Monday, October 31, 2011

Dirty Halloween Cupcakes

What comes to mind when you think about Halloween? Candy, costumes, pumpkin carving, creepy creatures...

For my work's Halloween party, I signed up to take dessert. Surprised? Chocolate is popular at work so I made chocolate cupcakes. To give them a Halloween twist, I used chocolate "dirt" and creepy worms for decoration.

What's your favorite Halloween treat?

Worms and dirt cupcakes:

chocolate cupcakes


chocolate cookies

gummy worms

Bake chocolate cupcakes according to directions and wait for them to cool before decorating. (If you don't, the icing will melt) Then ice the cupcakes with the frosting of your choice.

Finely chop chocolate cookies (I used chocolate Oreos.) to be used as dirt. Spread cookie crumbs on frosted cupcake. Then place a gummy worm on top.

You're done! It is an easy idea to dress up your Halloween cupcakes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taking a sip...or gulp of the San Joaquin Valley

Last weekend I attended my favorite wine event by the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, the Fall Wine Cornucopia at Chukchansi Park, Fresno. It's the closest wine event to home and at a reasonable price.

As you enter the park, you are given a glass to roam free in wine playground. With over 25 wineries present, and unlimited servings, where to begin? I begin tasting the white wines as I've seen in other events. In between your tasting, there are restaurants giving food samples, great to slow down the effects of alcohol. :) While sipping your wine, you can view local artists work of images of the valley, wine production and nature.

Do you remember the I Love Lucy episode where they are stomping on grapes? Well, you can do a reenactment of the scene at the event. Large tubs are available for you to stomp on grapes and a kiddy pool to rinse your feet and get back to the drinking...I mean, tasting, of course.

The winery employees present are all knowledgeable on their wines. If you like their wines, you may sign up for their newsletters or take brochures describing their great wines so you can purchase them at a later time. Also, as you leave the park some wines are available for purchase.

Our all around favorite is the Quady Winery, which specializes in dessert wines. They offer an excellent Orange Muscat, Electra, refreshing and great for a summer gathering. For more information check out their Facebook page or website.

Hopefully I've encouraged you to attend next year's event on Saturday, October 27, 2012. Mark your calendars!

Monday, October 24, 2011


It’s National Dessert month, and it was my birthday yesterday. I’m starting a new year with a blog sharing my sweet encounters with desserts and wine. My favs!

On Sweet Sundays, I will post dessert recipes that I try, and come with delicious results. Maybe it will become an addition to your recipe collection! When I visit sweet shops, I’ll review the desserts I taste and give you the 411. You’ll get to see the behind the scenes and how-to’s on some of the custom sweets I create. This is a special treat for my blog followers and not seen on my facebook page. :)

I also enjoy tasting new wines. I am a beginner when it comes to wine and wish to become knowledgeable on the subject. Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month will be Wine Wednesday. You’ll join me as I travel the road to understanding the complexity of wine. I will share information on wine tasting events, wineries and trying new wines. Fortunately, I live in the San Joaquin Valley which is surrounded by many vineyards. I travel to the central coast throughout the year, giving me the perfect chance to visit vineyards and try wines from the central coast!

I hope I’ve peeked your interest!

See you Wednesday for an overview of Fresno's Fall Wine Cornucopia...