Friday, December 30, 2011

Persimmon & Champagne Granita

I'm so excited to share this recipe with all of you today due to my new found love of persimmons!  Have you tried them?  They're fantastic and definitely my new "it" fruit of the season!  Earlier this week I already had it in my head that I was going to make champagne granita for NYE.  It's the perfect dessert for the occasion, light, quick to put together, and boozy!  Originally I planned to use blood oranges, but after striking out on a mission to find them, I was introduced to the lovely persimmon.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Tree Cake

Well I finally put my Christmas tree up, and there's no doubt that it's totally me!  I make a Christmas tree cake every  year for my family, and I just wanted to do it up a little different this time.  I knew I'd be making walnut kiss cookies and peppermint milanos, so I thought it would be sweet if I tied everything together. There's also the my whole world is pink thing that might have been a factor in this project as well!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Penguin Cupcakes

To say I love penguins would be an understatement, so I had to put some on my blog.  I decided cupcakes would be the best way to go, and I'm delighted with how they turned out.  I can't help but smile when I look at them!  Of course I had to give them sparkly hats, because thats what all penguins wear, right?!  They're perfect for holiday parties, and were pretty simple to put together too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

White Chocolate Peppermint Milanos

Mint milanos have become one of my most requested cookies of the holiday season.  I started making them a few years back as a component of a chocolate dessert on one of my restaurant menus.  I found they were a playful twist to add to a plated dessert, and right away they were a hit.  I quickly learned that as soon as anyone hears the word milano, they smile, and are eager to try.  Like me, the recipe has evolved over the years.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Cupcake Tree

I'm so excited to share this cupcake tree with all of you!  I love cupcakes and I really love Christmas, so creating a Christmas tree out of cupcakes is almost too much for me to handle!  Mini cupcakes decorated with buttercream, gumdrops, and of course a bit of sparkle, give the tree a really fun look.  It is a great project for all skill levels,  and also makes a fabulous centerpiece for holiday parties.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Walnut Kiss Cookies

Walnut kiss cookies are definitely one of my all time favorite holiday cookies.  These little tea cakes have many names, but I always call them kiss cookies because they're light, nutty, and full of flavor.  They can definitely be made year round, but there's something about dredging them in powdered sugar that makes me think of snow and holidays.  As soon as Thanksgiving is over, and I start to pull out all the Christmas decorations, I head straight into the kitchen and whip up my first batch of the season.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pecan Pie Napoleon

Pecan Pie has always been one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts.  It's one of those classics that everyone loves, so I didn't want to change the whole thing, I just wanted to make it better.  I took everything I love about pecan pie, and turned it into a pecan pie napoleon.  Can you say upgrade?!  I also really love this dessert because you get three recipes in one.  My melt in your mouth butter cookies and salted almond & coconut dark chocolate bark are staples in my kitchen.  They are each fabulous on their own, but combined in this dessert, equal pure bliss.  I would also like to share some big news with you guys! I have been featured in a national news story! I want to give a big thank you to Raycom Media and talented reporter Joseph Neese for featuring me.  It's all very exciting and I am beyond grateful.  You can see the story here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Muffins with Candied Bacon

For some reason muffins remind me of lazy Sundays, slowing down, and taking a break.  I also love them because they give me an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast!  I think right now it's really important to remember to slow down.  With the holidays upon us it's easy to get caught up in the craziness and miss what's happening right now.  I've been a bit caught up in the madness lately myself.  When someone asked me what projects and desserts I had planned for Spring, I almost collapsed.  My list of projects I want to make for the holidays is daunting enough, please let me get through that first! Anyway, these muffins are a good way to decompress.  A few bites and all the stress melts away, for a little while anyway!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Ice Cream with Beer Caramel Sauce & Gingerbread Croutons

Croutons and beer in a dessert?  Yup!  I like to think of this as an ice cream sundae all grown up.  It contains everything I want in a fall dessert in a shot glass.  The pumpkin ice cream is silky, and all the spices add a warmth to it.  The addition of bourbon adds a nice little kick giving the ice cream another layer of flavor that leaves you wanting more.  It is divine all on its own, but why would I stop there?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sweet & Sassy Gingerbread

Gingerbread is one of those treats I never really cared for until a few years ago.  It always had way too strong of a taste for me, and to be honest I thought it was kind of boring.  After I realized that the type of molasses you use in baked goods can drastically alter the flavor, I decided I wanted to give gingerbread another chance, and fiddle around with a new recipe.  I'm glad I did because this is a wonderful little cake that is now a staple in my fall and winter baking.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cauldron Cake

I'm wrapping up my Halloween series today with a fun cauldron cake.  This cauldron is made out of chocolate, filled with cake and whipped cream, and topped off with loads of candy and sparkles. It's great for any skill level, and it's sure to be a hit at any party!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ghost Cupcakes

These little ghost cupcakes are perfect for a Halloween party.  Once again they're definitely more cute than spooky, but I wouldn't have it any other way!  I'm really happy with how they turned out, and I just love the sparkly bows!  These are a bit time consuming, but once you get the knack of it, they're pretty easy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monster Cupcakes

3 Little Monsters

I can't believe it's time for Halloween baking already!  These cupcakes could actually work any time of year for a monster themed birthday party, but they're especially cute for Halloween.  Okay so they're definitely more cute than spooky, but this is me here!  I just did these for a party and the kids went crazy over them! This is also a great project for kids.  They can make the monsters any color they want, and decorate them with all different kinds of candy. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nashville Eats

The amazing bazooka guacamole at Tavern

Along with having an amazing music scene, Nashville also has a majorly sweet food scene!  I was on a quest for the hottest spots in town so I did a bit of investigating before I went.  I had a nice list going, and once I got there, the locals were more than happy to point me in the right direction.
The first place I want to talk about is Tavern.  More than a few people told me I had to go, and after checking out their menu, I knew it was my type of place.  We went on a Saturday afternoon and the place was packed.  I really liked the atmosphere, it was current and hip, yet still maintained a really relaxed vibe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nashville, Taylor Swift, and my Birthday

A few weeks ago I spent a fabulous weekend with some friends in Nashville, aka my happy place :)  We were definitely all in need of a little vaca, it was my birthday weekend, and we were able to get floor seats to the Taylor Swift concert!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Apple Crisp Cupcakes

I have this tendency that as soon as I'm done making a dessert, I immediately start thinking of how I can take it to the next level and make it better.  Sometimes I can really drive myself crazy, but this time it totally worked in my favor and yours!  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Carrot Cake Frites & Cream Cheese Aioli

Have you ever had an idea in your head that you just can't shake?  One that constantly nags you until you finally give in and try it out?  For me that idea was carrot cake frites, and I'm really glad that I gave in and finally made them!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brown Butter & Pepita Cookies

Okay I'm officially ready for fall baking.  I've been fighting it, but after seeing so many great recipes popping up on countless blogs, I surrender!  What better way to jump right into fall baking than with a new cookie, and even better, a brown butter cookie.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mikey's 2nd Birthday Cake

A few weeks ago my little nephew Mikey turned 2.  I can't begin to tell you how much I love this little nugget, and I couldn't wait to make his birthday cake!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blueberry Goat Cheese Cheesecake

So it's the last day of August, summer is winding down, and I'm not really sure how I feel about this.  Part of me can't wait for fall, but part of me wants to hold on to summer for as long as I can.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

S'mores Got Sass

This probably isn't going to shock anyone, but I've never gone camping.  There's no doubt that I'm as city as they get, and outdoorsy is definitely not a word that would ever be used to describe me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Peach Almond Crumble & Goat Cheese Ice Cream

I love how the juices bubble up through the crumble! Makes such a statement!

There is something captivating about a perfectly ripe peach.  Their natural sweetness and vibrant color bring summer to life.  This time of year I like to take full advantage of them, so when I was asked to participate in the How2heroes lunchtime cooking series at the Cambridge Center Farmers' Market I knew it was going to be peachy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grown Up & Glammed Up Eskimo Pie

A few weeks ago I received a call from Lynne, the President of How2Heroes, asking if I could give the classic Eskimo Pie a makeover.  I thought about it for all of about two seconds and then jumped at the chance.  I love projects, and more importantly I love a good makeover!  

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Strawberry Goat Cheese Blondies

Blondies are one of my favorite desserts, and I love making them for parties.  I usually stick with my classic recipe, but this weekend I'm making them for a pool party so I wanted to mix it up and add a little summer to them.  I've also been on a bit of a goat cheese kick lately so I knew I wanted to sneak it into this recipe.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bourbon Pecan Cookies & What Makes a Dad

The best way I know how to start this is to say it takes a really special person to raise and love a child as their own.  Growing up I always wanted a dad, and not just one that called on my birthday, but one that would be there all the time.  My mom met the man I call my dad when I was about 10, and that's when I got the best dad any girl could ask for.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Margarita Granita

Most people kick off summer by firing up the grill.  I prefer to kick it off with my margarita granita.  Yes the warm weather is finally here, and I'm all about going to the pool, getting pedicures, and enjoying margaritas.  This granita takes margaritas to a whole new level of fabulous!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Hot Pockets

I worked at this charming neighborhood bagel shop all through high school where everything was made from scratch, and it was all delicious.  I remember people lining up for the strawberry rhubarb pie so one day I decided to try it and see what all the fuss was about.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"In the Pink" Cheesecake Pops

Cheesecake, pink chocolate, and sprinkles that shimmer... Yup, I'm all set!  Cheesecake pops are so much fun, and they have party written all over them.  I don't know what it is about miniature desserts, but I just love them.  These pops are great for a party and people go crazy over them.  The flavor combinations are endless, and this season I've been doing my "in the pink" pops.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

Being a Pastry Chef I try a lot of desserts and although I love trying new things, there are a few favorites that I always go back to.  I find when a classic dessert is done really well it speaks for itself, and this cheesecake does exactly that.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have made this.  It's always a hit at parties, and it has also been one of my biggest sellers every time I put it on one of my menus.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Serendipity Cake

Last weekend my friend Mia and I made a birthday cake for one of our friends.  I named this cake the Serendipity cake because when we first met our friend Robin it was at our favorite nail salon and Robin was convinced it was serendipity!  Little did Robin know that serendipity happens to be my favorite word so when she used it to describe our meeting I instantly knew we would become friends!  We knew that she wanted a white tiered cake with hot pink and lime green decorations.  We also know that she is a fan of hearts and sparkles so being the girly girls that we are, we ran with the idea.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Glamour Peeps Go Live!

First of all I want to say thank you for all the peep love!  These glamour peeps have gotten an outrageous amount of buzz and last week I got a call from the fabulous crew at to shoot a video on them.  I have been doing how to baking videos with them for about a year now and it's always a lot of fun!  So grab your disco dust and enjoy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mini Easter Egg Cakes

As a child my favorite part of Easter was coloring Easter eggs.  I would get so excited when my mom would buy me the egg coloring kit at the supermarket.  The year they came out with the sparkle kit I didn't even know what to do with myself!  I guess things haven't changed much over the years ;)  On a recent trip to Home Goods I found this adorable miniature egg cake pan.  Due to a complete lack of restraint when it comes to anything kitchen related and my love for miniature desserts, I had to buy it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Glamour Peeps

Last week I got the idea to make peeps, but not just regular peeps... I wanted to give them a makeover and create GLAMOUR PEEPS!  I've always been a fan of these adorable little chicks, and even as a kid they were the only candy I wanted for Easter.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pina Colada Cupcakes

I am so ready for Spring, but apparently New England is not.  It's been a cold, dreary day and we're supposed to get a big storm tomorrow.  More snow, are you serious?  To tell you the truth I would love to be somewhere tropical right now but since that's not going to happen I decided to bring the tropics to my kitchen ;)  I'm hosting girls night tonight so I decided to make my pina colada cupcakes.  Girls night is always a lot of fun and I figure pina colada cupcakes and margaritas will re-assure everyone that the warm weather will eventually get here!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Time Lemon Napoleon

The one thing that comes to mind when I think of Spring is a new beginning.  The warm weather puts me in a good mood and I'm ready to take on new projects.  I usually tackle at least one home decorating project, and I try to get rid of all the clutter in my house and my life!  This usually starts with me cleaning out my dressing room which by the way is really just an excuse to make room for all the new shoes I want to add to my collection :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Tiramisu

I absolutely LOVE tiramisu! It's probably one of my all time favorite desserts, it's definitely in my top five! Tiramisu to me is kind of like that one guy you met years ago that made you completely weak in the knees.  You know the one that no matter how much time goes by you would probably go weak again...  Yeah that's me and tiramisu, I have no defenses at all!  Okay but seriously there is a very fine line when making a perfect tiramisu.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Irish Brown Bread

Since St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner I decided to make my favorite brown bread.  I've never been a big fan of Irish soda bread, but a few years ago I tried Peggy's brown bread and absolutely loved it! Peggy is my mom's best friend from Cavan, Ireland, and she's like another mom to me.  More importantly she has become a friend and I'm lucky that she is part of my life.  I always look forward to stopping at Peggy's house when I go home for a cup of tea and girl talk!  When my mom and Peg come visit me in Boston for our annual girl's weekend, it's always a fun time full of good food, shopping, and a lot of laughs!  A few months ago I asked Peggy for this recipe and she was kind enough to share it with me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Care Packages

So basically if I like you I feed you if I don't well you can figure it out... Now I know this may be hard to believe but sometimes I have a hard time saying things.  If you're in my life I have most likely fed you, I probably have a nick name for you, and I probably even have a song for you as well.  Okay enough of that, I'm killing my sarcastic image here.  Basically the best way I know how to show someone I care is to bake for them, and that usually translates into sending them a care package.  Often I'll send a care package for someone's birthday or Christmas.  Sometimes there's a deeper meaning such as I'm sorry... or I was thinking about you.  I find they make people happy, and that makes me so happy :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Black and White Cookies

Black and white cookies are another one of my go to recipes.  I've noticed them making a come back lately and they're one of those retro cookies that everyone loves.  Maybe it's a childhood thing, but I think they're more of a New York thing!  I love giving these cookies in care packages and they look great on dessert buffets at parties.  They only contain a few ingredients and I think that's what makes them so good.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

This is one of my most popular go to cookie recipes.  I absolutely love white chocolate, and the dried cranberries balance the cookie perfectly.  I add amaretto to the dough which you can omit if you choose, but I do firmly believe that booze and baking go hand in hand!  It adds another layer of flavor to the cookie.  When you first bite into the cookie you get the sweet effect.  Next the sweetness gets cut by the perfect bite of cranberry, and last but certainly not least you get this slight hint of almond.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tri-Color Cookies

The one word that comes to mind when I think of tri-color cookies is LOVE!  I have been completely crazy about these little gems since childhood.  Maybe it's because they're so colorful, or maybe it's because they look like little presents! I would always wonder how they could get all those colors in one little cookie, and more importantly how anything could taste sooo delicious!?  Every time my mom would take me to the bakery, which to me was like going to a party, I knew exactly what I was going to get. I didn't want any part of anything else.  Well except for maybe a whipped cream eclair, or a piece of that heavenly banana cream pie from Conte's bakery. Okay that's another blog post... Now back to the tri-colors, if the bakery was out of them complete devastation ensued.  I know I tend to be a bit on the theatrical side, but they are the best thing in an Italian bakery.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I don't know anyone who doesn't like oreos. They are a classic comfort cookie!  I usually only make these on special occasions or for special people, but today I was just in the mood to whip up a batch.  Like everything else in my life, I decided to make them heart shaped.  Now making your own oreos takes a little bit of work, but believe me they are sooo worth it! Whoever you make these for will definitely appreciate them and you!  Once you've had them you'll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

In my opinion there is nothing better than a slice of classic New York cheesecake.  My love for cheesecake started as a child.  I remember getting so excited on holidays when someone would walk in holding that box labeled S&S Cheesecake.  Most kids can't wait to open presents, but I couldn't wait for the cheesecake to be cut!  To me it meant cake, hot cocoa, girl talk, and a lot of laughs.  This love affair has continued, and there have been many Saturday nights ending with my friends and I eating cheesecake at my kitchen table around 2 am laughing about what occurred that night!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Decoding your man by dessert ;)

You can tell a lot about a man by what dessert he likes! Yup it's true, I've been on a lot of dates, and I've eaten a lot of desserts.  For me it all comes down to that pivotal moment when the waiter comes over and asks "would you like to see a dessert menu?"  Now I am on the edge of my seat waiting to test my theory.  If the guy doesn't even want to look at the dessert menu...gasp, automatic deal breaker.  Now obviously being a pastry chef, I like a man who enjoys dessert, but aside from being biased due to my occupation I believe a man who enjoys dessert also takes the time to enjoy life!