January 31st, 2011 |

Project Nursery: Sweet Party Themes

Two Sugar Babies just launched an exclusive collection of designs that coordinate back to some of the WH Hostess best selling invitations and party collections!  I’m showing off these cute, coordinating fondant toppers today over at Project Nursery.  Head on over there to check them out!

January 12th, 2011 |

Easy Updates to Favorite Valentine’s Day Treats

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I started thinking about what type of sweet treats I want to make this year for my loved ones.  I, like most of you, have my go-to desserts that I know I do well and that are loved by all….so sometimes it’s hard to stray from those beloved recipes.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t tweak them a bit, right?!

Take the classic chocolate cake, for example.  Typically I would make it, frost it and decorate it….but doesn’t it look oh, so sweet like this?  I love how you can see the layers and the fluffy, pink frosting!  The recipe for this chocolate cherry stack cake doesn’t sound so bad either!

Do you make frosted sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day?  I do!  And I love this idea of making them a cookie-lollipop!  So simple, and they would make a darling party favor for a Valentine’s Day party, or a sweet treat for your kids to bring to their friends at school.

Chocolate pots de creme or flourless chocolate cakes are always my dinner party go-to dessert.  The simple addition of a little blob of whipped cream and some Valentine’s Day sprinkles make them very festive!

Lastly….meringues!  I love meringues!  I especially love making meringue sandwiches….you can dye the frosting any color to match your dessert table, and they are very simple to make!  (see how I have used them on a green dessert table and a pink and black dessert table).  Looking for a simple update for Valentines’ Day?!  Flavor them and pipe them into the shape of hearts!  This recipe for raspberry meringue hearts looks delish!

December 15th, 2010 |

Inspirational Website: Call Me Cupcake

This holiday season has thrown me for a loop….it’s the first holiday season of WH Hostess and {thankfully} it’s been quite busy!  This is a fabulous problem to have, however I have noticed things in my day to day life have just been pushed back.  The shopping, tree trimming, party planning….I’m normally the girl that has her presents bought and wrapped a month before Christmas.  Not this year!  After my daily run to the post office to ship out orders {twice today!}, I decided it was time to take 5 minutes to sit down and drift away into the blog world.  I just wanted to spend a few minutes relaxing and to drool over something inspirational.  I found a new blog {to me} that allowed me to “ooh” and “ahh” for a few minutes, and I just had to share it with you!

Call Me Cupcake, a blog from Sweden, is responsible for all of this loveliness!  It’s unfortunate that I can’t read any of her posts….BUT the images on her site more than make up for that!  Beautiful, feminine dessert tables.  Clean, sophisticated styling that looks fresh and new.  As you can tell, I’m in love.

I love this mint green and white dessert table.  So sweet and simple – perfect for a bridal shower or spring birthday party.

How fabulous is this white, doiley-covered cake?!

Or this stunning take on the classic pale pink and black color combination?!  Stunning!  I encourage you to take a few minutes to scroll thru this blog and enjoy the eye candy!

Images via Call Me Cupcake

November 22nd, 2010 |

Turkey Dinner: The Night After

Are you entertaining friends or family the day after Thanksgiving?  I always find that weekend challenging for entertaining – it’s a great weekend to do it with friends and family in town, everyone feeling the festive Thanksgiving spirit.  However, I start to decorate my house for Christmas that weekend, so I always feel a little too dis-organized for entertaining!

One idea I had for making this process a bit smoother, is to decorate with items that work for both holidays!  Take the picture above from Pottery Barn – the rustic colors lend itself to Thanksgiving decor, but the twig stars can carry you all the way through Christmas!  Natural centerpieces are also a great way to go – a bowl full of artichokes, or pomegranates will add texture and color to your table.

Re-purpose your leftover turkey by serving a turkey pot pie for dinner, add in a side of maple-glazed acorn squash and a delicious chocolate souffle cake for dessert!  YUM!  Your guests won’t even realize they are eating leftover turkey!

Images: table setting (potterybarn.com), napkin (bhg.com), artichoke centerpiece (midwestliving.com)

November 18th, 2010 |

Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

 

When it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, I like to think a little bit more out-of-the-box than your traditional apple pie.  Don’t get me wrong….there will be apple pie at my Thanksgiving celebration!  But, I think it’s always good to bring something new to the table.  Here are a few new dessert recipes that I think could make a great impression at your holiday dinner:

  1. Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
  2. Apple-Cranberry Mince Tarts
  3. Chocolate Loaf with Butterscotch Glaze
  4. Praline Pumpkin Torte
  5. Pumpkin Ice Cream Torte with Ginger Crust
  6. Pear Tart Tatin
  7. Persimmon Creme Brulee
  8. Cherry Almond Tart

October 25th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: La De Da 5th Anniversary Party

I am very excited to show you today’s featured party…..my aunt owns a gift shop in my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois called la de da!  Full of charming home accents, perfect accessories and gifts for everyone, la de da has become a local hot spot in the North Shore of Chicago.  The store recently celebrated it’s 5th birthday, and my aunt decided it was time to throw a party.  She asked me to pull together a dessert table and some paper goods for the event…a non-shopping event for customers, friends and family to celebrate the success she has had over the last 5 years.

The store is decorated in black and white, so we decided to stick with the fabulously-girly color palette of hot pink, black and white.  The theme “cupcakes & champagne” was born and the double-sided postcard pictured above set the tone for the event.  We focused on two main things: a fabulous dessert table, and a festive champagne bar.

 

 

The shape of the table took form by using black and white floral tablecloths with hot pink toppers.  A tall, rod-iron trellis stood at each end of the table, and a banner hung in between.  I loved the height and visual interest this created, and to add a touch more color and whimsy to the design, I hung hot pink floral pomander balls in each trellis.  The tiered cupcake stand took center stage and was flanked by two black urns full of hot pink roses and moss. I decorated the tiered stand with hot pink liners and polka dot ribbon, and the mini cupcakes held custom cupcake toppers featuring the cupcake girl from our invitation and the store logo.

White platters (with polka dot liners) held goodies such as strawberry marshmallows, meringue sandwiches, brownie bites, and chocolate covered pretzels, and a polka dot food tent card.  A white footed bowl held donut holes covered with pink sprinkles, and a large scalloped black platter held designer cookies by Allyson Jane (made especially for this event!).  Glass apothecary jars were adorned with candy jar tags and polka dot ribbon, and were full of sweets including pink foil chocolate balls, black and white jordan almonds, white pearls, black jelly beans, and little white hearts.  Small white pots with little black hearts on them (straight from IKEA!) were filled with white star mints, and white and black rock candy sticks.

The champagne bar featured hot pink trays full of champagne glasses, a chandelier-style cupcake holder and a cute little sign featuring the cupcake girl from our postcard.  My favorite detail?!  The hot pink labels on the black champagne bottles!  This is one of our newest categories and you can see what I love them so much!  We also designed custom  labels for mini water bottles, and stickers to adorn pink take out food boxes (for people to bring candy home to their families).

It was a lovely event and I am thrilled with how it turned out (scroll down for more detail images!).  There are so many sweet details you can pull away from this event -  fabulous inspiration for a bridal shower or birthday party!

 

black and white swirl lollipopspink meringue sandwichespink rose centerpiece
brownie bites with candyhanging pink flower pomander ballblack and white jordan almonds apothecary jar with candy jar tag




October 14th, 2010 |

Halloween Treats

 

I’ve been searching the web for great Halloween treats….desserts you can make for adults and kids alike!

Here are my picks for the best around the web:

  1. Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles
  2. Halloween S’Mores
  3. Butterscotch Caramels
  4. Candy Corn Cake Wedges
  5. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  6. Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
  7. M & M Pumpkin Cake
  8. Marshmallow Ghosts

October 6th, 2010 |

Halloween Cupcakes by Wilton

halloween cupcake ideas by wiltonI am a huge fan of the Wilton products, but had never really explored their website before.  Big mistake.  HUGE!  It’s chock full of sweet inspiration for every type of occasion you can imagine!  My focus today was Halloween and I have to say – they have some of the cutest cupcake ideas on the web!  Darling, simple and easy-to-follow directions….perfect for my busy schedule!

Left to right: batty cupcake, pick your poison cupcake, silly spider cupcake, double pumpkin cupcake, and the scary snare cupcake.  Head over to wilton.com for even more darling Halloween sweets ideas.

October 1st, 2010 |

Tailgating: It’s All About The Food!

Since we are knee-deep in football season, I figured it was time I started giving you some recipe ideas for tailgating (or watching the game at home with friends and family!).  Let’s be honest – my favorite part of football season is the food!  So, as my husband is getting geared up for the big Ohio State vs. Illinois game on Saturday – I’m looking for delicious recipes!

Country Living has fabulous ideas for tailgating!  My favorites include bloody mary’s, mini blt sliders, turkey chili and salted golden caramel bars.  YUM!

 

September 24th, 2010 |

Weekend Recipe: Milk Fudge

These colorful little gems caught my eye as I was scrolling thru Style At Home.  What are they?!  Cake, brownie, cookie?

Fudge.  Milk fudge, to be exact and I can’t wait to try this recipe!  Think how fun – you can color coordinate to your dessert table!  Here’s the how-to:

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated goat’s or cow’s milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions
1 Lightly grease a 9 by 9-inch square pan. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on all sides.

2 Combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the mixture has thickened and starts pulling away from the sides of the pan, 20 to 30 minutes. When ready, it will slide easily out of the pan when tilted.

3 Pour into the prepared pan and allow to set, about 2 hours. Cut into rectangles or desired shapes.

Double the flavour
You can mix and match flavors as you like, and you can do it quite simply. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan, stir another flavor—such as coffee extract or any kind of flavored oil with a few drops of food coloring—into the other half, then pour that on top. Alternatively, you can make two separate flavors and make half a batch of each.

Variations

Chocolate
Add 6 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed) along with the other ingredients.

Lime
Replace the vanilla with 1 teaspoon grated lime zest and add 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice and a few drops of green food coloring (if desired) once the mixture has been removed from the heat, making sure you add them slowly and stir well so it doesn’t separate.

Coffee
Add 2 teaspoons coffee extract along with the other ingredients.

Coconut
Replace the evaporated milk with the same size can of coconut milk.

Tequila
Add 1 tablespoon white or reposado tequila once the mixture has been removed from the heat, making sure you add it slowly and stir well so it doesn’t separate.

Makes about 2 dozen

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