My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Dessert Table Feature

This will be a short post as I only have a second to blog today, but I couldn't resist sharing these photos from Kim of TomKat Studio of her daughter Kate's fairy princess garden party. I love all of the details. It looks like Kate was indeed a princess on her special day!
Photography by Vicki Lynn.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes - Passover

Last night was the first night of Passover and we hosted a seder for over 20 family and friends. For our family, Passover is a big deal. Grandpa leads the seder and we read the Haggadah from beginning to end and sing Passover songs throughout the night. This was our first time hosting and my boys were really excited to play host to their cousins! They decorated matzo covers, handmade place settings, and lots of Passover signs throughout our home. My older son named himself chief assistant of decor {anyone who knows him will totally get this!} and designed Passover signs for our front door...not sure what the neighbors will think about this! We used a pink and chartreuse color palette since it is vibrant and complements our china. For table centerpieces, we used floral arrangements with gorgeous sweet pea, ranunculus and anemones. It smelled minty and fresh and instantly brought a touch of spring into our home. We ate lots of haroset, brisket, apricot-farfel stuffed capons, and kugel. Tonight is the second seder so I'm off to get ready again, but I just wanted to give you a peek into our home on the holidays. Enjoy!

Getting the china ready...

Lots of flowers...

Cutting the flowers...

Flowers starting to come together...

Sweet pea, ranunculus, anemones..just beautiful!

My older son getting ready for the Seder by reading his Passover book...

Placecards and Passover signs made by my kids...

Matzo covers made by my kids...

The full table (my older son insisted that the napkins be placed on the chair, instead of the traditional place on or next to the plate) ...

Monday, March 29, 2010

School Inspired Baby Shower

Whitney Smith of Whitney Smith Photography and her friend Britney sent me some pictures of an amazing baby shower they created for their school teacher friend Emily (aka Mrs. Moulton). Whitney and Britney really did their homework when they planned this school-inspired party. The shower included lots of cute details including a chalkboard menu, lunch-sack sandwiches, cafeteria lunch trays, a composition guest book, milk and cookies, and pb&j bars. Whitney and Britney even arranged for Mrs. Moulton's students to write advice for the mom-to-be {such a cute idea!} Looks like these gals definitely passed the test for party planning with this fabulous shower! Thanks for sharing Whitney!

Friday, March 26, 2010

DIY Easter Egg Decorating

Easter is next weekend and many kids are getting excited for the fun tradition of dying eggs. More recently, some crafty divas have found creative ways to decorate eggs that will get adults excited for this widely celebrated tradition as well. Above are a few of my favorite easter egg decorating ideas. I adore the origami eggs with the egg nest made from origami scrap paper. I love the idea of these decorated eggs piled on paper nests along a long Easter brunch buffet. You can also simply use scrapbooking paper or beautiful gift wrap paper from your local craft store and apply the same technique. Since you will be blowing out the eggs to make these decorative eggs, they will last forever and you can use them each Easter and can also incorporate them as an ornament during Christmas. Enjoy!

Origami eggs by Martha Stewart, Tie-dye eggs from Barefoot Kitchen via
Ohdeedoh, Faberge Eggs by Martha Stewart, Silk tie eggs by Monogram Momma.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crafty Yarn Egg Decor

Holiday season is yet again around the corner. Yesterday, I blogged about Passover recipes. Today I'm here to share a fabulous craft idea that I saw on Family Fun for Easter. These crafty yarn eggs would be perfect for dressing up your Easter buffet spread. They can be hung from the ceiling like the picture below or they can be piled together to create a centerpiece for your Easter table. While it may take a little time for this diy project, I think the results will be well worth it!

Thin cotton yarn
Craft glue
Wax paper
Clothes hanger


1. For each egg, cut twenty 3-foot-long strands of cotton yarn and blow up a balloon to a 6- to 8-inch diameter. Mix equal parts of glue and water in a shallow disposable container.

2. Cover your work area with newspaper and a sheet of wax paper. Hold a strand of yarn by one end, dip it into the glue mixture, then wrap it around the balloon. Repeat with the other strands, randomly overlapping them and tucking in loose ends, until the balloon is evenly covered.

3. Using the clothespin, suspend the balloon from the clothes hanger and let it dry overnight. (Cover the area below it with newspaper to catch drips.) Once the egg is completely dry, carefully poke a hole in the balloon, then pull it away from the string as it deflates. Hang your finished egg with ribbon or yarn.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Passover Desserts

I'm dusting off my fine china this week in preparation for the holiday Passover. I'll be hosting the first seder for my family and I'm currently working on my dessert menu. Now let's be honest...desserts for Passover don't tend to excite people. The fact that you can't use flour during Passover makes recipe development for this holiday quite challenging. Luckily, Smitten Kitchen did a round up of 17 flourless passover dessert ideas that has me very excited for Passover desserts this year. I'm especially loving her family's lighter-than-air chocolate cake and the chocolate caramel matzo crunch from David Lebovitz, which he adapted from Marcy Goldman's book. Check out all 17 recipes here. Hopefully, these recipes will get you excited to get in the kitchen for Passover, too. I'll be back to show you some behind the scenes shots of us getting ready for Passover!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Guest Dessert Table Feature

We're busy today working on some events and projects at Amy Atlas Events, but I thought I would share some gorgeous photos from Juli Stertern-Gill of Sweet Cupcakes and Treats of Victoria. I am swooning over the cakes in Juli's cake gallery. With spring just around the corner {it is over 70 in New York today}, these pictures are perfect for spring inspiration. I keep saying it, but I am getting the most wonderful submissions from the ladies down under. I'm going to have to plan a trip there to meet with some of these lovely ladies! Thank you Juli!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Baking Away...

I'm a huge fan of the guys from Baked. I posted their amazing sweet and salty caramel cake here a few months ago. Their book is filled with modern takes on nostalgic desserts. Today is my husband's birthday and he made a special request for red velvet cake. I'll be taking a crack at their recipe today. Luckily, I have the help of my little pastry sous chef sons! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Recipe courtesy of Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

One 8-inch cake

Red Hot Velvet Cake Layers:
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons red gel food coloring (see note below)
1/4 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Red Hots (cinnamon imperials) candies


Red Hot Velvet Cake Layers:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and boiling water. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Stir the buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture. Sift the flour and salt together into another medium bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, to the egg mixture in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until incorporated. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to the batter and stir until just combined.

4. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Cinnamon Frosting:

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

Assemble the cake: Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups of the frosting on top. Top with the next layer, trim and frost the top, then add the third layer. Put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with the Red Hots and refrigerate again for 15 minutes.

Note: Resist the urge to add extra food coloring to this recipe to achieve a redder cake. Subtlety is a virtue here. The purpose is not to turn the cake or the tongues of the cake eaters a radioactive color. The red in this recipe should be sly, smoky, bricklike, and restrained.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bright & Fun Zebra Patterned Dessert Bar

I'm back today to show some pics of the dessert table we created for a really sweet client of mine. As I said yesterday, the lighting was really tough for me to capture good photos. I wish you would have seen this in person - - it was bright and festive and so, so fun. Anyhow, you can get a sense of what it looked like. The dessert table included pink and orange whoopie pies, rice crispy treats, zebra pattern cookies, and lots of other pink and orange zebra patterned treats. We also had little "a" cookies and "a" cupcakes made for the Bat Mitzvah gal since her name started with an a. There was also a popcorn bar with pink and orange candy toppings! We had a lot of fun creating this table for this very sweet family. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Behind the Scenes - Constructing a Dessert Table

Last week, I showed a little glimpse of a table we were working on for one of my clients. The event was for a young girl's Bat Mitzvah and the event decor for her party included a zebra pattern and bright citrus colors. We incorporated the pattern and colors from the event decor into the dessert bar. I'm back today to show you some more behind the scenes shots of what goes into installing a dessert table. Unfortunately, the lighting at the venue was dark and my photography skills don't quite do the photos justice, but you can get the idea! I'll show some shots of the complete table tomorrow, but again, keep in mind that the lighting was really off in the pictures!

We did a mock-up of the dessert bar in my office (sans desserts) a few days before the event...

This was a test of what our popcorn bar would look like...

An assembled zebra patterned candy bar...

A custom zebra patterned goody bag...

This is a shot of the amazing desserts. At this point, we were on site.

More shots of zebra patterned desserts...

Lots of popcorn cups for the popcorn bar...

My staff installing the popcorn bar...

A shot from the second floor of the venue. This picture shows my staff tidying up after the dessert bars are ready.

Be back tomorrow with some more shots!
Back to Top