girls and people in public. And I used to be so obsessed with food in a way that I felt like it was taking over my life! I felt incredibly alone at times. It was similar to bulimia. Instead of depriving myself I became rebellious with food. I would gorge myself. The desire was so intense. It was this feeling of freedom, and I was invigorated with the act, but when it was over I felt the deepest sense of guilt, shame and utter disgust with myself yet I would continue this pattern for days. I never purged but I did abuse laxatives and enemas to flatten my stomach, especially if I had a shoot the next day.”
Even though she lived with her mother throughout her modeling career Parrish said she was very sneaky with food often acted out in binges at night.  ”It’s one thing if you’re naturally a twig and simply can’t help that you’re a natural size 0, but it’s something completely different to be a slender size 6 and try to force your body into a size 2,” She said. “In Japan I was up for a Calvin Klein Jeans advertisement, and my hips were a size 35. I was told to eat fish and vegetables for three days because they wanted me to be a size 34. I tried it for a day and then said screw it.”
She also witnessed first hand how the fashion industry could destroy young girls. “I definitely had my fair share of chances to get into the sex, drugs and drinking part of this industry,” Parrish recalled. “I remember being at a party in Japan and the girls saying ‘come on Audrey, have a cigarette, have just one drink,’ but I just never even wanted to. I think it was the way I was brought up. I was grounded and knew at a young age the difference between right and wrong.” Parrish remembered a male model who was do intoxicated at a party and showed up on set the next morning hung over to the point he couldn’t shoot. “His agency made him pay the salary of the crew, photographer and everyone else on set. Once I heard that I thought, definitely not getting into all that and plus in my religion we just don’t drink.” She said.
About three years after starting to model, Parrish’s intense work schedule was becoming exhausting and the continued pressures of weight at an age when a young girl’s body is growing and changing can be difficult to adapt to in such an image driven industry.
“After I came back to New York, Katie Ford and I had lunch and she could tell I was getting tired and suggested a longer break would give me the chance to rest and get myself back together. So I went back home to Utah,” Parrish explained.
While in Utah, Parrish was invited on a water skiing trip with friends to Lake Powell. “Ford used to tell the girls not to do anything extreme like rollerblading or skiing or because if you injured yourself or got a scar you wouldn’t be able to find work. So now that I was home of course that was the first thing I did. Unfortunately it almost ended my career,” she said.
Parrish got in a serious accident wake-boarding. She fell off the board, into the water and the board came up from under her and hit her near the eye. “I wiped the water off my face and as I came to the boat, my friends were frantic and asking if everything was ok. I looked at my hand and it was covered in blood. Lake Powell was so far away that we really only had two options; to duck tape my eye together or use fishing wire to sew it. To this day, I swear it was a miracle that the boat driver found super glue in his pocket and that’s what we used to put my eye together,” she explained.
Once home in Draper, Parrish saw a plastic surgeon and as the wound was healed it left a major scar. “I knew I couldn’t go back to New York looking like that, plus they had told me I had to lose 10 pounds to model again. So I had two options to just wait it out for a few months or enroll back in high school for my senior year. I said screw the weight and decided to enroll.”
High school gossip, dating and hanging out with friends became the norm to Parrish’s jet-setting modeling days. After senior year Parrish went to Bringham Young University in Provo, Utah. Academics took a back seat and Parrish got caught up in the college scene, so much that she was placed on academic probation.
“I met Brad, my husband while I was on that probation period. My parents and his parents knew each other and thought it would be fun to hook us up. I remember meeting him for the first time and thinking he was really cute.” she recalls.
Audrey and Brad
Audrey and Brad one of their first meetings
Their first official date didn’t go well and the couple stopped seeing each other. “I think we both nervous after that first date, but in the time we spent apart he read my mom’s etiquette book and was trying to stick to it. I thought that was so sweet.”
A few dates later and an engagement that lasted 6 months, they married. I enrolled back in school at Salt Lake City Community College and went from academic probation to making the Dean’s list.” Parrish was taken off academic probation at BYU continued to study archaeology and cultural anthropology; an interest that peaked from her travels modeling.
After giving birth to her first child Arianna, Parrish and her husband relocated to Seattle when he was offered a position with FM-Global. “It was such a difficult time for me. We always did things with my parents and Brad’s family in Utah, it wasn’t easy to be away from family on a daily basis, especially with a baby. I think I just wanted to find social circle and that’s why I decided to go back to modeling,” she said. Parrish signed with TCM Modeling and Talent Management in Seattle.
Slowly getting settled with life in Seattle and with a baby, Parrish began to return to modeling.In addition to her editorial bookings she began walking the runways for local designer. Over the years she has booked work for 425 Magazine, Luly Yang, Microsoft, Voletta Couture, Nordstrom, Amazon, Bellevue Square, Kelly Flynn, Bella Bottega, Marilyn Young and many more. “When I had my second child Olivia, I was certain I was done, because of all the changes your body goes through, but instead I modeled for a lot of maternity lines. So I guess it worked out. Olivia gets credit for that!”

Parrish’s career truly spanned as Katie Ford first predicted and she continues to work  on a weekly basis modeling in Seattle In addition to fashion, Parrish loves to cook. Her signature dish is Italian Bolognese. She also makes gourmet cakes, including disney theme cakes for her girls’ birthdays. Parrish spends time working with her church, finishing her degree and of course being a mother.
Family Vacation, (L-R) Olivia, Ariana, Audrey
Family Vacation, (L-R) Olivia, Ariana, Audrey
As we wrap up the interview, Ariana, who was quietly playing upstairs runs down wearing a black and white floral dress with a yellow cardigan looking very ready for spring and asks mommy if they could go for a smoothie later. Once Parrish says yes a happy Ariana runs back upstairs, but pauses and quickly skips back to gives her mother a hug and kiss. Ariana has already followed in her mother’s footsteps and has modeled for Nordstrom, Amazon and the Hyatt Hotels.
Made From Scratch by Audrey
Made From Scratch by Audrey
I ask Parrish how she instills healthy eating in her children. She said “I strongly believe in food that is as little processed as possible. We eat everything full-fat, I don’t believe in non-fat foods. I rarely offer my girls unhealthy options. We usually don’t have chips or lots of instant foods in our pantry. I make most things from scratch and I only make desserts on weekends. We have steel cut oats for breakfast in the morning, you know what’s interesting, when I give my kids cold cereal in the morning for more than two days in a row my Ariana asks me when she gets to have oatmeal again. It’s just as quick as cold cereal and so much better for them.”
Parrish said becoming a mother has opened up a side of her she didn’t think existed. “I’ve always strived to put God and my family first so my priorities have stayed the same, but I’ve learned I have a whole new set of virtues I need to work on, the biggest one is patience. As much as I tease my friends if they want to adopt the kids, I still would sacrifice myself first if anything were to happen to them. I do feel a greater responsibility now that I am a parent, to teach my children to desire correct vales and principles so that when the day comes for them to govern themselves they are prepared to take on this world not only to survive in it but conquer it. That’s what parents have taught me and that’s what I will strive for ’till my days end.”
Parrish spends her days with the girls and modeling. She says her level of success was not determined by how many covers of magazines she graced or if she finally launched a major cosmetics campaign, but proving she could stay true to herself in a world so different from her own. “I learned a lot about who I really was as a person at such a young age and what was the true worth of my life. When that photographer in my early career told me I would never make it in this business, I’m just proud to say that I was able to come as far as I did with the many obstacles that were placed before me.”
Parrish recently filmed a promotional video for Sherlock Holmes that is an interactive video game. Her latest project is to begin blogging for

King 5 Evening Magazine

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I found this recipe in the cookbook  "How to Roast a Lamb" by Michael Psilakis. This classic Greek dish, often referred to as Greek Lasagna, makes one large pan enough for 15 to 20 people. Just like lasagna, this dish must rest after baking to set, or it will be difficult to serve.

3 T. blended oil (90 percent canola, 10 percent extra-virgin olive)
1 large Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped
3 fresh bay leaves or 6 dried leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pounds ground beef
1 ¼ t. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
Pinch ground cloves (optional)
¼ cup tomato paste
2 ¼ quarts water
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed slightly, with all the juices
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. sugar
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 (500-gram) package Misko Macaroni Pastitsio no. 2 or Bucatini, ditali, or any long and hollow pasta
1 ¾ quarts Greek Béchamel Sauce (recipe follows)
1 c. coarsely grated graviera cheese.

Make the kima sauce:
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and wilt the onion with the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly. Add all the spices and the tomato paste and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the water, tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, about 2 Tablespoons of kosher salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for a couple of hours. Skim off the fat once or twice. Reduce until the sauce is almost completely dry. Proceed with the recipe, or cool and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of generously salted boiling water, cook the macaroni until almost tender, a minute or so before the al dente stage. Drain well. Spread 1 cup of the Greek Béchamel Sauce on the bottom of a deep roasting pan or lasagna pan, and sprinkle with 1/3 cup graviera. Lay half of the noodles out on top of the béchamel. You should have 2 to 3 layers of noodles. Spread another cup of the béchamel over the noodles, without disturbing the direction of the noodles, to bind them. Scatter with 1/3 cup of the graviera. Spoon all of the kima sauce over the top and smooth flat. Spread 1 more cup of the béchamel over the kima sauce, scatter with 1/3 cup graviera.
Layer remaining pasta noodles over the béchamel. Spoon on the remaining béchamel and scatter with the remaining 1/3 cup of graviera. Bake uncovered until crusty, golden, and set, about 1 hour. If you don’t have a convection oven, you may want to increase the heat to 400 degrees at the end, to brown the top. Cool for at least 40 minutes, to allow the custard to set so that the squares will remain intact when you cut them. Or, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.

Greek Béchamel Sauce (makes about 1 ¾ quarts)

Greek béchamel differs from French béchamel or Italian besciamella due to the inclusion of whole eggs. When a dish is baked, the eggs in the sauce create a custard. This basic ingredient is what makes many Greek dishes so special. Because of the large quantity of flour and the resulting thickness o the roux, you really can’t step away from the stove while you are preparing this sauce. Plus, you’ll need muscle to stir it thoroughly.

5 ounces unsalted butter
10 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ½ quarts whole milk, warm
2 ½ t. ground cinnamon
Large pinch nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
1 ½ to 2 t. kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
5 large eggs, lightly beaten

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over low heat whisking with a large balloon whisk. Add the flour and whisk to a very crumbly roux, not a smooth paste. Whisk constantly and energetically for about 5 minutes to cook off the raw flour taste, but do not allow browning (slide the pot off and on the heat every now and then if you sense it is getting too hot).
Still whisking constantly, drizzle in the warm milk until smooth. Continue cooking, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the mixture at a very low simmer, until very thick. Whisk in the cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt to taste, and a generous amount of pepper.
Scoop out about ¼ cup of the warm sauce. In a bowl whisk the sauce into the eggs to temper them. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk all the egg mixture back into the béchamel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chanel Handbag (black)

This Cake I made for my really good friend Su Choi. To make the fondant shine I used steam.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moist Banana Cake


1 ½ cups banana, mashed, ripe
2 t. lemon juice
3 cups cake flour
1 ½ t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
¾ c. butter, softened
2 1/8 c. sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. buttermilk


Preheat oven to 275 degrees. (yes, 275 degrees is not a typo) Grease and flour or parchment paper and butter a 9x13 cake pan or two 8 inch rounds.
In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 t. vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for one hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven. Wait about 20 minutes then pop cakes out of pans onto plastic wrap and wrap cake to seal moisture. Place wrapped cakes on clean baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for about 45 minutes. Unwrap the cooled cake as frost as usual.