Friday, September 27, 2013

Baked brownie from Brooklyn



Oprah says the famed Baked Brownie from Brooklyn is one of her favorite things.  It was awarded best brownie honors by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen and the Today Show.  So I decided to make them today....
I've found perfection.  If you like cakey brownies, these are not for you. These are pure, dark, fudgy, and rich.  Also known as heaven.
They are now one of my favorite things, and I think I’ll need to hide them from myself.
Try them for yourself.  You won't be disappointed. 
Be careful not to over-bake, under-bake or over-mix.  I also added a little caramel sauce on the top of the batter before I put in the oven.

Baked Brownies (Courtesy of Baked: Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

Ingredients
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into one-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
  • Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat or your brownies will be cakey.
  • Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. 
  • Let the brownies cool completely (refrigerate them if you can't wait)  then cut them into squares and serve.  Yummy!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Confetti Ice Balls



To make the confetti ice cubes you will need water, small water balloons, and food coloring. 
Start by turning your water balloons inside out and washing well. Then fill with 2 drops of food coloring (or if you want clear ice balls, leave out the food coloring) and water. Freeze until you are ready to use the ice balls. 
Snip the balloons off of your big confetti ice ball and add it to your glass. Enjoy big balls of color in your drinks!


Thanks A Subtle Revelry!  http://asubtlerevelry.com/confetti-ice
Photography  Jocelyn Noel Photography.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Football Party!


If you’re a football fan, then get ready to feast your eyes on this fun party!
Our sweet boy, Liam, (Colleen's son) celebrated his 10th birthday this past weekend, and he requested a Football party. He loves the Eagles (you can tell from the mint chocolate chip ice cream cake)!  Can you also guess green is Liam’s favorite color?
Check out some of the creative ideas for the football party table!














The dessert table was styled with game day fun in mind.  We purchased inexpensive astroturf for a tablecloth from Home Depot, and used white duct tape for our yard lines. 

To make the goal post center piece, we used wooden dowel rods purchased from Walmart (or get them at a craft store) that we cut to size, and put together using hot glue, yellow duct tape and yellow paint.

Football theme birthday parties, game day get-togethers, tailgates, or Super Bowl parties, we’ve got you covered!
Cupcakes and cookies were made by What's For Dessert, Wall NJ.
Cake stand, goodie kraft bags, straws, milk bottles, daisy lids, plastic milk bottles, spoons, snack cups, giant balloons, bakers twine, napkins and candles can be purchased at The Sugar Confetti Shop. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY: Gorgeous Chiffon and Tulle Flowers


These DIY Chiffon and Tulle flowers from Project Wedding are so pretty. Use them on top of gifts, as hair pins, sew them on your sweater. There are so many things you can do with these....

For this project you will need fabric - we used chiffon and tulle. Yardage needed will vary based on the number and size of flowers, as well as the fabric thickness. You'll also need a piece of paper, a pen, scissors, pins, needle and thread, glass seed beads, and a plain hair clip or comb (if you are making a hair clip/comb).
 To make a stencil first free hand a rose petal shape and cut out. Then retrace it five times on a larger sheet of paper to create a full flower shape. This will help you get an even pattern. Cut out pattern.
 Take some fabric and fold it into a square a little larger than your flower pattern. Pin the pattern to fabric and carefully cut out. Repeat this process until you have enough layers to make a full flower - the number of layers will vary depending on the weight of your fabrics and the size of your flower. The example shown here uses 26 layers.
 Stack flower cut outs, alternating fabric types and staggering petals. Use a needle and thread to secure them together at the center.
 Pinch together the center of the flower (from the bottom) and secure with stitches to create volume and give the flower and authentic shape.

Sew decorative beads in the inside center of the flower. So pretty!
Photos By: Olivia Kanaley for Project Wedding 

Monday, September 23, 2013

For the love of Marshmallows and Sprinkles Party!



Add Sprinkles to an ice cream cone or a cake and suddenly the treat is a celebration.  So why not make the party theme Sprinkles and Marshmallows! 












  A marshmallow pop making station and games were enjoyed by all the party guests at this Marshmallow and Sprinkles Party styled by Lettuce & Co.  The main dessert table was filled with all things marshmallow and sprinkles.  Super sprinkled covered chocolate birthday cake, mini marshmallow cakes, chocolate coated Oreo pops, cookies and marshmallow frosted cupcakes were served.  The party wouldn’t be complete without diy touches. Details such as the sprinkled filled balloons, sprinkle edged frames, marshmallow ceiling garland, hand painted (dotted) party bags, pom pom flowers and sprinkle rimmed drink bottles made this party so cute!

 Planning, styling & design - lettuce & co 
http://lettuceandco.com.au/category/childrens-parties/for-the-love-of-marshmallows-sprinkles-childrens-parties/

More Sprinkle ideas....
Add Sprinkles to your popcorn balls!

Give simple tea lights a makeover by slightly melting their wax, and scattering a few sprinkles on the surface.
http://www.babble.com/crafts-activities/15-super-sprinkle-party-ideas/sprinkle-filled-vase/

Use a cookie cutter to decorate your sprinkle cake! Numbers, shapes, letters, the possibilities are endless!
Learn more at Little Life of Mine.

Yummy, Sprinkled Cotton Candy!
Add Sprinkles to your serving dishes.
Put Sprinkles everywhere!


 Fill a simple vase with sprinkles! This idea is perfect for a vase holding flowers, silverware, or photo props. 
Learn more at tikkido.


Love these sprinkle Birthday Hats! 
http://www.soyouthinkyourecrafty.com/birthday-challenge-season-17-week-3/

Everyone loves Sprinkles!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Candy Necklace Party Ideas!


 Candy Necklace Party Ideas!

Fun to wear and even more fun to eat! Candy necklaces were first introduced in 1958 and have been a favorite ever since!

These necklaces are made by Ce De Candy, the company that makes Smarties....they taste so good!

CANDY NECKLACE NAPKIN RING-PLACE CARDS!


Wrap a candy necklace around your napkin, add a name tag and you have an adorable place card!


 CANDY NECKLACE CAKE TOPPER!




CANDY NECKLACE CAKE TOPPER MATERIALS:
—Scissors
—4 candy necklaces
—2 natural bamboo skewers (12″ long each)
—Needle nose pliers
STEP BY STEP CANDY NECKLACE CAKE TOPPER INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Take one candy necklace, and cut it in one spot. Be careful to grab each end of the newly cut necklace so that the candy beads remain on the necklace string.

2. Carefully remove beads from the necklace as needed depending on the size of your cake. For the 8″ round diner cake used in these photos, it was appropriate to remove about 1/4 of the beads per necklace. To free up your hands, use needle nose pliers to pinch off the opposite end of the necklace- preventing beads from rolling away.
3. Tie each end of the necklace securely to the bamboo skewers. Again, use the needle nose pliers to protect the exposed end you are not working on.

4. Repeat steps one, two, and three for each of the additional candy garlands you add to the cake topper. Space each candy necklace to your liking. There’s about 3/4″ between each necklace in the photo.
5.Adorn cake with the candy garland cake topper. For a fun presentation when serving, garnish each piece of cake with a sprinkle of leftover candy beads.

6. Have an extra skewer and necklace leftover for party crafting? Upgrade the fancy level of the topper by  following the instructions above. This time, however, use a shared center skewer with two outer skewers to create a larger, festival-like topper.

 Thanks to Best Friends for Frosting for link to cake topper. http://bestfriendsforfrosting.com/2013/07/diy-candy-necklace-cake-topper/
CANDY NECKLACE GARLAND!

Photo from Martha Stewart

A party table draped in candy-what could be sweeter? To make a sugary swag, cut through the elastics of candy necklaces, and remove a few rings from each end. Tie necklaces together to make a circle that will reach around your table. Attach to tablecloth with safety pins, securing from underneath. 

Enjoy!