A very busy and marvelous summer!

Don’t forget to enter the BarreFit App giveaway, it ends tonight at 11:59 pm EST!

Without fail April rolls around and all of sudden my summer weekends start filling up rapidly. I don’t mind it, I love spending time with family and friends, but I am even more thankful when we do have a low-key weekend. We don’t have one of those for a few weeks, but I am super excited for what is coming up!

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Best cupcake face, ever. This kid is definitely mine. We have had so many kid’s birthday parties, which means B has had a ton of cake recently.

IMG_8556Even though summer doesn’t start until my birthday Saturday, nothing says summer like Summer Shandy on tap. It really was marvelous!

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I also love that I get to spend so many of my busy weekends with my favorite people.

This weekend is particularly exciting as it is my 30th birthday, and while I thought I would be a bit more apprehensive about turning than I am, I am looking forward to throwing it down with all of our friends and family.

What marvelous things are going on in your life? How did you celebrate turning 30?

Celebration Month!

It has been a marvelous 4 weeks indeed! If you have been reading this blog, even for a short amount of time, you might have noticed that it has been an explosion of celebrations.

Let’s just say Nick and I have a very busy beginning of summer. It starts with my birthday in mid-June, our anniversary, B’s birthday, and then ends almost exactly 4 weeks later with Nick’s birthday. True to most years we have had plans for every single one of the weekends during that period.

This past weekend was no exception, but it was all in the name of celebrating Nick’s birthday, and as a wonderful present, his newest Apple app was featured on App Advice (Simple Mic) check it out!

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We were in Connecticut and we were able to spend a few days in Nick’s parents pool

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On Saturday night we gathered a few of our friends and headed to Krust Wood-fired Pizza & Bourbon Bar in Middletown, per the recommendation of Caitlin!

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The birthday boy & Cait

I will be honest, I am not always super pumped for pizza, it’s okay Nick calls me Un-American because of it. However, I knew I would be okay with Krust because their menu has very unique pizzas. I also don’t like bourbon, but don’t worry, everyone else at the table had their fair share of bourbon, especially my husband.

I have to say, I was immediately blown away by Krust’s customer service, while they do not take reservations, we were able to give them a heads up that we had a large party and what time we were planning on coming in, and Kevin (owner and bartender extraordinaire) realized there was enough space for us right before we arrived and they set up a table so we could sit right away. He also came by the table multiple times to see how everything was. Fabulous!

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We obviously started with drinks, Cait had me order the Onyx Apple Pie, it wasn’t listed on their menu so I am not sure exactly what was in it, but it was delicious, a bit to strong as I was driving later in the evening, so I drank about 75% of the drink and Cait finished the rest. I love a friend that will step in for me, ha!

Not long after we started our drinks, we ordered our food. Krust has an everyday menu, but they also post their daily specials on Instagram!

I knew I HAD to have the Brussels pizza, that had fresh garlic, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted onion, evoo and salt. Krust is extremely accommodating, I added an egg and the kale medley that was on the special pizza of the day to my Brussels pizza. I don’t think I can eat pizza at another place again.

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This picture doesn’t even begin to do justice to the pizza. I even dipped my krust into Cait’s Gazpacho, which I told Kevin was the best Gazpacho I have ever tasted. I couldn’t finish the entire pizza so I sent my leftovers home with Cait for her and her mom.

I ordered a second during dinner, my traditional margarita.

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Krust is next door to the best cupcakes in CT, NoRA Cupcake Company. Anyone in CT that I have told the name of my blog too has told me that I NEED to get to NoRA ASAP. Krust sells their cupcakes for dessert.

I went with the obvious, the Margarita cupcake.

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Margarita with a side of…margarita. They have an entire cocktail line, I need to get my butt back their and try the Bubbly Cupcake.

It was nice and fluffy, the cake was moist and full of flavor, not dry at all. The frosting had salt sprinkles and it tasted just like a margarita. The sweet and savory hit the spot. I can’t wait to go back and try another flavor or four.

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Cait & I. Bloggers in crime.

Again, I want to say a huge thanks to Kevin (and the entire staff at Krust) for being awesome and making sure our party was always happy. The staff at Krust was awesome and I would suggest you all make your way to Middletown for great pizza, bourbon, and cupcakes!

While this month has been extremely busy (and felt like I was constantly on the go), I wouldn’t change a thing. I was able to spend our special moments with our amazing friends and families, and our friends who are just like family. This past month has helped me realize it’s about having quality friends in my life and not quantity. Thank you all for being a part of our special days.

Year of Baking: Quebrada Baking Co

At any family event I am always the person to jump to make the dessert, and at B’s first birthday party I made his smash cake and all the cupcakes, but it was overwhelming and I don’t have the skills to always do what I want to do.

I had contacted one person initially, and it just didn’t end up panning out. I resigned to the fact that I would be making a cake. My trainer ended up telling me about a bakery that was close to our old apartment (so glad I didn’t know about this place when I lived there).

Enter Quebrada Baking Co, I am closest to the Arlington location, but the Wellesley location is where they do the design work for ordered cakes.

I talked to the baker in the Wellesley shop via phone and then I ordered the cake at the Arlington location. Our birthday party theme for B was Toy Story, and all I wanted was for the cake to say Happy Birthday and then have a hanging 2, just like the movie.

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I also ordered cupcakes so that our guests could have a little variety.

I went and picked up the cake Saturday afternoon

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I wasn’t super impressed – I felt like I could do a do a better job…and why is the I the only lower case letter? Plus the 2 just looks weird, no?

Luckily, that’s where the bad ends, the cake was absolutely fantastic. I ordered a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, and it was one of the BEST cakes I have ever had. I never usually order chocolate but B loves it.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

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The destroyed cupcakes are my error and not the bakery’s! The cupcakes were a huge hit as well.

Yellow Cake Cupcakes.

Each box had 2 cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, buttercream frosting, whipped frosting, mocha frosting, coconut topping, and chocolate frosting.

Other than the decorating error, I loved everything about Quebrada, and I would definitely order a custom cake from them again (I would probably go to the Wellesley location to avoid any errors in the future).

Cake with Buzz Lightyear Candle

Cake with Buzz Lightyear Candle

We even had pastries from the bakery the next morning (they make mini’s of many of their pastries), including multiple types of croissants, cinnamon buns, scones, and muffins. All were delicious, and I am so glad I have to make the trek to get to Quebrada otherwise I would be there ALL the time!

The family!

The family!

Have you ever had a cake problem?

Pin It! Party #1

Lindsay had this wonderful idea for a PIN IT PARTY, that alone sounds fun, where we write a post with five posts (of our own) that we’d love to see pinned on pinterest. Then link up on Lindsay’s blog and see some other posts!

Here are my 5

Flour’s Lemon Lust Bars

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Hands down the best lemon bar I have ever had or made.

Bake it in a Cake’s  Ultimate Birthday Cupcake

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This cupcake was labor intensive but the outcome was awesome and I loved everyone’s reaction.

Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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I am not a fan of traditional angel food cake or bundt cake and I love that this can replace those items for a summer strawberry short cake

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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This smoothie is the perfect afternoon pick me up; cold, creamy and a little caffeine.

Gifts for runners under $100

 

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This was originally a Christmas post, but with lots of new runners starting in the spring and summer months, I thought this would be a helpful list!

Did you link up with the Pin It Party? What’s your favorite post lately?

 

Year of Baking: Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcakes

If you missed yesterday’s post, I chatted about Zooma and gave a discount code for the Cape Cod 10K and Half-Marathon!

For this week’s year of baking I am continuing from my Easter desserts and sharing the Cadbury Creme Egg Cupcake recipe, many of you mentioned that you wanted the recipe so here you go! The recipe is from Bake It In a Cake, and I have to say, I am pretty sure I am going to make all the holiday cupcakes in this cookbook!

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Ingredients

Cupcakes

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole milk
18 miniature cadbury creme eggs

Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut
Green food coloring
Handful of jelly beans

Instructions

Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 tins with 18 paper liners
2. Combine the butter and sugar for 90 seconds or until fluffy
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl
5. Add (while on med-low) the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
5. Mix on med-high and mix for an additional 30 seconds until all ingredients are well combined
6. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with the milk, 1/3 cup of at a time
7. Mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next
8. Scrape down the sides and mix on med-high until smooth and creamy
9. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of batter into each cup or until 3/4 full
10. Place a chocolate creme egg in each cup
11. Lightly spread the batter over the egg, but don’t push it to the bottom
12. bake for about 25 minutes, until the edges and tops are golden brown
13. Allow the cupcakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes
14. Move to a rack and cool completely

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Frosting

15. Whip the butter for about 30 seconds
16. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, whipping on med-high until fluffy
17. Add the vanilla until fully combined
18. If the frosting is too thick add milk
19. Put the coconut in a bowl and use a fork to mix in a few drops of green food coloring
20. Pipe or spread fronton onto cooled cupcakes
21. Roll the edges in the dried coconut
22. Place a few jelly beans in the center

Notes

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As you can see my eggs sank too far into the cupcake and got stuck on the bottom of the wrapper and that was pretty disappointing for me.

The frosting was too thin, again, like the Birthday cupcake, but I looked up a buttercream recipe and they were similar but had flour. I added 1/2 a cup of flour and it was thicker, but not my preferred consistency. Next time I will just use a buttercream recipe.

The vanilla cake was nice and flavorful and the cupcakes came out well, I wouldn’t cover the cadbury eggs if I made these again I would let them sink on their own and hope they don’t touch the bottom.

I was too exhausted after the lengthy lemon bar recipe, so I just made the frosting, no coconut or jelly bean topping, maybe when B is older?

I am not sure I would make these again, they were fast and easy (ha!), but there are a million other recipes floating around Pinterest that I would like to try instead.

Have you ever made a baked good with cadbury creme eggs? Verdict?

Chocolate Melting Cake & Cupcakes

For B’s first birthday I had grand plans to make a huge cake and B’s smash cake.

However, it was too big of a plan. I just didn’t have time to do everything I had planned. So we bought a cake for the adults and I made B’s smash cake and cupcakes.

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ordered cake

For the cake I ordered I got a white cake with vanilla frosting, so I went with a chocolate cake for B’s cake.

I started with a devils food cake.

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1 cup buttermilk

Whisk together 3/4 cup of boiling water and 3/4 cup of cocoa powder. Cover and set aside.

Mix together 6 ounces of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

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Add 3 eggs one at a time and cream together until light and fluffy.

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Sift together 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add this mixture alternating with 1 cup buttermilk to the other mixture.

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Add cocoa and water mixture until smooth.

I made the cake batter first and set it aside. I should have made the ganache first. Oh well, still turned out delicious.

To make the ganache place 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil while stirring.

Put 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is melted.

Let the chocolate sit at room temperature for 1 hour or 20-30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Once all the ingredients were ready I poured half the batter into a 9 inch cake round and the rest into cupcake molds.

Fill each device 3/4 of the way. For the cupcakes I add one tablespoon of ganache on top of the batter, then I poured the rest of the ganache into the cake pan.

Cook the cake and cupcakes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I decorated the cupcakes with vanilla frosting and B’s cake with whipped cream.

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he liked it ;)

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the cupcakes, yum!

WIAW: Cupcake Camp Boston 2012 & Guest Post

Before we get to the cupcakes, make sure to check out my guest post on Real Life Travels where I open up my diaper bag for all the parents to see!

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On Monday, I was FINALLY able to attend Cupcake Camp. I had grandiose plans last year to make it and wasn’t able to. I thought I would have time to bake for it this year and I wasn’t able to, I was glad that I was able to at least attend this event this year.

My sister and I got VIP tickets, which meant we were able to attend an hour early, and I am so glad we did. There were plenty of cupcakes and the line for the regular start time, started when we got there, a little before 6!

Our method was to try one cupcake at every station. We picked one flavor and each took a bite. We did this for two reasons, that is an awful lot of fat and sugar and two we wanted to be able to taste a bunch of different cupcakes without getting sick. I will say I felt guilty when we threw away almost an entire cupcake because we both took a tiny bite. Note to self: make minis when I finally get my act together and apply next year.

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obligatory cupcake eating photo

Instead of going through the masses of cupcakes I will hit you with our collective top 5. We disagree on the order in which they fall but we agree with what ones are in the top 5. So in no particular order:


1. Chocolate Espresso from We Made Cupcakes

This was actually the first cupcake we tried and it was amazing. Sadly, I have no pictures and couldn’t even remember the name. I had to track it down through twitter

2. Tiramisu Cupcake from Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe

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They also had a rep from the Boston Chocolate Tours, who now also has a cupcake tour, at their booth and my sister won a free tour and I get $4 off.

3. Root Beer Soda Pop Cupcake from Whole Foods River Street

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They had many flavors but we stayed true to our agreement and tried just one, root beer. It tasted just like a can of root beer, it kind of had that fizzy taste as well. Yum.

I also, finally, got to meet the face behind the twitter!

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4. Fruity Pebble Cupcake from Two Guys Baking

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What was really unique about this was the milk frosting. I highly suggest finding these guys and getting your hands on one of their cupcakes!

5. Raspberry Lime Rickey from Janna Bee’s

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I am the first to admit that I typically hate fruity cupcakes because the taste is artificial, these were not. The baker told us they actually use a reduction that has blackberries so there is no artificial flavoring at all.

We also got a shout out on their twitter page!

Full and ready to leave!

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At the end we met up with a friend for beer because we needed something bitter to cut the sweetness.

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Cupcakes, friends, family and beer, what a fabulous Monday.

What cupcake would you want to eat from this list?

March Foodie Penpals

This was my second month of Foodie Penpals and I got a great box from April. I apologize in advance for the iPhone photos.

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April sent me a sweet card, sometimes I think this is the best part of the boxes

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She also included little notes with each item. The first is Muscadine Jelly, a deep south staple, which is great with peanuts butter :)

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Dried peaches, I actually am not a huge fan of dried fruit, but I love these! A great low cal sweet snack.

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Well, I finally tried a nut butter, and I am a fan, and I loved the honey peanut butter. Hint: it goes great with the jelly.

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I haven’t used these yet, but I certainly plan on using them for easter. How cute are they?

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Veggie Chips, holy delicious, I loved these.

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Last but not least caramel popcorn. We actually got this in our Citrus Lime box a few months ago and Nick ate it. My turn for a serving. I haven’t eaten it yet, but I bet it will be delicious.

Thanks again April, I loved the box!

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If you want to join Foodie Penpals, I have included all the information below. Remember you don’t need to have a blog to participate!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

***PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, you WILL GET A RESPONSE within 48 hours. If you don”t….please re-send your email or contact Lindsay via Twitter (@LeanGrnBeanBlog). Last month we had a few emails get lost as spam so we’re trying to avoid that!

Every Party Needs a Cupcake

I am that girl that always needs to bring a dessert to any event I attend. Luckily, my friends don’t seem to mind. So when a couple of ours announced their annual Holiday party and the request for the guests to bring desserts or apps, I was more than ready.

Since my pantry supplies were pretty much gone, thank you pesky moths. I had to go with the using a box mix. I decided to do a holiday twist on some favorites, the Cookies and Cream Cupcake. In advance, I apologize for the lack of step-by-step pictures. I am still learning to bake and blog.

First you start with 12 Oreos, I usually go with the regular flavor, but today I went with the Holiday edition, they were red instead of white. Split the cookies in half, trying to make sure the cream is on both sides. Put one half of a cookie in a cupcake tin.

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I use the rest of the Oreos, and you can use as much or as little as you desire. I place them in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush the Oreos in tiny pieces.

 

I then make my batter. I usually use a Vanilla cupcake recipe, so for the purpose of not having extra flour around, I used a White Cake box mix. I poured the dry mix in, and instead of oil and eggs I used 12 oz of diet sprite and 8 oz of plain yogurt. I believe that the sprite and yogurt makes the cake fluffier. Once the mix and wet ingredients were well blended, I added the remaining Oreos. You can do two things with the crushed Oreos, you can add them all to the mix or you can add some and save the rest for garnish.

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Then I just followed the baking directions on the box. For the frosting I used what I had leftover from my last baking expedition. I had Chocolate Buttercream and Cream Cheese Frosting. I did half the cupcakes in each frosting. Unfortunately I have no pictures of my final masterpieces, as I ran to the party immediately following frosting. But I can tell you they were absolutely delicious.  

 

Today’s Question: What’s your favorite dessert to bring to a party?

New Year, New Blog

I have been in the process of starting this blog for a month or so now. However, every time I go to start a batch of cupcakes something seems to happen in our house that prevents me from doing some serious baking.The first incident was a gross and somewhat embarrassing one. We had pantry months. If you have never had them or know what they are, consider yourself very lucky. Apparently they can come in on anything. So that makes me feel a little less embarrassed, at least in the cleanliness department. In short, these gross creature get into everything that is not in a sealed air tight container. So we had to throw out all the flour, sugar, etc… We also have to keep the area, our pantry, empty until we are sure they are gone. This time period is the life cycle of these gross moths, so for 6-8 weeks. This does impair my on a whim baking, but I will sacrifice in the name of a not-infected home.

The second incident is a happy one. Nick and I found out we are expecting our first child! With this news came the onslaught of “morning” sickness and exhaustion. The last thing on my mind is baking lots of sugar-filled treats. I am moving into the second trimester and my ill feelings are starting to subside.

So as we come into a new year, and resolutions are being made, here is mine. To begin what I have always wanted to start. A blog that showcases my success’ and failures in the world of baking. I am by no means an expert or have any culinary training. I do however have a passion for baking and I enjoy experimenting as much as possible. THis blog will become a part of my every day life, and I hope you enjoy my baking as much as I do.

-Kelly

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