Baking

2017 L.A. Cookie Con

We attended the L.A. Cookie Con and Sweets Show which was held at the L.A. Convention Center in Downtown L.A. This event took place on February 18th and 19th. We went to the Saturday session on February 18th. The Cookie Con and Sweets Show is a great convention to attend if you are a baker or a sweets and baked goods lover (and who doesn’t love sweets ?!?)

At this convention, you have a chance to buy and sample baked goods and sweets, learn baking techniques, participate in classes and meet celebrity guests. This year, the celebrity guests included Food Network star Duff Goldman from “Cakemasters” and “Ace of Cakes”, online personality Elise Strachan of “My Cupcake Addiction” and Youtuber Rosanna Pansino of “Nerdy Nummies”.

We had a VIP Saturday pass admission. This VIP ticket allows you to be admitted at 9 a.m. before General Admission. It also includes an official tote bag and access to 2 VIP rooms. We arrived at around 8:45 and there was already a long line of VIPs waiting to enter the Cookie Con. They were all lined up along the wall and the line looked pretty long. We had to walk all the way to the registration booths first to get our tote bag and VIP wristband. In the tote bag was a unicorn cookie cutter and a go-go squeeze. Then we had to fall back in line with the other VIPs. By this time, the VIP line had grown a great deal. We had to wait a long time. By the time we got in, it was already 10:00 a.m. I don’t know how this compares to the general admission tickets, but I feel that waiting for almost an hour to get in is way too long. I didn’t feel like a VIP, I felt like an RIP (Regular Important Person). I think what happened is that they sold ALOT of VIP tickets, so there were just too many of us. More people, longer line, longer wait. And really, I don’t mind waiting, I think it is expected. However, if you buy a VIP ticket, there is probably an expectation that you get to breeze right in, not wait for almost an hour to get in. General admission is actually fine with me. But we were given the VIP tickets, so we were fortunate to have that experience. I am still grateful and it was totally worth the wait.

The entrance in went pretty fast once they opened the doors to us. Once in, we were handed a box to put all our sweets and goodies in. The first place we walked to was the Decorator’s Showcase Competition. The Dessert Table Championships theme was Sci-Fi and there were 3 categories: superhero, bizarre and wedding. The competition was hosted by Duff Goldman, Food Network star of “Ace of Cakes” and creator and executive chef of “Charm City Cakes”.

There were entries by Shelbys Cookie Art (Instagram @Shelbyscookieart), Torrance Bakery, and Elegant and Modern Design, LLC. (Instagram: @elegantandmodern)

After that, we headed over to the Kids Zone. Mad Cap Balloons had a booth so my son got a chef hat made from balloons.

Then we met Miss Melissa of Baking with Melissa. She is super nice! I was so excited to meet her because I’ve been following her on Instagram and I love what she does. She does in home baking parties for kids and teens. I love seeing her photos of happy kids baking, being creative and decorating cookies and cupcakes. At the convention, she had a cookie decorating booth for kids. Check out her Instagram @bakingwithmelissa.

Also at the Kids Zone, there was a Num Noms booth and giveaway!

My son, Josh and I spun the wheel and won some really cool prizes.I won a Num Noms starter pack and my son won a mystery pack!

Josh said that his favorite part about the convention was spinning the wheels at different booths and winning prizes. My favorite part was walking around and seeing what each booth had to offer.

I will definitely be back next year.

 

Baking

Valentine’s Day Conversation Heart Cupcakes

These Valentine’s day cupcakes are so delicious and fun to make. They are the perfect cupcake for Valentine’s day! I love the taste of the almond flavor mixed with the vanilla flavor. These two flavors go great together. Add some red food coloring to make your Valentine’s day cupcake even more festive. For the final touch, add frosting, some pink or red sprinkles and top with a conversation heart.

Almond vanilla cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup of sour cream

Directions:

-In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
-Using a hand blender, blend the room temperature butter and sugar until fluffy.
-Add in the eggs, one egg at a time, while beating.
-Add the vanilla and almond extract and stir. If you want to add color, like I did for Valentine’s day, you can add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of your choice of food coloring now.
-Mix in the flour and sour cream into the batter alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over-mix or you’ll end up with hard batter.
-Place liners in a cupcake pan. Fill liners until 1/2 way or 3/4 way full.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

Let them cool and decorate with frosting and sprinkles!

Your Valentine will love these cupcakes. Enjoy!

DIY

Valentine’s day LOVE tiles- A Fun Tutorial

image

These scrabble love tiles are a great DIY Valentine’s day project. It’s also a great way to upcycle those “extra” scrabble tiles. These tiles can be used for anything. You can make one as a pendant for a necklace, attach one to a scrapbook or attach one to a Valentine’s day card for a little pop!

You can use any small photo for these tiles. For my love tiles, I used some old thumbprints of photos. You know, the kind that you get from Target, Walmart or Costco when you order photos. They fit perfectly on the scrabble tiles!

image

For this project,  you will need:

-Scrabble tiles
-thumbprint photos
-modpodge
-acrylic sealer (optional)
-scissors or square paper cutter
-decorative stickers or paper
-nail file

Since the thumbprint photos didn’t completely cover the scrabble tile, I used a sticker as the base. Luckily, I had a square hole puncher that was almost the same size as the scrabble tile. I used this to punch out the sticker to fit perfectly over the tile. But if you don’t have a square hold puncher, scissors and a steady hand work just as well. I placed the sticker on the scrabble tile first. Then I used modpodge to glue the picture on top.Then I used a nail file to file the sides down since the sticker went a little over.

I made some tiles without photos. Basically, I did the same procedure minus the photo (and the modpodge for sticking the photo on the tile). When I was happy with the finished product, I brushed on modpodge over the whole tile after I had placed the sticker and/or photo on it.

image

image

I placed the tiles on wax paper for easier removal after drying. I let the tiles dry for about 20 minutes, then I sprayed acrylic sealer to give it a glossy finish. This is optional. Sometimes, the modpodge is good enough, especially if you don’t prefer a glossy finish.

image

image

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on Valentine’s day love tiles. I hope it inspires you to make them. Better yet, I hope it inspires you to create your own work of art or handmade treasure for your loved ones.

Today I am grateful for things handmade with love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet