April 27th, 2010 |
It’s getting to be Derby-time! Whether you are throwing a huge bash, or watching the game at home with a couple friends….nothing makes a party festive like a few themed cocktails, right?! Southern Living has the perfect combination of recipes for whatever your gathering may be….. A Mint Julip for the Kentucky Derby, a Black-Eyed Susan for Preakness, and a Long Island Iced Tea for the races at Belmont Stakes. The perfect trio!
April 14th, 2010 |
I took a little break from my typical work day yesterday to go to a Giada book signing with my best friend and her 5-year-old, Emma. We both love Giada’s recipes – but Emma, oh, Emma absolutely LOVES Giada! She watches her show (which has inspired her to cook at the mere age of 5) and until yesterday didn’t actually know Giada was “real”!
She’s “real” alright – and was absolutely darling as she greeted Emma and I. Gave her a hug, asked her if she liked to cook – couldn’t have been sweeter! It was a welcome break in my week and I am so happy that I have this wonderful memory with Emma and Teresa!
If you haven’t flipped thru Giada’s new cookbook, Giada at Home, definitely pick up a copy – great, fresh recipes for Spring!
April 6th, 2010 |
It’s not just for cupcakes anymore! You can now dress up your cake plates (round or square) with these lovely paper, filigree wraps. Hmmm….my cakes just got a little bit prettier!
April 6th, 2010 |
With the weather getting nicer everyday, I find my self suddenly craving my very favorite dessert….a lemon tart. It’s light, citrus-y flavor makes this the perfect Spring/Summer dessert and I always find myself counting down the Winter months until it’s “appropriate” to bring this favorite dessert back into rotation!
I’ve tried numerous recipes over the years – but I have to say that my two favorites are from Tartine and Barefoot Contessa. What about you? Do you have a favorite recipe you wish to share?!
P.S. With the dessert table craze still going strong, I absolutely love the idea of making mini lemon tarts – they would be perfect for a dessert table with a yellow color story!
Images: slices of lemon tart (annstratton.com), individual lemon creme tart (bonvivant.wordpress.com), bowl of lemons (cafelynnylu.blogspot.com), mini lemon creme tart (foodbeam.com), individual lemon blueberry tart (lemonmeringue.com)
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April 1st, 2010 |
One of my favorite parts of Spring is that artichokes are in season! Not only are they delicious to eat (we’ll get to that later!), but they can also make for fabulous decorations in your home, or accessories on your table.
Images: bowl (thedailygreen.com), votive placecard (blogs.glam.com), pitcher of artichokes (midwestliving.com), purple artichokes (lidiasitaly.com), egg cup (thekitchn.com), spinach artichoke dip (horchow.com), basket of artichokes (delallo.com)
March 31st, 2010 |
The most frequent question I get asked about cupcakes is regarding how to make buttercream frosting. I get told it turns out too runny or too thick. So I thought I’d share with you a buttercream recipe that I use, that works like a treat each and every time.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
400 grams icing sugar
1 tbs milk (optional)
2 tbs vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and cream for 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl occasionally. Add sifted icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat for a minute further. Add food coloring as desired.
Buttercream can be stored to up to three days in an airtight container in a cool place. Do not refrigerate.
Now that you have perfected making buttercream, it’s time to decorate. A really simple, yet effective way to decorate cupcakes is to pipe the buttercream in a rose or flower design.
First, you’ll need a closed star piping tip. I like to use a Wilton 2D tip. Pop the piping tip into a piping bag and fill with buttercream. Starting from the center of the cupcake, work your way to the outside in a circular motion. If you don’t get it the first time, please keep practicing, you will get the hang of it in no time and be producing beautiful cupcakes like these!
~Sharnel, My Life My Loves
Images: yellow cupcake with pink butterfly (by me!), cupcakes (shamsD via flickr.com)
March 25th, 2010 |
I came across this darling cake on epicurious.com – talk about a darling cupcake topper! This would be so cute for an Easter brunch, a birthday party or shower. If you aren’t up for making a cake and cupcakes from scratch – cheat a little! Order the cake from your local bakery, and bake your own cupcakes (the cupcakes don’t have any special decorations….just different colored frosting!).
March 25th, 2010 |
I wish you had all been sitting with me when I first saw these cupcakes….I couldn’t hide my “ooh!!” if I had tried! They are so cute, so unique….and are sure to get rave reviews from guests young and old. Here is the recipe from All You:
- 1 16.5-oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons egg-white powder (such as Just Whites)
- Red and green food coloring
- 1/2 cup each light and dark pink decorating sugars
- Large flower décors
- 2 cups chopped sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 16-oz. can vanilla frosting
- 24 cupcakes, any flavor
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Knead dough and flour together until smooth. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out bunny shapes using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Reroll scraps; continue cutting to get 24 bunnies.
3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Make cookie frosting: Stir confectioners’ sugar, egg-white powder and 3 Tbsp. warm water until smooth. (If frosting is too thick, stir in more water, 1 tsp. at a time.) Spoon 2 Tbsp. frosting into a ziplock bag. Tint remaining frosting light pink with a drop of red food coloring. Keep frosting covered to prevent drying.
4. Working on 1 cookie at a time, spread a thin layer of pink frosting on top. Sprinkle top of frosted cookie with light or dark pink decorating sugar to coat, shaking off excess. Snip a small corner from bag with white frosting. Pipe a few dots of white frosting on cookie; attach décors. Repeat with remaining cookies. Allow cookies to dry, 1 hour.
5. Place chopped coconut in a ziplock bag. Add a few drops of green food coloring; massage to tint coconut evenly. Put coconut in a shallow bowl. Spread vanilla frosting on cupcakes. Roll edges in green coconut. Press a cookie on top of each cupcake.
March 22nd, 2010 |
The Seder dinner marks the start of the Jewish holiday, Passover. Typically held at home, Seder dinners are full of tradition….and some delicious food! Set a warm, yet elegant table in shades of gold and simple white centerpieces. Add a personal touch by placing a votive candle with your guest’s names written on a small scroll at each place setting.
The Seder menu is stock full of tradition. Items such as matzo ball soup have been served during this holiday for generations! I found a few recipes on Bon Appetit that give a simple update to a few favorites:
These delicious recipes are sure to become new traditions in your family. Tell me, how do you celebrate the holiday?
Images: tulips (stylemepretty.com), votive candle (epicurious.com), napkin (karentran.com), table setting (lastoriafoto.com)
March 19th, 2010 |
It’s no secret that I love a good champagne cocktail! This recipe from Sunset Magazine is on my must-try list for this Spring! It’s a sweet and sour combination – just the way I like it!
Pour ¼ cup cranberry juice and ¼ cup pink grapefruit juice into a Champagne flute or a thin glass. Top with your favorite Champagne or sparkling wine. Serve immediately and keep the juices and bubbly chilled for refills.