Happy Easter!

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St. Patty’s Day

Before I could appreciate alcohol, St. Patrick’s Day was just another day for me. But since I usually like to get into the spirit of things, in high school I would always wear at least a hint of green (just in case any of the boys went on a pinching spree). I never went out for this holiday, even when I could finally appreciate alcohol (before I transitioned from sweet mixed cocktails to beer and whiskey). Eventually, I felt how to grasp the enjoyment of drinking beer on my Dublin trip in 2010.  I started with cider then gradually transitioned to beer.  On my Dublin trip, we went on a tour of the Guinness brewery and I’m sorry to say that I am not a fan of dark beer.  HOWEVER, if you added dark beer to chocolate… now we’re talking. I came across this Irish Car Bomb cupcakes recipe, and despite not having ever tried a real Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson, & Baileys), I decided to prep myself for the 17th, and get into the Irish spirit.

The recipe is very simple and delicious.  In my opinion, the most difficult part of this process was finding a 40 of Guinness.  I thought it’d be a waste to spend 8 bucks on a 6 pack when I only needed a cup, especially since I don’t really enjoy drinking Guinness by itself. I went to two gas stations and one supermarket before finding the 40 at a liquor store (who knows why I didn’t go there first). The cake turned out moist and delicious, although most friends could have done without the Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting. I would definitely make these again, especially when I’m craving chocolate.  Maybe on the 17th, I’ll pregame with these cupcakes before heading out to my beloved pub for some whiskey on the rocks.

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Jess’ birthday flip book

Every now and then, I like to go to a local scrapbooking store and browse through the aisles for new materials and some design inspiration. It’s one of my favorite past times. There are always a lot of projects on display to get ideas from and most of these projects are made of chipboard.  You can make pretty much anything with chipboard: books, frames, boxes, etc.  Your local scrapbook store should be able to cut the chipboard to your desired shape and size.  I’ll post more tutorials on chipboards later.

Here’s the gift I made Jess.

back to back birthdays

It was back to back birthdays this weekend.  Yesterday was Jess’ birthday, but since she’s all the way in NY, I didn’t get to spend it with her.  I did ship her something though… (shhh.. it should be arriving on Tuesday). I don’t want to ruin the surprise so I’ll post up her gift as soon as she opens it.

Today’s my cousin’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Yvonne!  I made her a little something something to hang on her wall…

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day of hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I found this red velvet crinkle cookies recipe on foodgawker and I thought it would be the perfect baked goods to make for everyone. It’s pretty easy too.  The hardest part for me was finding the red velvet cake mix, I went to at least 5 different markets before finding it.  

I have the Martha Stewart scoring board that can create envelopes and boxes which allowed me to create a 4 x 4 x 2 box, the heart cookies fits perfectly. I ran out of double sided tape, so to make sure the boxes don’t fall apart, I tied ribbons around each of them.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day, either spending it with a lover or a loved one. xoxo.

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Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Dragon!

新年快裂!恭喜發財!Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

There are so many traditions that go along with Chinese New Year, most to give you luck for the new year.  So if you need that extra luck as I do….

  • wear red
  • wear new underwear
  • clean your house before the new year
  • pay off all debts
  • eat radish cake
I’m not sure how accurate this list is, but I’ve heard all of these through different sources and they kind of stuck with me  (I’m superstitious).

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year!  Enjoy the festivities!  Who’s up for mahjong?

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World Traveler

Package finally received! She loved it (I hope).

Terry is a big time traveler and I’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to some of the places she visited. We try to do at least one trip every year. So for her birthday, I made her a mini scrapbook of our past travels.
  • Atlantic City, NJ: Fourth of July 2008 – This trip got the ball rolling for us.  We spent the Fourth in Atlantic City where the Beach Boys and John Stamos performed on the beach and where we found the most delicious buffalo wings in the world! (I wonder if that place is still the best even after all these years)
  • Montreal, Canada: Memorial Day Weekend 2009 – We spent that weekend hiking and watching HIMYM. My cousin and his wife lives there and they were kind enough to let us crash (and drive us around and cook for us). They were the perfect hosts.  I just realized that, so far, it’s always me flying over to the east coast.  Since Terry Jess and Nas lives in NYC, it’s closer for them.  I’m stuck traveling across country alone. If only the west coast had more to offer.
  • Dublin, Ireland: NYE 2010 – We went all out that NYE, we rang in the new year in Dublin, Ireland. We toured the Guinness factory, the countryside and a castle.  The weather was really cold and gloomy, it even snowed on New Year’s Eve.
  • New Orleans, LA: Memorial Day Weekend 2010 – This was a blast, we checked out jazz bars and ate po’ boys everyday. Burbon Street is like nothing else, one big street party. This is where my love for dueling piano bars started.
  • Taipei, Taiwan: Spring 2011 – I left mid 2010 to go study abroad in Taiwan for a year, but that didn’t stop Terry from coming for a visit Spring 2011 (granted she was there to visit her family).
  • San Francisco, CA: Fall 2011 – Our latest trip was in San Francisco, finally something on the west coast. The highlight was biking the Golden Gate Bridge.
2012 is looking to be a busy travel year as well. The girls are flying out here for Coachella weekend.  We also plan on heading to Italy and France in the beginning of summer.  Terry’s friend is getting married in Florence and I’m her plus one!  Can’t wait!  I will continue to add pages to the mini scrapbook, as long as there are places to go, this book will never end.

 

Happy Birthday Terry

I sent her a birthday package to her office (which arrived on Saturday) but she hasn’t received her mail yet.  Ter, don’t you have an intern/assistant to get mail for you? Send them to the mail room first thing tomorrow morning. Here’s a little preview…

NYE 2012 cupcakery

With NYE just around the corner, I hope everyone has already secured their plans. It might be too late to get tickets to just about anything in LA, but it’s never too late to throw something together last minute.  My friends and I are excited to be counting down the new year in Hollywood, but I know some of us had opted to throw something small for our little circle. (We were overruled.)

Bling bling seems to come out most during the end of the year so in honor of this glimmering holiday, I blinged out dessert flags to go on top of mini cupcakes.  This will work in any shape or size as long as the toothpick can hold it.

I picked up these prize winning cupcakes at My Delight Cup Cakery, a little shop in Upland.  Every time I  went to a new bakery, I used to order a few different flavors tosample and red velvet would always come out on top.  In recent times, I decided to save myself from consuming calories from mediocre flavors and instead I just stick to red velvet.  When I walked into My Delight, all I could see were the two signs that said ‘First place: Red Velvet and First place: Breakfast Cupcake’.  I rarely crave a sweet breakfast of pancakes, waffles, or french toast (despite my love of maple syrup), but this breakfast cupcake sounded interesting, mainly the bacon bits sprinkled on top. It was pretty delightful, but I’d still rather have it without the bacon.  The bacon added an odd texture to the experience. The buttermilk cupcake was soft and moist and the buttery maple frosting was the perfect amount of sweet.  It tasted like I had a perfect pancake.  I guess I should stop drooling now.

I have a few red velvet cupcakes left.  After my family gets through with it, if I have any leftovers, I might have to make a few BFF office deliveries tomorrow.