Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wedding Ice Cream Bar

As soon as our daughter Madison and her husband Justin decided on a wedding date,
we immediately began discussing what type of sweet treats they wanted at their wedding
reception. What else would you expect from a food blogger and her daughter - ha ha!

Lucky for me, they wanted me included in on the planning and design for the wedding and
reception and I couldn't wait to get started!  Madison and Justin knew they wanted a cookie
table at the wedding reception (you can see it here) and a small cutting cake, and after
many discussions they finally decided on a ice cream bar for their guests. Since the wedding
was in the middle of June I thought this was a great idea!

I had so much fun shopping for fun accessories and styling the ice cream bar!
A few years ago I convinced a talented co-worker to build the stand for me and I love it
so much. I used it as a Sangria stand for Madison's college graduation party and I can't
wait to come up with new ideas for it in the future.

We purchased pre-scooped ice cream cups from Kline's Dairy Bar, a local favorite!
Madison decided on cake batter, chocolate and vanilla, providing a variety of flavors
for the guests. Sugar cones and cake cones were on display inside a large glass jar for
anyone that preferred their ice cream in a cone. Sprinkles, crushed Oreo cookies and
Sour Patch Kid's (Justin's favorite) added more flavor and fun! This little cutie preferred
the sprinkles.

All you need is love...and maybe a little ice cream.
Congratulations Justin and Madison!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Wedding Cookie Table

I am so excited to share this post with you all. Many of you have probably already noticed
a few of these photos posted on my Instagram, but they are just so beautiful and I love
them so much that I think they deserve their own blog post.  All of the photos in this
post are by Lauren Morris Photography. Lauren did a fabulous job capturing this special
day and we will treasure these photos forever!

On June 15th our daughter Madison married her sweetheart Justin and it was the best day!
The ceremony and reception were held at Red August Farm, a stunning venue located in
Waynesboro, Virginia and the weekend could not have been any more perfect.  I plan to
share more photo's from the actual wedding soon, but today I want to share the wedding
cookie table with you.

When Madison and I started planning her wedding we knew from the very beginning that
a cookie table was definitely going to happen. The cookie table is a Pittsburgh wedding

We don't live in Pittsburgh obviously, but my husband is from Gibsonia, PA and
we have attended many Pittsburgh area weddings and there is always a cookie table!
We love the idea and knew that we wanted to incorporate a cookie table into Madison
and Justin's wedding reception.

I started planning months in advance - collecting recipes, vintage dessert plates, cake stands
and baking supplies. I made a spreadsheet listing the types of cookies I planned to bake - some
were family favorites and other's were new recipes that I had never made before.  After a
lot of cookie research, I found that most cookies freeze really well for up to 3 months, so I
marked my calendar to begin baking mid March. Once I had baked a specific cookie, I
updated my spreadsheet with the date I baked the cookies, the quantity and any notes.
I stored the cookies in Ziploc freezer bags adding parchment paper between the layers to
keep them from sticking together. Lucky for me my Dad has a huge freezer, so on Sunday's
when I went to visit, I transported cookies from my small freezer to his. This also worked
well to keep my husband from eating them all! Out of sight, out of mind - right!

I baked 26 different varieties of cookies for a total of approximately 800 cookies,
which was plenty for the 175 guests that we had in attendance. The only cookies I did not
bake were the macarons, which I purchased from Costco because we love them and the
colors were so pretty. Guests were encouraged to take cookies home in cute little "Happily
Ever After" bags I purchased from Hobby Lobby. Small wooden clothes pins were used
to seal the bags for transport and to help keep them fresh.

Guests enjoyed choosing their favorite cookies and placing them on vintage dessert plates
to devour at the reception, as well as filling the bags to take home for later. I noticed a
line for the cookie table several times, so I think that it was a success and a fun addition to
the celebration.

The wedding cookie table was a labor of love and I'm so happy that I was able to make 
it happen for Madison and Justin's wedding. We love them both so much and are excited 
for their future together.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mini No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

Hello there! It's been a minute since I've posted anything on this little blog of mine,
sharing on Instagram is so much easier, but this mini no-bake cheesecake parfait recipe
is a keeper, so I'm posting it so that I remember it for future bridal/baby showers or
other parties.

Our daughter is getting married next month and her sweet Maid of Honor hosted a bridal
shower for her a couple weeks ago. It was such a nice shower with so many cute details.
If I get my act together maybe I'll post some pictures soon.

I love making mini desserts, so I reached out to Becca and asked her what I could make
for the shower. She was having cake, so she requested something else sweet and mini
cheesecake parfaits immediately came to mind. I made mini cookies and cream parfaits
for Madison's college graduation party and they were a huge hit, so I decided to make
a similar version using fresh kiwi and strawberries. They are super easy to make and
you can make them a day in advance to save time on the day of your party/event. I
stored them in a large covered plastic container in the fridge overnight and then
transported them to the party in a cooler.

You can find the mini plastic cups and spoons at most party stores or on Amazon.
It think they are adorable and everyone seemed to love them.  Mini Cheesecake Parfaits
would also be perfect for graduation parties, weddings or engagement parties.

Mini No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

6 graham crackers, crushed and set aside ready for use
8 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 kiwis
1 pint fresh strawberries

12 parfait cups with mini spoons (you can find these at party supply stores)

Crush graham crackers and set aside until ready to use.
Rinse and cut fruit into small bite size pieces.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times if necessary.  Add heavy cream, scrap cream cheese from sides of bowl, and increase mixer speed and beat until smooth in texture. This may take a few minutes, so be patient - it will thicken!

Add a tablespoon of crushed graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each cup.
Fill a large piping bag with cream cheese mixture and pipe into each cup. Top with cut fruit.
Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs if desired.

Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. I kept them refrigerated over night and they
were fine.


Servings: 12-15

Monday, March 11, 2019

Leprechaun Snack Mix

Happy Monday and happy March!

It's been a minute since I last posted on this little blog of mine, but I'm back today
with a fun and festive Chex snack mix perfect for St. Patrick's Day.  I like to call it
Leprechaun Snack. This tasty St. Patrick's Day snack mix is filled with popcorn,
Chex cereal, pretzels, green chocolate coated candies, gold, green and white sprinkles
and colorful rainbows!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Coconut Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies {Paleo}

Paleo Coconut Sugar Almond Flour Cookies

I'm posting this recipe today for my own selfish reasons.
Mainly because I love these cookies and I don't want to lose the recipe!

Like many of you I've been trying to eat healthy for the new year, but I also need a
sweet treat every now and then. Like every day :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

You're the Balm Free Valentine Printable

Remember making Valentine boxes in elementary school? Carefully covering shoe or
cereal boxes with construction paper, heart cut-outs and stickers. Do kids still do that?

The best part was the actual Valentine's Day party when you stuffed your faces with sugar
cookies, red Kool-Aid, conversation hearts and red lollipops with white sugary hearts!
Once you were all hyped up on sugar you got to go around the classroom and place a
Valentine card in all of your classmates homemade mail boxes. Wasn't that the best!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cupid's Crunch Chex Snack Mix

Valentine's Day Chex Snack Mix

Chex snack mixes are one of my favorite things to make for holidays.
They are quick and easy to make and everyone loves them! Since Valentine's Day will be
here before we know it I decided to share a festive and fun snack mix that I like to refer
to as Cupid's Crunch.

Cupid's Crunch Snack Mix is made up of popcorn, Chex cereal, pretzels, candy and
fun Valentine's Day sprinkles drizzled with white chocolate - yum!