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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

BRIDAL CAPES

Since the bridal cape trend continues to be strong, I've decided to include more design options in my Etsy shop.  Different lengths, fabrications, trims....all to provide more offerings to my clients. 

This pearl encrusted tulle was super fun to work with.  I wanted to take advantage of the art deco pattern, so the hemline is unfinished and absolutely shows off the scallops in the front and the points in the back.  

Since it's a circle shape, I added some additional fullness at the center back (which is where the opening is) to show off the gorgeous drapability of this fabric.   The variance in the length from the front to the back also creates a beautiful line.   I added some beautiful embellished lace trim around the neckline for the perfect finishing touch!                                                                                    
The next design is a cathedral length with a lace yoke.  It attaches to the straps of the gown.  It would even work with a strapless gown since every commercial strapless gown I've seen includes a set of spaghetti straps.  When the bride wants to remove the cape,                                                                she would also remove the gown straps.                                                                
The third design I added to the collection this year is a mid length.                                                  It features a beautiful embroidered tulle with a gorgeous beaded neckline.   I love the creative process, and can't wait to offer even more designs!                                                     

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PUMPKIN BREAD WITH STREUSEL TOPPING

 It's officially fall!  So that means, some pumpkin infused recipes.  I went looking for a pumpkin bread with streusel topping and landed on this winner.  So I just had to share!

This bread is super moist, loaded with pumpkin flavor and of course, who can resist a streusel topping!
The best thing is this recipe makes two loaves, so you have one for now, and you can freeze the other. 

INGREDIENTS:

Topping:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick, melted and cooled)

Bread:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
15 oz. can packed pumpkin (not pie filling)
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp,. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 cup chopped pecan (optional, but recommended)
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Topping:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Stir in the melted butter until crumbs form.  Set aside.

Bread: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle position, butter or spray two (2) 1-1.5 lb. loaf pans.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition.  

Scrape the bowl and beat in the vanilla and pumpkin.  The mixture might look curdled; no worries.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add to the pumpkin mixture in 3 additions, mixing until just combined.  Stir in the pecans.  

Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.  Top each with half of the topping, very gently pressing it into the batter.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaves comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.

Let loaves cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.  

Notes:  There was a note on the original recipe that dark brown sugar is preferred for the flavor profile, but you can substitute light, which is what I had on hand.  

Enjoy!

recipe c/o:  www.stripedspatula.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cathedral Veil

 This year I introduced several new veils to my Etsy collection.  Two new cathedral designs which definitely different from one another, and added more variety for the bride-to-be to choose from!

This first one has a fun added ruffle element at the hemline.  The horsehair trim creates a beautiful wave and the lace trim accent which goes all the way around the perimeter helps to highlight that unique hemline.  In addition, I added some beautiful lace appliques around the inner edge of the hemline giving it just the right finishing touch.                                  




The second veil is a lovely cut edge cathedral veil with the most gorgeous lace appliques.  Laying out the appliques to create just the right design can take me hours with pictures in between the different layouts until I land on just the right combination.  

This lace is so delicate.  It's a light ivory color with gold threads which outline the florals and leaves.  It truly is  amazing up close.  Also, due to the colors, it really looks great with either a diamond white gown or an ivory gown, so what could be better?     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              



Monday, October 5, 2020

SUNDRIED TOMATO AND SAUSAGE

There's nothing better than a recipe that is super simple and super yummy!  You can certainly pull this one together on a weeknight.  I literally put it together in about 20 minutes.  It takes about 12-15 minutes to simmer, so you can be sitting down to dinner in about 35-40 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

13 oz. smoked sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ sweet onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Just before serving

2 oz. sundried tomatoes, julienned and dry packed
8 oz. penne
2 C. low soldium chicken broth
3/4 C. half and half
½ C grated gruyere
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Slice sausage into ¼" thick rounds, then set aside.  In a deep, 12" skillet over mediuim heat, heat oil.  Add onions and sausage and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook one minute more, stirring constantly.  Add tomatoes, penne, chicken broth and half and half.  Turn heat to high.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Stir, cover, and cook, 12-15 minutes (12 minutes is al dente).  Fold in cheese and parsley and serve immediately. 

Enjoy!

recipe c/o:  www.delish.com


Monday, September 21, 2020

PUMPKIN PECAN SPICE CAKE

For this year's Fall family get together, I kept in the spirit of fall and brought a homemade Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cake.  Since it received unanimous "lip smacking, thumbs up" reviews, I'm sharing it with you!

It starts with a box cake mix, but with there are some unique additions that elevates it well beyond its box status.  Isn't she pretty?

 This recipe takes some time, but I would say it was worth the effort.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 60 wafers)
1 cup chopped pecans (I chose to use only 1/2 cup) 
3/4 cup butter, softened

CAKE:
1 pkg. spice cake mix (regular size)
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
4 large eggs 
½ cup butter, softened

FROSTING:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups butter, softened
6 cups powder sugar
4 tsp. vanilla extract

TOPPING:
½ cup caramel ice cream topping


DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the wafers, pecans and butter until crumbly.  Press into three greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans.

In another bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and butter.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on high 2 minutes.  Spread over crust in each pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 24-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.  In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Place the layers crumb side down.  Spread the frosting between the layers and on the sides and top of the cake.  Once completely frosted, spread the caramel topping over the top allowing some to drip down the sides.  Store in the refrigerator to set the frosting.

Serve at room temperature.  

Enjoy!

recipe c/o:  Taste of Home fall 2020 magazine (pumpkin cookbook)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

"HEALTHY APPLE CRISP"

I didn't title this recipe....but I tried it....and it was good!  I don't know if any dessert is truly healthy, but I think this was a good alternative to many desserts.  After all, it started with apples and had less sugar than a lot of recipes, very little butter, includes cinnamon and oats.   Heck, that's pretty good, right?!
You know what the best thing is about this recipe? You make it in the microwave!  So from start to serve it was just 20 minutes.         (Serves 4-6)

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

TOPPING:
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp cold butter


DIRECTIONS:

Toss apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Transfer to a greased (I used spray) microwave safe 9 inch deep dish pie plate.

Mix first four topping ingredients.  Cut in butter until crumbly; sprinkle over filling

Cover with waxed paper.  Microwave on high until apples are tender, 5-7 minutes.  If desired, serve with ice cream.

Enjoy!

recipe c/o:  www. tasteofhome.com

Monday, August 24, 2020

BLACKBERRY MUFFINS

I can't say that I've ever had a blackberry muffin before, so when I found this recipe, I thought I'd give it a go.  I enjoyed it!  The flavor was good, they're not too sweet,  but they also have a delicious streusel topping.
                                                                                        yields 10 standard or 8 large muffins

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen blackberries or fresh
(if using frozen, do not thaw)


Streusel Topping:
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup flour 
¼ cup melted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a muffin tin or line with muffin liners.   Add flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to a large bowl.  Whisk to combine.

Add oil to a 1 cup measuring cup.  Add egg and enough milk to fill to 1 cup line.  Add vanilla and almond extract and whisk to combine.

Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.   Then fold in the blackberries.   

To make streusel topping, mix together all the ingredients with a fork until a coarse crumb is formed.  Sprinkle over muffins just before baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tester inserted into the center comes out clean.   Cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack. 

ENJOY!  

recipe c/o:  www.platingsandpairings.com