Magnolia Bakery + Kate Spade

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How cute is this collaboration? I adore Magnolia Cupcakes and I have to mentally prepare myself to walk by it everytime I go to Drybar. But this cupcake is forever! It reminds me of the Carrie’s bag in the first Sex and the City movie. They definitely put more frosting on the real ones.

Photo Credit: Kate Spade

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Croissant Baking Class

I took the most incredible Croissant Baking Class at Cook’n With Class in Paris. It was by FAR the best cooking class I’ve ever taken. And yes it’s in English. The teacher (Florian) was extremely knowledgeable & thorough (previously the head baker at a Patisserie) and because it was only 6 people in the class we got the true hands-on experience and can definitely all go try it at home. Everything we made tasted so delicious and completely blew my mind!

All I need is an entire weekend to dedicate to making croissants, because there’s an overnight waiting period with the buttery buttery dough! I highly recommend this cooking school if you’re in Paris.

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Friendsgiving

Last weekend I hosted a Friendsgiving at my home. I’ve been wanting to do this for years an it was a great success. I highly recommend it for anyone who doesn’t go home for Thanksgiving – or in my case for the weekend after Thanksgiving when everyone comes home.

Lots of food, conversation, wine, punch and laughter with some of my closest friends. Complete with “Fireplace for your home” playing on my TV. It really does add some ambiance.

The menu was as follows:

Cheese plate

Charcuterie

Brussel Sprouts (made by my friend Luisa)

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Mushroom Gravy

Braised Turkey Legs

Pumpkin Pie (made by my friend Eileen)

Cranberry Bourbon Punch

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smith’s bakery – bakersfield, ca

I’ve definitely written about these delicious cookies in the past but I felt like I had to re-inform the world about them. If you’re ever in Bakersfield, go to Smith’s Bakery and get happy face cookies and thumbprints. They also have chocolate thumbprints for the chocolate-inclined.

If you’re a fan of pink champagne cake, theirs it to-die-for.

Their frosting is unlike any other- the recipe is super secret. It’s thick but still soft and sweet but not too sweet. You’ll have to taste it to believe it!

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Dates.

Proscuitto Wrapped Dates. So easy to make and so delicious! Recipe below.

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ingredients:

pack of proscuitto

dates

almonds (or other nut if you prefer)

1. Remove the pits from the dates and replace with an almond, close up neatly.

2. Cut proscuitto into thin date – width slices.

3. Wrap proscuitto around each date

4. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until proscuitto is crispy

Don’t eat them all in one sitting! 🙂

Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

One of my favorite restaurants in LA, Chaya has the BEST Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. I found a recipe here and it turned out pretty delicious!! It’s ridiculously easy to make. It’s even better the next day if you put it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

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Ingredients
  • Unsalted butter for the baking dish
  • 6  large egg yolks
  • 2  cups  whole milk
  • 1  cup  heavy cream
  • 1  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 6  croissants, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 4  ounces  bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Butter an 8-inch square or other shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Add the croissants and chocolate and mix to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

recipe source

Gifts for the person that has everything.

I find it difficult and slightly impossible to shop for some people in my family. What do you buy for someone that has everything?! Especially for the ones that aren’t materialistic?

I found some cute stuff online (pinterest, fab.com, williams-sonoma, uncommongoods.com)

Cooking is always a great gift, especially during the holidays when there’s soooo much more food allowed than normal. I love to bake and these reindeer cookies are just adorable.

The herb wreath from Williams-Sonoma is both beautiful and useful. It’s made from bay leaf, sage, rosemary and oregano! The pet pillows from fab.com (they have cats too!) for pet lovers. I loved the f-bomb paperweight- something that most people would LOVE but don’t have!

What do you buy for your impossible-to-shop-for friends and family?

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