Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Friday!!

Hey Everyone~ Just wanted to say HAPPY FRIDAY!!

I will either be in the kitchen baking and decorating, at the volleyball court or at 1 of the 4 soccer games this weekend for my daughter!

Next week I will have a scrumptious pink buttercream recipe for you all for the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness so until then~

Photo Courtesy of Keep Calm Shop on Etsy

Peace, Love & The Weekend~


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

{Recipe} Apple Caramel Buttercream~ Happy Fall!!

Apple Caramel Buttercream spice cupcake
by Scrumptious Swirls
This is a perfect recipe for the start of Fall!!  I made this recipe two different ways~ first way I picked up some fresh apple cider from a local farm.  I live in the suburbs on Philadelphia and we have an excellent farm right up the street which is such a pleasure to have.  I took a cup of apple cider and boiled it down to achieve a syrup to add to the buttercream along with a few other things.   It tasted a bit different than the recipe below but both so scrumptious.  This recipe with the apple butter is very and I know you will enjoy it!

This is what you need~

Apple Butter (I used Musselman's)
6 Caramel pieces
Batch of Buttercream (my recipe click here)
Wooden Popsicle Stick

After you have made you basic buttercream~ (recipe link)

You want to add 2 tablespoons to start of Apple Butter and mix it on medium with your buttercream
Taste it~ if you want to add more applebutter add 1 tablespoon at a time and mix again

When you have reached the desired flavor of your apple buttercream you need to melt your caramel.
Place 6 pieces of caramel in a glass measuring cup to melt in the microwave
Melt it in 30 sec intervals at 50% power ~ stir with your popsicle stick in between (it makes for an easier clean up with the caramel~ toss it instead of soaking and scrubbing a utensil)
When it is all melted quickly add it to your buttercream and mixed on medium or high until blended

You have to get it in the buttercream and mix it quickly because it will harden. When you mix it you will get little chunks of caramel throughout your buttercream!  That is the other super scrumptious thing about this recipe~ candy, icing & cupcake??  Hello!  So good~

Now you have Apple Caramel Buttercream!!

So I will tell you it is hard to pipe it on the cupcake pretty, so I just use a little spatula to spread it~ 
but it really doesn't matter because it is so good.  By far one of the best I have made so far!  

I hope you enjoy and it if you have any questions or comments please let me know!  I would love to hear~

Peace, Love & Buttercream~


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DIY Games for the Apple Party

A quick post on the games we played at the "Apple" party.   It is easy to figure out some games and things to do for older children's parties for example, last year at my daughter 10th birthday party we did a chocolate fondue, played the toilet paper game, rate G truth or dare and the commercial game.  But for 2-3 year olds it is hard to come up some friendly games for them to play.  At least that is my opinion, and I am not into hiring a clown to make balloons and painting their faces.  So what did we do or Emma's apple party??

After thinking for a bit and searching around to keep with theme we had and "Apple Hunt" and played "Put the Apple in the Tree" (my apple version of pin the tail on the donkey ;)).  Fun & Easy!!

Here is what I made and we used~ a barrel full of Apple Yarn Balls

Cute little styrofoam balls that I wrapped in yarn to make yarn apples ;)!!

Where did I get the idea???  From Stephanie from Couture Parties she has so many cute, creative & crafty ideas for children's parties.  If you look at her blog and website, some of her most recent features she had balls of yarn as decor at her son's birthday party which was featured here on the Hostess with the Mostess blog and the recent article she contributed here in the magazine Eco Magazine .

Sorry I don't photos of the children playing I couldn't play and photograph at the same time :)!

What are other young children friendly games that are out there to play at parties?  I would love to hear!!

Love, Peace & Yarn Apples~


Monday, September 20, 2010

{New Post} Apple Birthday Party

First I would like to start off by wishing my Emma Mae a Happy 3rd Birthday!  We celebrated her birthday with an apple theme.  Why apples do you ask? A few reasons....I love baking things with apples and with the Fall season beginning this week the apple season in the northeast east is in full swing!  So my choices were fresh and plentiful!  My Emma loves apples and she reminds me of an apple....she is sweet and is a very colorful child in so many ways.  Which you get with apples so many different variations of them and each one no matter what is so good!!

It was a wonderful little celebration and scrumptious to say the least!  I hope you find inspiration within this post for your child or upcoming party and perfect for any party you are hosting this Fall!

I made the bunting on my computer and I made mini poms to hang in the tree with bakers twine.  Speaking of have you heard or know of The Twinery?  They offer so many great colors & it is perfect for crafting and hanging things like I did above!  I used it on my cake plate too~ see below

Cakes, Cupcakes & Apple Toffee Tarts~

Apple Caramel Buttercream Cupcakes!!! Come back Wednesday for the Recipe.  By far the best buttercream I have created thus far and my new favorite! 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ruffle Cake with what were to be tempered chocolate ruffles.
 I will not lie it did not work for me......honestly I think it was too humid in my kitchen the day I did it.  And at that points I could go and add more icing ruffles because because I would have to make new green and you will never get the same color with coloring buttercream.  So I just chopped it up more and layered it on top with some fondant apples.  And what happen to my pretty ruffles you might ask?  Well, lol with totally disregarding everything that I have read from Amy Atlas about buttercream and outdoor elements the sun was hitting it for about 10 mins and they started to fall!  Thank goodness it was my 3 years olds cake ;)....and I learned my lesson for sure ;)
White Cake with Apple Buttercream covered and decorated with Satin Ice Fondant.  
This cake is one of my favorites that I have made so Emma!  Do you like the stand it is on?? I bought everything at Michaels then my 11 year old painted the letters and I glue her name and apples on it to create a personalized cake plate!

Apple Toffee Tartlettes recipe via Better Homes & Gardens.  So delicious, everyone should bake them!! 

More apple friendly snacks everyone enjoys!  Gingersnap cookies, pretzels & all natural apple juice!

And what are the super fun cones filled with caramel corn in the picture??  They are custom made Kandy Kones from the one and only SuperChick from Celebrate TODAY...the SuperChick Way!  Perfect for any party on the link above to check out her new etsy shop.

And the whole table put together~ 

The birthday girl & her table~ 

and her cake~ 

Did I ever mention how I adore the age Emma just turned?  Three & four are my favorite ages for me!  They are so exciting, they can communicate, they listen (well mine does) they understand their birthdays for sure!  How do I know that?  It was like Christmas morning for her yesterday she had us all up at 6:30 and she was looking for her cupcakes to eat right then and there because it was finally HER birthday!!  LOL...Cupcake Cheers to my little favorite 3 year old!  

Love, Peace & Apples,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ghouls just Wanna Have Fun!!

My 3 favorite holidays are my birthday (yes to me it is a holiday ;)), Halloween then Christmas.  I love the excitement around Halloween & the fall there is just something about it to me!  I have 3 themed rooms in my house....ghosts in the kitchen, pumpkins in the family room, the spiders and my haunted house in my dining room!!  More to come on all of that in the next few weeks ;)  Here is a quick DIY on special treat bags to give your favorite ghouls when they come to spook you in a few weeks!!

What can you get with brown paper snack bags, a fun halloween stamp, some black ink, floral tape, your favorite candy & Martha Stewart Halloween products

Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun Treat Bags!!  

Aren't they so ghouliscious, different & unique!

Here is what to do after you get your goods~

Layout the brown paper bags and stamp them
Open the bags grab at the top to form a spot to wrap your floral tape around (I chose floral tape because it is easy & safe for my trick or treater's) and it looks cute! 
Wrap the floral tape around about 5 or 6 times then cut off the spool and tuck it under the back
Put a sticker on it
Fill with candy!
Then you are ready for the most fun part of the night!!  

Peace, Love & Ghouls just want to have fun!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

{Wave 2} 40th Birthday Celebrations~Fun details

I love making parties more personalized with photo's of the guest of honor. For this party to "Ride the Wave" and to reflect of the last 40 years I created 3 streamers, photo collages & photo banner.

Keepin it Real with photo collages & a guest book for to leave notes for the birthday boy

Photo banner of childhood photos

My favorite was the photo streamers I create on the computer and punch with my scallop 3" punch
that were hung all around room and behind the dessert table

silverware roll-ups that we tied with a party circle and bakers twine from
The Twinery
I also used my twine to tie around the fresh fudge I picked up that morning on the boardwalk with the circles
And speaking of the custom party circles & custom labels....a HUGE THANK YOU! To the bella and fabulous Kim from The TomKat Studio who truly was so genuine simply because she is who she is and went above and beyond what I expected.  Again, I had to get this ready in about 5 days because I had to bring everything with me on vacation when we packed.  I emailed her on monday with the request and they were in my inbox by Thursday!  I just LOVED everything about them and it added such great detail to the whole celebration!  Here are some photo's of the printables~  I even used them on the cake I loved them so much ;)

Custom Printables from The TomKat Studio

I found the beach buckets on the boardwalk earlier that week for under $5 which was great and had my 11 year old go up to the beach so I could fill them with sand to hold the signs that I attached to popsicle sticks!
So all in all, it was a wonderful time and a great theme to celebrate a person's last 40 years with many photo's and friends....we all now life is a huge wave we ride!  

My thoughts are whether young or old it is a great & easy theme to have fun with~ oh and my table runner....was one of my beach towels ;)  Need to keep it real and less to was more for me in the case to enjoy my vacation!!
I didn't think my Mom and I would get all 40 candles lit but we did :)

Peace, Love & I have 3 mores years until I celebrate my 10 year anni of my 30th ;),


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

40th Birthday Celebration at the Beach {Wave 1}


So excited to share!!  This past weekend I threw a surprise birthday celebration for my husband who growing up was a surfer.  The perfect theme that came to my mind was a surf theme to take him back through the last 40 years and to "Ride the Wave" with photos and other little details that I used for the party!   The best part of the evening for me was when he was taking a look at the details & decor and notice the woody on the party circles and the "Hey Jude" (I had to have that because we always sing it to him) and commented how he loved them....then laughed and stated how this was such a perfectly fit theme because he had just rented a surfboard for the next morning for himself!  I was shocked and concerned~ but hey I guess that better then him bringing home a motorcycle to deal with a mid life crisis ;)

Here is what I did, it was very fun & easy!   I needed to keep it simple because  I was hosting it at a house we rented in Ocean City, NJ for 10 days.  So I needed to be creative with getting things down to the house and making it easy for me to transport and store until the night of the celebration.  After all I was on vacation too and this wasn't my house!  With the help of the fun & fabulous party girl Kim from The TomKat Studio I made it just that creative, scrumptious & easy to do.  All which I will share with you!

First up of course the scrumptious sweets...cupcakes, cake & cookies~

The cupcakes & cookies were made by me.  The cake was decorated by myself  BUT I had to order the cake from a local baker called Chester's in Somers Point, NJ.  It made my life and vacation so much easier I couldn't resist.  I called and ordered the cake and asked them to just icing it with no decorations, due to the fact that I wanted to add my surfboard fondant toppers, along with the party circles that Kim from The TomKat Studio designed for me & the brown sugar to give it the "beachy" look.

So the next time you are in a bind and need a cake quickly but want to decorate yourself, remember what I did call the bakery ask them for just the icing so you can do the decorating yourself!

For the cupcakes I made an almond chocolate buttercream and then piped them onto vanilla cupcakes while I was doing that I had toasted up some coconut in the oven @ 375 for about 10 minutes.  After it cooled off I dabbed each cupcake onto the cookie sheet of coconut to cover them.  I chose the coconut to go with the beach theme.

That is what I have for until tomorrow!  Today is actually my husbands birthday so I am off to cook some italian his favorite~ check back tomorrow I will have all the rest of the details from the photo streamers, the little buckets I found to fill with sand and hold the custom labels on a stick to the fresh peanut butter fudge that I tied with bakers twine from The Twinery & the party circles and the DIY cake stand boxes I made!!

Enjoy your day!

LOVE, PEACE & Ride the Waves,