Things are very exciting in Cream Puff world folks! I have some news for you today, plus a recipe that you must all try, and to round things out, a MEME response that is long overdue.

First things first … the news:

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Are you a Canadian blogger who’s green with envy after reading about all the incredibly delicious goodies that European bloggers have been sending each other by mail? Well it’s time we did something about it! Canadian Bloggers Unite!

Sweet Pleasure: Plaisir Sucre’, The Candied Quince and Cream Puffs in Venice are hosting the first Canadian Blogging by Post event. You can read all of the details here. If you’re interested, and we hope you are, e-mail Sam so that you’ll be included in the list of participating bloggers.

It’s bound to be tremendous fun and it’s also a great way to meet some fellow Canadian bloggers!

On to the next news item:

Even though I’ve only been blogging for about four months, the baking floodgates have really opened for me. I always knew that I loved baking, but even I’m surprised at the passion and drive that’s emerged from this Cream Puff. Rather than just sitting idly by, I thought it was time I did something about it.

While I wish I could say that I’m running off to Le Cordon Bleu or the French Culinary Institute, that’s just not in the cards right now. However, I have enrolled in the first course of what will hopefully end up being a Bakery Arts Certificate from the Culinary Arts School at George Brown College in Toronto.

While it may not be as famous as other cooking schools, George Brown has a solid culinary arts program and has produced many great chefs. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to run off and become a pastry chef. It does mean that I really feel that it’s time that I focus my energy and explore this passion that I have for baking.

My first course, Basic Baking, begins Saturday April 8th. I look forward to sharing my adventure with all of you and hope that you’ll join this Cream Puff for the ride. At the very least we can all enjoy some baking together … and as I always say, life would be so much better if we all baked more!

And finally, speaking of baking, quite awhile ago a certain cupcake recipe seemed to make its rounds in blog world. I arrived a bit late on the scene, but fortunately I caught the tail end of it and simply must share it with all of you again in case some of you missed it. I speak of the incredible self-frosting cupcakes that first appeared on the endlessly talented Nic’s blog, Bakingsheet. I found out about the cupcakes from the incredible Barbara of Winosandfoodies.com.

Pic_to_use_9Of course anything with nutella instantly has me hooked. I followed Nic’s recipe and knew that I had a huge hit. I made the cupcakes on three different occasions and each time they disappeared before they could even cool down. So last weekend, I decided to make them again.

I prepared my ingredients, I mixed the batter, I filled the cupcake liners and then I went to get the jar of nutella to add the final touch.

But wait. Where’s the nutella?

That’s right folks … that earth-shattering scream you heard … was Cream Puff as she realized that there was no nutella in the house! As my cupcake batter was waiting, I had to make a quick decision so I reached for the peanut butter, when I suddenly remembered that I had a container of dulce de leche in the refrigerator.

Dulce de leche? As a replacement for nutella? Could it be?

Oh yes it could! And what a replacement! It was amazing … if you’re interested, simply follow Nic’s recipe but instead of nutella, use dulce de leche. You’ll have a hit on your hands … believe me!

Well that’s it for this edition of Cream Puff news. I’d like to end my post with a MEME response that is long overdue. I thank Mary of La Tavola and Anne of AnneCuisine, both of whom tagged me for this one. Thanks ladies!

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:

  1. Writer/editor
  2. Librarian’s assistant
  3. Receptionist
  4. Shoemaker (yes you read that correctly … when your father owns a shoe company … you learn how to make shoes!)

Four movies you’d like to watch over and over:

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  3. Billy Elliot
  4. Babette’s Feast

Four places you’ve lived:

This Cream Puff has only ever lived in the amazing and incredible city of Toronto!

Four TV shows you love to watch:

  1. The Amazing Race
  2. Rosemary and Thyme (wonderful British show)
  3. The Barefoot Contessa
  4. Hockey Night in Canada

Four places you’ve been on vacation:

  1. Ascoli Piceno, Italy
  2. Boston, USA
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. Montreal, Canada

Four websites I visit daily:

  1. La Tartine Gourmande
  2. The Toronto Star
  3. Epicurious
  4. Bloglines

Four of my favourite foods:

  1. Chocolate
  2. Bread
  3. Potatoes
  4. Champagne

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. I’d rather be in Rome, having an espresso.
  2. I’d rather be in my father’s town in Italy, watching the sun rise over the hills.
  3. I’d rather be in San Francisco, at the Ferry Building Marketplace, eating Cowgirl Creamery Cheese, Acme Bread and sipping some sparkling wine.
  4. I’d rather be in Stockholm, Sweden, wishing my good friend IK a very happy birthday (belated)!

Four bloggers I am tagging:

Since this MEME has already made it’s way around the blogosphere, I’ll leave it open-ended. If you want to tag yourself … you’re it!

In closing I’d also like to thank the lovely Patricia of P.A. Moed who tagged me for the MEME in 7 Parts. You can see my response to that one here. Thanks Patricia!

Stay tuned to Cream Puffs in Venice for more on the loveliness of lemons in April.

Ciao!