With some things in life, it's best never seeing how they're made. Cupcakes, on the other hand, have a much more pleasant creation?and at Sweet Escapes Cupcakes Bar, you can witness the process first-hand. Here, cupcakes are custom-made to order, meaning visitors are free to choose the flavor of cake, filling, and frosting that goes into their cupcake. Creations can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake with vanilla-bean frosting, or they can be as unique as a red velvet cupcake filled with peanut butter and topped with chocolate. Customers can also put the kibosh on sweets cravings with non-cupcake treats, including scones, cinnamon buns, puff pastries made with fresh fruit, and seasonal sweets, such as pumpkin rolls and yule logs.
Inside the ovens at Crazy Tomato, pizza crusts bubble up around an adventurous selection of toppings, including chopped steak, fries, roast beef, and feta cheese. Cheese-stuffed stromboli issue jets of steam across the pies and toasting sandwiches, which cooks scoop up to pack with dine-in, takeout, and delivery orders. Against the applause-like sound of crackling oil, fryers spill forth 1-pound servings of fries made exclusively from freshly cut potatoes shaped like Renaissance-era kings.
Armed with 20 years of experience, the brewmasters at Mr. Steve's Homebrew and Wine Supplies help amateur boozesmiths notch the proper equipment and wisdom to craft homemade beer and wine. Bring beer dreams to foamy fruition with the Brewer Best kit (a $75 value), which includes the containers, tubes, and other necessary gewgaws, but excludes bottles and patience. A variety of ingredient kits (a $40 value) can facilitate the production of about 50 bottles of beer in a wide range of flavors and species, including standbys such as irish stout and brown ale or seasonals such as Summer Delight. Alternately, find a way to fill up empty water balloons with a winemaking equipment kit (a $115 value) and ingredient kit (a $100 value). The kit enables budding vintners to produce about 30 bottles of riesling, pinot grigio, cabernet sauvignon, or myriad other varieties.
Tarsha Eaddy had large cupcake pans to fill when she, the eldest of all her family's grandchildren, decided to take on the role of the family baker and establish MBK Fine Desserts. But upon starting off on her own, Tarsha didn’t stray far from her family’s confectionary roots. In fact, she extended them right into her bakery by turning to her grandmother—lovingly known as Mother Boyd—for her highly praised recipes.
Now, Tarsha handcrafts those Southern-style pies, puddings, cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops, ensuring each batch is made from scratch and preservative free. Her buttery piecrusts envelop sweet fillings of peach cobbler and bourbon pecan, and her cakes come moist and tasteful in Italian cream, coconut, and lemon flavors.
Even though Tarsha uses decades-old recipes, she takes a modern approach to her craft by transforming her sweet treats into edible works of art, whether by custom decorating wedding cake pops or making logo-covered cakes and graduation-themed cupcakes.
A totem pole shaped like a four-scoop ice-cream cone stands as a beacon in front of Jim Mack's Ice Cream, beckoning passers-by to experience the nostalgic establishment's homemade ice cream, 24-hole miniature-golf course, and resident black bear, Ricky. The ice-cream stand and snack shop, which opened in 1958, crafts a menu of ice cream, malts, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and other specialties. The outdoor picnic area allows guests to enjoy their treats to the sounds of chirping birds and whistling winds, which also serve as the mini-golf course's full-time commentators. The expansive, family-friendly facility also features a pinball arcade and a miniature zoo. Llamas and goats roam the petting-zoo area, grazing from the delicious pellets that grow in children's hands. The facility's mascot, Ricky the bear, also greets guests from inside of her large enclosure where she climbs on logs and tells jokes for nickels.
Even before Richard Naylor and his wife, Audrey, founded their winery in 1978, the Naylor family had been fascinated by the winemaking process. What began as a backyard vine-growing experiment first transitioned into an barrel-producing operation in a potato cellar. It then blossomed into today's idyllic Pennsylvania winery, full of vineyards, rows of wooden barrels, and a staff of friendly wine experts. Richard and his family lead groups through tours of the picturesque estate, imparting their wisdom about the fine varietals grown there, such as cabernet franc or chambourcin. Guests can sip fine vino during regular festivals and front-porch tastings, or they can experience live bands, competitive wine-tasting events, and even weddings in the welcoming, rustic setting of the Pavilion.