Saturday, March 27, 2010


Joseph Sterling's The Age of Adolescence was a documentation of the life and milieu of the American teenager in the late fifties and early sixties. This series of images explores the sometimes tentative, sometime explosive atmosphere that surrounded the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood during those years.

Juxtaposed with Sterling's photographs are 15 year-old Olivia Bee's teen diary-style photography. Capturing life raw as it unfolds in her own personal coming of age.


"There was a blur, and then shootin'. I didn't see no draw."

Since I'm feeling sour about celebrating yet another birthday I thought I'd whip up a classic lemon tart. When life serves you lemons, bake a tart!

Classic Lemon Tart
1 recipe for Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry (recipe below)
1 egg, beaten, to seal the dough
sour cream or creme fraiche, to serve (optional)
6 extra large eggs
2 1/3 cups sugar
finely grated zest and strained juice of 4 juicy unwaxed lemons
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted

a false-bottom fluted tart pan, 9 inches diameter
  1. Bring the doug to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Roll out the dough thinly on a lightly floured work surface., and use to line the tart pan. Chill or freeze for 15 minutes, then bake blind (instructions below).
  3. Turn the oven down to 300° F. To make the lemon filling, put the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and juice, and butter into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Set the baked pie curst on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour (it may need a little longer, depending on your oven), until just set. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.
  5. Serve at room temperature, maybe with a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche, if using.
Note: You can also decorate the tart with candied shreds of lemon zest. Peel the zest only from 3 or 4 lemons, leaving behind any white pith. Cut the zest into very fine shreds with a very sharp knife. Make a sugar syrup by boiling 6 tablespoons of sugar with 2/3 cup water. Stir in the shreds and simmer for 10 minutes until tender and almost transparent. Carefully lift out the syrup, drain, and sprinkle around edges of tart while still warm, to form a ring. Cool before serving.

Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
9 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp ice water
  1. Sift the flour, confectioners sugar, and the salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter.
  2. Mix the egg yolks with the 2 tbsp ice water. Add to the flour, mixing lightly with a knife. The dough must have some water in it or it will be too difficult to handle. If it is still too dry, add a little more water, sprinkling it over the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Invert the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface.
  4. Knead lightly with your hands until smooth.
  5. For the dough into a ball.
  6. Flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Rolling out, lining a tart pan, and baking blind

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough as thinly as necessary, about 1/8 inch thick, to line the dish you are using.
  2. To line the tart pan, roll the flour-dusted dough around the rolling pin to help you pick it up – this will avoid stretching the dough, which might shrink during cooking. Lower the dough over the pan and unroll to cover. Use a small piece of extra dough wrapped in plastic wrap to help to push the dough into the edges of the pan. Once this is done you can press the dough up the sides of the pan.
  3. Use the rolling pin to roll over the top – it will cut off any excess dough very neatly (or cut off the overhang with a sharp knife.)
  4. Prick the base all over with a fork, then chill or freeze for 15 minutes to set the dough.
  5. Line with foil or parchment paper, then fill with baking beans. Set on a baking sheet and bake blind in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil or parchment paper and the baking beans, and return tart crust to oven for 5-7 minutes longer to dry out completely.
  7. To prevent the crust from becoming soggy from liquid filling, brush the blind-baked crust with beaten egg – you can do this when it is hot or cold. Bake again for 5-10 minutes until set and shiny. This will also fill and seal any holes made when pricking before the blind baking.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


"All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways." - Yann Martel Life of Pi

There's a Dutch idiom that goes like this, Hid zit met de gebakken peren, which literally translates to 'he sits with the baked pears', but is used to express being stuck with the negative consequences of something another caused. The idiom dates from a time when baked (or poached) pears were a special delicacy. If the guest didn't show up, the host who took the extra effort, cost, and preparation of the dish was 'stuck with the baked pears'. The English idiom 'go pear-shaped' means a plan went awry or failed. Baked or poached pears are in fact delicious. Poached pears in particular are one of the simplest desserts there are, and ones poached in wine absorb the deep essence of the wine and turn a rich jewel color. These tender and succulent pears can be paired with pastry cream, ice cream, or even blue cheese. A sprinkle of crushed praline and you have a classic dish that takes very little effort. I've decided to use them in a tart recipe. You can choose from a variety of pears but make sure they aren't fully ripened or they will fall apart while poaching. The trick is to leave the pear in the slowly simmering liquid for as long as possible. The longer it poaches the more the pear takes on the flavor and the color of your syrup.

Drunken Pear Tart
1 recipe for Pâte Brisée
8 large under-ripe pears
1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped (throw the whole bean in the pot to release all the seeds)
1 star anise
6 whole peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups full-bodied red wine
slivered pistachios or almonds, for sprinkling
crème fraiche or whipped cream, for serving

a cast iron skillet, 11 inches diameter
  1. Bring Pâte Brisée to room temperature before rolling out.
  2. Peel the pears, halve lengthwise, and carefully scoop out the core with a teaspoon or a melon baller. Arrange them around the base of the skillet in concentric circles, wide ends outwards and the points facing into the center. Any pears remaining should be cut up and used to fill any gaps.
  3. Add all the spices over the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Carefully pour the red wine, then bring to a boil. Lower the stove to medium low heat. Cover and simmer gently for about 1 hour or until tender. A fork should slide easily into the flesh, but it should not be mushy, like canned pears.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Uncover the pan and hold the plate or pan lid over the pears to hold them back while you pour off the juices into a saucepan. Boil the juices hard until well reduced and syrupy, then sprinkle them back over the pears.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a circle slightly larger than the diameter of the pan. Lift the dough over the pears and tuck the edges of the dough down into the a pan. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the curst is crisp and golden.
  6. As soon as it is ready, invert the tart onto a plate or it will stick - the fruit will be very hot, so be careful you don't burn your fingers. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with the pistachios or almonds and a good dollop of crème fraiche or whipped cream.


via flickr

As a kid whenever I said, "I can't", as kids often do because I was tired, grumpy, or scared my father would always respond, "how do you know if don't even try". Back then that sort of logic only reinforced my belief that adults just didn't get what it was like to be a kid. If was easy for them because as grownups they could do whatever they wanted. Little did I know. The fact is the older we get, and the more responsibilities we take on, the less we can do whatever we want. So take it while you can.

I'm in awe of youth today. They're so creative and talented, with so many bright, cool ideas. They're no longer simply kids or teenagers, but artists, inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists. They're not afraid to embrace life, tackle it if they have to in order to get the most from it. They haven't learned to be tired and jaded, with too much cynicism for their own good. Neither have they lost their optimism, or their ambitions. They pursue life with almost reckless abandon, with a determination that exceeds their age or experience. That's what I love most about young people, that innate confidence that doesn't allow them to question if they'll succeed. Failure just isn't an option. Even as another birthday comes barreling at me, I'm comforted in knowing that as long as I haven't lost my hunger and continue to gnaw at the marrow of life, then age is just a number. And in my heart, I'll always be at the peak of my life. Watch me.

There are several variations on Yum Yum Pie, most of which call for cream cheese, instant pudding, and Cool Whip. The idea is to create layers of deliciousness. You can substitute Cool Whip for the real thing but I like to make my own whipped cream.

Yum Yum Pie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, softened (room temp)
1 cup of nuts
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 package (3.5-oz) chocolate instant pudding
1 package (3.5-oz) vanilla instant pudding
  1. Lightly grease an 9-inch deep pie pan. Combine flour, butter, and nuts. Press firmly into pie pan. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix cream cheese and sugar thoroughly. Fold in whipped cream. Spread over cooled crust to make first layer.
  3. For second layer: mix pudding mixes and the amount of milk called for on package directions to make pie filling. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until cool.
  4. Before serving, top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and nuts.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"Never confuse movement for action." - ernest hemingway

inhabited canvases

Monday, March 22, 2010


Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart, The Runaways

Yesterday I saw the film, The Runaways, a music-fueled coming of age biopic of the groundbreaking, all girl 1970's rock band The Runaways. The movie chronicles the years from 1975 to 1977, beginning with band's formation, their meteoric rise to fame under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley, and ending with lead singer Cherie Currie's eventual crash and burn, and her exit from the band.

The Runaways - Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox, Sandy West, Joan Jett

The original band was formed in 1975 by drummer Sandy West and rhythm guitarist Joan Jett who on separate occasions introduced themselves to producer Kim Fowley about starting an all-girl band. Fowley gave Jett's phone number to West, and helped them to fill out their band with bassist Micki Steel. The band started as a trio playing party and club circuit around Los Angeles. The following year they added lead guitarist Lita Ford and lead singer Cherie Currie to the lineup. Bassist Steele left the band, and her spot was filled with first Peggy Foster, then Anne Boleyn, and finally Jackie Fox. The Runaways were signed with Mercury Records in 1976 and their debut album, The Runaways, was released shortly after. The band toured and played numerous sold out shows. After their second album, Queen of Noise was released in 1977 the band began a world tour. The Runaways arrived in Japan for a string of sold out shows, but bassist Jackie Fox left the group and was eventually replaced with Vicki Blue. After Currie left the band Jett took over lead vocals full time. In 1978, over disagreements about money and management, the band parted ways with Kim Fowley. Bassist Vicki Blue left the group and was replaced by Laurie McAllister, but The Runaways played their last concert on New Year's Eve in 1978 and broke up in April 1979.

The Runaways had a hit single called Cherry Bomb, a song that Jett and Fowley penned on the spot at Cherie Currie's audition when she arrived with a song they didn't know. In tribute of the song I've included a Cherry Pie recipe. Who doesn't love cherry pie? It's also one of the easiest fruit pies to make. Fresh tart cherries are best but in a pinch (or out of season) one 16-oz can equals about 2 cups of tart cherries, or 3 cups of frozen cherries equals a fresh pound.

Tart Cherry Pie
1 recipe for 9-inch double crust pie pastry
5 cups whole tart cherries or dark sweet cherries (2 lbs)
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (if using sour cherries) or 3 tbsp lemon juice (if using dark sweet cherries)
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp butter (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbsp milk
  1. Make the dough; divide in half and form each half into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425° F.
  3. Remove 1 dough disc from fridge. Butter or spray pie pan. On a well-floured surface or between two sheets of plastic, roll out first dough disc to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep pie dish. Trim dough overhang to 1/2-inch. Place in fridge.
  4. Pit all the cherries and place them in a medium bowl. Sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over the cherries and then pour the water and lemon juice on top. Add almond extract. Gently mix until no trace of sugar or cornstarch remains. Leave for 15 minutes and then drain the cherries of most of the liquid.
  5. Roll out second dough disc on well-floured surface or between two sheets of plastic to a 12-inch round. Using a pastry wheel with fluted edge, cut ten 3/4-inch wide strips from dough round. More detailed instructions on lattice top pie crust can be found at simplyrecipes.
  6. Transfer filling to dough-lined pie dish, mounding slightly in center. Dot with butter.
  7. Arrange dough strips atop filling, forming lattice; trim dough strips overhang to 1/2-inch. Fold bottom crust up over ends of strips and crimp edges to seal. Brush lattice crust (not edges) with milk. Sprinkle lattice with remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
  8. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet (to catch juices) and bake 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 375° F. Bake pie until filling is bubbling and crust in golden brown, cover edges with foil collar if browning too quickly, about 1 hour longer.
  10. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


After nearly 4 years of development The Plastiki - a sustainable, Web-interfaced vessel made of recycled plastic bottles and reusable plastics finally set sail yesterday from San Francisco for the start of its big adventure across the South Pacific, a journey that will last a 100 days and cross 10, 500 miles.
The crew of six led by David De Rothschild will journey from San Francisco to Hawaii, Midway Island, Bikini Atoll, Vanuatu and, finally, Sydney, Australia. The destinations for the craft's great voyage were selected to highlight a variety of environmental threats, including overfishing and climate change. The key portion of The Plastiki's route will be its voyage to a region of floating plastic trash and debris known as the Eastern Garbage Patch. This patch is estimated to be twice the size of Texas. De Rothschild and his team will collect water samples to study and, using a satellite phone to post photos and video clips on the website of Adventure Ecology, and environmental organization that he founded. His goal is to call attention to the perils of ocean polluting and to suggest a solution: waste as a resource. Inspired, in part, by Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific crossing, in 1947, on a raft call the Kon-Tiki, de Rothschild dubbed the project Plastiki.

documentary credit: tyler manson

Saturday, March 20, 2010


"She did not talk to people as if they were strange hard shells she had to crack open to get inside. She talked as if she were already in the shell. In their very shell."

photos: francesca woodman
"Repose is a quality too many undervalue... In the clamor one is irresistibly drawn to the woman who sits gracefully relaxed, who keeps her hands still, talks in a low voice and listens with responsive eyes and smiles. She creates a spell around her, charming to the ear, the eye and the mind." - Good Housekeeping, November 1947
I was recently reading from Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance, and a particular passage resonated with me. Maybe because like most people my days often seem harried with barely a spare moment to offer a greeting, a smile, or a chance for a real connection with the people who pass through our lives. We try to crunch in too much in a short period of time, filling up the hours with revolving errands, appointments, and assignments. There never seems to be enough hours in a day to do all the things you meant to do. And instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment for having checked off a dozen things from your 'To Do' list, you're simply relieved you got done as much as you did. And anxious about what you didn't. What would actually happen if we took the opportunity to slow down, savor, and surrender ourselves to any given moment? Would it be such a catastrophe? The pauses, moments, and the spaces in between - these are the small intervals that resonate with us, and give meaning to our lives. In the midst of chaos there is always calm, an opportunity to take stock of what we have, and feel grateful for what is right instead of what is wrong.

I've got a lot on my plate today so in the interest of saving time I've decided to share a recipe from a cookbook I put together last December as a Christmas gift. This is a simple cake recipe that only takes a few minutes to throw together. Not only are the results delicious but you get the satisfaction of knowing you made something from scratch.

Busy-Day Cake
8 tbsp butter (1 butter), room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
  2. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Make sure each addition is incorporated before adding next. Add the salt, vanilla, baking powder, and nutmeg and mix until combined.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake until top is golden and tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Man On Wire, Phillipe Petit

Isn't it funny how easily we get sucked into a vacuum-induced air pocket of whatever is going on in our lives at the moment, whether it's work, or worries about finances, family or relationships. A tunnel vision so singular and consuming that it's to the complete exclusion of anything else going on in your life, and there's nothing you can do but helplessly watch your house of cards crumble around you. You continually put off what needs doing today, clumping everything onto one long 'To Do' list that you promise yourself you'll get to when you have a minute to call your own. And when you do manage to come up for air, for however briefly, you're scrambling to play catch up as you clean up the mess you managed to make of things. I've always been somewhat of an all or nothing sort of person. When I take on something it's with everything I am, all that I have, with a determination not to let anyone down lest somehow it reflects badly on me. But life, work, love - it's all a balancing act. Having the strength, stamina, and steadiness to stay the course even when falling, maybe even failing, with nothing to grasp onto, and a sheer drop below. You have to believe there will always be a net to catch you. If not by your own fierce determination alone, then from those who cheer us on despite their own fears, and maybe in spite of our reckless pursuits.

I've always had a strong work ethic, and am inclined to be a bit of a workaholic. When I'm on a project it's often to the exclusion of everything else. With a hundred and one things to juggle, to keep track of, there never seems to be an available second to take a call, pay a bill, hit the loo, or even take the next breath. But of course there's always time to hit the pause button despite the frenetic pace, the constant demands, and the long hours. Only I haven't figured out how. I only know how to steal time for myself between projects, between mouthfuls of food I inhale at my desk, or in the dead of night when I'm really too exhausted to think about anything but the tasks that need sorting, and doing the following morning. In a strange way, there's method to my madness. Most of what I've learned in life has been on the fly without anyone to train me, or show me the ropes. When you appear capable, folks just throw things at you. And out of necessity, you learn to cope, to figure it out. And it may start out as necessity, but it can easily evolve into a very bad habit. I've always prided myself in the ability to just dive in, and somehow come up swimming. But there's nothing quite like working under a master, someone who not only does his job extremely well but is willing to take you under his wing to teach you not just a new skill, but a more effective way of doing routine tasks. It takes a special kind of person to not only have the patience but the willingness to show you. And it's amazing to watch them tackle their work whole-heartedly, effectively, and intuitively. I realized long ago that it's never too late to learn new tricks if you have the willingness to open yourself up to new ideas. You can always benefit from another's knowledge or experience. I've never claimed to know everything, not even close, but I sincerely believe that willingness and follow-through, sprinkled with just the right amount of enthusiasm can accomplish anything. All of us are masters at something, and I hope that the next time someone show's an eagerness to learn from me that I pay back that enthusiasm by doing for them what others have done for me.

I recently came across Pie Lollipops, bite-sized morsels in various flavors, with crinkled edges to hold in the delicious fillings. And in all fairness, since I blogged about cake pops yesterday I think these delicious portable delights deserve a spotlight all of their own.

Lollipop Pies
lollipop sticks
various fruits, for fillings
cinnamon & sugar, for flavoring
cornstarch, for thickening
1 7/8 inch (48mm) round cookie cooker
1 9-inch pastry dough
egg whites, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Make the filling (basic fruit pie filling recipe for one 9-inch pie). You can also used pre-made canned filling, or home-made jarred ones. For small jars of different flavored fillings specifically for these pie lollipops simply combine a cup of fruit, pitted, diced, or mashed with 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 2 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/8 tsp of spices.
  3. Roll out your pie dough on a floured surface, or on plastic wrap. Dust the opposite with a dust of flour. This will make the dough easier to work with and move around. With a round cookie cutter cut out two circles for each pie, one for the bottom crust, and one for the top. You can make about 8 or 9 pops with 1 9-inch pie crust.
  4. Place a stick in the center of your cut out. Using a teaspoon fill the pie center on top of the stick. Be careful as your filling is liquid, and will run. Carefully lay the second cut out on top, using the end of another stick to press the edges together.
  5. Using the egg wash, brush the tops of the pies with egg white. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops start to brown. Cool on wire rack.
  6. When completely cool you can bag these with small plastic treat bags and tie with ribbon to give as gifts.
inspiration via luxaire

Thursday, March 18, 2010


This Saturday on March 20th dedicate the day to expeditions, back-room tours and hidden treasures in your hometown. What exactly is Obscura Day you ask? An international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places initiated by Atlas Obscura, an online database that collects information on bizarre landmarks throughout the world. Atlas Obscura tout themselves as a 'compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities and esoterica.' In celebration of Obscura Day they have organized expeditions in different cities around the world. Check out their blog for expeditions in your city.

If you're in Los Angeles The Echo Park Time Travel Mart and Atlas Obscura are teaming up to lead a special bus tour of some of LA's most time-specific places. They plan on traveling back to the days of cane sugar sodas, panoramic paintings, and whimsical marionette performances. John Nese, soda aficionado and owner of Galco's Soda Pop Stop, will share some of his favorite bubbly beverages of yesteryear. Box lunches will be provided at Griffith Park's Old Zoo to picnic among the spirits of the apes and climb into abandoned animal cages from the 1930s.Travel from one extreme locale to another at the Velaslavasay Panorama, and trek into a 360-degree display of the arctic north and explore a carnivorous plant garden. Finally, witness a puppetry performance and backroom tour of Bob Baker's Marionette Theater, the longest-running of its kind in North America.The tour starts at 11:30 AM at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, 1714 West Sunset Boulevard, 90026. Price is $30 which includes lunch. For more information click here.

You may be one of many Angeleno's who have driven past The Echo Park Time Travel Mart and wondered what it was - maybe just a bodega with a strange name, or a kitschy shop that sold gag gifts, or a head shop with smoke paraphernalia. I myself wandered in one day to solve the mystery of its unusual but intriguing name only to discover that it's one of eight chapters of 826 National, a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization created to assist students ages 6 to 18 with their writing skills. Neighborhood kids come in five days a week after school for one-on-one tutoring and writing workshops. The goal of the program is to help kids express their ideas effectively, creatively, and confidently in their own voices. The Time Travel Mart is also a convenient mart selling everything you'd need in a time warp, such as time-machine fuel, ray guns, a can of mastodon meat, or even a cup of joe. They also sell dinosaur eggs, a plethora of mustache disguises, and even Viking Odorant. Next time you're in the neighborhood, take a few minutes to see what this unusual but worthy place is about. You many even be convinced to volunteer your time to be a party of their mentoring or tutoring program.

Now as most of you know I normally only include pie or tart recipes in my blog but I couldn't resist including this recipe for "dinosaur egg" cake pops. Simply take yellow cake, shape into balls, dip into white chocolate or yellow colored chocolate, let dry, then sprinkle sanding sugar all over each one. For the final touch use food coloring spray mist to color spray each pop for a prehistoric look. Here's a step-by-step instructions for creating these delicious cake pops.

Step 1 - Gather your materials: 1 box of cake mix, lollipop sticks, 1 package chocolate bark (white chocolate or yellow colored chocolate), 1 can of cream cheese frosting (16 oz), sanding sugar, food coloring spray mist, and styrofoam block.

Step 2 - Bake your yellow cake following the instructions on the box. When the cake is cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your can of frosting, a little at a time, until its consistency allows you to roll it into a ball.

Step 3 - Start rolling mixture into balls. Size is bakers choice but a melon-baller gadget might come in handy. Quarter sized balls are good. Lay them on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Cover with foil or plastic and stick them in the fridge to chill for several hours (you can speed up by sticking them in a freezer).

Step 4 - Melt the chocolate in the microwave per directions on the package (you can also use candy coating, just follow directions) until the right consistency to dip balls. ONLY melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time as it cools quickly and starts to thicken. It's easier to work with when hot. Most recommended heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.

Step 5 - Take the cake balls from the fridge. Dip your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting them half to three-quarters way in each cake ball. Put the balls with sticks back in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. When chocolate has cooled and the sticks hold in the cake balls, then dip the newly-sticked cake pops into the melted chocolate, rotating to ensure even coverage. Stand the dipped pops into styrofoam block you've already poked holes into and let drip-dry for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 6 - Once dry decorate your pop by rolling it in sanding sugar and spraying with food coloring spray mist until the cake pops resemble dinosaur eggs. When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.

original idea from bellabaker