Cooking, DIY

    St. Patrick’s Day Thin Mint & Irish Cream Tiramisu

    This last Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day. It was also my co-ed service fraternity’s Big/Little Bake Wars. For the bonding event, one of my littles, Marilyn, and I decided to make a Thin Mint & Irish Cream Tiramisu. We thought it went perfectly with the theme and who doesn’t love Thin Mints? We used THIS recipe from LaDue & Crew, while making a few of our own adjustments and variations. 

    First, we made the ganache and mousse. Here’s what we used:

    Mint Chocolate Mascarpone Ganache
    12 crushed* Thin Mint cookies (to save money, we bought the equivalent at Publix)
    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    3 Tbs Mascarpone cheese
    1 tsp Irish cream
    *The recipe says to grate the cookies, but we just crushed them for simplicity sake.

    1. Heat cream in a bowl within a pot of simmering water for about 3 minutes or until it gets hot.
    2. Add Irish cream and crushed Thin Mints.
    3. Stir until chocolate is melted.
    4. Stir in mascarpone until all is well combined.
    5. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
    6. Once chilled, beat it with a mixer until it seems like whipped cream.
    Mascarpone Mousse
    2 egg yolks
    1/3 c sugar
    2 egg whites
    1 c Mascarpone cheese
    1 TBS Irish cream
    A couple drops of green food coloring 

    1. In a bowl with a pot of simmering water, add eggs yolks and half the amount of sugar.
    2. Whisk for about 5 minutes, until yolks become thick and lemon-colored.
    3. Remove from heat and whisk for another 5 minutes until cooled.
    4. Blend in mascarpone cheese.
    5. In another bowl, use a mixer to whisk egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
    6. Whisk in Irish cream.
    7. Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture.
    8. Chill in refrigerator.
    9. Afterwards, feel free to add in green food coloring!

    Once you’re done, it’s time to get working on that Tiramisu!

    Mascarpone Mousse (from above)
    Mint Chocolate Mascarpone Ganache (from above)
    Thin Mint Cookies
    1/4 c coffee
    1 TBS Irish cream
    Small plastic cups

    1. Set aside a mixture of the coffee and Irish cream.
    2. Start off the cups with a layer of mouse at the bottom.
    3. Soak a cookie (or 2 or 3) in the coffee mixture and place on top of the mousse.
    4. Then place a layer of ganache, more soaked cookies, and another layer of mousse.
    5. Top it off with a piece of a Thin Mint cookie.

    We were trying to make as many servings as possible so instead of parfait glasses we used small plastic cups and did very thin layers. The tiramisu turned out delicious and were a hit at the Bake War. After hours of work between the two of us, it was astonishing to watch all the cups disappear in minutes. 

    While the ganache and mousse were chilling in the refrigerator, we realized the tiramisu wasn’t going to be enough to feed everyone and that we wouldn’t have enough time (or ingredients) to make more. We decided that while we waited, we would also make some impromptu St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes with whatever I had around my kitchen. This ended up being…

    – Funfetti cake mix
    – Milk chocolate frosting
    – Coconut flakes
    – Leftover Thin Mints
    – Green food coloring

    The result actually came out quite good and were received very well by guests who, thankfully, devoured them at the event (otherwise, that would’ve ended up being me eating all of them).

    At the end of the day, Marilyn and I didn’t win the Bake War. That honor went to my big and new sibling, Alex, who made some yummy oreo balls. They were so good, Marilyn and I actually didn’t get a chance to try them because everyone had already eaten them all by the time we’d gotten there! Nevertheless, I got to spend some great bonding time with Marilyn and by looking at the response to our tiramisu and cupcakes, I like to think we were a close second <3

    CLUTCH Magazine Spring 2011 Release Party

    Last night, FSU’s student-run fashion magazine, CLUCTH, held their Spring 2011 Release Party. The event, which celebrated the magazine’s 10th issue since it’s founding in 2006, was held at The Midtown Filling Station and co-hosted by the online magazine and the Collegiate Merchandising Association.

    CLUTCH’s PR Director (and awesome friend), Chandra Robrock, and CollegeCandy put together quite the party. There were amazing VIP gift bags given to the first 50 guests (filled with goodies like Tarte lip stains and gift cards to, a live DJ, all-night drink specials (including Clutch-tinis), 400 mini cupcakes from Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery, free raffles for prizes like an HDTV and a $250 gift card, and, of course, free copies of the latest CLUTCH!

    With CMA Publicist, Jacqui, and CLUTCH PR Director, Chandra (love them!)

    CLUTCH is one of my favorite things at FSU. Every semester I look forward to the new issue. This past issue I was fortunate enough to contribute an article on Cosplay (staying true to my geeky self, as always),  co-write an upcoming entertainment feature, and work on the editing team. I remember when I first heard about CLUTCH on a segment during MTV’s TRL way back in 2007 and thinking how neat it was and how I’d love to be involved with something like that when I went to college. It’s crazy looking back now that I’m actually here at FSU being a part of that exact magazine.

    If you want an issue of CLUTCH, feel free to contact me or stop by the CMA table on Market Wednesdays. You’ll also find it at various boutiques and salons in Tallahassee so be on the look out!
    Here are some photos of my line and I at the release party:
    It was a Royal Night for sure! Here with my big, 4 of my littles, and 2 of my grandlittles <3
    Big & Little <3
    Little & Big – they crazy!
    I adore my newest littles: Marilyn, Colby, and Megan (missing Jenny :()
    Megan won a HDTV!! What a way to end the night!!
    Natalie Portman, Oscars, Red Carpet

    2011 Oscars: Best Dressed

    So with a hectic week of exams and a busy Spring Break schedule (Miami and Orlando!), I fell a little behind with my blogging. This post is over a week late, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the fashion at the Academy Awards since it is THE red carpet event of the season. 
    #1 – Natalie Portman – Rodarte
    The soon-to-be mother and well-deserved Best Actress winner looked radiant in this gorgeous, deep purple gown which perfectly complimented her skin tone.
    #2 – Anne Hathaway – Atelier Versace
    This gown with its fitted and embroidered bodice was my favorite of Anne’s many wardrobe changes. I also loved the red strapless Valentino gown she wore on the red carpet. Kudos to her stylist Rachel Zoe.
    #3 – Mila Kunis – Elie Saab Haute Couture
    Some critics thought the color washed her out, but I disagree. I think the color and gown look lovely on her. 
    #4 – Mandy Moore – Monique Lhuiller
    Mandy was the epitome of elegance and sophistication in this sparkling nude gown.
    #5 – Gwyneth Paltrow – Calvin Klein
    Gwyneth looked stunning in this chic metallic gown, complete with effortlessly slick-straight hair.
    #5 – Hilary Swank – Gucci Premiere
    The two-time Oscar winner exuded glamour in this silver embellished gown. Usually, I’m not a fan of anything with feathers but here it works.
    #6 – Hailee Steinfeld – Marchesa
    I love it when young stars dress their age, and Hailee’s fashion choices have really been a breath of fresh air. She looked incredibly youthful and still ladylike in this custom-made tea-length dress.
    #8 – Helen Mirren – Vivienne Westwood
    Speaking of dressing well for their age, nobody does it better than Helen Mirren. She always gets its right. Simply classy.
    #9 – Jennifer Hudson – Versace
    Jennifer wowed everyone in this stunning orange halter gown which showed off her new toned figure.
    #10 – Reese Witherspoon – Giorgio Armani Prive
    Although not the most innovative design, the simple and classic black and white gown nonetheless looked stunning on the former Oscar winner.  


    Rachel Bilson in California Style Magazine

    Chanel dress, belt and necklace.
    My style inspiration and celebrity obsession Rachel Bilson was featuredon the cover of the March 2011 issue of California Style magazine. She looksabsolutely stunning in the various drool-worthy gowns she wears in thegorgeous photoshoot.
    The magazine article covers a variety of topics – here are a fewsnippets of what she had to say:
    Referring to her Edie Rose dinnerware: “To stick with fashion, thatwould be a little bit more predictable. But there’s no one in my demographic,or really any ‘celebrity’ who has a similar aesthetic as me, who’s doing homeor tabletop design. I’m sort of obsessed with dishes. I’m always cooking andbaking at home, and I hate going out. I’d love to do bedding, too.”
    Referring to her relationship withex-fiance HaydenChristensen: “Without saying anythingtoo specific, I can tell you that things are really positive right now. We’lljust have to see how it goes.”
    Referring to working with Josh Schwartz (creator ofthe O.C.) again: “Josh knows me so well. I mean,he’s married to my best friend. We’re all very close. He knows how I deliver aline. He knows that I can be, you know, funny. It’s much harder to be funnythan it is to act in a drama. But I’m up for it.”

    Versace dress. Van Cleef & Arpels earrings.

    Dolce & Gabbana blouse and skirt.

    Valentino gown (reminds me of Emma Watson’s BAFTA gown). 

    Ralph Lauren Collection dress.

    Chloé dress. Cathy Waterman necklace.

    Oscar de la Renta dress. Cathy Waterman earrings.

    BAFTAS, Emma Stone, Jessica Alba, Red Carpet

    2011 BAFTAs: Fashion Highlights

    The King’s Speech dominated at the BAFTAs, picking up pretty much every imaginable award (although The Social Network and Inception put up a good fight). But while the awards were all about the King, let’s see who was the Queen of the red carpet. Here are some highlights:

     Jessica Alba – Versace (My favorite of the night!)

     Rosamund Pike – Alexander McQueen

    Amy Adams – Elie Saab
     Emma Watson – Valentino

     Noomi Rapace – Givenchy

     Rachel Stevens – Isabel Morant

    Emma Stone – Lanvin

    2011 Fall Fashion Week: Monique Lhuillier

    Monique Lhuillier, a designer known for her classy, femininelooks opened her 2011 fall show with a leopard print dress. The surprisingopening was followed by a parade of blacks, golds, and splashes of red in lace,sequins, and chiffon. The collection had a very sultry and mature feel to it, although theblack velvet bows around the waist of many of the looks (and in the hair of allthe models) gave the designs a girly touch.
    We’re also seeing more of the purple eyeshadow, berry lips,and cat-eye liner makeup trend that we saw at the Grammys.
    I wonder which celebs will wear these red-carpet ready looks? Perhaps Julia Stiles and Brittany Snow who were seated front row at the show?
    My favorite look off the runway? The flowing red chiffongown (pictured first). How stunning would this look on the red carpet? Here are just a few other highlights (obviously I’m a gown girl).

    Grammys, Red Carpet

    2011 Grammy’s: Best Dressed

    The Grammys is definitely the event to have fun and experiment with your fashion choices and the celebs did not disappoint! While I wasn’t crazy about all these daring looks (see my Worst Dressed list), several managed to wow on the red carpet. Metallics were the top trend of the night as many celebs dazzled in silvers and golds. Many also amped up the drama with gowns that featured plunging necklines, high slits, cut-outs, and super short hemlines. The hair trend was long and sleek as well as loose and tousled; and various makeup trends included cat-eye liner, berry lips, and purple lids.
    #1 – Selena Gomez – J. Mendel
    #2 – Jennifer Hudson – Versace

    #3 – Nicole Kidman – Jean Paul Gaultier 

    #4 – Natasha Bedingfield – Abed Mahfouz

    #5 – Julianne Hough – Malandrino

    #6 – Jennifer Lopez – Emilio Pucci
    #7 – Miranda Lambert – Edition by George Chakra

    #8 – Heidi Klum  – Julien Macdonald

    #9 – Keri Hilson – Basil Soda

    #10 – Kathy Griffin – Oscar de la Renta

    On the Fence…
     Ciara – Emilio Pucci
     Rihanna – Christian Dior

    Katy Perry – Giorgio Armani
    Grammys, People's Choice Awards, Red Carpet, Worst Dressed

    2011 Grammy’s: Worst Dressed

     #10 – Miley Cyrus – Roberto Cavalli

     #9 – Lea Michele – Emilio Pucci

    #8 – Florence Welch – Givenchy

    #7 – Esperanza Spalding

    #6 – Amber Riley

    #5 – Jordin Sparks – Zang To

    #4 – Hayley Williams – Jeremy Scott

    #3 – Rihanna – Jean Paul Gaultier

    #2 – Nicki Minaj – Givenchy HauteCouture by Riccardo Tisci

    #1 – Gram’ma Funk

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Whether you spent today happily single or with that special someone, I hope everyone had an amazing day filled with lots of love and candy =)
    Valentine's Day, Wishlist

    All You Need Is Love…My Valentine’s Day Wishlist

    Valentine’s Day is this Monday!! As my first ever Valentine’s Day with a significant other, you can imagine how excited I am. As I wait for the day to come, I’ve put together a little Valentine’s Day Wishlist (I had to strongly refrain myself from putting Andrew Garfield on the list). My number one wish would be for me to finally be over and done with this nasty flu, but I know whether that happens or not *crosses fingers*, I’m sure to have a wonderful V-Day because I’m with such an awesome guy *cue awws*.
    My Valentine's Day Wishlist

    1. Cupcakes from Lucy & Leo’s
    2. To FINALLY see Black Swan (or 127 Hours)
    3. A nerdy necklace from Casstasstrophe
    4. A cute, nerdy plushie
    5. Godiva chocolate-covered strawberries
    6. Wildfox Couture Big Love oversize sweatshirt in Witchberry
    7. Pink roses
    8. Purr by Katy Perry Eau de Parfum
    9. To rewatch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    10. To no longer be sick!!!

    Rachel Bilson Launches Edie Rose Home For Macy’s

    Rachel Bilson is back at designing for her Edie Rose line! Instead of clothing, however, she’s designing tableware for Macy’s. I have to say it seemed a little random, but apparently Rachel has been collecting dishes since she was a young girl. Who knew?

    Explaining why she decided to start the line, Rachel says, “I was on what seemed like an endless search for really cute dishware and tabletop items when I thought it would be fun to design what I was looking for. I have a passion for dishes and thought it would be a great opportunity to design exactly what I wanted — cute and stylish entertaining and dining ware that is affordable.”

    The line is aimed “to appeal to the modern woman at various stages of her life, whether she is going off to college, decorating her first apartment, registering for her wedding or simply in need of beautiful items for her home.” The pieces range in price from $12-58 and are meant to be mixed and matched. Every piece reflects Rachel’s love of “birds, butterflies and all things whimsical,” and the entire collection is tied together by a common color palette of turquoise, aqua, black and white.

    What does Macy’s think of line? “Edie Rose Home reflects a timely aesthetic that appeals to the fashion savvy Macy’s customer,” said Steve Cardino, vice president and fashion director of Macy’s Home Store. “We are proud to be the exclusive retailer of this eclectic and affordable collection that infuses Rachel’s eye for style with everyday pieces for the home.”

    Well, Macy’s definitely sound supportive. And the line looks promising, but I’ll have to wait and see. As most of my friends know, after living with so many for so many years, peacocks have become my least favorite animal on the planet so featuring them in the line is a bit of a turnoff, but even I have to admit the piece below is actually pretty cute.