food

Feature Friday: LHE Bakes

Happy Feature Friday!

20170225_143618We are incredibly excited about today’s feature, because Lisa He of LHE Bakes creates the most beautiful baked goods! We love how her business has grown since the start, now creating dog treats, custom cookies for clients, and even cookie subscription boxes! She isn’t afraid to try new techniques or experiment, and we think that’s what makes her creations stand out and be so well executed! She’s gotten to where she is through practice and balance — and has some great advice to give through her own creative journey. Keep reading and get ready to seriously crave some cookies!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few fun facts about yourself!

lhe logo 3: Am a software/medical device project manager by trade, but love to use my hands after my “day job” is over.  I am slightly obsessed with my dogs. I know I’m going to have dogs for the rest of my life. My husband and I are pretty dedicated to fitness! We eat a “if it fits your macros” lifestyle and lift weights 4x a week– we were feeling really out of shape after getting our first jobs out of college, and realized that it was time for a change so we can live better, longer. We also LOVE doing obstacle races (for fun, not competition).

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Castle Logo: How did you discover you had a passion for baking and wanted to pursue it to start your own home bakery?
lhe logo 3: This was a complete accident! One day in college (this was in like 2008) I came across a photo of a French Macaron. They were SO ADORABLE that I became instantly obsessed and spent YEARS trying to perfect them. These beautiful little treats definitely sparked my passion for baking. Over the years, I’ve always maintained some form of creative outlet aside from my day job– because I need a well rounded life to be truly happy. I finally took the plunge last year and started this little gig on the side– haven’t looked back since!

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Arriving in Nashville & Heading Straight to CREMA

BY CAILIN BURKE

A few months back we went on a six day visit to Nashville, Tennessee for a girl’s trip! We had always wanted to go to Nashville to eat amazing food, try out their cool coffee shops, and of course… hear some live music! When we discovered that we had a Greyhound Road Reward to take a free bus ANYWHERE, we wanted to get the best value and chose Music City! With all the public transportation and crazy long commutes we’ve done in the past, we knew we could handle the 24 hour bus ride. After several transfers, sitting in bus terminals, and long naps — we arrived!

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We started our Nashville visit with caffeine and food of course! Straight from the bus terminal we walked to CREMA, a really cool cafe and artisanal coffee roaster that we heard amazing reviews of! We each got an iced chai latte, and they were amazing! They were pretty spicy which I really enjoyed, and unlike the normal chais I’ve had in the past. Since being home, I’ve found myself craving one of these again but can’t find a place that makes them the same!

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Honey & Tea Tasting

BY CAILIN BURKE

Nothing new here — this post talks about matcha, again! … But for all of the matcha lattes in NYC, my favorite green drink is few and far between in Upstate New York (our hometown). I was looking up where I could find matcha in the area, and saw that Saratoga Tea & Honey had one on their menu! So there we went!

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Before we grabbed a latte, we went straight to the back to see their “Honey Room.” It’s just how it sounds, a room with jars of honey everywhere! You can taste all of their varieties which was so fun! I love honey in my tea, yogurt, and smoothies, but for some reason don’t like to eat it plain — so I wasn’t jumping up and down at the chance to sample tons and tons of honey.

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Must Visit: Cha Cha Matcha

BY CAILIN BURKE

I’ve expressed my love/obsession for matcha in numerous posts, so when we heard a new ALL MATCHA EVERYTHING MATCHA place was opening, we were so excited to go! Not only does Cha Cha Matcha focus on the greatest drink/flavor ever, but when we saw photos of how cute the place was, we were sold! We headed there crossing our fingers to find seats on a Saturday afternoon (this place gets crowded) and strolled right in to find adorable bench seating available!

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Bowery Market and Matcha Lattes

BY CAILIN BURKE

If you haven’t already noticed from our blog content, we frequent NYC food markets. Tara and I were actually just talking the other day, and came to the realization that we have been to every single one of them. Every. One. No joke! So when I heard that Bowery Market opened up this summer, we were there right away. We checked it out for the first time in August and snagged a few pics to give you guys a preview of how cool their vibes are.

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Manuel Antonio –> Drake Bay

BY CAILIN BURKE

For our next leg of the trip we headed to the small (like really small) town of Sierpe to catch a boat to Drake Bay. Drake Bay is a part of the Osa Peninsula, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse sections, which made it more difficult to get to – but totally worth it. After arriving in Sierpe and leaving our rental car in a grassy knoll for $3 a day, we hopped on a boat and off we went!

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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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Austin Eats: Voodoo Doughnuts

BY CAILIN BURKE

If you’ve been keeping up with us or follow us on Instagram, then you already know how much we love doughnuts. I have to take this chance to link back to some of our old posts on Dough, Dun-Well, and Montclair Bread Co. so you can see how our artisanal doughnut hunt has gone so far. When looking up doughnut shops in Austin, I saw that Voodoo Doughnut had opened only two weeks prior in the Sixth Street District. I have been wanting to try their crazy looking doughnuts so this trip was the perfect opportunity! Since it is relatively new, the lines can get a little long but we got there early in the morning and beat the rush.

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Feature Friday: Baker Vickie Liu

SugarhouseHappy Feature Friday!

We absolutely love today’s feature with the amazing baker, Vickie Liu. We can’t get enough of her creative, adorable, and often funny cookies amongst other treats! She gives cookies such personality and her Instagram filled with cookie characters and shapes is sure to keep you looking and “wowing” for hours! We talked to her to find out more about how she found her baking talent as well as how she creates epic baked goods and a picture perfect Instagram feed.

Castle Logo: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in baking.
vickie: Baking has been an interest of mine since high school, but back then I just made (un-appetizing looking) cupcakes for friends or family when I had the chance! After graduating university from courses I wasn’t passionate about and no full time job –  I decided not to do my Masters in Architecture, and instead rekindled my love for baking and have been addicted ever since.
I’m currently working a part time job unrelated to my field of study, and baking part time. This includes taking custom orders, working with small businesses and brands, collaborating with other creatives, guest blogging and a little bit of styling.

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Candied Sweet & Spicy Pecan Recipe

BY TARA BURKE

I’m always on the lookout for really simple ways to make salads or yogurt a little different. The other day I had a salad from a restaurant that had these delicious sweet and spicy pecans in them. I searched online for the simplest recipe I could find and found one with just four ingredients on Once Upon A Chef.

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