Kara’s Cupcakes

What’s your favorite place for cupcakes?

Mine is, without a doubt, Kara’s Cupcakes in the Bay Area. It started when someone in the advertising business decided to quit her job and follow her dreams to open a bakery. Maybe I love this place because her life is something I can relate to (I was in the ad industry and I quit my job to find a new path). Or it’s her locally sourced, organic products. Whatever it is, it’s damn good!

I’ve been craving sweets lately, and so I had to get my hands on some cupcakes. And Kara’s was the only place that would satisfy.

Store

Cupcake

My favorite flavor is the vanilla one. I just can’t get sick of it. The glob of vanilla icing in the cupcake is the perfect touch!

Flavors

Banana caramel and passion fruit never disappoint me!

My box

Yup, I bought four!

Boys, write this down, and take notes:

Cupcakes can make any girl smile. What’s with these little cakes topped with a boatload of icing? It can seriously make a girl’s day. If you ever need forgiveness, bring a peace offering of cupcakes. Promise it will make all wrongs right.

What’s your favorite cupcake bakery? Where is it located and why is it your favorite?

Friday demands cupcakes,
Jay

  

Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

I love the Fall/Winter season. For one thing, the weather gets colder so warm and comfy sweaters and boots. Secondly, the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

It’s Halloween this Thursday! Halloween has always been one of those holidays where my parents decorate the house so the Fall/Winter fun kicks off on 10/31. Now that I’m married, MG and I get to start our own annual traditions. The pumpkin carving party started last year, and I really hope to continue this event year after year. We go to the pumpkin patch in the morning with friends, pick out our pumpkins, head home to rest a bit and snack on treats, then start the carving!

This year I decked out the decorations for the carving party. Our closest friends joined us, and we had a great time!

Holly, David, and I went to the patch together to pick out our pumpkins at Pastorino Farm and Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. MG wasn’t able to go since he had a bachelor’s party this year. It was the perfect day – some wind and lots of sun! We got there early too to avoid traffic. It’s always a joy to watch little toddlers running around while parents are trying to get pictures of them in the patch. Guess that will be me one day!

Here are some fun pictures from my iPhone. Sadly my camera died right before we got to the patch (newbie mistake)!Pumpkin Patch

Special thanks to David for the next three pictures! Glad someone’s camera was working!

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patch

Holly and me
Do you go to the pumpkin patch every year? What do you like to look at?

Look at our carved pumpkins!

Carved PumpkinsWhich one do you like best? What did you carve this year?

Carvers

Carved PumpkinsSo pretty when lit up! I sprinkled some cinnamon on the lids before lighting the candle. My house smells awesome!

Messy
W
e collected all the ooey-gooey-ness and cleaned off the seeds and made….

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic seasoning, pepper, and salt. Then roast them for 45 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious!

To make things more fun, I adorned the house with some low cost, easy to do decorations!

Webs
Done over and over again, but definitely adds to the setting!

Mice
I found some cute mice wall decals at Target for $5 a pack (10-15 mice decals)

Zombie blockade
I’m really proud of this zombie blockade! I found a cardboard box and cut it into strips, then used a Sharpie and drew wood grain. I cut out hand silhouettes from poster and spray painted them black for the zombie hands. Looks really cool over a window or a fire place! What do you think?

Stairs - Zombie
I cut out and spray painted some extra hands and taped them against the banister so that it looks like zombies are reaching out to you as you walk up the stairs. It actually took 2 days to adjust to this because looking from the bottom of the staircase, it’s a bit terrifying.

Zombies
Here’s an up-close shot

As I was spray painting the hands against a cardboard, the outlines turned out to be a pretty cool backdrop.

Zom HandsI placed this against a wall for some extra effect

Lastly, Halloween themed food is one of my favorite parts of this holiday!

Chex Snacks
Chocolate covered Chex with Candy Corn and Reece’s Pieces. This is such an easy to make snack! Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix into Chex evenly. Then add 3/4th cup of powdered sugar and evenly coat (I like to shake them in a Ziploc).

Eyeballs
Blood shot eyeball deviled eggs. Use a toothpick and red dye to draw veins, use green coloring in the mashed up yolk, and olives for the pupils.

Spiders
Spider deviled eggs with olives

Cupcakes
Owl and brain cupcakes! The owl’s eyes are Oreos with Reece’s Pieces. Aren’t they so cute?

Brain CupcakeBrain cupcakes! Red velvet cake with strawberry filling/guts. Yum

Do you celebrate Halloween? What is your annual Halloween tradition? Anything you want to try from this post?

Happy Halloween!
Jay