Kara’s Cupcakes – San Francisco

Kara's Cupcakes San FranciscoChef Kara Lind has been featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and in magazines like “The Knot.” Her cupcake flavors run the gamut from traditional (chocolate, vanilla and red velvet) to some more creative ones like “Sweet S’mores” and passion fruit.

When I was recently in San Francisco for work, I walked to the wharf area so I could hit Ghirardelli Square, the Mecca for chocolate lovers. While roaming the little shopping area, I came across Kara’s Cupcake’s. Even though I didn’t indulge to try one of her cuppies, I did grab a few pictures. (Sorry, I had to save room for the massive hot fudge sundae I was about to inhale all by myself! I know it’s a tough job I have…)

The store is filled with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of pink.

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Add Giada to Your Next Dish

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby SchuesslerI am off today to San Francisco for the Scleroderma Foundation’s National Patient Education Conference. In the meantime, I have a new guest blogger who recently met one of Food Network’s most-beloved celebrity chefs (and she’ll be cooking for Prince William and Princess Catherine later this week in L.A.). By day, Bobby Schuessler works in NY at Lucky Magazine but today he’s filling us in on some of Giada De Laurentiis’ new cookware for fall available at Target.

Take it away, Bobby!

“Now sprinkle some mozz-u-rrrrela,” Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis exclaimed as she finished making her famous dish for a group of (hungry) magazine editors.

Editors from top publications (including myself) had the honor to gawk at the Italian-American chef as she introduced her new fall products of her Target cooking line. The new line complete with everything from a sleek food processor to beautifully packaged sun-dried tomatoes and pastas had everyone in the room buzzing, not to mention salivating (maybe just me) as she served her perfectly made dishes.

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Foodie Tool: Google Recipe

I’m convinced we’re going to wake up one day and Google will have taken over the world – at least the technology world. This week, they announced a new search tool to help foodies find the perfect recipe.

Google Recipe is a search tool that will help you find recipes by specific ingredients or a certain dish.

Google RecipesSimply click “Recipes” in the left-side navigation bar and you can find dishes (such as my chicken pot pie example). Then, you can search even further by finding certain ingredients in that dish, how many calories or how long it takes to prepare.

Many of the recipes guide you to food sites such as AllRecipes.com, Food Network or Epicurious but it still is an easy way to find a dish if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a cookbook handy – especially if you’re using a mobile device. Other features of the search include finding recipes by holiday or occasion or meals created by celebrity chefs. I should also note that recipes are sorted by popularity, not by ease or if it’s an actually good-tasting recipe. Still, the next time you need some help in the kitchen, try out Google Recipe to find that perfect meal!

Good Luck to the Pack!

Wishing the Green Bay Packers the best in Superbowl XLV! To celebrate the occasion, I made some Green & Gold cupcakes for the office on Friday.

Green and Gold cupcakeI started with a simple box mix for the cupcake. Then, the frosting was just the 5-pound tub of Wilton’s decorating icing (you can decorate about 3-dozen cupcakes with one tub) and some food coloring. I used a Wilton #12 tip for piping the frosting on the cupcake. Finally, I topped it off with some sprinkle dust.

I’ll be making a similar version for a Superbowl party but will try using Duff Goldman’s chocolate cake mix. Duff is the owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Md., and the star of Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes.” His full line of products is available online and at Michaels stores.

Go Pack Go!

Easy Italian Monday night

Barney Stinson (aka Neil Patrick Harris on "How I Met Your Mother")

Barney Stinson (aka Neil Patrick Harris on "How I Met Your Mother")

If you’re like me, you want something easy to cook on Monday nights for dinner. After work I have swimming and a few minutes to shower and change before “How I Met Your Mother.” (I love Neil Patrick Harris as Barney…) And shameless plug for CBS, tonight is the start of the all-new season. Will we finally find out who the mother is this year??

Anywhooo…

We love Italian food at our house. But making authentic Italian on a time crunch can be uber hard. Something like lasagna can take at least 30 minutes to prepare plus the oven time…it could be 8 p.m. before dinner is ready.

Here’s a quick ‘n easy recipe from celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis.  As much as I dislike Food Network’s short-spanned lives of their celebrity chefs (each of the chefs has a shelf life of about 2-3 years), some of their talent really comes up with good recipes that do work. Giada’s easy Italian recipes have all turned out great for me. I can’t say the same for the Paula Deen recipes I’ve tried. Maybe I just don’t have the tolerance for all of the butter and cream?

This recipe for fusilli pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and spicy sausage takes advantage of frozen vegetables, box pasta and other pantry staples to help make this a home run with the whole family.

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Yeah, I Ate That: The turkey leg

 

Turkey leg wagon at Magic Kingdom.

A turkey leg wagon in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom.

 

Editor’s note: This post is part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles.

There’s a bargain at Walt Disney World. I don’t know how many people indulge in it. But for $5.75 you can get about 5 pounds of succulent, moist turkey. This isn’t your everyday Thanksgiving turkey. This is a brined, salty-to-goodness bird that drips down your chin and arm, and that will have you in a tryptophan coma in a few hours.

Tucked away in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland (also available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), you can find turkey leg wagons that churn out these gorgeous appendages of meat all day long. Having been to Disney World more times than I can count on all of my fingers and toes, I have only indulged in the turkey leg once.

On my honeymoon (the Disneymoon as we like to call it), dear hubby and I purchased our turkey leg and munched on it proudly. There’s something about chomping on the juicy turkey leg as you’re sitting outside The Country Bear Jamboree and watching throngs of people stroll merrily on their way to ride Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

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