Thursday, February 23, 2012

Candle Bling

Tired of the same old candles? Looking for a way to make them more exciting?! Well, here’s a sure fire quick and inexpensive way to bling up your candles!

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For our recent dinner party, I wanted an extra special something for the dining table. As I was perusing my local crafts store, I came upon this fantastic product by Recollections.

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Simply unroll the invisible tape and apply to your candles and whah-lah you’ve got blinged out candles! I have to admit, I was worried about the tape coming undone during dinner, but they held fast and were a wonderful addition to my tablescape.

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Warning: Be sure to apply the bling tape below the level that your candle will burn down to…we don’t want any unexpected flames to harm our guests!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Dandy Decadant Dessert

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Last week, I posted about the Valentine's Day Dinner my husband and I hosted for some friends. We served a wonderful dinner of pork loin, steamed asperagus and orzo. However, as an avid baker, it was the dessert that I really had fun creating.

What better dessert to serve on Valentine's day than one containing chocolate! So, in honor of the romantic holiday, I presented each guest with an individual heart shaped chocolate cake with freshly whipped chocolate ganache center and topped with a smooth chocolate ganache glaze.

Heart-Shaped Cupcake Mold
To create the individual desserts, I baked the cakes in my silicone heart shape cupcake pan...available at orientaltrading.com.


once cooled...I cut the cakes in half and iced the center with the whipped ganache.

 
After reassembling the cakes, I then covered each with a simple chocolate ganache glaze.

Before serving, I piped the leftover whipped chocolate ganache onto the plate and added fresh raspberries for a nice presentation. 

Once, I had everything in place they were ready to serve!

To make your own chocolate ganache follow the simple recipe below by Savorysweetlife.com:

Chocolate Ganache Recipe 3 Ways
Prep time: 3 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 8 mins Serves: 1.5 cups
Three different ways to use ganache as frosting, filling, and for piping.

Ingredients
12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
Optional 3 tablespoons flavored liqueor (I did not add the flavored liqueor, but you can!)

Instructions
Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping. For piping or frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For the Love of Flowers

Valentine’s day often means flowers and whether you’re giving your sweetheart a bouquet or arranging a centerpiece for a romantic dinner, one wants one’s bouquet to look it’s best.
This past weekend, we hosted a dinner party in honor of the romantic holiday, and to celebrate I wanted to create a lush centerpiece with gorgeous and bursting blooms. So, off to the market I went to discover what was available.

After perusing the various flowers, I decided to purchase some white hydrangeas, a dozen blushing roses and a dozen red tulips. When I returned home, I began creating my centerpiece using the hydrangeas as my backdrop to the roses and tulips, all crowning a cherubic pedestal. 

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Before I added my roses, though, I used a hint I discovered in Carlos Mota’s book, “Flowers Chic and Cheap.” I’ve blogged about his wonderful book before and it has never let me down.




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In his book, Mr. Mota suggests gently opening up your rosebuds with a blow dryer. The gentle warm air generated by the dryer, unfurls the petals for a lush and full bloom without the wait!

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This little trick had my blooms awake and ready for our guests, and was a wonderful addition to our table!

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So, as you prepare to give your bouquet this holiday…make sure it is the best that it can be before you present it to your loved one!

For your copy of Mr. Mota’s book click below!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

They Get My Vote!

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Not happy with your choices for the Republican nomination for President? From performing Off-Broadway in New York, to releasing seven albums and appearing in two feature films, The Kinsey Sicks have been entertaining audiences with their Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet since 1994. And now Rachel, Trampolina, Trixie and Winnie want to represent you and the American Ideal as President!

For a look into what the candidates have to offer, check out their campaign ad!


The Kinsey Sicks’ new show, “Electile Dysfunction: The Kinsey Sicks for President!” at TheatrJ will have you laughing along with their shock and awe medley of songs. Never have you heard a candidate being so candid!

To attend the rally in the Nation’s Capital go to theaterj.org or call 1-800-494-TIXS for tickets!
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