Friday, April 30, 2010

Fun "Garden" Desserts

Corn on the cob is one of my all time favorite foods of the spring and summer. I am definitely in favor of this take on the yummy vegetable. This is one of the many great idea's from Karen Tack's book "Hello Cupcake!".

Watermelon's conjure up all sorts of images of warm weather activities. I am not a big fan of the fruit but these cookies would make it onto my plate.

bake at 350

Any child would eat THESE vegetables!
Hope you've been inspired by this week's them and will "plant" your own Garden Party soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Not Your Average Outdoor Buffet

This is a great take on an old fashion buffet table. Pull down the tailgate and spread out your food. Sometime the term "Garden party" can take on a snobbish connotation with images of fine china and crystal set up on white tablecloths in an outdoor setting. I'm all for dressing up, putting on a fancy hat and having that kind of "Garden party" but sometimes a pair of comfy jeans, flip flops, T shirt and a pickup truck buffet sounds great!

This simplistic beverage station will satisfy your thirst. A couple of jars filled with your favorite drink and a ladle is all you need. 

After your glass is full set it down on a leaf. Literally.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flowerpot Cakes

If you're like me you look at this and think that's a cute display of herbs. Look a little closer and you'll be blown away when you find out that it is edible cake! This show stopping dessert will leave your friends talking long after the party.

What a creative take on a wedding cake. Each person get's his/her own potted cake. No need to have someone cutting the cake to be passed around.
Another idea to bring the presentation of your flowerpot cake to another level would be to plant a shallow dish of wheat grass to place your "pots" on. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden Party - Setting the Atmosphere

Setting the atmosphere of a party is just as important as setting the table in my opinion. In the pictures above I would say location, location, location. It just takes your breath away! The simplicity of the dinner in the field is elegant to me. You do not need much, if any, fluff to make a table setting beautiful. 
If you don't happen to have a big field available to you and you're not on a plane to Africa, there are many other ways of making your garden party memorable and tranquil.

A few hanging lanterns turn this into quite the romantic dinner for two in your own backyard.
I found hanging lanterns, similar to those in the picture, in the dollar bins at Target last week. This is a very affordable decoration and can be used again and again.

These cost a bit more than the lanterns in the dollar bins at Target but well worth the cost. After using these for your garden party use them as decor in your home or front porch. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden Variety

I love this time of year when the farmers are planting their crops, home gardens are being started and the farmer's markets are open again. My grandparent's were farmers and my own parents planted a large vegetable garden in our backyard. The memories of dirt between my toes and picking ladybugs off of potato leaves is a fond one. It is for that reason that this week is dedicated to garden inspirations.

I have to warn that I am going to gush over this a bit but how can you not?!? The only thing missing from this tray of delicious cupcakes is Peter Rabbit himself.
Why not host a Garden party this spring? You provide the food and some soil and seeds and have your guests bring the pots they wish to house their seedlings. 
You might discover an inner gardener that you did not know existed!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cookie Tools

Layer Cake shop

It is a fact that my cookie cutter collection intimidates some of my family (my husband). Our local farmer's market has a kitchen store that keeps me stocked with a great assortment of cookie cutters. As you have seen from my posts this week there are SOOO many shapes, sizes and themes to create with cookies.
The online store, the Layer Cake shop, has expanded my horizons with new cookie cutters, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers and much more.


Sprinkles truly make everything look and taste better. Fill a dessert dish with a couple of spoonfuls of whipped cream and a couple of shakes of sprinkles on top and watch the kids go wild. One of my kitchen cupboards is dedicated to my collection of sprinkles and I admit, that when I open the door the rainbow of colors just makes me smile.
I hope this weeks theme of decorated cookies has given you lot's of inspiration for your next batch!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cookies with a twist

This is a fun and convenient cookie! These are advertised for Mother's day but I would love to use them for a formal tea or tea themed party. Now if only Nibisco could invent oreo's like these cookies to put on the side of my milk glass!

These lollipop cookies would be a sweet addition to any dessert table. 
 Make sure to make extra because they will go quick.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cookie Eye Candy

This post is all about the eye candy. My mouth dropped as I looked at the immense talent of Lori's Place cookies and I haven't been able to close it since. All of these cookies are for sale on Etsy so please take a look for yourself because I am only posting a small sample.

This bouquet of flower cookies is too beautiful to eat. This is a great gift idea for mom's on mother's day
(*hint* hint*) or springtime birthday!

The beach lover in me would eat these for any occasion but they are very elegant for a wedding.

Argh! (had to say it) 

How adorable?!?

Father's day is just around the corner. What father could resist these?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cookies - Sugar Heaven

Oh sweet heaven! When I first came across Sweetopia it reminded me of the game Candyland. Your mind will overload with all of the delicious sugary creations that Marian has made. I had to take a deep breath:)
It is here that I found THE perfect sugar cookie recipe, icing recipe, and MANY helpful tutorials on technique and baking.
 Sugar Cookie recipe

This recipe is perfect for many reasons but the main of course being the taste. It has a rich, buttery, shortbread taste. My family loved them.
The second great thing about this recipe is that they hold the shape of the cookie I cut out. I had problems in the past with the shape becoming an unrecognizable blob and try explaining to your 3 year old daughter that the blob is really a butterfly. Does not go over well.

Royal Icing recipe

The icing recipe and the helpful techniques provided make this cookie an over the top creation.
The icing dries quickly so you do need to work quickly but the result is a smooth surface and tasty treat.



Not only does Marian give you this beautiful eye candy to look at but she teaches you how to obtain the same creation in your OWN kitchen. I know you will enjoy making and eating these beautiful cookies as much as I do.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cookies Cookies Cookies

I love to bake. When I'm bored or have been stuck in the house for a couple of days due to snow (Winter 2009/2010) I bake....usually cookies. The fixings for cookies just happen to always be in my cupboards. 
I have recently attempted to improve my cookie making and decorating skills and have found several very talented bakers blogs that I am going to share with you this week and LOTS of their eye candy to go along with them.

My husband and I are currently building our home and I plan on celebrating in a BIG way when it is all completed with a nice house warming party. When I saw these paint chip cookies I mentally noted them for that party. Paint chips are a happy indulgence of mine. My girls know that we do not leave Lowes with out a paint chip each. They are free, pretty, and I LOVE the names assigned to each color. I recently stumbled across a Benjamin Moore paint called "Old Pickup Blue" I had to giggle!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kid's Birthday Party Themes - Ice Cream

I can remember the first time my husband and I heard the sound of an ice cream truck entering our neighborhood. I can't remember who ran to the window faster but we both looked like 5 year olds all over again. Ice cream brings out the kid in all of us so it is fitting that I end this weeks theme with it.

These ice cream cone cake pans used to be sold at Williams-Sonoma but can now be found online at sites such as

This is such a creative idea and so easy to pull off. Have fun with the colors of your "scoops" of yarn colors and change them up for each table. 

These party favors would make any child (and adult) happy. Ice cream cones covered in sprinkles and filled with yummy treats. Simply delicious!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kid's Birthday Party Themes - Pajama/Slumber Party


Comfy pajamas - Check
Wacky socks (preferably clean) or Fuzzy slippers - Check
Favorite stuffed animals - Check
Gooey, sticky, and simply delicious s'mores - Check
All ending in a memorable pillow fight - Check

The makings of a Pajama/Slumber Party could be one of the most fun parties to throw and be a part of. When else can you all be wearing your PJs and eating LOTS of sugary sweets? Not a common occurrence in my house I can tell you and that's what makes this kind of birthday party even more special.

Giggledust Parties

I love the idea of turning a table into a bed...that you eat on!

Real Simple

This is actually a set up for a baby shower but can be applied to our themed birthday bash.
Why not include a story time in the festivities...complete with flashlights for each child and a fuzzy stuffed animal.
I can guarantee your birthday boy or girl will go to bed with happy dreams!

Kid's Birthday Party Themes - Pool Party

It may be because I love everything that has to do with the beach/ocean/sea/ name it this inspiration board was made for me. I have even made replica's of the Pottery Barn Kid's mermaid prints for both of my girls rooms. 
This party theme was made to be thrown by the pool in the middle of summer. I would challenge you to thow this party in the winter as well. One of my daughters was born in January and I am always trying to push myself to look beyond the snowflakes and cold temperatures for party themes. 
Break out the flip flops and Beach Boys music and throw a pool party..summer or winter!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kid's Birthday Party Themes - Peaches n' Cream

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." I LOVE and I mean LOVE this party theme. I am trying to figure out how to convince one of my daughters to have this as her birthday party before the age of 30!
   Jessica Levitt, the creative mind behind this party, describes in detail the planning process, the day of prep, and the execution of this beautiful party. I would warn that you may need some sewing skills for some of the projects but it is worth learning!

Kid's Birthday Party Themes

Kid's birthday parties are my favorite party to plan and host. The possibilities are endless and the themes are as big as your child's imagination.(until your child changes her mind weeks before the party you have been planning for months:)
This Sesame Street inspiration board was created by the Birthday Girl and for me encompasses what a kid's birthday party should be...Bright...Carefree....and Fun!
This week I will be sharing with you some of my favorite kid birthday party themes and ideas. A week is not enough time to give to this so I will be revisiting this subject many times in the future.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just say Cheese!

I love trying new cheese and wine and one of these days I will throw a party dedicated to the two! I love the idea of a chalkboard tray because once one cheese is finished you can add a new one and label it appropriately.

These cheese labels are a nice touch to the display and allow people to know what they are trying. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chalkboard Paint Labels Part 2

My Home Ideas

This well organized cabinet gets a little help with some DIY chalkboard labels and the interior door painted with chalkboard paint as well. This is the perfect spot for leaving messages and reminders for the family. Another option would be to draw a monthly calendar on the door panel to keep track of the family schedule.


Who does not like the idea of reusable gift tags? They can do double duty as labels on cute baskets as well.
Anything that looks great and stretches my budget is a good find in my book.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chalkboard Paint Labels

This raspberry beer cocktail screams warm weather to me. I would substitute pink lemonade in place of the beer for children parties. I've been informed that you can buy these glasses with the chalkboard label already on them at World Market. For those of us unfortunately not near a World Market this is an easy DIY project you can do at home. 

Chalkboard labels can be purchased at Etsy if you would like something a little more polished looking. These labels would look lovely on your glass canisters that hold your kitchen staples on your counter top.
The wonderful thing about chalkboard paint is that you can reuse the surface. Just wipe it clean and start over!