T’was The Week Before Christmas

Happy holidays!  Are you in a panic or as calm as a silent night?

Thought I’d share what I’ve been up to besides workshops.

Behold!  I bring you tidings of great joy and sparkles!  I’ve been baking and decorating for a Wilton Treat Team Member Secret Santa Cookie Exchange project that will be revealed on Friday’s blog post! Here’s a sneak peek – a very tiny sneak peek as in tiny fondant decorations I’m making for the cookie decorations.  Shhh, it’s supposed to be a surprise!

Christmas Star and Snow Angel-8375

I’m also adding professional gift wrapper to my resume by request this season, so I’m setting up shop on Thursday night and the gifts will be arriving.  It’ll be fun!

To thank my friend, Shelly, for her assist at my West Elm OC Cookie Decorating Workshop, I wrapped up something special for her and added these mini spatulas from Sur la Table nestled into the bow.

sur la table spatulas-8332.insta

Sur la Table has the cutest holiday themed goodies this year.  My candy cane striped mug and snow flake mug were a couple of my favs.  I use them each morning to hold my hazelnut girlie-brew. I don’t know if it’s the caffeine or the cheerfulness of the cups themselves but by 8:00 AM I’ve got my fa-la-la-la goin’ on!

Speaking of Sur la Table, last Sunday I took a holiday mac class.  I’ve taken a mac class before a couple years ago, but since I don’t make them regularly I like to keep up my skills.  Lauren at Newport Beach was a great instructor.  Learned so many little tips from her.  Did you know for macs to keep their color while baking you need to almost over color the batter before baking?  Covering the baking macs with foil after 3 minutes in the oven will also prevent them from becoming brown.  Continue baking another 4 minutes.  Wow!  Who knew? I don’t remember that tip from before.

Here’s our pistachio mac with rum buttercream, gingerbread with orange buttercream and peppermint with dark chocolate ganache with the rim dipped in crush peppermint candies.  I also met the nicest gals in class.  Win-win for me!

Sur la Table Macaron Class

Thanks to my mac crush, a tamis is on my Christmas list.  Just in case, you know.

We also managed to have a short trip overnight  to Pasadena to celebrate our good friend’s surprise birthday party.  I baked my OC Fair blue ribbon winning Dutch apple pie for him as apple is his favorite.  He was happy to supple the side of ham for the camera.  Funny fella.

apple pie for john

After the party, we went up to Colorado Blvd. and had a night cap at one of our favorite outdoor cafes and people watched for awhile.  It’s always entertaining.

Of course, we had to sample one of their signature pastries.  Oh my, so delish.  I enjoyed deconstructing it and we both enjoyed sharing it.  The things I do for my art.

mi piace pasadena

The next morning we awoke to the bells of the church where my mom attended high school.  We could see the the bell tower from our room and it made me miss her knowing this place was such a big part of her life.  It was hard for me to leave that day.

All these snaps are on my Instagram page which I have a lot of fun posting images I take here and there that don’t add up a complete blog post.

I’ve also been working on a new blog design that will have gallery pages for easy organization and searches and the ability to print recipes!  Yay!

I hope you’re having a good holiday season!  Please come back on Friday for some fun Christmas cookies!

Summer Garden and Miscellany

This week is going to be busy as I deliver my baked goods to the Orange County Fair.  I may have been a tad ambitious when signing up as everything sounded doable while registering online at 1 AM, a month ago. You know how that goes. Our garden is bursting with goodness!  Sunday morning brought me outdoors to harvest our San Marzano and heirloom tomatoes, yellow boy tomatoes, purple and green basil, purple bell peppers and Eureka lemons.  We made… [Read More]

Happy April

I hope everyone had a nice Easter and Passover and break from academic endeavors.  We had a lovely visit with the collegiate spring breakers.  Son2 and his dad, planted the garden for us and added drip irrigation.  Son1 worked on his presentation for a meeting this week on the east coast.  I cooked and went to the store – a lot.  The boys also were able to individually take their grandma out to lunch which I know they all enjoyed…. [Read More]

If I Had Won The Lottery…

Tory Burch ballerina flat $195 – cusp.com Kate spade handbag $298 – katespade.com Kate Spade embossed handbag $278 – katespade.com Marc by Marc Jacobs genuine leather handbag $275 – mytheresa.com Tiffany Co chain jewelry $7,200 – tiffany.com Kate spade bangle $148 – katespade.com Kate Spade dangle earrings $68 – katespade.com Kate spade sunglasses $128 – bloomingdales.com Chanel nail polish $26 – nordstrom.com Tennis Ball Coin Purse $50 – katespade.com Clinique Happy in Bloom 50mL $46 – bloomingdales.com Oh well.    🙂… [Read More]

Your First Kiss … do ‘kiss and tell’!

I have a love affair with Valentine’s Day. It’s when I received my first kiss from a boy named Kenny Watkins. In second grade, while we were passing out Valentine’s among the decorated shoe boxes adorned with paper doilies and hearts, Kenny puckered up and planted one on my right cheek. Totally surprised but secretly pleased due to my reciprocal crush, I did what any self–respecting seven year-old girl would have done – I promptly walked up to my teacher,… [Read More]

Thinking of You

My thoughts and prayers go to my blogging friends on the east coast this weekend as you hunker down. Keep safe.xoxo

Cupcake Accoutrements

Paper Source for cupcake goodies. Who knew? Because working with sprinkles can be dangerous! 😉 Lip gloss never tasted so good! The cutest little hostess gift… … here’s whats in it… Tea for two or cupcakes for 4?Bake them right in the silicone cup. Don’t forget to serve with the saucer. And if you need more inspiration… Click here and see a video of how the authors make Chinese take out cupcakes.So cute and easy! Ladies & Gents ~ “start… [Read More]

‘Fashion Fit For A Princess’

There’s a great article on the UK’s Daily Mail page showing some of Grace Kelley’s looks from the 50’s and how her style is just as stylish today. Here are just a couple photos~ Grace in To Catch A Thief Grace in Rear Window. Perfection is indeed timeless. Have a wonderful weekend, friends. “Friday I’m In Love” ~ The Cure (on the sidebar)

Boston Restaurant Needed

Harvard Bridge Can you help? I am looking for an exceptional dinning experience in Boston for my son’s graduation in June. I would appreciate any of your recommendations. Has anyone tried the top of the Prudential building? Thanks. 🙂

This Weekend…

… whether you observe Easter, Passover or a Rite of Spring, I wish you peace in your soul, love in your heart and a renewal of purpose and spirit. Have a lovely weekend, friends.