Browsing Tag



Mommy Tools: Four Artisanal Breads by Weston

premiere fournee

I went to the Première Fournée media event last week where I learned the tricks of the trade of artisanal bread making. After trying some steps and seeing how much manual labor it involves, I gain a deeper appreciation of the traditional baker’s job. We learned the many steps required to make a classic baguette bread and how modify the cooking process or adding one ingredient allows you to create another bread variety. It was very interesting but I will leave bread making to the experts. Continue Reading


Dessert Table at Twestival Montreal 2010

dessert table at twestival montreal 2010

It was not only great live entertaining at Twestival. My favorite sweet treat suppliers participate at the events. I only ate one marshmallow lollipop of Kréavie.

macarons from point g twestival montreal 2010

The macarons from Point G came with their cutest eyes. Clever Cupcakes‘ Twitter birds were superb. Next time, I will take a light dinner to leave me room for dessert.

clever cupcakes at twestival montreal 2010

+ Photos by Eva Blue  – dessert table, macaronscupcakes
+ Clever Cupcakes
+ Point G


Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies by Tea Aura

tea aura's matcha green tea shortbread cookies

matcha green tea shortbread cookies by tea aura

I enjoy shortbread cookies because they are not too sweet. I bake my own but I also like to try gourmet shortbread cookies. After all, they come handy when you are in a hurry. My latest find is the Matcha Shortbread cookies from Tea Aura, a small brand located in Toronto. I could not stop eating these leaf shaped cookies with my herbal tea the other night.

tea aura\'s matcha green tea shortbread cookies

Susan Ho, the owner of Tea Aura, created 5 flavors up-to-date. Her shortbread cookies are made with butter, premium loose-leaf teas and without added artificial colors or flavors. Besides Matcha Green teas, the other flavors are Earl Grey, Rooibos Chai, Chocolate Mint and Lavender Currant. The latter is supposed to be popular.

To save time, I would stock a few since bringing two or three boxes make a delicious hostess gift. You can find the tea Aura’s cookies at selected grocers and specialty shops across Canada and at selected places in the United States. Check here to find a retailer near you.


The Dessert Table for my Husband’s Birthday Party

dessert table for my husband birthday party

I wanted to  do something totally different than last year event for my husband’s birthday. Doing an Amy Atlas-inspired dessert table seemed fun. But first, I had to convince my husband since his first reaction was: this is too girlie! He sent me a clear message: no apothecary jars, no feminine shape for the tableware. My challenge was to design a masculine dessert table. And I did!

My Design

His party had a two-fold theme. There was the “40 is the new 2.0” tag line. For the bar station, my husband  bought several geek items at ThinkGeek. The most impressive gear was the LED Jellyfish Mood Lamp. Many people asked us if they were real jellyfishes.

On the other side, the dessert table was developed around a color scheme. I selected yellow and green with red acting as an accent color. I used some of my tableware collection and added new pieces. You may recognize the tablecloth from his previous birthday.

DIY Ideas for Serve ware

marshmallow lollipops with their sauce and chocolate by kreavie

Finding masculine cake stands is almost impossible. I created my own footed serving ware instead. I wrapped a matching napkin on a bamboo storage box to raise big rectangular platters. A green glass square votive holder fit neatly under a square yellow salad plate. Trial and error is required: some plates do not stay in place on top of containers. The salad plates are the perfect size to serve chocolate pieces. Spreading your food across the buffet table makes them more accessible for your guests. This is why I used three plates for the chocolate.

What Was on the Dessert Table?

macarons :: exotic fruit verrines :: spice cookies

Hosting a dessert party could be an overwhelming task since you need 7 to 10 different desserts. This is why I relied on professionals for the food. For me, hosting a party has to be easy, delicious and stylish.

Until the last day, I thought of baking our famous dark chocolate torte but I realized that there was plenty of dessert already. Therefore, I planned to serve warm brie with Granny Smith apples and walnut, plus to put in small boat containers strips of Parmesan Reggiano with honey. As I was setting up the table, lack of space on my table meant that I had to wait. As the night evolved, it was clear that we had enough food on the table. I kept my cheese for another event. On average, account for 4 to 8 pieces by person. Then, add extra for take home. I estimated that 90% of the guests brought back home a little box.

Here is what I served. I got 4 flavors of fine chocolate plus delightful marshmallow lollipops and 36 macarons in 3 flavors each and a jar of spice cookies crafted by Kréavie. Everyone love their sweet treats. My friend Nathalie Rivard baked delicious date squares. I bought 2 packs of fruit mini verrines at Gastronomia and 3 dozens of mini cupcakes at Itsi Bitsi. Plus, I received another dozen of mini-cupcakes decorated with a geek theme from Muriel Ide. To balance the sweetness, I served walnuts, almonds and pistachios in my new chalkboard tag jars.

The next post will be about the fabulous floral arrangements created by O.xide Design.

+ chocolate, marshmallows and cookies at Kréavie
+ mini verrines at Gastronomia
+ cupcakes at Itsi Bitsi
+ Social Media Pillows by Craftsquatch on etsy $19.99 USD each


Boo Sprinkles Cupcakes and their Sprinklesmobile

sprinkles cupcakes ghost and boo cupcakes

The idea of a spiced apple cake studded with granny smith apple topped with buttery caramel cream cheese frosting is very tempting. This Halloween flavor with the ghost and Boo decorations will be available every day up to Halloween.

By the way, Sprinkles Cupcakes joined last June the cupcake truck trend that we see emerging across the United States. If you live or visit the Los Angeles area, you may wish to follow the movements of the Sprinklesmobile on Twitter. The Sprinklesmobile is also available for private events.

+ photos: Andrea Lenardin for Sprinkles Cupcakes


To Die For Halloween Cakes

happy halloween haunted house cakes by cakegirls

For the second time this year, I succumbed to the fabulous cake creations of Cakegirls. This Chicago-based duo is quite busy. Looking at their skills, you can understand why people hire Cakegirls.

Organizing huge parties at Halloween is part of the tradition. With its increased popularity, Halloween is on the verge of becoming an holiday. Who says big events, says cakes. The haunted house cake beats the paper haunted house models. With that level of details ist is almost to great to eat! I am only kidding; I rarely resist a delicious cake.

I noticed that the Halloween decorations this year are more sophisticated. The decorations are even merrier. We seemed to stay away from the scariest Halloween party themes. I guess that we want something else; after the pretty scary have been done so many times. I would not complain about this sweeter side of Happy Halloween.

A Glimpse of Christmas

holidays gift cake by cakegirls

The Maher sisters also created speciality cakes for Christmas. I would take one gift cake instead of a log. But we will discuss that once we stored away our orange, silver and black decorations.

+ photos by Cakegirls


Tired of Cupcakes? Get a Macaron Tower for your Next Party

macaron tower at paulette macarons :: French pastry chef christophe michalak

I absolutely adore the five tiered tower of Paulette Macarons that holds 60 assorted macarons. In case you do not know him, Christophe Michalak is one of the most renowned pastry chefs.

Modern version

When Laduree reinvented the macaron at the start of the 20th century, they could not anticipate that their creations would be so popular today. They joined two almond macaroon shells with a delicious ganache filling. The modern macaron became a small, round cake, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle.

Since them, the macarons have been elevated to new heights thanks to many talented pastry chefs. This old recipe have been reinvented by all the pastry chefs. More recently, Ladurée started a trend by introducing a cute packaged box for its macarons. With the support of the women press, the macaron popularity swelled and it is viewed as the ultimate indulgence.

paulette macarons :: modern recipe and look

The modern pastry chefs played with flavors and the way they decorated their macarons. Part of the appeal of the macarons is also that is easy to eat. And it is absolutely delicious. In the States, Pastry Chef Christophe Michalak, in partnership with Paule and Gérard Koumetz, opened Paulette Macarons in Beverly Hills in 2007. They just opened a second store in San Francisco.

paulette macarons gift boxes :: minibox and signature box

Macarons make fabulous party favors or a housewarming gift that everyone will appreciate. The mini-box of 2 macarons costs $4. The Paulette signature giftbox is $19 for 12 macarons or $36 for 24 macarons. For your next party, why not go for an elegant macaron tower?

+ Paulette Macarons $1.60 each
+ Macaron Tower $106 for tower with 60 macarons
+ Christophe Michalak


Invite Garden and Jungle Creatures to a Kid Brunch

garden creatures and jungle pancake molds :: caterpillar cakelet pan at williams-sonoma

These pancake molds should be a hit at your next family brunch or the morning after a sleepover birthday party. They may need a little practice so make sure to try them out a few times before you use them for a crowd.

Make sure to brush with oil or butter the griddle and molds. You could use a spray but I am not a fan of cooking spray. You can mix the two sets for more variety. Both cost $18 USD for a set of 3 assorted molds at Williams-Sonoma.

+ Make pancakes in the shape of a snail, a ladybug and a butterfly with Garden Creatures Pancake Molds
+ Get flapjacks shaped like monkey, lion and elephant faces with the Jungle Pancake Molds
+ Delight them with Caterpillar Cakelet Pan & Decorating Kit $36 for the cakelet pan, $16 for the decorating kit


Breakfast Mood for my Thursday’s Quick Links 2009.03.05

I love eating breakfast. It may because I adore French pastry. I scoured a few pictures to inspire you for the most important meal of the day.

french pastry photographed by anna jon

+ A natural-light photographer took the first picture. Anna Jones of Indie Art Photoblog took his at Les Madeleines Patisserie & Café in Salt Lake City. It was for a guest post written by Stephanie of Stephmodo for Your Heart Out. Anna I am proud to have introduced three remarkable blogs, totally new to me, with a single picture.

tonje holand's kitchen

+ The kitchen of the Norwegian Tonje Holand is charming. In fact, you should take a house tour on Design*Sponge. Her house displayed style and fun accent colors. I also loved her dining room. Via The Left Back to the Right Coast, who displayed a collection of bohemian meets kitschy vacation houses.

sherbet cup :: cake stand :: syrup pitcher bauer pottery company of la

+ Bauer Pottery Company of Los Angeles produces vintage American pottery in at least 15 solid colors. The Sherbet cups are perfect to eat your morning fruit cocktail. Bauer Pottery’s line is comprehensive with syrup pitcher, drinkware, dinnerware, pet bowls and garden pots. Add a little extra for that the bold orange items.

+ Bauer’s Pottery Cake Stand $66-$72.60 USD
+ Bauer’s Pottery Sherbet Cup $15-$16.50 USD
+ Bauer’s Pottery Syrup Pitcher $25-$27.50 USD
+ Les Madeleines p 801.355.2294
   216 E 500 S, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84111


Tartine Bakery and Cafe in San Francisco

tartine bakery and cafe :: bar tartine in san francisco

I am delighted that I discovered earlier today a bakery in San Francisco called Tartine Bakery. I am sure if I told you that San Francisco is my favorite US cities; then, it is New York and the Los Angeles area.

I spot this charming bakery and café while reading the fabulous Black Eiffel blog. It sounds delicious.

Until my next trip to San Francisco, I can try to bake at home their recipes. Acclaimed pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and master baker Chad Robertson, who is a married couple, published the Tartine coobook in 2006.

tartine cookbook by Elisabeth Prueitt  and Chad Robertson

The couple also co-owns Bar Tartine. It is a restaurant where Chef Jason Fox runs the kitchen. Jason was one of the 8 persons named “Best People of the Year” in the Best of San Francisco 2008 issue by San Francisco Magazine.

Your Own Favorite Places

Whenever I am traveling, I prefer eating at places where locals go. I try to keep a record of the best local restaurants. Having a blog is one way to build my collection but I felt I needed to do more. It was my motivation behind launching Places, the Praized community connected to my blog. I also want to know what are the places are people with whom I have things in common.

Why not do the same by becoming a member to enjoy for FREE the benefits of Places? You would not receive spam emails from AHWKV or Praized. I wish to be able to find the best spots to hang up, know what to order when I eat at a restaurant and shop at the best local stores. Help me by sharing your favorite places.

+ Tartine cookbook by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson $23.10 USD
+ Tartine Bakery and Cafeget directions p 415.487.2600
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA, United States, 94110
+ Bar Tartineget directions p 415.487.1600
561 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA, United States, 94110
+ Via Black Eiffel


Delightful edible art by Cakegirls

It has been a while since I talked about amazing cake decorations. Instead of googling cake makers, I went through my bookmarks on delicious. This is how I remember Cakegirls located in Chicago.

yellow modern wedding cake by cakegirls

I love this naturally chic yellow 3-tier cake. The design is so simple yet it is truly original. This is not your typical wedding cake. I envy today’s brides. You can infuse so much more your personality and have fun with wedding themes.

luxury hunting cake by cakegirls

Their story behind this cake studio has a cute twist. Two sisters founded Cakegirls. As you can imagine, Mary and Brenda cater to the high-end market with cool modern wedding cakes and one-of-a-king specialty cakes. Meet the sisters in a video on WeTv.

Birthday Cakes

The farm animals cake is so cute. This kid party must have been awesome.

farm animals birthday cake :: traveller birthday cake by cakegirls

Their specialty cakes push the boundaries of details in cake decorations. They are truly marvelous cakes.

+ Images from Cakegirls
+ Get directions to Cakegirls p 773.404.3147
2207 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60618