Sorry guys I have not been around long enough to update this page in the last few days. I am held hostage by work – a week long magazine photo shoot. Prepping, cooking, styling, shooting….which is made sweeter only by the fact that these recipes are really tasty (it’s always a gamble to decipher someone’s else recipe development) and I have Taylor to help me out.
I am hoping to be able to post about the delicious crumbles we have been eating by tomorrow.
Thanks for email and asking if everything was alright. You guys are awesome…
Thankful that my 5 year old nephew asked me to make him chocolate cupcakes with "snow frosting" for Thanksgiving dinner…even if that’s all he’ll eat. How can I say "no"?!!
Thankful for little things like sprinkles and having this space to tell you about my passion for all things sweet. Thankful to have you read and leave your thoughts post after post.
Thankful for friends who know how much I miss Fall and bring me a bouquet of leaves from a trip to the mountains! Thank you C&H!!
Thankful to my wonderful husband for his constant gift of love, friendships and laughter and for always "expecting the unexpected"….Thank you to my families both here and home. When I keep wavering like a feather you are always the rocks I rely on.
Thankful to the little things in life like ribbons and polka dots, for putting a smile on my face at the oddest time of the day.
Thankful that Christmas is here soon: care packages after cookie boxes after macarons after… shipped to friends and family.
Thankful that B’s family agreed to come here for Christmas dinner and letting me be their host.
Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and give a few thanks of my own.
I have been given the chance by the sweet and super efficient Anna from the Hachette Group to get a copy of the book before its official release on November 5th and she graciously offered to have 5 copies available for you!
Don’t know Elisa Strauss? She is the owner of Confetti Cakes in New York, and the author of The Confetti Cakes Cookbook where her signature Handbag Cake is featured on the cover. She has made countless appearances on TV in Good Morning America, Food Network’s cake challenges, etc…Check out this little video if you would like to put a face on the name. Well, she has now written a cake book especially for kids…although I got to say that the Gift Box Cake is something I would like for my own birthday!!
Do not be intimated by her level of expertise, designs or ideas. The instructions to reproduce her witty and fun cakes are extremely detailed. I admit I am not the most patient cake decorating person but the projects are so fun and the results so beautifully detailed, they make me want to get started pronto. I already have my eyes on the "Pajamas Cookies" …so cute! "The Candy Factory Cake" or the "Beach Pail Cupcakes"….so fun! Everything you need to know is spelled out in the book so both novices and seasoned bakers.
The pictures are fantastic, sharp, crisp and there are tons of shots of all the little details you need to reproduce such cakes.
Yes…I am excited about that one…I need to check in the neighborhood whose birthday is coming up…or I’ll just make the mini pumpkin cakes for us soon.
So…all this to say that if you would like to receive a copy of this book:
– leave a comment in this post. One entry per person, more will be automatically deleted. Thank you!
– the giveaway runs until Tuesday October 14th midnight (US eastern time) and winners will be announced shortly after.
– Even if you wish to remain anonymous,sign at least a letter or a pseudonym so it is easier to announce if you win
– As always, mom, you can’t enter this one…
There are 5 copies available for readers in the US and Canada. I am sorry for readers overseas but I have had issues in a previous drawing and some books never made it abroad and I would hate for the same thing to happen again.
Check out Elisa’s blog for more pictures of her latest creations!
Another day busy with baking and writing and photo homework…until a huge thunderstorm hit the neighborhood and we lost power from 5.30pm or so until 10pm. Others in the neighborhood got their power back on around 7pm but no one can figure out why our street stayed that long without it. It’s the summer, there’s a creek, there’s a dock, a couple of canoe, plenty of kids and animals, so plenty to do without power. We all gathered to grill out, share salads and juicy fruits as we usually do on saturdays so really it did not make that much difference. Except, I was working and had plenty in the oven and lost it all. There is pretty much nothing to do when you have macarons, cakes, tarts, etc…baking in the oven and power cuts off for almost 5 hours. I thought about using the grill but again, all were pretty much used already.
I called the electric company to inquire about the delay and the lady was real nice and really there was not much she could do. When she said at 7pm that most lines were fixed but it might take longer for ours here is the dialogue that ensued:
Me: "Oh no, that’s impossible…I really need power!"
Her: "do you have a baby? Is it an emergency"
Me: "It’s cake. It’s an emergency."
Long pause from the lady at the electric company.
Me: "It’s my work. Sorry if I sounded deranged"
Her (laughing): "That’s ok honey, we all have issues."
So, back to the drawing board tomorrow…It made me realize that I am somewhat naively more worried about losing power for hours than my computer crashing….oops (knock on wood, Helen, fast!!). No food got spoiled during the power outage as I have the weird habit to crank the fridge and freezer on very cold right when I see a serious lightning storm. I started doing that after we lost power for two days a few years back and it did help a great deal.
What did I end up doing instead for those terribly long hours (humor)? I played with the two crazy monkeys below and put together a little cheese and fruit tray with fresh figs and red currants and some cheese. Lucky us there was no need for electricity with the sun setting so late and all was not lost since the kids tried some new foods and basically had a heck of a free night before school starts!! Not too bad after all!
Hope you are enjoying the pictures because that’s all I got 🙁
For more puppy pictures, you can always click here.
This is my homework almost everyday…in a very simplified sum up: baking, taking pictures, eating, and writing. Fortunately the state of my mind is not empty like a consumed cupcake wrapper but full of stories and giddy with excitement. I was having a conversation with Elizabeth the yoga instructor where I teach Pilates and she reminded me that I also needed to breathe. I can’t "breathe" and relax in chaos and right now my picture files and documents are in shambles or at least overflowing in all directions….so much so that I forget what I have prepared to post on this blog. It made me happy to found them tonight for next week though!!
So I am going to take the next couple of days to organize my head, my files and figure out a way to prevent Bailey from nipping at my apron while I bake…or pull on the tablecloth while I take a picture!
Thank you to all of you who left a response to my question the other day. It might have sounded like this problem was happening a lot, rest assured that it was only on a couple of recipes that I was re-working from great great great grandma Rose who never owned a 9 inch square pan… While the more seasoned bakers said "I’ll pour what’s left in a cupcake tin or small dish and use it as my taste tester", the more novice ones brought a good point to my attention, "I would wonder if I have done something wrong". I had not really thought of it that way so I could kiss you for the feedback right now! And yes…recipe has been adjusted and if I can’t ever make one fit in the proper pan, I will write a small note.
These flowers are my virtual thank you. You guys are the best!
This is semi-related baking post, and I apologize for the lack of treats today but I thought I would give you the reason why: let me introduce you to Tippy -aka Tip The Ferocious. This picture was actually taken the other night when he was playing it all cool with his toys and pretending to be the nicest, least troublesome dog around. He has calmed down from the days he would snatch steaks from our plate or devour an entire sheet pan of cookie cooling on the counter top. He has even stopped chewing up the house to bits and shreds when we leave him alone (crating him was brilliant, he loves it). Now and then, when we forget to crate him and leave in a hurry he will find his way inside the trashcan and scatter the contents across the kitchen, dining room and living room. Lo-ve-ly…..!!! The crown event however was when we found him all fours on the kitchen table eating from a box of chocolate. He had that look of "Maybe if I don’t move they won’t see me…" We thought that was the end of it until we found the bottle of Tums half chewed up. Smartie pants!!
Well, I went upstairs to set up my tripod and camera because the light was better there this morning and when I came back downstairs to pick up the pan of No-Knead-Caramel Sticky Buns, I first noticed that he was really busy trying to lick his snout clean and then doing his usual rubbing against a washcloth. Yes! My dog washes his face every time after he eats. Freaked me out the first time he did that but now it is a great conversation topic when guests see him do that!! Then I looked toward the stove where I had set the pan to cool….and the pan was upside down on the floor…emp-ty!
Now you know what I meant by "the dog ate my homework"…I’ll wait a couple more days to re bake them and post the whole recipe, maybe a complete different one on Monday. I was going to post a picture of Tippy post-bun fest but really right now he is not looking so pretty….He’s been chewing grass all afternoon…Smart dog: sugar then detox!!!
I’d love to hear your pet story if you have one, they always crack me up!!
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend!
I am going to keep this weekend post short and calorie free….A first on this blog and I hope you won’t hurt too much while in sugar withdrawal. Thankfully for your (and mine) sweet tooth, there will be plenty of chocolate and butter to be blogged about next week!
Call me obsessed with the man, or just a fervent admirer of his talent and creations (although I will tell you about my newest pastry God next week), but I have been wanting these miniatures the day I saw them on Carol’s Paris Breakfast blog. Not only did she photograph them but she also painted them with exquisite accuracy. She included various sources to order them and I clicked away that very minute. I was "that" close to getting the Visa out when my little angel of reason perched itself on my shoulder and whispered "You don’t have money for futilities right now Tartelette…put the card back!" I could hear the little pastry demon on the other shoulder whisper "But you want them…go ahead…." I closed the computer screen and walked away, but the miniatures remained on my mind for a couple of days while the pastry demon and angel were going at it over my head….Arghhhh!!! I decided to email the link to my mother and see what her reaction would be, she always steer me in the right direction. She emailed back something along the lines of "These would be perfect for the display box I am building!"….Didn’t I tell you she would help?!! Not only does she frame beautifully but she also builds shadow boxes and displays for people’s collectibles.
I got these the other weekend and within an hour, all eight sets of Pierre Herme’s miniatures were assembled. Trust me when I say they are tiny (twizers were required for some parts), but aren’t they just amazingly real looking and adorable? I love my family: as soon as they were all assembled and photographed my husband and his "belle-maman" (mother-in-law) both said "Now you got to make them real life and do a side by side…and we get to taste!" Well, if you look closely I already made one…and there is another one to come next week.
Yep…now you can call me weird!
In other news: thank you for all of you who voted for me in the Death By Chocolate contest, but I won’t be going to Napa just yet. Congratulations to Cathy of Eating Out In New York, the lucky winner who will attend the Chocolate Festival held there. I had a blast participating and felt extremely honored to be among such fabulous finalists! Way to go ladies!
Sorry folks for the short post but there is a gazillion things to get done before my mom leaves, especially pick her brain about savories, since it is her field of expertise.
I always admire people who send out Christmas or New Year’s newsletters and tell you all the wonderful, funny or tragic details of the year past. I keep feeling nothing major happened in my life but I start thinking about things and quickly realize that I am far from the truth. Starting at home, there is never a dull moment, whether it be due to our different cultures and customs or whether it be because of our age difference, B. and I surely know how to keep ourselves entertained…!
Then there is this blog. It has given me so much in the past year that I wanted to remember the good and sad moments, the friendships and mind blowing events I have experienced. I did this post a little selfishly to have a reference of this past year but I also wanted to highlights for you guys the moments of 2007 that make this blog what it is today and I could not do it without your readership.
January 2007: After a wonderful 3 weeks back home in France it was hard to get myself back in the groove. I had tasted so many delicious pastries and foods that I felt kind of lame in my little kitchen. It made me miss restaurant work (and trust me I itch for it everyday but not in this town!). One way to quickly snap out of it was by making creamy delicious Chestnut Mousse.
February 2007: Month of all things Valentine reds and rosy pink, little did I know that by sending Ivonne a Valentine’s card that she would try to seduce me with a cake. Mr.Tartelette still does not quite get it! It was also the month I finally made the most fat laden lemon cream filling by bloggers’s sugar daddy Pierre Herme, and this most excellent Nutella Mousse with Macarons.
March 2007: It was “step out of your comfort zone” for me. First,inspired by Marce I had the brilliant (sarcasm) idea to put Dulce de Leche in brioche rolls…talk about gooey sticky mess all over my counter top, apron, and pan! I then experience with sweet avocado cream and meringue. I still can’t get people to trust me on that one, but one bite and they are sold. Then there was the Sunflower bread, time consuming but delicious. Lastly, I won my first “competition”, HHDD hosted by less evil twin Peabody, with a Japanese style cheesecake served with Salted butter Caramel sauce. Surprised, elated…happy ya’ll deemed it worthy!
April 2007: As the winner of HHDD I got to host my first blog event and what a thrill that was! I loved every minute of it, the energy and high of hosting! Then there was the ever notorious Daring Bakers’ Chocolate Cr(a)epe cake challenge. I got in touch with my inner caramel diva but the whole thing made me curse the Martha! Poor Brilynn for calming our frustrations! That month I also professed my love for another sugar daddy, Richard Leach and made my best macarons to date (according to the people who ate them) Blood Orange Macarons. I also started to give you guys serious hints about my love for verrines and all things that are small and can be put in a glass.
May 2007: Definitely a bittersweet month. By participating in the Livestrong event, hosted by Barbara, one of the nicest bloggers around (and she is so good to me) I experienced with a sweet creations while remembering the loss of my grandmother and brother to cancer. Blog surfing one day, I met Kate from Applemint and we realized we had the same birthday and decided to blog bake a cake for each other to mark the occasion. May was very related to home and family, clafoutis, ile flottante but I was obviously as serious with my ice cream making!! Oh, and more caramel by hosting my first Daring Bakers challenge with Anita, one of my first reads before I started blogging. Meeta also trusted me enough to ask me to write articles for The Daily Tiffin, and it is a pleasure to be able to motivate people.
June 2007: What did not start as great month turned out to be the one of the most heart fulfilling ones after all. Blogging friends came numerous to cheer me up after a loss in my family with notes, cards, emails, and presents, every single day there was something wonderful and magic at my doorstep. Celebrating friends’birthday or blogging event provided great times in the kitchen. Putting our favorite candy in macarons was also one of the highlights of the month. The other one being winning DMBLGIT for the first time with this spur of the moment picture.
July 2007: Finally meeting Lisa was definitely “it” in July. To put it in her words, finding this bestest friend was quite unexpected but fills me everyday with joy and laughter…oh boy do I hold my ribs when opening my emails! Thinking outside the box and using bubble wrap in unusual ways was also another fun moment that she pushed me to do when I was not sure it would turn out ok. Starting a fun world wide event with Hannah and her cutest crochet eggs (not bad for a vegan!) was a way to get more bloggers involved to reach across the miles…I am dying to know where are the eggs now!
August 2007: Definitely a family month for me. My goddaughter came to the US for the first time and we had a great time both in the kitchen and in the city. It made me realize how many American things and habits had become "mine" and how many traditions I still had from home. Macarons and cakes were made many times, as well as cute cupcake cones and delicious caramel chocolate tarts! I was the cool godmother, woohoo!!
September 2007: I became a Brownie babe, with a cool apron to show for it!! My parents came for a while and I had to adopt our favorite treat due to their diet restrictions, but this month was particularly enhanced thanks to gorgeous gifts from other bloggers dear to my heart. Mary and Elle, I cannot thank you enough for the boxes of Meyer lemons and quinces that helped me bake tasty treats for those around me. When the craziness of the holidays calms down a bit you’d better stay close to your mailboxes.
October 2007: Wow! Another DMBLGIT award and I have to thank my mom for that one because my Daring Baker’s sticky buns look much better with her frames as the background! I enjoyed playing with my blowtorch and pretend it was Fall while carving some pumpkins. I went to see Lisa for the second time, and was joined by Mary who really went out of her way with the flight situations. We had a wonderful time, baked up a storm and while I was there I copied so many recipes from a magazine Lisa had that I am surprised I only made this cake so far!!
November 2007: All about friends and pies and buns again! I tried new flavors and food, such as dried hibiscus flowers, but also reminisced about my late grandmother and her great tarts. Coconut cream pie looked mighty deconstructed and prettier thanks to a long time friend while cranberry and nuts tart became a new Thanksgiving favorites. The cross states cinnabon knockoff adventures made up a sick day turn into play day thanks to Mrs. Sassy herself. Then Tanna asked me to cover myself in sticky dough and I could not refuse!
Well, there you have it….my blogging year in a nutshell. What a wonderful year 2007 was! I plan on continuing to share the love with you guys in 2008 and keep improving my recipes, pictures and writing. Thanks for your comments, questions and readership, they mean the world to me!
Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope your day is filled with laughter and good times with your loved ones.
Thank you all for your readership and support, this site would not be the same without you and your visits.
As you may have noticed I have barely been able to manage a couple of posts a week this month. Some of you know that my 18 year-old god-daughter is visiting from France and we have been showing her Charleston and its vicinity everyday. I miss my blog, baking and most of all staying in touch with fellow bloggers out there.
Sophie is leaving Tuesday but I hope this won’t be her only visit to the US. I will be back to posting and baking next week for sure!
In the meantime, I am leaving you with a picture if the pecan tree I look at every morning while enjoying breakfast on the porch. The pecans are still green and I am counting the days until I can make pecan pie!!
Allright, off to the beach now!