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My summer took a completely different turn than expected. I was supposed to be interning in London for six weeks and a top event venue in Central London. However, a small “technicality” kept me from entering at the border. To make a long story short, I should have had a work visa… no one realized I needed this prior to leaving… therefore, I didn’t have the “proper” documentation and I wasn’t allowed into the UK.

Instead of frolicking across the pond, my dear friend Jillian saved the day by inviting me out to help them at the Reno Rodeo. Coined the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” this 10-day event brings in 140,000 fans to enjoy this popular sport of the cowboys (or cowboy wanna-be’s). And with all these people, somebody has to feed and drink them… that’s where my friend’s dad comes in. He is in charge of ALL the food and beverage for the event. So, I packed my boots and headed out to Reno!

Welcome to Reno!

With my true fashion, I looked to see what cupcakes I get to try. But before I get out into the city, I was spoiled by having two desserts by Jillian’s sister, Mallory. To celebrate their dad’s birthday and Father’s Day, Mallory made Peanut Butter Cake and Red Velvet Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Cake
I have no words to express the greatness of this cake! The cake was so moist. The frosting was a peanut butter and honey frosting. I think that says enough! It melted into the cake, making it one happy combination on my taste buds. To top it off, it was sprinkled with chocolate chips. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Peanut Butter Heaven!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
I can’t help but think I had something to do with Mallory making these. I heard she made a pretty mean red velvet and I, of course, wanted to put it up to the taste… and it completely passed! The cake was soft and fluffy. The frosting was slightly different. Instead of being made with all cream cheese, it was a mix of whipped cream and cream cheese. So, for those not-so-lovin’-frosting fans, this is the frosting for you! It was not too sweet and so refreshing!

Pretty Cupcakes!

Both of these desserts were fabulous. If Mallory decided to drop out of school and become a full-time baker, I would be her number one customer.

After both of these treats, I was in a sugar coma! Of course, a sugar high was all I need to gear up for another night at the Rodeo!

If you’re ever in the Reno area, be sure to stop by their restaurant! Sorry to say, you won’t get any of Mallory’s treats, however, their menu is filled with delicious items. I hear their homemade bread pudding is pretty spectacular!

Pinocchio’s Reno
5995 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89510
775-826-5151
http://pinocchiosbarandgrill.com

My French Adventure

It’s been a few months, but my memory of my trip to the south of France is still vivid! I really do search far and wide to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although the French bakeries were not bursting with cupcakes, they had several delicious sweet treats!

Macaron
It would be a sin to visit France and not taste this French confection. Our hotel had a plate of macarons waiting for our arrival at Hotel Renoir!

Chocolate
Everywhere I went, there was chocolate! Big, small, round, square – you name it! Although I did not find your traditional cupcake, I found a solid chocolate cupcake!

Crystallized Flowers
One of the most interesting things I saw and tasted was crystallized flowers. They crystallized rose, violet (the new flavor and scent of the season), and jasmin. It was such a delicacy! Besides just getting to try them, we got to tour the famous Florian Confectionery factory! http://www.confiserieflorian.co.uk/

This trip definitely went down in my history book as one of my favorite vacations. With our home base of Cannes, we toured the Île Saint Honorat, Gourdon, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Èze. Antibes, Nice, Monaco, and Monte Carlo. The views, the food, the fashion, the luxury – I completely understand why this region is a hot spot for all worldly people!

I wish I could post ALL the photos from my fabulous trip, but that would make for a really long post. Here’s a beautiful collage that captures the highlights of my trip!!

Au revoir!!

It’s a Treat!

“Cupcake cravings are not to be taken lightly”

As I started having a cupcake withdraws, I consulted my “to try” list of Houston area bakeries. Lucky for me, I found a special “treat” up north of Houston. Treat! Cupcakes in Vintage Park was soon to be crossed off my cupcake bucket list.

 

Taste
Cake
This cake was a real simple, plain cake. Not too much sweetness to it, but just an understated satisfying flavor.

Frosting
This frosting was no way near being understated! The frosting was speckled with real vanilla beans, and was rich and smooth. The flavor was balanced well between vanilla and butter.

Presentation
The cupcake sported a classic look—a giant swirl of frosting, topped with a branded “treat” fondant button.

Sweet Endings
The vanilla cake and frosting complemented each other. The powerful sweetness of the frosting was subdued by the simplicity of the cake. You get what you pay for here! First of all, the cupcake was fantastic! On flavor only, it’s worth it. But, it’s an extra special treat when the cupcake is sized and priced accordingly—a rarity these days. The only disappointing thing is they don’t make many options with the vanilla buttercream. Most of the cakes were made with cream cheese or another flavored frosting.

I would argue that Treat is one of Houston’s best cupcakes. It would be so dangerous if they had a location closer to downtown Houston!

As Treat says, “You should have only the best… We all deserve one!” I couldn’t agree with you anymore!

All of their beautiful selection of treats

Treat! Cupcakes
126 Vintage Park Boulevard
Houston, TX 77070
Ph: 281.251.0016
www.treat-cupcakes.com

I’m having a great trip down memory lane thinking about some of the great cupcake places in Kansas City. With so many cupcake places to go in Kansas City, it would be difficult, not to mention a huge sugar overload, to hit them all in one day. To ease the worried mind, I’m putting together fun cupcake itineraries for the adventurous sweet tooth!

Kansas City Originals Itinerary

First Cupcake Bakery in Kansas City
Babycakes

Boasting the name of being Kansas’s City original cupcake bakery, there’s no better place to start your day. Located in the historic River Market, just north of downtown Kansas City, this small boutique offers a wide selection of flavors to satisfy any taste buds. Go for one of the seasonal flavors.

First Mobile Cupcake Bakery
3 Girls Cupcakes

Next, your day will go on a little adventure. Kansas City’s first mobile bakery cruises the streets of Kansas City. Check out their Facebook or Twitter account to get instant updates on where the truck is located. Every week the schedule and special flavors are introduced. If a flavor really catches your eye, be sure to comment on their Facebook profile to hold a cupcake for you!

This next category gets a little tricky. But, to keep you in the center of Kansas City, the next original place is…

First Cupcake Bakery on the Country Club Plaza
Cupcake a la Mode

A boutique-style cupcake place, Cupcake a la Mode fits the bill perfectly for the clientele of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. The Plaza (as locals call it) was designed in 1922 as the nation’s first suburban shopping district. Today, it boasts more than 150 shops and restaurants in the 15-block district, claiming as one of the top tourist destinations in the city. Cupcake a la Mode’s cupcakes are always fashionably ready for you for any season!

As you come down your sugar high on your Kansas City Original’s day, burn off some steam by strolling around Brush Creek or snagging some great finds in the Plaza. Then, get a good night’s sleep—tomorrow is another day back on the cupcake trail!

Babycakes
http://www.babycakeskc.com

3 Girls Cupcakes
http://www.3girlscupcakes.com

Cupcake a la Mode
http://www.cupcakealamode.com

A new trend coming for 2012 is mini desserts. Based on the health and economic trend, smaller desserts are a way for people to enjoy without the expansion of their waistline or the shrinking of their wallet.

Petite Sweets in Houston was smart before their time. This store has all sweet treats you would want, just in petite form!

Walking inside, the store is an array of colors. All of their macaroons are made in every color under the rainbow and in every flavor you could imagine. Although, I wasn’t there to try their macaroons, I was in awe and had to pick up a box for a friend’s birthday.

I was there for the cupcakes! Because they were small in size, I allowed myself to get two – the vanilla-vanilla and the maple jam cupcake.

Vanilla-Vanilla

Taste
Cake
A great vanilla bean specked cake. I really enjoyed the flavor, but it was a little dry.

Frosting
A good balance of vanilla flavor added into the buttercream. Melt in your mouth creamy!

Presentation
I was extremely disappointed with the quality of their presentation. It didn’t appear that they had any sort of quality control for the cupcakes. The edges and tops were uneven and the frosting looked thrown on. Also, it looked like the frosting melted a bit, creating a blob of frosting on top.

Sweet Endings
I enjoy this concept and will frequent them often for their other sweet treats besides cupcakes. They make everything in-house besides the custard and gelato. The macaroons looked to be their specialty too.

If they would just add wifi, I think it would be a great place to grab a cup of coffee and sweet treat and get some studying done!

Maple-Jam Cupcake

Petite Sweets
2700 W. Alabama,
Houston, TX 77098
P: 713-520-7007
info@petitesweetshouston.com
http://www.petitesweetshouston.com

On a little tour through the Heights with the parents, we stumbled across a cupcake house—What’s Up Cupcake. Of course I wanted to go say “what’s up”, so we stopped in for an afternoon pick up of sugar and caffeine.

Vanilla Bean Cupcake

Taste
Cake
Cake a little dry and thick. However, it had a good vanilla flavor, with speckled vanilla beans throughout the cake.

Frosting
It was a very typical vanilla buttercream. The butter was so rich that it melted into the cake, making it a good combination.

Presentation
A simple design… just topped with little gold sugars.

Sweet Endings

I’ve seen their truck drive around through town, but visiting the shop is a must. The shop is this house-turned-into-bakery, with fun cupcake memorabilia throughout the shop. My favorite was two little chairs fit for children enjoying their little treat. Overall, it had a very homey feel and would be a great place to spend the afternoon.

I preferred the other flavors I got to try. My parents had the red velvet and the hummingbird. The cream cheese frosting was delicious!

Look at all of these options!

What’s Up Cupcake
632 W. 20th st
Houston, Texas 77008
cupcakeladyhouston@yahoo.com

http://whatsupcupcake-houston.com/

Love for Cupcakes

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honor of this holiday surrounded by love, I want to say “I love you” to cupcakes. I know it might sound silly, but cupcakes have given me a joy and a passion that I get to share with all! I’ve been grateful to taste so many delicious treats in my years!

On this special day, I want to mention a few of my favorites… an old love and a new love.

3 Girls Cupcakes
My relationship with 3 Girls Cupcakes goes way back. I can still vividly remember the day I stalked the van around downtown Kansas City to try this concept of a “cupcake truck”. I was hooked. Something about her cupcakes just makes my taste buds explode! In all of their cupcakes I’ve tried, I’ve never had one that I didn’t like.

Buzz Bakery
This is a very new love of mine. We met at the beginning of this year during my bi-annual trip to DC. I immediately was captivated once I walked inside. My attraction grew stronger as I sipped on their coffee and bit into their cupcakes. I couldn’t get enough of them, so I made sure to visit them one more time before leaving.

I am truly thankful for my two cupcake loves. My life has been sweetened by their passions. Thank you for letting me share in your joys!

My heart of sweetness has a lot to give! Who knows what this year might bring… perhaps a few more cupcake loves will enter my life!

3 Girls Cupcakes
http://www.3girlscupcakes.com

Buzz Bakery
http://www.buzzbakery.com

My first vanilla vanilla from 3 Girls Cupcakes


My new vanilla vanilla love from Buzz Bakery

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