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Family Hour

Gluten Free Pâte à Croissants

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Family Hour, Gluten Free, Pastries and Viennoiseries, Tutorials | 40 comments

Gluten Free Pâte à Croissants

I adore a warm buttery flaky croissant with a strong cup of coffee.  A friend, Nancy  asked me if I could bake some gluten free croissants (she has celiac disease) I was hesitant, but she was persuasive. Sydney explained I should go out of my comfort zone and try to create a flaky gluten free croissant, the worst that could happened is the gluten free croissants would not turn out. I reminded Sydney I am a perfectionist and have a problem with failure, I become panicky. Sydney replied back the only way to learn anything new is to fail and...

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Mint-Strawberry Macarons

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Family Hour, French Macarons, Gluten Free, Home, Tutorials | 10 comments

Mint-Strawberry Macarons

This past weekend a customer (M.B.) threw a baby shower for her friend, and she wanted aqua colored  macarons. MB gave Sydney and me carte blanche in choosing flavors. First call was to Sydney, she is the  macaron connoisseur of our shop, within 3 minutes Sydney proclaimed strawberry mint! We had our flavor. In order to achieve the aqua color  I mixed sky vert pomme & citron; however the color turned a beautiful full body green due to the pink color of the strawberry powder. Panic consumed me, MB wanted aqua, they needed to be more...

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Sweet Strawberry Angel Food Cake

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Cakes, Family Hour, Home, Inspirational, Tutorials | 4 comments

Sweet Strawberry Angel Food Cake

This past week Sydney and I did not have an opportunity to bake together; it was time to move her to George Washington University, her new home while she finishes her undergrad years. It seems strange to start a baking project alone in my kitchen, I find myself missing her idiosyncrasies that once made me crazy. As most of my readers know Sydney is more than my daughter, she is my best friend, business partner, and my inspiration! She continually surprises me with her hidden inner strength and resolve. I realize most mommy bloggers write...

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Guest Post: Mommies Saving Dough

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Family Hour | 0 comments

This is a guest post from Michele of Mommy Blogger Directory. If you’re like most parents, you probably spend a lot of money on your children. Not just keeping them fed, but also keeping them entertained and educated. There are many ways you can “have it all” while saving a few dollars here and there along the way.   First, you must be proactive. Consider where you are likely to spend money you were not expecting to and prevent it from being a budget-crusher. Throughout the year, take note of clearance items at...

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A Baking Year in Review

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Cake Decorating, Cakes, Family Hour, French Macarons, Inspirational, x | 6 comments

A Baking Year in Review

Sydney and I are presently working on a very special post, but in the meantime we thought it might be fun to revisit 2012. We were blessed with an amazing friend who travels home, to Japan, twice a year, and generously brought us back a plethora of cherry blossom flavors. We spent an entire month using cherry blossom extract, sugars, and compounds in array of treats, by far the favorite was the Cherry Blossom Macarons. And Strawberry-Blossom Macarons. This summer Sydney turned 20 and wanted us to design  Butterfly Orchids out of gumpaste for...

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Poinsettia Cake, A Peek into our Holiday Traditions

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Cake Decorating, Cakes, Family Hour, Gluten Free, Inspirational, Tutorials | 17 comments

Poinsettia Cake, A Peek into our Holiday Traditions

Poinsettias have become a staple during the holiday season, the plant is sold every year, and most homes have a few. It has become a family tradition to design a special cake that represents the season, last year we created a Buche de Nöel (Yule Log), I suggested we design another this year, but Sydney wanted something spectacular! Thinking of a spatular cake isn’t as easy as you think. As I was thumping the front of my head saying “think, think, think,” yes just like Winnie the Pooh, I glanced over to fireplace and...

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Mr. Freeze, The Holiday Cake that Came to Life

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Cake Decorating, Cakes, Family Hour, featured, Tutorials | 6 comments

Mr. Freeze, The Holiday Cake that Came to Life

Sydney was looking through Alan Dunn’s, Christmas Cakes (A perfect gift for any cake enthusiast) when she came across a cake of the most adorable snowman. She insisted we create a snowman cake of are own. Alan Dunn’s cake inspired Sydney and I to design our own version. I knew the cake would be a fun project for us, but I must admit I was caught off guard at the amount of excitement that came over us as we began bringing the cake to life. We found ourselves giggling like first graders as we added the parts of the snowman’s...

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Stollen, A Christmas Family Tradition

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in Cakes, Family Hour, Home, Pastries and Viennoiseries, Tutorials | 2 comments

Stollen, A Christmas Family Tradition

Every year at this time, for the past eighteen years, Sydney and I bake a Christmas Stollen. When Sydney was small, her job was to roll the almond paste (her favorite flavor) and pour all the ingredients, as she grew up so did her baking capabilities! This year as we were baking our Christmas Stollen I realized it would be the last time we would bake a Stollen together for at least six years; Sydney has been accepted to The George Washington University for the spring semester, she leaves the first week of January. Next year I will be baking...

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Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Cakes, Family Hour, Pastries and Viennoiseries, Tutorials | 18 comments

Christmas Cranberry Pound Cake

  I am going through a fresh cranberry phase, Sydney and I have been finding ways to develop recipes that incorporate cranberries; putting them in stollens, brioche pockets, cookies, and a cranberry white chocolate cake. I believe we have started a new family holiday dessert tradition. This past Sunday we had friends over for dinner, the dinner consisted of bolognese, warm pancetta spinach salad, garlic bread, steamed green beans, and to finish the meal we had cranberry white chocolate pound cake. I must admit I was on “pins an...

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Caramelized Pear Almond Tart

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Family Hour, Pastries and Viennoiseries, Tarts and Pies, Tutorials | 2 comments

Caramelized Pear Almond Tart

The day after Thanksgiving our family’s tradition is put up the trees and decorate them and the whole house while waiting for Sydney’s favorite holiday tart, an almond cream tart. The recipe has been handed down from my great great grandmother, through the years I am sure each generation has changed the recipe a little. My change was to use crème frâche versus mascarpone, but this year I also caramelized the pears. I actually added crystalized sugar and flamed them with a torch. I must admit neither Sydney nor I had intended to...

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