Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Covered Cake Wreath


Yum! This is my favorite cream cheese pound cake. I made it in this wonderful wreath pan from Williams Sonoma that I have had for many years. I love the way it looks like fresh-fallen snow.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas Sweet Readers!

Please know that I am wishing you all a very Merry and very Blessed Christmas today! God bless you!


These are the photos on our Christmas card this year. I intended only to include the first one, but after seeing some of the outtakes, I just couldn't resist including the second photo inside the card. NOEL!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Smiley Cheer!

The 2009 Smiley Tree...
The precious Smiley glass groom and bride ornaments we received our first Christmas together...
The Smiley banister (I love love love having a bannister to decorate at Christmas. Now, with two boys using it to slide down the rest of the year, that's a different story!)

Smiley mini cupcakes with fondant pointsettias...
The Smiley spread brought to a holiday party...

More of the Smiley cupcakes...

The Smiley glitter "S" made for me a few years ago by a dear friend.

Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Merry Merry Sweet Readers!

These are a variety of cupcakes made for an impromptu and very wonderful dinner at my neighbors. They invited us over for a lovely and fun meal and I brought these for dessert.

I hope you are having a fun holiday season and enjoying your time with family and friends.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Birthday Lunch at Ella


Hi Sweet Readers,

I wanted to share a little bit from my birthday lunch on December 16th. My sweet hubby took me to a very elegant and beautiful restaurant called Ella. We had such a wonderful time. Above are a few photos from the day, my new Lisa Leonard necklace (love her jewelry and blog: http://www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog/), and my handsome husband and me at Ella.

Here is our delicious meal. I forgot to shoot our first course and salad before we starting eating it. Isn't it beautiful!?



And this is Ella. The photos don't do it justice, so go here and check it out if you are interested. (http://www.elladiningroomandbar.com/) It is very classy, elegant and unique. I loved it. The service was great and the food was delicious and so beautifully plated. I would have shot more photos, but I was feeling quite conspicuous as it was and I'm sure my sweet hubby was also.

Thanks for letting me share a little of my birthday with you. I will have another post shortly with a bit more from my celebrations if you will indulge me :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Old English Themed Gingerbread Cookies


Hello Sweet Readers!

I made these little gingerbread cookies for a fabulous dinner party we went to last Saturday. I blogged a bit about it here: http://smileyssweetsandcreations.blogspot.com/2009/12/coconut-snowball-arrangment-and-happy.html.

I ordered the cute little Old English sugar wafers from Fancy Flours and they were really easy to use. You just frost the cookie, let it dry, cut around the image and apply it with piping gel or corn syrup. I then covered it with some sanding sugar for a sweet effect (and to literally copy the picture in the catalog :)

Hope your week is going well. I had a fabulous birthday today with many wishes from great friends and family. I am very blessed...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MSC Cupcake Club - Gingerbread Cupcakes

Hello Sweet Readers! Today is the day for the December edition of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. Our assignment was gingerbread cupcakes. Here they are beautifully displayed on my sweet new gift given to me last night for my birthday (which is tomorrow!). My dear friend Debbie gave it to me. She did the glass etching herself. Doesn't it look wonderful? I love it! What a sweet gift :) Some of my wonderful girlfriends took me out to dinner and treated me to a special night. They are all so thoughtful and I am so thankful to have been blessed with such great friends.
So, I had to bake these today, and this is why I am a little late in posting. I usually post in the morning, but since I had to bake the cuppies today, well, here they are. The above photo is the sifted dry ingredients. It included 2 tablespoons of ginger. That's a lot, but it is actually not overwhelming in the cupcake.
And a little bit of unsulphered molasses...
The batter was a rather thick one..
The cupcakes cooling with my sweet present to add to the photo (get ready, you will be seeing more of it). I made a dozen regular sized cuppies and three and a half dozen minis with this recipe.
I made the gingerbread throughout the week since I am packing it in gifts as well. These are some of the cookies I made on top of the cupcakes. I actually used the recipe from her magazine rather than the one in the book. I have used it before and like it. I double the recipe, however, and got a royal mess in my 600 watt mixer. Poor little baby was having a hard time with the thick dough, so I had to help it out.
Had to include these shots of my present. I just love it. I know I have been taking lots of pictures for my blog with my Christmas tree in the background, but I love the look and the bokeh that the lights make. I have to take advantage of it while I can!
Here is another of the cuppies topped with a candy topper I made. It has little bits of peppermint in the white bark. Yum!
And just a little peek at my gingerbread cookies. I will not blog any more about them because I am sooo bad at piping that I have officially deemed them unworthy. Just had to post this so you would know I did actually make them.
So the verdict on the cupcakes? I liked them. They were tasty and moist, but not as great as I expected them to be. They were spicy, but not too spicy. I like the cookies better! I did like my version of the buttercream. I added brown sugar and cinnamon and a tad of nutmeg. That, I really liked, but I I like things sweet.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coconut Snowball Arrangment and Happy Birthday to my Sweet Husband!

Hello Sweet Readers!

I hope you are having a warm and wonderful weekend with your family and/or friends enjoying the season and all it has to bring. We started our weekend with a fabulous party at some good friends and today is my hubby's birthday. We get to spend today with the boys and then tonight with some friends for a "Bracebridge Dinner". The Bracebridge Dinner is the annual dinner at the Yosemite National Park's elegant Ahwahnee Hotel. It is held in their beautiful Bracebridge Hall. (http://www.bracebridgedinner.com/main.html)

Our hostess sent out the menu and each couple will bring something from it. I am doing roasted cauliflower soup with brioche croutons. I personally love cauliflower, so it's a good thing for me. I don't expect it to be the hit of the party, however, due to many not liking cauliflower itself. Hey, maybe I will win them over. I also made some cute old english gingerbread cookies for it that I will share in another post.


So all this says nothing about the above photo. So here are the details. I made this for a potluck my hubby went to this week. They are little coconut cream cheese candies. I attached them to a foam ball with toothpicks. They are small, but tasty. I guess they were well-received because when he got to the dessert table, they were already gone and he received many compliments that he sweetly forwarded my way:)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MUST Make Coffee Toffee

Merry merry sweet readers!

I am in full baking mode over here. I need to find more space in my house to hold it all, and it's getting pretty dangerous having to "test" everything (over and over and over) before it goes out!

This has been the worst culprit. It is coffee toffee and it's simply divine. The toffee is made with lots of butter, brown and white sugar ...all the normal goodies that makes toffee so yummy...and then you add espresso powder and just a bit of molasses. These are just too hard to resist! Then you top it with rich chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. Oh, come on, now!

I'm wondering if anyone is going to get any of this besides my husband and I...

For the recipe that you must get, go to:
http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/12/coffee-toffee/

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Hello Sweet Readers!
Look at my beautiful new cupcake ornaments! My sweet husband surprised me with these last week. He made sure to let me know that even though it was a gift, and even though my birthday is on the 16th, these were NOT a birthday gift (with my bday being in December, I tend to get a lot of Christmas-themed items for my birthday...and I have lotsssss of Christmas stuff :) So he did it just because, which is something he does from time to time. So sweet, huh?
So I love them. They are pretty, they are pink, and he purchased enough to combine with the other ones I have graciously received from friends to make a nice display.

For those of you who have already asked based on my Facebook comment yesterday, he got them mail order. They came individually wrapped in their own box. A dear friend of ours that my husband works with showed him a catalog with these beauties in them, thinking that I might like them (thanks, Arnie!). I do! He got them from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, MI. www.bronners.com
I put them on one of my cupcake trees because I didn't want them to get lost in our Christmas tree. In this photo, you can see some of the other fun ones I have received in years past (thanks to Debbie and Debbie, to name a couple of the wonderful donors!)
Just wanted to share these with you and wish you a happy week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kickin' It...NOT!


Hello Sweet Readers~
I know everyone is so busy this time of year, and I am not exempt! There is so much going on, so much to do and so much to see. I love this time of year, though. Relishing in the joy that the season brings because Christ was born and lives still does make me smile amidst all the craziness that the season can also bring. I am so blessed, and I need to take even more time to reflect on that rather than what needs to be done.
So, though I am not "kickin' it" this time of year, I thought I would show you a cake I made. Well, I actually made two of these. One for each of my son's end of the year soccer parties. I was very happy with the way they turned out and many people actually thought that the cake on top was a real soccer ball! It's not. It's a layered cake covered in buttercream and then fondant. I cut out the hexagons and pentagons by hand. It took some time, but I really like the result. I hope you do, too!

Have a sweet rest of your week. Enjoy your blessings, friends :)

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