Not since Wayne Thiebaud have I stared dreamingly at food on canvas...until now. Each of these paintings, by Joël Penkman, is a miniature masterpiece - the saturated colors, curated menu of treats, and detail. I just love this wall of English eats, especially the crumbs around the pork pie.
Wonder if I can get my mince pies to look like as good as his this Christmas. You can view and purchase his lovely collection here.
For my son's 5th birthday, he really wanted a Star Wars theme party. Since we were having the party at a gym, I kept it simple with just a few basic items to carry the theme.
If it's true that invitations set the mood, these cards from the invitation boss were the perfect find. And, inserting my son's face for Luke's was the best gift of all. It's a little kitschy but so cute for the young ones.
Finally, the cake. Each year, it's a tradtion for my spouse and kids to select their birthday cakes from Birthday Cakes: Recipes and Memories from Celebrated Bakers. I got this book just before my daughter turned one, with the intention of using it for her birthday every year. The recipes have been an indispensable resource for all kinds of cakes for family and friends.
My son's favorite for the past few years has been Emily Luchetti's Grandmother's chocolate cake topped with Marion Cunningham's buttercream frosting. This year, buttercream was gray, which was fun to make for my crude interpretation of the Millennium Falcon.
Finally, after bouncing on bungee swings and jumping on trampolines, we sent tired kids home with light sabers and storm trooper wrist bands. Boy parties are much easier than girl ones ;)
Enhance dad’s daily ritual with stylish vessels for his coffee or tea. At our house, we know what daddy would like for Father’s Day because he’s dropped big hints! In addition to classic cappuccino cups, he’s been perusing mugs on Laura Zindel’s site quite a bit. Her ceramics feature detailed illustrations of birds, dragonflies, and the like. Laura’s work is truly stunning, who wouldn’t want to have one of her mini masterpieces?
Start Father's Day week with a little Oregon Bacon Bar in his work bag. He might actually take a break for this salty sweet treasure. I would.
Taking a petits fours class at Dragonfly Cakes seemed like the thing to do for Mother's Day weekend. So there we were, my friend, Tina and I early Saturday morning tasting vanilla chiffon, eyeing the buttercream custard, and dipping & decorating little cakes. I walked away thinking these aren't as difficult as I thought, the process just required some patience (Athough, I may think differently after doing a sheet on my own.).
Tina's (image above) petits fours turned out perfect, each tasty morsel coated evenly with just the right amount of decor. I needed a bit more practice (image below), but they were quite delicious.
The owner, Brooks Coulson Nguyen, creates a fun and relaxing atmosphere while demonstrating the basics of making petits fours. After watching and tasting, about a dozen of us were unleashed into her large kitchen to make our own. As you can see, we managed to walk away with some treats to share.
For me, I was glad to learn to scrape the browning (from sugar) on top of the sheet cakes before using, add a soy-based oil chocolate glaze, roll out marzipan on cornstarch not powdered sugar, apply fruit layer as thinly as possible so the cakes are smooth, freeze cakes before and after cutting, and finally coat all around, even bottom so the cake won't dry out.
I call this the post bake sugar clean-up.
Applying thin layer of lemon curd.
Hmmmm, those sound good.
A shot before I got a bit dirty. That was so much fun - thank you Brooks!