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Friday, February 26, 2010

Guest Dessert Feature

Wow, I am doing a lot of these guest feature tables! I'm getting so many pictures from all over the world so it's hard not to share when I see good inspiration. This guest feature comes from Stefanie of Richter-ology from Austin, Texas. Stefanie created a sweet soiree for her family and friends using paperie items from awesome paperie gals Tom Kat Studio and Posh Pixel Studio, damask paper goods from Target, and red velvet cupcakes from her local bakery. Stefanie's table is yet another example of how you can create simple yet elegant parties using store bought supplies and sweets. My fave detail - the decorated label under the hershey kisses, which you can find here! Although that detail probably took Stefanie a little time to assemble, it is a surprise that her guests must have loved! Thanks for sharing, Stefanie!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Art on Paper - Coasters and More

Kamal of Kamal - Art on Paper sent me an email about her fabulous letterpress designs and I am absolutely swooning over every image on her site. Kamal creates gorgeous, modern designs for coasters, invites, and wrapping paper. All of her products are printed on eco-friendly 100% cotton paper, post consumer craft envelopes, and chipboard. From peacock feathers (my favorite), to geometrics and botanicals, Kamal's designs are fresh and will leave you completely inspired to find a reason to throw a party. Here is a sampling of her work. I can't wait to see more from Kamal!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Guest Dessert Table Feature

I am still getting back into the swing of things, so I thought I'd share another guest dessert table feature. This one comes from Evelyn of Sweet Stylings Event Design from Canada. Evelyn emailed me and told me that she was inspired by me to create her own dessert table business - aww, thanks! Evelyn created a simple, but really cute, dessert table for a baby shower. You can see that Evelyn used materials that are readily available and easy to assemble. For example, she created height by using wrapped gift boxes and picture frames. How easy is that? This is the perfect example of a sweets spread that one can make on their own for a small intimate gathering of friends. Thanks for sharing, Evelyn!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feature Dessert Table from Little Lovely

I'm wrapping up my vacation and am really thankful for lots of quality time with my family and rest! While poring through emails, I found an email from Khali of Little Lovely from Australia. She created a roaring prehistoric dinosaur party for her 2 year old son Hunter. I love the bunting on the cake, the dinosaur feet, dinosaur cupcake toppers, and egg straws. Khali did everything herself and even used simple balloons as the vertical element for her table. Way to go, Khali! Check out more pictures of the party here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I'm taking some much needed down time with my family for the next few days. We're off to somewhere warm and sunny, but I will be back next week with lots of great ideas and tips. Are you going away for President's week? If so, where to? Enjoy the week! xoxo

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Segment on The Knot Live

Guess where we were today?

That's right.... The! We were there for the season premiere of the the Knot Live to show their brides how to make a dessert table. You can see the segment on their site tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some behind the scenes shots of us at their office today. It was a lot of fun to shoot the segment with the Knot crew!

Here is a picture of me with the Knot editors...

Knot fashion editor getting ready for the segment...

Setting up the lighting...

Me and Michael Russo of Roses n Lollipops.

Me and the dessert bar...

Check out the Knot Live to see the segment tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Recipes

To continue preparation for Valentine's Day, I was on the radio this morning with Martha Radio. It is chocolate week at Martha Radio and I shared my tips for putting together a chocolate dessert bar for Valentine's Day at home. We spoke about trends in the dessert world, crafty ways to dress up your dessert table, how to make a dessert bar for less, and fun ways to use candy in a dessert display. I also shared some fool-proof recipes that I have made before for Valentine's Day. We spoke about a chocolate molten cake and a one-bowl brownie recipe that will make you (and your loved one) weak in the knees. Here are the recipes so, you too, can make them at home!

Recipes courtesy of

Chocolate Cake with Molten Center
• 1/2 cup butter
• 4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
• 2 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Butter and flour four 4 ounce ramekins or custard cups.

2. In the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and the chocolate until chocolate is almost completely melted.

3. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until light colored and thick.

4. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter. While beating, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour and mix until just combined.

5. Divide the batter between the four molds and bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 6 to 7 minutes. The centers of the cakes will still be quite soft. Invert cakes on serving plates and let sit for about 15 seconds, then unmold. Serve immediately with fresh whipped cream, if desired.

One Bowl Brownies
• 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
• 3/4 cup butter
• 2 cups white sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Microwave chocolate and butter or margarine in large bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter or margarine is melted.

3. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts.

4. Spread in greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 35 minutes (do not overbake).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Behind the Scenes - WPIX Valentine's Day Segment

It's only 9am and we've already had a full day. I was up bright and early (1 am) to get ready for a live Valentine's Day segment with Tamsen Fadal, the anchor from WPIX (Channel 11). I shared my top tips on creating a Valentine's dessert table at home. Here is the WPIX clip of the segment so you can see the tips yourself!

Below are some behind the scenes pictures of us getting ready for the segment!

The studio...

Prepping ruffled buttercream cupcakes for the segment...

Prepping the table...

Here I am with my hair and makeup gal Val Velez. She rocks!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet and Salty Cake from Baked NYC

We're getting ready for Valentine's Day at Amy Atlas Events and we've been searching our favorite recipes to share with you. I happen to love the combination of sweet and salty and I was looking for a great recipe to satisfy everyone's sweet {and salty} tooth. Lucky for us, the amazing guys at Baked NYC , Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, are sharing their famous Chocolate Cake with Caramel Ganache Icing and Fleur de Sel with us today! How AMAZING does that cake sound! I honestly can eat this cake all day long! If you haven't had a chance to get to Baked NYC, then you need to plan a trip!

Recipe excerpted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

Makes one 8-inch 3-layer cake

* 3/4 cup cocoa powder
* 2/3 cup sour cream
* 2 2/3 cups cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
* 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup dark brown sugar
* 3 large eggs
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
* 1/2 cup Caramel with Salt (see recipe below)
* Whipped Caramel Ganache Icing (see recipe below)
* Fleur de sel, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line each pan with a parchment paper round, butter parchment paper and flour; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, 1 1/4 cups hot water, and sour cream; set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

3. In another large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth and it appears to create strings inside the bowl, about 7 minutes. Add both sugars and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and mix again for 30 seconds. Add flour mixture alternating with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

5. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely.

6. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Using about 1/4 cup of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cake, allowing some of the caramel to soak into the cake. Follow the caramel layer with a layer of about 1 cup of the ganache icing. Place the second layer on top and repeat process with another layer of caramel followed by a layer of ganache icing. Place the remaining layer on top of the second layer bottom side up. Spread entire cake with remaining ganache icing. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

* 1 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
* 1/4 cup sour cream

Caramel With Salt

1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, mix together cream and salt. Bring cream to a boil and cook until salt has dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Carefully add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Whisk in sour cream. Cool, and store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

* 1 pound dark chocolate, chopped
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces, softened but still cool

Caramel Ganache Icing


1. Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.
2. In another small saucepan add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. When the caramel mixture has reached 350 degrees, remove from heat and allow to rest for 1 minute. Add the hot cream to the caramel; stir to combine. Let cool 5 minutes. Place chocolate in the bowl of an electric mixer and pour caramel sauce over chocolate. Let sit 1 minute before stirring from the center until chocolate is melted.
4. Attach bowl to electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Add butter and increase speed to medium-high until mixture is well combined, thickened, and slightly whipped, about 2 minutes.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chocolate Gift Boxes for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so I thought I would share a couple of great chocolate gift box picks just in time for the holiday. I shared these picks with Life and Style Magazine, and they are in this week's issue. My picks were chocolates from Vosges Haut Chocolat and Max Brenner. Receiving either of these gift boxes will make you instantly feel like you were struck by cupid's arrow.

Vosges Haut Chocolat has been the pioneer of combining creamy chocolates with sophisticated flavors like sweet curry, wasabi, and pumpkin seeds. If you're a foodie, you and your loved one will savor every bite of these unexpected flavored truffles. Pair Vosges chocolates with wine or cheese to spice things up even more. And an added bonus..Vosges’s signature packaging is so special that any gal would feel lucky to get their treasured purple box!

Max Brenner's chocolates are another great gift for Valentine's Day. Their bon bon love chocolates are flavored with coconut, mocha, espresso and caramelized pecan. Not only do these chocolates come in an adorable love-themed box, but each delicious bon bon is also artfully decorated. Since the packaging and chocolates are so beautifully decorated, give this to a sweetheart who will appreciate the packaging as much as the taste of the chocolates. The gift box is also a steal at just $12.90!

Now go out and get some chocolates for your loved one!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine's Day Dessert Table Part II

Photographs by Belathee Photography.

I'm back today to show you more pictures of the Valentine's Day dessert table that we created for Better TV. In yesterday's post, you were able to see some of the items on the table like the romantic ruffled buttercream cake, key cupcakes, and "Be Mine" glasses with strawberry milk. In this post, you can see a bubblegum pink macaron tower {my kids loved that dessert}, a scalloped paper cake stand, and custom chocolate bar wrappers. I'll post some do-it-yourself tips on these items soon!

In addition to the "Love is the Key to my Heart" theme, we also included a quilted diamond pattern in the bubblegum pink, pale pink and grey palette. You can see the quilted diamond pattern repeatedly throughout the table including the cupcakes, vessel liners, backdrop, and the scalloped paper cake stand. The color palette really worked with that pattern.

It was a lot of fun putting this table together and a wonderful experience working with the people at Better TV. It's also an incredible learning experience seeing what goes into making a segment. Producing a segment is so different than producing an event or styling a dessert table, and let me tell you, it is a incredible craft. I have so much respect for the behind-the-scenes people that pull the segments together and am fascinated with what they do. I'll have to do a behind-the-scenes of prepping for a tv segment to show you what goes into the production. I have some more upcoming TV to share with you soon so make sure to stay tuned!

A big shout out again to Wiley Valentine, Baked Ideas, and Belathee Photography for contributing to this shoot!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rosanna Cake Stand Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all for participating in the Rosanna cake stand giveaway. There were so many wonderful comments from participants, but we can only pick one winner so congratulations to Stacie of Sprocket Jones. Stacie - we will be in touch with you about the details of getting your beautiful Rosanna Decor Bon Bon cake stand! For everyone else who participated, stay tuned as we will have more giveaways soon!

Valentine's Day Dessert Table

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and what a better time than now to create a dessert bar filled with sweets! We recently made a dessert bar for Better TV and gave their viewers some do-it-yourself tips for making a Valentine's Day spread for a loved one.

Playing off the theme "love is the key to my heart" we included key cupcakes and custom "love is the key to my heart" chocolate bars. We opted for a bubblegum pink, light pink and pale grey color palette instead of the expected pink and red palette. I've wanted to play with those colors for some time and thought Valentine's Day would be the perfect holiday to experiment with the palette. On the table were some delicious goodies including a macaron tower, ruffled buttercream cake, and lots of pink candy! To give it a nostalgic feel, we served strawberry milk in "Be Mine" glasses. The ladies from Wiley Valentine designed the beautiful paperie elements for the table for us and Patti Paige of Baked Ideas created the elegant key cupcakes and heart cookies for us. Annabelle of Belathee Photography stopped by and captured these gorgeous photographs.

As you are getting ready for Valentine's Day...consider making a dessert bar for your loved one instead of giving a simple box of wrapped chocolates. You will certainly get the key to your loved one's heart if you create a dessert bar like the one above! I'll be back tomorrow with more details of the table including the macaron tower and a handmade cupcake stand!

I'll also be back at 12pm EST today to tell you the winner of the sought after Rosanna cake stand giveaway. We had over 865 people enter the contest for our first product giveaway! Be sure to come back at 12pm for the results!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Brooch Bouquets

Amanda Heer of Fantasy Floral Designs sent me these brooch bouquets and I nearly fell off my chair. Apparently, these beautiful brooch bouquets made their way around the blogosphere and somehow I missed it! How beautiful would these be for a vintage style wedding? It is also a great way to incorporate a family heirloom (something old or something borrowed) into your bouquet. Amanda has even made an all blue (for something blue) brooch bouquet. But don't limit these for just weddings...fill your tablescape with these charming bouquets for a lovely brunch, birthday party, or baby shower. The best part...they can be recycled for different parties since they are not real flowers. See more below, including a paper floral bouquet!

On a separate note, don't forget to enter the Rosanna cake stand giveaway. The contest ends tonight at 6pm EST. Over 800 people have entered the contest - have you? I'll announce the winner tomorrow!

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