One of the great joys of watching my children grow is seeing how their own beautiful personalities and interests develop. Ever since my kids were old enough to have an opinion I have let them choose their birthday theme. This year Asher’s love of Legos has really grown and he particularly likes the Chima theme. So he decided on a Lego Chima party for his seventh birthday. At first I was at a bit of a loss as to which direction to go with this. Chima characters are not the same as many other Lego characters and their story line has a much more organic feel than the boxy rigidness of most Lego genres. After painstakingly (and painfully) watching many Chima television show episodes I set off to create the Land of Chima in our home. Continue reading
Oh vanilla cupcakes, you look so sweet and innocent but can be such a bugger sometimes! One would think such a recipe would be easy to conjure but cupcakes come with their own set of challenges. One time I baked close to 10 batches of cupcakes trying to find ones that had the perfect dome (not an easy feat!). These Vanilla Cupcakes are my go-to recipe for birthday parties and class functions. They are light, moist and flavorful; they have the just-right amount of dome and are sturdy enough to hold up to all types of fillings and toppings. They will quickly become your Essential Vanilla Cupcakes too! Continue reading
My beautiful step-daughter Eden turned eighteen early this month and is venturing out into a new world. In the morning she will travel from Oregon to Hawaii to live with her great aunt and uncle for an educational opportunity. I am so proud of her. I love her so dearly. And I am a little heartsick to see her go. Last night I held a small gathering of family so that we could all wish her well and have one last hug before she leaves the mainland.
I have a bit of a thing for sugar cookies. The simplistic beauty of a perfect sugar cookie is, to me, just impossible to resist. I love the aromatic essence of vanilla and the not-too-sweet buttery pastry. I love the gentle toothsome resistance when they are faultlessly baked. In my quest for a truly blissful cookie I have eaten many subpar renditions, but the recipe I am about to share is one that was worth the wait.
I have always been a bit of a cookie dough eating fanatic. I don’t actually know how my mom got any Christmas cookies made with me nibbling off the chilling dough balls in the refrigerator all the time, but somehow a few made it to the oven. These days cookie dough desserts are flooding the web, but in our salmonella-fearing society everyone leaves out the eggs, which in my opinion are critical to authentic tasting cookie dough. Here is my rendition of the popular treat that tastes like the real deal but is safe for everyone.
Handmade favor boxes are a great way to add color and design to your dessert table and party décor. Here is a tutorial and template to make this cute little box for your next event or just for someone who is extra sweet!