Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Decorating

There is a long standing tradition in my family of decorating Christmas cookies. We don't use the candied fruit and maraschino cherries that my grandmother insisted on, but everthing else is pretty much the same - too much frosting, too many tooth-breaking dragees, and lots of fun. We're all ready for Santa!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


What else can I add my fabulous peppermint extract to? Chocolate peppermint whoopie pies! I found the recipe here which I believe is from this American Test Kitchen cookbook. The recipe yields 6 giant pies, but I needed something smaller to bring to a couple of parties. I doubled the recipe and ended up with about 60 silver dollar sized pies. I tried a pastry bag to pipe out the batter to keep a uniform size and it worked great. Once the cakes were baked, I didn't want to fill them all at once, so I made the filling recipe twice adding a few drops of peppermint deliciousness. I thought the candy cane would be a nice addition to the sides, but I ended up skipping it for 2 reasons - I didn't like the texture with the cake and it was just sort of annoying trying to get it to stick uniformly. Yum!! A new holiday favorite!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peppermint Obsession

'Tis the season I suppose, but I can't stop putting a little peppermint in everything I make these days. I discovered Nielsen Massey peppermint extract at Whole Foods and it's amazing. These cuties are chocolate cake with white chocolate peppermint buttercream dipped in white chocolate ganache - topped with candy cane & sparkling sugar. Peppermint whoopie pies up next!

Monday, December 7, 2009

cupcakes vs. cake

The great debate! Rachel of TOTS and PLANS recently asked for my opinion on the controversial subject. Read all about it here.

Happy Holidays!

New flavors!

Dark chocolate peppermint & salted caramel

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Birthday Boy

Graham's birthday banner and pictures of him in costume the past 3 years.
My fireplace mantle is my favorite place to accessorize in my house - it's quite wide and lends itself to generous displays.
Trick or treat favors.

Super easy stuffed bats made for the kiddos.

The dessert buffet looking more spare than I planned on, but the table looked over crowed with the candy jars added.

Yummy, crunchy caramel corn - recipe courtesy of Martha.
Ghost cake - vanilla cake (dyed green per the birthday boy's specifications) with chocolate buttercream. One problem with offering lots of treats is we had a lot of cake left over!

I can't believe my baby boy is already 4! I had so much fun planning his party and even more fun celebrating with friends & family.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Horray for Halloween!

October is a big month for my family - my husband would be perfectly happy to forgo all other holidays for Halloween and my son's fourth birthday is on the 29th. I've been planning the details for months and I'm thrilled to begin implementing them. The pop-up ghosty invites went out today, the fireplace mantle received a spooky makeover. Next up - the favors!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

iB Crafty

I participated in iB Crafty, a modern trunk show, in San Francisco over the weekend. It was my first experience selling goodies like this and it was really fun. The logistics are challenging (anyone want to watch a 4 yr old for 10 hours?), but I'd like to try again during the holidays.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fit for a princess

For Bella, on the occasion of her 4th birthday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let go of my LEGO!

This is not my usual forte, but a friend requested a LEGO minifigure (the official name - I wasn't aware) cake and I thought it would be fun challenge. I'm anxious to see the pictures from the party - apparently the gaggle of 7 year old boys had fun dismantling it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summertime favorite

S'mores! Chocolate cupcake with graham cracker crust & toasted marshmallow frosting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Still screaming...

National Ice Cream Month continues with vanilla bean topped with bittersweet hot fudge and toasted pecans!

It's a girl!

I made this cutie this weekend for a baby shower. Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I scream, you scream

July is half over and I just discovered it's National Ice Cream month. Gasp - it's time to get busy! I don't really need an excuse like a presidential proclamation (Ronald Reagan in '84 if you're curious) to dust off my Cuisinart Supreme and get churning, but now I feel a responsibility - as an American. For the rest of the month I'll be stocking up on cream, trying to figure out what to do with all the excess egg whites and making lots and lots of ice cream. First up = caramel served with a sprinkling of fleur de sel - delish!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Strawberry goodness

Making strawberry jam each year is one of my favorite traditions. I'm not a huge fan of the process - especially the endlessly sticky kitchen - yet the result is well worth it! I have branched out and added apricot, blackberry and plum to my repertoire, but there's just something about the strawberry. My husband procured three flats of gorgeous, organic berries (they were so fresh, I made it through about a flat and a half without finding a squishy one) for me, so I made a TON of jam. Want to try it? Leave me a comment by Friday and I will randomly choose 3 people to receive a pint from my reserves (I don't get a lot of comments, so your chances are really good!).
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