Friday, April 15, 2011

Unique and Yummy Candy Favors

Who doesn't love edible favors?!  Adorable, tasty, and practical -- AND they have huge potential for customization.  Use these sweet treats to reflect your style, theme, taste, and personality (and because they're delicious!)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pretty Flowers and Picking Trustworthy Vendors

Surprise flowers are the *best* kind of flowers -- especially when they are so gorgeous!  Thought I'd share -- of all places, these are from my local grocery-store florist.  There are plenty of amazing, award-winning specialty florists in my area .... but these guys are my favorite.  They aren't the most creative, but their flowers are always fresh, reasonably priced, and -- most importantly -- they LISTEN. 

For a much more comprehensive list of ideas on picking a florist, check out this post on How to Not Get Screwed By Your Florist, by Tiffany Saul. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Carrot Cake Balls

Inspired by Bakerella, the absolute queen of cake balls, cake pops, and other *adorable* edible creations, I decided to make my own cake balls today.  In terms of baking trends, I'm loving these -- more creative than cupcakes, way better tasting and easier than fondant.  (Also, am I the only person who hates french macarons?  They are beautiful, and come in such pretty colors -- but taste *awful*.)   

My first attempt at cake balls was two weeks ago, and the results were pretty terrible (more like Ang Jandak's DYI disaster than a tasty treat) -- but these turned out delicious.  

Here's how!

 1.  Bake a cake as normal (I chose carrot, but anything works -- the more moist, the better).  Let cool completely; cut the edges off, and then crumble in a large bowl.

2.  Mix in icing of your choice.  I chose to use cream-cheese frosting, and added in some cream cheese to cut down on the sweetness and punch up the savory.  IMPORTANT:  Add frosting gradually -- add too much, and the mixture becomes extremely sticky and hard to roll.  Aim for 3/4 of a standard container.

3.  Once you mix the cake and frosting together, the texture should be like cookie-dough -- moist, smooth, and firm enough to roll.  

4.  Roll into balls and place on a tray of aluminum foil or waxed paper.  I used a 1-tablespoon scoop to keep each ball roughly the same size.  
5.  Put the tray in the fridge for an hour or so -- refrigerating them helps the balls keep their round shape when you dip them.

6.  Use the melting chocolate of your choice, and melt according to instructions (I prefer using the microwave over a double-boiler on the stove, because it helps prevent scorching the chocolate.  However, you will have to re-heat often to keep it workable). I didn't use any vegetable shortening, because I wanted a thick coating of chocolate to balance the savory of the carrot -- if your cake is very sweet, you may want it a bit thinner.  
Make sure to add any garnish quickly (I used cinnamon and shredded carrots), before the chocolate dries. 

The final results:


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIFFA's Dining by Design Event

Sorry for the long absence, but I have lots of goodies on the way!

First up, I attended DIFFA's Dining by Design Event at Pier 94 in NYC.  It was *fantastic* -- gorgeous booths, innovative design, and a wonderful cause. Check it out:

 David Stark's installation for Benjamin Moore -- their whimsical aviary theme was my favorite!

Diane von Furstenberg's table showcasing her new home collection of asymmetrical plates.

 Elegant design by Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design.  Love the wings and cabbages!
 There's plenty more shots featured on BizBash here -- take a peak!