Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For all you bridal divas!

Come to 2nd annual Women's Expo & Bridal Showcase in Palm Springs this Sunday, the 2nd!
The website's cool - check it out!

There will be 60+ awesome exhibitors (cookies included :) covering everything under the sun for your big day. Plus just for attending you get... a $300.00 value 3-WEEK all-inclusive mini-membership to World Gym PLUS.. you could be the lucky winner of a $750.00 Value Premium Membership for (6) months - not bad I think. AND one lucky lady will WIN a designer gown from Desert Bride.

Here's the address:
2008 Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa
71333 Dinah Shore Drive - Rancho Mirage, CA

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sugar Hut

You know you're not too affected by our current economy when you can throw a kickin' luau party, with catered food, rock band and all at the Lowe's Coronado for your 13th birthday! I think for my 13th birthday my mom brought home a carvel ice cream cake, the only real ice cream cake that's good in my book becuase of the chocolate crunchies - so good - and my family sang their rendition of Happy Birthday, slightly off-key. Not that I'm jealous or anything :)

We were in charge of the cookie/candy bar set-up - so we called it "The SugarHut". It was really Jen's genius idea so I can't take full credit for it but it did look super cute. We got a grass straw umbrella to make it kind of look like a hut and covered the table with candy, leis, seashells, coconuts, a pineapple, more candy and a cookie lei! Cookie Luau anyone??!!

The beautiful Loew's Coronado

The Cookie Lei :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Secrets to making perfect cookies

If you've read my website, you'll know that I wasn't born a baking genius. Along with the invention of my cardboard cookie muffin, there were many other failed attempts to make an edible cookie. Like I said, it probably took me months and months of forcing dry, puffy, crumbly cookies down my sister's mouth before I finally thought, "hm.... maybe I should actually research a little it about what it takes to actually make a cookie." There's so much science behind baking, it's insane! I think it's pretty amazing that one little 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder can change the whole course of the cookie dough's final cookie. Anyway, I found this great article revealing all the tricks and secrets and the science behind making the perfect cookie. Thought I'd share. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"You put the lime in the coconut..then you feel better"

Or better yet you put the lime in the coconut and you make it into a Mojito Lime Coconut Cookie! I made this one in about 4 tries - not bad I think. The hardest part was trying to get enough tangy lime taste without leaving a bad aftertaste and making it too strong. I ended up using a little Rose' Lime Juice in addition to fresh lime juice and lime zest. I cut back a little on the amount of sugar I normally put in my cookie dough becuase of the sugar in the coconut. This cookie is fantastic! The coconut and the lime really complement eachother well, and the sugar in the coconut give this cookie just a slight carmelized texture but still of course how I like them soft and chewy :).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not like grandma used to make

Cookies aren't just for kids anymore. Sure we love that nostalgic feeling and that awesome smell that takes over when we pull a fresh baked batch of chocolate chip cookies out of the oven, but they can also be so much more! I feel like cookies have been so pigeoned hole into just your basic chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin or peanut butter cookie that that's all we expect out of a cookie these days. And when we think of a store bought cookie we think crumbly, crispy and dry. Poor cookie! No one has really taken the time to see what else they can do. Don't get me wrong, I do still love an oatmeal raisin cookie and those white chocolate macadamia's are sooo good but oh they can be so much more! We make all kinds of gourmet cupcake flavors, baskin robbins has 31 flavors but I've heard they gone through over 1,000, and I don't even know how many ways we've manage to spice up a good old fashioned cheesecake. I think it's time to do the same for the cookie. And that's what we intend to do. Creating cookie experiences like you've never experienced before. For my first experiment, I'm thinking of either a coconut lime cookie or a honey lemon cookie. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whirlwind week!

OMG!! What an incredibly crazy week! So good!!!! But soooooo tired! So sorry for the blog hiatus… again. The first half of the week was spent preparing for a networking event I ended up catering. Absolute craziness I must say. From running around Costco and Vons to Ranch 99 and 3 other stores in search of fresh figs to finally setting the buffet table with 8 hor devores and 50 glasses of cookie cubes, it was 3 days of absolute craziness. But oh so fun! The event was a hit and everybody loved the food. I think I might be on to something here….

Besides having a fantastic time and enjoying the guided interactive home tour, I also met some super amazing people. For starters, Hanan who just opened Calypso CafĂ© down in the Coronado Cays. Her grand opening was Friday and just to make a little grander she’s got my cookies! We’ve put the cookie cubes and truffies all over her coffee cart but best of all, we’ve got a little oven there as well so the enticing smell of freshly baked cookies tempts all those around. If you’re ever down that way – check her out. She makes this amazing walnut baklava that’s to die for!

I also met Mai, the face the name and the mastermind of Platinum Collections downtown. We’re working out a cookie arrangement as well. J So, I’ll keep you informed.

And Sarah, who came to the decision that the truffies in the silver lined clear box decorated in accordance to the month of celebration is PERFECT to show celebrate her employee’s birthdays each month!

FESTA down here in Little Italy was today and Chi Chocolat’s super cool owners Jesse and Tess Brown agreed to let me set up a small retail spot in the front of their store for the estimated 70 – 80 thousand people expected to come down. It’s been crazy busy in here which is great exposure for me.

So in between the mad and crazy baking I’ve been doing, I was able to steal an hour of time from Jerry Swain, the creator of Jer’s Chocolate that was just featured on the Rachel Ray show! He was able to offer some great advice and insight on mistakes he made in getting started and how I can avoid them. PLAN PLAN PLAN!! Where do I really want my company to go? Do I want to go big? Or am I happy staying local? Do I want a store still? Or can I just be online? I think when things slow down after next week, I’m going to have to do a little soul searching. Until then, oven mits back on! I’ve a got a wedding to bake for!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

That's a fly! Not a raisin!

I get so many comments from people telling me that they love oatmeal cookies but hate raisins. I personally don't mind them so much and in fact enjoy them quite regulary in a chicken salad sandwhich or a top a salad. Oh!! You should try them with sauteed fennel and almonds super yummy! My sister on the other hand isn't so fond of them. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that when she was maybe 3 or 4 she bent down to go for a nice juicy and plump raisin that had fallen on the ground only to find out after she had popped that sucker in her mouth that it was a nice juicy plump fly! Good protein right? Anyway, to appease popular demand and my sister of course, I think I'm sticking with an oatmeal canberry cookie besides I think it's better for you and so much tastier anyway. Try adding some chocolate chips or pecans too!

Here's the recipe:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon basking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate
1/2 cup chopped pecans
(if adding chocolate and pecans - reduce amount amount of cranberries to 1/2 cup)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips, pecans and cranberries.
Refrigerate 20-30 mins. Drop batter by rounded ice cream scoopfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 12-14 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. This makes about 18 cookies for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cause you're fabulous!!

I think fabulous has go to be one of my favorite words! It's just fabulous! I may be a little biased though since I've been featured as a Fab Find in the newest edition of San Style Weddings Magazine - pg 422! (available at grocery stores and news stands in San Diego and Temecula) - now that's fabulous!

So keeping with the spirit of being fabulous - I thought I'd share some things I find fabulous!
1.) A prime parking spot opening up just as you drive by when you're already10 minutes late to a very important date with 30mins still left on the meter.
2.) Fresh basil - absolutely fabulous!
3.) Knowing the name of your postman or woman and using it
4.) All you can eat buffets
5.) The magic bullet - but really the pear. mango, vanilla protein smoothie it whips up in 10 seconds
6.) Getting a tan on the beach in December

"But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.” - Carrie Bradshaw