Thursday, December 30, 2010

NYE Champagne Cupcakes!!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow is New Year's Eve (NYE)!  2011 is here!  With three young kids, it's always a question of what we'll do to ring in the new year.  We were headed to my sister's in New Jersey, but Mother Nature intervened and prevented that from happening.  But things have a way of working out and now we are off to a potluck celebration with several families, kids included, at our friend's house.  What a great idea!

So what will we bring??????!!!!!  Cupcakes, of course!!!! ......and they were requested!  Right away, I started thinking of a cupcake that included champagne.  After the success of my egg nog cupcakes for Christmas (pictured below), I thought there's gotta be a way to include champagne.....what else screams New Year's Eve!

I was over the moon when I found these cupcakes on Sprinkle Bakes!  This Sparkling Champagne Cupcake recipe is exactly what I had in mind.  I can't wait to put my own spin on it.   Once you see these, you'll want to make them.  Check out the recipe on their site!

how lovely is that....

This champagne creme pastry filling is what turned me on to this cupcake.....can't wait to taste it!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!!

All pictures courtesy of Sprinkle Bakes

Christmas Dinner Tablescape

Had a lovely Christmas......hope you had one too!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Madly Stylish Holiday Party

Each year my husband throws his staff a holiday party at our house.  The number of guest has steadily grown over the last 5 years and toppled at 72 people in our house this December!!!  A little crazy but so much fun!  Just a great evening with some wonderful people.....our girls look forward to it every year!

Here are some pictures from the party.....we'll start with dessert!

What's a party without a little vino!...OK, alot!!!!!!

The food......

This Spiced Shrimp Cocktail was absolutely divine........

Till next year......!!!
I do need to think a few fab ladies for helping me with this party!!!!

Snowflake chocolate covered oreos.......Sweeties by Kim

The awesome sweets tags, food tent cards, wine labels, garland, etc......Green Apple Paperie 

The snowflake cupcake toppers from the fabulous.......Sweet Petal Bakery

Catering....Quite a Stir  Rockville, MD

Of course, Cece (my husband's assistant) deserves her own special thank you!!!!

Home for the Holidays!

A glimspe into our home!



The aftermath........

Three happy little girls......

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Easy Holiday Dessert: Caramel and Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

I was drooling when I came upon this recipe on One Charming Party!  Caramel, chocolate and marshmallow.....what more could you want and super easy!!!   You should also peruse their site!!! They specialize in children's parties and have thrown some a-ma-zing parties, including one my favorites, a super cool art gallery party!!!  It would be great for a girl or boy!
Here's the recipe, as written by One Charming Party:
Ingredients: regular sized marshmallows, caramel (homemade or store bought), chocolate, crushed candy canes (optional), sucker sticks
Directions: Make or melt your caramel. I use a double boiler on the stove top to melt caramel. While you are waiting for the caramel to melt, stick a sucker (lollipop) stick into the marshmallows. Set out a sheet of parchment or wax paper or the new non-stick aluminum foil. Once the caramel is melted dip each marshmallow into the caramel, covering completely. Place each dipped marshmallow onto the parchment or whatever you’re using. Allow the caramel marshmallows to cool completely. You can crush your candy canes now, if you haven’t already. Once cooled (this can take up to a half an hour) melt the chocolate. You can do this in a double boiler on the stove top or in the microwave. Dip each marshmallow into the chocolate 2/3 of the way then immediately roll the ends in crushed candy canes. Let cool on the parchment, wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil.
Photos by Nicole Gerulat.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Holiday Dessert: Coconut Macaroons

As promised here's another easy holiday dessert!  I love coconut macaroons and I've been making during the holiday season for the past years. I made them this weekend for my husband's staff holiday party and they were all gone in minutes!   If you love coconut, then you will love this cookie!!!!

You'll need:
1/4 tsp of salt, 2 egg whites, bag of shredded coconut, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and  1tsp of  pure vanilla extract
Mix the condensed milk, coconut and vanilla

it should look like this......
In the bowl of your mixer add the two egg whites and salt....use your whisk attachment and whisk on high until medium peeks form.......
the egg whites should be firm enough to stick to the whisk

Fold into coconut mixture

use a small ice cream scoop to shape the cookies and......

drop unto the baking sheet...bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes , depending on your oven...

Let cool and enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy Holiday Dessert: Pink and White (or any color) Peppermint Bark

As promised, here is another easy Holiday Dessert!  This one is from the fabulous ladies, Melissa and Kellie, over at Icing Designs.  While you're there check out the rest of their site....such gorgeous stuff, especially if you like all things French, like I do!

They are getting ready for Kellie's daughter's 4th birthday party and shared this super easy peppermint bark recipe which I though I'd pass on to you!  I know, I know, thank me later when your guests are raving about it!

But seriously, how easy is this!  the best part is it can be almost any color you want it to be because melting chocolate comes in an array of colors. you can coordinate with your party colors!

So here it is......have fun and enjoy!

You need pink and white melting chocolate (or whatever color combination you'd like to use) and crushed up candy canes.

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and pour the pink melted chocolate on it, Melissa and Kelli recommend you shake the pan a bit and and gently bang it on the counter to release any air bubbles.  Take your melted white chocolate, put it in a piping bag and place large dots over the pink chocolate.  Then take a knife and swirl white into the pink.

Once that 's done, place your crushed candy canes on top and they will dry into the chocolate, and, viola!... a peppermint crust top.

You can wait until it's totally dry and break it into uneven pieces or.....

right before it dries completely, use a pizza cutter to make perfect squares like these!

Can't wait to make mine!  Thanks for sharing ladies and looking forward to seeing the pictures from the 4th birthday party!

**all pictures courtesy of Icing Designs

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Easy Holiday Dessert: Snowy Meringue Drop Brownies

I found these on the Hostess with the Mostess Blog and had to share it with you!  Check out their site for lots of inspiration, no matter what party you're throwing this holiday season!

Throughout the next few weeks I'll be sharing some easy dessert recipes that you can use for your Holiday celebrations!  First up are these Snowy Meringue Drop Brownies.......look how easy they are to make!  My friend Katie makes the BEST brownies ever!!!  Seriously, I only eat her brownies.  Maybe if I tell her I'll make these for her, she'll make me a batch of brownies.
Simple ingredients....brownie bites (you can make them or just by them  from the store), powdered sugar, vanilla frosting, meringues ( just buy them from the store...I love the ones at Trader Joe's) shredded coconut and  a sifter.

Put the powdered sugar in your sifter and instant "snow" on the brownie bites
Add some frosting in a small zip-lock bag and snip a little opening and pipe some frosting unto the meringues

Add the meringue to the snowy brownie bites and........

Viola!.....Snowy Meringue Drop Brownies!!!!
Notice how the shredded coconut was used as a design element to serve as a "snowy" bed
**all pics courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess