National Chocolate Cake Day

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Oh yey! Another fake holiday that has us all droolin’ over food. Hey, I’m not complaining.

I can live without chocolate, but why would I want to? My favorite way to indulge in chocolate cake? Top it with some vanilla ice cream.

This chocolate cake is actually a chocolate mousse cake from Montebello Restaurant in Midtown. I had a great dinner there last night, more on that soon!

So what are you waiting for? Grab some chocolate cake and be happy. It’s that simple.

Happy #NationalChocolateCakeDay 🙂

Breaking Standards, Savoring Irony

hands free

They say we are young and restless, but some days that’s not how we feel. We are lost in a sea of loans and bills, looking out at the stars with all their glimmering cheer. We dream of places far away, our thirst unquenched, our fears unlisted.

We want to go places but we know we can’t fly. We are tied to the puppeteer, but we always want to dance. Time is unknown, just something we’ve heard of.

We are easily inspired with a fleeting desire that gets lost in the city lights.

– Cristina Nogueras ©

city lights

 

Photo Credits:

http://enjoythefood.tumblr.com/post/69846548946

http://parisfog.tumblr.com/post/69743392968

On giving thanks… with a side of puppies.

1288588995Source: http://www.loveitsomuch.com/

Giving thanks…

Remember? Thanksgiving? The whole reason you eat turkey?

I know, it’s hard to remember when all you see is Christmas lights and black Friday deals. I know Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks and all that. To be honest, for me it’s all about being with family and people you love. If you think about it, that’s a reason to be thankful, so there you have it. No matter how you wish to look at it, you have to be thankful during Thanksgiving, maybe it’s because you are off work or because you saved a ridiculous amount of money on something you did not even need to begin with, but you are thankful and you know it.

This will be my 7th Thanksgiving that I spend away from home without my family. Sounds tragic, but I’ve been blessed to be able to spend it with special people each and every year. Whether it has been with my friend attempting to cook a turkey in Boston freshman year of college, abroad in France with my amazing host family or even  last year with another friend roaming the streets of NYC looking for a place that was open for cheap  turkey feasting (cheap being the key word).

That’s what it’s all about, feeling that warmth from the people that you love and being able to say: “Woah, I’m lucky to have people that love me.” Distance sucks, but even in the distance I know I have SO many people that love me and care about me. Sure, I can be thankful for so many other things in my life, but I’m gonna let myself be cheesy and this year I’m going to be thankful for love in all of its forms. Whether it’s my mom’s morning text, a friend’s hug, a lover’s kiss or a puppy picture in my phone’s background.

However, just in case you still need some reasons to be thankful today, here are some Thanksgiving themed puppy pictures.

Cute-puppies-golden-thanksgivingSource: http://puppypicsonline.com/tag/thanksgiving-puppy/

thanksgiving-puppy1Source: http://puppypicsonline.com/tag/thanksgiving-puppy/

cute puppy leavesSource: http://seasonal-love.tumblr.com/post/10766392765

cutest puppies in leaves

Source: http://www.all-hd-wallpapers.com/wallpaper/animals/autumn-leaf-bed/254045thanksgiving-dogSource: http://www.vetconm.com/13-tips-to-keep-your-dog-safe-on-thanksgiving/

Sparks

You don’t really know how it happened, you just know it did. At some point along the way, that little flickering flame took over and lighted up a fire. You saw the light and started feeling the warmth… you let it take over because, why not? You look back to try to understand, but you know you don’t need that because it just makes sense. It’s the kind of force that brings with it a feeling of contentment that can’t be easily equated. A light that has enough power to light a way into better days and with better days, more dreams are born. You feel refreshed in a way that only new chances can make you feel. The sweet realization that there is just so much more to come is enough to make you want to dance the day away…

Cristina Nogueras © – February 2013

Sometimes, I Bake

Last year, my friend Lindsay and I won our office holiday bake-off under the creativity category. Pretty sweet little reindeer cookies, if you ask me.

This is how the cookies looked at the recipe website…

 

This is how our cookies turned out. Not that bad, considering I owned an android camera at the time.

reindeer cookies

2012 Winners in the creative category – Cristina Nogueras ©

This year, when my office announced we would be having another bake-off to celebrate National Dessert Day (which by the way, it’s a thing) I knew I had to retain my title as the creative cook. My coworker Lina and I decided to team up and get creative.

Mind you, this comes from the girl that knows how to cook, however, limits herself to the same five basic recipes. I have big ideas in my head, but they always somehow end up as some variation of chicken, rice and beans.

I knew flavor was not going to be my strength, so we went for creativity. Thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest and the many amazing and creative human beings out  there, I found a twist-off to my favorite childhood dessert: Tierrita Dulce.

photo


Rest in Bliss Vanilla Pudding – Photo & Edits Cristina Nogueras ©

I took some creative license rights and decided to call our creation: Rest in Bliss. I know, I’m no artist, but I’m really humbly proud of the results.

Plus, guess what?

WE WON!

Yes, that’s right, this girl over here is the current two-strike undefeated baking champion! (May I say we did not even have to technically bake anything?)

What’s the recipe for success? We literally followed the instructions on the Jell-O vanilla pudding box and added food coloring. Then we crushed a bag of cream-less Oreos and added layers of Oreos to the bottom and top of the cups. I know, rocket science. We added gummy worms to give it the Halloween look and Lina went all out with the frosting drawings in the vanilla wafer cookies.

Besides bragging rights and high-fives (which are always welcomed), we also received a nice bottle of Aviation Gin! Thinking of going classy and trying out some nice cocktails soon.

Desserts & cocktails? Not bad, right?

aviation

Cristina Nogueras ©