Sam’s Birthday Party

Sam’s birthday party.  It ended up being quite a bit of work and planning but turned out great!  Everyone seemed to have fun and there were no major catastrophes.  My grandparents came into town (from Florida) a week before the party and my parents came into town (also from Florida) a few days before.  Most of the food prep was done the day before the party by my mom and grandma.  For the food, we had pasta salad (this one), regular salad, fruit kabobs, veggies and dip and tabouli (courtesy of my in-laws), and burgers and hot dogs plus veggie burgers and vegan hot dogs for our vegan friends.

I didn’t take any pictures of the actual party at all!  My friend Gina took some and is going to send them over.  In the meantime… all I have are pictures of the desserts.

Sam was not into the cupcake we gave him at all.  People started singing happy birthday to him and he started crying hysterically and wouldn’t even try the cupcake.  Poor kid.  He relaxed after and played in the grass and then really got into opening the presents.  He now has TONS of toys. Tons.

We had lots of desserts.  I’m still eating the cupcakes (we froze the leftovers after the party).


My grandma came over a few days before the party and helped me make the chocolate chip cookies and the thumbprints and they went into the freezer until the party.  I made the sugar cookie star toppers a few days before the party too.  It was good practice to make a million little stars and decorate with royal icing.  I really want to get good at making decorated cookies.  The S cookies and the little tulips were made a few days before the party too.


The day right before the party, I made the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and left them unfrosted until the morning of the party.  I would have probably frosted them the day before too but we had no room in the fridge for them.  I made vanilla cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes which I loved.  It was a recipe from Glorious Treats.  Here’s a link to it.  Lastly, the brownies were a mix!   They were vegan and gluten-free because we had some vegan friends coming and some gluten intolerant friends and I didn’t want them to be dessert-less.  It’s a Trader Joe’s gluten free mix that is actually really good.  I replaced the egg with a flax egg (flaxseed meal + water) to make them vegan.20130803_111246


I made the little flags for the brownies out of toothpicks and washi tape.  I’m newly obsessed with washi tape.  It’s awesome.  I made little flags for the straws too.

I wish I had pictures to post of the actual party.  Sigh.  But here are a couple of Sam with some of his gifts.



Bridal Shower Dessert Table

Good Morning!

My friend Gina had her bridal shower yesterday and I did a dessert table for it. My first one! I was really, pretty excited to have the opportunity to do it because I’ve been looking for an excuse to make one for a while.

I also loved it because I could start baking a week before and just freeze things as I finished them.

Here’s a shot of the finished table:


Aaron had made the cupcake stand for another party that I had made cupcakes for but it needed a little face lift so we spray painted (with my favorite Heirloom White spray paint) and then I used a glue stick to glue brown 5/8″ ribbon around the edges of the stand. Gina’s wedding is in October so I tried to stick with Fall colors. I used brown and yellow with a tiny bit of pale blue mixed in.

Here are the other sources:

  • The square pedestal cake plates and the giant wine glass are from Marshall’s.
  • The white leaf plate in the front Aaron bought at a yard sale for about $1.
  • The 9×13 pan in the front was a gift from my wedding shower (Target by Giada).
  • The take out containers were leftover from our wedding.
  • The truffles are on a glass cake plate that was my moms which I inherited when she moved to Florida.
  • The flowers are in mason jars also from our wedding with brown ribbon tied around them.


I made the following things for the table:

  • vanilla cupcakes filled with black raspberry jam with vanilla bean buttercream on top (for the toppers, I tinted fondant yellow, stamped it with a little wedding cake stamp and then cut out the circles with a cookie cutter)
  • bittersweet truffles in the back left
  • chocolate cake pops on both sides
  • thumbprints in the front
  • decorated sugar cookies in the front right (decorated with royal icing and then blue fondant flowers on top)
  • swedish fish in the giant wine glass (just because I wanted to buy the giant wine glass)


I made the little description cards with a pack of notecards that were on clearance at Michael’s for $0.49. There was a picture of pie and a shovel on the front of them so I cut out brown squares from card stock and glued it over the picture. Then I printed out the labels and stuck them on. I also cut off the corners of the cards just to make it a little different.


Here is the bridal party. The bride is in the center with the teal dress. I’m in the front right with the dress with the yellow flowers.


And the angry face picture where we are all looking at different cameras..


Good times and I think I love doing dessert tables!

Linking to these parties:

Simply Designing
The Tablescaper
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

A Cake and some Renovations.

Good Morning!

It’s 8 AM and rainy over here. Yesterday it was snowing… SO SICK OF WINTER.


Thursday night I baked a cake for a coworker’s husband’s birthday. Even though it may seem like this is the only kind of cake that I can make, THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Everyone just always requests this one and I don’t have a say when I’m making a profit on it. Chocolate cake it is!


Messy kitchen, messy self.


Aaron got the extra frosting.





Friday night after work, we got home, ate about 3 pounds of roasted sweet potatoes while discussing kitchen remodel options then I got to work painting.


This would be the primer step where I chanted “Zinsser zinsser zinsser repeatedly.”




Alright time to go wake Aaron up! He said he wanted me to wake him up at 8 and it is now 8:03. Aaron is on a mission to “junk” his 1988 Mazda pick-up truck today. We park on the street in our lovely neighborhood and unfortunately his truck was hit Wednesday night by a (likely) drunk driver as it was about 2 AM. Aaron had been in the process of replacing the exhaust and now the axel is bent so he’s throwing in the towel.

To the junkyard it will go.

Have a nice Saturday!


Baby Shower Cupcakes: Sleeping Babies and Peas in a Pod

Good Morning!

It’s Saturday. It’s 9:22 AM. I’m drinking coffee and waiting for my oatmeal to absorb water and be delicious in the fridge. In the meantime, I thought I would blog the cupcakes I made this past week for a baby shower. The lady who ordered them pretty much gave me free range on how to decorate them which was awesome(!) so I ended up with peas in pods and little babies under blankets.

First I made all the toppers out of fondant. The pink babies kind of look like ducks… next time I’ll use white for all the pacifiers. I think that was the issue. By the way, the heads of the babies were not actually attached to the bodies. The frosting held them in place on top of the cupcakes but I’m sure it caused some amusement at the shower.

Here are the toppers:


And here they are on the cupcakes. These were vanilla bean cupcakes with strawberry filling and strawberry buttercream. I used a cupcake sized biscuit cutter for the little blankets.


In the box ready to go:



The other dozen were chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream.


I used a large, round Ateco tip for the piping that I ordered from Bake It Pretty. It’s my new favorite pastry tip!


And in the box ready to go:


I also made a dozen cake pops for favors. Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, dipped in white chocolate, sprinkled with sanding sugar and then I added a few sprinkles for color.



This was a fun little order and I’m really glad she asked me to do them!

My First Fondant Person!

Good Morning!

I had a dream about making people out of fondant last night which led me to finally post this cake this morning.

I made it for my friend Rachel who is also my brother-in-law’s girlfriend.

Here is the real Rachel (I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this!):


And here is the cake Rachel:


It’s a three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling between the layers, some sprinkles on the bottom and some dark chocolate shavings on the top.


I used a toothpick inside the body to hold her torso and head up. My first attempt didn’t turn out very well because the head was too heavy and it just kept getting shorter and shorter from the weight.



I wanted to do the face differently but I don’t have edible markers yet so I just had to use tiny pieces of fondant.


Alright time to get some coffee and read blogs until I have to get ready for work! Tonight should be relaxing then tomorrow night Aaron’s band has a show at Howler’s in Bloomfield. Come out!

Happy Friday!!

Chocolate/Chocolate Cupcakes & Vanilla/Strawberry Cupcakes

Good Morning!

I’m sooo happy the week is almost over. AH! Last night I baked cupcakes for a 30th birthday. I baked dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and vanilla cupcakes filled with strawberry filling and covered with strawberry buttercream.

I made cake toppers out of fondant. The blue and yellow ones say Happy Birthday Dana and then I made a few flowers and then I also made a TINY kayak, tennis racket and climbing wall. Oh my gosh these were so hard to make! They’re seriously tiny. I kept smashing the little climbing person and had to remake her. AH!

Chocolate on chocolate with a few chocolate sprinkles on top:



Tiny kayak, climbing wall and tennis racket:


See the tiny climber?


I tried to put some non-pareils on these also but they wouldn’t really stick.


Packaged and ready to go:

Alright time for me to get ready for work. I have to make ten cake pops this evening for Friday but then no baking this weekend I think! Aaron and I don’t have any plans Saturday but then we’re running the Great Race 10k on Sunday!!

Have a good Thursday!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (and shaving giant chocolate bars)

It’s 9:03 PM right now. I’ve been sitting on the couch fighting with the fonts on my blog. I finally just gave up and decided to blog instead. Aaron is sitting next to me reading a book for his Women & Literature class. He’s taking undergraduate classes at Pitt right now in preparation for doing the Masters of Education program in a year or two. Teacher husband.

Moving on, I baked this cake yesterday for two coworker’s birthdays. They requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I used my chocolate cake pope recipe and three 9 inch cake pans. I ended up having a little extra batter so Aaron made a tiny 6 inch cake with the leftovers.

(Later in the day, he ate the entire frosted mini-cake after having only eaten scones and tortilla chips all day. He wasn’t feeling very well the rest of that evening…)

Anyway, it’s s three layer chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream in between each of the layers, covered in chocolate buttercream and sliced almonds on the sides. I shaved some dark chocolate for the chocolate shavings on top.


A little crooked on the cake board.


I made chocolate letters for the top of the cake spelling out Happy Birthday.


The letters:


Please disregard the fact that the cake is swaying to the right…

Good cake. Pictures in natural light. Eating too much frosting throughout the day.

Thumbs up.