Pictures can be deceiving. Here are three little cupcakes innocently perched. They don’t reflect the frustrating hours before the final product: the three batches of screwed up frosting, the swearing, the screaming, the goopy mess. I’ll go into more of that later.

I’ve had oreos on the brain a lot lately and have been trying to come up with different oreo dessert options. I really loved my oreo cupcakes, which were chocolate cupcakes, filled with an oreo whipped cream frosting both inside and on top. I got an idea to make a cookies and cream based cupcake from one of my readers, Sandy.

Sometimes I come across a blog post, and I immediately “have to” go to try out the restaurant. Such was the case when I read gastronomer’s post on her brunch experience at Scarpetta, located in inside Montage Beverly Hills hotel.

I love buffets. I love brunch. And the spread at Scarpetta looked absolutely amazing. I talked to Future Husband (FH) and told him we must go. Immediately. At first he balked at the price.

Yes, it is $68 per person, which seems like a lot for one meal. However, I pointed out to him that he couldn’t think of this in terms of one of our casual quick eats, but rather in terms of our fine dining meals since that is the type of restaurant Scarpetta is. For $68, we could dine to our heart’s content on an array of well-executed dishes, including Chef Scott Conant’s signature spaghetti (normally priced at $24 a plate), a selection of gourmet cheeses from The Beverly Hills Cheese Shop, and desserts created by Executive Pastry Chef Richard Ruskell, who recently won the grand prize on the Food Network’s “Last Cake Standing.”

I love French desserts. I’ve never been to France, but when I go, I’m just going to eat non-stop. French croissants and baguettes for breakfast, macarons and eclairs for snacks; I could go on and on.

French desserts always seem to have such a sophistication to them. So when I came across this apple cake by Marie-Helene, which was published in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, I knew I would have to check it out.