A Turks & Caicos, Bahamas Kind of Summer

Although I didn't get to swim in the beautiful beach waters as much as I had hoped, I had a full summer. From weddings, to islands, a cruise, beaches, new family, new business ventures, visiting those I haven't seen in years, cakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes....

My aunt got married this summer on the Carnival Cruise. After the ceremony, those sailing stayed aboard and enjoyed a cruise to the Grand Bahamas, Freeport and Turks and Caicos. I've always wanted to visit Turks and Caicos! The beautiful blue waters, the tropical fish swimming to shore, the pale pinkish sand, ugh I could have stayed forever. Honestly, coming from paradise back to the East Coast and watching the waters go from bright blue to grimey gray was a little depressing, but that just means I have to go back. I also got to spend a week in Virginia Beach which was an awesome unexpected get-away with my little sister. I got to see my aunt and cousin for the first time in almost a decade and meet my two beautiful baby cousins. If you are following me on Instagram, you've probably seen some of my summer pictures. But, for those of you who haven't done so yet, I thought I'd share some cool pictures with you guys.

Pulling in to the Bahamas

Carnival Cruise- Cheerio Crusted French Toast for Brunch
Fish and Plantains in Freeport
Carnival Cruise- Shrimp Cocktail for lunch

Carnival Cruise- Breakfast on the water

A few of Carnival's Room Service selections 

Breakfast in bed- Smoked Salmon platter and fresh melon

Jamaican Buffet 

Carnival's Tea Time- Smoked Salmon Canope & Orange Herbal Tea

Carnival's Tea Time- Cucumber sandwich, strawberries and orange ginger cake with Orange tea

Grand Turks shopping center

Grand Turks

Turk & Caicos
Grand Turks

Grand Turks 

Froots (amazing smoothies) in Grand Turks

Woke up in the Bahamas

Places to relax on deck

Grand Bahamas

Fresh cut coconut in Freeport, Bahamas

Curry Chicken and Rice

Carnival Cruise casino

Brunch- Man N Cheese w/ fried chicken

The most amazing banana cream pie I've ever had!

Chocolate fondue buffet with incredible fruit art

Carnival Cruise's Auditorium (Departure)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pretzels

Recently I did a Test Kitchen video making pretzels using Auntie Anne's Home Baking Kit. I filled the pretzels with a pumpkin cream cheese filling that was both easy and delicious. The dough process was much like any bread making process from scratch. The actual pretzel making process was a lot of fun. I may have struggled in the beginning, but as I kept going I found my own little flare that wouldn't steer me wrong. The twisty! I'm pretty sure that Auntie herself would deem me Couture Pretzel Maker Extraordinaire. Either way, it was a lot of fun and would be perfect to make with all of the family. Next time I'll do sweet and savory, I love cheddar cheese filled pretzels! It's a Philly curse! In my elementary school, soft pretzels with cheese whiz and mustard were sold after lunch for 50 cents! As a matter of fact, my last college before transferring also sold soft pretzels in the bookstore. They also sell them at most gas stations and corner stores...

Anywho, the baking kit definitely brought the AMAZING flavor of Auntie Anne's right to my kitchen. But, if you'd rather go from scratch, here's a great recipe from Alton Brown. To the Test Kitchen video, click below.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Total Time:1 hr 55 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 1 hr
Cook: 25 min
Yield:8 pretzels


1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt


  • Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  • In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  • Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Here are pictures from the pretzels that I made using the baking kit.

*Couture in a Cupcake*

MCC Update- September

Hey guys. I just wanted to chat and give you a tasty little update.

For those of you who watch our YouTube tutorials and DIY's (with my mom) then you may have noticed that some of the videos have mysteriously gone missing. A few of you have contacted me asking about certain videos that may have been a part of your playlists. Well, "what happened was...." a few months ago, YouTube did a huge update that seems to be causing myself and other YouTuber's problems. I also recently found out that my Google account has been compromised. We believe that they've been going into the YouTube account and deleting the videos also. 

With that said, about 20 of my videos have gradually been deleted (multiple times), most of the comments throughout a lot of the videos have been deleted and many of the private videos (videos not ready to be released or still in editing) keep going live. This among other problems, makes it extremely hard to properly run the channel and everything else for that matter. I've contacted my network (Tastemade) and they're in communications with YouTube to try and figure out what's going on. So, if you guys notice a random video being re-posted (ex: The Easter cupcake video was re-posted in August) that's why. Don't think I'm crazy, I'm just trying to get the videos back up there. 

Unfortunately, I'm finding that some of the videos such as the Marshmallow Fondant video, may not be backed up ::tear jerker:: I know that many of you used that video as a source and guide for making your fondant cakes. I will be re-shooting the missing videos once I have everything else re-posted. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon and we can move forward. I just wanted to let you guys know what was going on. Luckily we've officially surpassed 5,000 YouTube subscribers! So, despite all of the craziness, you wonderful Cakenista's have my back.

Speaking of Cakenista's. Smckinney07 won the 5k Giveaway Contest! Her post was deleted along with others as stated above, but luckily I did save the email notifications of every contest entry.

I'll be doing a lot of small contests for within certain videos. Remember to keep watching or follow us on Instagram @MarishasCouture and Twitter @MarishasCakes for all future contests. Smaller contests won't be announced.

Couture in a Cupcake