Tag Archives: dessert

red, white & blue

27 Jun

Show your patriotism this 4th of July holiday, and celebrate our freedom with a little red, white and blue.

P.S. When I refer to ‘it’ below, I’m referring to red, white and blue!

1. Wear it

2. Bake it
Mini Cherry Pies by Country Living

3. Or, don’t bake it…this No-Bake Strawberry Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Trifle by Glorious Treats looks amazing

4. Plant it
My father-in-law built these planters with antique red barn wood, and my mother-in-law planted beautiful red, white and blue flowers

5. DIY it
I couldn’t sleep at 5 am today, so I woke up and thought of a quick and easy DIY project. I re-used Budweiser Platinum beer bottles my husband happily consumed last week. The base of this simple patriotic centerpiece is an antique piece of wood, the beer bottles are vases to red and white daisies, and I used a hot glue gun to attach a burlap ribbon with red stripes to decorate the bottles.

6. Hang it…and the tissue fans will look like fireworks, via Martha Stewart

7. Sip it
Red, White and Blue Sangria by Punchbowl

7. Most importantly, thank a soldier serving our country who fights everyday for our freedom. Among two of the many organizations are A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude.

{images via Glitter Guide, Glorious Treats, Country Living, Tutto Bella, Punchbowl and Martha Stewart}


spring fling

5 Jun

I totally admit that I’m addicted to sugar. I crave it, and need to get my cravings under control. BUT, before I do, I’m going to make this Spring Fling cake a few more times. I LOVE chocolate, and this cake doesn’t have an ounce/pinch/smidgen of it…and it’s still my FAVORITE cake. And with all the fruit, you can justify it being just a tad bit healthy for you!

I discovered The Market from a former co-worker/supervisor {Betsy, one of the coolest ladies ever…I was so lucky}. And, when I first had a piece of this cake, I was in heaven. A cake made with zucchini…who knew it could be so divine?

This recipe was posted in the Rocky Mountain News {a newspaper no longer in publication} a few years ago and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, I was brave enough to make my own version. My laziness crept in as I called to order the cake 6 hours before a party, but my procrastination and over-budgeted wallet prevented me from buying, so I made it! I tweaked it a bit and recently made for my grandma’s Mother’s Day celebration. It was a hit!

Buon Appetito!

Spring Fling Cake
recipe adapted from The Market via Rocky Mountain News
serves 12-15 people

{I made this a double layer cake, but if you want to make it just like The Market does, make this a 3 layer cake…yummy}

2 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
5 eggs

{I double this recipe because this cake is best with thick layers of frosting in the middle of the zucchini cake layers}
1 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and sliced
4 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 10 inch cake pan {I’ve used round and square, and they both worked great}
In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded zucchini, eggs, sugar, oil, sour cream and vanilla
Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl, then add to the wet zucchini mixture
Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 50-70 minutes
Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from cake pan
Cake should look like this when removed from oven

To assemble cake, cut the cooled cake in half lengthwise {creating two or three layers}.
Inside the cake should look liked this…it’s so dense and yummy!

For frosting, whip the cream cheese with butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until combined
In another bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then fold the whipped cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla into the frosting mixture

Find the cake platter or dish you are going to serve the cake on – it’s too heavy to move once assembled.

Spread frosting over the first layer…be VERY generous with the frosting {I think it needs to be the same thickness, or slightly smaller, than the size of the cake layers}
Add a layer of fruit. I used mainly strawberries and kiwi inside the cake

Place the remaining cake layer on top and frost
The Market does not frost the sides; however I did and it was delicious
On the top of the cake, arrange the fruit to your liking

Jodi helped me decorate the cakes, and she made an N with blackberries for Nani

P.S. The cake can be made a day prior and refrigerated…and I’m told, and have to agree, leftovers of the cake the 2nd day, after being in the fridge, might be better than when freshly made.

fit for a queen

4 Jun

In honor of the Queen of England’s Jubilee celebration {June 2-5, 2012}, marking 60 years of the Queen’s reign in England, we’ve put together a list of British finds and party necessities fit for royalty…and you’re worthy!

For a beautiful tea party inspiration in honor of the Jubilee, visit Naomi Kenton’s site here.

Women’s Original British Boot, Hunter {$194}

Union Scarf, French Connection {$88}

Religion Union Jack Knitted Tunic, Asos {$97.41}

Union Jack Sunglasses, Asos {$20.87}

Keep Calm and Carry On Necklace, Bip & Bop {$19.99}

Union Jack Flag Lettering, Rosenberry Store

Tea Cup Bracelets, Stay Gold Mary Rose on Etsy

Vintage China Diamond Statement Ring, Stay Gold Mary Rose on Etsy {$39}

Jam Party Kit, Lakeland {£5.99}
{it’s too late to order these for the Diamond Jubilee, but this would be a fun party favor for an Olympics celebration…and can be made at home with small Mason jars, homemade jam and British-themed toppers and twine}

Union Jack Baker’s Twine, Not on the High Street {$7.42}

British Cupcake Kit, Meri Meri {$12.95}

The Loo Bathroom Sign, Shabby Sign Shop

Hand-decorated Kids Reclaimed Vintage Chairs, Mama Lilly {£85-200}

Union Jack Dresser, Miss Mustard Seed

Classic Union Jack Telephone, Present Finder {£49.99}

Strawberry Trifle Dessert, The Girl Who Ate Everything

{images via Cambridge News, Naomi Kenton, French Connection, Rosenberry Store, Bip & Bop, Stay Gold Mary Rose, Shabby Sign Shop, Not on the High Street, Hunter, Lakeland, Meri Meri, Mama Lally, Present Finder, Asos, Miss Mustard Seed, The Girl Who Ate Everything}

antonia + reggie

30 May
When Jessica Strong, owner of  A Vintage Affair Rentals, and Emily of Emily Elizabeth Photo sent these ‘backyard wedding celebration’ photos to us, we were smitten. We love the simplicity of the celebration and its uniqueness filled with DIY details by the bride and groom. They really made it ‘their day’ in every way. Oh, and the fabulous food truck…we absolutely love!
Here’s all the wonderful details from the blissful bride:
September 23, 2011 was the day of my wedding celebration.  I was married to my Love, Reggie Lafaye on May 5, 2011 at the Starhouse near Boulder, Colorado with under 10 guests in attendance. This was exactly what we wished for – a small, sacred ceremony and then a super fun, happy party with all of our friends and family with us to celebrate our love.
My vision was one of celebration basked in the aesthetic of myself and my husband which is very earth connected, but still elegant and creative. Originally I wanted a bohemian carnival feel, like gypsies running through the night celebrating being alive! Had we a farm with tons of land, I think with my amazing wedding coordinator, Paige Domiano of Peekay Soiree, we could have achieved that. But since we chose to have our celebration at our home in the city, we had to tone it down a bit.
We still kept an undertone of carnival to the party. Paige made beautiful, mini hot air balloons that sat atop of the pillars as you entered our home. Our guest book, which people left finger prints instead of signatures, was a hot air balloon illustration done by Bluedetoi, a custom artist on Etsy. Several other ‘carnival’ touches were achieved through custom pieces. We have a local godsend in Denver, a company called A Vintage Affair Rentals, I choose to rent an old gumball machine that we filled with chocolate-covered peanuts. Also our bar was an old lemonade stand, which reminded me of an early 20th century carnival or fair. I also made a numbered checkered board for people to put their drinks on while dancing. That was a HUGE project! It took twice as long as I thought to stencil in all the numbers and paint them opposite colors.
We had home-made caramel corn served in old school pop corn bags, and of
course the FOOD TRUCK! Nothing says carnival more to me than a food truck. And Steuben’s Food Truck did an outstanding job serving over 100 people amazing food.

That aesthetic was balanced by the more refined elegant Bohemian touches, which is my essence. I love the creativity of what a bohemian lifestyle is with a touch of old Hollywood glamour thrown in for good measure. My dress was made by Two birds. Since I wore a white dress to our ceremony I wanted something in color for the celebration. And I wanted that color to be a dark teal. The fabric was so soft and did not wrinkle! Also, it photographed beautifully and I was comfortable all night long. My husband wore a vintage suit of my grandfathers as an homage to him. He recently passed and was a very big influence in my life. 
My best friend Mia and I made my bouquet out of peacock feathers. I wanted something that I could have forever, and have a rich and luscious feel (old Hollywood). It turned out so beautiful, especially since we made it the day of the celebration while we were getting our hair done! Thank God we are both good under pressure. We also made my husband’s boutonniere out of feathers as well.

The flowers were made by another one of my best girlfriends who is a genius when it comes to arranging. We used wild flowers with twigs and feathers. I wanted it to look like someone took a walk in the forest and collected these, and that is exactly how they came across. I found all different shapes of vases and spray painted them. Mostly in black, brown but a few white to give it contrast. They sat upon wood slices, some of which has tiny birdhouses next to them.

The lighting was mostly twinkle and gas lights with a lot of lanterns. I love the feel of lanterns especially when they have that gypsy quality to them. We hung the vintage lanterns from our oak tree and them randomly places the others around the yard. My husband and his father hung a ton of the twinkle lights above the dance floor. It looked amazing! That is where everyone gathered after we ate dinner, underneath the “stars” of the dance floor.
We did a lot of things ourselves but two of my favorite pieces I made were the photo booth backdrop and the party favors. The backdrop was totally tongue in cheek. It was a two wolves howling at the night sky that had a full moon and some extraterrestrial activity happening. Everyone, even my grandmother, was howling’ at the moon! And for the party favors, I wanted something that would be a keepsake, and that would not be thrown away. So I made stainless steel and leather key chains. They were all slightly different but very beautiful. I made a handful of them with fur and leather fringe for some of my girlfriends who like that look. They were made from recycled leather and fur I bought from Ebay and the stainless steel rings I bought at home depot.

Right after dinner and all of the toasts, we went to the front of the house for a group photo. Paige handed out sparklers to everyone and this is where the night turned up a notch. We took photos with all of the sparklers, and then headed to the back for a full-on dance party! I was on the dance floor all night long. It was once of the most incredible nights of my life. I was literally high off of all the happiness and love that everyone felt. It is a night I will never forget. I love and thank everyone who made this such a success.
Photography: Emily Elizabeth Photo
Catering: Steuben’s Food Truck
Desserts: Watercourse Bakery {mini ho ho’s, Happy Cakes – mini pies, homemade S’mores sticks}
Libations: Mondo Vino
Event coordinators: Peekay Soiree, Paige Domiano
Vintage Decor Rentals: A Vintage Affair rentals
Dress: Two Birds
Makeup by Angela Alonzo:
Hair: Love, a Hair Studio by artist  Orleana Lynch
DJ: Eric Halborg of  The Swayback

udder-ly in love

29 May

I LOVE the idea of doing a milk and cookie themed party for kids, but after seeing this beautiful, vintage Milk and Cookies shoot at Love and Lavender, I know a milk and cookies shoot for adults is not only fun, but gorgeous too. In fact, for cookie lovers, I think this party theme is a necessity. It’s official…I’m UDDER-ly in love…as Love and Lavender so eloquently say in the shoot!

 I love all the details in this shoot – the chocolate chips weighed on an antique scale, the menu on wood shingles and a recipe for love guest table…oh, it’s too cute for words! Thank you to the creative and talented sisters-in-law pair, Ellen and Aileen, at Love and Lavender for sharing their photos with us. And, definitely check out the rest of the shoot here {there’s a lot more fantastic inspiration waiting for you}.

If you thought Part I was amazing {you’re right because it was}, but you’re in for a tasty treat with Part II of their cookie shoot. See the full shoot here.

{images courtesy of  Jonda Spurbeck Photographers via Love and Lavender}

rx: sweet happiness

15 May

My sister-in-law recently graduated from nursing school {you go girl!}, so in addition to the new Bayan Hippo purse and Curly Girl travel mug we bought for her, I wanted to fill the purse with something medical-related and sweet.

What did I come up with?

Happy Pills.

Sometimes we need a reason to smile…and sometimes laughter, happiness and joy is the best medicine. Instead of filling prescription bottles with real drugs, we filled empty, clean prescription bottles {you can re-use old bottles or buy from} with candy, gum, chocolate and mints.

If you’re hosting a medical school or nursing grad party, another fun idea is to stack them for a display on a dessert table, or give them as take-home favors. It’s affordable and so cute!

Or, for the girlfriend who just had her heart broken by a man – these would certainly cheer her up.

Or {the possibilities are endless}, how cute would it be to give to the bride in her day-of essentials/emergency kit or for a newly-engaged bride to get her through a year of planning? An I Do prescription bottle filled with breath-freshening mints. Or, one for each of the bridesmaids.

Good news for you…we are selling these in our Fleur de Lis, a paperie etsy shop. Check them out here and order today. {$5 for file as is and $10 for a custom file}

{images via Tutto Bella}

pinterest picks of the week

27 Apr

We are obsessed with Pinterest. We find daily inspiration for fashion, parties, wedding, DIY projects and home decor. It’s genius – pin pictures from all over the web to create categorized boards. They can be vision boards, party ideas, portfolios and inspiration – all stored in one, easy and accessible place.

 Become a Tutto Bella Pinterest follower and you will see why we’re so addicted.

This week, we’re loving…

Unique Wedding Bar, Green Wedding Shoes

Custom Memory Journals from Paper Coterie, found via How Does She?
{visit How Does She? to find the $15 credit to Paper Coterie}

Mini Milkshake Shooters, Hey Gorgeous
{visit Hey Gorgeous for the complete how-to tutorial…how cute is the chocolate/sprinkled rim glasses…this is a MUST at my next party}

Baffin Bags Chevron Organizer, Etsy {$18}

Homegrown Monogram Mug, Anthropologie, $8
{this is a cute mother’s day gift filled with a Starbucks card or ingredients for her favorite hot drink}

Individual 7-Layer Dips, The Girl Who Ate Everything

{images via Baffin Bags, How Does She?, Anthropologie, Green Wedding Shoes, The Girl Who Ate Everything, Hey Gorgeous}