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Category Archives: Cakes, Cheesecakes, Cupcakes and Muffins

The “Third Time is a Charm” Cake

Written on June 30, 2014 at 8:50 pm, by

You know that moment, when you’re doing something completely routine and everydayish, when suddenly the light bulb goes off? Maybe you suddenly remembered where you hid your spare set of keys for “safe-keeping” or in a moment of total spontaneity, decided which pizza place to pick up dinner from. Or maybe you’re on the subway,  Continue Reading »

Let There Be Cake. Beautiful Cake.

Written on March 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm, by

In the long, dark and cold stretch that was this past winter (it has passed finally … right?!), cake was the light. Cookies have always been my joy, but in these past months I have found a new pleasure in baking and decorating cakes. This desire to make cakes has manifest itself in many, many  Continue Reading »

I See Red

Written on January 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm, by

I have often remarked that my favourite part of the holidays is the part after the holidays. Do not mistake me. I looooooooove Christmas. Looooooooooooooooooooooove. But in my adulthood, I have come to appreciate the days after – after the wrapping paper is cleared away, after the tree has been taken down, after the chocolate  Continue Reading »

Merry Christmas! Buon Natale!

Written on December 25, 2013 at 11:55 am, by

Mammina and I are on the stretch run. A huge Christmas Eve dinner followed by a huge Christmas Day lunch (about to happen). But I take one moment to wish you all joy and happiness. Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and in the presence of loved ones. From Cream Puff and Family  Continue Reading »

It’s That Time of Year

Written on November 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm, by

Autumn is my favourite time of year for many reasons, not the least of which is the happy knowledge that the holidays, in all their baking-imbued glory, are just around the corner. But another reason that I enjoy this time of year is is that Autumn means cookbook season. While I maintain a steady diet  Continue Reading »


Written on July 31, 2013 at 8:55 pm, by

A few weeks ago, I came across a cooking show that seemed to pit home bakers against each other in a baking competition to see who would be the ultimate baker. One of the contestants was in tears because her dessert hadn’t turned out well at all. I don’t have much of an appetite for  Continue Reading »

Do Play with Your Food. Especially Your Cake.

Written on March 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm, by

While I will never lay claim to the title of “world’s best cake decorator”, I must say I do enjoy playing with my cake! To be sure, the very term “cake decorator” has come to take on a whole new meaning in the world of baking and cake-making. I would argue that in may ways,  Continue Reading »

And So It Begins.

Written on January 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm, by

And so it begins. Another year. Another year of learning to cook. Another year of baking adventures. Another year of trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Whilst pondering these questions, I thought I’d start 2013 with a cake I have long wanted to make: Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: The Magazines are Taking Over

Written on November 26, 2012 at 11:18 am, by

I am in the midst of a magazine war and the magazines are winning. They’re everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I’ve tried to keep them in check but I’ll be honest, there are days when I think, “Why not just surrender?” I mean, they’re harmless, right? In fact, not only are they harm-LESS, I would I argue that  Continue Reading »

Birthday Decisions

Written on October 23, 2012 at 5:16 am, by

What’s a birthday girl to do when she can’t decide what treats to bake? Well. She bakes them all. Pistachio Pound Cake. Apple Cider Doughnut Cake. You’re all invited for cake.

I Am Home.

Written on September 9, 2012 at 9:01 am, by

It seems slightly silly to be announcing that I am home more than two weeks after I actually returned home from my summer vacation. But it’s taken me this long to fully grasp the reality that the vacation has ended and that summer is waning. I’ve said it a million times but I am so  Continue Reading »

1 + 1 = 2

Written on July 21, 2012 at 6:36 am, by

Those who know me well know that math and I aren’t exactly the best of friends. There’s something about my general nature that causes me to derive a lot of enjoyment from solving a problem so it’s odd that I wouldn’t enjoy math. I blame those pesky numbers. While I adore words, numbers give me  Continue Reading »

Kiss Kiss

Written on June 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm, by

Over the course of a week, I see a lot of recipes. Whether it’s perusing the many on-line resources for recipes or flipping through a cookbook late at night, I see a lot of recipes. I do my best to keep track of the recipes I want to try. It’s hard to find a magazine  Continue Reading »

One of the Very Best

Written on May 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm, by

When it comes to baking or cooking, I try to avoid using the “best” moniker. In my opinion, there’s always a better chocolate chip cookie recipe, pancake recipe or roast chicken recipe waiting just around the corner. So when I say that this Almond Olive Oil Cake from Serious Eats is one of the best  Continue Reading »

Nutella, Buon Giorno!

Written on February 5, 2012 at 7:51 am, by

I find we all have different ways of measuring the passage of a year. Some people look to their children’s birthdays or particular holidays to pause and remark, “Wow. Another year gone by.” Me … I measure time according to Nutella. To be exact, I am fully aware that a whole year of life has  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Citrus!

Written on January 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm, by

Welcome to the first edition of Magazine Mondays for 2012! I have slowly been easing my way back into my work schedule as I’m still trying to come down from the tremendous high of my holiday trip to Italy. As always, the highlight of that trip was the food. When I’m in Italy and I’m  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Where did 2011 Go?

Written on December 19, 2011 at 12:30 am, by

Wowza! What exactly happened to 2011? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was making all sorts of plans for 2011, imagining what the year ahead would hold. Well … here we are. Once again I find myself staring out at the horizon as a new year slowly starts to make itself known.  Continue Reading »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written on October 10, 2011 at 8:52 am, by

What a beautiful, beautiful day! It is sunny and warm and full of fall colours in my neck of the woods – defintely so much to be thankful for! We are celebrating with a ridiculous amount of food (including the pumpkin swirl cheesecake you see here) but it’s all so delicious and fresh that who  Continue Reading »

Happy Victoria Day!

Written on May 23, 2011 at 12:30 am, by

To all my Canadian friends out there, have the happiest of Victoria Days! It’s been a lovely long weekend with lots of celebrations with family and friends. I haven’t baked in an awfully long time and I got back to one of my great loves with these adorable individual cakes based on a recipe from  Continue Reading »

Buona Pasqua!

Written on April 24, 2011 at 9:59 am, by

Buona Pasqua … Happy Easter! Swimming in a sea of Hazelnut Chiffon Cake slices from Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Cakes, Easter Bunny is having a lovely time. He sends his best wishes to you and yours for a lovely Easter and a beautiful Spring! Ciao!

Good ol’ Cake

Written on April 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm, by

Right about now, if you scan your local magazine stand, you are bound to see cover after cover on any number of food magazines trumpeting the bounty of spring. The first strawberries. The first asparagus. The first artichokes. And, be still my beating heart, pea shoots. Pea shoots! For those of us still wondering if  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Coffee Cake!

Written on April 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm, by

Whoosh! That’s the sound that February and March made as they whizzed right by. They were good months, but also difficult ones as a big work project took up a good chunk of my time. More than once I caught myself staring longingly at my baking pans and my long-neglected mixer, but with no real  Continue Reading »

Do You Know What This Is?

Written on April 2, 2011 at 11:04 am, by

It’s a return to baking. After too long of an absence. It’s good to be back. More details soon … Ciao!

Magazine Mondays: Banana! And an Apology!

Written on January 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm, by

Let me begin with the painful part and end with the banana part because the banana part is sweet and will make the pain go away. Painful part: I lost all my e-mail. All of it. Don’t know how. But last week, on Thursday evening to be exact, my e-mail went kaput. Everything. Gone. So  Continue Reading »

I Bring You Flowers.

Written on January 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm, by

Here in Toronto, we’re in winter’s blustery grip and I have to say I’m pretty happy about it. I love winter. Not as much as I love fall, but still, I love winter. I’m a very good Canadian girl that way. I do realize, however, that there are many of you out there who hate  Continue Reading »

My 11 for 2011

Written on January 2, 2011 at 11:30 am, by

Just before the end of the year, I put up a post about eleven things that I could do without in 2011. It was an exercise that I read about on the blog the little red house and I found it a tremendously helpful one as it made me really sit and think about my  Continue Reading »

The 12 Days of Cookbooks: Day 6

Written on December 6, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

Wow … we’re already at the halfway mark of the 12 Days of Cookbooks … hard to believe! There is never a shortage of Italian-themed cookbooks, especially at this time of year. Unfortunately, I find that many of them often disappoint for various reasons. Not so with Julia Della Croce‘s Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes  Continue Reading »

The 12 Days of Cookbooks: Day 4

Written on December 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm, by

While I’ve been to New York City several times, I have never been to Sarabeth’s. I was enormously pleased to find out that Sarabeth Levine was coming out with a cookbook called Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours. I don’t know if it’s made things better or worse that I own this cookbook because  Continue Reading »

I am thankful for …

Written on October 11, 2010 at 6:00 am, by

… many things. I am thankful for my mother and my brother, and my papa, who is always with me. I am thankful for my friends, both near and far. I am thankful for my little house in the hills in Italy. I am thankful for pumpkins. I am thankful for leaves that change colour.  Continue Reading »

The Buttercream’s The Thing

Written on August 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm, by

Magazine Mondays: Cake!

Written on July 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm, by

This is a very quick Magazine Mondays post. But it’s a goodie! If you’re like me and have a tonne of jam jars in the fridge, all half full, this is the perfect recipe: Jam Crumb Cake from the December 2007 issue of Bon Appétit. I think it takes a total of 15 minutes to  Continue Reading »

Summer … Is That You?

Written on June 23, 2010 at 3:15 am, by

Well hello there summer! Welcome back! I know you’ve been around for a few days already but I thought I’d give you a proper welcome. With lemons. With ricotta. With pretty flowers. With moist, sweet cake bursting with the brightness of lemons and the fragrance of Fiori di Sicilia. I hope you stay with us  Continue Reading »

Happy Cake

Written on June 18, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

Life is tough, sometimes, isn’t it? Making it through the work week. Paying the bills. Taking care of the family. Mowing the lawn. Scrubbing the toilet (blech). But you know what? For all the not-so-fun things we have to do, there’s lots of things that make up for it. Watching the garden grow. Taking a  Continue Reading »

Take a Bite. A Big, Big Bite.

Written on June 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm, by

I love cheeky cookbooks. This is probably what first attracted me to the charming, shameless and utterly delicious cookbook Bite Me: A Stomach-Satisfying, Visually Gratifying, Fresh-Mounthed Cookbook. I remember it well. It was a Friday night, after work. I had taken my weekly trip to the local bookstore and was cruising the cookbook section for  Continue Reading »

Soon … Very Soon …

Written on March 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm, by

I shall be back to baking! Ciao! Note: Pictured above is a Marbled Bundt Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

“Step Away From the Nutella!”

Written on February 5, 2010 at 7:25 am, by

I consider myself a fairly generous person, especially when it comes to baking. I love to share. Except for Nutella. Don’t touch my Nutella. Seriously. I will threaten anyone, even those I love dearly, with infinite pain if I catch them even eyeing my Nutella supply. Generally, an early warning system kicks in whereby I  Continue Reading »

Wrap Me in Cake

Written on February 2, 2010 at 12:30 am, by

I am a four-season child. By that I mean I have to live somewhere that has four distinct seasons. I can appreciate the allure of a place that is sunny and warm all year long, perhaps I might even visit said place for some rest or relaxation, but to live there permanently? Don’t think so.  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays … in the Middle of the Week!

Written on December 16, 2009 at 10:52 am, by

I’ve missed Magazine Mondays the past few weeks for various reasons, but I wanted to make sure that I got this one in because I have a lot of MM posts to share with you. It seems everyone is really getting into the MM spirit. I find that during holiday season, everyone is always looking  Continue Reading »

The 12 Days of Cookbooks: Day 2

Written on December 2, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

On the second day of the 12 Days of Cookbooks, I give you Baking for All Occasions. December 27, 2008. That’s the day that I purchased Flo Braker’s brilliant baking book. I pretty much worship at the altar of Flo Braker, who is a stunningly accomplished baker, teacher and food author. This book was published  Continue Reading »

On Birthdays and Cake

Written on October 28, 2009 at 9:22 pm, by

I believe birthday cake is most important. I would go so far as to say that choosing a birthday cake is one of the most important decisions you can make. For me, the choice of a birthday cake is the establishment of a theme, a mood, a rhythm for your birthday. I start auditioning cakes  Continue Reading »


Written on October 23, 2009 at 5:44 am, by

Today is the day that I count birthday candles. Although I must say counting the candles isn’t quite what it used to be… I prefer to count my blessings. I have a beautiful family, some truly amazing friends, my blog and all of you! While every year presents both its challenges and its opportunities, I’m  Continue Reading »

I Confect

Written on October 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm, by

I love Cath of A Blithe Palate for many, many reasons, not the least of which being that every now and then, unto my life, she will bring joy in the form of a cookbook. That’s what I call a fabulous virtual friend. Were I ever to meet her in person, I just might smother  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Nutella!

Written on September 21, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

Hello, blog! Hello, food world! I’ve missed you ever so much! I had a spectacular vacation in Italy but now I am ready to get back to baking, blogging and all my cookbooks (it seems someone has come into my house and brought more cookbooks for me to look at … I hate it when  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Coconut Cupcakes!

Written on July 13, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

I once wrote an ode to coconut on my blog because what’s not to love about coconut. Unbelievably, for every person that I know who loves coconut, I know one more that hates it. I don’t get it. How can you not love coconut? I have a theory that much of the coconut-dislike relates to  Continue Reading »

Rahier, Revisited

Written on July 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm, by

A few months ago, I shared with you the fact that when I want to order a special a cake (and don’t feel like baking it myself), I turn to Rahier Pâtisserie, Toronto’s premiere pastry shop (in my opinion). Well I had to share another example of the shop’s brilliance with the Gâteau St. Honoré  Continue Reading »

The Kindness of Friends

Written on June 4, 2009 at 5:07 pm, by

I had the opportunity to speak to someone recently about the pleasure of blogging and as I explained, one of the greatest pleasures are the friendships. Early on in my blogging career, I met Jasmine and consider myself blessed to know her. In May, she contacted me asking if I’d do her a favour by  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Buttercream!

Written on May 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm, by

In early May, a coworker asked me if I’d be willing to make a birthday cake for her sweet, little daughter, who would be turning nine. Of course I said yes. I was particularly excited by this request because my coworker wanted a tiered cake. This represented a new baking frontier for me because I  Continue Reading »

For Meeta

Written on May 23, 2009 at 8:35 am, by

Do you know Meeta? I bet you do. If you don’t, you must meet her here and now! Allow me to make the introductions. Meeta is the gentle force behind What’s for Lunch Honey? and The Daily Tiffin. She is a warm, passionate and lovely person, and I’m happy to consider her a friend, even  Continue Reading »

Desserts, Redux

Written on May 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm, by

I recently tried two desserts that I’d previously made for a second time and I wanted to blog about it, because they were both, if possible, even better the second time around. The first dessert in quesion is Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake, which was the April 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge. I made the cheesecake but didn’t  Continue Reading »

Le Cheesecake

Written on April 27, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. What is it about cheesecake that is so enthralling? Is it the creamy texture? The fascinating base? The endless ways to top it? I don’t know. I just know it’s good. And yet, even though  Continue Reading »

Let’s Have Some Brunch

Written on April 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm, by

I specifically waited until Saturday to put this post up because to me, Sunday is the king of brunch days. Thanks to my dear friend Cath of A Blithe Palate and Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, I’ve had the chance to review Gale Gand’s Brunch! as part of a cookbook spotlight that they’re co-hosting. I’m lucky  Continue Reading »

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!

Written on April 12, 2009 at 6:58 am, by

Happy Easter, my friends! The cold and snow of earlier this week has passed and Toronto has now been embraced by the sun. Finally. On this day of new beginnings, I hope it’s a new beginning for all of you in so many ways. I hope it’s a beginning to a season of new ideas,  Continue Reading »

Cream Puff Has Lost Her Mojo

Written on April 7, 2009 at 8:24 pm, by

I have lost my baking mojo. I cannot believe it. After two months of almost no baking thanks to a huge work project, I had every intention of diving right back into the deep end of the baking pool. For several weeks now I’ve been sifting through my most treasured cookbooks imagining all the recipes  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Written on April 6, 2009 at 12:30 am, by

I’m back with a Magazine Mondays post! For me, muffin recipes are a lot like banana bread or pancake recipes, I could try a thousand of them, constantly in search of the perfect one. I have a general muffin recipe that I’m pretty happy with but I thought I’d give the chocolate chip muffin recipe  Continue Reading »

What Sustains Me

Written on April 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm, by

Whenever I tell people that I have no idea how many cookbooks I own (I never count them!), I usually get a surprised response. Most people I know might own a handful to ten cookbooks. I own well in excess of 100 (and counting). The inevitable question is: Why do you have so many? And  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Shortcakes!

Written on March 9, 2009 at 1:01 am, by

I missed my Magazine Mondays post last week but couldn’t miss this week because I’ve received so many amazing contributions! I’m really happy to see this event taking off. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the MM logo has been added to my sidebar. It still needs a little work but I’m getting there. By clicking  Continue Reading »

Confessions of a Reformed Breakfast Skipper (Part 3)

Written on March 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm, by

In the last instalment of my little series about the joy of having rediscovered breakfast, I bring you a breakfast item that is perhaps more nourishing to the soul than the body, but nourishing nevertheless. When people talk about “good” food or “healhy” food, I always start to squirm because I believe that something can  Continue Reading »

Automated Blog Post: Attention Readers

Written on February 28, 2009 at 11:10 am, by

Greeting Cream Puffs in Venice readers, If you are awake and/or own a computer, you will already know that today is the reveal day for the February 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge. The individual known to you as Cream Puff is unable to post today so she has arranged for the delivery of a text message  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Fluff!

Written on February 16, 2009 at 9:19 am, by

I will never forget the first time that I saw a container of Marshmallow Fluff in a grocery store! I was taken aback with mixture of fascination, excitement and disbelief with a little revulsion thrown in. So this is the stuff that goes in Twinkies!!! Now I’ve eaten my fair share of Twinkies over the  Continue Reading »

Caramel, I’m Still Your Daddy (or Mommy)!

Written on November 29, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

Early on in my blog career, I wrote a post about conquering my fear of caramel. I received a very thoughtful and helpful comment to that post from none other than Shuna Fish Lydon, the chef behind one of the most accomplished and informative blogs out there: eggbeater. When the hosts of the November Daring  Continue Reading »

For My Zia Don

Written on November 17, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

As some of you may know, the word for aunt in Italian is “zia“. In late October, my wonderful Zia C turned 50 and believe me she makes 50 look smashing! She honoured me by asking that I bake her birthday cake. When I asked her what flavour of cake she wanted, she said something  Continue Reading »

Cake for Cream Puff!

Written on October 23, 2008 at 7:41 am, by

Look what Mama Cream Puff made for my birthday! Hope you can all stop by for a piece. Have a great day! Ciao! Mile-High Chocolate Cake

Je suis en retard.

Written on September 28, 2008 at 8:55 am, by

Je suis en retard. I am late. Sweet (and I mean SWEET) Fanny of Foodbeam was the host for this month’s edition of Sugar High Friday. The deadline was September 26. But today is September 28. Hmmm … Since her theme is cupcakes, I am hoping (quite shamelessly) that I can entice Fanny to include  Continue Reading »

The Daring Bakers Get Caked

Written on July 30, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

Wait. Is it already time for another Daring Bakers‘ challenge? I swear sometimes I think there’s an evil little elf somewhere pressing the fast forward button about halfway throught the month so that the last two weeks just fly by and next thing you know it’s time to start all over again! In case you  Continue Reading »

Go Figure!

Written on July 28, 2008 at 6:15 pm, by

Go figure! For this week’s edition of Magazine Mondays, I’m featuring a recipe that I came this close to dumping in the food waste bin. When I bought the 2007 April/May issue of Taste Italia, I immediately bookmarked a recipe for Apricot Almond Shortbread (Frollino di albicocca e mandorla). For starters, the title is slightly  Continue Reading »

I’d Like to be Bathed in Rum Syrup, Please!

Written on July 22, 2008 at 4:34 pm, by

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of making a Cassata alla Siciliana in the company of some truly wonderful and insane people: Lis, Helene, Ben, John, Marce, Chris, Stephanie, Kelly and Mary (our Tanna, our Sara and our Laura couldn’t be with us). We were also joined by a very sane and nice Halley  Continue Reading »

Red Velvet Revisited

Written on July 12, 2008 at 3:08 pm, by

Thanks to the Daring Bakers, I had the opportunity to reveal my true Southern Belle self, if only for a little while. Thanks to an opportunity to review Katie Lee Joel’s The Comfort Table, I had the opportunity to revisit Red Velvet Cake, not to mention the petticoats and hoops skirts my inner-Southern self loves  Continue Reading »

Fly Away!

Written on May 15, 2008 at 5:46 pm, by

There was a time when nary a butterfuly was seen in these parts. I think it had a lot to do with the widespread use of pesticides which, thankfully, has been curtailed. In my opinion, the sight of a butterfly flitting around a garden is surely one of Nature’s most beautiful sights. So when I  Continue Reading »

Pop Goes the Cheesecake!

Written on April 27, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

Unto the life of every Daring Baker, there must be some fun. We can’t always be about puff pastry, meringue and caramel. Not to say that those elements of previous challenges haven’t been “fun”, it’s just that every once and awhile I want to channel my childhood days when there were no rules and it  Continue Reading »

Leave the Cannoli. Take the Cake.

Written on April 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm, by

If you haven’t seen The Godfather, then you are missing a classic cinematic experience filled with many a memorable scene including one where one mobster instructs another to leave behind a weapon used in a crime, but to make sure to not forget the box of cannoli. While I don’t count myself among the diehard  Continue Reading »

Lay Some Yellow on Me!

Written on April 12, 2008 at 4:36 pm, by

While I wish I had time to participate in more food blogging events, the fact is that it’s just not possible. However, there are a few events that I refuse to miss and one of them is Barbara’s A Taste of Yellow event. In support of LiveSTRONG Day, this event brings foodbloggers around the world  Continue Reading »

Let the Whimsy In!

Written on April 3, 2008 at 8:21 pm, by

What is life without a little bit of the whimsical? The magical? The fanciful? I think that is perhaps what I love most about the idea of decorating a wee cupcake: it’s an opportunity to let your creative heart out. Call me silly, but I just can’t help but feel a bit of whimsy these  Continue Reading »

Where’s the Party?!

Written on March 30, 2008 at 1:01 am, by

I heard a rumour that there was a huge Daring Bakers’ party happening on March 30th so I arrived early in the hopes of not missing it. You haven’t witnessed a true party until you’ve attended a Daring Bakers’ fête. This month’s party was hosted by Morven of Food Art and Random Thoughts who chose  Continue Reading »

Happy Easter! Buona Pasqua!

Written on March 23, 2008 at 7:05 am, by

Hope the Easter Bunny hops on by! Ciao! Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes Note: If you can’t find superfine sugar (also called fruit sugar), simply put regular sugar in a food processor and process for a few minutes until very fine. For the cupcakes: 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup superfine  Continue Reading »

Pretty in Marble

Written on February 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm, by

I don’t have a Magazine Mondays post for you this week but I do have another example of what a great cookbook Maxine Clark’s Chocolate: Deliciously Indulgent Recipes for Chocolate Lovers is. This time it’s a pretty chocolate marble cake. Some cakes look pretty in pink. But some look even prettier in marble. I never  Continue Reading »

It’s Getting Nutty In Here!

Written on January 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm, by

I must admit it took me quite awhile to begin writing this post because I kept having fun with the title. It’s amazing how many witty (or not-so-witty depending on how you see it) pun-filled titles one can create using the word “nuts”. And enough said about that. Okay, so here we are with a  Continue Reading »

Oh, Happy Day!

Written on January 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm, by

For those of you that visit often you’ll know that last year I had my first experiences baking and being paid for it and those experiences sowed the seeds of a goal of mine: to start a baking/catering business from home. While those were heady experiences, they didn’t really amount to anything and that’s mostly  Continue Reading »

You Devil You!

Written on December 3, 2007 at 5:38 pm, by

After a three-week hiatus, Magazine Mondays returns! I’m happy to put another magazine that has been languishing in what I now affectionately call, “the basket where magazines go to die,” to rest. When it comes to recipes, I am nothing if not melodramatic. This time around it’s the December 2006 issue of Food & Wine  Continue Reading »

Get Your Dolce On!

Written on November 24, 2007 at 10:53 pm, by

I’m always happy … no wait … make that THRILLED whenever I find someone who is as addicted to cookbooks as I am! You can imagine how pleased … no wait … make that THRILLED I was Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction introduced herself to me. Not only is she a fellow Italian Canadian, as  Continue Reading »

Happy Birthday to Lis!

Written on November 8, 2007 at 10:38 pm, by

Today is the spectacular Lis’ birthday! I regularly thank my lucky stars for the day that I first met one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Lis of La Mia Cucina is a friend, a sister, a confidante, a problem solver, a listener, a buddy and a sweetheart. For her  Continue Reading »

Eat It and Weep!

Written on November 5, 2007 at 1:06 am, by

For this third edition of Magazine Mondays, I bring you what is quite possibly one of the most sinfully delicious things I have ever made. Why I waited so long to try this recipe from the October 2004 issue of Food & Wine magazine is beyond me. Beyond me. Cream cheese. Caramel. And a hint  Continue Reading »


Written on November 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm, by

Wondering what to do with leftover Halloween candy? No worries. Just bake with it! Have a wonderful weekend! Ciao! Buttery Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes From a variety of sources and the imagination of one Cream Puff. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (you can use smooth peanut butter as  Continue Reading »

Celebration … Cream Puff Style!

Written on October 23, 2007 at 6:27 am, by

Another year, another birthday! I don’t care how old you are, your birthday is a day to celebrate. It’s a day to feel special and to count your blessings. I am thankful for my family and my friends, all of whom make my birthday such a special day. Of course, as I get older, I  Continue Reading »

Magazine Mondays: Food & Wine, November 2006

Written on October 21, 2007 at 9:00 pm, by

For the second edition of Magazine Mondays (oooh – this is so exciting!) I decided to finally put the November 2006 issue of Food & Wine magazine out of its misery. This particular issue has been languishing in my magazine basket for almost a year thanks to two recipes that I’ve wanted to try, but  Continue Reading »

And a Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Written on October 8, 2007 at 7:21 am, by

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and it is without question, one of my favourite holidays. In fact, sometimes I will have little debates with myself (usually while baking) about which holiday I prefer: Christmas or Thanksgiving. Nothing can match the light and magic of Christmas. However, Thanksgiving brings such joy and ease. It’s almost  Continue Reading »

It’s That Weekend Again …

Written on September 15, 2007 at 12:05 pm, by

Guess what La Famiglia Cream Puff is doing this weekend? You got it! We’re up to our elbows in tomatoes and loving every minute of it. If you’re in the area, we’ve got an apron, a chair and a knife for you. Come by and help us cut up some tomatoes. As an added bonus,  Continue Reading »

The Nut-Free Life

Written on August 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm, by

After my very first baking job, the thrill of baking on a professional level quickly combined with the multitude of questions and problems that bakers who bake for a living face each day. While I’m nowhere close to baking for a living (I have a full-time non-baking job thank you very much!), it did get  Continue Reading »

Letting Go

Written on August 7, 2007 at 9:02 pm, by

My apologies for the lack of posts around here. It’s not that the Cream Puff has abandoned you or anything. It’s just that in all the recent heat and steam we’ve been experiencing lately, I’ve barely been able to muster the energy to lift a glass of iced tea to my lips. Yes, it’s been  Continue Reading »

With Apologies to my Native City …

Written on July 28, 2007 at 7:45 am, by

No sooner had I posted a story about baking for Jasmine wherein I had complained that it is often very difficult to find specialized baking ingredients in Toronto, when a number of you contacted me to let me know several places where I could, in fact, buy lavender in Toronto. There’s nothing quite so humbling  Continue Reading »

SHF #33: Mojito Cupcakes

Written on July 22, 2007 at 6:44 pm, by

When I went to Miami in April, I had one of the best mojitos ever. It was perfectly limey, perfectly minty, perfectly rummy, perfectly sweet, perfectly tart and generally perfect. It was so good that as I lay on the beach I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to capture the taste of that  Continue Reading »

Always Time for Vanilla and Chocolate!

Written on July 11, 2007 at 10:48 pm, by

Well, it’s still very much hot in the city! I’m itching to try quite a few recipes from Lori Longbotham’s Luscious Berry Desserts (Flavour of the Month for July 2007), but I just can’t stand to turn on the oven. And when even the Cream Puff won’t turn on the oven … well … that  Continue Reading »

Introducing …

Written on July 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm, by

… the Flavour of the Month for July 2007 … Lori Longbotham’s Luscious Berry Desserts! Applause! Clap … clap … clap! First of all, let me wish all of my American friends a very happy Fourth of July! After a lovely long weekend wherein we Canadians celebrated our country’s 140th birthday on July 1st, it’s  Continue Reading »

Coconut, My Love!

Written on June 22, 2007 at 8:15 pm, by

When I read that The Domestic Goddess was bringing Sugar High Friday back to its beginning (so to speak), I was happy. It’s only right, after all, that the person who created such a popular event should get to host it every now and then. But I was even happier when I read that the  Continue Reading »

For Jasmine

Written on June 19, 2007 at 8:50 pm, by

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the greatest benefit of blogging is the chance to meet so many wonderful people. Shortly after I began blogging I had the good fortune to meet Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Sensual Gourmet. Intelligent, warm, witty, sexy, sweet, beautiful – these are all  Continue Reading »

The Adventure of Italian Food

Written on June 14, 2007 at 9:20 pm, by

Have you ever looked at a plate of pasta, your very favourite pasta, and thought back to the first moment that you tried it? Or how about the first time you tasted the richness of a tiramisu’ or the crisp bite of a biscotto? Being born in an Italian family means that I actually have  Continue Reading »

My First Job!

Written on May 29, 2007 at 7:53 pm, by

May has been such an incredible and busy month for me. To begin with there was the launch of my blog redesign, which I’d been planning for months. In around that event, several other things happened to me this month that I’ve been so eager to share with you. Just before the launch, I got  Continue Reading »

Anyone for a Cup of Tea?

Written on May 4, 2007 at 12:43 am, by

I would be lying if I didn’t say that the tea party holds a very special charm for me. As with so many little girls, I loved "hosting" pretend tea parties and insisted that all my dolls and stuffed toys attend. Once I was grown, my very first experience hosting an event on my own  Continue Reading »

I Am a Southern Belle!

Written on March 26, 2007 at 2:53 pm, by

When my brother and I were children, we lived in a one television household. As horrifying as this may seem nowadays, it actually worked out quite well as the family enjoyed the viewing pleasure of Italian news programs, the Muppets, hockey and Sesame Street. Television life, in general, was good. Of course every now and  Continue Reading »

Comfort Me with Apples

Written on March 16, 2007 at 8:28 pm, by

I blame Mary. I was doing alright. I was dealing with the fact that work has kept me out of the kitchen and away from my beloved baking. I was coping. And then I saw Mary’s Almond Apple Bars and broke down. And it wasn’t graceful either. It was a temper tantrum worthy of any  Continue Reading »

The Intensity of Chocolate

Written on February 23, 2007 at 8:46 am, by

I am beginning to think that there should be an international holiday in the month of February dedicated to chocolate. If you support World Chocolate Day in February, raise your hand. I’d raise mine, unfortunately both of them are currently filled with chocolate as that’s all I seem to be doing lately … stuffing my  Continue Reading »