Wednesday, March 31, 2010

vanilla cupcakes with raspberry cream filling

I'm just a tad embarrassed that since starting this blog, I have literally not lived up to my name.  "Cupcakes and Catwalks" was meant to showcase two of my passions - baking and fashion. And while I think I've been keeping up with both topics, there are no posts of any sort to do with cupcakes or catwalks!

As they say, it's better late than never. So with that I present to you my inaugural cupcake venture:

What you can't see in this picture is the yummy layer of raspberry cream tucked in underneath layers of cupcake.  Mmm.

Plump, juicy raspberries are just starting to hit the grocery stores again, and work perfectly in Giada's delicious cupcake recipe. The fresh raspberry cream is delectable - so light and refreshing!  I made my vanilla cupcakes from scratch, but any recipe will do.  (Yes, even a Duncan Hines 'recipe' - don't worry, your secret's safe with me!)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I have an entire folder on my desktop labelled "fashion ideas". It's essentially my inspiration board for future DIYs. There are almost 200 pictures in the folder, but here are some that I may attempt in the near future...

The Fringe skirt from Vena Cava F/W '09

An interesting two-toned ruched skirt I bumped into while browsing on facehunter

Alas, everyone's favourite Burberry Prorsum S/S '10 draped silk skirt

My DIYs so far have been rather simple. But a skirt, now that can be a daunting task. Which one shall I start with? Any suggestions?

Monday, March 22, 2010

birds of a feather flock together

DIYs always make for good study breaks. My studding (as witnessed here) has been put on hold until I can thrift a leather barrel bag and get my hands on a super-sized bag of rounded studs (I've got A. Wang's Rocco in mind). Right now, my DIYs have taken a detour into the land of our fair-feathered friends.

The ingredients? A package of feathers from the local Michaels and an old clutch in desperate need of a makeover. I'll put up a tutorial later in the week. But for now, I've got to clean up all the little feathery bits stuck in my bedroom carpet.

Who would have thought that this...

...could come from this?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

say hello to my little friends

Double post today! I finished up a few DIYs this weekend so I thought I'd share. More to come this week, featuring... feathers?!

You've already been acquainted with my studded shirt [left].
Introducing my new shredded ribbon tee [centre] and silk panelled tank [right]!

Close-up of the shredded bottom hem

Silk panels and a little ribbon detailing sewn into the sides of a plain white tank.

lazy sunday

Okay, so for those of you who chastised me for not liking pie crust - I made another dessert, this time with crust! They're miniature lemon meringue pies made with some leftover homemade lemon curd that I had in my fridge. And they are delicious (yes, I even ate the pie crust after).

I'd like to share this fantastic lemon curd recipe from the LCBO's Food and Drink magazine. With just the right amount of lemony zing, it's the perfect starting point to some great desserts. I made little strawberry cheesecakes last week and topped them off with a generous dollop of this lemon curd. Also, I think it'd make for some pretty killer lemon squares.

Zingy Lemon Curd (from Food & Drink Magazine, Spring 2010)

  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, softened

1. Stir 3 eggs with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan over low-med heat.
2. Whisk in lemon juice and softened butter.
3. Continue whisking constantly for 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens. DO NOT let mixture boil (otherwise you'll be left with little bits of cooked egg in your curd).
4. Remove from heat and cover surface directly with plastic wrap or parchment paper - this prevents that nasty skin from developing on the top of your lemon curd!
5. Cool until slightly warm.

Lemon curd keeps well in the fridge for about a week, or can be frozen for longer.


Friday, March 5, 2010

easy as pie

I've never understood the term "easy as pie". It's definitely not that easy to make (though it sure is easy to eat!). To be honest, I've only ever liked the inside filling of pies. If you ever meet a girl with pie filling on the edge of her lips and an empty crust on her plate, chances are, you've probably run into me...hello!

A cousin of mine served these caramelized apples for dessert once, and I've been desperately trying to recreate the recipe. The apples were so tender and comforting, and tasted exactly like that first bite of fresh-out-of the oven, barely-cooled-on-the-windowsill apple pie. Here's what I've come up with so far (recipe follows).

Apples! Spartan, Pink Lady & Crispin

I made two apples' worth of dessert.
These three slices were unfortunately all that was left at the time of the photo shoot!

Warm Caramelized Apples (from Foodland Ontario)

Crispin apples work well for this recipe - they're not too sweet and have a bit of spice to them. Plus, it stays firm when cooked (not mushy like some other apples). You can serve this over ice cream or on top of crepes, but I like to eat it on its own.

  • 1 tbsp (25 mL) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 4 Ontario apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into wedges

1. Melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, reduce heat.
3. Add apples and cook, stirring gently, approx 6-8 minutes. (Apples should be tender but not mushy).
4. Serve warm.