Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Baking

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

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 CollegeCandy.com 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 Shoedazzle.com), 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 GlobalFashionBrands.com 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!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

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.  
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