This past Valentine's Day, Hudson Valley residents were given the opportunity to learn decorating skills from a Village of Wappingers business owner with quite the resume when it comes to cooking and baking show appearances...and wins.

We are so lucky in the Hudson Valley to have so many incredibly talented chefs, pastry artists and restauranteurs, many of who have been featured in different cooking shows and competitions.

Crystal River Williams, one of the business owners of Norma's in the Village of Wappingers, offered a cupcake decorating class in the cafe on Valentine's Day, and now my 7-year-old can brag that she learned from a Chopped Champion.


Norma's Wappingers Is Home To A Chopped Champion, Crystal River Willams

The Hudson Valley was pretty excited when Norma's in the Village of Wappingers officially opened their doors back in June of 2022, bringing a taste of their NYC coffee shop and bakery to the area.

What some might not realize is that Norma's business partners have actually been featured on several cooking/baking shows, and owner Crystal River Williams, has was even victorious on Chopped.


Williams' Chopped win came back in 2016, in an episode titled 'Back In Time' where contestants were given 'a familiar can and a space-age beverage in the first basket; something frozen in time and something nostalgically spherical for round two; a drink named for a movie legend must be used for dessert.'

Williams has also appeared with the one and only 'Cake Boss,' Buddy Valastro on Bake You Rich, and on Unique Sweets on the Cooking Channel with her Norma's business partner Denise Plowman.

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Chopped Champion Offers Valentine's Cupcake Decorating Class

The Hudson Valley had the opportunity to learn, hands-on, from a Chopped champion on Valentine's Day for a special cupcake workshop.  This family-friendly event took place at the Wappingers Normas location, and each participant got to learn from Crystal while decorating, chocolate, vanilla and red velvet cupcake, and even got the inside scoop (and recipe cards to take home) for three of Norma's signature frostings!


READ MORE: NJ Restaurant Says 'No Kids Under 10' Allowed

I was really looking forward to bringing my daughter to the class as a Valentine's Day mommy/daughter date, but unfortunately, COVID had other plans for me. After getting a negative test for her, my daughter was still able to attend with our neighbor and babysitter and enjoy a night of sweet treats and professional decorating tips!


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Can You Remember Your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie growing up?

As much as we enjoy Girl Scout Cookies in 2023, we often miss the ones that we used to love growing up. Have you heard of my personal favorite Girl Scout Cookies that are now retired?

Shortbread cookies are always a win. This Girl Scout Cookie was dipped in chocolate and it also had a friendly message on it. It had the words "Thank You" on it.

Ole Oles
These powdered sugar cookies were delicious. They also had pecans and coconut mixed in and were reduced fat.

Lemon Chalet Creme
This was one of my favorite lemon cookies to ever exist. How could a lemon sandwich cookie ever go wrong? The added cinnamon and ginger made it one of a kind.

I remember that these cookies were named after the founder of The Girl Scouts, Juliette Low. It reminded me of a chocolate turtle with its being covered in caramel, pecans and milk chocolate.

Ra Ra Raisens
This was unlike your ordinary raisin cookie. This Girl Scout Cookie brought in oatmeal and yogurt chips with the raisins.

Savannah Smiles
This Girl Scout Cookie knew how to put a smile on your face. They were lemon wedge cookies with powdered sugar.

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I loved the Girl Scout Cookies that were discontinued but also enjoy the present day one as well.

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