So Guys…I Turned 25! Birthday Shenanigans and Exploring Key West!

Hey guys! I’m back, do you notice something different about me…oh you do? Well, that’s because I am %100, bonafide, grown ass WOMAN! Lol…no really I turned 25 on April 20th. In the small scope of my world this year has been tough, which made it all the more beautiful and immensely important I made it to this milestone in life. I know some people believe age is just a number, and to some degree that is true. But, for many, it signifies the growth, fight and hardship we endured to reach that next age. I find that I become so aware of how my spirit, body and heart perseveres, through all of my changes. This year I got another medical diagnosis (that would bring about an additional layer of medical issues, endless doctor visits, treatment therapy that feels like it will go on forever and BIG surgery coming up), I lost my dear friend Devin Cook and I had to take time away from my bakery. Those things alone were enough to bruise my spirit, but I refuse to let things steal the threads of beauty, immense gratitude and inherent optimism that are so deeply ingrained within my soul and weaves throughout every aspect of my life.

Since I turned the big 25, I was lucky enough to take a little trip with the madré! We headed to florida, it was amazing, as florida always is. But, this time we went somewhere different, and different was…KEY WEST! I could have been more surprised, excited and complete thrilled! After a couple of days hoping around florida, I anxiously awaited “the day”. The following morning, we took a small charter plane and landed on the island for 2 days and 1 night of shear awesomeness! Once, I found out, I became strategic, I looked up what to-do, talked to locals and just walked around and explored with my mama! We found a local stop called El Siboney, a favorite cuban restaurant of visitors and locals. And as you know “we” LOVE CUBAN FOOD! We walked along Duvall St., we bought gifts for the fam and found lovely little shops, that shape the beautiful and unique culture, community and way of life that you experience down in the “keys”! So, here is our trip at a glance…
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We had lunch at The Bohemian Hotel, in Celebration, FL. It sits on the edge of the town, with a lovely view of the town lake.
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For lunch I had a delish Pan Seared Salmon over a Tossed Green Salad, with Sparkling water (I kept the bottle and I plan to turn it into a candle holder)
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The decor of the hotel is that of its namesake, bohemian! It’s beautiful, with warm tones that are quite inviting, the staff exhibit wonerdful hospitality and the space also is home to a eclectic art gallery.
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After one of the best lunches of my life. The madre and I walked around town, got coffee, bought some gifts and headed back to the hotel for one last night before we flew to Key West in the morning.
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The view from our balcony, our last night there. Now, off to KEY WEST!
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We have arrived…
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Some of the sights, but firt thing first…FOOD! We walked from our hotel to the glorious, acclaimed and completely authentic Cuban restaurant El Siboney!
DSC_0196DSC_0197DSC_0202IMG_2082 Just us girls!
IMG_2088 We got arroz y frijoles, yuca fritas, mojo, tostones, platanos maduros, and pargo rojo pescado con arroz…and it was AMAZING!!! Do yourself a favor and if you are ever in Key West, stop by El Siboney! After lunch we headed into town and saw alot of the natural beauty that makes up Key West.
DSC_0205DSC_0211DSC_0214DSC_0215DSC_0216 Oh, and of course we hit the beach!
IMG_2092IMG_2091DSC_0219DSC_0226IMG_2095 Once the time in the water came to and end, we headed back to the room the shower and change for dinner! We ate at A&B Lobster House, which sits looking out at the gorgeous harbor. And as you will see below, I still get carded at 25.
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And our wonderful waiter surprised me with this…
IMG_2121 It was be far the best key lime pie I had ever had! It is entirely unique and no one can do it like Key West can! After a lovely and memorable dinner, we went back to the hotel to pack, relax and enjoy the view of Key West at night. But before I go…
DSC_0244DSC_0245 The Ernest Hemingway Museum was so interesting, I think I need to see it again, but next time I won’t be runnign around like a mad woman, trying to see it all before we head to the airport.
IMG_2148 Bye, bye, Key West…until next time!
Thank you to all who wished me a happy birthday, I look forward to many, many, many more! I will se you guys tomorrow for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s”! So be well and thanks for allowing me to share my experiences with you all!
An info list of local shops and restuarants:
1. The Bohemian Hotel: http://www.celebrationhotel.com/
2.El Siboney: http://www.elsiboneyrestaurant.com/
3. A&B Lobster House: http://aandblobsterhouse.com/
4. The Green Pineapple: http://www.greenpineapplekw.com/ This place was amazing! It’s a yoga studio, cafe/bakery and boutique. They have delicious gluten-free baked goods and the vibe is great! I had a wonderful talk with the manager Karen!
5. The Ernest Hemingway Museum: http://www.hemingwayhome.com/
P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G !
P.S.: Peak in on Saturday, I have a special post for you guys!

I’m Back…Wednesday’s with WinniE’s ( May 29th)

Hello everyone! I couldn’t be happier to be back, here with you all and sharing the time I spend developing and creating new recipes or designs for cakes, cupcake and more! Today in the WinniE’s Bakery “test kitchen” something incredibly personal is going on. I know I mentioned before, but my brother David and his fiancée Heidi are getting married. And, you may ask, who might be the lucky one doing the wedding cake? You guessed it, me…eek! So today, I will show the “demo cake”. A “demo cake” or “concept cake”, essentially is an idea that puts to form the design you conceptualize between your client and yourself. Whatever is agreed-upon, can then be displayed through the medium of a styrofoam cake. I absolutely love doing a “demo cake”! The key inspirations for Heidi’s demo cake: rustic, simplistic, small, floral accents (white roses and sunflowers) and all buttercream. All of my favorite things to have in a cake! So here’s a look and how it turned out…
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and after…
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This is the finished product. I couldn’t have more excited to be back at trying to create beautiful baked goods. And Heidi was so excited to have a chance to see how the concept we had been discussing and tweeking looked. That way she would feel calm, confident and completely at peace with her desicion to have this style of cake at one of the most important days of her life!
Thanks again guys, see you next week for “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s”! By the way, if you want to follow the happenings of my bakery between each week “Wednesday’s with WinniE’s” you can follow our bakery on Instagram @winniesbakery. Be well!
P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G !

Wednesday’s with WinniE’s! (June 4th)

Hey guys, happy Wednesday! Yes, I know…it’s Thursday, Thursday evening at that.

Sorry to get this post up so late, things are really happening at WinniE’s Bakery. It’s “wedding season” and graduation time, so that means lots of orders=lots of work…yay! I love being busy, I thrive on the balancing act that is work and life. I am learning and enjoying the journey! Anyway, I wanted to show you guys a special order I did for one of my favorite customers. It was an out of season order, but for her, I will always make this exception. Her favorite item on the WinniE’s menu is my “Winter Special” ‘Peppermint Mocha’ cupcake. I was more than happy to accommodate, she had loved the cupcakes so much she wanted have them as apart of her sister’s birthday celebration.

Here’s what’s been happening in WinniE’s Bakery…

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Just a sprinkle…

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Now to box!

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I hope you guys like this weeks post. I know that this weeks post was short, but hopefully sweet! Until next week!

 

P E A C E  + L O V E + B A K I N G !

E

Wednesday’s with WinniE’s! (May 7th)

Hey everybody, happy Wednesday…NOT!

Yes, I do realize it’s Friday. I have unfortunately, for one reason or another, been unable to get a WinniE’s post up on time for the past few weeks. Which, really, really eerks me! I love my blog, I love the support of you all and I try really hard to share interesting, personal, authentic, positive, genunie, deliciously different and utterly delectable post. Anyway, things have been CRAZY at WinniE’s Bakery, for those of you who don’t already know, this week is “National Nurse’s Week”. This is a very special week for me because, not only is my mother a nurse, and my sister-in-law soon to attend nursing school (her mother is nurse as well), but I spent a great deal of my life growing up in the hospital. I suffer from a couple significant medical conditions, but that has never stop me! You want to know why, (aside from the love and support of my family and friends) I have a secret weapon…my MOM!!! In my eyes, I believe there is no great advocate, voice of reason and beacon of insight than to have a nurse on your side…but I am so obviously bias. So, this week WinniE’s Bakery was comissioned for an order for some of the nurses at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington DC. 

I fought through tehnical difficulty, after technical difficulty, after another, to share this post with you guys. Here is a small glimps into what went on in the bakery…

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My lovely Aunt Nette bought this delicate and stunning tea cup/coffee mug, as my birthday present! It’s so pretty it took me about 2 weeks to decide if I wanted to drink from it or just keep it as a novelty piece.

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A good place to start.

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The start of a little caramel…just bubbling away!

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The order consisted of the flavors, “Lemon Coconut Creme”, “Red Velvet w/ Vanilla Cream Cheese Buttercream” and “Triple Chocolate w/ Salted Caramel Buttercream”

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All packaged up and ready for delivery!

I hope you all liked this Wednesday’s with WinniE’s post! Until next time…

 

Wedneday’s with WinniE’s! (April 30th)

Hey guys, happy Thursday, again!

Here is quick post for you guys, of what happened in WinniE’s Bakery yesterday. I have been so busy lately, with finals coming up, my birthday, my brother’s birthday and running the bakery; which is even more of a ask, seeing as it is our busiest season. To celebrate Spring and the on coming of Summer, I thought I would do a Key Lime Pie inspired recipe. After, many concept I decided on what I call my “Key Lime Kisses” cookie! They are velvety, zesty and divine! By the way, sorry this post is late!

Here is a look at how they turned out…

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Zested!

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A little white chocolate.

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Scooped out and ready to BAKE!

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Delicious coconut lime magic.

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And topped them with ground Graham Crackers!

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I decided to take them in and shared them with my ASL class. They LOVED them!!! That’s Taj savoring his cookie!

Until next time you guys.

 

P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G !

E

My Blueberry Almond Coconut Quinoa-Meal Drizzled w/ Honey

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

I wanted to start my week off right, with me that means nutritiousing my body with healthy and delicious food!

So, today I woke up and it was a rainy. I didn’t have classes so of course what I do with some free time…cook. I thoroughly enjoyed recipe writing. I had recently been inspired by recipes for oatmeal, but I eat a predominately gluten-free diet. My mother has Celiacs and I have gluten-intolerence. I decided, although oatmeal is a great breakfast, I’ll substitute quinoa. Quinoa is “the” power food, it’s high in protein, takes on whatever flavor you choose and a complete ‘plant’ protein (making it Vegetarian + Vegan friendly) So, I did what I so often do, cook first, recipe write later! 

Here’s how it turned out…
Blueberry Almond Coconut Quinoa-Meal w/ Honey Drizzle

Ingredients: serves 2-3 
1 c. Yellow or Red Quinoa
2 c. Pure Silk “Original” Coconut milk
1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1-2 tbsp. Clover Honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/2 c. Fresh Blueberries
1/4 c. Flaked Coconut
1 tbsp. Sliced Almonds
(+) 1 tsp. additional Clover Honey to drizzle atop.
Instructions:
Thoroughly, rinse the quinoa. Place the coconut milk in a small sauce pan, then bring to a soft boil, over med. high heat. Once the edges of the pot have small bubbles, pour in the quinoa. Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat to LOW, at a simmer and cover and cook for 15-18mins. Look for a smooth and creamy consistancy. Once completed, remove from heat, allow to stand for 5mins. Drop in tablespoon honey, stir in well.
Place in a bowl, top with coconuts flakes, blueberries and sliced almonds. Finally, lightly drizzle atop with 1 tsp. honey. Serve and enjoy!
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A little spice.
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All done. Now just stir in some…oh, so sweet honey!
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Drizzled goodness!
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And of course, I needed my favorite coffee. I like dark roast coffee w/ Non-fat milk…that is all.
Please let me know what you guys think and share with your friends and family!
P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G

 

My Roasted Vegetable & Shredded Kale Salad

Hello everyone, happy Monday!

One of the things that brings me the most joy, is writing recipes. I love to do really healthy, flavorful + delicious recipes all the time. I like knowing I have recipes (like this one) that fuels my body and eases that internal voice saying, “girl watch what you stuff your faces with!” I love feeding my family + sharing how wonderful and simplistic healthy eating can be…like with you all!

The following recipe was inspired by my new found love, of all things kale! I love kale in smoothies,  I love it in salads and I love to juice with it! It does not matter…I am a believer, lover and pusher of KALE!
But first, a little music. It is FACT in our home that food always taste better if you play music while you cook! My music of choice…Hans Zimmer’s “The Holiday” soundtrack!
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I hope you guys like it!
Roasted Vegetables + Kale Salad
Ingredients:
(1 bag or 12 oz.) Brussels Sprouts
(1) 2-3lb. Butternut Squash
1/4-1/2 c. Feta cheese (crumbled)
1/4 c. Pepitas or pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp. Evoo (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2tbsp + 2 tsp. Sea Salt
2 tsp. Ground Pepper
4 c. Kale (shredded)
Instructions:
On a cutting board, using a sharp knife shred the kale. Place the shredded kale in a colander, rinse thoroughly under water. After cleaning, set aside to dry. Once finished drying pour greens into a large bowl.
Set the oven to 400 degrees.
In a microwave, place the butternut squash inside to cook for 3mins. After, bring the squash to a cutting board. If you have them available to you, place on a pair of disposable gloves. Take the squash, lay it horizontally, placing a firm grip on the squash, use a sharp knife to cut off each end, then the squash in half. Then, using the knife (or peeler) remove the skin. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then into 4-5 sections lengthwise, then cut into cubed pieces. Once, chopping is completed, place the squash into a large bowl, coating well with 2 tbsp. evoo, 1 tbsp. salt + 1 tsp. pepper. Lay the prepared squash evenly on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Place the brussels sprouts in a colander and rinse clean. Pat dry with a paper or kitchen towel. On another cutting board, take a brussels sprout and quarter, then place into a bowl. Generously coat the brussels sprouts with 1 tbsp. evoo, salt + pepper.
Place both the brussels sprouts + butternut squash in the oven for 20-25mins.
In a sauté pan, over med. heat, take the pumpkin seeds and spread the evenly, cooking until a golden-brown coloring appears, about 5-8mins. Set aside to cool.
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The liquid a butternut squash secretes leaves a film that is hard to be washed off. So, I use disposable gloves.
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Drizzle.
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And now, it’s the brussels sprouts turn!
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Now a little salt…
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And pepper
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Mix it up!
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BRUSSELS!!!
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Set to roast at 400 degrees
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Pop them in…for 25mins.
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Toast up those Pepitas!!!
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Watch them…cook on med. heat.
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Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1 Lemon
1 Garlic clove
1 tsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Ground Pepper
1/3 c. Evoo
Instructions:
On a cutting board, use a knife (BLADE POINTED AWAY FROM YOUR BODY) a and flat palm to smash the garlic. Place the garlic, lemon juice, honey, salt + pepper into a food processor or blender and pulse. Through the pour top drizzle in the evoo, until emulsified.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients, kale, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, pumpkin seed + feta cheese. Pour the vinaigrette atop the salad and incorporate. Place into a serving platter, top with more salt, pepper + feta as desired. Enjoy!
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Everything in!
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Drizzle on a little dressing…
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And toss it all about!
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Finally!
P.S.: It taste amazing the next day!
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P E A C E + L O V E + B A K I N G