Friday, March 25, 2011

Jacob's Birthday Dinner

Last night we hosted a dinner with some of our family for Jacob's birthday.  Jacob decided he didn't really want to have a party this year, but he did have some requests for the colors we used...neon green, black and pink.  I have to admit at first I was a little thrown off, and concerned about how I would make this work while looking young and fun and not too feminine.  I decided to really focus on the green and black and just throw the pink in with a few accents.  Here are the pics from the night, Enjoy!
Gift Table
I have been wanting to do a cake bunting for a while now, love how it looks in these bright colors!  Oh, and that is my new cake plate...Home Goods where have you been all my life?!?!?!

For the placemats I went to the fabric store just thinking I was going to buy some green felt to cut and use and then I saw this AMAZING trim that was perfect!  I love how they turned out!  A couple of weeks ago I found a post on The White Library (which is amazing by the way!) where she incorported paper plates into the place settings!  I love how this added great pattern and color to the black plates that we used, but felt like it also helped to keep the dinner a little more casual.  I think one of my favorite things that we made were duct tape flowers.  Jacob has a pretty big obsession with duct tape (not quite sure I get it, but I decided to go with it), so when I found this green duct tape I decided that making these would be a more personal touch than using fresh flowers on the table. 
Place Setting
As you probably know I have a slight obsession with cake pops, so they were a must!  Bought some cute little pots from the Target $1 section and added some green crinkle paper that I have a huge bag of and have no idea where it came from ?

Coordinating drink...a must!  Think this was Jacob's favorite thing!
Jacob LOVES Indian food, so we decided to do a variety of dishes along with Naan (which almost caused a house fire, the original batch got left under the broiler while someone went to pick Jacob up from school, not mentioning any names, I will just tell you it wasn't me :)...thank goodness Trader Joe's is a block away!) and some homemade Samosa's, which were amazing...thanks honey!
Most of these got eaten before I snapped a pic, they were sooo good!
The inside of the cake...two layer homemade "Pink" Velvet cake with homemade neon green frosting!
The birthday boy, well more like a young man now...such an AMAZING kid!!!!
We had a wonderful night, but the best part was when Jacob thanked me for doing everything for the sweet!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jacob's Birthday...Eleven Already?!?!?!

Wow, how time flies!  I can't believe that Jacob is eleven today...that means I will be...AHHH, can't think about it!  Jacob decided he didn't really want to have a birthday party this year so we decided to do a dinner with some family.  Jacob's request for colors...Neon Green, Black and Bright Pink!
My mission:  Design a cake and table with colors that create a visual image of a pair of bad 90's bike shorts...hmmm.

Here is a little preview of some of the things that I have so far, tonight's project will be the cake...wait till you see the color of the frosting...hope everyone there is willing to take a risk!!! 

Can't wait to show you how everything comes together tomorrow night!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pinch Proof...Just in Time!

A couple of weeks ago I saw the cutest shirt for St. Patrick's Day on Skip to my Lou.  This is the first time I have used freezer paper for a stencil and let me tell you the hardest part of this project was actually finding a store that carried the freezer paper...who would have thought?!?  I used the stencil that was on Skip to my Lou and added a few little hearts that I did in pink and painted the whole thing on a little pink tee...too cute!  I couldn't find the Glamour Dust that she recommended, but I did find a similar glitter for fabric paint that I used to cover the entire design. This project would so simple and cute to do for any holiday or birthday shirt!  Can't wait to see Miriam in this tomorrow at the parade!

Up next...Jacob's birthday cake and my first attempt at fondant!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chocolate Irish Cream Cupcakes

I spent today making some amazing cupcakes!  I have seen several cupcake recipes over that last few weeks and I have been really wanting to make some for St. Patrick's Day, so today was the day!  Alot of the recipes I found called for mint, now I am a big fan of mint flavoring, would even consider mint chocolate chip ice cream to be at the top of my favorites.  However I made mint brownies several years ago and my husband said they tasted like toothpaste...decided I would try something else this time!  I ended up taking a recipe on Better Homes and Gardens and adapting to add the cocoa and the Baileys...YUM!  I made a vanilla buttercream frosting and royal icing shamrocks inspired by the fabulous Sweetopia.  I couldn't find disco dust at any of the stores around here so my shamrocks are a little lacking in the glam department...need to plan ahead and order online in the future!  Here is the cupcake recipe with the changes I made in green:

  • 4    egg whites
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour (changed to 1 3/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1/4  cup  green creme de menthe** (used 1/4 cup of Bailey's Irish Cream)
  • 1/2  cup  shortening
  • 1-3/4  cups  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla


1. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty to twenty-two 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups ( I got 22 from the recipe so this is pretty accurate). In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup combine the buttermilk and the Irish Cream. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until mixture is combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • Green food coloring (or color of choice if desired)


In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Here is the link  for the instructions on making royal icing shapes, I did it freehand instead of using a stencil, but it definitely took many tries before I was getting a size and shape that I was happy with...they still aren't perfect, but look pretty cute on the cupcake.  By the way, cupcakes are much easier to photograph than one year olds!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Busy Weekend!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Ours was busy and filled with a lot of time in the kitchen!  Friday I started working on the CD cake pops that I was making for The River Monks CD release on Saturday night, which was amazing by the way!  Check them out on Facebook if you haven't already...!/therivermonks! (minor plug, but my brother's in the group so it's okay :)! ).  I think they turned out great, though it was much harder than I thought it would be, a CD seems like a pretty simple shape, right?!?  I think the fact that it was simple made it harder to make it known what they were supposed to be...does this make sense at all?  The process was pretty simple overall,  my new Bakerella book came in VERY handy!  Here are a couple of pictures of the Cake Pops...scroll down to see how the Oreo Pops for Purim turned out too!
Cake & frosting mix  formed into balls and flattened into disc shapes
Put on lollipop sticks and dipped in chocolate candy coating...sooo much better than almond bark!

Brushed with edible glitter dust, CD title in candy coating, added pearl music note and candy necklace piece to create center of disc.
Wrapped and Ready to go! 
So next came the Oreo pops, these turned out pretty cute, but I think I will definitely stick to the cake pops from now on.  Once I had covered them in the candy coating, they started "sweating", I am assuming that it has something to do with the cream cheese as opposed to the frosting but I am not sure...if anyone knows why this happens please let me know!  Once I chilled them for a bit they dried off and I was able to continue with the decorating.  I had to remind myself that they were for kindergarten's and they probably aren't quite as picky as I am!
Who needs a food processor when you have an 11 year boy and a rolling pin!
Not really relevant, she is just pretty cute and she loves her sweets!
Missed a couple of in between pictures, think I was getting frustrated.  These are dipped in candy coating then sugar then drizzled with red candy coating...they look festive, right?!?
Wrapped, Tagged and ready to be Enjoyed!

 Here is the printable for the Purim Labels if anyone would like them Purim Labels.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cake Pops & Contracts!

Yesterday was a great day!  My Cake Pop book by Bakerella finally arrived...a day late but definitely worth the wait, I have some in process right now!  I also got my contract from PaperStyle in the mail to be a new designer for invitations and stationary items!  I am so excited, I am working on designing some more pieces to put in my Etsy shop, and will begin designing for PaperStyle soon as well!
Pictures of tonights cake pops to come tomorrow night since they are a surprise for someone :)!