Often you have to think hard about what food to cook for a holiday. You have to find just the right recipe. And sometimes it’s as easy as switching out a bottle of red food coloring for green.
Here are the green velvet cupcakes I made for St Patrick’s Day. I used 1 oz of green food coloring in place of the required 2 oz of red.
My mom likes chocolate malt balls so it’s natural that I should make her Chocolate Malt Ball birthday cake, right?
I got the recipe from Baked: New Frontier in Baking. The malt balls are Koppers Mini Malted Milk Balls. You can buy a mixed 5 lb bag on Amazon for about what you’d pay for a single pound with shipping elsewhere. Then you will use about 20 and, if you are like me, gluttonously eat the rest. I liked the white ones the best.
My mom and everyone at her birthday party really enjoyed the cake.
I think dessert tables (a la Amy Atlas) are rad. However I can’t imagine putting that much work into a party for less than 30 people. My sister’s birthday was last week and she’s not really a cake person, so I decided to try something new and I came up with a smaller scale version of a dessert table – the dessert tower.
With only 11 people at this birthday party I didn’t want to go crazy making tons of food. So I got creative. I know Vanessa loved those decadent Baked brownies I made last year so that was definitely on the list. With tons of rich Scharffen Berger Chocolate in them (I use half bittersweet and half semisweet), you only need to eat one brownie to be satisfied.
After baking the brownies I used a biscuit cutter to cut out a dozen brownie circles. That left me with left overs to make brownie bites. I crumbled up the remaining brownies and rolled them into balls. Then I dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkled them with purple/yellow/lavender sanding sugar. You can see from my photo I need to improve my dipping skills. Dipping balls is much harder than cake pops.
To top it all off I made some lavender flavored meringue cookies, for which I will post a recipe soon. I put it all together on my favorite enameled cake stand and embellished it with a cake bunting I made from scrapbook paper and bakers twine and tall candles, and you have a lovely dessert tower!
Anyone can go to the drugstore for a heart shaped box of mediocre chocolates. Why not show your sweetie you think they’re special by picking up some adorable old-fashioned (and surely delicious too) candies from Hammonds. Denver-based Hammonds has been making candy since 1920.
You can check out all of Hammond’s Valentine’s Day Candy right here.
Martha Stewart has 23 ideas for fall centerpieces. There are a bunch of good ones in there but I think the one with the flowers and pumpkin vase is my favorite.
Starting off your planning with a color palette can establish the tone of your event. Picking the right colors will even make designing your event easier as you’ll have narrowed down your options. You’ll be able to choose confidently knowing everything will work together.
Here is our first color palette for Thanksgiving. This is a traditional take using the colors of fall with brown, crimson, orange, gold and cream.
Just because your colors are traditional that doesn’t mean that your decor has to be too. You’ll see in our inspiration board below that selecting modern pieces in traditional colors can create a look that is contemporary and yet familiar.
1. William-Sonoma, $50 2. Crate & Barrel, $25 3. Williams-Sonoma, $50 4. Crate & Barrel, $50 5. Pier 1, $25 6. West Elm, $12 7. Mikasa Cocoa Blossom, $100 8. Crate & Barrel, $17 9. Pottery Barn, $50 10. Fishs Eddy, $100 11. West Elm, $29
Nothing wows a crowd like a beautiful layer cake atop a cake pedestal. My go to book for recipes and ideas is Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. Layer cakes can be intimidating but this book guides you through the process from pans to presentation.
I have baked the Orange-Grand Marnier cake and the Sour Cream-Chocolate cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. Both were amazing and I look forward to baking many more cakes in this book! It even has some wedding cakes.
Just looking at these photos makes me hungry! My mother’s birthday is this week so I’ll be on the hunt for a special cake to bake for her.
Orange-Grand Marnier Cake
Sour Cream Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
I came across the perfect dress for Thanksgiving dinner. Right now it seems like everything I’m finding is either too summery, too christmas-y, or just too casual.
Then I came across this dress from Madewell. It’s perfect! Elbow length sleeves for a cool November day, fall-like colors, loose enough to have that extra piece of pie, and only $148. It’s silk too. I could see wearing this to work with a blazer or cardigan and more casually with some knee boots. Both colors are great but I’d probably go with the red.
Buy it instore or online at Madewell for $148.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie. The only exception to this rule was when I helped my mom bake pumpkin pie and accidentally swapped the sugar and salt. Oops! I was 10. Thankfully I’ve got that straight now.
A couple of years ago I saw that Williams Sonoma had these cool pie crust cutters but by the time I got around to a store they were sold out. Last year I managed to grab a set and I am so glad I did! My mom and I have been in charge of the pumpkin pies for years. We use my Great Aunt Rose’s recipe and it’s pretty amazing (when you don’t swap the sugar and salt). With these pie crust cutters our pies are beautiful and delicious. You almost don’t want to slather your slice in whipped cream. Almost!
This new set is a bit different from mine as my set has an acorn replacing one of the leaves. It still has the 2 best cutters – the oak leaf and the maple leaf. The 4 cutter set costs $18 and can be purchased online or in a Williams Sonoma store.