Category Archives: Bakeries

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Earlier this week I attended a conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee for my job.  This was very exciting to me for several reasons:  I don’t get to travel much for my job, I had never been to Chattanooga, I got to fly! (I haven’t flown in 12 years) and my friend Sandra lives there now.

Monday night I was able to hang out with my friend Sandra.  She used to live in Charlotte and now she is getting her Masters at the University of Tennessee.  I walked a mile from my hotel to meet her at The Yellow Deli for dinner.

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The Yellow Deli opened in the 70′s and they now have a few other restaurants in the states, as well as one in Canada.  This place is so adorable and the food was really fresh.  They serve salads, sandwiches on homemade bread, homemade desserts, a variety of juice, mate, natural sodas, and they even have root beer on tap.

Sandra and I both had the Yellow Submarine.

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The spread of the week was addicting.  I’m not sure what it was, but it tasted like hummus blended with pesto.

The inside is really cute too.  It looks like a big tree house.

On the bottom of our ticket, it said “We serve the fruit of the spirit…ask us how.”  According to their website, they serve God.  Sandra says the rumor is that they are a cult, but everyone keeps coming back because the food is good!

After dinner, we grabbed a cupcake from Chattanooga Cupcakes.

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Sandra had the red velvet and I had the cinnamon.  Check out the load of icing on these babies!!

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That was seriously enough icing for four cupcakes at least.  The cupcakes were tasty, but needless to say, we did not eat all of the icing.

After those sugar bombs, we walked around downtown towards the Tennessee River.

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Sandra showed me a glass bridge, which I planned to walk across, but then chickened out.  Despite being excited to fly on a plane, I could not do the bridge….I think because the sides were open.  I realize that sounds crazy.

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While walking around downtown, I saw a Moon Pie store and suddenly the random Moon Pie I received in my conference bag earlier made sense.

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According to moonpie.com, The Moon Pie was born in 1917 by the Chattanooga Bakery.  Their goal was to make a filling snack for coal miners.  They asked how big and one of the miners held his hand up to the moon and said “about that big”.  And so the moon pie was born.

Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of the Moon Pie, but I ate the one in my bag.

Are you a Moon Pie fan?

P.S.  All photos were from my iphone.

Getting Hitched in Savannah

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Three things I’ve learned since getting married:

1.  Wedding planning isn’t fun.

2. Save more money than you’ve budgeted for.

3.  It was all worth it in the end.

We tied the knot in gorgeous Savannah, Georgia last Friday.  It was the perfect day.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

We had the ceremony at the Whitefield Chapel in Bethesda.  The chapel is almost a 100 years old!  Bethesda is a home & school for boys and was founded in 1740.  It is the oldest orphanage in the US.  Here are some photos of the chapel that I took when we visited back in March.  The brick flooring, stained glass, and wooden pews are all original.

Well, I know you’re ready for the details, so here goes….

First, I had my hair styled by the talented Katherine Hammonds and I LOVED it!  My makeup was done by Karen Hough from Dollface by Jules.  The makeup was really expensive, but totally worth it.  Karen did an amazing job!

I was supposed to be at the chapel at 10:30 to go over some things before the ceremony started at 11:00.  Well, I was running late.  I tried calling practically everyone in Vee’s family to tell them I was on my way, but everyone had their phones off!!  My mom suggested I try to call my brother Emilio Kenney, to see if he was at the chapel and relay the message.  Here’s our phone conversation:

Me:  Hi Kenny, are you at the chapel?

Kenney:  Yeah, I’ve been here since 10:00.

Me:  Is Vee and his family there yet?

Kenney:  Yeah, all of them are here…I’ve been taking pictures with all of them.

Me:  Can you tell them I’m on the way?

Kenney:  Yeah, everything ok?

Yes, everything was fine, but I was freaking out.  I couldn’t be late for my own wedding!  I had to call Kenny back again to ask if they found the flowers and at that point, Kenny sounded worried that I was going to back out or something.

Here is a photo of Vee and his brother, the best man.  Aren’t they handsome?  This is what they were doing while waiting.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Who's that HOTTIE? OH, that's MY husband. Photo by Ellen Nicoll.

So, I made it to the chapel with 10 minutes to spare and before I knew it, I was on my way down the aisle.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

This is Dad and I before he walked me down the aisle.  I was so nervous!!  I love the wink and I don’t even remember this photo being taken.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Rudy LoMonaco performed the ceremony.  It was short and sweet and Rudy did a wonderful job.

Photo by Ellen Nicoll - my sister and his brother

Tons of photos were taken outside.  I can’t wait to show you the  photos that our photographer, Brittany Sweat, took of us.  She put up a few sneak peaks and I am so excited about them!

After the ceremony, everyone took a trolley ride to the reception site, Vic’s on the River.  This place is so awesome.  Here is another history lesson for you:

The architect, John Norris, who designed the Mercer House (which was featured in the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) also designed a cotton warehouse on Bay Street in 1859.  That cotton warehouse is now known as Vic’s on the River.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

Our reception was held in the Stoddard Room overlooking the river.  The room  still has its original heart of pine floors.  The ceiling was left open because it collapsed (before the restaurant opened) and they decided to leave it open to showcase the old rafters that had once been damaged in a fire.  I think it looks interesting.  I got my information from a Vic’s on the River recipe book that my brother-in-law, David, gave to me.

All the staff at the reception were incredible and the food was delicious.

Check out our menu:

First Course:  Mixed Green Salad with white balsamic vinaigrette.

Choice of entrée:  Baked Salmon with Creole Mustard Cream or Pulled Pork Sandwich with Vic’s BBQ sauce.

Sides:  Roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans.

I had the salmon; Vee had the pork.

Photo by Maggie Ngo

And of course, we had an AWESOME wedding cake for dessert!!

Photo by Ellen Nicoll

Vee painted our cake toppers.  I think they are so adorable.  The wedding cake is by Sonja Fishkind of Art Cakes.  I love, love, love the way the design turned out and the taste was even better than I’d hoped.  It was chocolate cake with bourbon chocolate and peanut butter filling!!!

Photo by Maggie Ngo

Sonja had made us a smaller cake for us to take home and freeze for our one year anniversary, but do you really think I could have let that delicious goodness sit in the freezer for a whole year?!?  Um, no, we ate it ALL within the next couple of days. :)   It was goood.  I told Vee we can just buy a new cake for our anniversary, hehe.

Big thanks to Ellen and Maggie for the photos!!

Me and my sister-in-law, Ellen!

Me and Maggie

The day was truly wonderful and many thanks to all the people who were able to share it with us.

 **Vee, I love you and I’m so excited to share the rest of my life with you!**

I’ll leave you with some fun photos that Ellen took at Vic’s.  Posts about our honeymoon in Savannah coming soon!

She told us to look fierce

Can I just live in this dress?

LOVE ROCKS!

I Cried

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I cried over cupcakes.

I know! I don’t know what came over me, standing there in the Sweetie Cakes bakery in Lumberton.

I was in my hometown in North Carolina, and Mom and I were there picking up cupcakes for my bridal shower.  She had already told me what she had ordered (and she was soooo excited):

Red Velvet

Photo by Christie Hill

German Chocolate

Lemon Apricot with Lemonglaze

Photo by Christie Hill

Swiss Chocolate with Peanut Butter Buttercream

And a surprise cupcake - Butter Cake with Buttercream…..made into a sunflower!

Photo by Christie Hill

I cried over the sunflower cupcakes because I didn’t expect them and Mom really surprised me.  I thought it was so sweet because my favorite flower is the sunflower and they will also be the flowers in my wedding.  She got me good.  I was quite embarrassed that I cried though.

Photo by Christie Hill

These cupcakes were insanly good.  I have two favorites:  The Swiss Chocolate with Peanut Butter Buttercream and the Lemon Apricot with Lemonglaze.  The Lemon cupcake was bursting full of tart lemon flavor.  Vee also likes the PB and Lemon cupcakes the best.  Great minds think alike, heh heh.  My Mom’s favorite is the German Chocolate.

The thing about these cupcakes is that the cake part is super moist.  Everyone wanted to know where Mom got them and how much they were.  I’ll be making a pit stop at Sweetie Cakes every time I’m in Lumberton, and you should too!

The shower was lovely.  My soon to be sisters-in-law, Jenny and Christie, put up festive decorations.

Photo by Christie Hill

My other soon to be sister-in-law, Ellen, made an awesome photo collage of Vee and I over the years.

Vee’s Mom made amazing Filipino food as usual!  Pancit, Fried Rice, and Egg Rolls.  Everyone loves the Egg Rolls.

Photo by Christie Hill

Games were involved – we all had these clothes pins to wear.  Anyone who said “good” or “wedding” lost their pin to the person who caught them saying those words.  The one who ends up with the most pins, wins a prize.  Aren’t these pins the cutest!!

Photo by Christie

There was also a game which involved me chewing a piece of Bubble Yum each time I gave a wrong answer to a question about Vee.  Some questions were:

What kind of animal would he want to be?

What is his favorite color?

Who is he named after? etc.,etc.

I think I ended up chewing 8 pieces.  I maybe only got  three answers right (with help).  Who am I marrying??  I apparently don’t know!

And of course, there was fun gifts.

Thanks to everyone who made this shower special!

Luv, Ash

Happy Birthday

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to me!  It was a couple of weeks ago, but nonetheless a memorable one.

I started out by applying for a marriage license!

How ’bout them apples?  I saw a couple walk out of the courthouse that had just gotten married and I realized how tempting it would be to throw out our wedding plans and just to the same.  We did not though.  We will patiently wait and spend gobs of money in the meantime.

A birthday is not complete without cake, so we stopped by Back in the Day Bakery for a birthday (cup)cake.

It was so adorable inside.  They had a lot of old, vintage, baking and kitchen things all around.

We got the old-fashioned cupcakes.  They were delicious.  I think I’ve said this before, but really, you can’t ever go wrong with buttercream icing.

That night, we ate at the Olde Pink House in Savannah.

Everyone was really nice.  I guess they get paid to be nice or better yet, I guess we are paying them to be nice??  Anyhow, every single person we passed by greeted us and wished us a happy stay.

We started out with a cheese & fruit plate and BBQ chicken sliders.  The cheese and fruit plate was typical; how can you go wrong with cheese and fruit?  The BBQ sliders were only okay.  We also had their special house drink, a Pink Lady.  It tasted like pink lemonade.

Our main entrees were perfect.  I had the sweet potato ravioli with oyster mushrooms, drizzled with a pecan cream sauce.  I ate every last bite, along with a side of fried green tomatoes.  The tomatoes had a very peppery breading which I liked.

Vee had a very manly fried pork chop with mac & cheese and mashed potatoes.  It was probably the most tender pork chop I’ve ever tasted.

And they found out it was my birthday. They asked if we were ready for dessert and Vee and I said no thanks because we were just way to stuffed for anything else.  So they brought us the check and cleared off our table.  Then a waiter brought over a candle and placed it at the edge of our table and placed a spoon in front of each of us.  Vee and I were exchanging glances of “what’s going on, I’m so fulllllll,” and then they brought out this:

I have to say, the whole candle thing was really dramatic and also romantic.

Thanks for a great birthday Vee!

Pupcake

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Divine Cupcakes and Yogurt Cafe offer cupcakes for your little doggies too!  They are made with all natural ingredients and I am happy to report that it did not upset Charlie’s stomach at all (he has a sensitive tummy.)

Mmmmmmm, give it to me now!

 

Pretty PLEASE, I’m showing my puppy eyes…..

Okay…

Charlie says Thank You Divine Cupcakes and Yogurt Cafe, it was tasty!

For more Charlie vids, click here.

Divine Cupcakes and Yogurt Cafe

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Divine Cupcakes and Yogurt Cafe is the new sweet spot in Charlotte.  They had their grand opening October 30th and Vee and I went to check them out.

They offer over 25 different flavors of frozen yogurt and gourmet cupcakes, as well as vegan, gluten-free, and diabetic friendly cupcakes.  Visit their website for a full list of flavors and services.  You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out which flavors are in rotation for the day.

First up, yogurt!

Divine Yogurt – Lip smackin’ good.

The flavors of the day were Strawberry-Banana, Peach, Vanilla, and Silky Chocolate.  Vee and I sampled the Strawberry-Banana.  It was smooth, creamy, and delish!

There is also a toppings bar.

Divine Toppings

And now, for the cupcakes!  The cafe is pretty much self-serve.  There will be a wall of boxes to choose from, so you can carry your precious cargo home.

Then to left of the boxes, you will see the bright light that is Divine Cupcakes (sorry, just finished watching the movie, Hereafter).  I’m hoping there are cupcakes like this in heaven.

Ready to get my cupcake on!

We went crazy and got six cupcakes.

Divine Picking
Our picks

Top row, left to right:  Chocolate Pecan with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, White Chocolate Cherry, and Bitter Dark Chocolate.

Bottom row, left to right:  Orange Pineapple, Mango, and Caramel.

We taste tested ALL of them when we got home.

Cupcake Monsters AHHHHHH!

My two favs were the White Chocolate Cherry and Bitter Dark Chocolate.

Winners

The White Chocolate Cherry is amazing!  The icing is dreamy and you will find huge hunks of real sweet cherries on the inside.  I believe they are giving Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream a run for their money.

Now, if you are a severe chocoholic (like I am), the Bitter Dark Chocolate is the cupcake for you.  If you are a milk chocolate lover, don’t let the “bitter” part scare you.  It’s rich and full of chocolatey goodness.

My third fav was the Mango Cupcake.

Mango Cupcake

The frosting on this is sooooo good.  I believe it was some type of buttercream frosting, in which, you can’t EVER go wrong with that.

Vee’s top three were the White Chocolate Cherry, Mango, and the Chocolate Pecan.  The Chocolate Pecan is chock full of nuts by the way, for the nut lovers!

I suggest you get thee to the cafe and enjoy a divine treat!

Red Velvet Craze

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First, there was Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Suarez Bakery

Then there was Red Velvet Donuts from Nona’s Sweets Bakery.

I'm so full of red velvet that my eyes are even turning red!

And now, I present to you…..(are you ready!)……drum roll please………….

Oh yes, The Red Velvet Waffle from Terrace Cafe.  Oh my YUMS, dessert for breakfast?  Yes please!

Topped with a cream cheese drizzle, this obviously didn’t need maple syrup.  It was soft and fluffy on the inside with a crispness on the outside.  It was AH-Mazing!  I ate three triangles and a couple of pieces of fruit.  I was so full.  An awesome Gingerbread Latte also found its way into my belly.

This place has Smores Waffles too.  Can you imagine?!

 

And the Winner is….

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So , earlier I mentioned that I had just eaten the best cupcake EVER.  Did you take a guess?

Well, it  started off with a trusty trip to Suarez Bakery.  I’ve posted before that I love their Boston Creme Cupcakes.  So naturally, I got that one and also a new one I haven’t tried there before – Red Velvet.  The Boston Creme did not disappoint, but I think I’ve found a new favorite!  The Red Velvet was perfect.  The frosting was the best freakin part and it was meant to pair its luscious self, right with that red velvet cake.

This cream cheese frosting was super smooth, creamy, and light.  It wasn’t too sugary or cheesy and the sprinkles were a nice crunchy compliment.  It was absolute heaven!

It’s a good thing I don’t live too close to this place.  And, let me clear something up.  I don’t actually make cupcakes……well, okay maybe I do once in a while, but I mainly just EAT other people’s cupcakes.  And then, I like to tell you about it, so that you can go get yummy cupcakes too!

How to eat a cupcake:

Take a big ol' bite

Make awkward face

Savor

V got the same two flavored cupcakes that I did and also a sugar cookie.  He saved his red velvet for later.  It’s taking everything in me not to eat it.  I may go stick my finger in the frosting….

Rockstar Cookie

The Goods

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Day two of Wilmington started off with a trip to Coastal Cupcakes.

I decided on the Double Chocolate and Key Lime Cupcake.  V picked the Mango Cupcake and the other cupcake was Angel Food Cake topped with some kind of Heath bar mix.

All bundled up in a to-go box.

The Angel Food – Heath mix got voted ugliest cupcake.  That and the Mango Cupcake tasted okay.  The Double Chocolate and Key Lime hit the spot.  Wish I had another chocolate one right about now.

Then we headed to Wrightsville Beach.  It was a beautiful day.

I read one full page!

After soaking up some rays, we stopped at Kohl’s Frozen Custard.  I got Vanilla Custard and V got a Coke.  Float anyone?  Mmmmm tasty!

Don't be afraid.

Want to know what the difference between frozen custard and ice cream is?  Click here to find out.

This little guy landed on my knee and wanted to come home with us.