The Unicorn Coloring Book

Surprise! I've released a new book. A coloring book. A *UNICORN* Coloring Book. Say hello to it: The Unicorn Coloring Book. I'm so proud of it. 

Inspired by the popularity of my coloring book pages, I've created a collection of completely unicorn-themed illustrations for you to color and enjoy. This book has 18+ involved illustrations to color, and is punctuated with inspiring quotes.

While the book was designed for adult coloring addicts, guess what? Kids find it fun, too. As proof, here is my nephew coloring with gusto. He was not paid for his product development services, I promise. 

How about a look at some of the interior pages? Here's one...

and another...

and another. See how funny and cute they are? They're really fun to color, too. 

You can order the book on Etsy; the books will be available to ship early next week. At this particular moment that is the only place to order, but in the coming weeks it will be available on Amazon, too.

Order yours now! 

February 1: National Baked Alaska Day, and a Free Coloring Book Page

Happy National Baked Alaska Day! This is indeed a great holiday. The thing is, I have already blogged about Baked Alaska. In fact, I even shared a great recipe for it in my second book, The Secret Lives of Baked Goods. So while today is a great day to explore Baked Alaska by clicking the links above, today I feel like offering you a different miracle: a free coloring book page download!

To download, click the picture above or follow this link to Flickr, where I have set it up so you can download this image for free. Download the "original" size (there's a downward facing arrow on the bottom right of the photo image that you click on to do this). 


January 30: National Croissant Day

Happy National Croissant Day! In addition to eating a croissant, I'd like to offer another fun activity for the day: learn how to draw a croissant! You can do this in a few easy steps, and personalize it to your liking. 

You can make the edges more rounded in for more of a crescent shape, or add a beret, face, and tiny mustache if you like.

Happy National Croissant Day!

Yogacorns Present: The Drishtis

Even if you don't know or care what a drishti is, you might have fun with this helpful yoga guide as presented by Yogacorns. 

A drishti is the direction of the gaze in a yoga pose, intended to help boost concentration. Of course, if you don't care much for yoga, you can enjoy the cute unicorns and then fix your own drishti on the next delicious dessert! 

My Delicious Adventure with Ben & Jerry's

Vermont topper

So, I recently went to Vermont. As a guest of Ben and Jerry. You might know them from the ice cream in your supermarket. Let me guide you through the experience in PICTURES. 

My Ben & Jerry's Adventure in Vermont

Vermont! I didn't know who else would be there for the event, and I was a little nervous. But I felt a bit better after I found an awesome goodie back including all sorts of made-in-Vermont treats and a fleece jacket emblazoned with the Ben & Jerry's logo in just my size, and after I had turned on Law and Order, of course.

Vermont trip

The next morning, I took a yoga class at a nearby studio before the Ben & Jerry's events started. Om nom namaste!

Vermont trip

Afterward, I returned to the hotel, got ready and headed down to the lobby, where I found who else but BAKERELLA! I did kind of tackle her. That part is factual. Vermont trip

We all went to the Penny Cluse Cafe, which used to be one of the first Ben & Jerry's scoop shop locations. Perhaps most importantly: we ate in the room where chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream was invented. Vermont trip

We headed to the corporate offices of Ben & Jerry's, where we split into teams. Mine included Bakerella (my darling!) and Nick from On Second Scoop. We got to invent an ice cream flavor with a flavor specialist who looked just like Alan Arkin. You can't really see it in ice cream form, but trust me on this one.

Vermont trip

We got to see the faux scoop shop in their HQ where they train franchisees. We also got to eat ice cream. Vermont trip

After our flavor adventure, we had a nice dinner out. Most importantly of ALL: it was on this fateful evening that I was exposed to some cultural phenomena I had not been previously: first, the term "lumbersexual"; second, the term "throwing shade". I now strive to use these terms in at least every other sentence. Vermont trip

The next morning, we got to visit one of Ben & Jerry's dairies. As long as you have absolutely no follow up questions, this is exactly what it was like. Vermont trip

After that, we got to go to their factory and see the ice cream made. For no particular reason, men wearing nets in over their hair hack ice cream for a job there!

Oh, I'm kidding. They slice the pints at random to make sure the fillings are evenly distributed. It does look like a Damien hirst ice cream art installation when they do it, though. 

Vermont trip

Since we were in Vermont, it was the law that we go snowshoeing. Since we were at Ben & Jerry's, our journey ended at the Flavor Graveyard, where they pay homage to flavors no longer in circulation. Vermont trip

WE GOT TO MEET BEN. As in, Ben & Jerry's. He was a really nice guy and he gave us each a stamp so that we could stamp dollar bills with political statements. I'm not kidding. Vermont trip

When it was time to go, I didn't want to leave.Vermont trip

But I did. I missed Porkchop and my sweetie too much to stay in Vermont, so I took a plane back home.

The End. 


My Parents as Pastries

Pastry portrait

This year, I made my parents a very special early Christmas present: a portrait of them as pastries, in front of their house (yep, the one I grew up in) in New Jersey!

My mom is depicted as a sweet little cupcake with a sewing project, a fancy little handbag, and a box of chocolates from Jean Louise in Spring Lake. 

My dad is depicted as a frosted brownie, with shades and a surfboard even in winter. Because yes, that is how he rolls.

Here's the reference picture I used:

First, I made a pen and ink drawing. Pastry portrait I took a break to test out various methods of applying masking fluid to make a snowy look. Pastry portrait and further along: Pastry portrait

and here is the picture and the finished piece side by side.

Pastry portrait

I think it came out pretty darned cute, and I thought by posting it here, it might just make you smile. Well, did it? Hey, maybe you should hire me to make a portrait of your family next year or for an upcoming birthday. Just sayin'. Find my online store here.

Happy Holidays!

Dessert Quirks and Confessions

Dessert Confessions

Dessert quirks: we all have them. Even if you don't have established quirks to point to, surely you've been guilty of strange dessert behavior in your life. In which case, even if you don't have a quirk, you've got a dessert confession

This post celebrates those quirky dessert moments and preferences. 

I wrote most of these, but some of them were contributed by readers. So don't blame me if you disagree with the quirk, because I might not have written the one you're focused on. 

Here goes:

Dessert Confessions

Root beer floats gross me out. Not the taste, the texture.

10 layer cake

The word "moist" grosses me out...

...but I can't think of another word that can accurately describe such a cake.

Dessert Confessions

I once bought a grocery store birthday cake because I just wanted a cake to eat for breakfast all week. At the checkout, the cashier said "whose birthday is it?" and I responded "what are you talking about?". And then I realized...

Dessert Confessions

After my wisdom teeth were taken out, I couldn't abide by cottage cheese and jell-o. On day 2, I mashed a cupcake in milk and ate it. And loved every morsel of the mush.

Homemade Pop Tarts

I could eat Pop-tarts every day. I'm not just saying that. I could eat them every single day.

Closeup, Many Cakes

I prefer vanilla to chocolate. 

I find angel food cake a complete waste of my time.

Dessert Confessions

Two words: quadruple stuf.

If I get on a kick, I will eat a dessert every day for weeks on end until I get tired of it. 

Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream

I love eating ice cream for breakfast. I wish more ice cream shops opened at 9am.

Dessert Confessions

I don't like sharing dessert.

I don't like chocolate covered fruit. 

Dessert Confessions

Dunking: not a fan.

White chocolate

White chocolate: love the stuff. 

I once ate an entire sleeve of Thin Mints as a child and have never really cared for them since. 

Dessert Confessions

I know you're not supposed to lick batter that contains uncooked egg, but I do. I haven't died yet.

I don't like flan.

Dessert Confessions

Salt: I put it on everything. Including brownies, cake, and ice cream.

Too many chocolate chips in my cookie and I'm totally turned off. I'd rather have too few than too many.

Dessert Confessions

There is no such thing as "too much frosting". And yet...frosting shots gross me out.

Do you have a dessert quirk? Tell me about it in the comments section! 

Illustrated Daydream: My Best Day Ever

The other day, I went to a free workshop by a friendly acquaintance Ron Helman, entitled "12 Big Questions that Will Change the Way You Think". This fellow is what they call a Life Coach, which is about as common in Santa Fe as pizza in New York. But while one might be tempted to dismiss such a thing as "woo-woo", it was actually quite a pleasant experience. I'd been feeling a bit down because I'm meeting some resistance with my third book idea, and it was a nice chance to get out of my self-focused bubble a bit.

One of the most fun exercises was one where we were prompted with this question: "Describe your ideal day, beginning with 'I wake up...' ". I found it such a fun exercise that I decided to illustrate it and share it here. It also makes me wonder...what would be YOUR best day? Feel free to leave a comment!

CakeSpy's Best Day (an illustrated daydream)

I wake up.

I search my unicorn themed apparel for something to wear then select glasses to match my shoes.

I go to yoga and we do all the poses I'm good at.

I bake a cake...

and then I write an awesome blog post.

I take a walk with my sweetie and my pug, porkchop.

Then we go to dinner at Jambo Cafe.

Afterward hop on a plane to Paris for a religieuse pastry. If Paris is not possible on this particular day, I can compromise: a flight to Philadelphia, to get ice cream at Bassets, would also do quite nicely.

The end.

What is your ideal day?