Ice Cream Shoppe 2nd Birthday Party!

Avery-Dessert-Table

I almost can’t believe that I’m already posting about my daughter’s SECOND birthday party!  It seems like just yesterday I was posting about her Rainbow Sprinkles & Confetti FIRST Birthday Party! This year I had a much easier time coming up with a theme because her tastes and likes are a little more formed now at the age of 2.  😉  And without a doubt one of her most favorite things in the whole wide world is ICE CREAM!  So it was kind of a no-brainer to do an ice cream shoppe themed birthday party!

Ice-Cream-Sundae-Sign

 

Ice-Cream-Cone-Decor Ice-Cream-Cone-Garland

There were so many great ideas for an ice cream theme party on Pinterest and I had about 8 or 9 different ice cream themed desserts I was going to do for her dessert table, but in the end I realized my limit (thank God!) and just did two cute little treats along with an ice cream sundae bar and birthday cake.  It was more than enough for everybody!

Ice-Cream-Sundae-Toppings-Whipped-Cream

 

Ice-Cream-Cone-Toppings-Chocolate-Caramel-Sauce

Donut hole “melting ice cream cones”!

Ice-Cream-Cone-Donut-Holes

White chocolate dipped, sprinkle ice cream cone chocolate cookies.  Yummy!

Ice-Cream-Cone-Chocolate-Cookies

We also had an ice cream cone pinata, ice cream cone garland and her very own ice cream shoppe stand!  I tried to keep it as simple as possible and was still really happy with how things turned out.  It was so much fun and she STILL sings happy birthday to herself almost every other day!  Haha!

Ice-Cream-Cone-Pinata

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The gorgeous cake!

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Blowing out the candles!

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Beautiful birthday girl….happy SECOND birthday Avery Gwen!  We love you SO MUCH!

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White Cliff Manor B&B…and some of the best food EVER.

Jeremy and I love, love, love to visit B&B’s and I’ve posted about a couple on the blog before (read about them here, here and here).  We decided to do a quick trip to one for a combined Valentine’s Day/babymoon getaway, but it will definitely not be the last!  We realized that we’ve been to four in just the past year so I guess you could say we’re kind of addicted haha.   Jeremy found this absolute gem of a B&B called White Cliff Manor in St. Mary, MO.  You’ve probably never heard of St. Mary, MO but it is a VERY quaint little town near St. Louis and Illinois (the view from our bedroom window was actually of Illinois!) with one of the biggest antique malls we have ever been to!  I mean there is literally nothing there but houses and this antique mall.  However, if you drive about 30 minutes you’ll start seeing signs for a ton of wineries!   They’re everywhere!  And thank goodness because we really weren’t sure what we were going to do for dinner the Friday night we were there but one of the wineries, Chaumette Winery, was open for dinner and highly recommended.  This place was quite possibly one of the best meals Jeremy and I have ever had.  They only use local, seasonal, organic ingredients and wow, does it totally make a difference!  If you are ever in east MO near St. Louis, definitely check Chaumette Winery out!  I have a few pictures below of our brief but wonderful trip to the B&B.

First up, the cutest little candy shop, Sweet Things, in St. Genevieve, MO which is about five minutes from St. Mary.  We tried a couple of truffles and some turtle fudge.  Yum!

Sweet Things Outside

Sweet Things Candy

Sweet Things Bakery Case

Salted Caramel Truffle

Pics of our bedroom and the view from the balcony outside our bedroom!  The snow was perfect.

White Cliff Manor Bedroom

White Cliff Manor Balcony View

Chaumette Winery.  There was a huge, roaring fireplace we stared at during our whole meal.  So cozy.

Chaumet Winery

I had the Cinnamon Bread Pudding made with their house bread, topped with a locally made apple butter, cinnamon whipped cream and a browned butter/sugar sauce.  OMG.  I was practically licking the plate.  Jeremy got the Dark Chocolate Brownie, which was their homemade, fudgy brownie, topped with chocolate whipped cream and a port infused ganache.  Heaven.

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Brownie

This place, The Anvil, was our lunch stop in St. Genevieve before heading home.  Some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had, amazing burgers and even chicken livers!!!  Yes, I love chicken livers and they don’t show up on menus that often, ya know.  We also tried their homemade coconut cream pie and it was delicious!

The Anvil

The Anvil Bar

Coconut Cream Pie

It was a great weekend and we loved every minute!  If you are looking for a cozy, accomodating B&B (with wonderful breakfast), definitely give White Cliff Manor a try!

 

 

 

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2013 Baking Resolutions

The Baked Brownie
The Baked Brownie. One of my favorite recipes to date!

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and are, ahem, recovering from whatever merriment you may have participated in!  I had a laid back, quiet evening in with my hubby and have to say it was very, very nice.  Sometimes you just need to relax and rest!

Last year I made a few baking resolutions for myself and have to confess I am not too proud of how (un)successful I was with them.  Let’s review, shall we?

1.  Bake more international desserts.  Ummm, yeah.  Massive failure on this one.  Early in the year I actually attempted to make Brazo de Mercedes, a delicious Filipino dessert and a favorite dessert of mine, period.   It’s an airy, spongy, meringue-like cake spread with a lemon custard and rolled up.   It’s divine.   And I was doing ok until I got to the rolling part…one crack led to another and before I knew it, custard was oozing everywhere.  And that was the beginning and end of the international dessert experiments.

2.  Bake more classic desserts.  This one I actually accomplished…sort of.  I didn’t do nearly as many as I wanted but I did manage to bake a delicious Coconut Cake, a Hummingbird Cake and a Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake.  I really love cakes so I’m going to try and do a few more classics this year and probably a few not-so-classics.

Orange-Italian-Cream-Cake-Slice
Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

3.  Bake more challenging desserts.  Hah. Hah. HAH.  I have no patience and in fact have quite a collection of one-pan, easy, no-bake desserts on my blog so that should tell you everything you need to know about that particular resolution.

4.  Bake more healthy desserts.  I’m pleased to say this resolution is one that I did accomplish.  Probably because we eat fairly healthy in our household so making these desserts meant we could actually eat them and didn’t have to send them away to my husband’s office to be devoured.  I managed to make them quite regularly for the blog and as a matter of fact the first recipe of the new year later this week will indeed be HEALTHY.  Yay!

ChocolateChip-Quinoa-Trail-Mix-Balls
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

So what are my baking resolutions for this year???  I only have one.

1.  Make what I ENJOY baking. 

What a concept, right?!  I have realized that the resolutions from last year that I succeeded in are actually things that I truly enjoy making and eating.  Too often I think I have to push my limits and do things that require extreme skill and time.  Or I get consumed with trying to figure out what recipe will get “pinned” the most on Pinterest or trying to figure out what other people want to bake at the time, what’s trendy, what holiday it is…you get the point.  And I’ll still keep all those things in mind but I won’t let it dictate what I put on Desserted Planet.  I’ll do things that I genuinely enjoy and get pleasure from making.  I’m pretty excited about it!

So what are your resolutions, baking or otherwise?  I’d really love to hear them!

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Christmas Delivery from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Four Jeni's

Christmas came a little bit early this year.  My husband surprised me a few weeks ago with this little box from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (my favorite ice cream).  See, where we live we only have access to Jeni’s at a few local grocery stores that carry a very limited selection of their ice cream.  So it pained me that I wasn’t able to get my hands on their holiday flavors.  But my husband decided to do something about it and ordered four pints of ice cream (the minimum order off of their website), two holiday flavors and two flavors that I had just been dying to try forever.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

I was so excited to get this box and completely surprised!  Opening it up and discovering the flavors he had ordered was so fun!  We had our very own Boozy Eggnog, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Queen City Cayenne and Cherry Lambic Sorbet.  They had been frozen in dry ice which meant they were rock solid so we waited and left them sitting out on the counter for about 30 minutes (pure torture!) and finally were able to take a couple bites of each.  Seriously, guys…pure HEAVEN.  It is so hard to even adequately describe the deliciousness of each of the flavors but please take my word for it when I say they were each equally amazing.  I thought for sure my favorite would be the Dark Chocolate Peppermint, but I found myself absolutely craving the Cherry Lambic Sorbet.  It’s literally like thousands of sweet, dark, juicy cherries concentrated into each and every creamy, cold bite.  I’m totally in love.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Unfortunately it’s too late to order Jeni’s in time for Christmas but who cares?!  Order it anyways!  Even if it comes late, it’s still the best gift you’ll get this year!

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Love is Sweet

My last and final post about our trip to Illinois in August!  I’ve covered chocolate, pie and cupcakes and now the grand finale—the wedding!!!  Jeremy and Lisa worked together at the church we went to in Rockford and when we left a mere 2.5 years ago she wasn’t even dating anyone but before we knew it she was engaged to Adam and it was wedding time!  Lisa is a very detailed oriented person so I expected alot out of this wedding and I can honestly say I was not disappointed!  It was totally a gorgeous, picture perfect wedding.  Seriously.

The ceremony was at 1, with a dessert reception immediately following outside on the front lawn of the church.  There was a white tent with the most amazing spread of mini cupcakes, cheesecakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, hand pies, mini brownies and chocolate dipped pretzels.  I LOVE mini anything, especially desserts, so it was a feast for the eyes!  And her colors were some of my favorites…pink, grey, black and white.  Loved it.

A few hours later there was a dinner reception at the Rockford Art Museum.  The venue was awesome but even more awesome was this candy buffet!  It had gummies, Jordan almonds, Circus Peanuts, lollipops, gumballs, jelly beans and taffy.  So fun!

Lastly, the wedding cake!  Isn’t it so sweet??  To my surprise this was a strawberry shortcake cake!  The frosting on the outside looked like buttercream but was actually a whipped cream frosting and the inside was layers of yellow cake with strawberries and more whipped cream in between!  Loved it.  Definitely different and memorable!

We were so happy we were able to share in Lisa and Adam’s special day and wish them all the best!

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The Chocolatier, Inc.

A couple of weeks ago Jeremy and I went on a little getaway to Illinois.  Illinois?  Yes, Illinois.  A friend of ours who lives in Rockford, IL was getting married the same week of our anniversary so we thought we’d make a it little anniversary celebration trip too.  We actually stayed in Bloomington, IL the first couple of days of our trip at a little B&B called the Vrooman Mansion (see pic above).  Except there is nothing little about this place…it has 18 rooms, a massive outdoor patio, several parlors and is just gorgeous!  I highly recommend this place if you are travelling through Illinois.  Oh, and the breakfast is divine!

We did lots of antiquating and some other mansion tours (one being the David Davis Mansion–who knew there were so many in Illinois?) and even hit up a winery that had live music one night.  Oh, and found a couple of totally fabulous restaurants.  We LOVED every minute in Bloomington.

Of course part of our trek through Illinois included some carefully researched sweet stops.  The first being this very unassuming chocolate shop in Bloomington, The Chocolatier, Inc.  It’s located in their downtown area and when we drove up I kind of thought it didn’t look too legit.  The outside was meh and inside there were ZERO frills…we’re talking bakery cases for the chocolates and then jars of bulk candy.  No gimmicks, no aesthetic niceties…nothing.

But guess what?  I was WRONG.  This place was more then legit.  It was crazy good.  I didn’t get any of the bulk candy, because I wanted to focus on the chocolate that was made there.  I can honestly say the chocolates at this place were perhaps the best I have ever had.  I’m talking melt in your mouth, nothing artificial, amazing, deliciousness.

Here’s what we got.  It was so hard to choose but I narrowed it down to six.  A Coffee Buttercream, Chocolate Covered Marshmallow, Marzipan Truffle, Amaretto Truffle, a Peanut Butter Cup and a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

First of all, none of these were bad.  They were all delicious.  But of course we had to rank our favorites.  The Coffee Buttercream came in last only because I thought it could have used a tad more coffee flavor.  Next, was the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow which was actually really, really good and I have never found a homemade marshmallow I like better than mine (sorry, it’s true!).   After that the Marzipan came in fourth, only because the top three were soooo good.  So third was the Amaretto Truffle…amazing amaretto flavored ganache covered with a milk chocolate shell.  Yum.

Second was the Peanut Butter Cup.  Oh my gosh…I’ve always loved my homemade peanut butter balls but I thought this thing was way better.  So good.

And lastly the star of the show was the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.  Holy cow.  Amazing dark chocolate ganache middle infused with raspberry puree and covered in a dark chocolate shell.  It. Was. Divine.  Not to mention gorgeous.

So yeah.  This place is the real deal when it comes to chocolate.  Definitely go if you are ever there.  Our next stop was in Chicago at a teeny, tiny pie place…can’t wait to share with you next week!

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Treetop Friends Baby Shower

A couple of weekends ago I had the extreme joy of hosting my little sister’s baby shower.  I am beyond thrilled that she is having a baby…it’s just her and I in our family and she is the first to have a baby/grandbaby, so this is pretty exciting for us and our parents!  In just a little less than a month we’ll be welcoming baby Micah into the world and you can bet he will be spoiled to death.  And I will probably spoil him the most!  At least I’m gonna try.  Haha.

The shower was a brunch and held at my parent’s church.  We did a delicious breakfast casserole and fresh fruit, along with a dessert table that I planned months ago.  It all came together perfectly and everyone had a great time.  So wonderful having the opportunity to bless the parents-to-be.  Great memories.

The shower was themed after the nursery, which is going to be Treetop Friends.  Think trees, bird’s nests, owls, etc…

Here is the AMAZINGLY detailed cake by Celebrations by Sonja.  It seriously looked just like the invitation.  This is all buttercream, no fondant and I can honestly say her cakes not only look fabulous but are probably some of the best tasting I have every had.

Now for the dessert table…

“Treeknot” Mini Cinnamon Rolls

 A close-up of all the yumminess.

The macaroon “bird’s nests” were delicious and it was the first time I’d ever made them.  I got the recipe here and just tweaked a little by omitting the Nutella, adding some almond extract and filling them with blueberries and drizzling melted white chocolate over the top.  Yum.

Such a fabulous time…now we wait for baby Micah to make his grand entrance!

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Pies and Purpose: Two Very Exciting Announcements!

I have two VERY exciting announcements to make.  First, I am starting a new venture in the baking world:  pies!  I recently discovered my love of making pies…and anyone who knows me, knows that I am OBSESSED.  It’s all I can think about, talk about and it’s all I want to make!  My mind is going crazy with possibilities and different varieties.  I am also focusing on using ingredients that are all-natural, local and totally fresh.  As I have told my husband, I want to be the Jeni’s (of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams) of the pie making world.  I admire her vision and the quality of her product so much.  It’s totally a difference you can taste and as cliche as that sounds, it’s true!  And I want it to be true for my pies.

Of course, I’ll still be making a variety of desserts for my blog but will be putting full-time effort into my new pie business, Sweet Pies by Desserted Planet.  I’ll have more information such as menu and pricing in the near future, but to place an order, I can be contacted via email at sarah@dessertedplanet.com.  Oh and check out my amazing new logo, courtesy of my very talented husband!  I absolutely love it.

My second huge announcement is my participation in an awesome event called Tux for Chucks.  This black tie affair is a dinner and auction fundraiser for my aunt’s amazing organization called One Sole Purpose, a group dedicated to putting brand new shoes on the feet of school kids who cannot afford them.  Please go to their website and check out their information under “About Us” and please consider donating to them today (which you can conveniently do online!).

As for my involvement in the Tux for Chucks event here in Springfield, MO, I will not only be donating pie for dessert that night, but I will also be donating a pie to be auctioned off, along with a “Pie of the Month” gift card!  I am so honored to be a part of this event!  If you live in the area, consider attending and getting in on all the action.  It will be a fabulous night with good food, dancing and the best part is, it’s for a wonderful cause!

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An Apology and A Sneak Peak

That’s right, an apology.  Apparently those of you who use Internet Explorer have been seeing a WAY jacked up version of my blog for, well, who knows how long!  I’m mortified.  And embarrassed.  And very much impressed if you continued to come back, knowing how wonky it was…so thank you for sticking with me!  I’m happy to report that my husband has been hard at work fixing the problem and my blog should now appear relatively normal to those of you who use Internet Explorer.  And if it doesn’t, by all means, say something!  I want you to get the best of Desserted Planet at all times!  And it’s definitely a work in progress…

Now, on to the sneak peak.  I had the extreme pleasure of throwing my little sister and her hubby a baby shower this past Saturday.  Everything went so smoothly and it was so fun blessing them with yummy food, friends and of course, gifts!  Before I had even thought through the decor and guest list, I knew what I was going to be making for the dessert table.  I’ll have a full post on the festivities a little later in the week but for now I’ll just leave you with a couple of fun pictures.

 

 

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Chocolate, Cupcakes and….Dehydrators?

My birthday weekend has come and gone.  I ate some good food, opened gifts and had quality family time.  Oh!  I even managed to see a movie–The Amazing Spiderman.  It was…ok.  Lots of action, some suspense and no girly, mushy, lovey, dovey romance junk, so that’s good.  I even got to indulge in my favorite concrete creation of vanilla custard, Oreo, brownies and cherry juice (courtesy of my hubby’s genius) at Andy’s.

As for the gifts, here’s a quick little roundup of some fun things I got…

A dehydrator!!!!  We’re getting into a raw food diet in our household and upon further research, I’ve discovered dehydrators are used in a LOT of recipes.  Unfortunately, this one gets a little too hot to be considered “raw” so I’m getting another new one!  (and yes, I do see the irony in posting about our new raw diet on my dessert blog).  Oh and a new cookie spatula!  Very exciting since mine went missing a couple months ago.  Yes, these are the things I get excited about.

Fun little mug and some Russell Stover raspberry cheesecake filled chocolates…yum.

Ice cream books!!  I am so excited about these.  I’ve had a huge urge to make my own ice cream the past couple of months and cannot WAIT to try out some of these recipes.

Technically not food but how could I not share these with a name like Pink Sugar?  This is my favorite perfume/body wash/lotion ever.  I get compliments on it every time.

And thanks to my in-laws and parents, I’ll be purchasing a bigger, badder food processor in the near future so no picture of that yet, but soon, very soon.

It was truly a great weekend and I wish I could do it all over again….every weekend!  Haha.  I’m blessed to have such great family and friends to celebrate with and thankful for all the love they showed me!

 

 

 

 

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Cupcake Wars Watch Party!

Robyn and I--ready for the show!

One of the best things about being on Cupcake Wars??  The huge, insanely fun watch party we got to throw!  Of course we HAD to make cupcakes for everyone to eat while watching so we made three of the four kinds of cupcakes that we made on the show (Red Velvet, Take 5 and Bananas Foster).  And we did not make just enough for everyone to have one measly little cupcake…no, no we made 750 cupcakes…enough for every person there to have one of EACH cupcake.  Insane!

Here are some fun photos from the night…

Frosting the Bananas Foster with that AMAZING brown sugar buttercream.
The Take 5 Cupcake--chocolate cake, salted caramel filling, peanut butter buttercream, topped with pretzels, peanuts and chocolate bark! The clear favorite of the night.
Doesn't she just look so cute and innocent?? Don't be fooled! Caught her red-handed (pawed?) chowing down on a box of Red Velvet cupcakes!
The BIG cupcake display!
More cupcakes!
Crammed into the living room....
...and the bedroom...and a few other rooms. Hah!
Hmmm, which one (or five) do I want???
The big, blow-up outside screen didn't quite work out. There was too much sunlight to see the screen! Bummer. 🙁
Another angle of the living room.
There we are!! Go Red's Cupcakes!

All in all, I think Red’s Cupcakes definitely brought it and yeah, TOTALLY should have won.  But hey, you can’t win ’em all and in the end I think our cupcakes were beautiful, our display was amazing and we gave it our all so we’re proud of what we did!  Robyn will forever reign as Cupcake Goddess and I, the Candy Queen!!  Hah!

Thanks to everyone who watched and cheered us on and for all your support!!  Love and appreciate each and every one of you!

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Sweet This and That

As you can see, I couldn’t really come up with a title for this somewhat random post.  Sometimes inspiration or whatever you want to call it just doesn’t strike and you have to call it what it is!  Hence, the title.

If you remember, back in March I visited my good friend Joelle and we had the BEST time shopping and eating our weight in cupcakes (see pics here, here, here and here).  And she also had the sweetest goodie bag waiting for me when I got to my room…it was packed full of my favorite sweet treats such as cayenne covered dried mango, dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts, gourmet hot cocoa and some other fun dessert-themed treats which I wanted to share!

I believe most of these came from World Market so if you have one near you, check it out for these items.

White Chocolate Mousse Body Wash and Body Butter.  Smells heavenly.  Trust me on this.

Cupcake Bath Fizz.  I love this little thing.  But it’s so cute I don’t want to use it!  What to do?!

Cupcake Mints.  The BEST way to “freshen” your breath.

This is a shirt I actually got at Kohl’s.  Had to share!  (Yes…I am FULLY aware that I am 30 and wearing Hello Kitty…and I don’t care!)

And these are my current obsession.  Believe it or not, I had never made cake pops until about a month ago but I LOVE making them and they are sooooo yummy.

Well, thanks for visiting and checking out my randomness!  Hope it made you smile. 🙂

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Art and Romance of Chocolate

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of helping my friend Robyn, of Red’s Cupcakes, hand out her amazing Chocolate Espresso cupcakes to hundreds of chocolate loving people at the Art and Romance of Chocolate event in downtown Springfield, MO.  The event proceeds went to the Friends of the Springfield Art Museum and there were judging in certain categories.  You can see the list of participants and who won what, here.

It was a fun event for a great cause and I was honored to be part of it.  I did manage to make it around to all the vendors before the event started and snap some pictures with my phone (sorry for the poor pic quality!) of their amazing creations.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what everything was (except Red’s Cupcakes–first photo!) so just enjoy the pictures and give it your best guess! 😉

 

 

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Weekend Getaway B&B

The Bellevue Bed & Breakfast

Jeremy and I decided to take a last minute trip this past weekend and stay in a new (to us) B&B called The Bellevue.  He found this absolutely beautiful historic home in Cape Girardeau, right on the Mississippi River, in the heart of the downtown area.  We left Friday night, stayed in Poplar Bluff and got up early the next morning to hit the road so we could arrive to Cape Girardeau in time for all the shops to open.  We spend Saturday visiting antique shops, seeing historical sites, had an amazing dinner at a place called Bella Italia and relaxed the rest of the evening in our amazing bedroom.

Front door with beautiful stained glass transom above.
The men's parlor.
Beautiful windows and draperies in the women's parlor.
Love the chandelier and seating in the women's parlor.
Pretty mirror in our bedroom.
Cove bedroom upstairs.
Homemade pecan pie tassies and chocolate covered cherries in our bedroom.

The next morning we were treated to one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.  It was 3-courses and started with the cutest mini bundt shaped blueberry muffin.  It was an amazingly moist cake bursting with blueberries and a hint of cinnamon and had a homemade blueberry sauce spooned over it.  Second course was thinly sliced sweet strawberries, drenched in an amaretto infused Chantilly creme topped with homemade whipped cream–DIVINE.  Finally, we were treated to enormous omelettes stuffed with cheese and, to our surprise, vegetarian “ham”, all smothered in a rich hollandaise sauce!  I was super excited to find out the “meat” inside the omelette was actually a vegetable based, high-protein, low-carb substitute.  It was delicious!

Strawberries in Amaretto Chantilly Creme.
The spacious dining room.
The china--too pretty to eat off of!
We came through the back entrance and this was the first thing I saw--LOVE.
Fun sitting area in the dining room.

After stuffing ourselves at breakfast, we hit the road to head back home and stopped at a place called Big Spring and another place Jeremy and I had both been to as young children, Alley Spring.  It was so neat to go somewhere that we both vaguely remembered from our childhood and make our own memories together as adults.

Big Spring. Pictures can't even begin to show how amazingly clear and blue the water was.
Big Spring.
Alley Spring Mill.
Alley Spring.
Alley Spring...beautiful water.
Bridge over the water at Alley Spring.

Oh and how could I forget!  Much to my surprise and extreme delight, there was a BAKERY in Cape Girardeau.  Here’s a sneak peak picture–I’ll give my full review next week!

My Daddy's Cheesecake Bakery.

It was so much fun I really did NOT want to come home–a  fabulous weekend and great early Valentine’s Day getaway!

Me and Jeremy at Alley Spring.

 

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Barbie and Cupcakes

I saw this display the other night in the window of one of my favorite art galleries, Good Girl Art, when Jeremy and I were downtown at Artwalk a couple of weeks ago.  I just thought it was too cute not to get a few pictures of it, despite having to use a camera phone in the dead of night.  So not the best quality, but really, how cute is this??  Barbie, candy and cupcakes.  I love it.

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2012 Baking Resolutions

Photo courtesy of We Take the Cake.

I decided it would be a good idea to come up with some baking resolutions for 2012.  Just like with any other resolutions, I wanted to write them down and make specific goals.  Here’s what I came up with.

1.  More International Desserts.  Since my blog is titled Desserted Planet, I decided it would be fun to incorporate more desserts from around the globe.  My goal is to do one per month and I can’t wait to start with one that I’ve been meaning to make for a couple of years now, Brazo de Mercedes.  It’s a Pilipino treat that was introduced to me by my brother-in-law and his family (who are from the Philippines).  It’s a type of rolled cake (sometimes referred to as jelly roll) made from a sheet of soft meringue with custard filling, sometimes flavored with lemon.  It was love at first bite for me.  I can’t wait to try my hand at it.

2. More Classic Desserts.  I often get asked if I have great recipes for classic desserts such as Coconut Cake (see pic above), Pumpkin Pie, Carrot Cake, etc and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve not made a good deal of classic, tried and true dessert recipes.  That’s going to change!  I’ll be incorporating one per month from here on out.

3. More Challenging Desserts.  In other words, I can’t just throw it in a pan, shove it in the oven and BAM!  It’s done.  Now I do love those kind of recipes (and there are many good ones), but I want to stretch myself just a bit and try things that require a little more patience and methodology.  I’m thinking more French pastries, baklava, soufflé, etc.  Again, one each month.

4. More Healthy Desserts/Baked Items.  I LOVE healthy baking.  I know, shocker.  But I used to do a lot of healthy baking and love the challenge of finding suitable, all-natural substitutes for uber sugar-laden and fat-heavy sweets.   I’ve already got one under my belt, my Healthy Banana Bread, and plan to do lots more, think desserts, breads, muffins, etc…one recipe each week!  I’m very excited about this.

Did you have any New Year’s resolutions??  Baking or otherwise?  I’d love to hear them!

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All I want for Christmas…

I must have been a VERY good girl this year because I got some of the most wonderful gifts ever this Christmas!  Here is a little roundup of some of my favorites…

My friend Nicole got me this soft, lovely. pink cupcake blanket.  I was thrilled to get it and have been using it every night!  She also got me this Hello Kitty with a cupcake for my birthday back in July so I’d say she knows what I like quite well.

My sweet niece Joslyn got me this absolutely awesome set of earrings.  There are cupcakes, spoons and baking pans!  I LOVE these earrings so much.  I’m seriously considering getting two more holes on each ear just so I can wear them all at the same time!

And last, this ABSOLUTELY AMAZING cupcake Scentsy!!!  My sister-in-law got this for me and I was SO surprised and excited because I had seen this at a local apple festival waaaaayyyyy back in September and wanted it so badly but didn’t get it.  She obviously was paying attention.  I even got some cupcake scented wax cubes to go with it.  Fun!

Overall we had a great Christmas and had so much fun with our families.  I’m always sad to see Christmas come to an end but if it wasn’t just once a year it wouldn’t be quite as special.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday week and New Years.  This week I’ll be posting some fun dessert ideas for your New Year’s party and I’ll also have a blog post looking at 2011’s dessert trends (good and bad) and what’s predicted in the world of sweets for 2012.  Stay tuned!

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Christmas Cookie Exchange

Last week I got to experience my first every cookies exchange and it was SO much fun!  A sweet girl from our church, Monica, was gracious enough to host the event for a whopping 27 women!  Yes, 27 women…27 different kinds of cookies, candies, etc.  We made 12 dozen of the treat of our choice and swapped goods when we got there which meant we left with 12 dozen different goodies!  It was insane.  I was in sugar heaven.  I brought my famous Peanut Butter Balls (recipe tomorrow!) and had so much fun checking out and tasting everyone else’s homemade treats.  I can’t wait to do it again next year!  Here are a couple of photos of the bounty I brought home.

This is the platter…there was fudge, toffee, butterscotch cookies, chocolate cookies, buckeyes, Oreo stuffed brownies, ginger cookies, Nutter Butter Snowmen cookies, Oreo truffles, chocolate dipped candy cane coated pretzels, loaded oatmeal cookies and on and on it goes….

One of my favorites was the Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake.  Soooo good.

And my absolute favorite was this biscotti.  It had spices and orange flavor (at least I think it was orange..something like that), along with chocolate chips…it. was. amazing.

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Christmas Decorations

 

I’ve been busy frosting..errr, decking the halls around our house with all kinds of dessert-inspired Christmas decorations.  From cupcakes on the tree to candy on our front door, it’s a dessert lovers paradise around here!

 

I’ll start first with some cupcake and candy ornaments I found at Wal-mart–aren’t they cute?!  I had originally planned to make the ornaments (see link here) but decided I wanted to make a candy wreath instead.

As for the wreath…I LOVED making this.  I simply bought a wreath form, lots of candy and some ornaments and started gluing away!  I still need to shellac it but I couldn’t wait to put it on the door!  I just love it.

What are some crafty holiday projects you have going on right now??  I’d love to hear!

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A Very Special Bridal Shower

My cousin, Tish, got married last Friday on St. John Island to a wonderful man named Jess.  I can’t express how truly happy I am that Tish found someone who is her soulmate and best friend and will take care of her and her two boys for the rest of their lives.  She deserves all the happiness possible and I can’t wait to see the two of them live their lives together!

About a week before the wedding, I had the privilege of co-hosting a bridal shower for Tish, along with her friend Val.  We had so much fun planning everything!  I just wanted to share a few photos from the day of some of the goodies we had to eat.  So much good food and so many awesome women in one place!  It was wonderful.

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