Upcoming OC Event : {CAKE the Sweets & Party Expo 2015}

cake

Oh it’s that time of year sweet friends!  Have I mentioned before that I like sweets??? Well what better place to enjoy some delish and beautiful sweet treats then at this years CAKE expo!  Whether you are a professional or amateur baker/decorator or just a sweet treat connoisseur (like myself), this Expo is for you….there are even activities for the kids so bring the whole family (I will be there with mine)!  It will be a weekend you won’t want to miss!  And now you won’t have to since for my subscribers the tickets will be discounted from $45 to $5!  (See link and info below)

Check out just some of the few things that are happening:

  • Tons of sweet samples from amazing vendors like Radiant Cakes, Gracie Stone Sweets, & Albert’s Petite Sweets
  • Meet & greet Party in the Party Style Lounge with Author Gemma Touchstone – Signing her new book PARTY STYLE
  • Decorate cupcake’s with Baking With Melissa – tickets still available
  • Have fun in the Kids Create Zone hosted by Club Mom Me
  • VIPs spend 2 exclusive hours 9am-11am sat morning or hang out in the VIP lounge sponsored by Party Pieces Perry
  • Demo’s on the main Stage every hour
  • Door Prizes on the main stage every hour
  • Classes & Private demos available to learn tricks of the trade
  • See all the exhibitors and happenings on www.cake-expo.com click schedule

Here are the details:

When:  October 17th & 18th

Admission Tickets: $5  for my subscribers (Regularly $45).  Just follow the event bright link and look for the Friends & Family Ticket choice.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cake-expo-private-demos-fun-classes-tickets-16852681825

Where:  OC Fair Grounds (Click pic below for info/address)OCFEClogoCLRgrad

Fun Classes & Private Demo Tickets available here –
VIP TICKETS INCLUDE -Want the most Bang for your buck go VIP
– Special VIP & Media only hours Sat. 9am – 11am
– Access to the VIP lounge
– Swag Bag Valued at $350.00
– Autographed Copy of the new book Party Style
– Raffle Tickets
– Water Tickets
– Fun things being added by our sponsors every day!
Hope to see you all there!!
XOXO,
Caroline

I’m A Winner : {Le Mignon Macaron}

IMG_6937Le Mignon Macarons recently had a giveaway via their Instagram account for a free dozen macarons…and I won!  I was so excited and they were so delish that I had to share about it.  Le Mignon sells macarons for weddings, parties, and to order just for yourself haha.  Go on and check them out!  I received three flavors: Salted Caramel, Matcha Green Tea, and Vanilla.  They were all so delicious…I think the green tea was my fave! (My hubby’s was the caramel).
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Afters Ice Cream : {The Milky Bun}

IMG_3191So there is this new type of dessert/dessert place that is all the rage around these parts (Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach).  Its called Afters Ice Cream.  I have a feeling this is the beginning of a new dessert trend.  Every evening this place has a HUGE line (like Diddy Riese in Westwood) …and one week night I decided to brave the long line and give it a try.

What they are known for is the “Milky Bun.”  In a nutshell it is ice cream, and a topping, sealed in a warm donut.  As you eat it the ice cream melts a little and causes the donut (or bun) to get “milky.”  What I love is that the ice cream flavors are very unique!  For example when I was there these were the flavors available:  cookie monster (full of Famous Amos cookies), salted caramel, churro, mint chocolate chip, jasmine milk tea, milk and cereal, almond cookie, and my favorite…Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter flavor.  The toppings are a variety of cereals, cookies, and candies.  The donut is a choice between plain or glazed.

Our Milky Bun Creations:
IMG_3180IMG_3189I opted for a glazed donut, with cookie butter ice cream, and captain crunch. Honestly this was not a winning combo.  It was way to sweet and I couldn’t get through half of it without feeling a little nauseous.  IMG_3190My husband chose a glazed donut, salted caramel ice cream, and cinnamon toast crunch for his topping.IMG_3187My husband loved his Milky Bun creation…..I tasted it and it was far superior to mine.  I think a lot has to do with the combo of ice cream/toppings you get.  But still I think it is something that is shareable since it is so sweet.  Next time I will just get the ice cream (no donut) because the flavors are great and no one else has them!

Buñuelos : {Cinnamon Sugar Chips}



IMG_4219This Mexican dessert was a favorite of mine growing up that my mom would make and buy for us. Traditionally buñuelos are in a more tostada shape….not chip shape, and you can take the time to make them from scratch but this is an easier, quicker and just as delicious way to make them from home. I love making these when we are having guests over because they are always a crowd pleaser, great to eat on their own or added to ice cream like shown above!  These will be great as a Cinco De Mayo dessert!

Directions:


IMG_4177 Combine cinnamon and sugar in a bowl until it’s a dark brown color like shown. (I never measure this out but just mix until it looks like this….feel free to do a taste test of the mixture to make sure it isn’t too cinnamon-y for you. IMG_4180I love these raw tortillas from Costco but you can use any store bought/pre-made FLOUR tortillas.
IMG_4182 IMG_4205Cut the tortillas into triangles (or keep it whole for a tostada shaped dessert). IMG_4185 Fill up a pan with veggie oil…..about 1/2 high and heat on medium/high heat. IMG_4188 Prep is KEY when making Booners (as I like to call them), because once they start cooking the process is fast!  This is my set up: pan, baking sheet with layers of paper towels to absorb the grease, cinnamon/sugar mixture bowl to dip, then serving bowl for finished chips. IMG_4194 Heat the oil. I sprinkle some water into the pan……and if it sizzles it’s ready to go. But the temp for those who love specific directions was at least 180degrees. IMG_4200 Flip booners once they are golden brown. IMG_4201Transfer cooked booners to the paper towels to soak up excess grease.
IMG_4202 Dip still warm booners into cinnamon and sugar mixture and coat both sides. IMG_4203Feel free to tap the booner a little to dust off any excess cinnamon and sugar. 
IMG_4217IMG_4228Now enjoy!

Christmas {The Highlight Reel}

Since I wasn’t blogging during Christmas time I thought I would show a highlight reel!

Graham Cracker Toffee:
IMG_2781 IMG_2804Pecan Pie Bars:

(I used this recipe and it is amazing!  The only thing I did differently is that I used wax paper instead of foil…MUCH easier!)IMG_2761 IMG_2777 IMG_2821DIY Photo Coasters (Gave as Xmas gifts):
IMG_2686 IMG_2817 IMG_2834Cinnamon Rolls:IMG_3118IMG_3124 IMG_3125IMG_2162Butter Cookies:

(I got lazy and just cut them instead of using cute cookie cutters)
IMG_3151IMG_3157 IMG_3158 IMG_3177Molasses Cookies:IMG_3154 IMG_3169A few personal photos:
IMG_2127E’s First snow
IMG_2155 She passed out in Dad’s office following Christmas Eve ServiceIMG_2173Christmas Day E got this little buggy and loved it!IMG_2184 I got the Target Bar Cart from my hubby!  I LOVE IT!

Hope you all had an amazing and blessed Christmas!

Magic Bars : {7 Layer Bars}

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Growing up my mom always made the same few sweets for Christmas: Cinnamon Rolls, 7 layer bars, and butter cookies.  When I became an adult I took over the tradition.  But when I did I realized the so called “7 Layer Bars” don’t have 7 layers.  Thus the name needed to be changed.  A friend of mine saw the ingredients laying out one day and said “oh yum, magic bars.” …..so lets go with that name haha.  These are great bars to make as gifts…I usually do for christmas!

Ingredients: (Makes Bars..feel free to cut it in half!)

-12×18 Sheet cake pan

-2 Boxes of graham cracker crumbs

-3 Sticks of salted butter

-1 Bag of 24oz chocolate chips (you can add more if desired or other flavor chips)

-6 cups of walnuts (chopped/pieces)

-2 14oz bags of sweetened shredded coconut

-7 Cans of sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

IMG_3099Melt butter & combine with graham cracker crumbs.
IMG_3102
IMG_3103Pour graham into pan and spread and press into an even level with a rubber spatula.

IMG_3107IMG_3109Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk over graham cracker crumbs.IMG_3110Add chocolate chips, then pour 1 1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk over the chips.IMG_3111Pour coconut next (I used a little less than the 2 bags).  IMG_3113Cover coconut with 1 1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk.IMG_3115Then add the last layers: walnut pieces and then cover with 3 cans of sweetened condensed milk.  (You really want the walnuts to be completely coated).

IMG_3198Then bake for approx. 45 min. at 350.  Honestly sometimes I bake them for longer at 325 but just watch them.  You want the walnuts to look cooked and golden brown like above…once that happens the bars are done.

IMG_3204Let cool completely before cutting into bars. (I usually prepare mine in the evening and let them cool covered overnight).

Apple Cake w/Cinnamon Sugar Topping {Magnolia Bakery}

IMG_2330

When on maternity leave we had lots of visitors who brought us meals, one of them being my sweet Grandma.  When she brought us food she left this can of Duncan Hines Country Apple Pie Filling for dessert saying we could mix it/top it on almost anything!  I have never bought pre-mixed pie filling and thought it was a sweet “Grandma thing” to bring but didn’t know how to really use it….so I just put it in my cupboard and forgot about it.  But then when looking for fall recipes and flipping through my favorite Magnolia Bakery Cookbook I found this recipe and it called for canned apples.  I figured canned apples and canned apple pie filling weren’t that much different so I made the cake and it was delish and very moist!  The difference is that I didn’t add sugar to the batter because the pie filling already had sugar…but everything else is the same.  It’s a perfect cake to be sliced, served warm with coffee or tea for breakfast or dessert!  This is also a good loaf cake to give as a gift!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (canola is preferred)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (20 ounce) can sliced apples, drained and patted dry
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I skipped this since the canned pie filling had sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

*Tip:  If you want a really crispy cinnamon/sugar top then really load it on.  The amount called for in the recipe does not produce a super sweet crust but is still good.

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs, using an electric mixer on medium speed; beat for about 3 minutes or until light and thick.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg/sugar/oil mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beating after each addition until smooth.
  • In another bowl, toss the apples with half the cinnamon-sugar topping; then stir half the apples into the batter. (In my case I skipped this and just added the canned apple pie filling to the batter and a tsp of cinnamon.  I tried to leave as much of the jelly from the filling out of the batter.)
  • Pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured 10-inch tube pan.
  • Drop the remaining apples on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for 60-70 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour.
  • Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

IMG_2276IMG_2269 IMG_2272 IMG_2273IMG_2299 IMG_2301IMG_2336 IMG_2338IMG_2344

Apple Cake w/Cinnamon Sugar Topping {Magnolia Bakery}

IMG_2330

When on maternity leave we had lots of visitors who brought us meals, one of them being my sweet Grandma.  When she brought us food she left this can of Duncan Hines Country Apple Pie Filling for dessert saying we could mix it/top it on almost anything!  I have never bought pre-mixed pie filling and thought it was a sweet “Grandma thing” to bring but didn’t know how to really use it….so I just put it in my cupboard and forgot about it.  But then when looking for fall recipes and flipping through my favorite Magnolia Bakery Cookbook I found this recipe and it called for canned apples.  I figured canned apples and canned apple pie filling weren’t that much different so I made the cake and it was delish and very moist!  The difference is that I didn’t add sugar to the batter because the pie filling already had sugar…but everything else is the same.  It’s a perfect cake to be sliced, served warm with coffee or tea for breakfast or dessert!  This is also a good loaf cake to give as a gift!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil (canola is preferred)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (20 ounce) can sliced apples, drained and patted dry
  • Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I skipped this since the canned pie filling had sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

*Tip:  If you want a really crispy cinnamon/sugar top then really load it on.  The amount called for in the recipe does not produce a super sweet crust but is still good.

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs, using an electric mixer on medium speed; beat for about 3 minutes or until light and thick.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the egg/sugar/oil mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beating after each addition until smooth.
  • In another bowl, toss the apples with half the cinnamon-sugar topping; then stir half the apples into the batter. (In my case I skipped this and just added the canned apple pie filling to the batter and a tsp of cinnamon.  I tried to leave as much of the jelly from the filling out of the batter.)
  • Pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured 10-inch tube pan.
  • Drop the remaining apples on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake in a 325 degree oven for 60-70 minutes or until a pick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour.
  • Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

IMG_2276IMG_2269 IMG_2272 IMG_2273IMG_2299 IMG_2301IMG_2336 IMG_2338IMG_2344

Easy Nutella “Crepes” : {Dessert Quesadilla}

IMG_0885I love crepes and my favorite dessert crepes are the ones with bananas, strawberries, and Nutella.  So the other night when I was craving something sweet and really didn’t have anything around the house but Nutella I decided to make a Nutella quesadilla hoping for the same effect.  And it was actually super delish so I had to share.

All I did was spread Nutella on the tortilla, stuff it with fruit, then cook it in an ungreased pan (on High), until it was warm!  You can add peanut butter or strawberries to mix it up, this is just what I had lying around.  I topped it off with more Nutella and powdered sugar…but I bet whipped cream would have been good too.

*Note: Don’t spread the Nutella all the way to the edges of the tortilla because when it heats up it will expand. IMG_0886IMG_0887IMG_0889 IMG_0890IMG_0937

A few of my favorite things {This Week}

Favorite things wk5Links:

Maple Pecan Blondies w/Maple Butter Glaze

ilycouture.com Wifey Sweatshirt

27 DIY Beauty Hacks Every Girl Should Know