Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Story-Book Themed Shower

Alicia's Baby Shower was this past weekend, and my friends and I had so much fun coming up with creative book-inspired ideas for her shower. Alicia loves children's literature, so Steph, Liz and I all teamed up to throw her the best story book shower ever! Our theme involved building baby Jaxson's each guest was asked to include a book along with their gift. We had story-book themed food, decorations and games, and everyone had quite a lovely time. We also managed to pull off a surprise on Alicia, so we gave ourselves extra points for that!! :)

For the favors, I made cake pops! I was so excited to try out this new technique. Liz and Joel helped me dip them, and we were quite pleased with how they turned out! (And not to mention, they tasted delicious as well! :)

While I was working on the desserts, my amazingly talented friends were making these adorable signs to go along with the theme! Here are some of the pictures:

"Chicken Little's Chicken BBQ"
"She Sells Sea Shells Pasta Salad"
"The Mad Hatter's Tea Sandwiches"
"Humpty Dumpty's Deviled Eggs" (Sorry, Humpty, we realize this might be a little morbid...but it went the best with the theme!! :)
"The White Witch's Turkish Delight"
"Peter Rabbit's Veggies"
"James and the Giant Peach Punch"
"The Velveteen Rabbit's Cake Pops"
You may ask..."Why The Velveteen Rabbit?" Well, let me tell you. The cake pops are made of red velvet cake! delicious and so cute! We kind of thought they looked like baby rattles. :)
It's decorating time!!

The finishing touches...

Almost finished!

This cake was a chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream and mini chocolate chips between the layers. The accents are all made from fondant.

This little guy, the bananas, and the leaves were all made from a fondant/gum paste blend.

Hoorray! Welcome Baby Jaxson!

Congratulations Mommy-to-be Alicia! We love you!!

"Welcome to the Jungle!"

I recently got to make cakes for two of my dear friends' baby showers. Alisa's shower was in March, and hers was a Jungle Theme. I had a lot of fun researching ideas for her cake...I love browsing through pictures online and finding amazing [and some rather not-so-amazing] cakes! I get really inspired by pictures and love to combine a whole bunch of different ideas together to form a unique cake for each person. Here are some of the pictures from her shower:

Just adding some finishing touches before everyone arrives.

This little guy was made out of gum paste. 
The tree trunks are made out of gum paste, and the leaves are  made from royal icing. The water is just piping gel that I tinted blue.

Lion, tigers, monkeys and zebras! My best friend, Kara, gave me the idea for these little cupcakes, and they were pretty simple. I just followed an instructional video on the Betty Crocker website.

These cupcakes were either vanilla, filled with chocolate pudding, or chocolate topped with a butter cream icing.

A look at the whole zoo!

Congratulations, Jeff and Alisa, and welcome sweet baby Liam!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Takin' A Cake Class

This past winter, I decided that it would be fun to brush up on some cake decorating skills! So, I signed up for 3 different cake courses over a 3 month period and had such a blast! They taught me so many fun new techniques, and I have really enjoyed putting these into practice! Here are some pictures of the cool things that they taught us how to do:

The "Basics" Course:

These classes taught basic piping and decorating techniques.

A "Cupcake" Cake

Fun with cupcakes! Flowers, Fish, Caterpillars, & Balloons

My final cake for this course

This is a "Ribbon Rose" cake with a rosette border.

The "Flowers" Course:

These classes taught us how to make...FLOWERS!!!

First, we experimented with fondant and made these cute "Button" Flowers.
This is a Pansy...also out of fondant.

My first attempts at a "real" butter cream rose

Roses out of royal icing

A Lily


Violets and Apple Blossoms

My final cake for this course

Congrats to Jeanette for buying her first home!

The "Gum Paste and Fondant" Course:

These classes taught us how to cover cakes with fondant and how to make really awesome flowers out of gum paste and fondant...aka play dough for big kids!! Some of the flowers are pretty time consuming to make, but the end result is so worth it!

A Daisy
A Mum

A Calla Lily

A Carnation

A Rose

A fondant bow

My final cake for this course.

Top view

I just LOVE working with fondant! The possibilities are endless! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

State Street Cafe!

Back in February, I had the chance to make desserts for the State Street Cafe. Oak Hill Fellowship Church was having a coffee house, and they graciously asked me to supply the desserts. I had a lot of fun coming up with recipes for muffins and cookies and even...biscotti! It was my first time making some of these specific desserts, and I'm usually a little leery about making something before I taste Joel and I did a bunch of testing before we served them! :)

Here are some pictures of the desserts:

These delightful cookies go perfectly with a hot cup of tea. They are Almond Butter Cookies with a dollop of raspberry or peach jelly in the middle.

These are a classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookie with powdered sugar sprinkled on top!

These are the famous "Chocolate Chip Pillow Cookies" that I was talking about! They are are a chocolate chip cookie filled with ooey, gooey fudgey deliciousness. You can try to eat only one...but it's probably not gonna happen!!! :) 

And then comes the Biscotti! I made a Dark Chocolate Almond Biscotti, drizzled with white chocolate. They were perfect dipped in a hot cup o'coffee!

And on to the muffins...

These were my favorite! Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins with toasted Pecans.
Banana Walnut Muffins made with buttermilk and sour cream--as moist as you can get!

Cappuccino Muffins topped with cinnamon sugar and mini chocolate chips.

And last but not least, Black Bottom Cupcakes: chocolate cupcakes topped with cream cheese and chocolate chips folded in throughout. chocolaty!

I really enjoyed baking for this event and greatly appreciated the support of my amazing husband...who inspired "De-Lish Desserts" in the first place. :)