Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mini Desserts - Blueberry

Summer brings along its warmth and enjoyment of outdoor activities.  It also brings us so many great fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy.  I want to do all I can to enjoy them to their fullest while they are at their peak freshness.  Blueberries and strawberries top the list for me.  Maybe its making smoothies or adding some strawberries to a biscuit with a dollop of whip cream....oh, now that is a perfect and sweet ending to a warm summer day.  Today I am bringing you some inspiriation on using fresh blueberries for those summertime desserts.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Italian Bakery Birthday Party

When it comes to throwing parties, themes for little girls and boys and even us ladies, are easy to come up with.  Really it's hard to narrow it down to just one and then we eagerly await until the next one comes up.  But when it comes to our men, our husbands, boyfriends, brothers and dear friends....thinking of a manly party theme...ugh...I would rather do my taxes. 
My mom wanted to throw my step-dad a 60th birthday party and of course enlisted me to create a dessert table.  I had the hardest time thinking of a theme.  My step-dad has a Harley, but I wanted something a bit different and kid friendly as well.  When my mom mentioned she was ordering all the hot food from Mama Mia's in Plymouth....italian food...italian desserts...oh!  It came to me!  I started thinking about bakeries and their great storefronts with their striped awnings and windows filled with sugary delights.  And with my step-dad being Italian, I knew he would get a kick out of it.

I told my husband how I thought it would tie the whole table together to have an awning on the table...but how to do it?  Thankfully, he is one clever (and helpful) husband!  We went to Lowes and spent about $7 in PVC piping to erect the frame.  I was not able to find any red and white striped fabric so I purchased two yards of a red gingham fabric and hot glued it to the plastic frame.  My husband attached the piping to a scrap piece of wood we had in the basement and then we clamped it to the table.  Very easy and such a great idea if you are planning a party with an ice cream theme.  I actually gave it to a guest at the party who will be using it for her son's circus themed party. 
I ordered most of the sweets from a local italian bakery.  We kept the birthday man in mind with ordering a carrot cake (a personal favorite) and I included some black licorice jelly beans.  Also a personal favorite of his.  His mom saves all the black jelly beans when Easter comes around and give them to him.  They are too cute!
Chocolate covered oreos, personalized with '60' were a big hit with adults and kids.  Since not everyone is a carrot cake fan...including myself, adding in the oreos and some chocolate whoppie pies, it was a table sure to please everyones sweet tooth.

Chocolate Oreos Pops from Sweeties by Kim

In keeping with the Italian theme, I added in some 'Happy Birthday' flags in Italian.

I could have eaten all of these...

No Italian bakery is complete without cannolis!