Guiness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

March 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

My favorite holiday is fast approaching and I can’t think of anything better than an Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form. Anyone else over the moon that St. Patrick’s Day is on a Saturday this year? I know I am!

For those of you who don’t know what an Irish Car Bomb is- it’s a horrible St. Patty’s Day drink where you drop a shot of Baileys into a glass of Guinness and try to chug the whole thing in one gulp before the Bailey’s curdles into disgusting chunks. I am not the type to chug my drinks so I always end up with curdled Bailey’s. Sick.


The Guiness bottle tops made the perfect finishing touch. I found the recipe for the cupcakes here – the Bailey’s ganache in the center was delicious but for some reason after being left out for a few hours it turned into the consistency of a truffle so I’d suggest leaving that part out if you do not plan to serve right away.


Butterflies and buttercream

February 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream! As pretty as they turned out it was really the frosting that stole the show- but by the time they were being eaten the cupcakes had been plucked of their butterfly and the leaves removed so aesthetics were a wash at that point.


Today was my niece’s first birthday party- my sister asked for butterfly cupcakes so after poking around Etsy for inspiration I stumbled upon edible butterflies. Here are the ones I wanted- unfortunately their shop owner didn’t respond to my rush order question in time so I had to order from a different shop.


The idea was for the cupcakes to look like a rose with a little butterfly perched on top. My buttercream rose making skills aren’t what they should be and according to my mother (who spent two years of her young adult life frosting cakes) the frosting just wasn’t fit for roses so off comes the petal tip on comes the star-ish shaped tip.

The wrappers were designed in photoshop-printed and cut. If I were to make these again I would go with brown baking wrappers instead of silver so the leaves stand out more.


I found the raspberry buttercream recipe here. I loved how simple it was- three ingredients! I will definitely use this recipe to experiment with different jelly flavors (I’m thinking blueberry next.)

One thing I should mention- the icing was SUPER sweet, it overpowered the subtle flavor of the chocolate cake.  Next time I plan to pair the frosting with a super dark chocolate cake to balance the flavors out.

Maple Bacon Cake Pops

August 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

If you have ever been to Portland, know someone in Portland, or follow any food blog updated in the past year, then you’ve heard of Voodoo Doughnuts and their to-die-for Maple Bacon Bar, which is essentially a super-tasty maple bar with a couple of crispy slices of bacon on top.

Photo from Food in Mouth

So I made Maple Bacon Cake Pops- I tried a few different combinations….

Maple in the cake, maple in the coating, peanut butter coating…

Luckily I have roommates to help out in my “test kitchen”…

… and the winner is maple and bacon on the inside, vanilla candy melts on the outside. Now you can enjoy all the flavors of breakfast in one bite! Recipe below.

Maple Bacon Cake Pops


  • 1 box yellow butter cake, prepared and cooled
  • 3/4 can vanilla frosting
  • 1 package bacon, prepared and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbs maple extract
  • 1 package white candy melts

Put it together

  1. Grind up cake into a large bowl, mix with frosting, bacon (reserving 2 tbs for garnish) and maple extract.
  2. Roll cake into quarter-sized balls and place onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
  3. Place sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes to set
  4. Heat candy melts in a small, deep glass bowl in the microwave- stirring at 30 second intervals until melted, one to two minutes
  5. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the candy melts and stick into cake balls
  6. Dip cake balls into candy and dry by sticking vertically into florist’s foam, garnish with reserved bacon bits

Lavender on the menu

July 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lavender season is coming! Being from a small town, it wasn’t until college when I was introduced to the crazy idea of actually eating it. Lavender had always been something that comes in soap or lotion.

When I was 10 my Girl Scout troop made wands out of lavender which my mother proudly hung in my bathroom… and there it remained for the next twelve years before it  was eventually taken down, boiled, and made into a delicious cocktail. True story

Lavender Martinis! There is a bar in the artsy part of Seattle called Chapel that has what I believe to be the best lavender martini I’ve ever had. I convinced the bartender to share the recipe. The drink on the right had blackberry juices added to it, I do not recommend.

It’s all about the lavender simple syrup. The recipe made a ton so I’m hoping to experiment with other recipes (lemon squares with lavender or perhaps lavender-rosemary lemonade?)

Here’s the recipe- make sure and warn your guests that the drink is particularly deceptive. It’s much stronger than it tastes!

Lavender Martini

  • 1/2 oz Lavender simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice

Add to a shaker filled with ice, shake it up and serve in a martini glass. Sugar rim optional.

Lavender simple syrup

  • 3 tbs fresh or dried lavender
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar

Bring water to a boil with lavender in a medium saucepan, stir in sugar until it is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Strain out lavender and serve. Makes about one cup syrup.

Broccoli Crunch Salad

July 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Taking a slight break from my emerging trends week. Hey, it’s a holiday. My mom asked me to make something with veggies for her birthday yesterday and I immediately thought of the broccoli crunch salad they make at Whole Foods. Partly because it has cashews in it which is my mom’s guilty pleasure, but mostly because it is an incredibly addicting crisp, sweet, delicious crunchy salad. Perfect for summer.

I scoured the internet to find the recipe but it seems like none is out there. I did find the list of ingredients provided by Whole Foods and I took on the rest. I made it once yesterday, and again today because we were supposed to save half for my aunt’s 4th of July party and well, that didn’t happen so here I am again making the recipe.  The recipe only takes about 15 minutes tops.

Broccoli, bacon bits, currants, golden raisins, and candied cashews in a honey-chipotle mayo dressing.

Cashews candy-ing on the stove. I remove them as soon as the sugar dissolves and they barely get that toasted look on the bottoms.

When chopping the broccoli I turned the head upside down and hacked fairly close to the head to get perfect bite-sized pieces.

For the recipe- I personally like my salad a little light on the dressing to balance out with the rest of the components. If you’re one of those people that likes the dressing to dominate the salad then I’d suggest doubling up. I got the best feedback from my two-year old nephew who, upon his first bite, actually did a little happy dance. Love it.

Broccoli Crunch Salad


  • 2 medium heads of fresh broccoli
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 strips turkey bacon
  • 2/3 cup roasted and salted cashews
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
  • 2 tsp honey


  1. Candy the cashews by cooking in a medium-sized skilled with sugar, dust with cayenne.
  2. Remove from heat and lay out on waxed paper to cool once sugar is dissolved and nuts are slightly browned.
  3. While the nuts cook, prepare the turkey bacon and allow to cool. 
  4. Wash and chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  5. Once bacon has cooled, chop into small bits, set aside.
  6. In a separate bow, combine mayo, chipotle sauce, and honey.
  7. Stir dressing into broccoli, then add currants, raisins, bacon bits, and cashews.

Picnic themed barbeque with Slider Bar feature

June 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

My family had never seen me go into full-blown party panning mode until this Mother’s Day- as a present to my mom I offered to not only style the party she hosted for my giant army of aunts/uncles/cousins, etc. but also do all of the cooking and baking.

Chalkboard paint put to good use.

I printed out the “Lemonade” sign from my computer before tracing over the black ink with chalk- one of my favorite party tricks. I like to smudge the paper a bit to give it the chalkboard effect.

The best part was the slider bar!

The guests loved being able to try different combinations of gourmet toppings without the commitment of an entire burger.

Grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, cheddar, and blue cheese.

Spreads in mason jars- I loved the idea of using clothespins for the labels. Avocado, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, mayo and ketchup.

And yes, it may take some hunting but some of the fancier grocery stores actually sell slider buns- brioche is a good alternative and there’s always dinner rolls.

My little creations.One grilled pineapple/onion/mayo/teriyaki sauce. The other sautéed mushrooms/blue cheese and bbq sauce. SO good.

Double-Rainbow Cake Pops

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ll admit it- I’m kind of obsessed with this You Tube hit of a man’s passionate appreciation of natural beauty. I’m helping out at a bake sale to raise funds for Japan and what better way to spread a message of hope than double-rainbow cake pops?

Rainbow sprinkles on the outside, rainbow funfetti cake on the inside. Basic cake pop tutorial here.

All packed up and ready to go! So intense.

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