Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog post: glittering lemon sandwich cookies and a free holiday download

Remember these adorable glittering lemon sandwich cookies I posted on Friday? I baked them over the weekend with my sister and packaged them up as holiday gifts.  The cookies were a bit time-consuming because you have to roll a bunch of tiny little balls but they are so worth it; lemony, crumbly, sugary and delicious. And so, so cute! 





Lindi of Love the Day designed this gorgeous holiday tag. They are perfect for attaching to any wrapped gift.  Lindi is offering the tags for all you lovely readers as a free download.  Click here to download the label (these are perfect for anyone wrapping gifts at the last minute this week!). 

Also, be sure to check out Love the Day's Etsy shop for adorable printable collections.

The above boxes are from Cooks of Crocus Hill and I finished it off with lace, a white ribbon and twine.




Thanks so much to Love the Day for the free download!

Happy holidays!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guest post: holiday cake with a touch of spice and lots of charm

I am very excited about today's guest post for many reasons; it is by Lisa of With Style and Grace who is incredibly sweet and very savvy in the kitchen, the post includes a delicious (and light) pecan spice cake recipe and who doesn't love adorable mini bunting?

Mini bunting is all the rage in the blogosphere right now and Lisa found a unique way to make it the perfect cake topper for your Thanksgiving dessert.  She included a very easy to follow tutorial in this post.

Lisa and I met a few weeks ago when she was in Minneapolis traveling with her husband on business. We had a fabulous champagne lunch with great conversation. Lisa's blog, With Style and Grace blog is a favorite of mine, it contains daily content all about baking and parties. 

All photo credits to Lisa of With Style and Grace.

As told by Lisa:

If your mother-in-law is anything like mine, master of all pies, there’s no competing. This year, add a touch beauty to your dessert table with this Pecan Spice Cake and charming DIY bunting. Whether you’re playing hostess or volunteered to bring the dessert, you’re friends and family will be impressed, even your mother-in-law.

Attention: Go ahead and leave your fat pants tucked away because this recipe is waistline friendly.

Pecan Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Frosting recipe adapted by Ina Garten via House Beautiful

Cake Ingredients

Cooking spray
2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 chopped pecans, toasted

Frosting Ingredients

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

2 (8-inch) round cake pans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (or butter if you prefer). Line bottoms of the pans with wax paper; coat with cooking spray (or butter). Dust each pan with 1 teaspoon flour.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Mix well.

In a large mixing bowl, beat medium-high speed 1 cup of brown sugar and ½ cup butter until light and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until combined. Fold in 1/3 cup pecans. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes on wire racks. Invert cake layers onto racks; cool completely. Discard wax paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Spread about ¾ cup frosting evenly over one layer; top with second layer. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans (optional).



Bunting Materials

Fabric
Cardboard
Needle & thread
Wooden skewers
Messaging optional
Alphabet stamps
Ink pad

Bunting Instructions

Cut the cardboard in the shape of a triangle. Using a pencil, trace the triangle cutout on fabric. Depending on the width of the cake &/or the desired message, trace 6-8 triangles. Following the penciled triangles, cut fabric. With the needle & thread, one by one, stitch fabric triangles together, leaving enough room at both ends to tie onto the wooden skewers. Once you have your messaging, stamp the letters onto the fabric triangles. Tie the ends of the thread to the wooden skewers and insert into the cake. Voila!



Thanks so much to Lisa for being a guest blogger on Eat Drink Pretty! I can't wait to test out this cake recipe, perhaps I will bring this as my dish to Thanksgiving this year.

Don't forget to visit Lisa's blog With Style and Grace!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Real wedding: Katie and Drew, September 2010

I may be biased but this is, by far, my favorite real wedding post yet.  My sister Katie and her husband got married on September 3rd in an intimate, outdoor ceremony on the banks of the Mississippi River in Hastings, MN.

A lot of people think/assume that my sister-in-law Nikki of Lovely Scribbles and I influenced the look and feel of this wedding, but in reality the vision and everything coming together was 100% my sister.  She wanted to make this wedding her own and she did exactly that.  Every detail was DIY and budget-conscious.  She did an amazing job.

My sister was going for a black and white picnic/chic wedding.   She wanted it to be small and intimate, close family and friends only.  Since Katie and Drew's day I have a special place in my heart for small weddings. There is something so sweet and...I don't know, organic-feeling than larger weddings?

Photo credits to Sarah Elizabeth Photography, unless otherwise noted.
{Photo credit: Eat Drink Pretty}

{Photo credit: Eat Drink Pretty}
Katie was a calm and happy bride the entire day.  I was impressed with how relaxed she was and how much she really just took in the day.  The ceremony was outdoors and unfortunately the weather was not the best.  In Minnesota you never know; it could be 95 in early September or cold and rainy.  Well, we got cold weather but not only that, really harsh winds.  Wind-advisory style winds.  And a very gray, cloudy sky. I'll admit, I was freaking out internally about the weather.  I wanted the day to be perfect for my sister and I wanted her dream of an outdoor ceremony to come true.

But we all know you can't control the weather so we made the best of it and everything ended up being just fine.  It was chilly but we still took tons of outdoor photos and we just succumbed to the wind as it blew my sister's hair all over the place.  The wind had no chance, my sister was one of the most beautiful brides I've ever seen, hair wind-blown and all.



The ceremony and reception venue was at Schaar's Bluff in Hastings, MN.  It sits on top of the Mississippi River with open prairies, fields, woods and flowers.  It is a stunning venue and very unique.

Katie and Drew took photos in the field surrounded by lush greenery.
One of the most special things about this wedding was that Katie wore my wedding dress.  She added the black sash, which I loved.  The white flower in her hair is from Etsy seller Rustic Cowgirl.


Katie and Drew's programs were DIY.  Thinking it was going to be warm on their wedding day, they made fan programs.  The programs were made with a mason jar stamp and a heart cutout.  They were awesome and matched the invitations.
I made this heart garland to use as a prop in photos.
Light, airy baby's breath bouquets made by Nikki of Lovely Scribbles.  Katie bought baby's breath from Sam's Club for $8 per bunch.  These are very easy to make, you simply need baby's breath, floral tape and ribbon.

Nikki also was the day of coordinator and executed the details including the set-up, ceremony and tear down flawlessly.
Katie and Drew kept the wedding party small (that's me on the far left).  Katie's best friend, Dana was the Matron of Honor and her husband Dan was the Best Man.  Drew's brother was the groomsman on the far right.



{Photo credit: Eat Drink Pretty}


Katie and Drew made tons of bunting for their wedding.  One strand hung from the ceremony arch.



It was a bit chilly for lemonade and iced tea...but again, Katie and Drew were assuming their wedding day would be warm.  The drink stand was located near the ceremony.
Katie used mason jars throughout the decor.  Medium-sized jars hung from white ribbon on the ceremony chairs with baby's breath.




A very happy couple.




The cutest little flower girl, Sidney.  She is Dana and Dan's (the Matron of Honor and Best Man) daughter.  She wore a black and white dress with an adorable headband to match.
It's little Sidney's one year birthday today!!!


Katie rented black and white gingham linens from Midway Party Rental.  Centerpieces were large mason jars filled with baby's breath.  The table numbers were in a white frame from Ikea for .99 cents each.
A large chalkboard displayed the menu which was casual picnic food catered by Green Mill.  The meal was delicious.
Guests found their seat with name cards wrapped around mason jars.  The jars were used to drink from and they held a note from the couple that informed the guests of a donation made to the MS Society.
Delicious cupcakes from Rivertown Cakes located in Hastings, MN.  These cupcakes were as tasty as they were and gorgeous.
Katie asked Nikki to paint cake toppers to match her and Drew's outfits.  They are a little mini bride and groom!  So cute.

{Photo credit: Eat Drink Pretty}


Carrot cake cupcakes with a tiny red heart (the little red heart was seen throughout the decor, including the invites and programs).

Nikki did the calligraphy for the placecards and table numbers.
A s'mores table for later in the night (the venue had a bonfire pit).
Katie loved the idea of an interactive photo wall so Drew had his dad create one.  I know photobooths/walls with mustache sticks may seem overdone but guests go crazy for it.  Everyone had so much fun taking photos in this all night.
The clouds cleared up later in the evening and the sky was a lovely blue.  Isn't the venue gorgeous?
My sister and I.  I absolutely love this picture of us.
Katie changed into a short, white dress after the ceremony.
S'more time!
A perfect couple had a perfect wedding, so happy for them.  Congrats to Katie and Drew!!!