Thursday, December 31, 2009

Take a stroll over to our gracious hostess Designs by Gollum to visit the other foodie friends.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sweet....


and petite



New Years treats.




Mini Chocolate Dipped Apples

These appetizers are the perfect bite size indulgence.
I chose a peppermint candy topping, but
toffee bits, nuts, or (finely chopped) candied fruits are also a nice compliment to these little apples.
I found they need to be made up the day of the party for optimum freshness.



The mini apple form is cut out with a melon baller.
I prefer to use Ever Fresh to preserve the apples, in place of lemon water.
Whichever you use... give them a good pat dry before their dive into the chocolate bath.


To attach the candy cane drill a hole three quarters of the way down with the cane tip.
Dip the cane (end) into the chocolate, then back into the hole the chocolate will bind them together. I did a quick set in the freezer (I'm too impatient to wait for the apples to set in fridge).
When the canes are set it's time for the second (or double) dip for the entire apple.
Sprinkle the topping pieces of choice around the top or bottom of the apple.
Cool set (again).



Serve in a festive mini cup cake liner or cup....
(a P√Ętisserie liner or Bon G√Ęteauun Cadeau Doux cup).

I added a generous layer of sugar crystals to the serving platter to represent snow then placed the chocolate apples in the cups/liners on the platter of faux snow.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap a shot before they were snatched up.
These french script petite liners and cups are sold out, but will be back in my shop soon.
(The English translation for the liner is....Pastry and Good Cake Sweet Gift for the cup).




Pot Du Creme

I have to say this was the most fun I've had creating a new recipe for my petite pots.
It entailed tasting vast amounts of chocolate and cream... I did share the honor of taste testing with Paul.
Here's the base recipe for Sara's Pot Du Creme

1 cup- milk chocolate: bar, chunks or chips (no imitation)
1/4 cup- heavy whipping cream
Combine Ingredients
on the stove top at low heat then stir together chocolate and cream just until smooth.
( Keeping the melted chocolate at a cooler temp will allow you to add the whipped cream without deflating).

In A Separate Bowl
whip up 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.

Fold Together
by heaping spoonfuls the whipped cream to your melted chocolate.

Pipe or spoon into your Pots.
Chill
Set
a minimum of 60 mins
This can be made well in advance.

Flavored Whip Cream
I place a demitasse or jigger of the whipped cream next to each Pot Du Chocolate Creme.
The whipped cream is prepared with bourbon vanilla and powder sugar to taste.

A variation to this recipe is...
1/2 cup Semi or dark chocolate
1/2 cup milk chocolate
Also...
adding instant or brewed espresso to the chocolate base and or to the whipped cream will enhance the chocolate flavor.
This can also be adapted for a low carb recipe by substituting the chocolate with a sugar free chocolate bar(measuring 1 cup).



A Teeny- Tini

Rim your glass with a wish in white chocolate.
This a creative tip is from the very talented Miss Saucy.
She is the queen of cupcake cuisine.
This is wonderful tip for any seasonal beverage.




I would like to add a special note of appreciation to thank you for showing your concerns for my absence and the well wishes for my kitty girl, Angel. Her vet thinks the chronic limp in her left leg is due to arthritis. Her lab results were favorable, but when the doctor was shaving her leg to draw her blood she discovered an abnormal sore. By it's appearance it has the signs of melanoma. We're still not sure at this point, but we have a close eye on it for any sudden changes. She's been in my life for 14 years and has been my comfort through a multitude of life's events, including my own daily health struggles. So, my concentration has been a little distracted with her.
This is a start of a new year with renewed hope for the future. " I look forward to playing with my new camera and upgraded laptop, (which both had taken a noise dive). I hope to continue to share Sweet Surprise's with you!!"
Speaking of....



or should we say...The WINNERS for the Girlfriends Eco-Tote are....


Chocolate And Marmalade Tea
Melissa-Green Girl In Wisconsin
Mary's Meanderings
Lady Katherine Tea Parlor
WendyTractors & Tiaras (No Botox Allowed)
OK girls, send me your addy's and your Tote will be on it's way!



Sunday, November 29, 2009

What do you do when no one else is around?

I'm so happy to bring you today's featured artist. He resides in the Pacific Northwest and has been painting for well over 13 years. Many of his renditions grace my home. One of his newer vignettes have really touched the hearts of many including myself. Well....that could also be because he's my husband, Paul. Here is how he came to create this festive collection....


When no one’s around . . .

The “When No One’s Around” series of prints is a whimsical view into the world of snowmen, snowwomen and snowfamilies when no one’s around to see. Each scene portrays those everyday life situations, human emotions, family values and even an occasional political statement presented humorously through snowmen characters. Children relate to the cartoon-like snowmen while adults may see the reflection of their own values, emotions and family members.

The original artwork was created with an acrylic underpainting that glows through the overlayed pastel details on the surface.

Snow Couple's Night Out

This couple is about to hit the town in their newly gifted ensembles.

Snowmen Global Warming

If you look closely... the signs they're posting read...Stop Global Warming.


Snowmen Sledding

A family frolics in the first snowfall. I love that the little sledder has guiding hands to greet him.


Snowmen Swimming

Inflatable toy, goggles and snorkel, is all you need for the perfect winters dip in the pool.


Snowmen Soccer

Let the games begin....
Paul actually sat in on a soccer game to capture all the details that occur on the field. Including referees and Dad with camcorder filming his kid in action.

Snowmen Skiing

Hitting the soft powder to enjoy a ride down the slopes. Something tells me they'll be skipping the hot chocolate in front of the lodge fireplace.


Snowmen Santa Claus

Every child has a wish list for Santa.


Snowmen Golfing

"Tees the Season" for a few rounds of golf.


Snowmen Fishing

Fly Fishing was a request by a special customer who has a passion for the sport.
She has over a dozen of Paul's prints. He wanted to show his appreciation by painting this picture...she was elated!


Snowmen Christmas Presents

This sweet snow fellow thinks his Christmas will be spent alone...unbeknownst to him his friends are waiting to surprise him.

All prints with frames are listed in my boutique Sara's Suprise Sucre Due to the holiday season supplies are limited, so hurry on over to shop. Not pictured, but included is **SNOWMEN PLAYING FOOTBALL** Convo me with any questions.



Stocking Stuffers

ALL glosses are at blowout prices.



Lollipop Flavored Lip Gloss


Creamsicle Flavored Lip Gloss/Key Chain

Ice Cream Cone Flavored Lip Gloss/ Pens

ALL LIP GLOSSES ARE PARABENS AND PHTHALATE FREE. ENRICHED WITH VITAMIN E







Going Green in style!


GIRL FRIENDS ECO SHOPPING TOTE


The Designer Eco-Tote features collapsible, wipe-able compartments. Giving versatility for grocery's, traveling, craft projects and can be recycled again.

I've also marked down the *Girlfriends Stylish Eco Tote* and shipping.

I will also be Giving away 5 Girlfriend totes to 5 winners, just leave a comment if you want to be included in the

Giving away drawing.









Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yes Virginia, Christmas has come early!



It's finally happened!

My camera has closed it's shutter for the last time.
No need for tears...





CAUSE I'M JUMPIN' FOR JOY!
"Get your boots on Virginia, were goin' camera shopin'."
Although my camera isn't as old as the one pictured here...it certainly felt like it at times, especially without a macro option (that word has become music to my ears).
It's quite possible I've paid the equivalent of two new cameras with all the batteries purchased over the course of time.
For any of you that have stock in Duracell batteries..."you're welcome."




If I were to leave the selection of my new camera up to my family... I've no doubt this is what they'd pick out.
"Holy macro " just think what I could capture in a single shot...
Wow, that would be one hard flash dot to shake from your retinas.
I'd be the envy of every paparazzi in Hollywood.









Due to the demise of my camera... I wasn't able to bring you all my personal favorite Thanksgiving confections. So, I'm bringing you a few samplings with a little help from my friends.




Here's a simple, but elegant gift for your host or hostess.
Preserves or compote jars adorned with a few autumnal embellishments.




Here's a vintage tag for your favors.



Southern Living Glazed Pumpkins

Shhh, I use Trader Joes pumpkin bread mix and a 6-mini's fluted bundt pan.
If you want to bump up your pumpkin cakes a notch, modify the TJ mix as follows:
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup water
1 whole Trader Joes jar of Pumpkin Butter.
Bake as directed.

Caramel Rum Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum (substitution- rum extract)

Preparation

1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil, 1 minute. Remove from heat; gradually whisk in powdered sugar and rum until smooth. Whisk gently (or mix on low) 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over pumpkin cakes.




Petite Peanut Butter Pumpkins




INGREDIENTS

1roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough



1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup orange decorator sugar crystals
14 pretzel sticks or twisted pretzels broken in half


Directions
In medium bowl combine and mix (with spoon) cookie dough with flour. Dough should be stiff.
Shape dough into balls and roll in orange (colored) sugar crystals.
Insert 1 pretzel piece into each sugared ball to form pumpkin stem.
Using toothpick or tip of paring knife,draw lines for pumpkin ridges.
Bake 325 for 10-12 mins. or until firm and golden brown.







I am very thankful for your friendships and kind words.
You have added a Sweet Surprise to my life.
May you have a delightful Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and delicious food.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Winner and Best In Show!


It has been a whirl wind of events.
I was truly surprised by the overwhelming response to my Giveaway.
One sweet friend came as far as Italy!!
.







"DRUM ROLL PLEASE."




Miss Chari from Happy To Design!!


That was such a fun ride....

I decided to pick another winner!!

Yes, two Jars two winners !!




Miss Justine from Stupid Is As Sister Does

you're my second winner!!!




Ladies this Apothecary Spigot Jar will be on it's way to you...
as soon as you contact me with your mailing info.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Thank you again for participating.



I really didn't want to leave anyone disappointed.....




So, to show my appreciation and in the spirit of the Christmas season,
I've decided to continue the giving by joining Romantic Home
Monthly Giveaway.







Part of my ventures (as you know ) was to my most favorite event.
The Seattle Cash and Carry trade show.
I can't begin to describe how wonderful this three day shopping extravaganza is!
The plethora of eye candy to consume can make a girl dizzy!
To give you an impression what it's like... my credit card has been left with smoldering skid marks!!






The trick (as always) is finding a way to bring A-L-L my purchases back home......on the train!!!
It would really help if I could have a whole train car to myself, but I guess that's a little to much to ask.

As incredible as the shopping was, It couldn't top "the best in show!"
I've been searching high and low for a jewelry designer that I could commission to create some custom pieces for my shop...
Sara's Suprise Sucre
I (finally) found her!
What's even sweeter...... her name is Angel.
She definitely lived up to her name.



Just a little peek of whats to come...

( click to enlarge the beautiful details, but be prepared, have your sunglasses handy).




Black
Swarovski Fleur de Lis with chain.





Paris Eiffel Tower Tank...A-L-L SWAROVSKI'S!!
Wouldn't this look marvelous layered with a pink french cuff blouse!



What drew me to her line was her Parisian flair and the quality of her designs .
Each (one of a kind) piece is constructed with the finest materials and (American made) craftsmanship.
I'm ecstatic to add her exquisite jewelry and clothing styles to my boutique .
I'm so looking forward to sharing this line with you
(in time for your Christmas shopping).







I've notice you've been so kind to add me to your blog rolls.
I'm updating my links and would love to include you on my roll.
Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to link up.





Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghost and Goblins.......


Halloween is fast approaching.... So,
I thought it was a good time to reopen my recipe vault to get an idea
for conjuring up some treats.



Witches Hat
with a sweet surprise.



I gathered an assortment of goodies to fill my Witches Hat.
Candy: corn, skulls, bones,
along with....caramel popcorn, M&M's and Reece's Pieces.




I filled the sugar (ice cream) cone with sweets, then
brushed the edge/rim of the cone with (melted) chocolate.
The chocolate becomes the glue that binds your cookie to your cone.

You can use any (round) cookie for the base.
I used a (pre-made) dark chocolate and peanut butter cookies.



To prevent candies from spilling out
and the chocolate from dripping, I
placed the cookie on top of the (chocolate) brushed cone.
Gently turning it over...



to paint a single coat of chocolate over the entire hat then set aside to dry.



When it was dry, I adorned my Hat with candies and a sour gummy ribbon .
To complete my little project, a Witches Broom was fashioned
from licorice laces and a pretzel rod.




I'm also using this recipe for our Halloween dessert.
I'll fill my hats with.....mousse, ice cream, and toppings
(in place of the candy).
I may add fondant roses and bow or.....
the cute royal icing pumpkins and ghosties from Wiltons.







Black Cats.....



for instructions to carve the Black Cat O'Lanterns
visit... Sunset




Thank you for your generous support and sweet comments.
I'm making my way through each and everyone's blogs.
The closing date will be November 8th.
I will draw the winner when I return from the Seattle Cash and Carry trade show, shortly thereafter.