Taste The Rainbow

delovelydelightful

With World Pride soon to be hosted in my fair home city and with our final meeting of the inter-school Gay-Straight Alliance this coming Tuesday, I set myself to baking this past weekend.

delovelydelightful

What does one bake for a GSA party? Rainbow cupcakes, naturally!
Rainbow confetti on the inside, rainbow icing on the outside.

delovelydelightful

 

Advertisements

L’amour fou

delovelydelightfulsource

I love Valentine’s Day.
Not for the romance bit (being romantic on cue is hardly romantic, after all), but for the imagery and the colours. I love seeing all the decor and the cute ideas for parties and treats at this time of year.

delovelydelightfultop. bottom.

These are a few of my favourite Valentine’s images this year.

delovelydelightful1. 2.

delovelydelightfultop. bottom.

Flag Day

 Last week I was able to squirrel away a single chocolate cupcake from M’s birthday treats before I gave them to him. I popped it in the freezer to save it for my friend and colleague, R– her birthday is three days after M’s.

delovelydelightful

To make it fun and celebratory, I spruced it up in some cute packaging.

delovelydelightful

I made a sturdy cardboard base and wrapped it in pretty paper, then I made some washi tape flags on paper straws. A cellophane goodie bag and some glittery ribbon and ta-da!
A sweet treat for a sweet lady.

delovelydelightful

I think these would also make cute party favours– you could serve slices of cake at the party and send guests home with cupcakes.

{Tip: use glue dots to secure bottom of cupcake wrapper to cardboard base.
Your cupcake will stay put and not slide around inside the cello bag.}

First Things First

delovelydelightful

This past weekend, M had a birthday. He is one of those people who could happily just let the day go by without acknowledging it at all. I, on the other hand, am one of those people who thinks it is a crime against humanity that we do not all get a day off on our birthdays.
No, seriously– I think birthdays should be A Really Big Deal. Or at least a Marginally Big Deal.

delovelydelightful

I got him some prezzies and took him out for dinner. I also made him his favourite cake, with a twist. He loves 1-2-3-4 cake, so I made him 1-2-3-4 chocolate cupcakes. I just added cocoa to the batter until I liked it. I made cardamom cocoa butter cream icing and added a few sprinkles. I free-styled the recipe for the icing. 🙂

delovelyldelightful

To make things a bit more fun, I used colourful paper straws and cute, polka-dotted birthday candles for the final flourish.

delovelydelightful

The result? A success: he polished off a dozen cupcakes in two days flat. {I may or may not have helped. A little.}

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

…and I finally got around to doing some festive baking!

delovelydelightful

We are among the very lucky ones who were not affected by the ice storm and the widespread power failures that have left so many people without power or heat in these terribly cold days, so I was able to do a bit of baking to take to our neighbours. I love to bake for the holidays and it is always a pleasure to do so, but this year I was also full of gratitude to be warm and cosy in our well-lit, comfortable house. My heart goes out to all those who are still waiting for the lights and heat to come back on.

delovelydelightful

I made my annual batch of chocolate shortbread cookies, jazzing them up a bit this year by dipping them in melted chocolate and sprinkling them with chopped-up candy canes. I added some peppermint extract to the melted semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate, just to give it a bit of festive flair.

delovelydelightful

I wrapped them up in tubes of parchment paper, tied up with some green velvet ribbon, and delivered them to the neighbours, but I bet Santa would be happy to find a plate of these waiting for him this evening as he makes his rounds!

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

Via Pinterest.

Confessions of a bad blogger: things in the realm of pre-holiday prep are a bit off the rails at Delovely HQ.
Oh, I had plans, Interwebz, I had plans. In my head, I had oh-so-many lovely posts lined up for you. But there have been speed bumps (see spontaneous shorting-out of new pendant lighting in master bedroom; cack-handed hanging of artwork over bed that now needs to be taken down, holes patched & repainted, blah, blah, blah; dining room still unfinished and currently housing queen box spring; giant sculpture belonging to a friend still sitting smack in the centre of my living room…) and, as a result, there has been nary a cookie baked, there is a very long list of stocking stuffers and other gifts yet to be purchased, and the blog has been languishing most un-festively. The aforementioned are not excuses, just explanations.

In the spirit of offering solace (and maybe inspiring you to whip up something pretty and yummy!), I give you this bit of deliciousness. It’s almost too pretty to eat, isn’t it?

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Via 100 Layer Cake.

Find the recipe & Jessica Foster‘s gorgeous images here.

A Sweet Tea Party

One of the current bridal shower trends I love is the old-fashioned tea party. It combines a whole passel of lovely things: sweets, antique dishes, flowers, fancy silver….cake bunting!

delovelydelightful

Today’s post is about just such a shower, organized and styled by my talented colleague, JG. The woman puts Martha Stewart to shame and her talents in the kitchen are legendary among those who know her.
Who better, then, to create the vision for the dessert table at her pal’s bridal shower?

delovelydelightful

The wedding’s colour scheme is purples and lavenders and, thus, so were the sweets & the dessert buffet decor. Add some pretty washi tape mini-bunting
–(we had a joint brainstorm to add the pompoms to the bunting– isn’t it darling?!)–
a vintage silver tea service, some hydrangeas and some vintage tea cups & saucers and you have a beautiful, old-fashioned, feminine bridal shower.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

Yes, those are TRIPLE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES with purple sugar sparkles.

delovelydelightful

Teapot-shaped, lavender-tinted shortbread? Yes, please!

delovelydelightful

All photos by J. Goldberg, who was kind enough to let me share all this prettiness here.

Be My Guest

Stuck for hostess gifts? Teacher gifts? Something small and thoughtful to give a neighbour or a colleague?

I have a solution for you.
Make The Barefoot Contessa’s Parmesan, Thyme & Black Pepper Crackers. They are incredibly quick and easy and they are beyond yummy!
I make a whole gigantic bunch of them and keep them in the freezer so I have them on-hand during the holidays.

I like to give them away in vintage mason jars, but glassine or paper bags, or pretty little boxes would be sweet, too.
Add a nice bottle of red wine and you have the perfect hostess gift for the festive season.

They are so quick and easy that you will have time to sit down and enjoy a few with a nice glass of wine while congratulating yourself on your cleverness in making such a thoughtful, delicious gift!

You’re welcome. 😉

It Takes A Village…

… to stage a DIY wedding!

You will need:
1 extremely relaxed bride
1 similarly laid-back groom
a cast of dozens of loving family and friends

My new sister-in-law was easily the most unstressed-out bride I have ever met. She basically said to me: “I want bright colours, I don’t care which ones. You have good taste; I trust you.” And so I got to have The Most Fun Ever picking out pretty fabrics to turn into miles of bunting that would reflect the joyful, generous natures of my brother and his bride.
Whee!

My brother spent pretty much forever designing and making the suspended ceiling for the dance floor.

My sister-in-law baked cupcakes for months in advance, freezing them along the way. Her lovely sister and wonderful friends, niece and mum whipped up lots of of yummy icing and decorated the cupcakes. They were sublime.

Several tall, good-natured, good-looking(!) men let me boss them around over the two days it took us to get all the bunting in place. They uncomplainingly climbed on gigantic ladders to pin the bunting up, they made painstakingly sure my swags were even, they made sure the table bunting was pinned perfectly in place, and then they got up and did it all in reverse to take it all down the next day.

An enormous cast of friends, relatives and guests spent the week setting up and getting ready, making time to go to the beach and have a few BBQs and then all showed up on Friday and Saturday to work hard and make sure that S & S had the best wedding ever.

It was AWESOME– I have never had so much fun making an event happen.

More wedding to come next week!

Thanks for stopping by.
Have a great long weekend, North Americans; have a great weekend, everyone else!

Have Your Cake & Eat It Too!

I am not much of a cook. I think if I didn’t HAVE to come up with something to make for dinner on a daily basis, go to the grocery store, make sure I am buying healthy, nutritious, appealing food to conjure into similarly healthy, nutritious and appealing meals, I might like it better. If, say, I had all the time in the world, the perfectly-functioning kitchen, an appreciative audience who would “ooh!” and “ahh!” and rave over my culinary prowess, the whole cooking thing might be less of a chore. Sound familiar?

But, like most people, mine is a harsher reality and, in it, making meals feels like drudgery.
(Yeah, yeah, First World Problem, I know.)

What I DO enjoy, however, is BAKING. Baked goods look pretty, so that makes me happy.
What makes me even happier, however, is EATING all those pretty baked goods! Nom!

I do spend a lot of time over on the Pinterest, pinning recipes I will (prolly) never make. Every now and then, a recipe shows up there that is quick, easy and yummy (my three key requirements!) and so I give it a try in a desperate bid to justify my Pinterest habit…

This recipe for Trisha Yearwood‘s Key Lime Cake has been all over Pinterest, for good reason.
I loved the sound of it– Key Lime Cake? Yes, please!
I put aside my skepticism when I saw that it required a) a cake mix, b) lime Jell-o (really?!) and made it anyway.
Oh, boy, was I glad I did! It is super-easy and it tastes amazing.
A. MAZ. ING.

It has become my, “Do you need me to bring something?” item when going to parties.
(I have perfected the art of volunteering-to-bring-dessert-before-the-hostess-can-ask-for-an-appetizer. Bad me!)

You can find the recipe here. And, if you make it, I suggest keeping only 1/3 of the recommended oil; substitute the remaining 2/3 with yogourt– less fat and the cake is just as moist, but not greasy.
Also, I skip the icing and just dust it with icing sugar. Yummy!