Chocolate Brioche Wreaths

These little darlings were made for our Russian neighbor, Katya, out of benevolent spite. Yes, that's a thing. Katya has a warm spirit with a boisterous personality and strong voice. She's absolutely hilarious and no one can escape her magnetism. A few weeks back, we were giving her a ride home from a local litter pick-up event and said we needed to hang out sometime. We had met very briefly and this was our first time to actually converse. She started joking about how Americans always agree to get together and then never follow up. Needless to say, it has left a rather insincere impression and she teased me as I promised to give her a call sometime.

I concluded that a phone call wasn't good enough.

WKND Outpost

Welcome to the WKND Outpost, Bay Shore’s first indie lifestyle boutique. They highlight smaller brands and emerging designers in a converted garage just off East Main Street. If you're off for a WKND romp in Long Island, this shop is a must to grab delicious snacks, fashionable clothing, and unique gifts for friends. Each item is carefully selected by the owner to ensure the freshest gear! Plus, they provide a venue to help local artists and vendors sell their work. Win win!
I'm all about this adorable boutique! It's like family to me because, well, it is family! The entrepreneur of this shop is my cousin's wife, Jessica. They saw this little property in their town of Bay Shore and debated about knocking it down or building it up.

As you can see, they went for it and revitalized this once forgotten garage! The entire space got a makeover through the tremendous efforts of my crafty cousin. Construction families come with their advantages! Jess, with the help of her architect-designer friend Manu Garza, carefully picked all the finishes to meet her vision. My favorite aspect about the store is the beautiful tile work!

For the store opening, the hubby and I delivered this gigantic brownie covered in buttercream roses. Not too shabby for surviving a drive from Virginia to New York! We love WKND Outpost and are very proud of the family for following their passions!

Visit WKND Outpost:
52 E. Main Street (Garage)
Bay Shore, NY, 11706
United States

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Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins {AIP}

I just have to share this awesome awesome awesome recipe for pumpkin spice muffins. What makes them exceptional is that they're Paleo and can even be AIP compliant if you don't use any egg. The ingredients are easier on your body because they don't have a ton of carbs and sugars. They're made with tigernut flour which is a root vegetable and is full of potassium and iron!

Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream

The first time I tried ube (purple yam) was way back in high school. We met via traditional Filipino desserts like halo halo and puto. The attraction was instantaneous which is not surprising considering my love of yams.  It's not super sweet and has an almost nutty quality - the perfect combination for someone with a mellow sweet tooth.

Last year, I had the honor of making another wedding cake so it was serendipitous when the bride and groom mentioned ube as a flavor idea. I did my best with the information available and made two different recipes. Unfortunately, neither of them turned out very good. The regular cake was too heavy while the chiffon version was a little dry. It is, after all, a yam cake.

Bolo de Bolacha {Cookie Cake}

Traditions are a funny thing. You spend your childhood blissfully unaware of the rest of the world, thinking what goes on in your house is no different than anywhere else. You get a little older, and the world gets a little bigger. Some of the small things you dismissed as, "just part of another holiday" become more special.... like this cake.

Bolo de Bolacha (which translates to "Cookie Cake") was a dessert made only around Christmas. It's a Portuguese classic and very similar to the Salame de Chocolate that I posted a few years back. I absolutely loved this cake as a kid. The texture is smooth and the flavor is simply delicious. It's incredibly basic in theory but the ingredients work together perfectly.