Halloween Pumpkin Cake

Happy Halloween everyone! Since I am stuck at home due to no transit in NYC, I decided to bake a Halloween pumpkin cake. This cake was made with four chocolate cakes. I piled them up and carved them into the shape of a pumpkin. I saved the scraps to make the “stem” of the cake. Once the shape of the cake was up to par, I covered it in a crumb coating of vanilla frosting and shoved it into the fridge for about an hour. While it was getting chilled and firm, I made some orange marshmallow fondant. After rolling it out and covering the cake, I used chocolate frosting to form the eyes and the mouth. I hope you all have a safe and amazing Halloween!Thanks for the inspiration, Shirley!

Advertisements

Meet Me in Atlantis, Paradise Island

I’m sitting indoors and hurricane Sandy is taking over the east coast.. it’s pouring out and the rain and winds are out of control. I am sitting here day dreaming of future and past vacations. Ahh.. to be on a sandy beach instead of in the Sandy hurricane….

One of my favorite places that I have been in the past few years is Atlantis, Paradise Island. Atlantis is a place for everyone – it’s filled with the most beautiful aquariums you will ever see, water rides, pools, beaches, dolphin encounters, casinos and restaurants. It is impossible to get bored there. We were only there for one short day and we were determined to see it all. Ruben and I started off our day attempting to map out our plan of attack. I am obsessed with aquariums so we decided to conquer them first – walking through the amazing hotel that was made of caves, underground tunnels and breathtaking underwater views of sea life. From sharks to jellyfish, from eels to clown fish, they had it all. After hours of amazement, we stepped outside to tour the rest of the property. We had a delicious lunch and gambled enough to pay for the rest of our day there. We continued to sight-see until we finally decided to retire to the beach and the pool and enjoy the rest of our day relaxing in the sun and sipping tropical drinks. We left exhausted, satisfied and sun-burnt.  For any of you cruising through the Bahama’s, make sure to make Atlantis one of your stops!Have you ever been to Atlantis? I’d love to hear about your adventures!

Pumpkin Carving

[Last years pumpkin]

After picking the perfect pumpkin it was time to head back to the house and start crafting our masterpieces. We munched on festive foods while hollowing our pumpkins and brainstorming some ideas. I prefer really scary pumpkins, and after last years pumpkin I was a little stumped on ideas. I decided to go with a classic simple jack-o-lantern this year with a flamey twist. When we finally finished, we lined up all of our pumpkins and lit them up. I love just gazing at them with such a feeling of accomplishment. Halloween is in the air!

Pumpkin Picking

One of my absolute favorite things about fall is pumpkin picking. As soon as the first leaf falls I am trying to convince anyone who will listen to go with me to the closest pumpkin patch. This year we decided to go to a new farm in upstate Connecticut because it had everything we were looking for and more. Hay rides, pumpkin picking, apple cider, country music, and an animal farm! We started off our day feeding some adorable farm animals at the animal farm. These animals were so aggressive and seemed to have bottomless stomachs! They would grab the entire cups of food out of our hands, eat all the food and the cup the food was in!! After getting licked by the largest animal there (some type of huge horned bull), I was ready to sanitize my hands and head over to the pumpkin patch.

We had a delicious lunch then went on a semi-scary/ semi-gorgeous hay ride. We headed up the the highest point on the farm to see a stunning view of the farm area that looked painted in brilliant fall oranges, reds and yellows. When they brought us down to ground level, the search for the perfect pumpkin began. I take this very seriously. I think everyone lost me at some point because I wandered off inspecting all of the pumpkins to see what my pick would be. When I finally found the one, about 30 minutes later, I stumbled back to the meeting area, barely able to carry my main squeeze. We went to the marketplace to grab some other fall essentials before weighing and paying for our pumpkins and heading to our pumpkin carving party. It was an amazing start to our day!

[the chosen one]

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Every year in October BaDing’s sister hosts an annual pumpkin picking and carving party. Carving pumpkins is hard work, and we need sustenance. This year, for a dessert I decided to make pumpkin themed cupcakes for us to enjoy while carving away. After making a ton of cupcakes, I dyed the frosting orange and piped it onto the cupcakes. I added some chocolate sprinkles for the stems and they were ready to go! The perfect addition to our gathering. 

In-n-Out Burger

The first time I went to California as an adult, I drove up from Laguna Beach to LA, from visiting one family member to the next. By the time I arrived I was absolutely starving. My cousin insisted that we go grab a quick bite at In-n-Out Burger. I had never even heard of this place – but the entire drive over she was raving about it. When we got there, the line was completely out the door and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. By the time we got to the front of the line, I felt like I had jumped into a time machine. All the employees had on retro outfits, and there were only four things on the menu! You know the food has to be good if they can get away with that. We each got a double double and I dug in like it was the first time I’d eaten in months. I love their secret sauce and that the bun was slightly toasted and gave it a perfect little crunch. I obviously dragged my friends there last time we were in Cali. Unfortunately, In-n-Out is only on the west coast, so I’ll have to stick with Five Guys and Shake Shack for now.

[My first time ever at In-n-Out, years and years ago]

Lasagna

I love all Italian food… and by love I mean eating the food, not cooking it [desserts are more my thing]. Lasagna is one of those foods that I have always wanted to make, but since it’s one of my favorite foods, I can’t bear the thought of putting in all that work and it not turning out amazing. I have really high expectations for lasagna. BaDing has been asking me to try to make it for quite some time now so I finally decided to take the plunge. I googled “The best lasagna EVER” and clicked on the first recipe that popped up. The pictures were so enticing, I didn’t have to look any further.  I changed up a few things to make it more to our liking – It wasn’t nearly as hard as I imagined and I will definitely be making this again.