Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Tips For Planning the Perfect Party


RECENTLY, A GOOD FAMILY FRIEND, DAVID KROPP, DECIDED TO QUIT HIS FULL TIME JOB AND START HIS DREAM JOB OF BEING A PAMPERED CHEF CONSULTANT,  CAKE BAKER AND DECORATOR. I THOUGHT THIS WAS SO COOL AND INSPIRING. TOO MANY PEOPLE, INCLUDING MYSELF, ARE SCARED TO TAKE RISKS LIKE THIS AND PURSUE THEIR DREAMS BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID OF FAILURE. AS SOON AS I HEARD ABOUT THIS, I WANTED TO THINK OF A WAY I COULD HELP WITH HIS NEW ENDEAVORS. HE HAS COME THROUGH FOR ME SO MANY TIMES WHENEVER I AM IN A BAKING CRISIS, HAHA. MOST RECENTLY, THIS PAST FALL, I MADE A LEMON BLUEBERRY CREPE CAKE FOR MY SISTER'S BRIDAL SHOWER. THE MORNING OF THE SHOWER IT WAS FALLING OVER AND LOOKED AWFUL. I HAD A PANIC ATTACK AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO UNTIL MY OTHER SISTER SUGGESTED CALLING DAVIE. HE CAME OVER 30 MINUTES AFTER I CALLED HIM, COMPLETELY FIXED IT, AND MADE IT LOOK PERFECT! SO WHEN DAVIE HAD HIS FIRST PC OPEN HOUSE I SIGNED UP TO HOST A PARTY BECAUSE I WANTED TO HELP HIM OUT, EVEN IF IT WAS IN A SMALL WAY. I HAVE NEVER THROWN A PARTY LIKE THIS, AND FRANKLY I NEVER WANTED TO, BECAUSE I KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE GET TIRED OF THESE TYPES OF PARTIES. BUT LET'S FACE IT... PAMPERED CHEF PRODUCTS ARE ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL. THEY ARE SOOO AMAZING! FOR MY WEDDING I WAS GIFTED SEVERAL PC ITEMS, AND I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE! I USE THE TRIFLE BOWL, THE APPLE PEELER, THE BAMBOO BOWL AND TONGS, THE GLASS MEASURING CUPS, AND THE COOLING RACKS ALL THE TIME! THANK YOU AGAIN, JUDY, JACKIE, AND CHRISTIANNA FOR THOSE WEDDING GIFTS! <3 SO I FIGURED IT WAS A NO-BRAINER TO HOST A PARTY. I COULD HELP MY FRIEND AS WELL AS GET SOME DISCOUNTED, AND MAYBE EVEN POSSIBLY FREE, PRODUCTS. I LOVE THROWING PARTIES, SO ANY EXCUSE IS A GOOD EXCUSE! NOW I JUST HAD TO THINK OF A WAY TO MAKE THIS PARTY DIFFERENT, EXCITING AND FUN TO ENTICE PEOPLE TO COME TO PROBABLY THEIR 20TH PARTY LIKE THIS, HAHA.


1. THE THEME
THE FIRST PLACE I START WITH ALL MY PARTY PLANNING IS COMING UP WITH A THEME. IT CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS A COLOR SCHEME, IF NOTHING ELSE. BECAUSE THIS PARTY COMES WITH A LIVE COOKING SHOW FROM THE PC CONSULTANT, I KNEW I WANTED SOME SORT OF THEME TO BE TIED IN WITH THE FOOD. DAVIE AND I WERE TALKING ABOUT DOING A BRUNCH, AND AS I WAS PERUSING BRUNCH FOODS ON PINTEREST I SAW A LEMON MUFFIN AND KNEW RIGHT THEN I WANTED A CITRUS-THEMED BRUNCH. ALSO WHEN THINKING OF THE THEME, I AM CONSCIOUS OF WHAT IS IN SEASON. CITRUS IS A GREAT WINTER FRUIT. SINCE CENTRAL NY HASN'T DECIDED TO START SPRING YET, YOU CAN STILL FIND A LOT OF CITRUS FRUITS IN THE STORES, AND THE POP OF COLOR MAKES ME HAPPY WHEN THE WEATHER IS STILL SO COLD AND DREARY.

2. THE INSPIRATION
HONESTLY, I LOVE PLANNING THE PARTY JUST AS MUCH OR MAYBE EVEN MORE THAN EXECUTING THE PARTY. IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE PINTEREST. IT'S SUCH A WONDERFUL TOOL FOR PARTY PLANNING. I ALSO LOVE THE FAIRLY NEW FEATURE OF HAVING SECRET BOARDS. WHENEVER I HAVE A PARTY, I CREATE A NEW SECRET BOARD AND JUST START PINNING IDEAS AWAY AFTER I PICK MY THEME. YOU CAN ALSO LOOK FOR INSPIRATION FROM BOOKS, BLOGS, MAGAZINES AND SO MUCH MORE! JUST START COMPILING YOUR IDEAS. 

3. THE INVITATION
EVERYONE THESE DAYS INVITES PEOPLE TO PARTIES THROUGH FACEBOOK OR EMAIL, AND A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE JUST GET SO BOMBARDED WITH INVITES THAT THEY DON'T EVEN CHECK THEM ANYMORE. I KNOW I HAVE BEEN GUILTY OF THAT. SO FOR THIS PARTY I DECIDED TO MAKE MY OWN PAPER INVITATIONS. I AM A STATIONERY DESIGNER, SO OF COURSE THAT HAD A LOT TO DO WITH WHY I CHOSE TO GO THIS ROUTE. I JUST PERSONALLY LOVE GETTING THINGS IN THE MAIL, SO I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN. I FOUND A COOL DIY TUTORIAL ON PINTEREST THAT SHOWED HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN STAMPS SO I MADE LEMON STAMPS AND STAMPED ALL THE ENVELOPES. IT WAS A LOT OF FUN AND I AM SURE I WILL USE THIS IDEA AGAIN FOR NEXT YEAR'S CHRISTMAS PARTY. I HAVE FOUND THAT WHITE INVITATION ENVELOPES FROM WALMART IS THE CHEAPEST ROUTE. DRESSING THEM UP WITH A STAMP PATTERN IS A PERFECT SOLUTION TO A BORING WHITE ENVELOPE! MY INSPIRATION FOR THE INVITE CAME DIRECTLY FROM AN AMAZING STATIONERY DESIGNER, MELISSA EGAN. OF COURSE, ONCE I SENT THE INVITES, I ALSO MADE A FACEBOOK EVENT TO GO ALONG WITH IT AND MADE SURE THE EVENT PHOTO WAS CONSISTENT WITH MY THEME AND VERY EYE CATCHING! CONSISTENCY IS SO IMPORTANT TO A GREAT PARTY!

4. THE DECOR
FLOWERS: TO ME, FLOWERS ARE ALWAYS NECESSARY FOR A GOOD PARTY, BUT I COULD ALSO BE BIASED BECAUSE I WORKED AS A FLORAL DESIGNER FOR 10 YEARS. FORTUNATELY, I HAD HELPED OUT AT THE FLOWER SHOP I USED TO WORK AT FOR VALENTINE'S DAY, SO MY FORMER BOSS BARTERED FLOWERS FOR MY PARTY FOR THE HOURS I HELPED DESIGN. OBVIOUSLY I KEPT WITH THE THEME. I GOT ALL CITRUS COLORED FLOWERS THAT ARE IN SEASON: ORANGE RANUNCULUS, YELLOW FREESIA, GREEN HYDRANGEA, PEACH, YELLOW AND ORANGE SPRAY ROSES AS WELL AS BLUPLERUM, EUCALYPTUS, BAY LEAVES, ITALIAN RUSCUS AND OF COURSE MY FAVORITE- SUCCULENTS. I MADE A COUPLE DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS TO PUT AROUND THE ROOM - ESPECIALLY ON MY FOOD TABLE. 

CITRUS FRUIT: WHAT WOULD A CITRUS-THEMED PARTY BE WITHOUT BOWLS OF CITRUS!? IN ONE BOWL I HAD ALL DIFFERENT CITRUS FRUITS AND THEN TOOK APART THE SUCCULENTS AND STUCK THEM IN BETWEEN THE FRUIT. IT LOOKED SO PERFECT. I SAW A SIMILAR IDEA FOR THIS ON PINTEREST, WHICH IS WHERE I GOT MY IDEA FROM. SO ONCE AGAIN, SEARCHING FOR INSPIRATION ONLINE, IN BOOKS/MAGAZINES, ETC IS REALLY NECESSARY FOR A PERFECT PARTY! I ALSO TOOK SOME OF THE SMALLER FRUIT LIKE THE KEY LIMES AND THE CLEMENTINES AND STUCK THEM ON STICKS THAT I PUT WITHIN THE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS. THAT WAS SUPER CUTE TOO!

THE TABLE SETUP: I PERSONALLY LOVE WHITE. I WISH I COULD HAVE WHITE EVERYTHING WITH A LARGE BLANK WHITE WALL AS MY BACKDROP, LOTS OF WINDOWS AROUND, AND THE SUN POURING IN. BUT WITH HOW MY HOUSE IS SET UP THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE, WHICH MAKES FOR POOR LIGHTING. BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? SOMEDAY I WILL HAVE WHITE WALLS WITH LOTS OF WINDOWS, SO MY PICTURES WILL TURN OUT PERFECTLY BRIGHT! BECAUSE I LOVE WHITE, I TRY TO USE MOSTLY WHITE SERVER WARE FOR EVERYTHING, AS WELL AS A WHITE TABLE CLOTH. I ALSO LOVE USING CLEAR GLASS. I ALWAYS BORROW MY AUNTS DRINK DISPENSERS- I PROBABLY SHOULD GET SOME OF MY OWN SOMEDAY SINCE I LOVE THROWING PARTIES. HAHA. I ALSO OFTEN USE CLEAR PLATES AND CUPS TO KEEP IT CLASSY. USING REAL PLATES AND GLASSES (MASON JARS) IS NICE IF YOU DON'T HAVE MANY GUESTS BUT FOR A PARTY OF 30, I DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THAT MANY DISHES. OF COURSE THE PAPER STRAWS AND COLORFUL NAPKINS ARE ALWAYS FUN. I ALSO LOVE MAKING GARLANDS AND BACKDROPS OUT OF PAPER. FOR MY CHRISTMAS PARTY I MADE A PAPER GEOMETRIC GARLAND, SO I HAD SAVED IT AND JUST CHANGED OUT SOME OF THE COLORS TO MAKE IT WORK FOR THIS PARTY TOO. USING PAPER TO MAKE FUN BACKDROPS IS SUCH AN EASY AND CHEAP WAY TO MAKE A DISPLAY LOOK AMAZING!

5. THE MENU
THE FUN PART! FIRST, WHEN YOU DO A PC PARTY WITH A LIVE COOKING SHOW, THE CONSULTANT MAKES FOOD WHILE PEOPLE WATCH. MOST PEOPLE JUST HAVE THE FOOD THAT THE CONSULTANT MAKES AS THE ONLY PARTY FOOD, BUT SINCE I WAS TRYING TO MAKE THIS PARTY VERY ENTICING AND MEMORABLE, I DECIDED TO GO ALL OUT AND HAVE OTHER FOOD AS WELL. MY HUSBAND THINKS I AM A VERY STRANGE PERSON BECAUSE I DECIDED TO SPEND MY MARCH ALLOWANCE ON THIS PARTY. (YES MY HUSBAND AND I BUDGET ALLOWANCES OUT FOR OURSELVES SINCE WE ARE TRYING TO GET OUT OF DEBT!) I JUST REALLY LOVE THROWING PARTIES AND HEY, IT MAKES FOR GREAT BLOG MATERIAL, RIGHT!? =) ANYWAYS BACK TO THE MENU, SINCE WE ESTABLISHED THAT WE WANTED TO DO A BRUNCH THAT WAS CITRUS THEMED, IT WAS EASIER TO NARROW DOWN THE FOOD OPTIONS. HOWEVER, THROUGH MY PLANNING I DID DECIDED ON A COUPLE DISHES THAT WEREN'T TECHNICALLY BRUNCH... BUT HEY, THEY HAD CITRUS IN THEM AND WERE PARTY FAVORITES! HERE IS MY LIST OF DISHES I MADE WITH THE RECIPES I FOLLOWED. I KNOW SOME OF MY PARTY GUESTS ASKED FOR THE RECIPES SO HERE YOU GO! =)

HAM 'N EGGS BRUNCH BRAID: THIS IS THE PC RECIPE THAT DAVID MADE WHILE EVERYONE WATCHED. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND DELICIOUS!

MINI HASHBROWN CUPS: THIS WAS A TEST; WELL ACTUALLY MOST OF THE RECIPES I MADE WERE ALL FIRST TIME TESTS, SO MY GUESTS WERE ALL GUINEA PIGS, HAHA. BUT THESE WERE SO EASY TO MAKE AND WERE DELICIOUS! I AM DEFINITELY DOING THIS AGAIN SOMETIME!

LIME AND CORN SALSA: THIS WAS ONE OF THE PARTY FAVORITES. I GUESS IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE CHIPOTLE'S CORN SALSA. I JUST PICKED IT BECAUSE IT WAS YELLOW AND GREEN, HAHA. I DID ADD IN ONE AVOCADO BECAUSE I HAD ONE, AND THIS BECAME ONE OF THE PARTY FAVORITES FOR SURE. AGAIN BE CONSISTENT WITH COLORS AND THEME- EVEN WITH THE FOOD! =) 

AVOCADO AND LEMON HUMMUS: MY BROTHER IN LAW, DENNIS, GOT ME INTO MAKING HOMEMADE HUMMUS. IT'S SO YUMMY! I FOLLOWED THIS RECIPE ALMOST ENTIRELY. WE DIDN'T HAVE ARUGULA SO I DIDN'T PUT THAT, IN AND WE ALSO ADDED IN TAHINI BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT REAL HUMMUS SHOULD HAVE! =) 

CITRUS AND MINT SPINACH SALAD: THIS WAS SLIGHTLY AN INVENTION THAT TURNED INTO A BIG HIT,  THANKS TO MY SISTER, AMY, WHO CUT UP ALL THE FRUIT! I FELT SO BAD BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A TEDIOUS JOB BUT IT ENDED UP LOOKING AND TASTING AMAZING, SO THANKS SIS! I FOLLOWED THE RECIPE FOR THIS CITRUS AND MINT SALAD AND THEN THREW THAT ON TOP OF A BED OF SPINACH AND SPRINKLED SOME CHOPPED WALNUTS ON TOP OF THE FRUIT. THE MINT AND HONEY FLAVOR WAS A PERFECT BALANCE TO THE CITRUS! NO NEED FOR DRESSING!

MACARONS: NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH MACAROONS WHICH HAVE COCONUT IN THEM. THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT PARTY FOODS BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS CONFUSING THESE TWO COOKIES, HAHA. THESE ARE FRENCH OR ITALIAN MACARONS (PRONOUNCED MAH-KAH-ROHN)  WITH SOME WEIRD ACCENT THING ON THE "ROHN". I CAN'T DO IT BUT MY SISTER, BETHANY, WHO CAN SPEAK FRENCH WAS TELLING EVERYONE HOW TO SAY IT CORRECTLY. ANYWAYS, HERE IS A GREAT POST EXPLAINING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO COOKIES IN CASE YOU ARE A CURIOUS PERSON LIKE MYSELF =) SO I MADE ORANGE MACARONS AS WELL AS LEMON MACARONS. THE ORANGE ONES WERE FILLED WITH BUTTERCREAM THAT HAD ORANGE ZEST IN IT AND THE LEMON ONES WERE FILLED WITH LEMON CURD. THEY WERE SUPER YUMMY.

ORANGE SWEET ROLLS: HERE IS PROOF THAT I NEED A STAND MIXER. HAHA. THESE WERE FRIGHTENING TO KNEAD BY HAND BUT THEY ENDED UP TASTING AMAZING! DAVIE,  OF COURSE, HELPED ME ROLL THEM UP AND CUT THEM BECAUSE I HAD NEVER MADE SWEET ROLLS BEFORE AND WAS A LITTLE INTIMIDATED. THEY ENDED UP BEING EASIER THAN I THOUGHT, AND I WILL DEFINITELY MAKE SOME MORE FOR RYAN SOMETIME.

GLAZED LEMON MUFFINS: I THINK I BAKED THESE A LITTLE TOO LONG BECAUSE I WAS MULTI TASKING, BUT THEY STILL TASTED PRETTY GOOD AND HAD THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF LEMON!

LEMON TRIFLE: DAVIE MADE THIS DELICIOUS TRIFLE ALL FROM SCRATCH. HOMEMADE ANGEL FOOD CAKE, HOMEMADE LEMON CURD AND HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM! THE JOKE OF THE DAY WAS WHEN MY MOM CAME UP TO ME AND SAID, "THIS TRIFLE IS THE BEST THING HERE!" AND I LOOKED AT HER AND SAID "WELL GEE THANKS, MOM- THE ONE THING I DIDN'T MAKE YOU LIKED THE MOST, HAHA." IT WAS FUNNY, BUT NO HARD FEELINGS. I CAN'T COMPETE WITH DAVIE'S MASTER BAKING SKILLS! IT WAS PRETTY COOL THAT HE USED MY PC TRIFLE BOWL TO SHOW IT OFF TO EVERYONE! =)

SO WHEN YOU HAVE DONE ALL OF THE PLANNING, PREPPING, DECORATING, AND BAKING, NOW IT'S TIME TO JUST ENJOY, TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR GUESTS. I KNOW PEOPLE JOKE ABOUT HOW I AM ALWAYS TAKING SO MANY PICTURES AND THINK I AM CRAZY, BUT I THINK THE CRAZY PEOPLE ARE THE ONES WHO SPEND SO MUCH TIME ON PLANNING AND SETTING UP A BEAUTIFUL PARTY, AND THEN DON'T TAKE PICTURES IN OPRDER TO ENJOY IT FOR YEARS TO COME! =) 

IF ANY OF YOU WANT TO THROW YOUR OWN PAMPERED CHEF PARTY, YOU CAN CONNECT WITH DAVID HERE. ALSO, MY PARTY IS STILL OPEN FOR ORDERS UNTIL FRIDAY IF YOU WANT TO ORDER ANYTHING. YOU CAN ORDER THEM HERE. CHECK OUT ALL OF THE PICTURES. (I AM HAVING SOME ISSUES WITH MY CAMERA SO NOT ALL OF THEM LOOK GREAT, ESPECIALLY THE ONES TAKEN IN MY DINING ROOM, BUT AT LEAST IT'S SOMETHING!) ENJOY, AND IF YOU HAVE ANY PARTIES TO PLAN FOR THIS SPRING OR SUMMER, I AM SURE THEY WILL BE SUPER FUN AND GORGEOUS! THANKS FOR READING! -KIMMY












Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Carrot Cupcakes with Lavender Honey Frosting


BELIEVE IT OR NOT BUT EASTER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER SO OF COURSE I HAVE TO MAKE SOME DELICIOUS EASTER DESSERTS! RECENTLY I WAS GIVEN ABSOLUTELY COOL AND BEAUTIFUL MARY & MARTHA PAPER BAKEWARE FROM MY FRIEND TAMMY SO NATURALLY I HAD TO THINK OF SOMETHING TO BAKE IN THEM.  THERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENT COLOR COMBOS WITH THIS BAKEWARE BUT I ASKED FOR THE ORANGE/PURPLE/GRAY SET BECAUSE I WANTED TO MAKE SOMETHING WITH CARROTS FOR EASTER =)

ALSO FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW ME, KNOW THAT I LOVE ORANGE AND PURPLE TOGETHER SO THAT SET WAS PERFECT FOR ME! MY WEDDING COLORS WERE ORANGE BECAUSE IT'S RYAN'S FAVORITE COLOR AND GREEN AND PURPLE BECAUSE THOSE WERE MY FAVORITE COLORS. (MY TASTE HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS THOUGH AND NOW I REALLY ONLY LIKE GREEN AS A FAVE COLOR BUT NOT JUST ANY KIND OF GREEN... I LIKE THE YELLOW-Y GREEN LIKE CITRINE OR CHARTREUSE TO BE EXACT, HAHA.) ANYWAYYYYYS, BELOW IS A PICTURE OF THIS BEAUTIFUL AFGHAN THAT MISS CHRIS (A LADY I KNOW FROM MAIN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH) MADE FOR US AS A WEDDING GIFT. SHE KNEW WE LOVED ORANGE, PURPLE AND GREEN SO IT WAS SUCH A SWEET AND THOUGHTFUL GIFT AND IS DEFINITELY MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BLANKET! JUST THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE =)


BACK TO THE BEAUTIFUL BAKEWARE... AS I WAS THINKING OF WHAT I COULD MAKE IN THESE FOR EASTER I THOUGHT OF AN UNUSAL PAIRING. CARROTS OF COURSE FOR THE ORANGE AND THEN I THOUGHT MAYBE USING LAVENDER (LIKE THE DRIED FLOWER) WOULD BE DIFFERENT AND FUN. I WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS EXPERIMENTING AT FIRST BECAUSE I LOOKED ONLINE TO SEE IF CARROTS AND LAVENDER WAS A COMMON DESSERT COMBO BUT I COULDN'T FIND ANY RECIPES REALLY. I DECIDED TO GO AHEAD WITH IT ANYWAYS AND WAS GLAD I DID! I CAME UP WITH A RECIPE TO MAKE CARROT CUPCAKES WITH LAVENDER HONEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. (FOR THE RECIPE SCROLL DOWN) THEY REALLY TURNED OUT SO DELICIOUS!

MY FRIEND TAMMY WHO IS A CONSULTANT FROM MARY & MARTHA GAVE ME OTHER BEAUTIFUL M&M PRODUCTS SO I COULD DO A FUN PHOTO SHOOT WITH THEM. IF YOU NEVER HAVE HEARD OF MARY & MARTHA YOU REALLY SHOULD LOOK INTO IT BECAUSE EVERYTHING THEY MAKE IS SO GOSH DARN LOVELY!  THE PAPER BAKEWARE WAS ALSO A TON OF FUN BAKING IN AND SO EASY AND CUTE! THEY COME IN DIFFERENT SHAPES, SIZES AND COLORS AND CAN BE HEATED UP TO 400 DEGREES! AS YOU SCROLL THROUGH THE PICTURES YOU WILL SEE ALL THE OTHER  GORGEOUS PRODUCTS AS WELL. THE BREAD BOARD AND TEA TOWEL IS A DEFINITE FAVE OF MINE. I AM A SUCKER FOR SOME GOOD LETTERING AND THE THESE BOTH SHOWCASE THE AMAZING ARTWORK BY LINDSEY LETTERS! THE WHITE CERAMIC MUGS, PITCHER AND CAKE STAND ARE JUST DARLING TOO AND THEY HAVE A LOT MORE ITEMS FROM THAT SAME COLLECTION. WOULDN'T THEY BE GREAT FOR A BIG EASTER DINNER!? I ALSO LOVE THE SUPER CUTE HONEY POT AND THE PRETTY JUTE TABLE RUNNER! OH AND OF COURSE I LOVE THE CHALKBOARD! THEY HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO OFFER TOO SO I TOTALLY RECOMMEND CHECKING TAMMY'S WEBSITE OUT AND BOOKING A PARTY WITH HER IF YOU CAN! THE SPECIAL FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL ARE CUTE JOURNALS THAT ARE ONLY AVAILABLE IN APRIL! YOU CAN VIEW THAT SPECIAL HERE.

SO IF YOU WANT TO BOOK A PARTY YOU CAN EMAIL HER AT LOVEMARYNMARTHA@GMAIL.COM OR YOU CAN CALL HER AT 607-431-8517. ENJOY ALL THE PICTURES AND MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE RECIPE FOR THE DELICIOUS CUPCAKES BELOW!












BECAUSE I WAS DOING A FULL PHOTO SHOOT I DECIDED TO GO ALL OUT AND TRY MY HAND AT MAKING MACARONS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER SO I COULD HAVE MORE LOVELY ORANGE AND LAVENDER TREATS! I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO MAKE THESE FOR A LONG TIME BUT HAVE BEEN INTIMIDATED BY THE PROCESS AND PRICEY INGREDIENTS. THEY DEFINITELY WERE VERY TEDIOUS TO MAKE AND CERTAINLY LOOK HOMEMADE BUT LET ME TELL YOU THEY WERE DELICIOUS! I HOPE TO MAKE MORE THIS COMING WEEKEND! =) THE RECIPE I FOLLOWED, I FOUND HERE. THE ONLY THING I SUGGEST DOING DIFFERENTLY IS ADD THE COLOR BEFORE YOU START WHIPPING THE EGG WHITES! TRUST ME!  =)



CARROT CUPCAKES WITH LAVENDER HONEY FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

4 EGGS
3/4 CUP VEGETABLE OIL
1/2 CUP APPLE SAUCE
1 CUP SUGAR
1 CUP BROWN SUGAR
1 8-OZ. CAN OF CRUSHED PINEAPPLES, DRAINED
2 TEASPOONS VANILLA EXTRACT
2 CUPS FLOUR
2 TEASPOONS BAKING SODA
2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
1/2 TEASPOON SALT
2 TEASPOONS GROUND CINNAMON
1/4 TEASPOON GROUND NUTMEG
SMALL PINCH OF GROUND CLOVES
3 CUPS GRATED CARROTS
1 CUP SWEETENED COCONUT FLAKES

FROSTING:
1 8-OZ. CREAM CHEESE SOFTENED
2 TABLESPOONS BUTTER SOFTENED
2 CUPS POWDERED SUGAR
1/2 CUP HONEY
1 DROP OF LAVENDER OIL
1/2 TEASPOON VANILLA
3/4 TEASPOON CINNAMON
MILK AS NEEDED
2 TEASPOONS DRIED LAVENDER FOR GARNISH
PECANS OR WALNUTS FOR GARNISH

NOTE: SERIOUSLY ONLY USE ONE DROP OF LAVENDER OIL! IT GOES A LOOOONG WAY! I BOUGHT MINE FROM THE LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE. IT ACTUALLY SAYS ON THE BOTTLE FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY, HAHA. BUT I SPOKE TO THE MANAGER AT THE HEALTH FOOD STORE AND HE TOLD ME (UNDER HIS BREATH) THAT I CAN CONSUME VERY SMALL DOSES AT A TIME, LOL. I ATE A COUPLE OF THESE CUPCAKES AND I WAS FINE SO I PROMISE IT WON'T KILL YOU! =) 

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES. IN A LARGE BOWL, BEAT TOGETHER EGGS, APPLE SAUCE, OIL, SUGARS, PINEAPPLE AND VANILLA. MIX TOGETHER FLOUR, BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, SALT, CINNAMON, NUTMEG AND A PINCH OF CLOVES. STIR IN THE CARROTS AND COCONUT FLAKES. LINE A MUFFIN TIN WITH CUPCAKE WRAPPERS OR USE THE CUTE AND EASY BAKEWARE FROM MARY & MARTHA! FILL EACH LINER 3/4 FULL. BAKE IN PREHEATED OVEN FOR 18-20 MIN. LET CUPCAKES COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE FROSTING.

FROSTING:
IN A MEDIUM BOWL COMBINE BUTTER, CREAM CHEESE, POWDER SUGAR, HONEY, VANILLA, CINNAMON AND ONE TINY DROP OF LAVENDER OIL. BEAT UNTIL THE MIXTURE IS SMOOTH AND CREAMY. ADD MILK AS NEEDED. TOP WITH DRIED LAVENDER AND CHOPPED WALNUTS OR PECANS!

ENJOY!