About Sweet Hazel's Sweets

My photo
Houston, Texas, United States
My blog will focus on baking and traveling. I chose these two because I want to share with others my love and wonderful experiences I have when I bake for others, and the intersting things I taste and see when I travel. If you are wondering where the name came from, I named my bake shop after my mother who LOVED sweets, and also like to travel, but I think she liked the sweets more. On October 20, 2015, my mother passed on, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, although this disease took over her mind and body and her world she still remained the sweet gentle woman she has always been. So here's to sweets for my sweet Hazel.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pumpkin Squares with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

I really enjoyed making these lovely little squares.  They are made with fresh pumpkin and tons of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves.  My home smelt divine while these were cooking in the oven.  I enjoyed several squares with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee.  What a flavor explosion in my mouth.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mardi Gras New Orleans 2017


This is an areal view of what Mardi Gras in the French Quarters in New Orleans looked like this past weekend.  Of course we had sense enough to stay away from this area of town, as you can see why. Our adventure started of with my husband and two children ages 12 and 15, and one of my best friends who lives in New Orleans attending a parade Friday night.  Thank God for her, because she knew exactly which streets to avoid, where the parade routes started and ended, and which back roads to take to get there.  Saturday we attended one of the most popular parades, which was the Endymion parade.  Several other friend joined us at this parade and we had a blast.  There was a DJ, people dancing in the street, people grilling, and everyone just have an awesome time.  The parade began and the kids, and me too :), had fun catching as many beads as we could.

Our adventure didn't stop there, of course we had to taste some of the food that New Orleans has to offer.  One restaurant we tried for brunch was the Ruby Slipper located on Magazine Street, near the University Area.  I had the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes stuffed with Cream Cheese served with chicken sausage and a cup of coffee, my daughter had the French Toast Batons tossed in powdered sugared and served with applewood bacon, my son build his own omelette, and my two friends had specials that were not on the menu.  The adults had adult beverages with our brunch, and one to go, yes you can take alcoholic beverages to go in Louisiana, gotta love Louisiana.
 After our wonderful brunch, we browsed through all of the unique shops that were along magazine street and discovered some very unique finds. 

New Orleans is a very unique, nostalgic, and a city rich in history, and I would encourage anyone who has not visited this wonderful city to visit and taste New Orleans.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Super Bowl L1 Halftime Show

So, I decided to volunteer for Super Bowl activities since it was being held in my city.  I filled out a volunteer application and received a response that they had met their quota and I would be placed on a waiting list.  I was kind of bummed, then got over it.  About a month later I received an email stating they needed extra people in a certain area, and guess what that area was....  helping with the halftime show.   I read the email a second and third time and thought to myself this cannot be real.  I began checking credential for the production company and sure enough it was real.  I then began filling out my application, including information for a background check, and later found out I was going to be paid to volunteer for this gig.

Although, this wasn't an ordinary gig, at our orientation I found out I would be setting up Lady Gaga's stage for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and also rehearsing with her.  I was so excited because I would be part of two of my favorite things, live entertainment and football.  
Our rehearsals consisted of moving our "carts" in and out the stadium. Picture above is an actual picture of us bringing in our"carts".   The purpose of bringing our "carts" in and out over and over again so that we can have everything set up and waiting for Lady Gaga to perform within 6 minutes. 

On the third day Lady Gaga arrived at the stadium to begin her rehearsals, she was so pleased to see her stage.  She ran around the field and gave everyone hi-fives, hugging and kisses her crew she was very happy and very personable.  Her mother was also there to watch her rehearse.

 After about a week in a half of watching the lighting, sound, pyrotechnic, and even Lady Gaga rehearse, the big day finally came.  On the big game day we all arrived at a local football stadium, ate and loaded on to our buses, where we were then police escorted to the stadium.  Once on the stadium ground, it was so exciting.  People like Simone Byles, coaches, former president George Bush were all passing in front of us.  Dogs, The S.W.A.T. Team, National Security were everywhere.  

While standing amist of all of this action, in our assigned areas, we were patiently awaiting for the second quarter to end.  While waiting to go into the stadium it felt very surreal.  I felt excited and anxious at the same time, because this was the day we all worked so hard to prepare for.  

We all rolled our "carts" in.  Once I entered the stadium and saw people sitting in every seat from the top of the stadium to the bottom of the stadium, I felt so thrilled and privileged to have been part of such an awesome event.  

Once in the stadium, we positioned our "cart" in the exact area, like practiced, and moved out of the way and stood at the Falcon's enzone and watched an awesome show that we had been preparing for.  

As I look up a  partially opened roof at the fireworks my eyes began to water, not because I was sad, but because I was so happy to have been part of such an awesome event and to meet such awesome people, and also that this was the end of a once in a life time experience.  I would definitely do this again.

Oh by the way, we got the stage set up and all of the equipment into the stadium way under 6 minutes!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Magnolia Market

For Thanksgiving I visited Magnolia Market located in Waco, Tx.  It wasn't exactly Thanksgiving Day, but I took a short rode trip that following Saturday after Thanksgiving. I drove from Houston to Waco, where I passed through College Station, home of Texas A&M, and into Waco home of Baylor. The drive was somewhat scenic, the highway was a little busy with people driving back to college or back home from visiting family and friends for the holidays.

When I arrived at Magnolia Market it was very busy.  Some people were purchasing items to decorate their homes for Christmas some were eating kettle corn, drinking hot chocolate, or coffee.

I then noticed a long line of people going into another building.  I wondered over to it and noticed the sign Silos Baking Co. I thought, perfect for me because I love baking and eating fresh baked pastries. The line moved very fast, before entering the building you were given a small card  to fill out stating what you wanted to order before arriving to the counter.  I choose the Lavender Lemon Cupcake, with a cup of coffee.

Once I reached the counter I purchased my cupcake, but they ran out of coffee, bummer!
The cupcake was moist, but I could taste more of the lemon and not a lot of the lavender.  The frosting was very sweet, but very light from the flavor of the lemon.

Overall, I enjoyed my rode trip to Magnolia Market, I picked up some great items for my kitchen and also enjoyed a great afternoon treat from Silos Bakery.

Costa Rica!!

This past summer my family and I took a trip to Costa Rica.  What a beautiful
country filled with beautiful beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and animals.  The food was indeginous to the country.  There was fresh fruit, fruit juice, and vegetables to eat during every meal.

We flew into the capital where we rented a car and drove up towards the volcanoes.  While driving we stopped at one of the local bakeries that sat on a hill and it was very picturesque.  We tried their local pastry along with ice cream and it was very refreshing.

To fulfill the adventurous side in us.  We went river rafting and zip lining.  This allowed us to see even more beautiful parts of Costa Rica.

Overall this was a fun filled trip, filled with good food, wonderful people, and beautiful scenery.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Barriba Restaurant San, Antonio, Tx

My family and I had an opportunity to visit Barriba while we were in San Antonio, Tx.
Their food, by far, is NOT Tex-Mex.  Pictured here is one of their appetizers we tried. This is their Queso Deluxe.  It wasn't to spicy, but had just the right amount of spices that gave it a good taste.
There was also a live band playing,  and the decor was very reminiscent of old Mexico.  I enjoyed their Perla's Pan Seared Fish and Rice.  The fish was very tender and very well seasoned with a hint of mild spices.  The rice was very fluffy and buttery.  I also enjoyed their Skinny Dulce Vida Rita.  It 
included Agave Nectar and orange juice rimmed with salt around the glass.  This  gave the Margarita a sweet, but sour taste.  Our waiter was excellent.  Even though it was very crowded our waiter was very attentive and gave attention to details, such as keeping the table clear of any dirty dishes or glass ware.  

If you are looking for authentic Mexican Food along with the feel of Old Mexico, along with a live band Barriba is the place to visit.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Guenther House

My family and I took a rode trip and came across this Flour Mill that's located in the King Williams Historic District located in San Antonio, Tx.  Next to the flour mill is where a restaurant sits on beautiful grounds that over looks the river where we caught a wonderful breeze while waiting to be seated at our table.  While waiting I decided to treat myself to one of their tasty looking pastries from their pastry counter:

I chose the Peach Strudel, which was hot out of the over and the warm peaches and taste of butter just melted in my mouth.

Once we were seated at our table we were greeted with a very friendly waitress who brought us fresh baked breads and butter to smear on top of it.  I ordered the pancakes that came out hot and fresh and  were soft and fluffy and taste delicious.  I also had a cup of their Hazelnut Coffee and could taste the small notes of Hazelnut in each swallow.  

I really enjoyed my morning on the peaceful grounds of The Guenther House along with learning history and enjoying a tasty breakfast and pastries.  I will definitely visit this piece of history again when I return to San Antonio.