Sunday, December 16, 2012


Okay, here it is. Time for my first confession. Not in the Catholic sense, but in the baker's sense. I made 12 dozen cupcakes for Ashley's wedding and a small cake. Plus, the frosting for everything. I made everything from scratch....kind of. That's it. That's the confession. The batter for the cupcakes and cake starts with a store-bought, cake mix. But, since I added to it (not only other ingredients, but a great deal of love), I believe it is all made from scratch. The icing was 100% made from scratch with a few trials along the way.

Early on in this process, I found this recipe for White Wedding Cupcakes. I made these one evening when Vannah was over and we knew immediately that they were a winner. I also used the White Wedding Buttercream from the same site. I tried two different chocolate cupcake recipes. The first one was too dry and crumbly. The second one (found here) was way better, but I also added about a cup of mini chocolate chips to the batter before baking and they turned out awesome! For the frosting, I used the white wedding buttercream for both the white and chocolate cupcakes. I added some purple food coloring gel to the frosting for the white cupcakes. (As an aside, the chocolate buttercream frosting that RecipeGirl uses on her chocolate wedding cupcakes is out of this world!)

Sophie approves!

As for the wedding cake, I used the same batter as the white wedding cupcakes, but needed a frosting that would hold up better. I decided to go with a shortening based frosting as opposed to the butter based that I used for the cupcakes. The frosting was good, but not as good as the buttercream! I found the cake frosting recipe here and also found the tutorial for making the rose covered cake on that site. I split the batter between two 9 inch round cake pans (greased with shortening and sprinkled with flour) and baked until they were done. I cut the top off of one cake to make a level surface, spread a nice layer of frosting and then topped it with the other cake. I put a good crumb coat on and then started making the roses all around the cake. There are two layers of roses on the side of the cake...the first time I attempted to make this cake, I only put one layer of roses. The roses were too big and also left too much space in between. I watched the tutorial video and did much better the second time!

Making the cakes and cupcakes was truly a labor of love, but also so much fun. I know that my family, friends and co-workers appreciated my test cupcakes. As far as presentation went, we put 7 cupcakes on each table (there were 7 seats at each round table). The leftover cupcakes were placed around the cake on the cake table. We had about 4 dozen cupcakes left at the end of the night, but I was glad to have extras as opposed to not enough!

I said it would be a while before I used my mixer again. Then I made my favorite Triple Chip Cookies Thursday night for my work Christmas party. I've found a recipe for Butter Cookies that looks delicious (and I have all the ingredients for already!) that I just might have to try out this week! Next week/weekend, we'll be finishing Christmas shopping and starting my yearly cookie making marathon!

Rite of Acceptance

Things have continued to go smoothly in my conversion process. I've been attending RCIA weekly and have attended Mass the past two weekends (progress, not perfection). Last night at Mass, we celebrated our Rite of Acceptance. I enjoyed the ceremony and the symbolism behind it...being accepted into a Catholic community and hearing the members of the community pledge to welcome us and help us to feel a part of the life of the Church. It was a touching moment to receive the sign of the Cross on my forehead, eyes, ears, lips, shoulders, heart, hands and feet from my sponsor (my mother-in-law). We also received Bibles from Fr. Wayne during the ceremony. 

It was also special to me that one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament was read during Mass. We actually printed part of this passage on the back of our programs at our wedding.

Zephaniah 3: 14-18a

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed the judgment against you he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.

We are now on break for a few weeks, which is nice to get us through the Christmas season. Things have been so busy with the wedding that we are less than ready for Christmas. We did get a tree and it's been decorated. I've bought a few gifts, but have many more to purchase and wrap. I ordered our Christmas cards last night, so I'll be picking those up today and sending them out this week!


This is from a few weeks ago, but it's cute, so I'm posting it.

Ashley's Wedding

Ashley and Aaren were married on 12-12-12. The days leading up to the wedding were full of baking, errands and last minute details. Everything went well the day of the wedding and Ashley looked radiant. I was exhausted, after staying up late the nights before the wedding, baking and icing 12 dozen cupcakes and their wedding cake. I would do it all over again for her, though!

Ashley and Aaren before the wedding
Yes, I'm biased, but these flower girls are adorable!

I love this picture!

A special way for Ashley to remember Dad in  the ceremony.

Oh my goodness!

Sophie LOVED dancing with her great-aunt Sue and her Nana.


The fruits of my labor!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Girl's Night In

Last weekend, we had a Girl's Night In/Bachelorette Party for Ashley. Melissa hosted us at her house and we celebrated with some of Ashley's favorite snacks!

Vannah, Ashley and Taylor

I found this idea on Pinterest, but wasn't about to pay $40 for the print. I decided to make  my own. I thought it turned out well!