Baking · Birthday Party · Creativity · family

Table Decorations for Alice in Wonderland Party

As promised, here is the blog post about the table decor for Caoimhe’s Onederland Party.

Hope this inspires you for your own Alice in Wonderland party.

I had great help from my dear friend Molly, to decorate the table and the wall. She was brilliant, just came in and put it all together, in a matter of hours. It would have taken me days, and it wouldn’t be half as nice.

I had bought most of the decoration from PartyParlour.ie, their website stocks the Truly Alice range from Talking Tables, amongst other stuff that I thought perfect for the party.

We chose this party pack because it was so beautiful and displayed the illustrations and the quotes from the original “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” book, all original illustrations from Sir John Tenniel. The colour scheme also went really well with the other bits of decor, and the style of the party.

We also used the party pack called Truly Scrumptious, also from PartyParlour.ie for the real feel of a tea party.

All the other bits, I bought here and there, and put it all together for the party.

One day I went to our local charity shop, to look for vintage tea cups, and I found this black hat, for only 3 euros, ha! It is actually a plastic ice bucket (turned upside down), the ribbon and the feathers are from the Art&Hobby shop, and I just wrote “in this style 10/6”, to make it exactly like the Mad Hatter’s Hat.

The white bunny I bought at Carraig Donn, Maynooth. Alice follows The White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, remember?

The lovely vintage tea set, Aldi, eh! I looked everywhere for weeks, for cheap yet vintage tea cups for the table, did not find any (cheap!), so decided to go for the whole tea set, for €8.99 a piece from ALDI. Can you believe it?

The gorgeous little green mushroom, the lovely little hedgehog and the huge sky blue teacup (with the Cheshire Cat Tails in it), all purchased without fear from Dealz and Euro Shop, for as little as €1.50 each.

Ah, and the big green JUICE jar was also bought at Carraig Donn, Liffey Valley, for €5, at their Sales Week.

The popcorn tubs were bought at TIGER, also in Maynooth. The lovely Victorian sweet jar, I bought at Woodies Party Zone, from their UK website. They were cheap enough, around €2 each, but had to pay shipping, which I did not like one bit.

The little bundle of paper that you see in the first photo, is an Alice in Wonderland memory game, it is a Free Printable from the Talking Tables website. It is great because it goes with the theme, Truly Alice, and better yet, it is FREE.

I also printed the Thank You cards, from the same website. Another beautiful design, FREE and cute!

The frames with quotes from the Alice in Wonderland book were all over the house, and at the table, scattered for the guests to read. I hope they took their time to read them, because they were very wise, unlike Alice!

I really hope I have inspired you to create a Wonderful Wonderland Party.

With little money and a lot of care and love you can do it, just like we did, or even better. Go for it! x

Baking · Birthday Party · Creativity · family

Alice in Wonderland party ideas

We recently had a Onederland Birthday Party for our little girl, and I put a lot of effort into planning everything on my own, (with some help from “the internet”).

I started planning the party about 8 weeks before the date, we (hubby and I) chose the theme by looking at options online, and when we came across the Wonderland Tea Party Theme we loved it so much, the decision was unanimous.

Little did I know there were so many options for creating and decorating and baking and preparing the party. As I love a new project I went for it and got lots of things done.

From decoration, to food, to other little things we created for the day, here are some ideas for your Alice in Wonderland party:

  1. CAKE (but, of course!):

alice-cake-collage

I decided to do a centerpiece cake, and the perfect cake to make was the Alice in Wonderland cake from the Disney movie.

I made a biscuit cake, an easy no bake recipe: here. And covered it with sugarpaste from Decobake.

The cake was a hit, everyone loved it, and as a result, not a crumb left. Yumm…

2. MORE CAKE:

caoimhes-cake

The other cake I made was a white cake, a “real cake”, as in: a baked cake. (I wouldn’t be able to call myself a baker, if there wasn’t a baked cake at the party!)

I covered it with buttercream rosettes, recipe here.

And for the final touch, on top of the cake, the birthday girl’s name in gold. Purchased on Etsy, from Pretty Flamingo Designs.

 3. EAT ME COOKIES:

eat me cookies.jpg

It wouldn’t be a Wonderland party without EAT ME cookies!

These were made from a delicious recipe from the Sally’s Baking Addiction website. They are simple sugar cookies, simple and sweet! nom nom.

I already had some of the cookie cutters I used, the ones shaped like a teapot, love heart, tea cup, little house and the round one. But I purchased the EAT ME cookies cutter from the Etsy shop: CookieCad, she sells cool personalised cookie cutters and they are not very expensive.

4. PAINTING THE ROSES RED CUPCAKES:

red roses cupcakes.jpg

These were just simple vanilla cupcakes, covered in buttercream.

I made white, half and half (white and red) and red cupcakes. So it would be like painting the roses red, just like in the book/ movie.

Now, the cupcake toppers made all the difference. Purchased from Etsy (love it!) from The Procraftinator shop, speedy delivery and also not so expensive. Just Beautiful!

5. CHESHIRE CAT TAILS:

cheshire cat tails.jpg

Got the idea for these from the internet, here is one from Pinterest:

But they were all a bit different, and mine almost didn’t work out, but they were the first thing that disappeared at the party (people ate them all!).

So I take it the outside appearance doesn’t matter, what matters is what is on the inside, as soon as it is marshmallows!!

6. TABLE DECOR:

Wow! there is so much stuff here that I need another blog post, just for the table decor.

New post explaining all this, coming soon. Here!

7. WALL DECOR:

decor0decor1-0decor2decor4decor5decor6decor7decor8decor9decor10

Ditto! Have to write a new blog post, explaining photo by photo, what this is all about.

Hang around, new blog post, about wall decor, coming soon too. Finally, here!

I will also post something about all the quotes I used from the book. And other inspirational ideas.

Hope these ideas will be useful if you are preparing a Wonderland Themed party.

Baking · Creativity

Banana Cupcakes

Today I am posting one of my favourite cupcake recipes.

The Banana Cupcakes.

They are simply delicious, moist, heavy and sugary!

All you could want for a nice afternoon tea and a sugar boost.

I found the original recipe in my favourite Marian Keyes’ book, Saved by Cake, but of course!

But I took liberty to change some bits as i wanted to add my own twist to it. Hope she doesn’t mind.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

125 gr butter

125 gr caster sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 or 4 very ripe bananas

125 gr self-raising flour

100 gr dulce de leche ( you can find it in supermarkets here as Carnation Caramel, a Nestlé product, in the same shelf as Condensed and Evaporated Milk).

For the Icing:

100 gr dulce de leche

300 gr icing sugar

3 teaspoons of water (add more or less as needed for consistency)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / 325 F / gas 3 and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases. (I used silicone ones, that I thought would be better to hold the toffee inside the cupcakes).

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the beaten eggs.

Mash the bananas and gently add to the mix, then sieve in the flour and fold until it’s all absorbed.

Fill the cupcake cases with the dough, until about half way up. Then, place a small round dollop of the dulce de leche into the middle of each cupcake.

Distribute the remaining dough into the cupcake cases, completeley covering the dulce de leche and making sure the edges of the cupcakes are covered by the dough, and the dulce de leche stays right in the middle, as a lovely sweet filling, not leaking to the sides.

Bake for at least 35 minutes. It’s longer than normal for cupcakes,  I know, but the bananas need more time to cook.

The result should be a moist cupcake, but not wet, this is a sign that it needs to go back to the oven.

For the icing, you can just put a layer of dulce de leche on top of the cupcakes, simple and delicious. Believe me, I tried one,  (or was it two?) this way.

Or you can mix the dulce de leche and cream cheese frosting.

I made a glacé icing, with the dulce de leche. In a bowl, I added the water to the sieved icing sugar, mixing gently and constantly. Then I added bit by bit the dulce de leche. I didn’t get to use all of the dulce de leche, as I reached the consistency of the icing before that. But if you want to use all of it, just add more icing sugar, or water, as you go.

The final bit is some grated chocolate sprinkled on top of the cupcakes.

That’s the “cherry on top of the icing, on top of the cake”.

Baking · Creativity

For all the Chocoholics Anonymous out there!

If you are drewling in front of your computer now, this recipe might just be the right one for you.

It is quick enough to prepare, and it doesn’t ask you to get all those complicated ingredients. Maybe, being addicted to chocolate, you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.

That’s how I made my delicious chocolate muffins!

Here is the recipe:

250 gr self raising flour

75 gr cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

175 gr caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 – 2 tsp vanilla extract

175 ml milk

100 ml sunflower oil (or another oil of your preference)

You can start by preheating the oven to 170 degrees C, and lining a 12 hole muffin tray with paper muffin cases.

Then, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Stir in the sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and the vanilla extract, add the milk and the oil to this mixture.

Now, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing lightly together.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.

Cool for 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack and leave until cold.

That is it! Simple enough for you?

If you fancy a bit of risk, and more work, you can add some chocolate chunks to the muffins, or some marshmallows, yum!

If you want a more chocolatey and heavy muffin you can add 70% cocoa solid chocolate chunks into the muffins. I used about 200 gr for each muffin tray.

And for the sweetest tast of all you can add some marshmallows, I used the small marshmallows that are proper for baking. About 5 or 6 in each muffin. But quantity in this case is up to you, just don’t let the dough pour out of the muffin cases, or you won’t have muffins, you will have a disaster inside your oven!

Either choice you make, chocolate or mashmallow, I advise you to add them in the middle of the muffins, like this:

Spoon half the mixture in the muffin cases, add the chocolate chunks (or the mashmallows). Then add the other half of the dough, covering completely the chocolate chunks (or mashmallows), so when they melt in the oven, they don’t burst out of the muffin into your oven.

Mind you, sometimes it happens anyway, but the muffins are still delicious!

Don’t expect to find any of the chocolate or the marshmallows when you are eating the muffins later. They will be melted into the muffin, and all you will feel is their sweeteness and choco taste.

These muffins are perfect for an alternative afternoon tea, and go perfectly with cold unsweetened milk.

A treat for our chocoholic tummies! Enjoy!

Baking · Creativity

Cupcakes for Hubby’s Birthday, yumm!!

Still in the cupcakes frenzy, I decided to make some for Kev.
I loved making them and Kev loved eating them.
He and all his workmates, again.
He told me the cupcakes didn’t last more than three minutes, and that he received lots of emails thanking him for bringing such “sweetness” to their day. (Well, they probably weren’t that enthusiastic about it, but since I am the one that is writing the story, and the one that made the cupcakes, I thought I could add my contribution to it).

Enterpreneur Edie thinking: …hmm, maybe I could start selling cupcakes.

Baking · Creativity · Holidays

Paddy’s Day Cupcakes

This year we are back in Ireland for Paddy’s Day! Yay!

To celebrate I made some cupcakes. I had some ingredients sitting in my cupboard, so I went for two different recipes.

Green Cupcakes (Vanilla Cupcakes)

For this recipe I followed these instructions on the BBC website.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/cupcakes_93722

Ingredients:

110g butter softened at room temperature

110g caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

110g self-raising flour

1-2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream icing:

140g butter, softened

280g icing sugar

1-2 tbsp milk

a few drops of green food colouring

Preparation Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add the food colouring and mix until well combined.

Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl.

I went all green and put some of the green food coloring in the mixture as well. But this is totally optional, or only for the Paddy’s Day crazies out there!

Guinness Cupcakes (Ginger Cupcakes)

This recipe is quoted from this website. It’s one of those recipes that works! And very well explained by englishmum.com. She even has photos of the process on her blog. I recommend you have a look.

http://englishmum.com/sticky-ginger-guinness-cupcakes-for-paddys-day.html

Recipe:

170g Irish butter, softened
200g dark brown soft sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp black treacle
170g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger

First, beat the butter and sugar.  Soft brown sugar is the way to go here – you want the toffee, fudgy taste that it adds.

Make sure it’s really pale and fluffy before you move on to the next step.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add the black treacle. Mix well.

Now, sieve the flour and ginger, and add in to the mix.

Stir gently, without overworking the mixture. Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees/gas 4 for about 15 – 20 minutes until just springy in the middle.  Remove to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, if you want to make cream cheese icing, (this was the one I made) just whisk about 100g of cream cheese like Philadelphia with a squeeze of lemon and 200g sieved icing sugar.

Or you can just spoon over some whipped cream.  Or ganache. Or just normal glacé icing. Or just leave them plain.

NOTE: As a little trial, you can reserve a bit of the mixture and add in a couple of tbsp of Guinness. The result is pleasingly earthy and not at all unpleasant. Is adds more of an adult taste, but well worth a try.


Both cupcake recipes were tasted by my dear Irish friends, and they loved them!

That’s another great reason to celebrate!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Baking · Creativity

Coconut Cake

Delicious Coconut Cake

Today I decided to make a cake.

A cake so delicious that it is only possible to happen in a day like today.

A cake for a day that only comes every two years! Yes, that’s the reason and the motivation to bake this one.

29th of February, the day of the Leap Year, that comes full of superstitions and legends.

Here in Ireland, where I live now, the main “thing”  about this date is that… if a woman asks a man for their hand in marriage today, the poor soul cannot deny her wish.

I have my own “thing” about this day. As I am already married and happily married, I just like to make something wonderful for my wonderful husband. A sweet tooth he is, nothing better than a special dessert to be savoured, without the fear of being a sugar trap for that ,oh so dreaded question for blokes.

For the singleton gals still out there, all I have to say is, try showing your desired one this treat before you pop the question. Just to prove the point that you can be a good choice in the food department, and also to leave him with his mouth watering. But only give him a slice if the answer is correct. We are very politically correct lassies these days, we don’t waste good food, unless it’s for a good cause.

Ok, so let’s bake:

Ingredients:

170 gr butter

300 gr caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

20o ml coconut milk

50 gr desiccated coconut (optional)

1/2 tsp of salt

250 gr self-raising flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

For the top:

200 ml coconut milk

100 gr desiccated coconut

40 gr light brown soft sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C and butter a large round tin.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in well.

Then beat in the vanilla and the coconut milk.

Add the desiccated coconut and the salt, mix it.

At last add the sieved flour and the baking powder. Fold carefully until all is combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, and bake for about 1 hour.

Leave to cool in the tin. After it has cooled down, pierce the top of the cake with a fork several times.

For the top, heat the coconut milk, the desiccated coconut and the sugar until all the sugar is dissolved. Don’t worry if it the misture is still very liquid.

Pour this liquid over the cake, that should be still in the tin.

The syrup will penetrate the cake and make it really moist, and the desiccated coconut will sit on top of the cake looking delicious.

Let it sit there for a few hours to absorb the syrup.

Cut into slices and serve to your loved one.

Expect only YES in response to it.

Yes, yes, yes!
Baking · Creativity

Kev’s Birthday Treats

I made some chocolate crispie buns for Kev’s birthday, two days ago.

It is one of his favourite sweets, and he loved it!

I took the recipe from this website:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Rice-Krispie-Buns

This is a simple recipe, but there are millions of different and fun recipes on the net, for example this one, that looks AMAZINGLY delicious:

http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2008/12/31/chocolate-covered-rice-krispie-treats/

I shall try it out soon, yumm!

Baking · News

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yesterday was my Bday! Yay!

It was great to be able to celebrate my birthday at home, with my parents, brother, sis-in-law, and of course, my so loved hubby!

Thanks very much for all the Birthday wishes.

They came along with some of my favourites:

The delicious Black Forest Cake. An Ode to Sweeteness!

And, Brigadeiros e Beijinhos (Brazilian sweets) yumm, just too good to say it here.

I will just show it to you:

No comments needed.

I promise to make them sometime soon, and post the recipe for the “sugar teeth” out there!

Baking · Creativity · Holidays · News

Saint Paddy’s Day

Still in Brazil, we just had to bake the so loved GREEN SHAMROCK COOKIES again for Paddy’s Day! Hopefully a tradition has been started!

Here they are:

As we are celebrating St. Patrick’s in our language school, we decided to make a big bash, for all the students and teachers :-). Everyone is Irish today!

Teachers and students celebrating Paddy’s Day!

http://dolaningles.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/happy-st-patricks-day/

And this is the Recipe for the Green Shamrock Cookies:

http://dolaningles.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/the-all-green-day/