Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday Favorites and Happy New Year!

You know the holidays are wonderful indeed, but all the food and presents and festive gatherings can really make you feel spun about and hardly able to tell head from tail. To the point that your usual "Monday Favorites" were buried and forgotten until this morning! (This being a completely hypothetical example, of course =p) I hope you're all similarly and quite happily occupied and thus not too disappointed when my Monday post failed to materialize on time. Well fret not for I have returned ;)...and with not only my trusty selection of drool-worthy food photography features but a few trailers for movies and shows I'm particularly excited about at the moment. The BBC show, Sherlock, is actually going into its 2nd season on New Year's Day (*squee*) but I've opted for the season 1 trailer below since you simply must start at the beginning (easily done as it's only 3 episodes, all of which are on Netflix Instant!).

And both because I'm currently digging all things Benedict Cumberbatch (he's the star of Sherlock) AND because it's a genuinely addictive show, I recommend you check out the British radio show Cabin Pressure, which follows the crew of a hilariously problem-prone single-plane "airline." As always, enjoy! I won't be checking in again 'til next week, so I hope you have a fun and safe New Year's!

Mini Meringue Tart Photograph from Jan Luijk
1 Jan Luijk-Mini Meringue Tart Stand
Raspberry Ice Cream-Filled Eclairs and Almond Cream Puffs Photographs from
2 TasteAu-Choux Cream Filled Puffs Fingers Raspberry Ice Cream Idea
Draped Wedding Cake by Sharon Wee Creations
3 SharonWeeCreations-Draped Fondant Wedding Cake Idea
12 Rikkims-Chestnuts

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mexican Tea Cakes (Guest Feature on Food Network UK)

Mexican Tea Cakes
Almost a year ago I shared a recipe for my favorite holiday cookies, the wonderfully nutty, buttery, and powdered sugary balls known as Mexican Tea Cakes...or Mexican wedding cakes or Danish wedding cakes or Russian tea cakes or snowballs or butterballs...and the list goes on. No matter the title, these babies have universal appeal...or at least I've always thought so! Luckily Sanjana of Food Network UK - who also writes one of my favorite blogs, KO Rasoi - felt the same. The recipe and photos as well as a short interview with me are being featured today on Food Network UK's Locally Sourced blog. I'd love it if you'd take the time to check it out =D!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oops! So About Last Night...=p

Dear readers, if you subscribe to my feed, you've probably been getting a massive amount of "new posts" in the last 12 hours. I am incredibly sorry for all the posts re-published in your readers and perhaps (though hopefully not) via email! I had a technical issue with the Blogger platform and had to re-publish all my posts multiple times just in order to keep the links to my old posts intact. All of those issues have now been RESOLVED -- thanks in advance for understanding!

2011 Holiday Card
Unfortunately, part of the solution required that I switch my blog to a different site under Blogger. My domain remains the same at 6 Bittersweets, so few people will notice any difference. There's just one exception: those of you who follow me via Google and/or subscribe to my Blogger feed will need to switch over to my Feedburner OR e-mail subscription services in order to continue getting updates for new 6 Bittersweets posts. I love connecting with each and every one of you, so I really hope to continue our exchange despite this hiccup. Again, all you need to do is click on either of these links to subscribe to a working feed: (1) Feedburner RSS feed or (2) e-mail subscription.

Happy holidays, and hope to see you all on the other side =D! 

Much ♥,

Saturday Favorites

I'm finally taking GREs next Tuesday, so I figured I'd get my favorites post out ahead of the usual schedule. This way I can give studying my undivided attention next week. Enjoy and don't forget to take some breaks from the holiday insanity every once in a while ;D!

Hazelnut Nougat Photograph from Pinot & Dita
1 Pinodita-Hazelnut Nougat Candy
Citrus Fruit Granitas Photograph from Armin Zoqbaum
2 Armin Zogbaum-Citrus Fruits Orange Grapefruit Granita Tequila Idea
3 Roost-Cranberry Almond Mini Upside-down Cakes Idea Sifter Propwish

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Filmography: Looking Back and Ahead

Both P and I have a great love of well-acted, thought-provoking, and/or fun movies and TV series. Although I've only taken to mentioning this on the blog recently, it's a passion of mine nearly on par with food and music. Hopefully some of you feel the same because I simply can't resist sharing the video above. It's a retrospective that artfully weaves scenes from 230 films of 2011 to remind us of the incredible ways this medium can uplift, excite, provoke, and transport us...even if just for a few hours!

And wanting to look forward as well as backwards, I've also included trailers for 2 of my most highly anticipated movies this season: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. What are some others you all are excited to see? I'd love to hear what's on your radar in the comments!

Oh and in case you didn't recognize her, check out this comparison of Rooney Mara (the actress who plays the main character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) before and after her makeover for this role. Would you have recognized this as the same girl? (I sure didn't...) I'll never doubt the transformative power of makeup, hair dye, and facial piercings again 8p!

Rooney Mara Before and After-horz

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Favorites (It's Starting to Feel A Bit Like Christmas...)

It's almost Christmas! Can you believe it? Although I'm not religious, like many, I've still grown up exchanging gifts with and celebrating together with family and friends 'round this time of year. I'll be especially grateful this year when (or IF =p) I survive til Christmas day past finals and GREs! The decorations, holiday ads, and even watching an interview with my favorite Scottish actor have gotten me thinking about Santa. The actor gave me quite a chuckle when he admitted he'd always thought Santa threw presents down the chimney until recently. As for myself, I've never gone through believing in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or anything like that. I'm kinda glad I avoided the let-down of learning they weren't real, but I have to admit a part of me is curious what it's like to be experience the childlike wonder of discovering "Santa's" gifts on Christmas morning. Perhaps I'm romanticizing it too much? Anyway, here's the latest round of food photography favorites with a healthy dose of holiday spirit!

P.S. - In case you missed it, I've now added photos to my Champagne Brownies post =D. But I have to warn you...these babies are dangerously addictive. Who knew dark chocolate and champagne would make such a great pair?

Beets Photograph from Wrightfood
1 Wrightfood-Beets Ingred
Shrimp Soba Rolls from Kitchen M
2 KitchenM-Shrimp Soba Noodle Rolls Idea
Plum Clafoutis Bars from Delicious Magazine
3 Deliciousmag-Plum Clafoutis Bars Idea
Sweet Potato Gratin and Stuffed Acorn Squash Photographs from Johnny Miller
5 Johnny Miller-Sweet Potato Gratin Casserole Acorn Squash Stuffed I</div><div style=

Friday, December 9, 2011

Champagne Brownies for Nelly!

Marnely of Cooking with Books, affectionately known as Nelly to many of us, is one of the kindest, most generous food bloggers (and people) I've had the luck to "meet." Though I haven't had the chance to greet her in person (yet), Nelly was one of the first to befriend me when I joined Twitter and was always there to help a girl out, whether that meant retweeting my latest posts or using her cooking chops (from her C.I.A. training and other experience) to answer my frantic questions O=).

Bubbly Brownies
So when Nelly announced not so long ago that Murray, the love of her life, had proposed and that they were about to embark on a journey of a lifetime together, you can imagine how delighted we were for her and how many of us wanted to give back just a little of what she'd given to all of us. Fortunately, Sanjeeta of Lite Bite stepped up to the plate and put together a fun n' fabulous blog hop today. There's just 1 day left before Nelly takes the big leap, and we wanted to send as much love to her as possibly before the Big Day!

Brownie Collage
I knew almost right away what I wanted to make for #NellysBigDay: a rich brownie with a champagne twist. Dark chocolate to remind them that while any real journey will have its high points and rough spots, taken together the experience will be most sublime. And both their love of each other and depth of appreciation for their life together will be greater as a result. Of course, the champagne is in tribute to the sweetness and exuberance of young love with the hope that they'll be as excited to be joined in 40 years as they are on Day 1. Congratulations, Nelly and Murray -- wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

Biten Brownies
Fudgy Champagne Brownies [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Lovescool via She Who Eats
Makes about 16 servings (9-inch square pan)

XIAOLU'S NOTES: Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. I recommend placing them in the refrigerator overnight or freezer for a few hours to set if you want really clean cuts. This is a great way to use up champagne that you've accidentally let go flat (not that we ever have that problem around here lol).

15 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for buttering the pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar PLUS 1 1/2 Tbsp, divided
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (4.5 oz.) all purpose flour
1 cup champagne, divided

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (leave extra overhanging the edges for easy removal) OR line pan with heavy duty foil and generously grease foil with butter.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or double boiler. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments and stir between each addition. Do not overheat or chocolate will seize.

Beat the salt, vanilla and 1 3/4 cups of sugar into the melted chocolate mixture. Let cool slightly (about 5 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time to the chocolate mixture and beat thoroughly to incorporate. Add the flour and mix vigorously for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons of champagne and mix slowly until the champagne gets evenly incorporated into the batter. Then return to vigorous mixing for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist, but free of batter, about 40 to 55 minutes.

In a small saucepan, bring remaining 2 tablespoons of champagne and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar to a boil, then keep at full boil for 1 full minute. Immediately use a pastry brush to brush the warm brownies with the champagne glaze. The liquid should be completely absorbed into the brownies, leaving a moist, shiny top. Let cool then enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest Post: Coconut Rice

You may have noticed that I'm not posting recipes as frequently these days. With both final exams and GREs descending on me in less than 2 weeks, I've simply had to shelf my planned posts until winter recess (with one exception this weekend ^-^). Luckily my dear friend Sala of Veggie Belly has kindly stepped in with an absolutely delicious and doable recipe for her fragrant coconut rice! You may recall that I shared a chocolate chestnut cake roll on her blog back in June. We lived not too far from each other then and I've really missed her company since she moved to the West Coast. While I've never tasted this specific dish of hers, I've sampled enough of her cooking to have confidence that all her recipes are dynamite! Please give your warmest welcome to the exceedingly sweet and talented Sala!

What I enjoy the most about blogging is the fact that I’ve met some amazing, like-minded people through blogging. And that’s how I met Xiaolu; through my blog. After weeks of emailing back and forth, we met up for a meal. It was the start of a great friendship, and exchange of ideas. I’ve come to admire Xiaolu for her passion for baking and blogging, and her meticulous food styling. I’m delighted to guest post today and share with you a simple, flavorful, childhood recipe.

Coconut rice was a staple school lunch. I’d take it to school in a little tiffin box, and it always tasted great, hot or cold. Now, coconut rice has become a standard weeknight meal for me. It’s easy to put together and served with a steamed or curried vegetable like my cauliflower broccoli poriyal or some spinach dal and some yogurt, makes a complete meal.

Good quality, fresh coconut is essential for this recipe. You can find fresh-frozen grated or shredded coconut at Indian and Asian stores. Just break off a chunk and let it thaw on your counter top.

If you like some fruity sweetness in your coconut rice, throw in 2 tablespoons of raisins or dried cranberries or dried apricots.

Holiday Cookies Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my holiday cookies giveaway! The randomly selected winner is Lindsay Harmony (comment #60)! Congrats and please look out for my email soon about the details of your prize =D.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Favorites and Some Thoughts on "Shame"

UPDATE: Michael Fassbender just won Best Actor in this year's British Independent Film Awards for his performance in Shame! Congrats, Michael! You really earned it =D.

I was actually planning a recipe post for this weekend, but what can I say but that life had other things in mind 8). Instead I'm now gonna post my weekly favorites a day early and hope to have some pastries up by mid-week!

Among the things that kept me from baking this weekend was the D.C. premiere of Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen's incredible movie, Shame, about a sex addict in NYC whose predicament only gets worse when his unstable sister drops in to live with him. Yes, it's NC-17 but NO it's not at all like porn or even a sexy movie. I didn't find any of the scenes gratuitous and would even say that a story like this simply could NOT be told without graphic scenes.

The point of the movie, at least for me, was not necessarily about just sex addiction but about the desperate lengths many of us go to in order to numb the pains of our past, the loneliness and isolation of the present, or whatever other demons we each carry invisibly on our shoulders like so many Atlas's. It's definitely not easy to watch Shame, but I strongly urge that you do. For one, you won't want to miss Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan's Oscar-worthy performances. Morever, with sex addiction becoming more and more common these days, I hope this movie will spark more dialogue and understanding, and discourage blind judgment.

Thanks to any of y'all who read through my 2 cents on Shame. But I think the food photos are why you're really here. Right, right? This week was fabulous for finding inspirational food photography because Donna Hay magazine finally joined Zinio!! If you're not familiar with Zinio, it will allow you to read Donna Hay electronically on a subscription that is MUCH cheaper than imported copies ($60 versus $13/year). And noooo iPad required! So I hope you'll understand that my excitement about this resulted in adding a lot of Donna Hay photos to this round-up. They're plenty easy on the eyes, though, so I assume you won't mind ;p.

Raspberry Ice Cubes Photograph from Donna Hay (Issue 59)
1 Donna Hay-Raspberry Ice Cubes Idea
2 Aisha Yusaf-Mushroom Tube Pasta Pesto Cream Sauce Idea
3 Dvita-Plums and Grapes
Chickpea Tomato Spelt Soup from Martha Stewart
4 Martha Stewart-Chickpea Tomato Spelt Soup Idea

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Washi Tape Holiday Photo Shoot with Pure Joy Events

Candy Cane Macarons
I know I've mentioned before that I'm lucky to be able to work with talented local party stylist and my friend, Christine of Pure Joy Events. Well I was impressed anew by her creativity when we got together 2 weeks ago to shoot these fun DIY holiday craft ideas using pretty Japanese washi tape! Not only did Christine provide me with my first paying photo shoot, but she also pushed my dessert-crafting boundaries again by ordering cake balls (more squares hehe) decorated to match the washi tape and candy cane macarons (I used this recipe but added crushed candy canes to the buttercream).

It all turned out quite well, if I do say so myself =p, and I'm delighted to announce that our shoot's been featured today on The Sweetest Occasion! Trust me, you don't want to miss this post as it includes FREE downloadable gift tags from Frog Prince Paperie, plus a fabulous washi tape GIVEAWAY from Cute Tape. Thanks to Christine and all the contributing vendors for making this shoot a success! I've included some of my favorite photos from the shoot below (several of which didn't make it into the feature) -- enjoy!

Concept + styling: Pure Joy Events / Venue: The Pear Tree Cottage / Washi tape + boxes: Cute Tape / Stationery + printables: Frog Prince Paperie / Sweets + photography: me / Hanging wreath design: The Knock-Knock Factory

Holiday Washi Tape Photo Shoot
Holiday Washi Tape Photo Shoot
Holiday Washi Tape Photo Shoot
Holiday Washi Tape Photo Shoot

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Favorites

This week only I'm adding somethin' extra to my favorites post. As those of you who follow my Twitter may have noticed already, I've recently discovered (and become a wee bit infatuated with...or at least that's what my bf keeps insisting =p) the incredible actor, Michael Fassbender, of Hunger, Fish Tank, Inglorious Basterds, Jane Eyre (as Rochester), and X-Men: First Class (as Magneto) fame. Having seen him in just a handful of movies, I can already tell that he'll be one of the top actors of our generation and hopefully making movies for a long, long time. Michael has already shown himself to be a rare chameleon who disappears into whichever character he's playing at the moment. But whether he's a metal-bending mutant or an IRA volunteer on hunger strike in prison, his performances rivet you from start to finish. As if that weren't enough reason to fall head over heels, he seems humble, funny, and a real gentleman in real life. And the final kicker...he sings and dances (see below), too! My apologies to my male readers for this post, but to my lady friends...ENJOY ^_____^!

Cherry Tomatoes Photographs from James Ransom
1 James Ransom_Food52-Cherry Tomatoes Ingred
Apple Upside-down Cake from Pictures and Pancakes
2 Picturesandpancakes-Rustic Apple Upside-down Cake
Passionfruit with Yogurt from Margaret & Joy
3 Margaretandjoy-Passionfruit Ingred Cream Parfait Metal Molds
Black Plum and Ginger Crumble from Verses from My Kitchen
4 Versesfrommykitchen-Pear Crumble Streusel Crisp Metal Tray Propwish

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Filled with Thanks (Recipe Shout-Out 4 and Giveaway)

Hi there! Did you guys all have a fabulous Thanksgiving? If you're anything like us, you've been stuffing yourself FULL of great food and company. Perhaps to the point that 8 pm felt like midnight and you gladly fell into an early slumber, feeling satisfied and thankful on all fronts? On the topic of thankfulness, I have a LOT to be grateful for in 2011.

To name just a few...for my mom finding a new/better job despite this economy; for my friends who gave me the confidence to start selling my baking; for my boyfriend who supported me through all the crazy moments and even revealed a surprising talent for shaping sugar poppies at one point 8p; for all the customers who trusted me to whip up desserts for their family birthdays, anniversaries, and christenings; for 2 magazines publishing my photos, and for so so much more.

Cookies Collage for Giveaway
And you know I couldn't forget to thank all of you, my readers old and new, for showing such enthusiasm toward all that I do, whether it's the familiar cupcakes or something totally out of left field. I can always count on you all to cheer me on, and that means so much to me. To show my appreciation, I'm here today to present you with my 4th Recipe Shout-Out and yet another giveaway!

In the spirit of the holiday season, I'm giving away a batch of ANY COOKIES, BROWNIES, or OTHER BARS featured on this blog (must be stable enough to ship). I regret to say that this giveaway is limited to addresses in the continental US since baked goods are perishable. To enter, do as many of the following as you want and leave a separate comment for each thing you do! Please also make sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win. The giveaway will close on December 7 at midnight, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! THANKS FOR ENTERING!
  • Leave a comment telling me which cookies you'd like if you were to win.
  • Like 6 Bittersweets on Facebook, then leave a comment telling me you did or already do.
  • Subscribe to this blog, then leave a comment telling me you did or already do.
  • Follow 6 Bittersweets on Twitter, then leave a comment telling me you did or already do including your Twitter name.
  • Tweet about this giveaway, tagging me @6bittersweets, then leave a comment telling me including a link to the post.
Lastly, if you (1) posted about a 6 Bittersweets-inspired recipe and I missed it; (2) made a recipe and took a photo, but don't have a blog; or (3) post about a recipe of mine in the future, please email me your name, photo, and blog post URL (if applicable) and I'll be sure to include it in my next round-up. Now let's see what scrumptious things have been comin' out of your kitchens!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Pretty Sweet (Potato) Cake for Thanksgiving!

Woohoo! Thanksgiving break is finally here and my bags are already packed for the long weekend of great food n' family ahead. Still, I just couldn't duck out without sharing one more fun, festive fall dessert for any of you still needing a last-minute Thanksgiving dessert.
Happy Thanksgiving!
I love sweet potatoes in just about any form. And I'm betting that many of you feel the same...especially around this time of year! Which is why I simply couldn't resist making this richly flavored sweet potato cake this Thanksgiving. You'll love how quickly this comes together. Plus it only dirties up a bowl and measuring cup. It's also quite friendly to guests on restrictive diets, since the cake is already egg and dairy-free. If any dairy is an issue, simply swap dairy substitutes into the frosting to make this a welcome Thanksgiving dessert for all =).

P.S. - I want to thank Oh Nuts! for the wonderful Jumbo Raw Georgia pecans they sent me for free to use in my holiday baking. These pecans were so fresh and yummy. I sampled one as I was measuring them out for this cake and ended up eating so many I had to get more for the recipe O:-). They're big, as the name suggests, and have a wonderful subtle sweetness that made them downright addictive.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Favorites!

Can you believe it's already Thanksgiving week?! With Christmas and a whole 'nother year just around the corner after that...2011 has certainly flown by, with no signs of slowing down even at its close. Especially this year, I'm glad to have a chance to push the pause button for a few precious days to return with P to our hometown and celebrate Thanksgiving with his extended family. I always love to see P's family; they're such a warm, loving bunch and have treated me as one of their own from the moment we met. Plus I love that even nearing our late 20s, P and I (and all his cousins, too) still sit at the "kid's table" at Thanksgiving dinner ^_^. What are you guys looking forward to this Thanksgiving? Maybe a special side dish? Seeing your favorite uncle? Whatever it is, I hope you'll be surrounded by good food and loved ones aplenty when the big day rolls around!

Homemade Paneer from Journey Kitchen
N1 JourneyKitchen-Homemade Paneer Indian Cheese
Homemade Pasta with Sage and Pine Nuts from Pure Vegetarian by Lakshmi
N2 LaksmiW-Homemade Pasta Sage Pine Nuts Process Ingred Idea
Pumpkins Photograph from Honey and Jam
N3 Honeyandjam-Pumpkin Wheelbarrow Ingred
S'mores Cupcakes from Call Me Cupcake
N4 Callmecupcake-S'mores Choco Marshm Graham Cracker Toasted Cupcakes

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY Crepe Paper Fan Cupcake Topper Tutorial!

Crepe Paper Rosette Cupcake Toppers
Imma keep this post short and sweet as this weekend and next week up til Thanksgiving is just a wee bit crazy ^_^. A sane person might just pause the blogging entirely until life becomes more manageable, but I've learned that once you start down that road it's hard to get back on track. I've actually planned and delayed this tutorial so many times that I just can't wait another minute to share it with you guys! I hope you find it useful and please don't hesitate to ask me if anything's unclear! And if you like this, you might want to check out myearlier tutorial on making cute pom-pom cupcake toppers from tissue paper.

Step 1

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ruff(le)'s Up, Doc? (Carrot Cupcakes with Ruffled Frosting and Marzipan Carrots)

A few months back, P's cousin K asked me if I'd be willing to bake the cupcakes for her wedding (!!). This was the first time I'd been asked to contribute to someone's Big Day, and I was really touched by the request. And agreed right away, of course! K had her sights set on carrot cake from the start, which worked great for me. I loves me a client who knows what she wants =D. K's wedding doesn't actually take place until next October, but is it really ever too early to test run delicious carrot cupcakes? (Hint: the answer is "no!")

The weird thing about this carrot cupcake recipe is that I converted it into an all-apple recipe the first time I made it (that's just what I happened to need at the time). And I tell you what, the apple-fied version was so darn good that I couldn't resist re-converting it back to experience it in its full beta-carotene glory ^_^.

Carrot Cupcakes with Marzipan-Parsley Carrot Toppers
I also couldn't resist just a few tweaks here and there (swapping out some oil for the more flavorful melted coconut oil/butter, amping the spices up a touch, and so on...). What came out of the oven was to my mind the perfect basic carrot cupcake: delightfully moist but with no oily mouthfeel, packed with flavor from a balanced medley of spices, and boasting a subtle nuttiness and crunch from the toasted walnuts. Feel free to adapt this to your personal carrot-cake preferences! Like your carrot cake to have more nuts, no nuts, other nuts, coconut flakes, raisins, chocolate chips, whatever else? Go for it!

The only popular add-in that I'd expect any trouble from is pineapple chunks, since they'd add significant moisture to the batter. But I'm on a quest here, folks...I won't rest until I've found the perfect carrot cupcake for K's wedding day! And on the chance that the very best carrot cake contains pineapple, I'll be trying a recipe with pineapple in it next. Right now I'm eying this one, but please don't hesitate to speak up if you wanna share one better!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Favorites

First off, I'm gonna point out the obvious that this round of weekly favorites is ever-so-slightly dominated by wedding cakes 8p. And for the first time I've included 2 favorites from the same source. Both of these can be attributed to my discovery of The Caketress last week. As you might've guessed by now, I follow quite a number of party/style/wedding blogs. So I've seen (and shared with you) a number of impressive special occasion cakes previously. But from the moment I laid eyes upon the jeweled pieces of edible art below by The Caketress, I was awed, enchanted, and absolutely addicted to her distinctive work. If, after browsing the images below, you find yourself as head over heels as I was, I recommend you check out more of her work on her website. Plus if you're interested in the woman behind the cakes and how she got started in this business, here's a great little video promo about Lori Hutchinson, aka The Caketress.

Jeweled Wedding Cake by The Caketress
1 Caketress Jewel Wedding Cake Idea
Another Jeweled Wedding Cake by The Caketress
2 Caketress-Fondant Jeweled Wedding Cake Idea
Wedding Cake Trio with Fondant Ruffles, Spun Sugar Trail, and Fondant Eyelet Lace by Ambrosia Cake Creations
3 Ambrosiacakecreations-Frilled, Spun Sugar Trail, and Fondant Eyelet Wedding Cakes Idea
4 PlumGorgeousBook-Prosciutto Cheese Fig Relish Panini Grilled Sandwich

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Snapshots of San Francisco (and the Bay Area)!

I just got back from an awesome long weekend in the San Francisco/Bay Area spent with my blog friends Stephanie, Prerna, and Joyti as well as my college friends M and G. Thank you guys so so much for making time for me! I had so much fun and hope to be back soon. Here are a few snapshots I took (now that I finally got over my fear of taking my camera outside haha). Hope you like them =)!

PS - Check out Steph's gorgeous shots of the same wine tour here and here!

Frog's Leap Winery Tour in Napa Valley
Frog's Leap Winery
Lovely Friends in Lovely Napa
Tour of Frog's Leap Winery in Napa
Grapes on the vine and after wine was pressed out
Grapes on the vine (left) and after wine has been pressed out (right)
Our tour guide...
Our tour guide!
More Snapshots from Frog's Leap Winery
More Pumpkins
Pumpkin Decor
Bouchon Bakery and Lunch at Bouchon Cafe in Napa Valley
Napa Valley
Bouchon Bakery
Lunch at Bouchon CafeSteph's French Onion Soup and Prerna's Scrumptious Gnocchi!