Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet Planning

Addictive snickerdoodles from Flour's recipe
Another reason why I love Christmas so much is that I get to bake a ton of cookies for my friends and family. Deciding what to bake is so hard! There are so many new recipes to try in addition to old favorites. I need to make up my list soon. Christmas will be here before we know it! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Warmth

Beautiful changing lights at Columbus Circle
It's officially Christmas season! I'm so excited to see all of the lights and decorations. Hearing Christmas music just makes me feel all warm and happy inside. Here are pictures from my trip to NYC last year to put you in the holiday spirit :)

We got little treats from Tiffany while we shopped :)
Pretty decorations inside of Tiffany

(left) Tiffany's window display; (right) Cute doll at Henri Bendel

So pretty! Can you see the belt buckles? :)
Amazing displays at Henri Bendel

The waves and boat were moving!
Lighted trees on TOP of the building
(left) How cool is this LV's display?; (right) My family & I in front of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Look at all the shells used to make this crocodile at Bergdorf Goodman!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Unexpected Smile

Took a walk at the Public Garden recently and saw this cute face smiling at me. It totally made my day! Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hello Kitty Macarons

I made these Hello Kitty macarons for my friend's birthday party and I am so happy that everyone loves them as much as I do. Thank you Carrie for sending me i♥baking's link and thank you Michele of i♥baking for coming up with such a cute idea for all of us Hello Kitty and macarons lovers! Here are some more pictures (I couldn't resist!) and be sure to scroll to the end for tips on how to make these sweet macarons :)

James didn't hesitate to bite into these cute macarons! haha

Tips for making Hello Kitty macarons:

1. I used this macaron recipe and didn't add any food coloring to the batter. 

2. Pipe thirty 1½ inch rounds about 1 inch apart onto one of the prepared sheet pans. These will be the shells  for the bottom of the Hello Kitty macarons. Remember to lightly tap the sheet pan onto the table to even out the batter and to get rid of any air bubbles; set aside.

3. Then pipe five 1½ inch rounds about 1 inch apart onto the 2nd sheet pan. Immediately use a toothpick to "pull out the ears" by pushing out the batter of the piped rounds to form the desired shape. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just work quickly since the crust will start to form. (This is also the reason why I only pipe five rounds at a time.) Tap the sheet lightly onto the table. Repeat this step until you have 30 Hello Kitty-shaped shells.

4. Leave them out for 30 minutes to develop the crust and continue with the recipe as normal.

5. Once the shells are cooled, use food markers to draw Hello Kitty's face onto the shaped shells. I used this brand. They're pretty good but the tip is thick so it's not good for drawing anything that is really detailed.

6. I used raspberry preserves to fill these macarons but you can use any fillings that you like. Just spoon or pipe the filling onto the round shells and top each of them with a Hello Kitty shell.

7. Remember that macarons taste best after they had the time to rest and develop their flavors; store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 24 hours. Let them come to room temperature before eating them the next day.

8. Good luck! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hello Kitty Party

My friend, Carrie, hosted a Hello Kitty-themed party this past Saturday and these were some of the goodies that we had. The wonderful birthday girl made so much food including the sugar cookies and cupcakes. (I wish I had the chance to take more pictures!) My friend, Judy, made the mini apple pies. It's hard to see in this picture but each pie was imprinted with Hello Kitty's face on it :) I made the Hello Kitty macarons.

My army of Hello Kitty macarons hehe
I met Carrie through Judy and we connected through our love of baking. She once emailed me this link about an awesome blogger who made Hello Kitty macarons and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try to make them. I am so happy with how they turned out! It took quite a bit of time but it was definitely worth it. Come back on Wednesday for more pictures and tips on how to make these cute macarons ♥

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tiny Parfaits

If you haven't been to Godiva lately, you'll have to stop by and try their new Parfait Chocolates. I tried the Strawberry Cream Trifle (left) and Pear Almond Tarte (right) and they were both delicious. Each bite is so satisfying because of all the different layers of flavors and textures from the ganaches, mousses, and chocolate glazes. I can't wait to try the rest of the flavors in the collection. Happy Friday everyone!

Perfect little chocolate treats. I love the saw-edge design on top :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Thoughts

My sister knows me too well. Look at this pretty notebook she gave me. I love it so much! Can't wait to use it to jot down thoughts and inspirations :) 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pretty Cakes

My yummy birthday cakes from this past weekend. Love how they both had vibrant fall colors. I'm a lucky girl!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Time to Celebrate

Thanks Adam for giving me my first Momiji doll. She's so cute!
This is exactly how I'm feeling right now: happy and ready to eat cake. You see, I'm celebrating my birthday this weekend :) Is it wrong to love one's own birthday so much? I'll be the first to admit that I love birthdays and celebrations - including my own! It's just the perfect reason (not that I really need one lol) to enjoy a slice of cake and have a good time. I can't wait! Have a happy weekend everyone! Btw, today is 11/11/11. Pretty cool, huh? I love these types of dates :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sweet Meeting

Here are the pictures from Jessie's Tour de Sweet stop in Boston. I made it out Monday night and managed to snatch the LAST copy of the sweetest book ever! I was happy and felt quite lucky :) Sweet Cupcakes provided the perfect setting for the event. It was nice to chat with Jessie about her latest sweet adventures. She's just too cute for words! I couldn't wait to read through the book when I got home. It is filled with fun and easy recipes (S'moreos, anyone?) and tons of Jessie's cute little drawings. The writing, recipes, and drawings just make me giddy and happy. I love it! Get your own copy here!

That's Mr. CakeSpy. How cute are they?
Perfect little cupcakes. The toppers were totally edible and tasted great! I ate a little piece of art hehe.
(left) Picture with the awesome Jessie; (right) James enjoying his little cupcake

As promised on her blog, Jessie will sign and draw a cupcake, unicorn, and/or robot to every copy sold. I got the unicorn! Yay!
I was so happy that I got the last copy :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tour de Sweet

I love Jessie's artwork. They're so cute!
Jessie Oleson of CakeSpy is in Boston today to promote her new book! I'm so excited. I've been a big fan of her blog and is also one of her Cake Gumshoes (you can read more about that here). Jessie is the sweetest person and she deserves all of this wonderful success. Come meet her today from 5-7pm at Sweet Cupcakes in Downtown Boston (11 School Street). She will also be at Eat Cake in Newburyport tomorrow at 3pm. Click here for the rest of her tour dates. Here are some pictures of her cute shop when I visited Seattle last fall :)

Bakerella happened to visit Jessie at the same time I was there. I was so happy that I got to meet two of my favorite bloggers! (Bakerella wrote a post about this visit too! You can see me and James in the 3rd pic hehe)
(left) Jessie's adorable shop; (right) James and Porkchop

Jessie's little working area. Look at all the cute watercolors!
Love this pic

How can you resist a store like this? :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Reveal

Love the way they pretty ♥
I love how our pumpkins turned out! We had so much fun carving them. Unfortunately, we lost two competitors this year. My older brother and sister were too busy and couldn't make it :( So it was just me, James, and my younger brother (one of us carved two pumpkins). What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Bonus points if you can match the pumpkins to their owners hehe :)

Haunted House and Patterned Pumpkin
Witch's Night Ride
Hmmmm this one looks a little bit familiar lol
Take a last look and pick your favorite!