Today I fly back to Houston from a whirlwind week in LA and Palm Springs (which I’ll tell you all about soon!), and I’m so, so excited to see my own bed tonight, you have no idea! It might’ve been the only time the desert has seen flooding in the last year, and we might have accidentally rented a clunker Suzuki rental car and screamed all the way down some of the steep streets in Silverlake, but we had a good time.
It also didn’t hurt that we had the cutest Airbnb of all time in Echo Park and hit up just about every bakery and coffee shop within driving distance. My favorite hands down was Bottega Louie though, I’m ninety-nine percent certain there is not a single prettier bakery in all of the land, and I’m thankful that there isn’t one in Houston or I might be poor, out of shape, and highly caffeinated and I’m really aiming for something a bit better for my auto-biography.
I thought I should still share a few photos of the goodies I picked up from there yesterday like macarons (in every color, naturally) and the most stunning giant macaron ever, appropriately named Le Grand Macaron. It was filled with raspberries and chocolate and was just big enough to put me in heaven for about an hour. Of course I had to buy enough macarons to fill a box to bring back for Jared, it was just a coincidence that I got to eat some too…
Valentine’s day is this week, and in case you might be doing some last minute scrambling for how to woo your love, this is the simple DIY for you. Buy a cake (ok ok – or bake a cake), make these cake toppers in 30 minutes, and leave it out for them to see it right when they walk in. You’ve definitely done your wooing for the day, and you still get cake out of it! It’s a win win.
- red or pink tissue paper
- fringing scissors
- kabob sticks
You may or may not have gathered by my caliber of cheesy jokes and constant home decor projects that I’m much more of a homebody than I am a partier. However, a New Year’s eve party that includes cupcakes and sparkles, I can get behind that (nevermind the fact that this description could also be 90% of little girls’ birthday parties).
Now, this may be a bit hasty to say but this countdown cupcake DIY seriously takes all of four seconds to make. All you have to do is stick a few numbered sparkler cake candles into cupcakes or your favorite dessert and light them one by one until the clock strikes midnight! Easy peasy, and perfect for last minute celebrations.
You can buy numbered or lettered gold cake sparklers at any local party store or specialty paper and craft stores.
Bake or buy cupcakes for each number and use the stars for the last one. You could also make message cupcakes with these using the letters too! I’m just excited, can you tell?
photos and recipe post contributed by Nanette Wong of Cultural Chromatics
Nothing screams holidays more than gingerbread. While everyone’s busy crafting their adorable and candy-filled gingerbread houses, I’ve been dreaming of a rich, most, flavorful gingerbread. And to be perfectly honest, gingerbread just screams to be paired with stout. Even though I’m not a beer connoisseur, something about stout and gingerbread just fits together, like hot chocolate and marshmallows… and this mini stout gingerbread cake recipe.
This recipe is a little more detailed than usual, but trust me, it’s worth the few extra steps!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup stout
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cardamom (these are optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 8 oz pack cream cheese
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, bring the molasses and stout to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat and add in the baking soda. Let sit until it stops foaming.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter until blended. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and the spices. Slowly add the flour to the eggs, mixing the whole time.
Finally, mix in the cream, then add in the stout and molasses. Pour in a 13″x9″ cake pan for 40-45 minutes.
While the cake is baking, whip up some frosting! Simply mix together the cream cheese, molasses, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until well blended. You can make mini cakes like here simply by using round biscuit cutters to cut out the layers and spreading frosting in between.