Life: A Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

A few months ago my half-sister approached me and asked me to help her with her son and daughter-in-law’s baby shower. If you have been following my blog you know that she had me by the time she announced that it would be a pink Hello Kitty baby shower. I helped her out by doing the dessert table for her.

Sweets and LIfe: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I began a baking a week before the baby shower because I’ve learned from previous parties that sugar cookies work better with royal icing when they are completely dry.  I used Sugarbelle’s recipe for sugar cookies because I’ve always had good results with it.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Once completely dried I placed the cookies in cellophane bags and I added pink ribbon that I already had.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I worked on the Hello Kitty cake the day of the baby shower. I baked a Hershey’s chocolate cake and frosted it with a buttercream frosting.  I use the Hello Kitty cake pan mold and I loved how the cake turned out.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

My mom loves chocolate covered pretzels so I had to include those in the dessert table.  I purchased the pink baskets at the Dollar Tree and the Hello Kitty in front of the baskets are actually stickers placed over cardstock.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Another must have item in any dessert table are chocolate covered Oreos which I love.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

I made the same type of sign I did for my daughter’s 1st birthday dessert table.

The sign says:

The dessert table will be open after Dinner!

Please use the tongs, chose what you like!

Leave some for others, Please be polite!

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Here’s the final dessert table.  I baked brownies, cake pops, cake balls, brownie bites, and cupcakes. I used Billy Vanilla, Vanilla recipe for half of the cupcakes.  My niece and sister decorated the background.

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)

Sweets and Life: Hello Kitty Baby Shower (dessert table)I hope you guys enjoyed the dessert table I created for baby Natalie.  I’m glad to say that last week my nephew and his wife had a healthy little girl.

 

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Life: A Hello Kitty Birthday Party

Last weekend we celebrated our little goddaughter’s 7th birthday.  She had never had a party and we couldn’t be happier to be able to do it for her.  We decided early on to make it a surprise party and we didn’t tell anyone in the Hubby’s side of the family.  We were hoping to have a beautiful sunny Southern California day but unfortunately it was extremely cold.  It was so cold I had to bring out blankets for everyone to use.  I know that if my family from Kansas is reading this they will laugh at us but give me a break 50 °F is cold to us.   If you follow me on Twitter or on Instagram you know that I got a cold the day after Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t planning on getting sick and as a result I didn’t have time to finish up some projects I had planned to do.  Without further ado here’s the small party we had for our little goddaughter.

Hello Kitty Tables

Hello Kitty Water

Hello Kitty Marshmallows

Hello Kitty Banana Pudding

Hello Kitty Cake

Hello Kitty Cake Pops

Hello Kitty Dessert Table

Hello Kitty Pinata

Birthday banner: Party City.

Hello Kitty hats: I added the Hello Kitty faces to hats from Target using my friend’s Cricut cartridge.

Hello Kitty water: I got the idea from here.

Hello Kitty cotton candy: I bought it at the 99 cent only store.

Hello Kitty marshmallows: I bought them at Daiso Japan.

Banana pudding recipe: Here

Cake and candle: Ralphs

Hello Kitty cake pops: Bakerella

Hello Kitty Piñata: Our local hispanic water store

I hope you enjoyed the little party we threw for our sweet goddaughter. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it. One thing I learned during this party was that if I’m hosting I don’t have time to take pictures.

 

Baking Inspiration: Unicorns and such

Last week my hubby asked our goddaughter what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday and she replied, "I want a chocolate cake with white on top and a pony, horsey, unicorn, and a castle on it."  Yikes, I have my work cut out for me this week.  I'm on a search for some serious cake inspiration.

Here's what I got so far:

More loveliness here »

D23: I must confess I’m a total Disney geek…

…well let me rephrase, as my mom would discribes it I have a love affair with “the” Mouse.   I’m not exactly sure when I began to love Disney so much but somewhere along the line it happened.  I bet what you’re thinking now this girl must be one of those annual pass holders that goes into the park and spends all her day pin trading or an all around Disney freak but I’m far from that.

What I am is a Disney fan who used to be a cast member that devoted almost 10 years of her life to the Mouse (I quit to focus on my education).  I visit Disneyland about twice a year, I’ve been to Disney World once in 2006, and I’m planning on visiting Disneyland Paris next month since I’ll be in Europe.  My apartment is not decorated with Disney stuff and the only clothing I have that has a Disney logo on it are my old Disney VoluntEARS t-shirts.  As a matter of fact unless I tell people directly about my love for the Mouse they don’t have a clue.  Maybe later on I’ll share with you some of the magic that I got to create when I worked there.  Yes, you heard me right MAGIC!

So, why exactly am I telling you this?  I’m doing it because I want to be more transparent and because I wanted to share with you some photos of our visit to the D23 expo.

The hubby surprised me back in April with tickets to the event and you bet I was extremely excited.  We only got tickets for one day and after being there all day I realized why people get the weekend ones.  It really was so much fun even for non Disney fans.  There was a lot of painting, exhibits, and things to do.

Isn’t Tow Mater adorable? He’s so darn cute I couldn’t help but take a picture of him.

This was very creative.  I wonder if he’s going to be walking around with Jack on Halloween. 
How cool would it be to go on a Cruise on board the new Disney Fantasy?  I’m hoping to convince the hubby to take me on one sometime soon. 
They had a section of the expo dedicated to Disney parties and cakes.  The cakes they had came from their officially licensed partner Cakes.com.  
Isn’t this Mickey and Minnie cake adorable?
I love this Woody and Buzz cake. 
If you would like to see more of my photos from the D23 expo please visit me at Flickr!
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Baking Inspiration: Disney/Pixar Car Cakes

My friend recently asked me if I would make her son's 3rd birthday cake.  So, what do you think I replied? I sure would! She told me that they invited 100 people and that their theme was Disney/Pixar Cars.  Another thing she mentioned is that she would like a chocolate and Vanilla Cake.  With all this in mind my task this week is to create a fantastic cake that will get the approval of a bunch of 3 year olds.  Tonight I'm going to re watch the movie with my hubby and try to find inspiration from other sites.

Here is what I've found so far:

More loveliness here »

Argroves Manor Coffee Cake (Cake 7)

I’m going to begin by saying that this has been my least favorite cake so far.  

Things new to me: 
Stewing fruit  

What I learned from baking this cake:
When it looks like you’re mixing in too much fruit with the batter it probably is too much, I learned that the hard way. 

Like I said before I really didn’t care for this cake and neither did my hubby.  I think that the taste was affected by the amount of fruit it called for.  It made the cake soggy since everything sank to the bottom.  I was hoping that this blueberry cake would be tastier but I was disappointed. I didn’t share this cake with any of my family or friends since I did’t like it

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The Barefoot Contessa’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake…(Cake 6)

When I read that I was going to be making a cake from the Barefoot Contessa I got giddy!  Ina Garden does an amazing job on her cooking show that I couldn’t wait to try her recipe.  



Things new to me:
Cake Flour (I had used it previously in another cake but I’m still learning about it)
Real Maple Syrup 


What I learned from this cake:
Sifting flour together is not necessary according to Melissa Gray but I did it anyways
Butter melts faster when your trying to mix the streusel with your fingers


My hubby tried the cake after I had sent it to my aunts house and he was disappointed that I had only left him a small piece. Needless to say my hubby loved it but I think so far he’s loved all the cakes I’ve made. My aunt and cousins, who had no idea I’m on a baking journey, raved on about this cake.  I thought this cake was really good but I guess I’ll let you be the judge of that.




I had never bought real maple syrup before and I have to say that it was expensive but it was worth it.  (I guess I’m going to have to make pancakes for the hubby this weekend to use some of it up.)  The real maple syrup combined with the confectioners sugar made such a nice but not too sweet frosting. 




Here’s the recipe so you can try it for yourself:


For the cake:




  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
A 10-inch tube pan

Directions:


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. 
  • Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed. 
  • For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired. 
  • Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. 
  • Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.
  • Enjoy!

Please let me know how it turns out! 

Procrastinatin’ Drunken Monkey Banana Bread…(Cake 5)

The name should say it all.  This cake was a a twist to the banana nut bread I’m used to.  When I first read that it required rum and cherries I was a tad confused but once I tasted it I knew there was no other way to make this cake.

Things new to me:
Dark Rum
Dried Cherries

What I learned from this cake:
I learned how to plump cherries with rum and boy was it fun and easy.

I shared this cake with our friends and they went bananas for it. (Pun intended! Ha Ha)  In all seriousness though this cake came out extremely moist and the fruit made it sweet but not overwhelming.  I used to have a great banana bread recipe but after making this one I won’t be going back to it.

This cake by far has been my favorite one and I can’t wait to make it again.  My hubby loves bananas so you can just imagine how he felt about this one. This cake gets a two thumbs up from both of us.

Do you have a banana nut bread recipe you would like to share with me?

Key Lime Cake…(Cake 4)

This cake was simple but delicious.  I love lemons and limes so I thought this cake was perfect.  The only I didn’t like about this cake is that the recipe makes only a 8-inch cake.  We shared this one with my in-laws. 


Things new to me:
Key lime


What I learned from this recipe:
Pocking holes in a cake shouldn’t be done with a knife
Double check ingredients to make sure you don’t run out during baking process


I ran out of confectioners sugar and ended up using less of the glaze than it called for.

So what did everyone think about this cake…

…they thought it was perfect because it was not overwhelmingly tangy.  My hubby loved it because he prefers cakes that don’t have frosting and so does my mother-in-law.  I thought it was a delicate cake that you can have with tea.