Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Food N' Music Favorites!

I can hardly believe it, but finals start in just a few days! I'm posting weekly favorites a bit early this week because I really really needed a break from looking at fetal pig dissection photos for my anatomy lab final next week! I'm sure you can understand why I find good music and food photos a *tad* more appealing, eh? Hope you enjoy these and are having more fun this weekend than I am =p!

Roasted Pumpkin Photograph from Kirk van Rooi (I couldn't find the source link again - sorry!)
1 Kirk van Rooi-Roasted Pumpkin Winter Squash Red Chair Idea
2 OhSweetMumMag-Fondant Gumpaste Scroll Flower Ruffle Ribbon Wedding Party Cake Idea
3 WholeLiving-Kale Dip Spread Snap Peas Vege Enamel Stone Background Idea
Ice Cream Photograph from Kate Whitaker
4 Kate Whitaker-Mango, Passionfruit Lemon Curd Ice Cream Scoop Idea
5 Spoonforkbacon-Shallot Leek Pancetta Savory Galette Tart Sliced
6 Caketress-Purple Peony Cupcake Toppers Gumpaste Idea Stand

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tart Lemon Cake for Mother's Day (Guest Post for Pure Joy Events)

Tart Lemon Layer Cake for Mother's Day Craft Photo Shoot
I'm lucky to live near 2 fabulously talented food and party blogger friends, Christine of Pure Joy Events and Heather of Chickabug. It was such a pleasure to collaborate with the 2 of them previously, so I was excited when Christine suggested we team up again for a special Mother's Day project! For our latest undertaking, Christine made this fabulous memo board of colorful clothespins to provide the perfect setting to show off memo to Mom cards custom-designed by Heather. And I added a measure of sweetness with my Tart Lemon Cake! Please head over to Pure Joy Events for the full cake recipe and to Chickabug for the Mother's Day memo board tutorial, FREE memo to Mom printable, plus the lemon cake recipe card. You can also find a plain-text printable version of just the cake recipe here.

Tart Lemon Layer Cake for Mother's Day Craft Photo ShootClothespins and Memos DARKER TEXT

Saturday, April 21, 2012

VIDEO: How to Fluff Up Pom-Pom Cupcake Toppers

More Cupcakes for Joy's Birthday
I posted a tutorial a year ago on how to make your own cute pom-pom cupcake toppers from tissue paper (I also sell them pre-made on Etsy). You guys seemed to love the poms (yay!). Some of you sent me messages following that post asking how to fluff up the poms so that they're party-ready. Things like that are better demonstrated than described. Now that I'm able to make videos, I've made a short recording of my "fluffing" process (oh my that doesn't quite sound right, does it? 8x). Whether you purchase these toppers from me or choose to go the DIY route, I hope you find this helpful. If you enjoy this video, please "like" it on Youtube and subscribe to my channel. I'd also love to hear suggestions of other videos you'd like to see from 6 Bittersweets!

Saturday Favorites and Latest Music Obsessions

Quick music and inspiration food photo drop-off as I'm busy working on a fun project with Christine of Pure Joy Events today! Will share the details as soon as I can ;).

Various Photographs from Sarie Magazine (South African)
1 SarieMag Collage
Fried Easter Porridge from Our Kitchen
2 Ourkitchen-Fried Easter Oatmeal Porridge, Patty Pancake Plum Sauce Idea
Thai Chicken Coconut Soup from à la mode*
3 Alamode-Foodandwine-Thai Chicken Cocon Soup Ginger Lime Cilantro Wood Propwish
Strawberries and Cream Cake Photographs from Dietlind Wolf (Stylist)
4 Dietlind Wolf-Strawberries Ice Cream, Mousse Sandw Cake Idea Sliced Ingred
Phyllo Boats on Chocolate Cream from Carnets Parisiens
5 Carnetsparisiens-Phyllo Boats on Choco Cream Custard Pudding Lake Water Kids Idea

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Favorites and Three Amazing Bands

UPDATE: I just saw the most amazing concert in D.C. with my friend R. I went for a British singer-songwriter I adore, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, but I ended up falling in love with all 3 acts there! And during the 2nd act, I kept noticing people kept saying hi to the person behind me. When I finally turned around I realized it was Benjamin! I got tongue-tied but managed to tell him I loved his work and had come just to see him. He was really sweet and gave me a hug. All 3 bands were so great that I had to add samples of their work below. PLEASE give them a shot! IMHO great music can transform your life.

Just stopping by to drop off this week's food photography favorites. Plus I wanted to let you know I've got another video, a savory *gasp* dish, and a very spring-worthy sweet coming up. See y'all soon!

Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic Beehive Photogragh from The Cheesemonger's Kitchen
1 CheesemongersKitchenBook-Goat Ch Roast Garlic Beehive Layered Dip Spread Cracker Idea
Lemonade and Candied Zest Photographs from Jonny Lindh
2 Jonny Lindh-Lemonade Drink Pitcher Candied Zest Idea Outside
Zebra Bundt Cake from Bakers Royale
3 BakersRoyale-Zebra Bundt Cake Marbled Slice Zinc Propwish Idea Cigarette Ash Soak Aging
Kiwi Mojito Cocktail Photograph from Unknown Source via Pinterest
4 Unknown-Kiwi Mojito Lime Rum Cocktail Drink Handheld Idea
Spring Wedding Cake by Wild Orchid Baking Company
5 WildOrchidBakingCo-Spring Grass Flower Fondant Wedding Cake Idea

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cookbook Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pies, Oh My! dessert decorating book giveaway! The randomly selected winner is Trisha of Veranellies (comment #11)! Congrats! Please look out for my email about the details of your prize, and I hope you enjoy making the soda jerks and other wonderful projects from this book =D.

Monday, April 9, 2012

P's Birthday Treats (Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Bars)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Bars
My boyfriend P's attitude towards food is often, in his own words, "Yea's a can eat it..." -_-... So when he praises (or even remembers) any food past the day he consumes it, I take notice and usually try to recreate it. For years now P's expressed a fondness for a rice krispies bar he used to buy in college. But he wasn't referring to just any plain rice cereal bar...

The Jones' on Easter Sunday
Lexington, Virginia -- where P and I grew up and eventually met
The rice krispies layer was just one of 3 essential components in the treat P described -- the others being almighty chocolate and peanut butter ;p. It wasn't hard to see that a light, crunchy cereal base would be the perfect foil for rich layers of peanut butter and chocolate. If you love the combination of chocolate + PB as much as we do, you'll now understand our interest in recreating this heavenly slice.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Bars 2
Speaking of recreating this bar of lore, I actually made one previous attempt over 3 years ago. Let's just say there was some yelling and a pan full of sweetened bricks where there should've been bars =X. Despite that, um, incident...I gave it another shot for P's birthday this year and they turned out much better this time. In fact P kept threatening to eat the entire tray, which is his special way of telling me I done good =).

I bet you guys have some beloved schoolgirl/boy treats of your own that you've been dying to bring back. I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Bars 3

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Favorites!

Happy Easter Sunday to everyone who celebrates it =). I'm currently down in the town where P and I grew up in order to have Easter dinner with his family. Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, I hope you're enjoying some quality time (and food!) with loved ones this weekend.

Quail Eggs Photograph from Clemmensen and Brok
1 ClemmensonBrok-Quail Eggs Ingred Stone Background Surface Propwish
Ruffled Wedding Cake by Bobbette & Belle
2 Bobbetteandbelle-Gumpaste Fondant Ruffle Flag Ribbon Banner Wedding Cake Idea
3 Matt Armendariz-Honey Brie Almond Sub Sandw Pewter Zinc Propwish
Laila's Arabic Lentil Soup from Veggie Belly
4 VeggieBelly-Laila’s Arabic Lentil Soup
Wood-grain Wedding Cake by Judit Meron
5 Judit Meron-Woodland Wood-grain Wedding Cake Decoration Idea Painted Fondant

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Work of (Edible) Art: Monet's Water Lilies Cupcakes (Plus Cookbook Review and GIVEAWAY)

If you've seen my previous cute owl or creepy critter cupcake posts, both adapted from Hello, Cupcake!, you already know that I'm a huge fan of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Sure I love to make most treats from scratch, but I also love that their projects allow everyone from first-time bakers to professional decorators to create works of edible art from easy-to-find ingredients. I was delighted at the news that this unbeatable duo was coming out with another book and even more excited to accept a free advance copy of Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! to review!

Monet's Water Lilies Cupcakes
Although Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! is Karen and Alan's 3rd book together, it stands apart from Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake? as their first to include cookies, pie, and oh my other treats in addition to cupcakes. If there's one thing I've learned about their books, it's that it is never easy to pick just one project to make. Stiletto Shoe Cupcakes, Chocolate-dipped Tea Bag Cookies, Nacho Cheesecake, and Hen House Mini Pies all beckoned to me as I flipped through CC&P. But the opportunity to literally "make art edible" with Monet's Water Lilies Cupcakes turned out to be the one I couldn't resist. 

Cupcakes Cookies & Pie Oh My
I realize I picked one of the more technically challenging recipes to test out, but I hope you'll agree the results are worth it and worth-y of a special occasion. One of my pet peeves is when dessert decorating books are stingy with photos, so I was glad to see that CC&P continues the pair's tradition of including photos of every recipe. Some particularly tricky steps even get their own photos. Even though I have some experience with baking and decorating, I still found the visual guidance extremely helpful when paired with the book's consistently clear and concise written directions.

Water Lilies Mini Cupcakes
Photograph © Alan Richardson
In short, I think that Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! would make a great addition to any imaginative baker's bookshelf. Its projects are accessible for beginners but fun and unique enough to interest more experienced bakers. As with Karen and Alan's previous outings, CC&P contains ideas for specific holidays -- such as Father's Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween -- as well as more versatile party ideas -- such as cake pops on plastic forks. There's really something for everyone, which is why I'm giving away a copy of Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson to one lucky reader! This giveaway is open to anyone with a US or Canadian shipping address. To enter, simply 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 April 12 at midnight, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Good luck! This giveaway has ended -- thanks to all who entered!
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Happy Friday Music: The Kooks, Phoenix, and The Dean's List

Happy Friday, my dear readers! Hope you've got some fun plans lined up for the weekend. I'll be heading down to Southwest VA for Easter dinner with P's family. But before I leave I'll be doing some baking and can't wait to share it with you all. In the meantime, here're some fun songs I love. Just the kind to kick off the weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Food as Art: Introducing Melina Hammer

If my weekly food photography favorites posts haven't made it clear enough =p, I love to discover and share with you inspiring artists who photograph food and/or blog about it. On occasion, an artist comes along whose work is so exceptional that it's simply impossible for me to choose just one photo to feature. When isolating a single example of her work would be insufficient to communicate the range of her talent. I'm talking about someone just like professional food photographer, Melina Hammer, who recently joined the world of blogging with her aptly-named site, Licking the Plate. I had the pleasure of meeting Melina in person during my recent trip to NYC and can honestly tell you that she's as sweet and beautiful as she is gifted with a camera. At my request, she's agreed to share some of her gorgeous photos as well a bit of the inspiration behind her work. Please give her your warmest welcome (plus I highly recommend following her blog and Twitter to keep up with her culinary and visual exploits)!

I am firstly inspired by the authenticity of food, and I love highlighting the nuances of each gorgeous thing as it relates to its nature. Incorporating richly textured elements and special objects to cohere the beauty or mood of a story is another aspect that brings me great pleasure. The opportunity to cook something dynamic and showcase the complexity - or ease! - of how I got there, along with a drool-worthy spread of the goodies is a third element that plays a key role in how I shape my story telling through the lens.

making tart
Mwhammer-Gooseberries Berries Ingred

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Favorites!

I hope you've enjoyed my recent recipe and video posts! I'm still looking for more ideas for what type of videos you'd be interested in. So please leave your suggestions in comments below (or email me)! I've got some more sweets coming later this week (PB, chocolate, and/or dulce de leche fans, take note!) as well as a spotlight feature on an incredibly gifted and kind food photographer whom I was lucky enough to meet during my NYC trip! Until those are ready, here are some gorgeous food photos to start off the new week ^_^.

Broken Eggs Photograph from Ira Rodrigues (AKA Cooking Tackle)
1 IraRodrigues-Broken Eggshell Ingred Idea
2 Decor8-Easter Dyed Eggs Idea
Taquitos Photograph from Aisha Yusaf
3 AishaYusaf-Taquitos Chips Salsa Dip Wraps Soda
Ombre Chevron Wedding Cake by Stevinix on Cake Central
5 StevinixCC-Ombre Chevron Fondant Carnival Wedding Cake Idea
Berry Oat Breakfast Parfait from Paulina Kolandra
4 PaulinaKolandra-Red Currant Blueberry Cereal Yogurt Parfait Outside Idea

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Latest Music Obsession: The Maccabees

One of my best friends N turned me on to the British indie rock group, The Maccabees, a few months ago and I immediately loved their song, "Feel to Follow" (video above). But it wasn't until recently that I took time to listen to the entirety of their most recent album, Given to the Wild. It's really strong as a whole, and I've discovered an even bigger favorite than "Feel to Follow" in a song called "Heave", which you can check out here. Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend!

P.S. - Is anyone else excited for tonight's premiere of Season 2 of HBO's Game of Thrones?