April 17, 2017

DIY Cotton Candy Cones

The second the sun comes out, we’re ready for bright colors & ice cream cones. And what’s a more perfect treat for a spring party than sprinkle cones and cotton candy?! It’s easy to do it yourself, and your guests are going to love these adorable desserts.

You will need white chocolate chips, ice cream cones (we used pretzel, but waffle cones work too!), sprinkles, tin foil, a rubber spatula and cotton candy.

Step 1: Melt your white chocolate and set up your table.

Step 2: Roll your cone in the white chocolate and use the spatula to smooth it out.

Step 3: Spread out the sprinkles on the tin foil and roll the cone evenly in the pile, being sure to cover all the chocolate.

Step 4: Place the cones on the tin foil and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. Then take a small bundle of cotton candy and place in the cone!

Cutest. Dessert. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

xx, Maggie
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March 1, 2017

Erika’s Bookish Baby Shower

My best friend from college, Steph, and her mom were throwing a Baby Shower for Steph’s sister Erika.  Since this is Erika’s first child, they wanted the shower to be extra special, and they asked me to help with the decor to give it an LMP touch. The Sandberg’s are like family to me, so I jumped at the opportunity!

Steph and her mom had already thrown a smaller shower for Erika over the Holidays at their grandmothers house, and this shower was for the Dad’s side and also everyone from Erika’s hometown. At the first shower, they had done a book theme, and we were able to reuse some of the decor items from that, such as this adorable Golden Books banner and these BABY marquee letters.

Since Erika and her husband, John Paul, are not going to find out the sex of the baby before the birth, we kept the colors neutral – soft green, yellow, orange and white, with hints of metallic gold and silver.

I used the metallic confetti balloon with gold fringe from our Shower Party in a Box, and supplemented it with jumbo white and regular latex balloons on our chosen colors.

We kept the food simple with dishes that either Steph’s mom made, or the guests brought for a delicious lunch buffet.  We provided wine and beer, and a beautiful “Make Your Own Mimosa” Bar.  I set up champagne to chill in an ice bucket, with a carafe of OJ and cut up fruit in the pretty paper cups that come in our Shower in a Box.

For the gift station, I hung a “Welcome Baby Igoe” banner on the fireplace for people to put all of the gifts under, and we set up a gift opening station nearby for when Erika was ready to open everything.

Their mom had found a bunch of Erika’s blankets from when she was a baby, so we draped a nearby chair with a beautiful embroidered one for her to sit on when it was gift time!

For dessert, Erika and Steph are both gluten-free, so Steph had coordinated for the cake to be gluten-free, and for there to be a variety of gluten-free and regular cupcakes, which were color coded so the guests could choose their preference.  I topped the cake with a silver glitter “Oh Baby” cake topped from out favorite, All That Glitters Party Shoppe.

I topped the cupcakes with gold glitter animal cupcake toppers by Paper and Parties, and placed them in this super cool cupcake tree that Steph’s mom has!

Steph also made an incredible diaper cake for Erika out of a ton of clean diapers that she had rolled up, which acted as a perfect supplement to the dessert table.

Too add to the decor, I sprinkled silver confetti over the dessert table and bar, and placed fresh white flowers in bud vases around the room.

A few months before the shower, I had taken some maternity photos for Erika and John Paul in Central Park, which Erika had framed, so we placed those photos around the room, along with an ultra sound of the baby.

On the coffee table in the present opening area, Steph put out some baby shower games that she had printed, with markers for each guest to fill out as the shower went on.

In keeping with the book theme, Steph printed out pages from some of the most popular baby books, and we string them down white columns that are throughout the room.

Finally, we set up a favor station, which had soaps and “bookworms” – aka gummy worms, for guests to take home!

Thank you so much to the Sandberg & Igoe families for letting me be a part of this special day!

xx, Abby
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February 24, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Do you ever bring sweet treats to your doctor’s office when you go for a routine appointment? I DO!

The issue is….all of the front desk office staff know what I do part time and that is….bake….a lot.

Every few months, I bring a little something for this crew and to be honest, they WAIT FOR IT. I also time my appointment strategically after lunch. This way, it’s a great excuse to HAVE DESSERT on an otherwise mundane patient swamped afternoon.

When I baked this cake last week, I posted it on Instagram prior to me leaving the house. Within minutes I received a comment from one of my favourite receptionists at this office….”HOPEFULLY THAT IS THAT COMING TO US?

So here’s the thing. My baking usually causes a bit of a delay to my doctor’s schedule. How you ask?

Well, I walk in with the goods and it is quickly taken away to the “back room”. The waiting area is usually full at this point.

Where’s the doctor?

Eating cake.

Where is he now?

Eating another piece of cake.

Who is waiting to see him?

ME and about 5 other people.

My apologies to those who have to wait and wait and wait and wait because of ME and my sweets.

When I decided to make this, it was a last minute effort to use what I had hanging around the house. I quickly opened my pantry and found a bunch of ingredients that would come together to create a super moist and decadent dark velvet cake with a heavenly white chocolate ganache drizzle.

Bundt cakes happen to be my favourite to make simply because of the pan. It’s a one shot deal. Make your batter, plunk it in and bake. Then drizzle with just about anything because really? This is an idiot proof way to decorate a cake. No crumb coating or fondant needed. Just pure unadulterated CAKE.

And if you’re like me, I’m not really crazy about wasting time decorating and futzing around with cakes. Let me just unleash my bundt and be done with it.

One thing is for sure.

Sometimes it pays to sweeten the lives of those who take such good care of you.

Dark Velvet Bundt Cake With White Chocolate Ganache

– 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
– ¾ cup buttermilk
– ¼ cup espresso or coffee, cooled
– 2 eggs
– 1 tablespoon red food coloring, (I use organic from Whole Foods)
– 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
– 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1 3.5 oz package Hersheys Instant Chocolate Pudding
– White Chocolate Ganache Recipe for Drizzle – See below

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Grease and flour bundt pan.
3) In stand mixer combine oil, buttermilk, espresso (or coffee), eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.
4) Mix at medium speed until well blended.
5) In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet ingredients (slowly so they don’t explode in your face). Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes on medium high speed).
6) Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cake plate to finish cooling.
7) Prepare ganache recipe below and drizzle on cooled cake.

White Chocolate Ganache

– 1 cup chopped white chocolate – bar or chips is fine
– ¼ cup heavy cream

1) Place a medium size saucepan filled with 1 inch of water on the stove and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
2) Place chocolate in a heat safe bowl that fits over the saucepan ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate slowly over the water, stirring constantly.
3) In a separate small saucepan, heat heavy cream. DO NOT BOIL, otherwise it will scorch.
4) Add melted chocolate to heavy cream and stir to blend. It should look nice and glossy.
5) Let cool slightly and drizzle over cake.

See ya next week!
debi@simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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February 8, 2017

Chef Luke makes Vanilla Heart Shaped Cupcakes

We are HUGE fans of Weelicious. She is a chef in California who develops the most fantastic kids recipes. Chef Luke wanted to make heart shaped vanilla cupcakes for his class in honor of Valentine’s Day. So we adapted the Mini Vanilla Cupcakes recipe from Weelicious to bake these off.

These cupcakes were super easy to make and the best part was we had most of the ingredients on hand.

Luke has a little crush on a girl named Izzy in his class…and couldn’t wait to get his heart shaped decorating on.

We pulled out silver, pink, red, and lip shaped sprinkles for Luke to decorate with. He also requested that we make the frosting pink, so we added a few drops of hot pink food coloring to the cream cheese frosting that we made.

Of course Luke topped the cupcakes with the glitter lips from the Little Miss Valentine’s Day party in a Box. Super cute…

And then it was time to EAT!

Personally, I think that the frosting tastes like Pepto Bismol with the pink food coloring. So my suggestion…leave it out! Meanwhile…Luke was so happy and proud of his pretty, festive cupcakes. Watch how it all went down here and for the original recipe click here.

Video by Maggie Antalek and Abby Copleston

xx, Seri
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February 2, 2017

Fondue Party

Wanna know the best idea ever? A fondue party!

The other day my son asked me how my day was and what I worked on. I told him:  a fondue party shoot.

His mind…was blown.

“We have a fondue set???????”

oh, yeah.  Totally.  It’s been stashed away in our cupboard!

What better time of year to pull it out?  It’s cold and Valentine’s day is coming up! Chocolate, strawberries and marshmallows?  I mean…c’mon!

Every Valentine’s day we stay home and enjoy dinner as a family. This is for two reasons:

1.) Valentine’s day is a sh*t show in NYC.  The restaurants are packed, the menus are prix fix, it’s meh.

2.) February 15th is the anniversary of my first date with Adam, now 17 years ago. Yow.

So every year we go out to a nice dinner on the 15th to avoid the crowd and celebrate our anniversary.

Anyway, this year on Valentine’s day, the plan is to set the table with the Valentine’s Day edition of the LMP in a Box (obviously), order in dinner and have chocolate fondue for dessert.

I am going to make a family cocktail: scoop of raspberry sorbet, champagne for the adults and club soda for the kids, garnished with fresh raspberries. YUM!

I am going to set note cards on the table with pens and markers and we can all write a card to each other, how cute?!

And of course, decorate the table with tons of fresh roses and pretty florals.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xx, Seri
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