Last weekend

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I was in Chicago last weekend for the Home and Housewares Show. It was incredible and so fun to come back to the city. I’ve only been one other time and it was very cooold. But thankfully this weekend was filled with unusually warmer weather.

This is a picture I snapped with my phone.

Pretty, huh!

It has a couple of filters applied to it with a photo app I use called Camera+ to post on instagram.

I enjoy taking pics with my phone – it makes snapping quick photos much easier than pulling out my main camera sometimes and you can do so much with them using photo apps. There’s a few iphone photos mixed in this post if you’re wondering why they look a little different.

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Here’s the original city shot to see how much you can do with filters right on your phone. Big difference, huh.

I just wish I could use these filters in photoshop with the photos on my computer. That would be cool … and addictive to play with.

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The Home and Housewares Show was huge and full of so many exciting products, but it’s only open to the trade. I know. Bummer. Companies display their latest products for buyers and retailers from all over. But I’m not either of those.

I was there for a signing with Chronicle Books who had a booth with some of their cookbooks on display. When they asked me if I wanted to come, I said, heck ya!

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I had some unexpected encounters while I was there, too. Michael Ruhlman. Cool! He is really tall. I was on my tip toes. Dede Wilson – She has 13 books under her belt with Karen Tack and Alan Richardson from Hello, Cupcake! Yay! And I got to see Maggy again – and her mom, Pam from Three Many Cooks. Maggy, hope we get to talk longer next time.

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This is Judit from Spain. She carves amazing creations … out of fruit and vegetables. She stopped by the booth to say hi and we talked cake pops and she was just so sweet and thankful for her Cake Pops Book that she stopped back by the booth later with fruit and carved these apples in like a minute right in front of us. It was incredible to watch. But that’s just a sample. Check out her work here and be amazed. Yeah, the Alice in Wonderland is one of her creations.

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Walking around the show was pretty overwhelming. So many companies and even more products. I wanted to see as much as I could. I had a photographer’s badge, but still, many companies didn’t want pictures taken because their products have not launched yet. So most of the time, I didn’t bother. Here are a few pics that I did take and that were ok to show.

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Like these Cuisipro Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Makers. You press down on a cookie or brownie, then use the mold to scoop in the ice cream, and then press down on another cookie or brownie to sandwich it. Easy and super cute. And they’re tiny too which automatically makes them awesome.

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Check out these Fat Daddio cake pans. These are already in the marketplace. I’ve talked about these cake pans before. This is a great visual of why I like them so much. So many sizes. And they probably have just as many shapes, too. Plus you can get them in different depths.

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Molds. These were at the New York Cake Booth and would be a lot of fun to play with using chocolate. She had a ton of different ones on display.

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Chicago Metallic Booth had these baking molds to make brownie bowls. Umm, brownie bowls? Yes. please. I think these will be available soon.

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Look at this toaster from Dualit. I need.

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I need these, too. Would it be weird to have three?

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Check out this new color coming out sometime soon from Kitchenaid. Crystal Blue. Love, love, love it!

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They had a couple of mixers on display.

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Like just a few.

I wish I could show you everything I saw at the show.

Each booth was like it’s own little store full of stuff. You’d really like it. A lot. But I might go missing if I did that.

Since I wasn’t home to bake, I made sure to get my sweets fix while I was in the city. Here’s a few things I picked up.

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Vosges Chocolates. I haven’t broken in to these yet. I’ve been working on a couple of candy bars I bought from there first.

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Bacon Caramel Toffee anyone? I should have bought some of this stuff. Dangit.

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I didn’t know Magnolia had a bakery in Chicago, but I was excited to find it since I haven’t made it to the one in New York yet.

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Their cupcakes are just so pretty.

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I want to go to swirl school so I can do that frosting.

Peter and Mike from Chronicle split these with me as a pre-dinner snack. I think the vanilla vanilla was my favorite. Super sweet frosting. Just like I like it.

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Chicago also has Sprinkles Cupcakes. Yay! I love Sprinkles because each time I’ve been to one, their cupcakes have been so good.

This time I wanted to try more than just a couple to see if I could find one that wasn’t good. So I took these to the booth to share with the guys and we had a smackdown.

Well, it wasn’t really a smackdown. Turns out there were a lot of winners. Actually, each one of the cupcakes were really good, but a few of them were great.

I’ll tell you my favorites after we sampled all 12 in one sitting.

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Fourth place – Banana (top row, second from left)
Third place – Strawberry (second row, second from left)
Second place – this is really tough to say because it’s one of my favorites that they make and I get it every time. But I’m going with Red Velvet. (top row, first from left)
And first place – drumroll, please … The black and white (top row, far right) I’ve had this one a couple of times now and it is fantastic. Fantastic enough to edge out their red velvet.

All the rest were really yummy, too. The Irish Cream, marshmallow, the chocolate cupcakes and the cinnamon sugar cupcake. My teeth hurt thinking about them all.

Anyway, try one sometime. I think you’ll love them.

That’s all of the randomness I have. Hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of it from last weekend.