Tag Archives: cupcakes

A funky, funky Christmas

28 Dec

Hello all!!! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged but I finally got back today from Florida and am happy to be back! It’s great to see my family (The stress that goes along with it? Not so much) and hang out but I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things again around here and back to my normal schedule. It was a funky, funky Christmas though.

Oh NKOTB, you still have my heart. I never realized how Beastie Boys they were trying to sound in this song though? Maybe because I was around 12 when it came out.

The funky part came on Christmas Eve when my parents asked me how work was. If you recall, work isn’t going so great. I have absolutely no poker face so when they asked me, I just broke down in tears and it went downhill from there. They asked me what my plan was and I told them how I will most likely be quitting in 2011 and taking out some of my 401K money to live on. Tip: Don’t tell your financially strapped parents who already have enough stress with their finances you’re going to do on Christmas Eve, you won’t get a great reaction. Unfortunately, this set the tone for the weekend since this is all they are worries about now. I don’t know why they don’t have more faith in me that I will find a better job and don’t want to be unhappy anymore. Alot of tears, “What are you going to do? What if you don’t find a job?”  later, we stopped talking about it and went to dinner. They know that the way to my heart is sushi and we went to an all you can eat buffet-holla!

I’m not going to lie-I had about two and a half plates of sushi. My mercury quota is met until early 2012. They had over 20 different types of sushi on the line plus the sushi chefs would make you a roll if you didn’t see the specific one there. It hit the spot.

On the way home, I drove with my older sister who asked me what was wrong and I told her all the drama about work. She said that I need to make a change ASAP because I’m not a depressed or sad person and she hates seeing me this way. We stopped at 7-11 because slurpees always make me feel good so I picked one up, got into the car and after driving for a few minutes, I realized the slurpee sucked. Yeah, don’t try Power to the Purple, it’s rank. So then I started crying over my slurpee which officially made me that girl. We continued to drive to yet another 7-11 on Christmas Eve because we are classy like that and finally found old faithful-Coke flavored slurpee. She talked me through everything, assured me everything was going to be fine (you know, the things parents should do) and we went over different plans. It was nice to have someone on my side, telling me I could do it and find something that better fits my personality instead of someone questioning my abilities.

What also made it better? Some Mickey loving!

Mickey is my parents dog whom I love very much for he is my voluptuous baby. My mom got Mickey when I was a freshman in college so he is a bit older now but I love seeing him and he is very lovey, which was perfect since I was missing Sir Linx-a-lot.

Yeah, I love that dog.

No visit is complete without finding the local cupcake bakery. This visit it was Cupcake Couture. Not only is it a cute name for a cupcake shop but the cupcakes had adorable designer names like Donatella Vanilla, Oscar de la Raspberry and Yves Saint Lemon. LOVE!

Walking into the store alone just made me happy–decked out in all kinds of pastel colors, candy coated murals with some Charlie and The Chocolate Factory playing, a smile was on my face. Then I saw the cupcakes and that is where my jaw dropped and eyes went all crazy eyes just from staring at the beauty of their cupcakes.

 Their cupcakes are seriously designer, they were so gorgeous, I didn’t even want to eat it. I always want to eat cupcakes. I love the cutesy little designer names for the cupcakes and I swore to myself I wasn’t going to go on a cupcake rampage so had to look through all the ones they had and decide on one. I finally went with the Boston Couture (i.e. Boston Creme), it was heavenly. My sister got the Red Valentino and still not word on how it was…..hmmmm.

 It has a hard, thick (giggity) chocolate shell in the place of the traditional frosting topped with drizzles of white chocolate.

 Under that was a think layer of custard then a yellow cupcake base.

 After tasting the first bite

Yes, that would be the face of ecstasy.

Do I even have to tell you this was amazing? I am still up in the air if it was better than Crumbs. If you are ever in South Florida, you MUST check this place out!

Before that, we stopped at the Green Owl, which is right next door to Cupcake Couture.

I thought of Janetha because the decor is all OWLS. Um, sorry to say, owls kinda freak me out. They weren’t cute owls, there were creepy owls and then owls from the 1970’s, very kitschy.

The owls even watched me in the lady’s room. I don’t know if I was more scared of that or that the bathroom door didn’t have a lock

The grub was good though, typical diner fare food but it hit the spot plus we didn’t want to eat too much because we had to save room for cupcakes.

Other than that, I got some gifts I am quite stoked about. I really didn’t ask for too much this year because of my parents financial condition along with the fact I really don’t need anything…..other than to have my student loans paid off or get a new job, neither which they could help me with. But for the few I got, I am completely happy with them.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY! My sister got me a panini maker and I didn’t even ask for it, I see this becoming my new obsession very soon!

I also got a mandoline that I am quite excited about as well–my mom was working at William-Sonoma as a gift wrapper so she got the 40% off discount and that was at the top of my list!

And of course, the gift I get from my parents each year and the one I look most forward to

What can I say, I’m easy to please.

I’m sure there’s alot more to my visit than all of this but right now, I am emotionally and physically spent from traveling today. Plus WVU is playing in the Champs Bowl right now. If they could make a touchdow or two, I would be a happy gal since they have yet to really show up to the game.

How was everyone’s holiday?? Any dramalicious fun like mine?

Big Apple Birthday Weekend

14 Dec

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is doing super fabulous! I got back from NYC today and am trying to catch up on everything. Thankfully I cleaned my place before leaving so that is one less thing to worry about.

I got into JFK around 3P on Saturday bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and Mari was there to pick me up. She was gracious to host me for the weekend and I owe her a big thank you! It was cold but nothing unbearable but I was safe with packing layers and layers among clothes plus winter accessories. I just had a big purse and a carry on with me which is 99% of the time unheard of with me since I like to have options. But with it being winter and all, I took a couple of sweaters, one pair of sneakers and pair of boots.

(source)

The first place we went to was 5 Burros in Queens. I’ve been reading about this place on the blogs since the beginning of this year and it was one of the places I insisted on going to during my visit.

 I ordered a mango margarita and was hoping that I would get some cute, crawly, critter on my drink like I’ve seen in pictures.

The margarita was everything I hoped for and more. When I took the first sip, it was all tequila. That’s a good thing. When I pay for a drink at a restaurant, I want to taste the liquor. We were going out for drinks afterwards so I didn’t want to order anything too heavy but needed enough food in my tummy to get my drink on so I went with the grilled shrimp salad

Absolutely delicious. The only thing I could suggest was them taking the tails off. I hate when I forget to cut one off and spit spit goes the tail.

Me and Monique (Mo)

After that, we went to the bar to get some liquid goodies. Mari’s man was DJing that night and we found a table right near him. He was awesome! He played such a good mix of songs from current stuff (which I had to keep asking everyone at the table who sang it) to stuff from college, which made me super happy and giddy.

Mari brought her Crystal Light to mix with a shot of vodka and water. I absolutely love this idea and it’s a great alternative to calorie heavy, sugary drinks!

(source)

Mari, Missy, Monique and Me. Yay for blogger meetups!

Monique keeping dry at the bus stop.

The next morning I met up with Mo to take on the city!

First stop-Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery. Just typing that name out makes me smile. It’s becoming habit that anytime I visit a new place, I have to visit a cupcake place in the area. This can either be a really good or really bad thing. Probably really bad but I like to think really good.

I got an iced coffee (which didn’t even need Splenda added to it–unheard of!) and I got the Kissable Cupcake-peppermint chocolate with a buttercream frosting since mint + chocolate is my favorite combination out there. I saved it for a later time though since we had an agenda.

We split a Sexy Red Velvet Cupcake

Hello lover.

And we split a Chocolate Pudding. Mo was raving about their pudding and while I would never order pudding anywhere, it was delightful.

Not only was it chocolate pudding but it also had pieces of chocolate cake and frosting too. It was a chocolate party in my mouth. I may have moaned during a few bites because it was damn tasty. Too bad we couldn’t finish the whole thing. We let the sugar soak into our system and then went to…..

 

 

Well, you will have to stay tuned. This girl is super tired!

Cupcakes, Chili and Sanchez

6 Dec

Happy Monday (oxy moron if I’ve ever heard one). This is going to be a little weekend recap of a post. I feel like I was on the go all weekend and really didn’t get a chance to relax. I complain about that but I kinda like it that way because then I can relax on the week nights and don’t have to worry about getting anything done. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is staying warm! It’s supposed to be 17 tomorrow night and I am stoked. I am one of the weird ones who digs the cold weather since I can keep layering clothes on until I can’t put down my arms and have an excuse to hunker down on the couch. Before I forget— thanks for everyone for commenting on Lincoln’s post on Saturday. He had a super fabulous birthday and appreciates all the warm wishes!

I had a Groupon for The Blushing Bakeshop that I’ve been waiting to use. They are located on the side of town and never really make my way down there however when I took Lincoln to get groomed on Saturday, I thought, why not and stop by. I’ve read reviews about them on Yelp, both good and bad and wanted to chime in. And let’s be honest, I just wanted some  cupcakes. There I said it. 

They have little cutesie names for them which I found endearing but at the same time confusing. I like my cupcake names to be straight up: Carrot Cake, Red Velvet Cake, etc. Who knew that Dan meant Boston Crème? I know I didn’t. I got 4 (of course can’t remember the technical names) but they included: birthday cupcake, carrot cake, apple cake and boston crème.

 I tried the carrot cake one which was delectable and everything I hoped it would be along with the birthday one. Their buttercream frosting was out of this world and almost as big as the actual cupcake. I will be going back there for the frosting alone.

Their cupcakes were a bit pricey (I believe $2.75 a pop) but think this would be a special treat kind of place. The size of them reminded me of Georgetown Cupcake  , which is a top-notch cupcake place. I had to place the remaining two in the freezer before I demolished them but my tummy was definitely happy after trying The Blushing Bakeshop!

 Right before I picked up Lincoln, I passed by Lorenzo’s Pizzeria— Another spot I’ve been itching to go to. Any time I think of Lorenzo’s, my mind automatically flashes back to the Van Buren Boys episode on Seinfeld (one of my fave episodes!) Lorenzo’s is also on the other side of town and I knew I wouldn’t be in that area again for awhile. I’ve heard this place is out of this world and has authentic NY Pizza so I stopped in to see what it’s all about. Mind you I’m going to NY this wknd so I won’t need to wait long to have some NY style [pizza (since I didn’t get some this summer) but any excuse for pizza right? I got a slice of their pepperoni to enjoy later but I saw they offered slices of Sicilian pizza which made my heart jump. I never see any places with single slices of Sicilian pizza so this is a good thing this place is 25 mins from where I currently live because that would just be dangerous.

The pizza was terrific just as I expected. I don’t know if it was the cupcakes, the pizza or all the excitement of Lincoln’s birthday but soon after I was in a mini coma and I couldn’t stay awake for the WVU-Rutgers game. Big boooooo to that. It was WVU’s last regular scheduled game of the year and I tried desperately to stay awake but kept falling back into sleep.  But then a few hours later I awoke to the smell of chili. I was competing in a chili cookoff on Sunday and made me chili in the crock ahead of time on Saturday. It was just about finished cooking and I enjoyed a bowl topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.

 I try to go all out when I make my chili and don’t have a set recipe but this time, I just didn’t put any heart into it. I have just been exhausted this past week with doing stuff around the house and trying to get everything done before I leave next weekend, I didn’t plan out what I would put into it and just used the stuff I already had–Morningstar Veggie Crumbles, kidney beans, onions, jalapenos, Tabasco sauce, cumin, chili powder, garlic and black pepper. Next time I want to add more beans like cannellini or black beans instead of the standard kidney beans. I made it extra spicy this time around by adding slices of jalapenos and more Tabasco sauce than normal and you know what? I won 4th place at the chili cookoff  went to on Sunday! Yeah, 4th is nice and everything but  I am making a vow right now that next year I will place higher.

 Getting pinned with my 4th place chili  boutonniere.

Why do I look like a coffee toting mannequin?

There was a pup that’s smaller than Lincoln! Percy was absolutely adorable.

Source

 Sunday night  I went over to my friend’s place so Lincoln and I could get our Christmas pictures taken. We had a mini photo shoot and decided on three pictures for our Christmas cards. Lincoln was loving his Santa Paws shirt and even wore it to bed! It’s so sad though because when I bought the shirt it looked small for him but it ended up being too big. Poor little petite doggie. Here’s a few good photos we had.

 Every year I order them on Walgreens.com and they are ready the next day and can pick up there instead of having to worry about shipping +delivery. If you go to Walgreens.com and enter in the code CREATIVE you can get $10 off any $20 photo gift order through December 11! I picked them up tonight and am super excited—you gotta love a place that can make holiday cards in less than 24 hours!

I know many people out there are talking about the big Jets-Patriots game tonight. I love me some football but really don’t care about either team so when people have asked me who I want to win my response has been “Well, I am going with who I think the hotter quarterback is”

Or

 Verdict? Sanchez all the way baby.

 Go Jets.

PS–Win some VS snazzy PINK gear at Fashion Meets Food!

Fat calves, lasagne, biscotti and Jack

18 Oct

 Hi all–hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! The past few days haven’t been too exciting—-recooperating from my icky state of being I’ve been in (I am blaming it on the weather changing from 40 to 80 within the day), tying up all the loose ends with my old job and trying to mentally prepare for the new one that I started today. Some regular eats

A good book

I’ve been in such a reading rut lately I welcomed a good book with wide open arms. I stayed up two nights in a row until 2A reading this and loved every bit of it. I recommend!

My last day at my hellhole job

But they brought me cupcakes for my last day and took me to lunch so I guess that somewhat made up for the four years spent in hell

This weekend? Well, it was spent relaxing and cooking. I did a little shopping for clothes and shoes for my new position but it didn’t end too well. I picked up some cute tops but then when I went to shop for boots, all hell broke loose. Thanks to me and my fat calves, nothing would zip up. I don’t have cankles or anything but they are thicker towards the knee. I would try on boots they proclaimed they fit “Wide Calves” AKA Fat Calves like mine and no go. So I got frustrated. And then I tried on some more and got even more frustrated. One of the employees saw I was having a difficult time and led me around the store in search of boots that would fit be and no good came out of that. Soon, I was that girl at DSW crying because of my fat calves and she tried to soothe me by saying “You don’t have fat calves-they are wide calves” and that made me cry even more saying “No, they aren’t wide or voluptuous, they are plain fat, thick calves” Oi. So, I left DSW with no boots and on a mission to find boots. I figured Lane Bryant would have boots for girls with fat calves like me and no go. They were all sold out. I finally found some at Avenue and bought a beautiful pair of knee-high suede boots they are way comfortable. Then, I saw that shoes were buy one, get one 50% off so I picked up a pair of ankle cut boots walking out of there spending $62-score! DSW girl-wherever you are–I’m truly sorry for my behavior. Like Daniel Powder, I had a bad day.

Another thing that took up a good chunk of my weekend was cooking. I am going to break this down into today and tomorrow’s post but the  first thing on the list was lasagne. I haven’t made lasagne since this spring and was long overdue. I am a fan of any meal I can make in bulk, freeze then enjoy at a later date. I really don’t have a set lasange recipe so this time I made it with eggplant, shrooms and Morningstar crumbles

A perfect meal! I haven’t bought Morningstar crumbles in a long time so it was nice to get to cook with it again and I have some leftover for other meals.

I tried this recipe for Fig and Walnut Biscotti I love biscotti but when I think about it, buying one for $1.50 at Starbucks is just not financially smart on my behalf so why not try making my own? When I was at the supermarket, I looked, looked and looked for figs but I couldn’t. I decided to throw mini chocolate chip morsels in the mix for fun because nothing spells fun like nuts and chocolate.

They actually turned out well. They aren’t stale yet so not totally like biscotti but I had one with my morning coffee and it was yummy. I was so pre-occupied with getting ready for my first day on the new job I forgot to make breakfast but luckily I brought a banana and apple with me. My new group seems really cool and they even talk! I’m not used to having co-workers who talk and are friendly so this is a nice surprise. A lot of them are younger (I am almost 31 but like to think I am 24 still) and seem nice. We went for lunch today at Qdoba, which again, so nice since my former team never wanted to go to lunch. I think I am going to like this position a lot more and it seems really challenging. Many of you know, I hated my old job. I was constantly working my butt off, never taking lunch breaks and just didn’t enjoy it…..at all. I was working in closing secondary assignments for the syndicated loan market (it sounds like fun, I know) and I was in a numbers driven environment and went above and beyond my goals each month but was never rewarded. I am still at the same company but in a different role working with smaller loans so it will be something completely different for me to learn but I am excited about it. I will rock this.

And for those who haven’t seen my Twitter (why aren’t you following me by the way?), Lincoln has a Howl-o-week outfit!

I now pronounce……

Captain Jack Sparrow!

Ah, I love that little bugger.

Weekend Recap

9 Aug

 On Saturday, I was up and at em at 5A. WTF is that all about? Let’s just say I was not a happy camper about the situation but couldn’t go back to bed so I laced up my shoes and got to walking. Ok, well not quite…..it still a bit dark so I watched some infomercials then walking I went. It was so peaceful out and I only saw a couple other people out running and walking, I absolutely love desert early mornings.

Not bad for almost an hour of walking. I stopped at Starbucks on the way back and got a grande coffee and then made a breakfast smoothie with blueberries, half a packet of Spiru-Tein Banana Protein Powder, Almond Milk and Xanthan Gum

 As many of you know, I am not a nut butter fan at all. I will eat it every now and then (especially when covered in chocolate) and have read many rave reviews of Peanut Butter & Co. Bloom had it on special for $3 a jar this week and I bought a jar to see if I would like it.

Success! I haven’t had oats since it was cooler outside and decided to bring it back on Sunday morning. I sliced a banana then sprinkled the slices with cinnamon, laid rolled oats over that and then topped with a dollop of the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. Yummy. I think if I bought the White Chocolate Peanut Butter they had I would be done (thankfully they were sold out when I bought this jar)

 After seeing this recipe on Tamara’s site, I was in the mood to bake. I still have a supply of POM Wonderful on my hands and haven’t baked in a while so I bought the few ingredients I didn’t have on hand and got to baking! I don’t have a cake pan but have muffin pans on hand so I made cupcakes with this recipe and bought Fun-Fetti cake mix instead of vanilla cake mix.

I love playing with food dye

 These were great but I was expecting more pomegranate flavor so I would use more next time.

After seeing the cooking demonstration on pesto at Carrabba’s on Saturday, I decided to make my own.

 

Lincoln was even eating good. I had to either use or throw away the last turkey burger I gave the other night and knew he would appreciate it

I made home-made pizza with Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough topped with mushrooms, olives and fresh basil and scallions.

I met up with some girlfriends for lunch at Fox and Hound It was Sunday at noon and  hot outside. Why not have a drink? I tried the Fruit Loopy-Three Olives Grape and Cherry vodka, Triple Sec, hurricane and sour mix with a splash of Sprite.

OH

MY

GAWD

Can I just drink this forever? Ok, maybe not forever because I would go into sugar shock but I could seriously down this in a few sips since it was so good!

I kept flip-flopping between wings, a burger, sliders or a sandwich. I love bar food so much but everything else looked good. I finally had to just close the menu and decide on something because if I didn’t I would have never made a decision. I hate that. I wish more restaur ants would have Choose Two options because sometimes I want to try something new but then what if it disappoints?

Anywho, I got the Black Forest Sandwich—grilled turkey, applewood bacon, Monterrey jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and honey mustard on a Bavarian pretzel roll.

I stopped at Earth Fare after that to look around and ended up getting a Magenta Magic Smoothie

It was great but this alone reminded me that I can make my own smoothies at home and save $4 or $5 a pop. Damn you smoothie cravings!

I went to Ross and got some great deals—two dresses and a Nike Fit Dry shirt (for only $5—holla!!)

I went on a two-mile walk and then did some yoga poses when I got back home. I even ran a bit on my walk and it didn’t hurt too bad and my knee isn’t hurting any more from when I don’t run so I may start incorporate more running into my program again. Well, when it gets cooler at least, I am so not a hot weather runner.

I really had no clue what to make for dinner. I have lunch for the next couple of days courtesy of Carrabba’s but then I remember my beautiful white eggplant I bought the other day

Eggplant Parmesan it was!

I cut the eggplant and dipped in eggwash then in seasoned breadcrumbs and baked for 17 mins at 400 degrees. I flipped half way through and sprinkled with marinara sauce, mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese a few minutes before it was finished then placed on noodles. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since I wasn’t frying it but it was delicious and the texture was similar to meat.

Oh, Lincoln got pretty! I almost forgot about his day of beauty.

Dirty Dog

Clean Dog

I am really confused where this weekend went. I feel like I just got off work on Friday and once again, back to the grind. This needs to change soon.