Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Easter weekend

shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableBeautiful strawberry angel food cake (with a pudding whipped cream frosting) 

I was really photographically challenged last weekend. I couldn't get my photos right, at all. They were over-exposed, out of focus, I was really struggling with my new camera. Uh. I just need lots of time with lots of practice.

Also, toddlers are very difficult to capture photos of. Juliet looked absolutely adorable in her Easter dress from her aunt Chris but I couldn't get a great shot of her in it (with my Canon 7D). For the best photo I took of her all weekend check out my Instagram.

We spent the weekend in North Dakota with Erik's family. I was a bit nervous about the 6.5 hour drive with Juliet but we've done it before and it usually goes well. Luckily, Juliet was really awesome driving both ways, happy and sweet.

As always, Erik's mom, Karen, had a lot of delicious food (and way too much of it!). I am ready for a green smoothie tomorrow morning.
shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableKaren always makes a fish dinner on the Friday before Easter. We had pan-fried walleye with butter noodles (with fried bread crumbs), corn on the cob, garlic bread and cucumber salad. Carbs on carbs. Erik ate that entire plate.
shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableThe weather was really nice over the weekend and Juliet enjoyed playing outside. She mostly ran around and even though these few pictures are not awesome (in terms of focus and lighting) I just love the sentiment behind them. They capture how happy my little girl was last weekend; arms out, running with the breeze in her hair. shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableJuliet was spoiled as usual by grandma and this pink tractor (with a trailer, no less!) was one of her gifts from the Easter bunny.
shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableI didn't get a chance to take photos of our Easter meal but it was great and included a balsamic, maple syrup and dijon mustard glazed ham, au gratin potatoes, beans, buns, noodle salads, baked rice, and a ton of desserts. Karen had homemade strawberry ice cream which was delicious.

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shabby chic beach wedding dessert table

shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableIt's been a while since I've featured a dessert table and this one, submitted by Josephine of Sugar Canvas, was too lovely to pass up.

Sugar Canvas is dedicated to the design, planning and creation of dessert buffets in the Cayman Islands. 
shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableThis gorgeous dessert table was the centerpiece in the wedding that was held on a private beach on the 7 Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. The colors were mint, peach and ivory with a touch of gold.

It couldn't be more lovely. I am a major lover of anything shabby chic.
shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableThe bride and groom opted for the focus of the desserts to be fairly simple such as cookies, brownies, coconut cream and vanilla cupcakes as well as donut holes. shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableRibbon cakes are so gorgeous and I love the light peach color against the mint cake stand. shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableThis is a great idea for any brunch or dessert table. Simply buy store-bought donut holes, and add them to a skewer or lollipop stick. shabby chic beach wedding dessert table shabby chic beach wedding dessert table shabby chic beach wedding dessert table shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableI am a big fan of the burlap and lace details throughout this table. shabby chic beach wedding dessert table shabby chic beach wedding dessert table shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableMini pie pops with all different flavors. I'm hungry. Also, I adore that mini heart bunting. shabby chic beach wedding dessert tableThis table is stunning and I'm sure it was a special treat for all the guests. Thanks so much to Josephine of Sugar Canvas for sending it my way.

Vendor credits:

Hand Painted Mason Jars: The Shabby Chic Wedding
Printable Food Labels: Sunshine And Pop
Linens, Table Rental, Backdrop Set Up, Flowers: Celebrations Ltd Cayman
Sweets Styling, Monogram Sugar Cookies, Custom Cupcake Toppers, Pie pops and Doily Cake Bunting : Sugar Canvas Cayman
Two Birds Cake Topper: DoTheDeco
Catering: Kirk Market
Love Is Sweet Banner: Franny Chicago
Cupcake Wrappers: Brightsoslight
Photography: Kenroy Lumsden

Monday, April 14, 2014

Carrot cake sandwich cookies

carrot cake cookie sandwichesI love cookie sandwiches. I know I've mentioned that multiple times before. And these carrot cake sandwich cookies are one of my faves. They are moist, not too sweet and totally delicious. Perfect for spring, perfect for Easter, perfect for anytime.

Juliet absolutely LOVED the carrot cake cookies, she had one before I added the frosting and devoured it faster than I've ever seen her eat anything. Then I tried one and I got it.
carrot cake cookie sandwichesIt took me about 45 minutes to take the photos for these cookies because it was my first time shooting with my new Canon 7D and I was getting so frustrated. The settings are all in different places and I was having a hard time getting a good shot because I didn't know how to make the adjustments with exposure and focus that I needed.
carrot cake cookie sandwichesI'm pretty sure these cookies toppled over right after I clicked the shutter for this photo

My mom would love these cookies, she loves carrot cake. I took this batch to work today but just realized I better save a couple for her!

Carrot cake sandwich cookies (recipe adapted via Cooking Light)

Ingredients

2 cups shredded carrot (I used organic baby carrots and shredded them in my food processor with the grater attachment)
2/3 cups packed brown sugar, divided
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine shredded carrots and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar in a bowl, toss to coat. Place carrot mixture in a fine mesh sieve; let stand to drain for 10 minutes. Discard liquid.

Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium microwave, safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds or until melted. Add oil, rind, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; stir with a whisk until well-combined. 

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, remaining brown sugar (about 1/2 a cup), cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking soda in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. 

Add carrot mixture and butter mixture; stir until just combined. drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets; gently pat down to flatten. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes or until set. Remove pans from oven; let stand for 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on a wire rack. 

Combine cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. 

Add powdered sugar, beat at low speed 1 minute or until well-combined. Spread about 1 tablespoon icing on flat side of cookie; top with another cookie, flat side down. Repeat with remaining cookies.