Wow - it's been awhile since I posted on here! Sorry about that! Time always seems to start going faster and faster this time of year!
I hope you all have had a fabulous Thanksgiving with lots of good food and good company. I am so thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful family. This year, though I missed my extended family, I really enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with just my hubby and kids. It was so relaxing and fun! I am also very thankful for the joy that baking and decorating brings to me! That joy is a gift from God and I am loving every minute of it!
Enough gushing... Now for what you've all been waiting for. Well, maybe some of you have been waiting for it. :)
I hosted a little get-together at my house along with a good friend of mine and I volunteered to make the food for it. This is the first dessert table I have been able to create and it was so much fun! Here is the whole thing:
Don't you just love it? I don't know if you can tell, but I even made little cards with the names of each item. How very Martha of me, right? I decided to go with a silver and white color scheme, since it fit a lot of the plates and things I already had and because it seemed festive for this time of year but not too Christmas-y. After all, it wasn't a Christmas party. (It was a Thirty-One party, actually.) It was also fun to be able to use several of my cake stands and plates!
For decoration, I bought an inexpensive silver tablecloth from HomeGoods. If you haven't been there, you should seek one out and go! It is the best store for cake plates, cake stands, and table linens. And a lot of fun to shop in. I try to limit myself in that store, but it never works. The other thing I did was take two tall vases, which I already had, and line the inside with silver and white wrapping paper. The paper added a pop of color and hid the stems of the flowers in the vases. I thought this was genius! And I thought of it all by myself! :) I'm sure it's been done before, but it's fun to pat myself on the back just a little. The flowers themselves are fake. I normally very much prefer fresh flowers, but I found these for $1 each at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and thought they would be perfect for this.
Want to see the food? Of course!
There is a lot of it! And all was very good!
First, the centerpiece item.
Almond Champagne Cake with Champagne-Chambord simple syrup, Champagne-Chambord Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Raspberry preserves and fresh raspberries. I've really got to come up with a simpler name for these babies! Oh, they were sooooo tasty. And don't they look pretty in the little jars?
Next, I made Chocolate Mini-Cupcakes topped with the same Chambord buttercream and a sprinkling of chocolate jimmies.
These cupcakes were almost like eating brownies, though they had a lighter crumb and were not quite as dense as a brownie. They are absolutely packed with chocolate flavor! And the little swirl of buttercream gave the perfect hint of raspberry flavor. Yum! Watch for the recipe for these coming up in another post soon.
Finally, the caramels. Last but definitely not least.
It took me a couple of tries to get these right. I think I still need to tweak it a bit, but mostly that's for workability and ease in putting them together. The flavor of these is spot-on and delicious. I seriously could eat all of these in one sitting all by myself. If guests weren't coming over, I probably would have!
Oh, but you're waiting for a description probably. These beauties are soft salted caramel topped with chopped pecans and a very light sprinkling of ground cayenne pepper, then coated in milk chocolate and a touch of fleur de sel. They have a bit of everything - soft, crunchy, chocolatey, sweet, a hint of spice, a hint of saltiness - and they pretty much melt in your mouth. Divine! I will be sharing this recipe, too, as soon as I perfect it.
Rounding out the table were mixed salted nuts, red hots, sour candies (Lemonheads and Friends), spicy Chex Mix and water with lemons and raspberries.
What a fun night it was! And though it was a lot of work, I can't wait to do it again!