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Friday, May 27, 2011

{Friday Freebie} Celebrate Memorial Day


While we're enjoying our barbecue and family this weekend, let's also remember what our brave soldiers and troops have sacrificed for this country.  I'll be doing that by adding these festive Patriotic toppers to my party items!

You can use these tags to enhance your event space.  Create sandwich and cupcake toppers by adhering tags or punched circles to lollipop or wooden sticks.  Create fun medallions by adding punched circles to small paper rosettes or simply cut out the square tag, punch a small hole in the upper corner, string and add to any favor bag or hostess gift. 

The PDF is available for download here.  I hope you enjoy using these decorative embellishments to create a festive setting your holiday festivities this weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{Creative Customers} Jedi's and Cookies and Cupcakes....OH MY!

Out of this world something is about this party!!!! You have to check out all the awesome details that my customer, the very creative, Kelly, created for her son Hayden's, 6th birthday!

 Kelly contacted me in early spring to create a custom photo invitation for Hayden's party and we came up with a really terrific product.  It's very cute (and so is little Hayden).....see?????


Using clip art that she purchased from my Etsy shop, she created her own signage, Jedi Training certificates, tags and bottle labels!  Kelly made the pool noodle light sabers, as well.  They're super easy to do - you might remember the ones I made for this party.

 



Kelly set up a STELLAR sweets table featuring Star Wars cookies designed by Christina over at Cookies are My Canvas.  A party-styling mama after my own heart, she found the perfect blue and orange swirl pops at an after Easter sale at FOUR different Wal-Marts! I love how she used a simple tin bucket filled with orange candies to anchor the pops!  So simple yet, so creative, no?  Speaking of creativity, it certainly runs in her family because Kelly's mom sewed all those Jedi robes for the party guests!  FUN!!!




I really loved all the attention to detail that Kelly paid to each component of the party.  It was a real pleasure working with her on the invitations and I'm so happy she chose to use Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Dreams to help make Hayden's party out of this world!  Hey Kelly - YOU ROCK, GIRRRL!!!!!


Side Note:  The Star Wars party collection is my most popular custom party kit requested by my Etsy customers.  Ironically, I've never added the collection to the store; everyone saw the pictures from the party I styled and planned last year and contacted me to request items from the collection!  Don't ask me why it took me so long, but after seeing the great job Kelly did with the designs I figured it was about time to add it to the shop. 

So, without further ado, the Star Wars Party Kit is available in our Etsy shop!  Yeeeeeaaaahh - and may The Force be with you!



Thursday, May 19, 2011

{Bragging!} Mama's New Toy

I know I'm a slacker and haven't posted in about a week or so - but lookie what I got for Mother's Day!




I'm so excited I could just SPIT!!!!!




 I am working on getting used to my machine, but I can't wait to show you, what I think is a BRILLIANT idea for some delicious treats!!!!!


In the meantime - if there are any of you Cricut Cake Decorators out there, shout a holla at me and share some tips!!!!



Friday, May 6, 2011

{Sweet Treats Recipe} Mimosa Cupcakes for Mother's Day

I made these Mimosa cupcakes last year for my good friend's Big Hat Brunch and thought they would also make a perfect treat for a Mother's Day Brunch. 



Mimosa Cupcakes (Updated as of 5/13/2011)*

Ingredients:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 Cup Champagne
1/4 Cups Fresh Squeezed OJ
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
2 Tbsp Orange Zest
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp. Orange Extract

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl, set aside.
3. In a separate bowl mix sugar, eggs, champagne, OJ, oil, zest and extracts until well combined.
4. Combine wet ingredients to dry, mix on medium speed in two additions, scraping bowl between additions.
5. Add batter to liners and bake for about 20-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on the rack before frosting.

*(Editor's Note: This recipe has been updated as of 5/13/11 - the original published recipe included 1/2 cup Buttermilk, which is NOT supposed to be in the list of ingredients.  Sorry for any inconvenience>)

Champagne Frosting

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Softened Butter
1/2 Tsp. Orange Extract
6 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
Champagne Syrup (Recipe Follows)
Orange segments (optional)

Directions:
Starting out with butter, creamed, combine all the remaining ingredients together until well blended and frosting has a creamy texture.   Drizzle with Champagne Syrup and top with orange segments.

Champagne Syrup

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Champagne
Directions: In a medium saucepan combine sugar and champagne. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. 
 
 * I recommend LorAnn Flavorings - be cautious when adding to mixture as the flavors are highly concentrated and too much can ruin the taste.  Be sure to test the frosting as you add the flavoring.


Enjoy!





Thursday, May 5, 2011

{Cinco de Mayo Celebration} Five Delicious Sangrias You Will Love

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  There is nothing more delectable and delicate - and maybe even a touch girlie - than a Sangria.  A delightful  combination of wines, fruit, sweet honey, citrus and sometimes spices, Sangrias are the pot lucks of pitcher drinks!  Typically this is a drink served in Spain as opposed to Mexico but I think that it is a great compliment to any Cinco de Mayo celebration.  So, slap on a sombrero and chomp on a chalupa and while you're doing that, try one of these delicious sangria recipes!

White Peach Sangria
(via Food Network - Bobby Flay)


Ingredients
  • 1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine)
  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a small saucepan) and cooled (leftover syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 month)
  • 3 ounces white peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a small amount of water)
  • Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples sliced
Directions: Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.


Pink Grapefruit Sangria
(via Spryte on Bakespace )


 

Ingredients
  • 1.5 liter Barefoot Moscato
  • 1 C Key Lime Rum
  • 1 12oz can Limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 medium pink grapefruit, sliced, then quartered
  • 1 orange, sliced, then quartered
  • 1 lemon, sliced, then quartered 
  • 2 limes, sliced, then quartered


Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate several hours to overnight. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Watermelon Sangria
(via Food & Wine)

 
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon cut into balls with a melon baller and skewered on picks
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 6 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces Cointreau or other triple sec
  • 4 ounces Citrus Syrup
  • Ice 
 Directions
 In a blender, puree the watermelon cubes. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. Add the white wine, vodka, Cointreau and Citrus Syrup. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again, then pour the sangria into ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the skewered watermelon balls.

Cranberry Pomegranate Sangria
 
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 8 ounce bottle of  Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 cup of brandy
  • 1 cup of orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 apple, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • fresh berries, if desired
  • 12 ounces of club soda or sparkling water

Directions:Wash and slice, apple, orange, lime and add to wine. Rinse berries, and add to wine.Add brandy and orange liqueur and pomegranate juice. Chill overnight to let flavors deepen.Add chilled club soda to mixture before serving to add sparkle.

 Cava Sangria 
~Strawberry Mint Sangria~
(via Southern Living)

 



 Ingredients
  • 8 large mint leaves
  • 1 (750-milliter) bottle Cava sparkling wine, chilled*
  • 3/4 cup white grape juice, chilled
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • Garnish: fresh sugar cane sticks
Directions: Press mint leaves against sides of a large pitcher with back of a wooden spoon to release flavors. Stir in sparkling wine and next 3 ingredients. Serve immediately over ice. Garnish, if desired.

*Other sparkling wine or Champagne may be substituted.






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