Tips for Holiday Birthdays

Having a birthday that, defying the principles of probability, seems to fall on the same weekend as Valentine’s Day every year, a father born on Christmas Eve, a brother born on Devil’s Night, and a mother and husband born the same week in April, increasing the odds that at least one of their birthdays will fall on the Easter weekend, I know a thing or two about the troubles of a holiday birthday. Continue reading

Dinner Party Dessert

My husband and I bought a new couch from IKEA today. Since our Volkswagen lifestyle does not support these kinds of large purchases, we needed to enlist the help of a friend with a larger vehicle. This friend would need to do the 45 minute drive with us – both ways – as well as assist my husband with the heavy, awkward lifting of getting the new couch in and the old couch out of the apartment.

We felt that a simple “thanks, here’s some gas money,” wouldn’t cut it, so we decided to host a small dinner party to thank our helpful friend and show the new couch to the others. For dessert I made one of my specialties, Mystery Cake – the mystery ingredient is tomato soup, trust me, it’s delicious and guessing what the mystery ingredient could be is great fun for guests.

Cake Decorating

My first time doing proper printing on a cake – I was pleased with myself

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Wedding Planning VII: Cake

In a perfect world, you should be thinking about and placing an order for your wedding cake nine to twelve months before your wedding. In the real world, I would recommend doing this at least three months prior to your wedding date. As with every other step along the path to planning a perfect wedding, you will be asked many, many questions about the big day when placing your wedding cake order – and you better have the answers if you want this step to go smoothly. What to know before you go:

  • The date of your wedding
  • Time of day of your ceremony and reception
  • The number of guests you will be inviting
  • The number of people in your wedding party
  • The locations of both your ceremony and reception
  • Your colour scheme
  • The flowers you will be using in the bouquets
  • The flowers you will be using to decorate with (centrepieces and what-not)
  • The theme of your wedding (if any)
  • What kinds of cake toppers you like
  • The type of meal you will be serving at your reception (formal sit down vs. buffet)
  • How you want to cut the cake
  • How you want to have the cake served
  • What other desserts you will be serving
  • Your budget

You can then expect to taste some different samples of popular wedding cake choices, both traditional and exotic. Next you will choose the flavours you like best, colours, decorations and style of wedding cake you want. The size of your cake and number of tiers will be determined by the number of guests you will be inviting. The baker you speak with will be able to make well informed recommendations and will be very good at helping you make decisions. If the person you meet with does not ask you an almost overwhelming amount of questions you may want to shop around a bit more, as they are only doing so to give you the best service and outcome possible.

Although my fiancé and I did meet with the baker of this beauty,

Springtime in Paris

Wedding Cake from Sweet Celebrations

we ultimately decided to go with an untraditional chocolate truffle “cake”: a hollow chocolate shell in the shape of a traditional wedding cake filled with high-quality, gourmet chocolate truffles. Possibly the best part, we get to smash it open instead of cutting it. As you can see, wedding cake options today are endless. The time for the traditional fruitcake wedding cake has come to an end; from any flavour of cake desired, to any colour of fondant icing imaginable, to cupcakes, to chocolate truffle “cakes” the time has come to have fun with your wedding cake.

Wedding Planning IV: The Reception

The most important and expensive stage of planning a wedding is not ordering the dress, choosing the wedding bands or booking the photographer – it’s selecting the reception venue. When you pick your venue, you’re not only choosing a location, you are choosing the chef/caterer, co-ordinators, and theme that come with the venue. It’s a grand decision, and it’s going to consume the largest portion of your budget. Continue reading