Friday, May 13, 2011

Light Blue Inspiration Board

Wedding season has begun. I have quite a few wedding invites this summer... finishing the season with my wedding in September. Selecting just the right invitation is my next project - a weighty decision with the many options available. As you think of wedding ideas, colors, and themes, take a look at this elegant outdoor wedding in tones of light blue.

Sources (clockwise, starting from top left corner):
Tablescape; Blue wedding party; Blue ribbon cake; Blue wedding invitations; Blue flower centerpiece

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Brunch & Desserts

Give your Mom five star treatment from the moment she wakes up! Doesn’t she deserve it after all the support, unconditional love, and hard work she has given over the years? Start off with a delightful breakfast. A fruit salad, gourmet iced coffee or a raspberry-orange sunrise, and a muffin or a slice of a quick bread. Try to remember your mom’s favorite foods and serve them for an early dinner. Don’t forget dessert! Try one of these pie recipes below to wow your mom with the final touch of the day. She will be impressed by your thoughtfulness and effort – a sure win!
Sources & Recipes: 



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cinco De Mayo Desserts

Cinco de Mayo is only two days away. Here are some Mexican inspired desserts to celebrate the day. These cakes & desserts would be great to bring to a Mexican themed fiesta.

Sources & Recipes:
1. “Three Milk” Cake with Rompope (Pastel des Tres Leches con Rompope)
2. Chocolate-Ancho Chili Flourless Cake
3. Margarita Cake
4. Churros
5. Margarita Melon Salad
6. Banana Quesadillas

Sunday, May 1, 2011

White Inspiration Board

Hello again. Well it has been some time now.  Besides having some computer problems, my fianc√© and I took a trip down to South Carolina to visit his family for Easter. We had a great time with everyone and especially enjoyed the warm weather. Our visit was long overdue since our plans to go down for Christmas didn’t quite work out due to the many snow storms in NY. One topic which was discussed often was our upcoming wedding. Speaking of weddings, an all white wedding is classy, modern and timeless. Also, you can easily incorporate hints of color for a little pop here and there. Take a look at this beautiful inspiration board. 

Sources (clockwise starting from top left corner): 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Passover Desserts

Passover commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. It is the best known Jewish holiday. Passover starts with the seder - a family ritual meal. These desserts are perfect to enjoy with your family and friends during this holiday.

Sources & Recipes:
1. Pecan Torte with Strawberries and Cream
2. Pistachio Pavlovas with Lemon Curd and Berries
3. Almond Thumbprint Cookies
4. Passover Lemon Cheesecake
5. Chocolate, Walnut and Prune Fudge Torte
6. Almond-Coconut Tart

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Green Inspiration Board

Green is a rich, luxurious color. It can also be used with a variety of colors to create a different ambience for your wedding. For a more modern look, use black accents. For a more natural look, use brown accents. For a more elegant look, use gold accents. For a fun look, green can be paired with peach, coral, violet, plum, navy, or yellow. I love the warm, natural look of these photos.
Sources (from left to right):
Couple holding hands, teacups, place card table, bridesmaids, house, flowers

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring into Dessert

Strawberries (a personal favorite) are finally in season, so stock up and make a special strawberry treat for you to enjoy. Rhubarb is also in season, it's tartness pairs nicely with sweeter fruits such as raspberries or strawberries. Take full advantage of spring by enjoying these wonderful spring inspired desserts.

Sources & Recipes:
1. Strawberry Cream Cake
2. Strawberry Shortcake Jellies
3. Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart
4. Strawberry Panna Cotta with Strawberry Compote

Sources & Recipes:
1. Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut
2. Plum Oatmeal Tart
3. Fresh Grape and Champagne Sorbet
4. Rhubarb Raspberry Crisp

Sources &  Recipes:
1. Lemon Angel food Cupcakes
2. Cream Puffs with Lemon-Cream Filling
3. Lemon Meringue Pie with Graham Crust
4. Frozen Blackberry-Lemon Chiffon Pie

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Classic Purple Inspiration Board

Purple is a beautiful and very popular color for weddings. Hot red and cool blue combined to create this intriguing color. Purple is a deep jewel tone that imparts a royal confidence. Once thought as a color of royalty and nobility, purple accents work just as well in lavish affairs as it does in more relaxed settings. 
Sources (Clockwise starting from top left corner):
2. Couple 
5. Cake 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

Take a look at these cute cupcakes decorated for Easter. Adding bright colors, flowers, eggs, baskets, bunnies and chicks to your baked goods is a great way to celebrate the joy of Easter.
Sources: 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peaches & Cream Inspiration Board

Recently we have had some hints of spring weather (and some snow) in the northeast. Peach and cream conjure up images of spring flowers and the kind of weather we are all yearning for. This beautiful color palette is both romantic and timeless.   
Sources:
Row 1: bridal party, peach bouquet
Row 2: clutch, Chanel shoes, Karmann Ghia
Row 3: dessert table, cake   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Healthier Baking

Everyone loves a little sweet treat. I am not one who believes in cutting out all desserts just because you are watching your waistline. Cravings can be sheer torture and can quickly derail your efforts to maintain a healthy routine. In my opinion, nothing compares to homemade desserts. An advantage of making your own dessert is that you know all of the ingredients that you are consuming and there are no chemicals (artificial preservatives). A few substitutions can be made to your homemade desserts to make them lighter/healthier.

Oils:
Try using canola oil as a healthier oil. Applesauce can be used to replace oil in breads and cookies (it also replaces part of the sweetener due to its natural fructose).

Sugars:      
Granulated sugar and brown sugar are better for you than fake sugars. Instead of trying to substitute sugar, rather try to cut back on the amount of sugar called for in a recipe. Molasses, corn syrup, agave syrup and honey can also be used as sweeteners. Just be aware that each can add a different taste/texture to your recipe.

Milks:
Substitute whole milk with skim or 1% milk. Substitute heavy cream with light whipping cream. You can also use the same amount of plain fat free yogurt in place of buttermilk.

Eggs:
Egg substitutes can be an option, or you may want to try only using egg whites.

Peanut Butter:
Soy butter or sesame butter are healthier and more nutritious than peanut butter.    

Healthy additions to your dessert: flaxseed, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, oats nuts, dried fruit

Try out one of these lighter desserts: 
Sources & Recipes: 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!! Here are some festive green flowers from me to you to celebrate this joyous occasion.
source: flowers

I am looking forward to going to the St. Patty's parade in NYC today. Do you have any fun plans for today? If so, please share! In the meantime, take a look at these creative cake creations in honor of today:
Beautiful rainbow cake with a hidden shamrock inside!

Sources:
Green Red Velvet Cake Balls
Beer Mug Cupcakes

Love the wonderful shades of green inside this cake!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Authentic Irish Desserts

The following dessert recipes will bring you back to your Irish roots. These recipes are based on traditional Irish desserts. Although not well known, many typical Irish dessert ingredients include either: fresh or dried fruit (especially apples), lemon curd, whiskey, or sweet potato. Enjoy your culinary trip to Ireland! 

Sources & Recipes (horizontally from top left to bottom right): 

Sources & Recipes (from left to right):

Sources & Recipes (from left to right):

Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Cocktails

It's most fun to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a local Irish pub. However, while most are enjoying their beer (or green beer), I have never been much of a beer lover. Take a look at 6 exciting green cocktails that you can try with or without the alcohol. You are sure to find one that suits your tastes.

Sources & Recipes: 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Starbucks Samples

This week Starbucks is celebrating their 40th Anniversary. If you visit on March 10-12 between 2 and 5 p.m. you will get a free Starbucks Petites when you order any handcrafted beverage (while supplies last). Petites are their new line of mini desserts (cake pops, mini cupcakes, whoopie pies, etc.) that are each under 200 calories. I look forward to sampling a petite soon. Let me know if you get to try one and what you think. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Free Printables

Having a St. Patty's Day party? Check out these free printables to help add that extra pizazz to your party.

This set of party printables includes: cupcake toppers, straw flags, water bottle labels, and tags. Get these printables HERE.

Here are some cute tags that can be used for cupcake toppers, or decorating gifts:
For these tags, you will need a 2 inch scallop circle punch
Download this set of printables HERE.

Here are some more cute cupcake toppers to choose from:

Check out the "lucky" cupcake toppers HERE and the rainbow toppers HERE.

Here's the last set:
Love the tag on the rock candy, cute idea! Download these printables HERE.

Happy Partying!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Going Green for St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day is soon approaching (March 17th). This past weekend already saw a number of festivals and parades for those early celebrants. After this long winter, we all need something to celebrate... and who doesn't feel a little Irish on St. Patty's Day? How do you plan to express your Irish side? These green desserts will surely help you show off your love of the holiday.

Sources & Recipes:
1. Shamrock Milkshake Cupcakes
2. Kiwi Lime Pie
3. Clover Cookies
4. Green Pinwheels
5. Coconut Pistachio Pie
6. St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

If you decide to make cupcakes, take a look at these decorating ideas for some inspiration:
Sources & How-To:
1. Leprechaun Hat Cupcake Wrappers
2. Shamrock Cupcake

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

White Wedding Cakes

There's nothing more glamorous than all-white wedding cakes. They are elegant and timeless. These cakes are somewhat reminiscent of the current trend in decor towards all white rooms. However, these rooms are never all white, but in fact use varying shades of white, e.g. cool white (grayish tone) and warm white (brownish tone) in addition to shades of beige. By using white tone on tone colors, these cakes are anything but boring. If you are determined to have some color in your cake but still want to take the traditional all-white route, you can add one large flower in the color of your choice (see 2nd picture). Take a look at these creative white cakes:
Sources: picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 4, picture 5, picture 6

Sources: picture 7, picture 8, picture 9, picture 10, picture 11, picture 12

Monday, February 28, 2011

Black and White Wedding Cakes

Black and white wedding cakes have become very popular. They work for both formal and casual events and complement any color scheme. A black and white cake is very elegant and lends itself to be easily decorated with a splash of color.   
Sources: picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 4, picture 5, picture 6

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Green Wedding Cakes

Today my fianc√© and I had the first meeting with the bakery to discuss our wedding cake. We are still working on nailing down the appearance of the cake. However, we did decide the cake flavor. We chose white cake with the two outer filling layers in bavarian cream with fresh strawberries and the middle layer in chocolate mousse. Sampling the many different cake flavors was definitely a fun experience. Below are some beautiful green wedding cakes for inspiration.      

Sources: 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pink Wedding Cakes

So I have been going through pictures and pictures of different wedding cakes. These pink cakes are too cute not to share. The ruffled cake is absolutely adorable and I am in love with the 3rd cake-so romantic! Which is your favorite?  
Sources: pictures 1,2,6; picture 3; picture 4; picture 5

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Green & Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board

So today I have been thinking about my (our) wedding all day. The colors, flowers, shoes, dresses, honeymoon... the list goes on. I put together this inspiration board to organize my thoughts and concentrate on what I really want for the September wedding. You are probably thinking, September... but that's so far away! It really isn't a lot of time when you are a perfectionist like me! =)     

If you can't tell... the colors for the wedding are going to be gray, yellow, green, black, white. The bridesmaids dresses (all 9 of them!) will be in a grayish/silver, similar to the dress in the bottom row. The groomsmen will be wearing tuxes with a gray vest and tie to match the ladies, much like the picture in the bottom row. The trouble I have been having is deciding where to tie in the green & yellow. I do very much love the bouquet shown to the left of the margaritas. Maybe the bridesmaids will be holding something similar to that bouquet at my wedding. I am planning to hold an all yellow bouquet. 

We have an appointment next week with the bakery to discuss our wedding cake. I'm very excited about this, hoping it will be a fun and very sweet meeting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slow Cooker Desserts

I am starting to realize that slow cookers/crock pots are really amazing. They make cooking so easy, just throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and come back in a few hours to a finished meal… or in this case, dessert! Check out some of these warming, comfort foods prepared in your slow cooker for those cold winter nights.  

Sources & Recipes:
Sources & Recipes: 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Gifts

Show your appreciation this Valentine’s Day by giving those around you something small and thoughtful-homemade food gifts. These would be great to give neighbors, teachers, friends, family, and co-workers. 

Sources & Recipes:
Sources & Recipes: 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Party

What can be more fun than an intimate gathering of 4-5 kids getting together to make their unique Valentine's Day hearts for that special someone. I put together all the supplies (pink and red hearts) crayons and markers and let their imagination be their guide. I also included an assortment of candy for kids to choose from, in a mainly pink color palette, both to enjoy and to include with thier Valentine's Day cards. Gum balls, chocolate mints, taffy, jelly beans, and hot pink chocolate lips will delight them and pink iced tea to be sweetened to
taste with pink rock candy will quench their thirst. Cute!  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Desserts for Two

Valentine’s Day is a day that celebrates love and romance. Making the effort to put together a nice dinner for your date/loved one is a romantic gesture and it can also be easier on your wallet than going to a crowded restaurant. Set a romantic table for two with nice linens, napkins and candlelight. Serve a wine or champagne that will complement your meal (check out 17 romantic food & wine pairings). Finish the meal on a high note, with individual desserts- one for you and one for your guy/gal. Dark chocolate, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes would be good accompaniments to dessert. Here are some individual dessert recipes that will make both you and your date swoon.
 
Sources & Recipes: 
1. Strawberry Mousse with Meringue Hearts 
2. So-Easy Chocolate Souffles 
3. White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Dark Chocolate Sauce 
4. Molten Mocha Cakes 
5. White-Chocolate Semifreddo 
6. Chocolate Fondue 
7. Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse 
8. Double Coffee Tiramisu 
9. Sparkling Sorbet Floats

For additional elegant dessert ideas, take a look at my previous blog post, Champagne Desserts 

If you are planning to make a special cocktail for Valentine's Day, take a look at 12 champagne cocktails