dessert

Feature Friday: Sprinkles for Breakfast

Happy Feature Friday!

sprinkles4br Today we’re excited to feature Lindsay from Sprinkles for Breakfast who makes the most epic baked goods! Her blog is just as fun as its name! Along with providing recipes and sharing her latest baking creations, her site features jaw dropping photos that will make you want to stop what you’re doing and bake immediately. Learn more about Lindsay here and make sure to keep tabs on her to see what she’s baking next!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

Screenshot (293): My name is Lindsay. I am a 25 year old California native. I have a french bulldog named Olive and I love all things sweet!

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Creme Brulee French Toast Recipe

BY TARA BURKE

Brunch food is one of our favorite things to make and each year one of our friend’s holds a Christmas brunch where we each bring our own dish. This year Cailin made a delicious creme brulee french toast that we just have to share with you guys.

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Montclair Bread Company

BY CAILIN BURKE

Lately, Tara and I have been on an artisanal doughnut kick. Like a serious one in which we hunt out the best, most unique doughnuts everywhere! After trying great doughnuts from Dough, Dun-Well Doughnuts, and Nibble Inc. (in Troy, NY) we headed to Montclair, NJ to try the fun doughnuts from Montclair Bread Company.

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How to Make S’mores Without the Campfire

BY TARA BURKE

Among my favorite summer activities is sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows for s’mores. However, you can’t always get to a campfire. A great alternative and amazing party treat are oven roasted s’mores. Oven roasted s’mores are perfect for parties because you can make a large serving in one single dish and you cut the prep time by leaps and bounds compared to setting up a campfire. They are also just as delicious as real fire roasted s’mores, especially if you aren’t a fan of burnt marshmallows.

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Feature Friday: Macaron Baker Natalie Wong

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

 
image1This week we are featuring Natalie Wong! We love macarons and Natalie makes such unique ones! Natalie is attending university while running her own business at the same time. We know how crazy the workload can be at school, so it’s a pretty amazing feat to be doing both simultaneously. Just goes to show that if you are passionate about something you’ll find the time to pursue it. It’s also a great idea if you want to get a foothold in the industry you plan on entering after school. Running your own business looks pretty impressive on a resume! Read on to learn more about Natalie and her macarons!

Castle Logo: Introduce yourself and tell us what you’re all about!

975ef1_adf8c6ca3faadd6b7afdc14de303bc8c.jpg_srz_p_960_269_75_22_0.50_1.20_0: Hello everyone, my name is Natalie Wong and I am a macaron artist and baker from Oakland, California. I am currently twenty-one and I go to San Francisco State University hopefully it’s my second to last year of college. I’m studying management so that one day I can manage and run cafes and shops in multiple locations. I love baking and I always have, I also introduce my artistic background in my macarons like character themed ones. I try to make my desserts aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious, made with only natural flavors and real ingredients.

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Lunch Drives: Grapevine Farms

BY TARA BURKE

One of our favorite things to do is take a drive and grab lunch wherever we end up. While visiting home one weekend our stepdad took us to lunch at Grapevine Farms in Cobleskill, NY which was one of his random drive finds. It is a cute country bistro with fresh-made sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. It also is a store that has a ton of finely curated knick-knacks, bags, candles and accessories. The store is actually pretty large with multiple rooms and floors of merchandise. There were so many unique things that would make perfect little gifts.

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Craving Seafood?

BY TARA BURKE

Some love it, some hate it and others are too afraid to even try it. I on the other hand, love it! It reminds me of vacations by the water or fun sushi dates with friends. Also, sometimes I just feel like having a lighter and healthier dinner. Cailin and I were searching around for a good seafood place awhile back and found Gerardo’s Seafood Cafe. It is a restaurant in Beacon, NY that serves fancy seafood dishes in a small cozy environment. We went for dinner and arrived early as the space is pretty small. When it got closer to 7pm all the tables were full and a wait was starting to form. There isn’t much of a waiting area so if you’re planning on going during the winter go early to avoid waiting outside, but during the summer you can walk along Beacon’s main street and enjoy some shopping at local stores while you wait.

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Their menu seems to change quite frequently, so it’s hard to make an exact menu recommendation, but when we went I got the pan seared sea bass and it was delish. Cailin got the red snapper, our stepdad got the frutti di mare and our Mom got the sea bass as well. We also started with their bourbon sweet potato and chick pea white truffle parmesan soups.

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We finished with creme brûlée and chocolate soufflé for dessert. If you’re looking for a place to curb your seafood craving, Gerardo’s Seafood Cafe is the place to do it!

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TV Show Taping In NY

BY TARA BURKE

This week we went to a taping of the Wendy Williams show! It was really cool to see how live talk shows work behind the scenes. We had to get to the studio by 8am, but the show didn’t start filming until around 10am. We weren’t quite sure why we needed to be there so early, but as it turns out there was a lot of waiting around to be done. In those 2 hours, we checked in, went through security and chilled in a waiting area. During this time we were asked to fill out a few “Ask Wendy” questions for a segment in which you ask Wendy for advice. The people who submitted good questions got a chance to meet Wendy and some were chosen to ask their question on the live taping. Good thing they had a Wendy “selfie” station to keep us occupied while we passed the time.

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Then we were lead to a different floor of the building and walked behind the set of the show to get to the audience’s seats. There were numbers on our tickets so we assumed we had assigned seating, but once you get there they choose your seats for you. We ended up in the first row!

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Before the show a producer comes out along with the show’s DJ/audience energy-booster to explain how the audience should interact with Wendy for the live show. They led us through a few laughing, “oooing,” “aahhhing” and gasping exercises so we’d be ready.

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Then Wendy came out and the show started. Producers, set managers and other crew members stand between the audience and the cameras, while other cameras go around getting shots of the audience. Crew members also prompt the audience’s reactions/applause and count down the seconds until they’re live after commercial breaks. We also got to see Terrell Owens and Jamie Anderson to hear about their time on Celebrity Apprentice. Overall, it was a really fun experience and since we were in the front row we got to high five and chat a little with Wendy. Later, when Cailin watched the show back we found out we made a brief television appearance. Haha!

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After the show we headed to the 2nd Avenue Deli for huge corned beef sandwiches, coffee and double shot chocolate sodas. The double shot chocolate soda is kind of like an egg cream, just without the milk. Yum!

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Our last stop was Veniero’s Pastry Shop. This place is filled with history since it has been opened since 1894. They have tons and tons of amazingly delicious Italian pastries, pies, cakes and other fancy sweet treats. Cailin got a chunk of chocolate fudge disguised as cake, which of course, she loved. I got rainbow cake, which is an almond cake with fudge frosting. It was the perfect ending to a great day!

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Pasta Recipe & Girl’s Night Tips

BY TARA BURKE

Getting together with your best girlfriends is always so much fun. For a catch-up with our friend who goes to school nearby, we decided we wanted to cook and have a girl’s night in. Our friend found a pasta recipe on Pinterest that she had tried and loved, and she wanted to share it with us. When she arrived at our place we were so excited we hopped right into the car to hit the grocery store for the ingredients. Here’s what you will need:

#1) One Pound of Gemelli Pasta

#2) Salt and Pepper

#3) Six Slices of Bacon

#4) Four Leeks or Two Large Leeks

#5) Two Large Eggs

#6) 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan 

#7) Zest of One Lemon

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Here’s a link for how you mix all these ingredients together to make this delicious and easy pasta dish: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/11/28/pasta-carbonara-—-easiest-weeknight-dinner/

We all split up the cooking tasks. I cooked up the bacon, Cailin zested the lemon and our friend Katy took the lead and chopped the leeks and bacon. She also cooked them down and added the ingredients into the mixing bowl along with the eggs, lemon zest and drained pasta. It was done in no time. All that was left to do was sit down and enjoy!

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Our meal was delicious and it’s a perfect pasta dish if you tend to lean towards the creamier pasta recipes that are amazingly scrumptious, but not that healthy. The eggs and parmesan cheese give it a creamy flavour, without having to actually add heavy cream and the lemon vest balances all the flavors giving it a fresh zing.

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After lots of catching up, girl talk and literary discussions, yes, we can’t seem to escape our love of books when we’re together; we were ready for dessert. I tampered with the idea of making something from scratch, but after a big business law test had me beat from studying I opted for an easy favorite, brownie mix! However, the mix we used isn’t your ordinary fudge brownie mix, it is Ghirardelli Caramel Turtle brownie mix. We tried this mix for the first time after our family brought them to our Super Bowl party. They were too good and were a simple way to make a ooey gooey chocolate dessert.

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We had a great time, with great food and lots of laughs. If you ever find yourself in need of an easy, but put-together meal for a casual dinner party, try this dish!