Grown-Up Dirt Cake Cups

adult dirt cake cups My Mom is a gourmet cook, and used to spend hours (sometimes even days) preparing fancy birthday cakes for family members. There was of course the multi-step Black Forest Cake for my dad. Then there was the snake cake, per my sister’s request….green fondant dyed different shades of green to look like the skin, a red fondant “tongue”, and even black eyes. I have no idea why a little girl would want a cake shaped like a big green snake for their 5th birthday (or however old she was), but nonetheless my Mom made it. And then there was me. Me, who could have any fancy cake in the world, and what do I ask for? Dirt cake! Don’t get me wrong, dirt cake is delicious, and I could eat buckets of it (which I’m sure I probably did), but looking back now I wonder what I was thinking choosing dirt cake….

It’s been years since I had my last birthday dirt cake, but for some reason, when I was making sugared flowers last week, memories of crushed Oreos and layers of fluffy, creamy pudding came to my mind. Except this time, it was sans worms, with a dash of alcohol mixed in, and topped with pretty edible flowers.

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Grown-Up Dirt Cake Cups
Serves 4
A grown-up version of the childhood favorite dirt cake
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  2. 8 ounces of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  3. 1/2 cup mascarpone
  4. 2 tablespoons of vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  7. Edible flowers, for garnish
Instructions
  1. If you haven't already, start by pureeing the chocolate wafers in a Cuisinart until they turn into fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Dust any extra cookie crumbs out of your Cuisinart, then add in the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugars and vanilla. Blend for a few seconds, until creamy.
  3. In small glass cups or jars (or mini flower pots, if you want to be really authentic), begin layering the cookie crumbs and the cream mixture. I did one heaping tablespoon of cookie crumbs, then one heaping tablespoon of cream mixture, then repeated that, ending with the cream mixture on top. Finish the top off with a light dusting of cookie crumbs and an edible flower.
  4. These can either be served immediately or stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours (although keep in mind, the cookie layer won't be quite as crunchy after several hours).
Notes
  1. To make these really grown-up, simply replace the vanilla with the alcohol of your choice. My favorites are: Baileys, Kahlua, Amaretto, or Grand Marnier.
Runway Chef http://www.runwaychef.com/

3×3 Style- Pastels

3 ways to wear pastels Just like florals, pastels are nothing groundbreaking for spring. In fact, I can remember pastels making frequent appearances throughout my life- while prancing around my ballet lessons in soft pink slippers and tutus, when I somehow determined baby blue was my best color and consequently wanted everything in my life to be a pale blue shade (even going so far as to convince my parents how much better my room would look with a coat of icy blue on the walls), going on pastel wildflower-filled springtime walks with my Mom, and of course, at my wedding, where I incorporated my favorite blush color into everything possible. So yes, pastels may appear again and again, just as spring appears again and again. But just as I never tire of the newness that the spring air brings, so too do I never tire of the freshness that pastels bring to a wardrobe after a winter full of black and grey.

Because one pastel color somehow wasn’t good enough for me, I decided to combine several at once for this month’s 3×3 style post (yup, I just had to be that obnoxious girl running around looking like an Easter egg!). Hop on over (Easter bunny pun not intended) to Grace and Luci’s blogs to check out their pretty pastel looks.

pastel fashion Rebecca Minkoff blazer pastel trends Pastels for spring spring fashion pastels Zara pink pants Rebecca Minkoff Blazer via Crossroads Trading (love it in these colors too) // Express Cami // Zara Pants (similar) // Guess Shoes (similar) // FRAAS Scarf c/o (various styles available here) // Chanel Bag via Portero

Happy Hour

stripes {Adding to my never-ending stripe collection}

Things have been nonstop over here at the Runway Chef household and headquarters. All very good things, but all leaving me feeling as if I’m drowning in drying concrete (I’m so dramatic, I know). This past weekend had Mr. RC and I living like true New Yorkers, as a series of unfortunate events left us carless (FYI, for a city full of public transportation it’s surprisingly obnoxious to get around sans car). Despite no car and having to shoot 5 different blog posts, we still managed to make the most of this past weekend by fitting in brunch, a stop at our favorite bookstore, trying a new-to-us restaurant (with legit the best gnocchi I’ve ever had), and even having a picnic down by the water. This week, I’ve had work events almost every evening so I’m already counting down the days to the weekend when we will be heading to D.C. for a mix of business and pleasure. I haven’t been to D.C. since I was in high school so any recommendations are wanted and gladly accepted! Do you guys have any exciting plans coming up over the weekend?

D.C. {Planning for D.C.}

Chanel {Finally warm enough to pull out one of my favorite pairs of shoes}

Peter Som for Kohl's {The box for my Peter Som clothes has me itching to go to St. Barths}

Buttermilk Channel sticky bun {Sticky bun from brunch}

Strive for Progress not Perfection {Remembering this as I progress through a busy week}

Perfect Pairings: Food, Fashion, Fun & Dark Chocolate

food and fashion pairings For the most part, my world revolves around three things- what I cook/eat, what I wear, and the man I love (aka Mr. Runway Chef). As many of you know, my thing has always been finding the fashionable side of every aspect of life, which is why you will often find me combining food and fashion here on the blog (hello Dress & Dine posts). But when I get the opportunity to combine food, fashion AND my love? Well, that is what I call a perfect pair!

One of the ways I enjoy this perfect pairing is with a picnic. This past weekend, it finally warmed up enough to have our first picnic of the season. I threw on my new daisy dress and my husband and I head down to our favorite neighborhood spot- the water’s edge of Red Hook, where the view is of the Statue of Liberty and the scene is one a little less quiet than the usual hustle and bustle of the city. We packed up some of our favorite treats to nosh on (prosciutto, smoked mozzarella, olives, chocolate, and prosciutto bread from the local Italian bakery made the cut). Of course, the most important part, to me, was the chocolate. Chocolate is my escape from life and I always make it a point to have at least one small piece a day. After all, a day without chocolate is day I never want to experience! So, of course you can imagine, when it comes to our picnics, there is always chocolate involved (and sometimes only chocolate). Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate pairs perfectly with our mix of usual picnic foods and I for one can’t get enough of the indulgent, smooth flavor, so I made sure to grab some for our Sunday picnic. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing, wonderful gathering of all my favorite things!

If you’d like some more ideas on how to enjoy your Ghirardelli chocolate, head on over to their website for recipes, party ideas, and even a list of the perfect pairings (FYI, this is very handy for picnic planning). But before you head to their site, I’d love to know how you enjoy pairing your chocolate. Is it a midday escape from work, or a treat before bed? Do you enjoy it with wine or coffee, or is their a special person or event that you love to have chocolate with? Since I’m sure you are just as obsessed with chocolate as I am, Ghirardelli and I would love it, if you would upload a picture of your perfect chocolate pairing to Instagram using the hashtag #IntenseDark. And don’t worry if you don’t have Instagram, you can simply uploaded a picture to the Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Photo Landing Page chocolate pairings

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate dark chocolate pairings dark chocolate Twilight Delight Ghirardelli Intense Dark How to pair dark chocolate Ghirardelli Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate what to pair with dark chocolate for a picnic Intense Dark Savor the Dark Twilight Delight Ghirardelli Intense Dark daisies dress Casual spring outfit H&M Hat (in stores) // Target Dress // Thrifted Jacket (similar here) // Vintage Pin // Phillip Lim x Target Bag // Unknown Shoes

This post is sponsored by Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate. All opinions are my own.

Classic Combo + Peter Som for Kohl’s

Peter Som for Kohl's “I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Kohl’s. I attended a live event and received a promotional item to thank me for participating. All opinions are my own” 

I don’t care who you are, what shape you are, or how much you spend on your clothes, there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, that beats the classic white top and jeans outfit. And when that white top happens to be a deliciously soft jacket that envelopes you like a buttery cloud, my heart all but melts. I mean, jackets are my jam, people! And this one, well, this one was basically love at first site. So, of course it was no surprise that when I attended the Peter Som for Kohl’s event last week I beelined myself faster than you can say “Kohl’s” to the rack that held these beauties. I grabbed the last one in my size and haven’t let it go since (yes, I know that was 5 days ago). I’ve also figured out about 1789.546 outfits to go with it. Basically, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

At the event, we participated in a couple of styling challenges (I’ve included a few of the pictures below), my favorite of which was mixing some of Peter’s pieces in with other Kohl’s pieces that would be similar to items in our own closets (i.e jeans, black tank top). I, of course, put my own closet to the ‘Peter remix’ as soon as I got home. This white top and jeans look was one of my favorites, but I also can’t wait to show you how I styled some of the other pieces I picked up (hello floral embroidery of my dreams and most-flattering dress ever). If I were you, I would run, not walk, to buy every single item in his collection (available online starting today, 4/7, and in stores 4/10 and everything is under $88. Let me say that again, in case you didn’t hear me “Under $88, ladies!!!).

P.S. I personally handled and tried on many of the items in Peter’s collection and they were all incredibly well-made, soft, and luxurious, but if that and the amazing price tag isn’t enough to convince you to shop, let me just say that Peter is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth, sweeter-than-sweet-tea people I have ever met. Also, he told me he thinks stripes are a neutral and as far as I’m concerned that’s all that matters…

Peter Som white jacket Peter Som for Kohl's jacket Peter Som white moto jacket brown mules white top and jeans Peter Som for Kohl's Peter Som for Kohl’s Jacket c/o // Old Navy Jeans (similar) // Levity Booties // H&M Bag

Peter Som Peter & I above, and mixing & matching Peter Som for Kohl’s pieces below…clearly, he and I are on the same page of the stripe obsession! Check out a few other pictures from the event on my Instagram!

Peter Som for Kohl's Peter Som for Kohl's Peter Som for Kohl's Peter Som for Kohl's