Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mother's Day cookies!

Hope all Moms had a lovely holiday! I made my mom some cookies because she loves them so much! She was so excited! I too got a lovely gift from Kei. It was one of those cards that had music in it and it sang "Your simply the best!! Better than all the rest! Better than anyone!" LOL. Thanks Kei!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Babycakes Bakebook!

SO my new cookbook arrived in the mail this week! Babycakes. It's is from a bakery in Soho, NYC that bakes vegan, gluten-free and (mostly) sugar free delicious desserts! Its retro, cute, and amazing! My best friend Lonna and I had lunch here a few months ago. I been making cupcakes for years. It all started at Magnolia when I was 21 years old. Working there was an awakening to the amazingness of the cupcake. Every job since has stressed the importance of yummy cupcakes. Anyways I had a carrot cupcake at Babycakes and it was the best cupcake I had ever had! I couldn't believe it was vegan and gluten-free! I actually went home that night and pre-ordered a copy for me and for my best friend.

The book is full of beautiful pictures and I love that in a good cookbook. There's recipes for pies, cookies, cakes, and muffins. As for the recipes, they are easy looking to follow. The only hard part I think is just finding all the special ingredients but I got most of mine at Whole Foods and my local health food store. I have to say that one of the recipes I was most most curious about was their amazing vanilla frosting. It had the best consistency. One of the ingredients was coconut flour which I wasn't able to find anywhere. I decided to not make the frosting without all the ingredients it called for. I substituted vegan cream cheese frosting on the carrot cupcakes which was delish but I really wanted to do the original it called for. If anyone ever finds coconut flour let me know! My only other concern was the cost of the ingredients. These are expensive cupcakes! Coconut oil which is the main fat in all the recipes goes for around $15 a lb and agave is about $6-$7 a lb. But if this is what your looking for believe me tracking down the ingredients is well worth it! The results are soooo yummy! Here were my cupcakes from my first book baking!

No Doubt @ The Today Show

Wow so last week, I entered a contest to win guarenteed close up spots to see No Doubt at the Today Show and I won! So cool! Of course I brought Kei with me and she was so excited. We actually got tickets to see No Doubt with Paramore at Jones Beach at the end of June. We can't wait. No Doubt has been a favorite band for all of us since the start. When you get these 4 artists together it's just total fun and I am so happy they are back together. Adrian is my favorite. He is the drummer and always is dresses, or sometimes not dressed, awesomely! And of course Gwen looked perfect as usual.

It was a great show and we both got these special tags that make great souveniers! We were so excited at the end of the show we had to just walk around. Has anyone seen Anthropologie's window lately? Amazing! They got honey bears hanging from the ceiling! So cute!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sunday Sun!

These are shots of my family enjoying the weather! Last weekend it was like over 80degrees in and we decided to chill out on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. It's soooo nice down there. People picnicing and playing games and there are hiking trails! Definitely a place to go. Kei loved it. She loves being outdoors and so does Matt.

For dinner we decided to try a new place. Chili's! LOL and though the margaritas were super sweet with mix, the food was surprisingly good! They got this platter of apps that you choose 3 different selections for $10! We got the sweet chili boneless chicken, santa fe rolls, and mini burgers! Woof! Yum!

Volunteering at the Cat Colony

Last week I completed my first 7 days of volunteer work for the Washington Heights Cat Colony. Washington Heights is where I have lived most of my life and cats have always been my pet of choice. I was doing some research over the holidays after receiving a good card for Christmas from Matthew's Aunt Di and Uncle Larry. Basically it's like a gift card but you spend the money on your charity of choice! So neat! Well it took me a while to make my charitable donation but in doing so I got in contact with the organization and offered up my time if ever a spot opened up. That is how I came to be a volunteer for WaHiCC. As a cat feeder we take turns (basically responsible for a week out of the month each) visiting the feral cat colony and making sure all the usual suspects are ok and that they get clean water and food every day. All the cats that belong to the colony have one ear slightly tipped that way they can be recognized to be neutered or spayed. This is such a great thing! NYC homes so many stray cats and groups like this work hard on trying to do their part to help the situation. If you would like to read up on what my group does you can check out http://wahicats.org/.
I took some shots of the kitties. They are a bit shy towards me still since I am new but they are so wonderful and I am sure soon enough they will warm up more.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Last week my mom celebrated her birthday! Yay! She decided to throw a small BBQ. I was all down for that. My gift of course was to make my mom's BIRTHDAY CAKE! My family loves my chocolate cake but I wanted to do something different and something everyone would agree on. I decided on a 4 Layer open face Strawberry Custard with Whipped Cream! Oh man I wonder why I never made this before. It was a success and mom loved her cake.

I baked my favorite vanilla bean yellow cake and filled the layers with a yummy vanilla been pastry cream, whipped cream and fresh sugared strawberries.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Feast

I never used to really celebrate Easter. I mean when I was little my mom dressed me up and got my picture taken but we never did easter eggs and hunts. Nor was there a big feast like celebration. Matthew and his family do it the good ole fun way and for the past 3 years its become a holiday I look forward to.

Kei gets pretty protective over the eggs.

We usually get together first to color eggs. Then we bring them down to Matthew's grandparents down in Dunellen, NJ where we set up the hunt and prep for some major eating. I love homes that look like they are truly lived in. Memories on every wall.

I wanted to bake something nice and springy. I was fishing through favorite blogs and came across a very yummy looking idea. My daughter, Kei, loves the lemon cake at Starbuck's. While reading through Julia's blog over at DozenFlours I totally set my mind on her http://dozenflours.com/2009/04/better-than-starbucks-lemon-pound-cake.html. Oh the cake looked so yummy and it needed no extract just lemons! I loved the texture and the taste...it was perfect. I definitely hope to make it again.

I have to bring attention to Matt's mom, Linda, and her amazing skills in Baked Mac & Cheese! Oh man its beautiful!Our lovely hosts...Mr. and Mrs Mitchell aka Mom-more and Pop Pop

Another lovely Easter!