Saturday, July 28, 2012

Erika and Taka's baby shower

My friend's friend's family has big huge Christmas parties every year....even though I wanted to, I never made it to any of these parties, but would hear about them so much. The food, the drinks, the house...this year, it was today, as a joint baby shower/last soriee before the baby party..and I couldn't wait to go!! Finally, the infamous M Family party..!! I was asked to bake some cupcakes and the design was left up to me. She just had a lemon yellow theme. Let me tell you, this chick is so crafty. No joke. She sews, she knits, she crochets, she draws, she uses Illustrator and designs her own invitations and signs..basically everything that I imagine that I could do I my head..but can't. Haha. So she designed her own invitations with a lemon..really cute. So for the cupcakes, I used yellow and white. I was going to use lemons and such, but decided to go ahead with a more baby shower theme. I used my cricut for a few of the cut outs, the rattle, the bottle and the onesie, but everything else, I did on my own. I guess it would be helpful to get a baby themed Cricut cartridge eh? :) haha. I love using fondant. It's like playdoh. easy to work with and makes everything look so nice.

Needless to say, the party was AH-mazeballs. Yes they lived in Anaheim HILLS, not ghetto Anaheim where I live. These houses are places where I can only imagine I'd end up one day. But not likely. Haha. Super huge and such a nice and quiet neighborhood. The food was awesome, beef short ribs, chicken rice, pork ribs, chicken, a whole bunch of other stuff..yummmmm mmmm...her parents made delicious. Her parents were so gracious, and so fun and social..I love parents like that! Her mom even showed me her crafts room!!! :) love. I wish I took pictures of all the little details this girl did all her self, but I failed. :P Congrats Erika and Taka!! Thanks for having me over!! :D

Hello Kitty!

My friend's sister's kid's first birthday was today. I was asked to make the hello Kitty cake that I had posted in May, that I made for my friend's birthday. But instead of a red bow, she wanted a pink bow. No problem! :)

Since the cake is not too big, additional cupcakes were needed for the rest of the guests. So I found these Hello Kitty rings as the toppers for the red velvet cupcakes. Since Hello Kitty is white, and her bow was pink, I tinted the cream cheese frosting so that Hello Kitty didn't blend in with her background. This is actually the first time I've ever tinted cream cheese frosting but, it looks nice! :)

I never understood Hello Kitty when I was younger. I actually preferred her friends (Kerokerokeroppi or little Twin Star..or that angry black bird...that didn't sound right..but it's the truth..or choco cat...was she a friend? i forgot.. haaha) but for some reason, I think she's so cute, despite me being older. Weird..Happy first Birthday Rylee!! Hope you enjoyed your cake and birthday! :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

50th Birthday Party

My neighbor contacted me for some desserts for her sister's 50th Birthday party for this weekend. I had made some cake pops for our community xmas party last year and had met her then. I always get nervous about baking for someone new. I'm extremely critical of myself..besides the fact that I'm a perfectionist. She wanted a whole slew of things, and I was excited to make them! :).

Yellow cake cake pops. She saw the ones I made for the bridal shower and wanted it like that, except the theme was yellow and white with gold..if you can't tell from the all the desserts. :)

Chocolate dipped marshmallows

Chocolate dipped oreos

Meringue cookies with yellow coloring. I've never made these or had these before, but they're simple to make, just sugar and egg whites. :) I just hate them because they take a looonnggg time to make..will be blogging about the recipe in a separate blog :)

Chocolate dipped pretzel rods

Vanilla butter cookies, royal icing and fondant numbers!

Panna cotta. I love panna cotta. I later added pineapple chunks on top to fit the color scheme and a white fondant flower.

I guess half the things I didn't really have to bake, but still fun to make. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bridal shower Cake pops

My neighbor asked me to bake some cake pops for her bridal shower today. She left the design up to me, but said that her colors were the colors of the couches at the new pool house.

These are the couch cushions:

Basically aqua blue and white! I love it when I'm given creative freedom! :) but then again, I also get excited about making anything I've never made before..and that's ALOT!! This is what I came up with:

I had to specially mix the color of the chocolate for that aqua color, since the preexisting colors of chocolate they sell are limited to one shade of the colors of the rainbow. The flowers I actually cut from my new cricut cake machine:

I can't wait to start decorating a whole slew of things with this machine!!! Possibilities are endless!!! and the best thing is it's compatible with all my regular cricut cartridges!!! yayyerrrr!!! Congrats L, have a great bridal shower today!! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

USC cupcakes

My friend asked me to bake her some cupcakes for her little brother. Her little brother just graduated from high school (from my Alma Mater, Whitney HS!) and will be attending USC in the fall (congrats Joshua!) She was having a party for him in his honor today and wanted some cupcakes for the occasion. These are red velvet cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting topped with a maroon fondant flag (which I had to use red and black food coloring to achieve that color) and yellow USC lettering.

I delivered these to her house and hung out with my friend until her brother showed up with some of his friends. My friend told them that I had gone to Whitney as well and a young girl asked me, "Oh really? What year were you?" what a way to make me feel old...older...OLD. way before your time lil girl! haha. Thank you JCS for giving me the opportunity to make these!! :)

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

I had a dinner party a few months ago and I wanted to make a layer cake for practice. :) I googled and searched and found this recipe from I have heard that coffee in a chocolate cake recipe actually enhances the flavor of the chocolate. Even though I hate coffee (yes, I don't drink coffee!!) I decided to trust that and settled on this recipe! And was I glad!!! It's a pretty simple recipe. The first cake I made was a bit lopsided because I didn't really level the cakes well. But since then, by the third, I had gotten a turn table for easier frosting, an offset spatula, a serrated spatula and even baking strips from Wilton (more on that later). I had also stuck fresh raspberries between the layers, put chocolate curls on the it had turned out much prettier!! The cake is super moist, no coffee taste :) and pretty darn good (according to everybody..and me!) so here it is!

For cake layers:

3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate

1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

For ganache frosting:

1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

You will need two 10- by 2-inch round cake pans.


Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate (I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. It works nicely because I don't have to chop the chocolate at all!) and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer).

Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

These are the baking strips from Wilton that I bought from Michaels (with coupon!!) It works great! You just use a regular pin and wrap it around the pans and it eliminates the dome that rises in the middle! No wasted cake!!! I recommend!!

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Make frosting:
Finely chop chocolate (or again, I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips!) In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved.

Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.

Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).

Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides. Cake keeps, covered and chilled, 3 days. Bring cake to room temperature before serving. Look at my turntable! Not the prettiest (why green?? I don't know..ask WILTON!!) but so useful!!

And I stuck fresh raspberries in between the layers...mmm raspberries and chocolate!!

Enjoy!!! :D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lime Flowers

I had a few limes left over from cooking, so to use them up, I went searching for a lime dessert recipe. :) I found another one, in my Martha Stewart Cookie Book, and a bit different from the lime meltaway cookies I made last month. But I have say, I didn't like these as much as the lime meltaways. The meltaways was a shortbread cookie, a bit crumbly and melted in your mouth. People loved them when I brought them to work. These, they were a bit chewier-not a crisp cookie or a soft cookie. Kind of in the middle. But I did like the lime flavor and they turned out pretty cute! The recipe says it makes about 2 dozen cookies, but I used smaller flower cutters and made about 4 dozen!


-2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 4
limes total)
-3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.

Put granulated sugar and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed 1 minute. Add butter, and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Mix in vanilla and lime juice. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour mixture.

On a lightly floured work surface, halve the dough. Flatten each half into a 10-inch disk, and wrap each in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Working with 1 half at a time, roll out dough on parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Cut shapes from dough with a 3-inch flower-shape cookie cutter. (I used a smaller flower's what I had haha.. and yielded more cookies..I used another small circle cutter for the middle.)

Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cut a hole in center of each with a 1-inch round cutter. Repeat with remaining disk. Wrap scraps in plastic. Freeze 30 minutes; reroll, and cut. (the dough softens quickly so you have to work with it fast and refreeze a few times...use flour to prevent the dough from your hands, the parchment paper, the rolling pin...)

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Before serving, sift confectioners' sugar over cookies.

Cute huh? :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blueberry muffins

The only thing I do like about work right now is that I get to bake and bring whatever I bake to work and everyone basically gets to be my guinea pig. :) I come in at work at 6am. The rest of the guys in the unit come in at 3am. Yes. 3am. The weirdest hours I've ever heard of. It's supposed to be temporary, because there's been a spike in burgary from motor vehicles during that hour. I don't envy them. I would hate those hours. You don't have a normal life. So when one of them suggested that I bake something breakfasty, since they get pretty hungry in teh morning, I thought, that's a good idea. So onto the internet I went to look for some recipes to test out. I love blueberries..and muffins are a breakfasty food, so I found this recipe from Most of the recipes I've tried from them have all been pretty good, so I'm beginning to trust this site as a trusty place to go to for recipes. But I'll still look at all the pictures and the reviews. :) They called this the to die for blueberry muffins. And they were actually pretty good. There's a crumble to the top of the muffins that made it soooo good, and fairly easy to make! I didn't have muffin pans (that shall be on my shopping list..) so I used a cupcake pan and made more of them!! :) sorry about the bad quality of the photos, they were taken with my cellphone... oops!!!

-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 cup white sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1 egg
-1/3 cup milk
-1 cup fresh blueberries
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup butter, cubed
-1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners (or I used cupcake pans!)

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder.

Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Yes this looks like a baby alien form or something :P

Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries, add more if you like lots :). Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.

Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Yum!! Enjoy!