Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Lump or Two?


With Mothers' Day approaching I want to share a couple of my traditional gift ideas.


Tea cups are one of my favorite gifts to give as well as receive
along with a specialty tea.
I like to include something in my gift that adds a personal touch.



So grab your sugar cause we're going to make Sucre Moule and Decorated Sugar Cubes.
I adore this molded sugar bowl from* home sweet home*
It's next on my "try to do list."





Sucre Moule (Molded Sugar)

Ingredients

* 2 cups of one of the following- granulated sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar (for a caramel color).
* 1-2 teaspoon hot water
* 1-2 drops food coloring liquid or paste

Directions

1. Combine food coloring and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Gradually add water.
2. Make sure the sugar isn't so wet that it's dissolving, but wet enough to
hold its shape.
3. Press the sugar into the mold. Turn it over and tap out.
4. Let the shapes dry until hard (about 30 minutes to an hour depending on humidity). I was too impatient. So, I put mine in the oven at 325 for a few minutes.
5. Voila! Your own unique Sucre Moule .




Pink roses for tea




Caramel colored hearts for coffee



Royal Icing Sugar Cubes
I find using meringue powder an easy alternative to whipping up royal icing.
To create the flower, pipe a V-shape with the green icing forming the leaf and stem.
Add a tiny dollop of pink to form the rose bud.


Petite cherries


Sprinkles

Wilton Sprinkles were fun and simple to apply.
Melt (Nestle's) white chocolate chips. Pipe a dot on the sugar cube, and attach the heart or daisy.
I've tried using almond bark, candy melts and have found Nestle's white chocolate chips sets much quicker.





Let the daisy sprinkles set before piping the white chocolate center dot.

Wouldn't these be a nice embellishment on a tablescape or as a pretty party favor for a shower?


Whichever you choose, Sucre Moule or Decorated Sugar Cubes, they're sure to add a personal touch to your gift.




Hat Boxes aren't...



just for hats.



Here's my collection of fabric hat boxes....


I create ...

and give them as gifts.


This year I decided to embellish a hat box with my original paper flowers and crepe ruffle designs.
I enclose a sweet confection in each box.



Home baked pound cake with a bouquet tucked in the center
Unless your flowers are certified organic (pesticide free) you will need to place a protection where the the flowers touch the cake.
Insert 2-3 round paper doilies or plastic wrap in the center of the cake before adding the flowers.
Make sure the flowers are touching the paper doilies or plastic wrap not the cake.




Here are the minis.

Baked in a mini fluted bundt cake pan.
Hollow out the center with an apple corer. A paring knife will work just as well.
I purchased wooden, hinged boxes that were the perfect size for my petite cakes.

The hat box will be opened to reveal the cake inside.

Did you know pound cake originated sometime in the first half of the 18th century and is so named because the original recipe consisted of one pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs?
So we can dispel all rumors that the "pound" is in reference to the consequences from eating it.
Hmmmmm... or maybe there's a little truth to the rumor after all.


Quatre-Quarts (Pound Cake)

Ingredients

* 4 cubes/1lb. (softened) butter
* 3 C sugar
* 6 eggs
* 3 C cake flour
* 1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
Bake at 325 for 25-30 mins. or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.



I hope you'll enjoy creating these for someone special on Mothers' Day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Hollywood Debut

This is the Directors cut for my new cooking show.

Quiet on the Set
Scene one Take one
ACTION!



Scene Two take one



CUT!
Directors note my mom doesn't know I published this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Please visit Our Hostess Susan at Between Naps On The Porch
to see the other participants.


**Stay tuned for my upcoming posts
Mothers Day gifts to create.**




Sorry, I couldn't delete the comment spot here.
So, feel free to leave your comments below where the actual post is.


Thursday, April 16, 2009


I was so disappointed to have missed the Paris *Foodie Friday* last week that I'm indulging myself by bringing it to you today.

*Please enlarge the photos to view the details*


A Parisian dinner for two




A selected beverage from the Eiffel Tower carafe.




Bon Appetit dishes adorned with Vintage linen handkerchiefs.
The lil' Marie Antoinette shoes were purchased from the dollar store.
They made the perfect pair for salt and pepper.



The beverage glasses with french script are compliments of Lidy at French Garden House.
"Un Verre D'Amitie" translates to "A Glass of Friendship." Folk lore has it that glasses like this were kept on the top shelf to be taken down and used only for friends.


I wanted to share a few of my favorite French treasures .
You'll find crown embellishments everywhere...from my jewelry
( as pictured on the dress form in the first photo )
to my business card compact that is also from Lidy.
My vintage Marie bottle is from Tracie at my Petite Maison. It has a brass stamping of Dauphine de France it's Circa 1940.
The perfume bottle appears to be clear cut crystal, but if you look real close...



It actually reflects a rainbow of colors. Beautiful Aurora Borealis prisms.



Our entree
Pastry wrapped Chicken/Pancetta Cordon Bleu.



I adore these dessert plates.
There's a different Parisian pattern on each one.
I fashioned a napkin ring from a miniature tiara.


DESSERTS!
Fruit tarts (filling from my Napoleon recipe) on a Sugar cookie crust.
Mini Cream puffs drizzled with white chocolate.


Three tier cake and heart shaped sugar cookies .
Butter cream rosettes on vanilla & chocolate cupcakes.
Fruited Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.




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

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring has Sprung



The flowers and trees are blooming.
Sending their intoxicating perfume into the breeze.

The birds nests are brimming with eggs.


Here's a baby waiting to hatch. If we're real quiet...
I'll bet we can spot a few baby chicks.


There's one... in the Asian pear tree.
Lets see if we can take a closer look....



Awwww isn't she adorable?
Oh, I think I see her sister sitting in the boxwood.


She looks content snuggled in the leaves.


Sitting in the plum tree....



Pretty in pink!


To create your own baby chick, egg and nest, all you need is....


one package each of Chinese noodles and butterscotch chips.
Melt chips, add noodles.
Shape nests in NON STICK muffin tin.
Refrigerate just until set.
*The nest removes easily, if it's not to cold*



I used these for shaping and prying.



The baby chick recipe is Martha Stewart's with a few revisions. I baked mini cupcakes, used Nestle toll house mini morsels for the eyes and Starburst candies shaped into beaks. Since they were sitting in the nest I didn't add feet. I shaped the coconut frosting (from the forehead back) to resemble the comb.


The eggs are white chocolate truffles I dotted with food coloring (paste concentrate) .


Bunnie Napkin Rings




1. 17x17 napkin (heavier weave works best) roll corner into center.


2. Repeat with opposite corner. Rolling... meeting in the center.



3. Stand on it's side with ribbing facing in.
*This step is very important in order to be sucessful!*



4. Fold in half.



5.Draw ears up.



6. Allow room for silverware (no more than two pieces).



7. Secure with ribbon (I used a rubber band for demonstration purpose).
Smooth out shape.
Pull up ears.


I like my bunnies with faces.
A jellybean inserted in between for nose.
For the eyes I used a candy necklace and inserted a mini chocolate morsel (tip end first) into one of the candies.
I freeze the morsels first, otherwise the heat from my hands melts them on contact.
I don't know if this is because of my hot flashes or if they'd melt with anyones body temperature.
So, beware if it happens to you.....it just might be a Menopause moment.