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4th of July Desserts 2014

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Unlike last year’s 4th of July messy but yummy desserts,”   this year my desserts weren’t awful looking!  Yay!

I made this jello:

Jello cups a

Jello cups 2a

I thought I was clever for choosing something easy like jello, but it took sooo long to make!

First, I made the blue layer and let it set for an hour.

Then I went to make the cream layer, and found that the heavy cream and sour cream had frozen in my refrigerator!

So I had to wait for them to defrost.

Then I made the cream on the stove, which took forever since I had to stir constantly…

Then another hour for it to set.

Then the red layer– yet another hour.

I was kicking myself for choosing this dessert.

Plus I ended up with no time to make another dessert once I was done.

Luckily, in the middle of waiting for the jello layers, I made these:

Pretzels a

Of course, I have a big problem melting chocolate, so I wasn’t thrilled with this one either.

But in the end, even though the desserts drove me crazy, they looked pretty and they tasted good.

(By the way, my husband actually really liked the jello dessert– even though he hates jello and didn’t like the cream part on its own.  Which doesn’t make too much sense, but we’ll go with it.)

Yay!

 

 

Outer Space Party (Part 2)

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The 3 cakes I made for the Outer Space party were not enough (in my mind), so I made more desserts…

Outer Space Cupcakes b

Mini cupcakes and regular size cupcakes, with fondant decorations.

I made a lot of stars because originally, my son asked for a  star party (he’s only 5, so I guess that was exciting for him).

When I asked what kind of cakes he wanted, he said, “Five star cakes!  And star cupcakes, star cookies…”  

I stopped him and suggested an Outer Space party, because I figured the desserts would be more fun…  and of course, I can’t just take the easy route.

So, I also made sugar cookies for the kids to take home:

Outer space cookies aAnd I felt bad for the adults, so I made smaller cookies for everyone to eat at the party:

Space Cookies a

I made “Asteroids,” which were actually banana cake balls:

Cake balls a

And just in case there weren’t enough desserts, I made my just-in-case-brownies:

Space brownies aAnd that was about it– we had enough!!  Phew!

Dessert table a

OK, next party coming soon!!!  :)

 

Outer Space Party (Part 1)

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Wow, I’m really behind with these posts.  It’s been a crazy couple of months… birthday parties, trip to Disney, out-of-town guests, Easter, tornadoes, road trips, 2 graduations, a cruise… well, you get the idea.

Basically, the usual.

OK, let’s start with my son’s Outer Space party.

I decided to make easy cakes this time:

Spaceship cake 2a

This cake was over a foot long.

As easy as it seems, it took a ridiculously long time. 

Luckily, the Happy Birthday cake was a lot easier.

Instead of making it all in fondant, I used buttercream frosting, with fondant decorations:

Space cake a

 

Happy Birthday cake 2a

Then my 5-year-old wanted me to make little chocolate astronauts (I bought a mold), but  I thought they looked funny.  

He insisted.

I made them for him.

Then I hid them, hoping he’d forget. 

But of course, he didn’t forget.

I even distracted him with a bunch of other desserts.

He still asked for them.

I acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about.

He described them.

I gave up.

I took them out of the hiding place and set them out with a quick planet cake I whipped up:

Planet cake a

Yeah, I don’t even want to talk about it.  Lol.

But he was happy with it, so that’s all that matters.  Right???

OK, as long as you know that I didn’t approve of the cake…  Moving right along…

Check out the rocket piñata my husband made (it was over 3 feet long)!

Rocket pinata 2a

And let’s end with the cheese cut out in star shapes.  I was really excited about these, for some reason:

Star cheese a

See you for Part 2!

 

 

Pirate Party (Part 2)

I almost forgot the rest of the Pirate Party desserts!

These are my favorite because they’re much easier than the cakes, and I can make them ahead of time.

And there was no drama, no crying, no dropping anything (well, I did drop one cookie), no freaking out, no throwing food at people… well you get the picture.    :)

I made sugar cookies:

Pirate Cookies a

Chocolate lollipops for the kids to take home.  They were rather large lollipops!

Chocolates a

Cupcakes, of course:

Pirate cupcakes a

I made the fondant toppers.

Little brownie pirate boats:

Pirate brownies a

And pirate marshmallows.  I saw these online and couldn’t resist:

Marshmallow Pirates a

Dipped them in chocolate and drew faces with an edible marker. Super easy and they were the first to disappear!

Well, the boys seemed to enjoy the desserts.

And I did my best to feed the parents when they came to pick them up.

All in all, a success!

Pirate Dessert Table a

FYI- this is a big dining room table…

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Valentine’s Desserts 2014

I disappointed myself this year with Valentine’s Day desserts.

I had great aspirations, but then the usual happened:

My son broke his pinky, my nanny had a birthday, we had 2 Valentine’s day parties, there was a kids’ party we had to go to the prior weekend, the kids were stuck at home for 3 snow days… you know how it goes.

So, without any further excuses, here are my brownie bites:

I piped the chocolate hearts out of chocolate, and made pink buttercream frosting.

I piped the chocolate hearts, and made pink buttercream frosting.

They weren’t cutesy enough for me, since I like very pink and red desserts, with sprinkles.

But no time, so I made brown sugar blondies with Valentine’s M&Ms.

At least the cupcake cups I put them in were cutesy!

Blondies FB

And that was all I did.

But in my defense, I also had to make a birthday cake, so you know…

Mel's cake

For our awesome nanny!

As I always say, I’ll do better next year!  :)

Pirate Party (Part 1)

My son wanted a pirate party, and I figured a pirate ship cake wouldn’t be too difficult.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m insane.

I don’t know why, but it was one of the most difficult cakes yet!

Ship cake 2a

Everything was edible, except the sails. The board it’s on is almost 2 feet long.

I wasn’t completely happy with it, but my son loved it, and that’s all that matters.

Then I made a simple Happy Birthday cake:

Happy Birthday Pirate Cake a

And as I was dreaming up the dessert table, I felt like I needed to make another cake– a treasure chest!  Not sure why, considering I had other desserts, plus 2 cakes already, and the party was for only 13 boys.  

It must be my obsessive baking problem.

Well, at 2am the night before the party, I was kicking myself for having decided on a third cake.  I  had been on my feet for 18 hours straight, and could barely keep my eyes open.

But I made it anyway.

And then my husband told me the treasure chest looked awful.

Yes, he went there.  (Mind you, he was tired too.)

So I picked up the cake and threw it at him.

OK, that was only in my mind.  :)

I actually worked on it some more (because he was right), and made it look somewhat presentable:

Treasure Chest cake a

Although I have to say, when one of the boys arrived, he immediately went to open the treasure chest.  As I gasped, wondering if it would all fall apart before the party even began, he exclaimed, “Whoa! I didn’t realize it was a cake!”  

Nice.  Win for me.  :)

 

Christmas Cookies 2013

I thought I had it all under control this year, but I’m way behind!  So just like last year’s Christmas post, I have no time to write a story.

Now that I think about it, part of this post will be like deja vu, because I tend to make the same cookies each year (with a few different ones, don’t worry).

So, if you didn’t read last year’s post, then you’re fine.

If you did, just act surprised!

Here are the Chocolate Spritz Cookies- with glaze, without glaze, and half-glazed!!

Chocolate Spritz Cookies a

I made chocolate-dipped pretzel crisps to switch it up a little.  Yum!

Chocolate dipped pretzel crisps 2a

Here are my gingerbread men this year:

Gingerbread men 2a

And the Christmas party mix I make for the teachers (I had to make extra because I couldn’t stop sampling.  You know, to make sure it wasn’t getting stale… every few minutes…)

Holiday Chex Mix a

See the tiny marshmallows? I dipped them in chocolate and sprinkles myself!

The low fat Chocolate Chip Biscotti is one of my favorites.  This year I dipped the bottoms in chocolate (yes, this was exciting for me):

Chocolate Chip Biscotti 2a

My really messy 7-layer cookies.  I blame it on my new oven, of course.  :)

7-layer cookies a

I also made very buttery thumbprint cookies:

Thumbprint Cookies a

And now for the ones that are basically the same as usual:

My favorite– Christmas trees!!  I LOVE these- I think it’s the cutest cookie cutter.

Tree Cookies a

Three sizes of snowflakes:

Snowflake Cookies- small a

Small

Snowflake Cookies- medium 2a

Medium

Snowflake Cookies- large a

Large

I always make Almond Biscotti because, well, it’s probably the only Christmas cookie my husband likes.  

I know, it’s insane.

Almond Biscotti a

And finally, the M&M and Oreo Bark:

Oreo Bark a

And I still have to make 2 more, but it won’t happen any time soon, so I’ll have to post them later!

Happy Holidays!!

Tree Cookies 2a

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