Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kawaii Crafts by Tia - Crochet Delicacies

As I have read and browsed hundreds of blogs I have learned how much the sweet tooth extends past oven baked goods.  Cupcakes have become a popular craze that brings the young and old together, bonding families with century old recipes and traditions.  They appear on wrapping paper and stickers, apparel and underwear, jewelry and hairclips, bedding and bathrobes.  As I logged in to Facebook today a talented friend of mine - Kimberly from Kawaii Crafts by Tia, was "baking" up a special dozen cuppies with nothing other than an imagination, a crochet needle or two and some yarn.  Not even hours later I was delighted to see her updated post and couldn't resist sharing her talent with my fellow baking bloggers.  

Strawberry cake forever --

Strawberry cake forever --

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ebelskivers on a Tuesday Morning

Much to my delight yesterday, I came across a Williams-Sonoma catalog and as I flipped through the pages I was stuck on one page in particular, Ebelskivers, or stuffed pancakes!
Rather than trying out a new cupcake recipe, I thought this would be perfect for the family since we haven't yet gotten the morning routine down and have been lucky to get a granola bar in as we run through the house. Our mornings consist of madness with the two dogs, Mona Lisa and Bruno, and getting everyone up and out on time. Since my car is in the shop I quickly called my husband and asked him to stop by the store here in Pasadena and pick one up on his way home and he did!

I had some blackberries in the fridge and thought this would be recipe number one. I tried their recipe for the pancake mix and it was as follows (courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen):

For the filled-pancake batter:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
5 egg whites
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon


To make the filled-pancake batter, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the buttermilk and sour cream. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy. Set aside.

Brush the wells of a filled-pancake pan with melted butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter bubbles. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon 1/2 tsp. filling into the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes more. Using 2 skewers or toothpicks, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

There are several variations for what you can fill it with, I simply placed a few berries inside and topped them with syrup, powdered sugar and more berries. Take a look at their Jalapeno Cheddar corn cakes and you get the idea!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fashion for Compassion with Pasadena Magazine

One of my favorite shows is CSI Miami, and here we were at the hot off the press party for fashion and philanthropy issue. There was a fashion show by Macy's fall collection hosted by the beautiful Eva La Rue. 10% of ticket sales this night benefited local non profits and I was so excited to meet her I just had to share!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


About a month ago, I was asked if I would be interested in baking for a promotion ceremony that was for the Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success Los Angeles program at Citrus College. I was honored! I didn't want to "just bake" anything, I wanted to be able to give each student a positive message with the display. ::Thinking, thinking::

I drove down to Chinatown on my lunch hour and picked up three boxes of fortune cookies and went into another store to pick up multi colored paper lanterns. The theme I was going for was good luck and I knew each student would receive their own fortune which was just what I wanted.

I made Whopper Cupcakes for the flavor, with a Whopper candy placed inside each cupcake before baking. I wish I had photos to show more documentation but this was my "pre-camera" baking month. I do have two pictures sent to me from one of the outreach advocates, Stephanie Lopez. Taken with her camera phone but not bad once I was able to edit the colors a bit. Each fortune cookie was dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with colored non pareils. I learned through the process it is best to dip them and allow them to dry on wax paper overnight before placing them on the Whopper Buttercream. Anyhow, when I arrived home yesterday I received a beautiful thank you card and simply had to share. Sometimes it's the smallest ways someone shows gratitude that make the heart smile. Thank you for the opportunity, Stephanie and Emmy!

For more information on the program, please see here!

For recipe information on any posts please email me direct at

Ah, Framboise!

Sooo, I was so fortunate as to have lunch with a friend yesterday and not only was my Pasta Bolognese to die for at Mi Piace, but she left me with a parting gift: A box full of fresh raspberries from her company business! I was determined not to let these go to waste! When Googling for some recipe suggestions, I came across a brilliantly written blog and decided to try things her way:

I will be back to update with some of what I learned, as my first batch was overfilled so the second time around was much neater. Being that I don't care for overly sweet cakes, these were perfectly balanced as Alauna said and tasted great this morning with coffee. Here are some photos of the process now that I graduated from documenting with my cell phone to an actual camera, lol. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rock A Bye Belly!

A long time friend of mine overcame some obstacles and announced a few months ago she had finally conceived. Did I mention all she wanted was to be a mommy and would be the best one at that? And, not one, but TWO babies were in there waiting for her to fly from Vancouver to Los Angeles and celebrate her baby shower with her Los Angeles family and friends. I figured what better way than to show my excitement by bringing along something sweet and here is what the result was, a Rice Krispie rocking horse that was a sure hit. The idea stemmed from the Wilton Yearbook, although they used a pan for the shape that you can find at most craft supply stores. Herick convinced me we could do it by hand and I had no choice but to trust him because time was of the essence. I wish I had taken more "good photos" with a regular camera but we started with the base first and worked our way up. Any large star tip works great for the hair, and the accompanying candies completed the look. All in all it was an inexpensive and fairly quick way to bring something homemade to the table. See the photos attached of her rocking horse, and a current photo of the Livingstons as they await the arrival of Cash and Logan. Many congratulations!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cookies and Cream DREAMcakes

Anyone who knows me, knows there are certain things I won't come close to with a ten foot pole. Until very recently, at the top of that list were sour cream and cheesecake (I know, I know). Sooner or later I was going to have to get past my fear of the texture and consistency and just go for it! This recipe was compliments of Martha Stewart, and the book it came in was compliments of my daughter Natalia Rae see above photo.

The only challenge I encountered was feeling right about it only baking 22 minutes, I had no idea what consistency it needed to cook up to before removing them out of the oven and cooking them completely. This of course, before the few hours of refrigeration necessary for them to "set." More info to come...

Visions of Velvet Danced In My Head

Surprisingly, despite my fear of red velvet being messy and "not red enough" my first attempt at this for my niece Anneke's birthday came out as close to perfect as can be! I definitely recommend using 1/3 cup of red food color rather then gel paste. I have seen many women comment that they couldn't find enough food coloring, as grocery stores tend to sell a variety pack. Smart & Final carries each color and they run about $3.99 so it's perfect for a recipe calling for it in such large amounts. I can say first handedly that the gel paste wasn't as successful because my husband tried it when we were out of food coloring...note no pictures are posted, sadly it went right in the trash. Disaster number one?

I will be back to post a few more pictures but in the meantime, take a look at my oh so brilliant photos from my phone. We need to work on their photo opps but this will give you an idea for now. If you have any specific questions please feel free to comment and you can contact me directly for any of the recipes I have mentioned here in my blog!

Things that make you go Mmm!

Photos courtesy of Edward De La Torre

The Greatest of Gifts

Ten little fingers
ten little toes
the sweetest of smiles
and a cute little nose
All these add up
to a very special thing
a baby
the greatest gift
that life can bring

Author Unknown

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Dustin Lara! A baby shower at our house with dainty onesies in fondant~


At 32 years of age, the last thing I ever thought I'd blog about was B-A-K-I-N-G. I mean, it started when I planned my wedding three years ago (I will be married for two this November) and I joked with a friend at the Wedding Channel about the topics we could blog about. Some of these topics, well they were quite Rated R as my passions quickly became my frustrations because I wanted everything perfect from the flowers, to the the CAKE! Aaaah, cake. How ironic for one who doesn't even care for sugar but as my mom always told me, the presentation is everything!

Although I liked to cook before I was married, I have taken on an entire new world of domesticated bliss and have found how many bloggers have contributed to my personal success in this. Thanks to the hours and hours of online searching, copying, pasting, and highlighting I have been able to prevent many baking disasters because I understood the accuracy needed before I set out on this journey. Having said that, reading others' mistakes and bloggers' comments saved me from a temper tantrum I could visualize like a sight out of my mind's eye, and as I proceed I figured I would start to share some successes and failures of my own.

That being said, welcome!

Loriann Serna