Chrysanthemum Cupcakes

pinterest copy

Ok, I thought I would be nice.

I always get asked how in the world I made these cupcakes whenever I show this picture. Now, don’t get me wrong, I see where you’re coming from. They are SO stinkin’ adorable, it would seem they are hard. But, I will let you in on a little secret. Promise you won’t tell anyone. PROMISE.

Good. We may continue.

Secret: thic decorating technique is super duper simple! Don’t believe me? I’ll show you!

Step 1: Cut a marshmallow in half diagonally. These will be your “petals.” Here’s an illustration:


Step 2: Dip the cut side of the marshmallow piece in colored sugar. (Hint. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on pre-colored sugar… Do it yourself!)

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 a bagillion times. Or a hundred. Either one. It takes about 30 “petal” halves to make one cupcake. You do the math.

Step 4: Ice the cupcake. Nothing fancy, no swirls, no tricks. Just get some icing on the cake!

Step 5: Place the petals on the cupcake in a circle until the top is covered.

Step 6: Pipe 3 small dots for the stamen in the middle of the petals.

Viola! Finished.

You’re welcome.

Stay sweet.


The End.

I made it!


I made this magnet last fall before I even knew where I would be interning (thanks for coloring my dreams, Em. :] ). It was from our first Peer Mentor event on campus, and it was all about setting goals.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know if you’ve arrived.”

Well, I’ve arrived. I didn’t give up on my dream of a DC internship, and I didn’t give up when it got hard. And now I will proudly display this magnet all the way back to the QC!

All I can say is, don’t ever give up on dreams. You can always achieve them, and if you don’t, it’s because God’s got something grand on the horizon that your dream might have interrupted. Either way, it’s a win-win.

Now, stay sweet.

It’s The Final Countdown… (da duh da da, da duh da da da da)

Well, friends, the time has come!

Tomorrow is my last day at work, and last day in the D of C. I can’t believe it’s been three months… and how far I’ve come in those days. I’ve learned so much about the industry, about this city, and–possibly most important–about myself.




…I’ve also made a lot of cornbread batter. Yeah, that’s fifty-six pounds of batter. Yeah, I carried that up stairs to the fridge. Like a boss.


Early Friday morning I shall begin the momentous trek back to Charlotte, but until then I’ll be packing some final items. One of the awesome guys here at the ARC helped me pack most of my stuff today into the car, so I just have a few things to take out tomorrow.

We’re so close! I am more and more excited by the minute. Can’t wait to turn the page and start the next chapter.


Stay sweet.


Well, the time is almost here!

I have only one week left in this internship. Crazy, yes! Happy, yes. Sad, also yes. I have gotten to know some awesome people here at the Madison, and am sad to be leaving them. Buuuuttt… I am so stinking excited to return to JWU! It’s kind of bittersweet (as it was when I began) but I know that this season must come to an end, so I shall embrace it.



But, man, will I miss this city.


I’ll post sometime next week, but until then…

Stay sweet.

In My Own Little Corner

Hey there!

These past couple weeks have been grand. Not grand as in, “Wow, I want to stay here forever!” Grand as in, “I am learning so much. Also, I can’t wait to get back to Charlotte!” 😉

As I said earlier, I have been working on the banquets side of the kitchen for the last few weeks. Now, on this side is a back section, which is down a ramp, pretty secluded, and like fifteen degrees warmer than the rest of the kitchen. Really. It’s so dang hot down there! Anyways, that section is where the pastry stuff is, and therefore where I am usually set up. Sometimes I work on special items, sometimes on banquets. Here’s a couple things I’ve made lately:



chocolate panna cotta desserts for a VIP banquet…


apple bacon caramel cobbler shooters…

WP_20130124_004and pulled sugar!


This internship has been quite adventurous. I wasn’t sure I could do it at first, honestly. The work was new, hard, and long. But that’s the thing… it was new! New things are usually hard. Change is hard. But it is good. It provides new perspective. I have a better sense of this industry that I’m about to dive into, some new tips and tricks, and a better confidence that I can really do this.

…With all that being said, though, I miss my school!!! I am so excited to be back in Charlotte in just a few weeks (crazy, right?), back to class, back to friends, back to jobs I adore. The countdown has begun! It’s kind of bittersweet, but then again, change is too.

And change is good!


Stay sweet.


New Year, New Kitchen

Why, hello there!

Happy 2013. My apologies for not posting in (gosh!) over two weeks! I have good news, though…

I began the new year by museum-hopping. Figured the best way to spend the “new” was to remember the old. I, being the history nerd that I am, had a blast!



Ahoy. 😉

I also started some new things at my internship, too. Last week, while working the dessert station by myself (they actually trusted me… crazy. considering I am crazy. ;P), I prepped almost all of the product for the new winter dessert menu, which launched this past Saturday: buttermilk ice cream, cranberry chocolate whoopie pies, and caramelized banana syllabub, to name a few items! I also worked hard to perfect my crepe-making skills. I can now say that I officially can make crepes using only a pan… and my fingertips!

Well, what’s left of them.


Also, on Monday, I headed back to the White House to decorate some Inaugural cookies–hundreds of ’em! It was great!



Me and Chef Bill, the head pastry chef at the White House, dipped and piped tons of mini white houses… they were so darn cute!

And… last but not least, I have switched to a new section in the Madison kitchen! I have been making desserts for the barista lobby bar this week… cinnamon rolls, fudge brownies, and even raspberry lemon english muffins! It’s craaaazy to think that people will actually be paying to eat my treats! ‘Tis exciting.

Told you I had good news.


Stay sweet.

Food. Yummy, Yummy Food.

Well hello there.

Quite a few days have passed since we met last, but I am sure you were a bit busy with the holidays and such, so I think we’ll just recap. I was working until the 23rd, which was when I left for home. I was busy prepping for Christmas Eve dinner at the restaurant, which included these little guys:


Ginger pate de fruit (pronounced “pat-uh-fwee”). They are basically gummies for grown-ups… White wine, blended ginger, and LOTS of sugar. They were definitely a challenge, but a cool thing to make! Anyways, after work, I went home, decorated some Christmas cookies, made some green bean casserole, and celebrated the most wonderful time of the year. It was grand to be home for those few days!

I returned on the 27th, and have been working to prep for New Year’s eve since. It has been definitely interesting seeing the back-of-the-house side of a high-end restaurant… like making food for a meal that is $95 a person! Here’s what the desserts are:




Pretty crazy, huh? And to think that I helped create every single item on there. Crazy. I may not love the hours, and it may be hard at times, but I am learning SO much at the Federalist. I am so grateful for such a unique and awesome internship! Love it.

Oh, and by the way,

Happy New Year’s!

Stay sweet.


The White House.

I just had a magical life moment. You know, the one that you know you’ll reminisce when you’re eighty and sitting in a rocking chair. The one you’ve dreamed about for a long time, woken up and thought, “someday!” Well, that day happened for me today…

I baked at the White House. 😀

Ever since visiting the White House in 2007, I’ve wanted to return and bake in the pastry shop, for I think there’s no job greater than to bake and work in such a magnificent and significant home. So I kept in touch with the head pastry chef Bill Yosses, and hoped that one day I would return. And then this internship happened–in the same city. And on Wednesday, I got that momentous email, informing me that I, little miss Madison, was invited to volunteer!

Ecstatic doesn’t begin to describe how I felt.

I arrived at the entrance this morning feeling all official, and I soon entered the gates, walked across the lawn and through the doors to the house. Chef Yosses was so kind and gave me a quick tour of the place before we started working. I’m sure all the visitors who saw me thought that I was some important chef… Little did they know. 😉

Among the things I did included making the daily fruit plate for the Obamas (eep!), eat in the official Eisenhower Building‘s cafeteria, and meet Mr. Bo (the Obama’s adorably fluffy dog).


I know. He’s so cute! And the tree is pretty fly, too. Actually, all the Christmas decorations made me want to run to the kitchen and bake something festive. It looked and smelled like Christmas in there! 🙂

All in all, today was magical. I am so thankful God decided to blow my mind again (He does that a lot.) and give me such an amazing experience! Oh, and on top of that, I got to run the dessert station all by myself for the first time at work. I know. Great.

Just thought I’d keep ya informed.

Stay sweet.



p.s. I apologize for the overkill of emoticons. But it had to be done. Embrace it.

Marmalade + Megan

Well, I have officially been here in DC for three weeks now!

It’s crazy to think that everything I have experienced so far has only taken up 21 days… not even a month! I have learned so much working at The Madison, and also living in such an exciting city. This past week was especially fun…

Work-wise, I have been doing much better than the last time I posted! It took a little while, but I settled in, and now can make a myriad of desserts and a pretty great quenelle. 🙂 This past week, though, I was working specifically on desserts that will be served this week at the Beard House (which is a pretty big deal… it’s really exciting!), like poached pears, pates de fruits, and a TON of orange marmalade. Seriously, I made like ten gallons. I learned a lot of new techniques and tricks, though, and am loving getting to experiment and try new things! It’s been grand.

week 3

The second cool thing was my sister, Megan, who came to visit for the week! She definitely wore me out… Our trips included the zoo, Georgetown, Julia’s empanadas, the Capital, and lots of subway rides. It was so great to get out and see where I am living, and to visit with the sis!

So that’s it for now. Merry Christmas to all, and I will post again soon!

Stay sweet.