Monday, August 29, 2011

Lavender and Lemon Tea Party

On one of my trips to England I was able to go in May for an Art Study Abroad.  During our free time on the weekend, we decided to visit Hampton Court Palace.  While walking the Palace grounds my friend Krystal and I watched as some children danced around in beautiful spring colored dresses braiding the Mayflower pole. 
It instantly brought back childhood memories of second grade where we had the opportunities to make flowered wreaths for our hair with pretty ribbons tied to the end, then we danced around in our school uniformers learning how to braid the Mayflower pole.  It was during that time in my life that I was first introduced to Tea Parties and learning more about the Victorian Era.  My mother even designed for me, the most beautiful victorian bedroom to help inspire me. 

So this Tea Party is a traditional little English tea party, that was inspired by spring in England.  I used lots of fresh lavender, lemons, and beautiful little bird dishes to create the feeling of spring! The sign was designed to have a loose ribbon boarding on the edges to bring out the look and feel of the mayflower pole.  I wanted this to have a romantic feel about it, so I placed little jars in the trees with candles and loose ribbons to bring carry on the Mayflower theme.  Each cafe table was set with flowers and tea, with tea plates and cups, making it an intimate tea party.  Since the tables were on the petit side, I decided to set up a buffet table and let everyone get there own treats.  

I served cucumber sandwiches with a lemon herb cream cheese.  Fresh scones with a lemon curd and lavender clotted cream.  Little tea cookies (I cheated and made sugar cookies which is not traditional) lemon sugar cookies with a lavender glaze, lavender macaroons with a lemon filling.  Little rose vanilla tea cakes with a coconut frosting, and some other tea cakes from Mrs Backers Bakery to add variety. Last but not least, my friend Tracy made a very moist lavender lemon cake that you can find HERE.

 We spent the evening with good friends and family, gathered together as the sun set, enjoying each others company and taking some pictures in the fading light of my pregnant friend, cousin, and sister who have all been blessed with little girls!  Looks like I have all the more reasons to continue doing tea parties!

Because it was so late, the pictures didn't turn out as clear as I had hoped.  So they got stylized a bit. The last one stylized though was too dark, but thats the three little girls on the way in order of due date!

Recipe for Rose Petifores are found HERE!
Recipe for Lemon and Lavender cookies HERE!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Soda Shop Cupcake Party

What could be more fun then having an exciting Soda Pop Cupcake party in the middle of Summer!  I wanted to bring back some of the old 50's Soda Shoppe favorites like Purple Cows, Limeaide, and Orange Dream but give it a modern twist!
The table was simple with Orange Dream, Limeaide, Purple Cow cupcakes and traditional drinks with soda pop and ice cream!

The bright, intense colors add an exciting back drop to the natural outdoor scenery.  The black and white stripes creates a modern twist to the black and white checkered floor of a 50's style dinner.
 The cake plates were simple white pots with black and white stripped plates placed on top, all items were purchased at Ikea. Each signs was placed in cute frames to make the labels pop!
The amazing cupcakes were moist and intense with flavor, you can find the recipes HERE!  The cupcakes look a little different because I decided to try them out and make them a little cuter for the party.  The Orange Dream cupcake was pipped with orange stripped frosting,  The Limiade cupcakes were given each a little lime wedge. The Purple Cow, which is a grape and vanilla inspired cupcake, was made with icing and homemade fondant that you can find the recipe on Purple Chocolat Home HERE.  I tried to make the top look like a cow, but it didnt work out as well as I had hoped!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Soda Shop Cupcakes

Nothing screams 50's Soda Shops flavors like Purple Cow, Limeade, and Orange Dream drinks. So I thought to take a little twist on things, why not make them into cupcakes.  I used the same recipe that I found off of Annies Eats for her Coca Cola cupcakes found HERE, and then I adapted my recipes from her original one.  Here it what was done differently...

Soda Shop Cupcakes

Yields:10-12 Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
2 C. All Purpose Flour ( I used Cake Flour)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 C. Sugar
8 T. Unsalted Butter at room temperature
1 Large Egg
1/2 C. Buttermilk
3/4 C. Soda Pop
2 tsp. Flavoring (Grape, Orange or 1 Lime juiced)
2 tsp. Vanilla (I used Clear Mexican Vanilla)
1 tsp. Food Coloring

For the Frosting:
2/3 C. Heavy Cream
3-4 T. of Powdered Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line  a muffin pan with foil or paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir together and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter.  Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.   Mix in the egg until incorporated.   In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, Soda Pop, flavoring, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.  (This mixture may look disgusting and/or curdled – it’s okay!)

Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture on low speed, alternately with the liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the whipped cream topping, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin whipping on medium speed, slowly adding the confectioners’ sugar and gradually increasing the speed to high as the cream holds soft peaks.  Whip until the cream holds stiff peaks, being careful not to overbeat.  Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the cupcakes and add whatever garnish you want.  I added straws when I first made this recipe, but at the party you will notice that i did fondant on the Purple cow, Limes on the Limeade, and orange swirls on the Orange Cream.  
Purple Cows I used a grape soda pop and grape extract.  You will have to go to a speciality store to get that, I actually used extract for candy and they turned out tasting just like a purple cow.

Limeade I used one fresh lime and Key Lime Soda Pop.  You can also use sprite and two limes if you cant find a lime soda.

Orange Cream I used an Orange extract and Orange Dream Soda pop.  

To View Soda Shop Cupcake Party click HERE!

Picked up by Cupcakes Take the Cake, which you can view HERE!