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
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. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Six (random) things I'm loving lately

Fave things latelyToday's post is a bit random. I was out of town last weekend in DC so I didn't get any time in the kitchen plus I've been without a camera for a few weeks. So I have no new recipes/photos for the ol' blog. I just received my new Canon 7D this week and I am pumped about it! I turned it on for the first time on Wednesday evening and realized I need some serious quality time with the manual because the 7D is a bit different from my old Rebel. I'm super excited to begin shooting with this upgraded camera.

I wanted to do a post on a few of my favorite things lately. The list is random, hence a random post.

So here goes, six random things I'm loving lately:

I recently started using Bare Minerals products. My skin isn't perfect, far from it, I still get acne quite often. It's especially awesome when Juliet points to my face and has "momma has a pimple". While I still have issues, I do think my skin has improved since using Bare Minerals. I use their moisturizer, face wash and this Bare Minerals starter kit. Its natural and much gentler on my skin (and most importantly no icky chemicals).

While I don't like shopping for clothes for myself, I do love shopping for Juliet. I don't go overboard (because Juliet's grandmas and aunts spoil her with cute clothes) but I like finding pretty pieces here and there. I love anything light, lacy, florals, etc for Juliet like this tiered printed maxi dress. It's currently on sale for $18 plus 15% off. Adorable and affordable.

I drank my fair share of champagne in DC and realized that it is totally my favorite (alcoholic) beverage, my signature drink I guess you could say. It's a perfect anytime drink. It's especially great for drinking on a patio (now that's it's spring, yay!) but it's also great for a cocktail hour, sipping with potato chips (seriously), brunch (duh), the list could go on. Have you ever tried Cristalino Cava (it's the best, super delicious and very affordable).

Every Sunday evening I try to remember to make a big batch of quinoa for lunches for the week, but sometimes I forget or run out of time. As a busy working mom, convenience often wins out so I was happy to find this Simply Balanced Farro from Target. It's already cooked so all you need to do is microwave it. I add it to salads and it adds protein and a nice texture. This brand also has cooked beluga lentils that I've been using as well.

Last year I bought my first pair of Toms and I absolutely love them. I love the premise of the company (buy one pair of shoes and they give a pair) and the shoes are so, so comfortable. I recently spied this pretty embroidered pair and I think they may be going in my (online) shopping cart soon.

I am a huge coffee lover. My morning cup of coffee is so dear to me that I'm sad when I drink the last drop (I only drink one cup a day). During pregnancy and in the first few months of Juliet's life I almost totally cut out coffee (with the exception of decaf or half-caf every once in a while). I missed it so much. Wow, how did I cut out coffee? I'm not so sure I will be able to do that next time around. I'm pretty much obsessed with my new Nespresso VertuoLine coffee maker. I also have a Nespresso Pixie which only brews espresso but the new machine brews both espresso and full cups of coffee (using individual capsules). The coffee is rich, silky and has a bit of foamy "crema" with each cup. The machine is beautiful and the coffee delicious. I actually had a friend comment on Facebook that she brings her Nespresso (the smaller Pixie machine) with her on vacation because she won't drink any other kind of coffee.

I've rambled enough, haven't I? I hope you all have a great Friday and weekend. Erik, Juliet and I are heading to a fish fry on Friday evening and then have a packed weekend after that. I hope to get in the kitchen and test out my new camera.

What are you loving lately? Please comment and share.

Disclosure: I was given a Nespresso VertuoLine (seriously awesome!!!!). All opinions are my own.