Saturday, May 30, 2009

time... flies!

It feels like it wasn't too long ago that I made this cake...
And then I made this...
.. and this....
And now...

Kyle is ONE year old!!! WoW! How time flies.....

Kyle's parents love Disney Pixar/animated movies. So I tried to incorporate some of the characters and created a birthday party for baby Kyle with some of his favourite friends. I was originally thinking of having Tiger join the party, but then changed my mind since it looks like it might be getting too crowded if I have him in. Sorry Tiger... maybe next time ^_^.

I had fun making this one. I've made some of the characters before, so it didn't take me too long to do it again the second time. I also like how the cupcake stand turned out. I got the inspiration from here. I modified it slightly, and instead of using cake board, I used styrofoam to make the platform thicker.

Check out this cutie-pie enjoing his birthday cupcake.

I made three different flavors for this occasion: chocolate, raspberry, and caramel fleur de sel. My personal favourite is the raspberry one ^_^.

It's kinda scary how time flies oh so fast... in a few months my little niece is going to turn TWO.... ARgh! It's been a year since I graduated from culinary school, and I'm still doing the same thing I've been doing for the past four-something years!! Crap!

Sometimes I feel like I need to hurry up and do something with my life. I don't wanna get stuck in the comfortable routine of going to work, go home, and repeat. It just seems so easy to just go with the flow and do what others do. But at other times I feel like I need to slow down and not to get ahead of myself. I feel that there's still so many things out there to learn..

Anyway... enuf with the rambling... I dunno what I'm talking about~! hehehhe I need to stop over-thinking about the future or pondering about the past, and living in the present time instead!

So I'm just gonna end this post with a quote from Kung Fu Panda (yeah... I'm VERY sophisticated like that): " The Past is a history, the Future is a mystery, today is a gift that why it's called, the Present".

Monday, May 18, 2009

i left my heart.... in NYC

To think that we almost cancel this trip... DUDE... I'm so glad we DIDN'T!! ^__^

I had the best time so far this year on this trip.... it was such a great vacation that neither hubby or I wanted to leave NYC. We LOVE New York!! hehehe

I gotta say, at the beginning I was a little skeptical about this trip. For some reason, I had the impression that NY is a city full of crime and mean people. And little-old-me doesn't like scary thugs >_<. It turns out that NY is totally the opposite of what I had in mind. (It helps that we went during the perfect time of year when it's not too hot or not too cold. And not having to worry about work helps too!). We got there Sunday afternoon. After we checked in to our hotel (Crown Plaza... middle of Times Square), we went to hunt for food. We were starving! Our first destination was this little Japanese desserts/tapas bar recommended by one of my fav teachers... so you know it's gonna be good. The tapas were so-so. Keep in mind, we were starving... and tapas were... ya know... small. But then we got to the desserts... and I was in heaven~~!! Their signature sweet tofu pudding is out of this world. And their molten chocolate cake with green tea cream is to die for.

I think this picture says it all.... me, full, satisfied, in heaven ^_^

We walked around Times Square after that... enjoying the scenery, the lights, the busy people/tourists walking around enjoying the evening. We were smitten... The next few days were full of sight-seeing, eating, walking, musicals, etc. There's just seems to be things to do for everybody in NY.

If you're a foodie, there's plenty of food/restaurant to explore.

If you're artsy, there's pleny of things to admire... the buildings there are magnificent... many are historical landmarks that are carefully perserved. Oh and don't forget the museums. I don't love museums, but I don't mind spending another day at the MET.

If you're into musical/plays, there's Broadway. The good thing about NY is that they have 50% off tickets for same day performances. The new TKTS booth is right in the middle of Times Square, you cannot miss it. We saw two musical in this trip: Avenue Q and Phantom of the Opera. (Avenue Q was HILARIOUS! "It sux to be me...")

Or if you're crazy about desserts like me, there's plenty of bakeries to visit...

Kyotofu: what can I say... i fell in love at first bite. We went back for second on our last day. I just had to have one more bite of their signature sweet tofu... mm..... I also tried their cupcakes since they were rated as the #3 best cupcake in NYC. It's pretty good. Moist cake, yummy buttercream. But I think I'm just not a cupcake person... heheheh

Junior's Cheesecake: As one of our tour leaders said, if you're in NY, you gotta try real New-yorker's foods... and according her, those foods are: pastrami sandwich and a slice of real NY cheese cake (hotdog comes second, she said). We went to Junior's right before we went to see Avenue Q. The cheesecake was really something. It's just perfect, creamy yet light. Portion-wise, it was huge. We also tried another slice of cheesecake from Carnegie Deli where we got our pastrami sandwich. That cheesecake was bigger than my hand. Yummy, but we couldn't finished it. hehehe

Payard: My second love in NYC. I read on some blogs that Payard has French Macarons just like the ones in Paris. I doubt I'll be going to Paris anytime soon, so Payard was the closest thing to a real French Macaron that I could get. and OMG. *light bulb appeared on the top of my head* *heaven...again*. That's what French Macarons supposed to taste like!! Crisp on the outside, cakey on the inside, not too sweet, just perfect. I wish I could get more.... but Payard was too far from our hotel that we didn't get a chance to go back :-(. And the other desserts they have there were just as wonderful. If I were a New-yorker, Payard would be one of my regular places to visit.

Chikalicious Dessert Bar: I like the concept of this place, it's a dessert bar. You can get your dessert fix with wine pairing. You get to see Chika in action while you're at it too. Eventhough I like their concept, I wasn't so crazy about their plated desserts. Compare to Kyotofu, the desserts here are smaller. I guess it's better to go there after dinner, not before :).

Chickalicious Dessert Club: If you prefer your desserts on the go, run accross the street to Chickalicious Dessert Club to get some cupcakes or other sweets. I had to try their cupcakes, rated as #1 best cupcakes in NYC. I tried their caramel & smores cupcakes. They're 'aight! Like I said earlier, I think I'm simply not a cupcake person.. heheh

Dessert Truck: we caught the dessert truck on our way home from Chikalicious. I was so full of sugar and hungry for food. But I couldn't miss trying the dessert truck!! So I got their molten chocolate cake to go (w/out ice cream). I wish I could try it on a different day. I was so full of sugar that day, I couldn't eat another bite. ... actually, I could... and I did. But I couldn't really enjoy more sweets since I was already overwhelmed by all the sweets I had earlier. By the next day, the chocolate was already solidified and being in a four-star hotel without a microwave or a refrigerator, I wasn't able to heat it up again... sad...

Bouchon Bakery: this place deserve an honorary mention. nice decor, but wasn't so crazy about their French Macaron. It's a tad too sweet.

Magnolia Bakery: had to visit this place, since many raves about their cupcakes. My opinion: "eh!" I would skip it. Nothing to brag about. Way too sweet, not tasty at all, and way overpriced.

Despite all the food that we ate, I don't think we gained any pounds. We walked a lot... I mean A LOT. We were pretty tired on our last day there, but we would do it again in a heart beat. NY is a great city. And we'll for sure visit it again for another vacation ^_^