October 21, 2015 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: My son is in fourth grade, and for the last five years, I've happily agreed to bring treats to class celebrations when my turn has rolled around, as I'm an avid home baker. The last time I took decorated cupcakes in, my son's principal took me aside and asked me to bring in "less-elaborate" treats, as it was making the other parents feel bad about their own baking skills. I couldn't believe it. Are the parents really thinking that because they can't stuff a cupcake with chocolate ganache, their kids shouldn't see pretty cupcakes ever?
April 18, 2015 |
Amazing animal sculptures made from recycled material will be on display at the Philadelphia Zoo through Oct. 31. "Second Nature" features works by 12 artists from around the globe (including some from Philly) using recycled and repurposed materials, like a pink eight-foot crocodile made entirely of chewing gum. Philly artist Leo Sewell shows off his 175-pound rhinoceros sculpted from 250 silver serving trays collected from scrap piles, junk sales, and curbsides. Sculptures range from bunnies and gorillas to flowers made from a car hood.
February 18, 2015 |
VERNON WILKINS travels the city on buses, subways and foot, selling $1 carrot cupcakes he bakes from scratch, using a recipe he has made nearly every day - the exact same way - for the past 35 years. "I never ever, ever, ever changed or skimped on my recipe," he said. "I buy fresh products every day. I go to the market every day. One of my favorite sayings in life is, 'If it's not broke, don't fix it,' and that's how I managed to be successful so long. " In the beginning, Wilkins, 60, sold carrot cake in his West Philly store.
July 20, 2014 |
The "Bet" had all the elements of a wager made among titans who swagger with confidence that their towns are the best. OK, it actually was about encouraging residents of all ages to exercise. But that's just fine when the payoff is so sweet. And, oh, how sweet was this week's payoff. In April, Ambler Mayor Jeanne Sorg said, she invited Jenkintown Mayor Ed Foley and Narberth Mayor Tom Grady to publicize Montgomery County's Senior Games - an annual competition promoting an active lifestyle for older residents - by making a friendly bet. It wasn't on which of their towns would score the most medals at the games, which were held in May with events ranging from basketball foul-shooting to a 400-yard freestyle swim to doubles pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong.
March 7, 2014
What to eat : As far as we can tell, Sweet Box makes some of the best cupcakes in Philly: orange Creamsicle, chocolate peanut butter, thin mint, strawberries and champagne, chocolate Guinness Stout with whiskey filling and Baileys Irish Cream frosting, espresso hazelnut praline, bacon maple, beer infused, cayenne cinnamon. All served up by the lovely - yet extremely hardworking - Gretchen Fantini. If she doesn't make a flavor you like, your taste buds are on the fritz. Trust us. Don't miss: Based on the amount of strawberries Fantini purees, she believes her strawberries-and-champagne cupcakes are a best-seller.
May 2, 2013 |
This is the eighth in a series on healthy cooking classes at St. Martin de Porres School in North Philadelphia. Jayla Reeves saw the muffin tin and her hopes soared. "Are we making cupcakes? Maybe organic cupcakes?" she asked. "Well, no. Corn muffins!" I said, trying to summon equal enthusiasm. Not quite as heart-stopping as cupcakes with frosting, I realized. I had planned such an easy weeknight meal - chili and corn bread - a dinner I made for my own family dozens of times.
April 18, 2013
Cupcake decorating doesn't have to be a big investment, according to Lisa Viola. She recommends these tools to get started. All are easy to find in a craft store or kitchenware shop. - Decorating bag with standard set of tips used to pipe frosting onto cupcakes. These are available in kits. - Tapered or angled spatula for frosting the cupcakes. It's also known as an offset spatula. - Regular spatula for putting icing into the decorator bag. - Food-coloring gels in desired colors.
April 18, 2013 |
LISA VIOLA and her daughter, Maria, have award-winning talents in the cupcake-decorating department. After 14 years building a career as a computer programmer/analyst in the pharmaceutical industry, Viola, of Warrington, decided in 2008 to become a stay-at-home mom and spend more time with her children. She also became a baked-goods-decorating expert. Viola already had been making gingerbread houses for several years, "just for fun - a project with the kids" around the holidays.
December 31, 2012 |
"I had two hands back then," Angela Bain says. She's recalling life before she lost her home, family, and left arm - and before she found a Chihuahua named Cupcake, a calling, and a bit of celebrity, too. Cupcake's petite dimensions (6.25 inches, 2.2 pounds) and peerless talent (for love, for fetching necessities) have earned her a 2013 Guinness world record as "the world's smallest service dog. " The long-haired, apple-headed teacup Chihuahua stars on a Guinness home page video; she and Bain also appeared on Good Morning America Sept.
October 20, 2012
From Steven Rea's "On Movies" blog at Think local, act global, or think global, and act local - either way, Philadelphia Film Fest 21 has a rich program of homegrown movies on its slate. Some have been made here, while others were shot elsewhere by folks who hail from these here parts. Among the titles in the "Greater Filmadelphia" section of the fest: Alaskaland , a coming-of-age story from Philly filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu; The Atomic States of America , local documentarians Don Argott and Sheena Joyce's nuclear power exposé; Detonator , a Philly-shot drama about a family man haunted by his punk past; From the Shadows , a parental abduction documentary by area filmmakers Matt Antell and David Hearn; Future Weather , with Lili Taylor, Amy Madigan, and Perla Haney-Jardine, from Philadelphia writer/director Jenny Deller; La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus , Mark Kendall's doc about an old, auctioned Philadelphia school bus' second life transporting the citizens of Quetzal City, Guatemala; and This Time Tomorrow , an apocalyptic love story set in Philadelphia, from director Shane Bissett.