Thursday, August 6

Chick *Food*: I Scream For Buttercream

The silver lining to being sick these past few days? Watching chick flicks in bed and resting on the couch unapologetically :). Yesterday, I caught Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds, my new cutie crush, and bought Confessions of A Shopaholic on Demand. Finishing out the night with Two Weeks Notice (Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant are a comedic match made in heaven!).

Even though I have read the entire Shopaholic series and the movie completely deviates from the book, I still love it. Isla Fischer is the saving grace- she is so bubbly and beautiful, a great Beck Bloomwood indeed. You just have to accept the fact that most movies adapted from books are nothing like the story- if you go into the theater wanting it to be exactly like what you read- you will without a doubt be disappointed.

So, this weekend Brian and I will be embarking on another baking adventure- perhaps a new little weekend routine. I glanced at foodgawker for inspiration but nothing struck my fancy- so I did a google search for buttercream recipes (because I LOVE buttercream) and cupcake recipes and saw a key lime buttercream cupcake. What better way to celebrate Summer than with a keylime dessert- so tangy, so fruity, so fresh, so essentially summer! I can't wait to try this one out- it's got to be better than the whoopsie pies because there is no cream cheese involved (I checked... twice!).

A few months ago, I did a phone interview with one of the owners of a bakery in SD - Sweet Cheeks Baking Company- for The Perfect Wedding Guide. Since I was in San Diego the following weekend for a Pheromones concert, I decided to pay Sweet Cheeks a visit and meet the ladies behind the confections in person. Brian and I got to hang out with one of the apprentice bakers and she gave us a taste of this blackout chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream frosting....OUT OF THIS WORLD! I must have been dreaming about it for weeks and weeks it was so good. That was the moment I fell in love with buttercream and its light, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Sweet Cheeks
also incorporates healthy ingredients like wheat germ and whole wheat flower, and they use all natural ingredients for their delicious creations. Somehow they manage to slyly sneak the healthy in there because you can't even taste it. Needless to say, when I get married- Sweet Cheeks will be the top choice for the wedding cake vendor!

Here is a link to the article I wrote on Sweet Cheeks if you want to check them out:

Have a wonderful weekend and I will update next week w/ pics and story on the Buttercream Baking :)

Tuesday, August 4

Chick *Food*: Taking a Whack at Whoppie

Inspired by the already acclaimed, much awaited film- Julie & Julia- I though I'd embark on a baking bonanza this past weekend and try to bring out my inner chef...buried somewhere inside of me. With all of the Food Network watching and lusting over delicious looking specimens in my various home-y magazines you would think I'd at least be halfway decent- but I think when it comes to cooking, I should just stick to my staples for now (eggs, morningstar tacos, and scallops- well at least those are mildly fancy!).

When I spotted a recipe (accompanied by a mouthwatering photo) for red velvet whoopie pies (basically a giant oreo), I knew I wanted to try it out on Brian, my boyfriend. Brian's mom- the Martha Stewart of Mission Viejo-bakes him (from scratch) a red velvet cake every year on his birthday- which is pretty much the one thing he looks forward to most of Sept. 17. Because food is the way to a man's heart (don't let anyone try to convice you otherwise) I wanted to show that I could make it like his momma does.

Of course, with people like Brian around (aka perfectionist virgo's who have to be right- and usually are) I am not allowed to do the baking by myself. The recipe was simple and easy to follow, and for the most part the cookie part of the whoopie was ok (he ate 6 of them before bed the next evening so they must have been pretty damn good!). However, the filling left much to be desired with it's overwhelmingly cream cheesy taste- it felt like I was eating a bagel! Now, I don't know if it was our fault or the recipe's, but because I am no baking buff, I am going to suck it up and take the blame. I now think of our cookie concoction as a "whoopsie" pie, but at the very least it was a lovely bonding experience!

Next time- if we do decide to attepmt it a next time- we are going to take a tip from Momma Johnson and switch out Better Homes and Gardens's recipe for the whoopie filling with her red velvet cake frosting...mmmm sounds delectable already! Maybe this upcoming weekend I'll brave the baking again because, afer all, practice makes perfect- or in my case practice makes halfway decent. I'm going to scout out the next victim to my virgin baking hands on will keep you posted on the progress :)

P.S. want to tack a whack at whoopie as well? Here is the recipe- let me know how it goes! (and here are the pretty pics from the article!)

Monday, August 3

Chick *Lit*: Final Words on J.Weiner's BFF

Loved it- no surprise there! So emotional, so poetic, so real, so good! If I had my choice, I would have finished it in a day, but it only took me a week to get through this adventure of friendship, of self-discovery and acceptance, of living life to the fullest even when you think it might be too late to carpe diem.

I can't detect what I love most about J.Weiner's writing but I got to say- whether the resolutions are happy, sad, or surprising, no one can end a novel like she does. She manages to leave you content with how things are left, yet you still wish the book wasn't over so you can find out whats happening with the's like a novel you know has a sequel and you just can't wait to see what's next. Even today while I was driving to work, I was wondering how Addie was and if she was still friends with Val- I know a book is good when I forgot that I finished reading it.

I don't want to reveal too much about the plot just incase anyone decides to read it (or borrow it!), but I will say that you get to see an entire character progression of how Addie goes from lonely to loved, and even though she doesn't live a blessed life, she does get a blessed ending- a much deserved conclusion that will leave you smiling & satisfied :)

Sunday, August 2

*Chick* Week Preview

After a lovely weekend in Orange County (and away from my computer!) I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, so instead of writing into the wee hours, here is a preview of what is to come this week on *Chick*. Hope you'll stay tuned!

* Final Comments on J.Weiner's BFF (finished today on the train home)
* Thoughts on my new chick lit pick (bought at target today for $18-Madeline Wickham's (aka. Sophie Kinsella- author of the Shopaholic series) The Wedding Girl. The only thing better than a new piece of chick lit is a new piece of chick lit about weddings!
* Stories & Pics of my bf & I's attempt to make a red velvet whoopie pie from a recipe in Good Housekeeping.
*Decor ideas & inspiration from Better Homes & Gardens

Can't Wait! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend <3
(gotta love pink peonies!!)