Nov 1, 2012

Happy Stars and Moon Cookies!

 Have you ever wonder what stars in the sky smell like? Or if they have a taste? What if stars tasted like cookies? And more than that, what if they taste like cookies with icing?

I was just thinking about it right before falling asleep, after watching Law & Order (L&O not related to stars at all, but that´s what I did). I think Felix Baumgartner jumping from space had something to do with this idea. It was the same day. Yup, that´s the kind of things I have to go through with this mind of mine when she´s coming with a new idea.
So the very next day I decided to make cookies, stars with happy faces because that´s how I imagine them to be, and little weird moons.

 I have a post here of my go-to cookie dough and royal icing recipes. It works every time and the taste is amazing!

So, once you have your cookies baked, cooled and ready to be dolled up, draw the border line and then fill that in. I have found out, that if I do all my lines first and then start filling in, when the icing is dry, you can see the division between the lines and the icings. So I like it better when it all looks like one entire surface, I go cookie by cookie, first the line and right after the filling.
Let it dry overnight, or several hours. Once they are 100% dry (you touch the icing and nothing comes out), start playing with food markers. I remember just going randomly, just try to not over do the faces; less is more a lot of the times. They are done here, just let the marker sit.

For the half moons all I did was simply cut a circle in half, like in the photo. (The entire circle is suppose to be in the upper left space, ooopsssyy!)
Then baked, cooled and decorated them the same way I did with the stars. At the end I just used an eatable- sparkly- toothpaste consistency gel thingy my mom got me. However, I have seen them at Michael s.

This ones where delicious as I think were funny and easy to do. My niece, nephew, bf, Mom and Dad  loved them. For a more “formal presentation”, don’t draw the faces.

Try it out, you´ll love them!
Xoxo- me!

Oct 31, 2012

Cookie Dough and Royal Icing Recipes (for Decorated Cookies)

I´ve had been looking for the right cookie dough and royal icing recipes for decoration for a while, and either they were too sweet or just blah. And the worst part is that I did spend a lot of money in the process of finding the right one for me.

I got to the point of not wanting to try another disappointing recipe, because you know, more money wasted, until I found this awesome blog called Sweetopia. For some reason I wanted to give her lemon cookies a try, and Thanks God I did, because this recipe turned out to be a keeper.

The first time I made it, I realized it was pretty cool because it gives a lot of cookie dough = a lot of cookies = a lot of fun time decorating to giveaway or keep them. Then I realized I just need half the recipe, so I just make half of it (which still makes a loooot of cookies, where I get to the point where I´ve used all of my cookie cutter shapes and I don’t even know what shape to use anymore haha).

The ingredients themselves:
(You´ll notice I have the measurement by volume and sometimes by weight. I try to use my digital scale more so I have fewer things to wash =P + get more accurate measurements)

Ingredients Quality
Unsalted Butter (room temperature)                1 cup (that´s 226gr.)
Granulated Sugar
1 cup (that´s 200gr.)
1 large
Lemon Zest
Lemon or Real Lemon
1 1/2 Tablespoon
All Purpose Flour 2 1/2 cups (that´s 325r.)
Salt 1/2 Teaspoon
1)      Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer with paddle attachment on low to medium speed for about 1 minute or until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides to get everything mixed and mix for few more seconds. DON’T over mix. That´ll only bring extra air we don’t need for the dough.
2)      Add the egg and mix. Scrape down the sides with spatula to make sure everything is getting incorporated.
3)      Add both lemon zest and lemon juice and stir briefly.
4)      Sift flour and salt together and then add them to the bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Tip: Mixing flour can be a bit messy, to avoid it; cover your bowl with a humid dishcloth, leaving space for your hand and the mixer. If you use a Kitchen Aid or so, cover the whole mixer with the dishcloth. Remember to not over mix it, just mix until the dough becomes workable and it clumps around the paddle attachment.
5)      Then what I do is cool the dough a bit. I grab a piece of plastic wrap or a transparent bag and I cover my dough with it. Then let it cool inside the fridge for about an hour or so, just until it’s more workable and less soft. This recipe has butter; if the butter is soft then the whole dough is soft, too soft will make the dough too sticky to work with.
6)      Then I take it out and roll it to about 1 centimeter. Then cut all my shapes. Having some flour on the cutting surface sometimes helps to prevent my dough from sticking to my table. 
7)      I then cut several pieces of parchment paper or wax paper. Take one piece of parchment paper on top place several cookies, on top another piece of parchment paper, then again another group of cookies, and so on, until I have a tower of dough shapes layered between parchment paper. Place my tower on the fridge for about 15-20 minutes. It always depends on weather of course. This will help to hold shape better.
8)      Preheat your oven for 350F or 176C.
9)      Bake cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Baking time will depend on size of cookies, and of course, the oven. I always keep an eye on them. Tiny cookies will take shorter to bake than big cookies. What I do, I bake my big cookies first then tiny last so I don’t have to open my oven to remove the small ones.
10)   Once baked, let them cool and decorate. Note: If you don’t wait until they are 100% cool to the touch, they will be to hot and icing will melt.

As for the decorations there are a ton of recipes online, some of them use egg whites, and others use other things. I use her recipe as well (half of it, still makes a ton).

Ingredients Quantity
Warm Water
3 Oz.
Merigue Powder
2 1/2 Tablespoon
Cream of Tartar
1/2 Teaspoon
Powdered sugar
500 Gr.
Lemon Juice
1/2 Tablespoon
1)      In a bowl mix together water and meringue powder with a hand whisk for 30 seconds.
2)      Then to that, add cream of tartar, keep in mixing for 30 seconds. (cream of tartar will help the meringue powder, which is basically egg white, powder version, to stabilize)
3)      Now using a mixer and with paddle attachment on, add the icing or powder sugar for 10 minutes. Tip: Use a humid dishcloth to prevent you from ending up with a powder sugar mask. 
4)      Add lemon juice and mix just until incorporated, don’t over mix.
5)      Remove bowl from mixer and cover bowl. Royal Icing dries faster than speed of light if it has contact with air. Just kidding, but it dries super fast.
6)      Use your icing in a medium consistency. Don’t use your icing too thick or else will be too hard to decorate. Don’t use icing too thin or it will spread all over the cookie. Add water to thin it out.
7)      Add food coloring using plastic plates and wax paper cones or piping bags if you feel like cleaning afterwards.

Original recipes from:

Oct 30, 2012

Classic Breakfast gone Green!

I am in love! I just love those days where you know the whole day will rock based on how your breakfast was.
This was a very simple yet special one. My guy made it for me, like as a surprise. That´s what make it so special, plus the taste…mmm the taste..!
And of course I had to share, not only because it´s a kind of new way to have breakfast, but because it adds a good flavor to it.

This is just 2 fried eggs, “lying” in 2 slides of green peppers. Slice per egg, then dress it up with 2 slices of bacon, or as many as you´d like.

This seems in a way, a Mexican Breakfast, but American at the same time, so, I don’t even know, all I know is that the whole thing tasted amazing. I had some milk with it, and again, yumm!
**No flavor was added to those peppers, just some salt for the eggs but that´s it.

Oct 25, 2012

Abstract Mini Cupcakes

Today´s post isn´t so much a recipe as it is an idea for a cocktail party.

I made this little guys (mini cupcakes) for a mini gathering with my friends, and they loved them. 
For the mini cupcakes themselves I used a vanilla cake mix (my favorite is the one by Betty Crocker). Now, to have that half-light half-dark effect I divided my mixture into two bowls. One I left "natural" (w/out food coloring) and the other one I added a ton of food coloring. I used Black AmeriColor because I like this brand a lot. It good quality, and regularly doesn't add any weird flavor to my desserts. That is pretty important, especially if you use a ton. In this case case, the darkest it is, the more it will look like black, and not dark green.

Once I had my two bowls with two colors on them, I started pouring the mixture onto my mini cupcakes pans, with mini wrappers. I started with the half without food coloring, adding less than half on the mini wrapper, and then filled that in with the one with black food coloring. Less than the left half. ** In total they were filled about 2/3 of the wrapper. Working with Mini cupcakes, or anything mini, means a bit  more work because they are smaller, but lovely. 

Bake following the instructions of the package or the recipe. (**Note: I do prefer baking from scratch, but I happen to have one cake mix box, so I wanted to use it).

For the decoration I used: 1 package of Wilton´s White Candy Melts, melted, and 1 bar of Hershey´s Dark Chocolate, melted.

Once my minis were done, cooled and outside the pan I just grabbed them from the bottom and started dipping them onto the white candy melts. Peggy Porschen´s style (here).
She´s using liquid fondant, I´m using Candy Melts, but It was about the same technique. 

After that, and once my coats were dry, I took my delicious dark chocolate, and with a spoon started pouring randomly. This is the decoration part; here is where you are only limited by your imagination. For a more exact decoration, use a was paper cone, like in case you want to be really precise and draw something. Use a spoon if you want something careless, not so perfect, kind of, "wherever it falls looks cool anyways since its abstract" sort of deco. ** The more melted chocolate you have on your spoon, the thicker lines will get. 

And that´s it, “Abstract” or randomly decorated mini cupcakes. This mini fellas, in my opinion look cool and taste delish. Because of the contrasting flavor the dark chocolate gives. Hope you like the idea. Let me know!

Oct 18, 2012

Breakfast at Tiffany´s coffee!

Hello Hello! The thing with today´s sharing note is simple. It´s about a “little secret” or another way to enjoy a, for some of us, daily product: Coffee. The secret isn’t in how to do it, because if you are a coffee-holic, as I am, you already know that part.

The secret in the details or ingredients that were used to make this one:
1)      Grab dark or semi sweet chocolate, place it in the microwave and, once its liquid, pour a bit to the cup (empty cup or coffee mug). Save some for the top part.
2)      Make coffee. I just used regular coffee; with water…you know the steps as I said. Fll it in about ¾ of the cup, to give room for the next step.
3)      Take vanilla ice cream (the flavor is optional, I just love how it tastes with vanilla) grab a scope and then let it sit on top of the coffee (that´s why we needed the “extra room” )
4)      Take the chocolate left over and here is where you can get funky. It´s up to you if you want some cool design or just put it on the corners and in the middle as I did.
5)      Extra* you can add some cinnamon to this, I did, and It tastes even better.
I personally chose a cute cup, to enjoy my cute coffee.

The best part is, once you are done out and about, checking yourself in your car´s mirror and realizing you have an undeniable ice cream/chocolate/coffee mustache. That makes you remember how good it was.  

Me and Audrey Hepburn whish the best for you today!

Oct 12, 2012

Minnie Mouse Nails

I love Disney. I´m in my 30´s and I am one of those who still loves Mickey and all that.
I decided I wanted to complement that aspect on my next nail art. But I wanted something simple, because red is a lovely but powerful color. In my opinion, red ir a double face color, you can make it work, or you can totally lose it.

When using red, base coat is a MUST, unless you want your nails to turn yellow once you remove the design. I would recommend a good quality one, or one you try and are sure really works as a base. I used one that I bought at a sally beauty supply store, is by Beauty Secrets

Then I applied my base color, I used Cherry Red by Sally Hansen. Any red will do. Chose a red you like. Wait until dried.

Apply a French tip with your favorite white. I used White by Art Deco. Then use a dotting tool (toothpick or an actual tool meant for nail art) and apply the dots. Wait for those to dry.

Now, it is up to you if you want all of your nails to have a bow, I personally prefer the bow just in one nail. In this case my ring finger.  But you can go all the way up to 10.
To make the bow simply grab black nail polish, I used Black out by Sally Hansen, and draw 2 dots on one side and 2 other dots on the other side and one in the middle, as simulating a fluffy bow. And before the middle dot tries, I just applied a transparent rhinestone to make the bow pop a bit more.
**If you don’t have a rhinestone, you can always apply a dot of silver nail polish, try to pick a really pigments one, so you only have to apply one dot.

Seal you cute nails with some top coat, I used Megashine by, again, Sally Hansen. This not only will make the design lasts longer, but it will make everything look better and under a whole shinny surface. Especially for the bow and rhinestone. Let dry.

That’s t! Isn’t it simple, easy and the best part, cute? Enjoy!

Oct 11, 2012

Simple vintage floral nails

Today, I did my nails very simple, but effective. This reminded me for some reason of something vintage and clean. The best part is that it was super simple, and people could actually guess they were actually flowers in there.

I first painted my nails white. In some occasions some people use a base coat, just t protect their natural nails against strains they get from really strong colors such as red or yellow, but since I was using white there was no need, I think.

Since I was looking for a white with some yellow undertones, like a kind of bone color, and I didn't have any at home I decided to use this sheer color that worked fine. **The color is super sheer (duh), so I applied like a zillion coats of this one, just kidding, but I had to apply easily 3 coats, and It was extremely hot so It was a pain waiting for that one to dry. But the color result is gorgeous.
**Note: If you have a more pigments white color with significant yellow undertones, totally use it, instead.

Then, take a toothpick, remove the pointy tail with scissors and use it as a dotting tool. Apply small “c”´s and all kind of shapes with some black nail polish. There is no rule here, I just tried to make that figure look like a flower as much as I could.

I then applied some gold nail polish here and there, just to give it a kind of dimension. I used a gold color by Orly, I don’t remember the name but this is just for tiny details so I think any golden color with silver undertones will make it well. Applied that with my super duper cool versatile dotting tool! (btw..excuse my really crappy and messy painted nails, it was like 2am, i was tired and wanted to do my nails before going to sleep. That small excess always goes away after washing hands tho)

Last, a sort of important step, apply top coat, this will not only make your design last longer but will make that golden color really shine.

And that´s it! Simple, easy, pretty and versatile! Cute, right?

Oct 10, 2012

Hi and Welcome! I created this little cyber-diary to share just about anything I do, just because. This is a relaxed place where I share things I think are worth and I recommend (after tasting them). Sometimes I love 100% what I share, sometimes I would place a little side note of things I would recommend changing and the reason for that, for next times.

I’m into doing things, having ideas and trying to make them happen, edible or not edible. However, I do sometimes tend to lose interest if my idea isn’t too exiting. This is the home for those other projects or “notes” that made it.

In Particular:

It definitely wasn’t like a childhood dream that I had for a long time, it sort of developed. I remember going to this Chef´s supply store not long ago. For some reason I walked towards the baking supply aisle and remember thinking “Oh Boy! It all looks charming! I want to live here and start baking right now” like if I was in Disneyland. When I got home that same day I did my deep-research online for techniques and getting familiarized with the whole new baking world. The more I found I know about it the more I liked it, I liked it a lot. I tried it and the addiction grew like a snowball. My admiration started with cupcakes an sprinkles, that lead me to desserts and all kinds of pretty threats. For me, baking is a form of art and self-expressions, and better yet, people can get to eat and enjoy the results.
I like baking a lot because is a small chemistry project, with art involved. Pretty interesting since there is also math involved in baking, in high school math wasn’t my strongest field, but in a cute dessert form I like it much better. Love it!

Desserts in this post: There are a lot of things that look pretty but taste nasty, those I won´t post, because I know it sucks when you got to the store all excited to buy all the ingredients and turns out it was bad and just looked pretty. Total money/time/energy waste. Argh!
That happens especially online. Where who knows if dishes or desserts really taste as they look. I do only follow recipes online where I can read others comments, wheatear they like it, they hate it, or they share changes they made.

Website I always check are:

Nail Art:
I found out about Nail Art through Youtube. You know, like most people spend their spare time on Facebook, Twitter, etc, I would spend it on Youtube. Watching from beauty gurus, to chefs, diy´s tutorial, etc. I honestly don’t remember what was I looking for on Youtube exactly, but I discovered a bunch of people doing their nails and I thought it was the coolest thing, since I´ve always loved paintings and colors. I thought it was a cool and more useful way of painting. Since its on nails.

Miniature canvas but still visible.  I loved it so much, it turned into an addiction (See “About Me” section above).  From there, I kept a couple of material and photos and tutorials. I use to make those to get the idea out my head, but after painting them, I would grab my remover and take off the design. Yes. It was a complete waste of everything, but it made me happy back then.

Nowadays, I do nail art, but way more settle. I generally “design” one nail and the rest all the same color, or if the design is not too heavy I will do it on all my nail. The reason behind is, I see my nails constantly and if they call my attention a lot I get tired of the design easily, because I don’t feel comfy I guess with it. In a way is distracting and that makes me tired of it. I know, I´m that weird!
For myself, I do prefer my nails shorter. I turn pretty useless when they are longer, although they look prettier longer..well, sometimes. But sometimes I give my long nails a try, and some others I go natural. Especially when I´m cooking or baking because I think they might look a bit nasty all done and you in the kitchen.

DIY and Crafts:
Those are things that I have always liked. It’s fun to look at things from a whole new perspective after, with a few materials, they look totally different. You end un valuing things because of the store they have, rather than how much they cost.

Annnnd I hope you are still awake! Maybe I did share a bit more than what people are actually interested, but as I was writing this e-diary I got to the conclusion I wanted to share a lot.
I´m a Mexican girl who likes creating things and sharing what I like and things I do (or, sometimes, a bit about my feelings and things that happen in my life). So in a way, this is my “e-dear diary” sort of speaking. I write in English so anyone can reach things I share.
I am one of those floating souls; I wish I have had a passion in life back when I was 20. In my life, there are so many stages people don’t know about (ok maybe they do know about the first two):

I studied Psychology (1st stage): It took me the whole degree to realize it is interesting but not for me (…  I know).

Photography (2nd stage): Lovely! I take pictures all the time, besides the ones on this blog. But I realized that I´m more interested on it as a hobby than as a career.

“Painter” (3rd stage): Bought material and such, then I discovered I just wanted to try it out and let some ideas out of my head.

Polymer clay crafter (4th stage). I did consider selling my creations, as for a living. Later I got to the conclusion it is more like a kind of summer activity rather than a job. I is a fun, relaxing way to spend quality time with other people interested in creations.  

Nail art. (5thstage). This one got my bad, to the point of losing track of real life and just thinking about that. I did have a lot of fun, and honestly gave it a lot of time (energy, thought, money and effort).
I even opened a YouTube channel (funny random facts from the past, YT channel´s now closed as the stage itself). It was interesting (I learned a lot of techniques, applicable for a lot of things not only nails), but it got so deep in me, like a drug, where I needed to stop, needed to leave, so I did.

There was even a time where I considered it as a business, go to people´s homes and do their natural nails. 

Silly because most people would rather go to a salon, and paper themselves, and people who don’t do acrylic nails rather have them natural most of the times, but I mean you never know I guess until you try.
It was a weird stage and I think a lot of us go through that at some point or another. I´m glad it´s over though. It´s never nice to not being able to sleep because you are thinking or doing your nails (to then remove the design after 5 minutes) and waking up at 1pm realizing you missed the whole morning. Or speaking rudely to my boyfriend or not helping with the house because I was “busy” with that.
I still do my nails from time to another, I like nail art, in my own nails I prefer them shorter, or I would paint the idea on some fake nail, but not like an obsession.

Photo editing. (6thstage). Then I went back to photography (which I never left because for my nail art I use to take the close-up pictures), but this time Editing images, I got some clients (real clients) then I decided it was cool but it was spending hours and hours behind the computer (more than what I could take).

The final stage (at least I hope so, haha). That is desserts. It feels good because it evolves everything I love: Creating, producing, dolling things up, mixing, measuring, and having a result people can actually enjoy.  I´m currently taking a Pastry Chef 6 month course and I´m loving it. It is tricky, because there are a lot more things involved in the whole process, such as costs, nutrition facts, types of everything, functions of everything, and human resources.

And it´s funny, my love for baking developed my liking for cooking, which I use to dislike with my whole body. I guess people change. I still prefer making desserts, but I don’t hate cooking anymore.
I´m currently living with my boyfriend and his family, we all get along pretty well. The reason for this is because my course is taking place in the same city where they live. Me and my boyfriend used to have 2 dogs, but one sadly passed away recently, that was definitely something really sad and sudden, and still in shock (both of us). You know as they say, puppies are like kids. So true.

I´m a Pastry Chef Student, who loves to create stuff and to share online worldwide.

Oct 9, 2012

La crepe

Today was one of those days where I just wanted to share a yummy moment with a crepe, the exterior world and some people I love.

My boyfriend and I are currently living with his family. The reason being is that I´m taking a Pastry Chef Course (a sort of degree) and the best course I fount was in the same city where his parents live, so we decided, to move in with them, to save some money, for now. And since he works online he had no biggie. The place is huge and we all get along pretty well. We are 6 people in total and I might add to that I´m the only girl, besides my mother –in-law o course. This pastry chef course lasts 6 months, and I am pretty excited! Not only because of all the things will I learn to do, but also because I love doing stuff.

I´m not sure how that tiny store of my life above is related to the crepe itself, but I guess it is since the people I went to eat this deliciousness was my boyfriend and mother-in-law.
Anyways…the crepe itself was simple but delish, or maybe the fact that I love strawberries is somehow related. The crepe was from a local tiny sort of portable store. And it was basically filled with some cream cheese and strawberries. DELICIOUS! We ate it at a mall and the best part is the view we had: Best Buy. Just kidding, but it made me thing, its funny how live works differently for all of us.

This made me realize. Sometimes it isn't about expensive restaurants wearing expensive clothing and driving expensive cars what makes life special. It is all about sharing, taking risks (trying new things at total random places), and just chilling from time to another. Instead of walking ultra fast to the store you went to the mall for, take the time (if you can) and just look around, experiment and just sit for 1 minute, those are the times when you realize what is life really about.