nix’s mate (boston)

We met up with some of our past coworkers for lunch in Boston at the Nix’s Mate restaurant located at the Hilton hotel within the Financial District.  It was the first time any of us had been to this place.  I was a little nervous about them being busy for a Friday lunch outing – especially with a stroller and baby in tow – but it is a nice, big space with an open atmosphere.

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pretty food :: fudge cookie ice cream sandwich

Fudge cookie and pink peppercorn ice cream sandwiches made for a baking contest at our office by my super talented baker of a coworker and friend, Jeff.  The theme was “salt and pepper”.

nanaimo bars (a recipe)

A friend at work told me about these amazingly delicious bars that originated in British Columbia (her homeland) a little while ago.  You know, it’s generally easy for me to fall into any conversation about food any time of the day.  🙂 

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junk food theme

What happens when you have a food contest at work with a “junk food” theme?  Well at where I work, crazy things like Cookie Monster Cupcakes are created along with a whole slew of other creative concoctions …

We decided to not call this particular event a “baking” contest because of the complexity of the theme.  See, you could either use junk food to create something else, or you could make a representation of junk food (i.e. homemade peanut butter cups, etc.).  Either way, it didn’t necessarily have to be baked.  We did stress the rule that it had to be edible, but it didn’t necessarily have to taste good.  I have to say that my coworkers love a good challenge; the people that participated in this one really put in a lot of thought and came up with some great ideas.

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chocolate cake … why not?

Sometime last week, one of my coworkers stopped by my desk to report a complaint: there is no cake in this office.  “[insert coworker who should not be named here] and I agree that there should be a steady supply of cake in this office,” (or something to that effect).  So I thought, why not?  I’ll bake a cake tonight.  I like cake too.  And then I remembered the honkin’ huge bottle of Disaronno that our friend Jim gave us a couple of weeks ago, so I started to Google recipes for amaretto cake but to no avail.  Most of them were just cake recipes where you poked holes in the cake after it was baked and then doused it with liqueur.  So instead I opted to make this simple chocolate bundt cake recipe by Gale Gand that I found on the Food Network, and then made a separate Disarrono glaze on the side in case some people don’t like amaretto flavor.

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knitting frenzy


It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog of mine, and there are several reasons for my lack of posts that I won’t bother going in to.  One reason that I will share with all of you loyal readers (who, according to my site stats, still visit my blog despite the lack of new pictures and words – thank you!): you see, I’ve been distracted by this damn stuff called yarn.  You see, I have a stash of it and I have been on this knitting frenzy lately.  I feel like making so many things.


Like this little alien guy.  And these cute little pookies too. Not to mention fulfilling my goal of making two chemo caps during the month of February.  And then my enabling coworker evilly emailed a link to the Louie the Lovebot pattern, so then I wanted to make one as a Valentine’s day gift for my hubby (hey, I needed some sort of reason to make one right away).  Oh and while we’re at it, let’s take a workshop to learn another technique – entrelac – and start a new scarf project.  (My list of wip’s is growing, I know …)

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I’m taking the “exploring clay” ceramics class through the Office for the Arts at Harvard with teacher Kathy King (one of the funniest people I’ve ever met!) this semester.  Yes I know, “another craft, Candice?” you ask.

project 1: cutting out the base of a tumbler

It’s going to be spread out over 12 Fridays and I’m excited about learning throwing skills, trying different glazes, and basically to get down right dirty working with clay.  Am I a geeky crafter?  Um, yes unfortunately.  Continue reading

vertical spiral cake duel

[This is an overdue post.  The event took place on 12.15.10 but I forgot to blog about it back then!]

It was Candice vs. Jeff in the “vertical spiral cake duel”.

I challenged my coworker, Jeff, to a “vertical spiral cake” baking duel and these photos are from the day we presented our creations.  We were inspired by this recipe but we decided to put our own spin on it by doing different cake flavors and frosting.  He created a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  I created a coffee flavored cake with a Nutella and marshmallow fluff frosting.

The technique proved to be much more difficult for both of us than we had anticipated.  Since we ended up receiving the same amount of votes in the end, we’ve agreed to have a rematch in the spring with a twist where we both have to incorporate fruit into our creations.

3 layers vs. 6 layers achieved

To view more photos from this challenge, click here.

craving chocolate at the csca

Yes, I made those! Isn't that insane?!

Two of my coworkers and I took the “Craving Chocolate” class at the
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts last Monday night (now haven’t I already told you that I work with some pretty cool people?!).  It was taught by Marie Perfetti and in the CSCA’s traditional format where you’re handed a packet of recipes and you get to work on your own on a specific recipe.  Now I know that this format isn’t for everybody, and I will admit that at first I was a little bit disappointed by that fact at the beginning of this class.  But in the end, I accepted the fact that it wasn’t a class meant to focus solely on techniques for working with chocolate.  Instead, it’s more of a way for you to learn how to make things with chocolate and you do learn little bits of technique and terminology along the way.

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taza chocolate factory

Taza Chocolate in Somerville, MA

Last week, a few of my coworkers and I went on a tour at the Taza Chocolate factory not too far from our office in Somerville.  We are all big fans of their delicious bean-to-bar chocolates, so it was neat being able to see the behind-the-scenes action.

You can smell all of the delicious chocolate in the air the second you step foot into the store.  They have quite a range of products available and it was nice being able to see all of them in one place since I’m used to usually seeing just the disks or bars near a cash register at a store.  And what was even better than that?  Free samples of a lot of the products readily available!

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