January on Planet Byn {2018}

by byn on January 31, 2018

in Monthly Recaps

Cookie Exchange

Turns out that when you go away for Christmas and have to push a lot of stuff to the new year, you end up with a super busy January that does not allow for the usual hibernation. Here’s what was going on to kick off 2018:

  • Jenny hosted her 2nd annual Christmas Cookie Exchange on the first weekend in January, and you can see my haul pictured above. I won’t even mention my own cookie, but instead the small squares in the bottom centre. Those are Carmelitas made by Erin from How to Eat, from the book The Baker In Me by Daphna Rabinovitch. They were incredible! I borrowed the book from Jenny so expect to see them here sometime soon.
  • The next day was the Golden Globes, which were very early this year! I made our traditional feast of Beef Bourguignon, mashed potatoesCheddar-Corn Spoonbread (which which I felt redeemed by, since the recipe I tried last year didn’t work), and my “house salad” with apples and candied pecans. For dessert, I made this Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie, which was just okay for me. I’d rather have straight up Pecan Pie.
  • The following weekend we had our belated family Christmas, and I cooked up another feast for that! We had pulled pork & ‘slaw, mac & cheese, guac & chips and Butterscotch Pecan Meringue Torte by request of the birthday girl (my Mom).
  • I already blogged about these, but I had two super fun cake projects this month: Twins Gender Reveal Cakes for my friend at work, and a Unicorn Cake for my niece. Loved them both so much!
  • After about 4 years of going out for tacos and margaritas, our Book Club was inspired by this article, and so we’re now switching to Pizza Club/Book Club for 2018. First up was a classic, Pizzeria Libretto, and of course the pizza was delicious as always, but I need to write about the salad! They have this kale salad happening, where there is a thin layer of green goddess dressing spread on the plate, and then lightly dressed kale is placed on top, with toasted almonds. I need to a) have this again immediately b) figure out how to recreate it at home!

Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month:

  • I don’t really know why I’m incapable of only reading one book in the month of January, but it seems to happen every year. This time it was Everything You Never Told Me, by Celeste Ng, which was a good read, but not nearly as amazing as her book Little Fires Everywhere which was my #1 of 2017.
  • Oscar Nominations are out, so I went to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri which seems to be a frontrunner. It was okay, but I find Woody Harrelson annoying in everything, and this movie just doesn’t know how to do nuance. You’re hit in the face with every “message” it wants you to learn. Don’t know if I recommend it. Kristine and I also saw I, Tonya, plus I saw Ladybird back before Christmas. Still lots to watch before the Oscars on March 4.
  • I went to my first Leafs Game ever! Not really that noteworthy since I don’t like hockey, but we got to go with work and sit in the box, so that was pretty baller. Not nearly as fun as a Raptors game though!



Black Forest Chocolate Cookies

Our assignment this week for Baked Sunday Mornings was a batch of Black Forest Cookies. The Baked Boys took the classic Black Forest flavours and turned them into a cookie with lots of chocolate, dried cherries and white chocolate chips.

Personally, I’m anti-Black Forest everything, and you can read more on that here, from when we made the Black Forest Cupcakes from Baked Occasions. Even with that being said, there was something else that was off for me with the texture of these cookies. I guess I want a chocolate cookie (or any cookie really) to be chewy and fudgey, but they weren’t. They weren’t cakey or dry though either. It was weird. I can’t explain it.  There wasn’t a lot of flour in the recipe, which I guess is the culprit.

This didn’t matter at all to my co-workers, and they were gone from our new secret snack drawer in no time.

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!


Unicorn Cake

by byn on January 25, 2018

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

Unicorn Cake

My little niece Rebecca is getting so big and turned 5 at the end of December! For her birthday cake this year, she asked for a Unicorn Cake for her birthday party with her friends {*tear*}. I still think of her as the baby of the bunch (she’s the youngest cousin), so it was kind of amazing to see her at her gymnastics/unicorn/princess party with her whole squad of friends!

Unicorn Top

These Unicorn Cakes are everywhere on the internet, YouTube and at fancy bakeries. I mainly followed this Rosanna Pansino tutorial, and here’s how I did it:

  • Baked up this cake recipe for Funfetti Cake, leaving out the almond extract, in three 6″ cake pans instead of two 8″ cake pans. This cake recipe is perfect because the layers bake up nice and tall. You want the unicorn to be taller than it is wide, so it’s important to use 6″ cake pans. Pro tip: toss the sprinkles in a bit of flour before stirring them into the batter so they don’t bleed.
  • Made a batch and a half of My Favourite Buttercream, using white icing to stack up the layers, added a crumb coat, and then put on a final finishing layer.
  • Dyed the remaining icing pink, turquoise, light purple and dark purple. I planned out in advance which colours I wanted most of (pink and light purple) for the rosettes, so made more of those colours in proportion to the colours I just needed for the little starbursts and kisses. I followed the video to get the front of the cake right, and then just freestyled it across the top of the cake and down the back/side for the mane.

Unicorn Mane

  • Now, the fondant, which I am normally against, but was obviously essential here. Bulk Barn is now selling small packages of fondant (a bit bigger than say a deck of cards), so that was great. One package was just enough for the horn and ears. Again, I followed the video so won’t repeat that here, except to say it was easier than I thought. For the horn, you just wrap a tapered tube of fondant around a candy stick. For the ears, she uses a cookie cutter, but I just shaped them by hand and stuck toothpicks in them.
  • Mixed gold pearl dust with vodka and painted the whole horn and the inside of the ears. I let this dry overnight and added a second coat in the morning. Her gold is way more concentrated in the video, while mine was kind of sheer. I didn’t think a group of 5 year olds would mind.
  • Honestly the hardest part about this whole thing was the eyes. I tried to freehand it and messed it up, so I ended up taking a roll of washi tape and lightly pressing semi-circle indents into the cake. That made it easier to trace/fill in with my navy icing, and then the eyelashes were no problem after that.

Rebecca’s previous birthday cakes:

  • 4th (Darth Vader Cupcakes)
  • 3rd (Shimmer & Shine Cake)
  • 2nd (Thomas the Tank Cake)


Twins Gender Reveal Cakes

by byn on January 23, 2018

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

Twins Gender Reveal

When my cute little pregnant friend at work told me she was having twins, my first reaction was OMGSOEXCITEDFORYOU followed by: It would be my joy in life to make you a gender reveal cake! She was such a good sport and totally let me run with this. I had so much fun planning a little twins gender reveal party at the office. Let me tell you how I did it.

First I booked one of the two meeting rooms in our new workspace where you are allowed to eat, and sent an invitation out. We were contemplating at first if we should just include the ladies, but then decided to invite the whole team, and whoever was interested could show up. I did give a heads-up that cake would be involved, so naturally everyone in the office that day was in attendance.

Then I decided I would make two little 6″ cakes, so there was one for each baby. I briefly thought about one big cake, but loved the drama of two little ones, and the fact that it would keep people guessing (could be boy/girl twins!).

When people arrived for the reveal, they had to make their guess on the white board under three categories: Boy/Boy, Girl/Girl, Boy/Girl. Once all the bets were in, the mama-to-be cut into the cakes while everyone cheered her on and revealed that she’s having two girls! It was so cute and fun, and I had such a warm fuzzy feeling for the rest of the day.  Honestly, January can be so blah, so it was great to have a little project to work on, and it made everyone so happy (and gave them a well needed sugar rush!).

Both Girls!

As for the cakes, here’s how I made them:

  • Mixed up this cake batter recipe and divided the batter equally into three bowls. I died one portion bright pink, and to the other two, mixed in rainbow sprinkles (tossed in a bit of flour). I added the batter to three 6″ cake pans lined with parchment paper and baked for about 20 minutes (you need to keep an eye on them so you don’t over bake.
  • Once the cake layers cooled, I sliced them in half horizontally, so there were six mini layers to make up two cakes with three layers each (funfetti layers on the top and bottom, with pink in the middle).
  • Made a batch of My Favourite Buttercream, and removed about a cup and died it bright pink, leaving the rest white.
  • Stacked up the cake layers with pink icing in between the layers, and crumb coated the whole cakes in white icing. After chilling for 30 minutes, added a final coat of white icing.
  • Died a bit of leftover icing turquoise and added a few decorations using various icing tips to the top and sides of the cake. In hindsight I wouldn’t have added the sprinkles, because I liked how they looked before with just the pink and turquoise.
  • Explained to at least 5 co-workers what a gender reveal party is. “But where’d you get the cakes?” {insert laughing while crying emoji}


My Favourite Waffles

by byn on January 10, 2018

in Breakfast, Pancakes & Waffles

My Favourite Waffles

I was just re-reading some old monthly recaps, and in my January 2016 post, I mentioned that I had finally found a waffle recipe that I liked: “I’ve been looking for a basic waffle recipe forever! I need to make it a few more times before it reaches ‘My Favourite’ status, and then I’ll blog about it. Well, it’s been two years, and this is still my go-to waffle recipe, so here we are: ‘My Favourite’ status granted!

Just like pancakes, I seem to have tried every waffle recipe on the internet before I reached this bliss. They were either too light, too doughy, or had yeast in them (yes, this is a thing), which I found weird. I also can’t have a recipe that violates my main pancake/waffle rule: no whipping egg whites separately. There is nothing more annoying to me.

Waffle Stack

Basically what I’m looking for in a waffle recipe is to get as close as I can to homemade Eggos, and this recipe nails it. Great flavour, perfect texture on the inside (not too light or too doughy) and crispy on the outside.  I also love my waffle maker, which has removable dishwasher safe plates, and this has made all the difference in my waffling.

The best part of these is making the whole batch (or even a double batch), letting them cool, and freezing them in groups of two for my very own Eggos. I would even say I like them this way better, because I can get them super crispy in the toaster when I’m reheating them. Of course, if you’re making waffles and eating right away, you can keep them warm in a low 200° oven, set on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet to keep them crispy.

My Favourite Waffles

Source: Orangette


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk (or a combination of the two)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then add the milk/buttermilk, oil and vanilla and whisk again.
  3. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and whisk just until the ingredients are just combined. The batter might be a bit lumpy, but that’s just fine. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Prep your waffle maker. Mine is non-stick, so I just turn it on and wait until it beeps at me, and it’s good to go. Make your waffles according to your waffle maker’s instructions. Top with butter and maple syrup or your other favourite toppings.


2017 Recap

This Christmas was very different for me as I flew the coop with my parents to Barbados to celebrate my Mom’s 70th Birthday, which was on Boxing Day! Here’s what I was up to before we left:

  • Nicole and Francis came over for our annual Christmas baking day! A little challenging with a 1 1/2 year old, but we managed to get a batch of Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies done, and the dough for these Brown Butter Sugar Cookies so Nicole could freeze it and bake them later on.
  • Janelle and I went to King Taps for our Christmas Lunch and repeated a few apps I’ve tried before (Bang Bang Shrimp and Crispy Potato Skins – so basic but SO GOOD) and had a “Just Gimme a Pepperoni” Pizza which is pretty self-explanatory. It was amazing, even better than the Forager Pizza I tried last time I was there. On the way out J was buying a gift card and the hostess was telling us all about her favourite items on the menu, so now we have a list of other things to try!
  • I did another Hot Chocolate Bar at work this year after everyone was so excited for it last year. We have a coffee machine in our new workspace, which also makes hot chocolate, so that made it even easier (last year I had the little powdered packets for people to add to boiling water in our old kitchen). I brought in a can of whipped cream, homemade Bailey’s, sprinkles and candy canes and threw up the fireplace channel on You Tube on the screen. Big hit!
  • Quick little recap of our Barbados Eats! So in Barbados, there is this strip called the St. Lawrence Gap. It’s a little street lined with restaurants, bars and nightlife, so we headed over there for dinner most nights (it was just a short walk from our resort).  Our favourite place was Cocktail Kitchen, where we went on my Mom’s Birthday (so good, plus complimentary spicy popcorn to snack on while you wait!), and the others we went to were Cafe Sol (surprisingly delicious Mexican!), Castaways (I had local flying fish!) and Sharkey’s (twice), plus we ate at the hotel on Christmas Day. I had fish almost every night, except for the last night where I was craving a burger!

Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month, YEAR END EDITION:

  • My favourite books of the year, in order: Little Fires Everywhere, Saints For All Occasions, Rich People Problems, The Hate U Give, The Sun Is Also A Star.
  • My favourite movies of the year, also in order: Southside with You (this movie didn’t even come out in 2017, but I probably watched it 5 times on Netflix. It’s a fictionalized version of Barack & Michelle Obama’s first date, and I just LOVE IT), Spiderman: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, Girls Trip, Logan Lucky.
  • My favourite TV of the year, not in order, because I watched too many things that I was obsessed with: Big Little Lies, Insecure, People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, The Night of, Riverdale, How To Get Away With Murder, Master of None, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things 2, Glow, Mindhunter. You’ll note that The Bachelor, my usual fave, is not on the list because I can’t stand Nick Viall, and The Bachelorette only gets an honourable mention for one scene, which was Peter tearing off his t-shirt in slow motion to dry his tears as he and Rachel broke up.


Whiteout Cake

This was the second year in a row we had a Baked Sunday Mornings cake assignment close to New Year’s Day. Last year it was the Ultimate Birthday Cake from Baked Occasions, and this year it’s the Whiteout Cake from the first Baked book.

I scaled down the recipe to make a little 6″ cake, and it turned out to be pretty cute, especially with my New Year’s themed sprinkles. The cake recipe is great, even with the annoying step of whipping egg whites and folding them in.

My only problem with this is the icing. I’ve gone back and forth on the Baked boys’ cooked icings over the years. Most of the time it’s a disaster, but every once and a while it works perfectly. Today it was a mess, but to be fair I wasn’t taking my time and just kind of did a rush job.

This cake is currently cut and wrapped into individual slices in my freezer, because January is the only month when people aren’t happy to take your baked goods.

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!


~ Champagne & Cookies 2017 ~

by byn on December 21, 2017

in Cookies

Every part of my annual Champagne & Cookies Christmas party fills me with so much joy. I love spending the weeks leading up to it finalizing my baking list, stocking my freezer with treats, and then finally sharing them with all my friends. This is truly my favourite holiday tradition, and it just keeps getting better. I was so happy with all of my picks this year, the majority of which were things I’ve made in the past, plus some special requests, and a new cookie that I already know will be on this recap every year from now on! Here’s what I made:

1. Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies + 2. Christmas Confetti Cookies + 3. Maple Pecan Pie Triangles

The Classics

Ah, the classics. For the second year in a row, I made these Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies from Gimme Some Oven, and they were so perfect. My friend Lusina loved them so much she made them for her family over the Christmas break, so I’d say that’s the highest compliment! I also gave these cookies to my team at work for their Christmas treats, and they were a huge hit.

Loved these Christmas Confetti Cookies again this year too. Pretty #basic, but I love the pop of colour they bring to the table.

I brought back the Maple Pecan Pie Triangles again this year after a two-year hiatus. They’re so easy, and so tasty. I was happy to have them make a return!

4. Pretzel M&M Cookies + 5. Chocolate Crinkles

Pretzels & Crinkles

Speaking of triumphant returns, Pretzel M&M Cookies were also back due to popular demand. I can’t find Pretzel M&Ms anywhere in Canada, but luckily had been down to Buffalo in November and picked up a few bags. That salty and sweet combo is just killer, and many of my friends grab one of these first.

I loved these Chocolate Crinkles so much when I made them last year, but regretted that the batch was so small. I doubled up on them this year, and was glad I did. They’re so rich and fudgey, and I love having something purely chocolate in the rotation.

6. Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel

Pretzel Linzers

I wrote about these guys last week, and they were my winner for the night. I just loved the way they turned out, they were so pretty, and tasted so good. I normally loathe cut-out cookies because they’re so time consuming, but I’m happy to make an exception for these. I can see these being on the table every year from now on.

7. Campfire Squares

Campfire Squares

I was joking that this year Champagne & Cookies was the People’s Choice, because I had a few very specific request from my friends. Lydia was asking for these Campfire Squares again, and I was only too happy to oblige because I’m a sucker for S’mores!

8. Ruffles Squares

Ruffles Squares

There’s something so weird about these, but so addictive. I had so much fun watching everyone try them last year, that I knew they needed to make a repeat appearance this year.

9. Nutella Cheesecake Cups

Nutella Cheesecake Cups

My final two spots at Champagne & Cookies are always reserved for vegan/gluten-free treats, but those friends weren’t able to make it this year, so all of a sudden I had two wild card spots open up the week before the party! It was so hard to decide, but I finally settled on Nutella Cheesecake Cups, just for something a little bit different. They had a Oreo cookie crust, Nutella cheesecake filling, a swirl of Nutella Cloud Frosting on top, and were sprinkled with toasted, chopped hazelnuts. So decadent and so good.

10. Buckeyes


Last but not least, since I usually make some type of vegan/gf raw cookie dough ball dipped in chocolate, I threw it back to the OG Peanut Butter Ball: Buckeyes. There’s absolutely nothing redeeming about these (peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, icing sugar and butter), but they are so addictive, and dipping them in dark chocolate only makes them better.

Overall I was super happy with everything I made this year, and give myself an A! My favourites were the Pretzel Linzers and the Chocolate Crinkles. I might have to mix it up a little next year and try a few more new things, since this year was almost a greatest hits of past C&Cs. This is my second year leaving out the chocolate/mint selection, and I’m standing firm in that choice. There’s only one word I need to remember for next year: Gingerdoodle.

Wishing you happy baking and Merry Christmas!

Flashback to previous C&C parties:


Pretzel Linzers

Smitten Kitchen has a new cookbook out! I’ve really tried to curtail my cookbook acquisitions over the last couple of years, but obviously I needed to have this one. I bought it when I went to see Deb on her cookbook tour back in October. She didn’t do an interview or Q&A like last time, but I got a lot of one-on-one time to chat with her, which was the best.

When it was my turn to get my book signed, I told Deb about my favourite recipe from her first book, and how I make it all year round with whatever fruit is in season. We talked about the Marble Bundt cake in her new book and how I can’t wait to make it. Finally, I told her about how my friends follow the Smitten Kitchen account on Instagram and tag me on posts of things they want me to make for them! She thought that was funny and asked what the last thing I made them was, so I told her all about Kristine and the Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs that she said were better than churros. Then we took some pics and I was off on my merry way. It was truly one of my happiest days of the year!

Deb in Toronto

When I got home and flipped through the book with my post-it notes, there was one recipe that stood out right away, and I knew it would be the first thing I made: Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel.  I also thought this was fitting, since the first recipe I made out of the first cookbook was also a cookie!

I made these for Champagne & Cookies VIII (more on that soon!), and they’re quite a bit more time consuming then I prefer, but I decided one labour intensive cookie would be okay. The cookie dough has ground pretzels in it, giving it a bit of a salty, toasty taste, but mostly it tastes like a delicious, crisp shortbread cookie. I was tempted to use my own favourite Salted Caramel for the filling, but I was glad I didn’t. The Salted Caramel in the book is perfect for this recipe, because it’s firm enough to hold the cookie together without sliding all over the place.

I have about 20 other things flagged and I can’t wait to make them!

Pretzel Linzers with Salted Caramel

Source: Smitten Kitchen Everyday

Yield: 27 cookies, using a 2 1/4″ cookie cutter



  • 3 1/2 cups small pretzel twists
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 egg

Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

+ icing sugar for dusing


  1. Put the pretzels in your food processor and process until they’re a fine powder. Pour this pretzel powder into a bowl, measure out 1 1/2 cups, and add that back to the food processor. You can throw out the rest of the pretzel powder.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt to the pretzel powder. Pulse a few times until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture starts to form a dough, then add the egg and blend until it all comes together.
  3. Pour the mixture out onto a large piece of parchment paper. Here’s where I deviate from the recipe – Deb says not to knead it, but I went ahead and did anyway because I thought the dough was looking a bit dry and I wanted to make sure it would roll out okay. Then I formed it into two balls, and patted each of them out into a disc. I made two discs just so the dough is easier to manage.
  4. Set one dough disc aside, and then place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough disc currently on the parchment, and roll out to 1/8″ thickness with a rolling pin. Slide this whole thing onto a cookie sheet and put it in the fridge. Repeat with the second disc. Let the dough chill for about an hour.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°, and take the first sheet of dough out of the fridge. Stamp out the cookies (my cookie cutter was 2 1/4″) and then use a small 1/2″ piping tip to cut a little hole in the middle of half the cookies. I re-rolled the scraps multiple times without issue, so I recommend doing that too. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes and let cool completely. Repeat with second sheet of dough. At this point I froze the cookies for about two weeks, and that worked out well too.
  6. When you’re ready to assemble the cookies, make the salted caramel by adding the cream, butter and salt to a small microwave safe bowl and heating until melted.
  7. In a medium sauce pan, cook the sugar and corn syrup until it reaches 305°-310°, then add the cream mixture, and cook until 245°-250°. Let it cool a little, but only for about 10 minutes or so. I went to run an errand for an hour and it was totally hard by the time I got back.
  8. Flip over all the cookies without a hole in them (those are the bottoms) and use a spoon to add about 1 tsp of caramel to each one. Take all the cookies with a hole in them and dust with icing sugar before carefully adding one to each cookie to make a sandwich.


Skor Cake

I feel like November is always a chill month for me; a great time to reset before things get crazy over the holidays. However, this year that was definitely not the case:

  • I spent the first weekend of the month in Ottawa, visiting my friend Katy and her family. Katy picked me up from the airport and we went directly to Three Tarts, a super cute little bakery with lots of cookies and squares to choose from, plus fancier cakes, tarts and pastries. We bought a box full of treats to take home, but of course we ate some homemade peanut butter cups before we even left the shop. Everything was delicious, highly recommend a visit!
  • For dinner we went to Riviera,  which was recently named as one of the Top 10 restaurants in Canada (however the head chef also just stepped down due to sexual harassment charges, so you know, dine there at your discretion). The restaurant is in a super old bank branch, and it’s so charming. You can see where the manager’s office was (now a private dining room), the teller counter (now the bar) and the washrooms are in the vault. I had steak frites and Katy had Chicken Kiev, and the house bread is just the fluffiest most delicious squishy bread you can dream of.
  • On Saturday Katy organized a little Ottawa Tour of Treats for us, and crowd-sourced recommendations from her friends and co-workers. My favourite of the places we visited was The Scone Witch. We each had a Vanilla Cream scone in the shop, mine with blueberry-raspberry jam, Katy’s with lemon curd, and they were warm out of the oven and just absolutely heavenly. We also bought a few more to take home so we could try a few more flavours (cheddar, pumpkin spice, lemon cranberry). I was obsessed with the menu at the store though, if I worked nearby I would be there every day for lunch for a SCONEWITCH!
  • My next favourite was Art Is In Bakery where we picked up some fresh cheddar jalapeno bread to go with our homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup that Katy was going to make for lunch, but I was DYING for their brunch menu! Definitely have to eat there next time. I also picked up my first Kouign-Amann, a pastry I’ve seen so many times on Instagram but never in real life! It was like a croissant on crack, and I loved it!
  • Back in my kitchen, I’ve started to do a little cake-making as a side hustle, and this month I made a Skor Cake as a birthday surprise for my friend Weedy’s girlfriend. It was a triple layer chocolate cake with salted caramel buttercream, a dark chocolate drip, and crushed Skor bars sprinkled on top and lining the bottom (pictured above). I was pretty proud of it, and it was a big hit!
  • Since I was kind of burnt out on making cakes, I decided to do something a bit different for a couple co-workers who share the same birthday. I made these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls and booked a 9am meeting in one of the rooms you’re allowed to eat in (see this post for a refresher on my new work situation). Now I had some issues with the recipe, and would change a few things (i.e. use a different dough recipe, up the filling, use a different glaze), but people FLIPPED OUT over them. My little 95lb worker ate two of them, and they’ve already been requested again.
  • After staring at a sign that said “Not Opening Soon Enough” for literally TWO YEARS, Craft Beer Market finally opened up across the street from my office. I failed at booking my team’s Christmas party there, but their events person invited me and a few co-workers to their Grand Opening Party to make up for it. We got to try a bunch of drinks and food, and I liked everything I had, especially the Maui Ribs with black garlic miso BBQ sauce! What!

 Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month:

  • Of course a lot of time and energy was dedicated to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s engagement this month! Hooray! Definitely having another Tea & Tiaras party in May!
  • Kristine and I went to see Jay-Z’s 4:44 Tour and it did not disappoint! I’m not the hugest fan of 4:44 so I was mostly just there for the hits, but it was so fantastic.
  • I spent an entire day sequestered in a TV studio, but can’t talk about what I was doing there due to a non-disclosure agreement I had to sign worth $5 million. Tell you all about it next month!


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