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Friday, May 25, 2012

Pretty Pink Princess Castle Cake

Pretty Pretty Princess Castle Cake

Oh just one of my all time fav cakes I have made!  I always smile when I see this cake!  One of the moms at the party thought it was a toy castle on the table.  It is covered in marshmallow fondant I made, still working on something less SUGARY for fondant, but not there yet!  But I did post a really cool  alternative healthy vanilla cake recipe below that looks interesting and worth a try! I always put a creamy frosting under my fondant anyway, so when you ate it, you could just leave that tiny edge of fondant there and still have cake and frosting.  The blog below has some interesting frosting recipes without sugar and butter too!

Healthy Vanilla Bean Cake
Dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and grain free! 
(I can't wait to try this!) 
See it here:


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just Sharing What I Saw...

Inspired By Others

So I'm addicted to Pinterest and have found some amazing blogs and healthy recipes that are  just fueling my enthusiasm for the evolution of a party to begin to reflect healthier food choices and still have all the style and fun for everyone, and you guys have had to listen to me go on and on about being more mindful and put more intention into our diets and entertaining. Well apparently, I'm not the only one!  Party food doesn't have to be your old Betty Crocker white flour/white sugar/Crisco cookbook recipes anymore!! 
 There is an evolution of a party taking place with all these innovative new choices!

 Here is a wonderful post from 

Check out this amazing and easy idea I'm sure gonna try....
and get creative with...maple syrup? cocoa powder?
 peanut butter? instant coffee? Berries? OH MY!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Make It Healthy, Make It Pretty!

Peanut Butter Protein Balls, 
All Dressed Up 

My passion for party planning and event styling will never leave me, I just know it.  It's been there since I cut hours worth of tiny roses to add to my wedding dress, years of ordering a half ton of sand for my kid's birthday beach party, making clown costumes, glue gunning and spray painting anything that wouldn't stand still.  

When I finally got to incorporate my love for making decorated cakes and confections with my very own party planning business, I was in sugar covered heaven!!  Well, I have revamped my life, my health and my convictions and I don't eat sugar anymore.  Kinda ruins a gal's cake business huh?  Well.....I've been researching, practicing, and reheating my oven up in my test kitchen to come up with not only healthier, low sugar and no refined foods for my kids and events BUT a way to begin to start to stylize them as well.  Who needs chemical laden, sugar filled cake balls to make a party more colorful and more festive?  I say WE DON'T!  So join me, and check out another of my NEW favorite healthy dessert recipe blogs, 

Peanut Butter Protein Balls
from the amazing Chocohlawtay Blog 
(See some of her other amazing recipes pics on FOODGAWKER)

2 Tbs natural smooth peanut butter
2 Tbs minimum processed honey
1 scoop vanilla protein powder mix 
(Find a good one with minimum ingredients and no artificial sweeteners. 
 A plain organic dry milk or soy substitute would also work.)
Mix powder with honey, cream in peanut butter until combined and roll into balls and chill.

At first I tried lollipop sticks, but they wouldn't stay so I switched to a wooden spoon and
lay the balls into truffle wrappers after covering in chocolate 
to keep things easier and less messy where kids are gonna be involved. 

This is the protein mix I love, it is really all natural and sold  at health food stores
in these little single serving packets which make it easy to use.

I kinda made them "mine" when I melted down low sugar dark chocolate in my chocolate melter, which really
is a tiny crock pot, but it works so so well for dipping frostings and all kinds of things!

This little cutie got a touch of girly love with a few dots of sprinkles and a pretty pink tutu!

This little guy was dressed for spring with a sunflower button and hole punch leaf glued on. 
I can't wait to start incorporating these healthier kid approved recipes into stylized theme parties! I would have practiced with some more ideas, BUT we ate them all before I could keep playing with them!    Stick with me as the inspiration begins to grow. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Graduation, Communion or Christening Cakes

Cross, Caps and Books

Here are some inspiration cakes for this time of year.  These of course were made during my 
"pre-transformation" cake business days of bags of white sugar and white flour covering me and my home! 

Below I will add a healthier version of a cake recipe and of course I am always experimenting with lower sugar frostings you can find on this blog.  Perhaps a cream cheese frosting with a few tablespoons of dry milk to cut the confectioner's sugar would work instead of all butter and all sugar? 

 I still haven't found a solution for high fructose corn syrup fondant, but I sure am trying. 
 I have some new vegan marshmallows and 
am going to experiment with those soon. 
 For now I consider the fondant, a decorative sealant to the frosting
and cake beneath!  That's my story and I'm sticking with it!  :)

This lovely buttercream frosted cake is embellished with a porcelain 
cross and fondant ivy and flowers.  

 Graduation cakes below, ironically two schools with the same color, and similar looking gals!  
The tops of the caps are just covered cake board. The graduates are molded by hand from my
homemade marshmallow fondant I made by the bags full!  

This stack of books cake are four individual sheet cakes, cut and torted with filler.  Each was 
a different flavor.  It was made for a college professor. 

No Flour/No Sugar Chocolate Cake alternative
(Elana Amsterdam's recipe) 

2 C blanched almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 C raw organic agave nectar
2 large organic eggs
1 T vanilla extract

Dust your 9 in pan with oil and flour
 (almond flour if you need gluten free)
Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl
Mix wet with a mixer until combined
Combine all until blended
Bake 350 for about 35 min. MUST cool one hour in pan

Double recipe for two pans to stack

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Healthy Party Appetizers: Kid Approved.

Organic, High Protein, Low Fat
 EASY Healthy Party Food!

So here I spent the full day in my test kitchen trying to come up with more party foods for events that substitute the sugar, fat and chemical laden items I see at parties and other gatherings.  I went back to my trusty pile of Wonton and Pot Sticker wrappers to try and create a healthy low fat appetizer for kids 
and adults, scroll down and see the process...

I used a medium flower cookie cutter (instructions below) and
 turned the tiny cuppie wrappers INSIDE OUT
to show color and create a base for our appetizer. 
 I tried dressing them up in different ways with hole punchers.

I cut low fat organic cheeses with the same cookie cutter and then used
 smaller floral cutters to dress them up a bit. 
 I snuck in Vegan pepperoni which is low fat and high protein! 
 These combined with literally 10 calorie and zero fat wonton crisps
 on the bottom create an amazing event food that is healthy,
 organic, low fat and high protein! 
 No guilt here, we are nourishing our body and eating mindfully,
all while still making a presentation! 

The taste tests came back amazing!  Everyone snatched them up and the kids loved them!
One of my kids said, "I can't believe she is letting us eat pepperoni!"
 haha They really were delicious!  

 Below is the small cupcake pan, with the cut out wonton or pot stickers laid over the 
bottom of the wells and cooked at 350 for about 10 min in the oven.  

After baking....crisp gentle shells! 

Here I used my cuppie Babycakes machine and they came out just as 
wonderful in about five minutes. 

 If you don't want to decorate liners for a display they look adorable on a nice platter
as well.  The middle bowl below hosts some olives with hole punched decorations glued to the picks.  
The kids ate so many before I could get my photos done, I barely have any to display! 

Party food alternative with a healthy twist?  Yup, I'd say it was a home run!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Veggies! More Fruit!

My Systems of Success

My favorite kitchen accessory is my Pampered Chef Chopper.  Certainly, you can find other brands in any department store. 
 I use this endlessly to incorporate
 as many vegetables into our meals as possible. 

Chop chop, it is so easy to use, nothing big to
 drag out and cleans in seconds.  
You can make your veggie pieces as large or small as you like.  

I chop zucchini, carrots, squash and onions into every single savory dish I can get them into.  You can chop the vegetables so small, they are undetectable, even to the most veggie hating picky eater.  I cut all my "hamburgers" (lean ground turkey) and meat loafs totally in half with these little guys and they make it moist and delicious.  The kids don't even know they are there.  A nice pot of bean chili with it's red sauce hides them perfectly!  For the longest time, my kids thought it was the ground beef! 
 Nope....all veggie chili here!

The lighter colored veggies like the yellow squash go into my low fat organic mac n cheese.  Kids--haven't a clue!   Now, I'm not hiding anything mind you, it is just our systems here now.  But really, it works and it is so simple!  I also use some organic baby foods like pureed sweet potatoes to add to anything before it is covered in  bread crumbs (whole grain panko with flax, wheat germ and herbs or no sugar flaked coconut).  You can add the pureed baby food veggie and white beans to muffins and baked goods.

Another great idea is to have bowls or trays
 and an organic low fat healthy dip 
with some raw veggies on the table as SOON as the kids get home from school!  I have something out like the bowl above or a variety on a platter every day.  The kids will migrate right to it for that after school hunger desperation! 

I was making salads to go with dinner and no one would eat it, it would go back in the fridge and get spoiled.  I couldn't understand since the kids will pack their plates at restaurant salad bars!  SO I got the idea....OUR OWN salad bar!  So now I put out a variety of organic lettuces and veggies and even
nuts and seeds and organic raisins for them to choose!  And, it worked!  Now the kids take just what they want for their own individual salad and dressing. Worked like a charm!  So...veggie success three by the time dinner is even over!

Here are a few of my fruit trays I put out on the table as we begin to clean up dishes from dinner.  I like to make dips from greek yogurt and use different skewers and picks to make it fun for the kids! And this is "dessert"!  The plate is cleaned off by the time it gets dark!  Fruits and more!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seriously...THE Best Healthy Cupcake EVER!

THE  Best Lemon Cupcake in the world.....
with zero compromise!  

Organic, no sugar, no flour, 
gluten free lemon cupcakes 
with organic raspberry glaze!! 
 HIGH protein, LOW carb, 
healthy, organic and TOTALLY DELICIOUS! 

 Recipe below....
This is the second time I made this recipe and sent testers to all three of my children's schools and to family and friends.  The reviews revealed raised eyebrows of surprise and total emotional outbursts on how moist and amazing they are.  The testers were instructed to NOT tell they were "healthy".  "I could eat a thousand of these!", "NOW that's a cupcake!!"  "These are amazing!" were the quotes we received.  Not ONE bad review!

I baked mine in the "Babycakes" cuppie machine. I used the small liners and spooned in exactly
1 Tablespoon of mixture and cooked for 6 min in machine.  

This glaze is melted down until smooth
  1 cup (measure after melted down)  frozen organic raspberries in a pan on the stove
 1 T of vanilla
1/4 cup of coconut oil
approx 1/8 c of agave or organic confectioners sugar or to taste

I then spooned it gently over the cuppies, careful not to spill over the edge and refrigerated to set glaze for about 15 min.  I embellished with some quickie fondant flowers I threw together, but anything will work.  Even a single raspberry would be great.  

Other no sugar frosting ideas HERE

Packaged pretty to go.....

SO here it is, and it isn't inexpensive, but  our health is worth it and it is KID approved!
FINALLY a way to celebrate events 
without loading the kids up with all sugar! 
Recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry 

2  organic eggs  
1/4 C grapeseed oil (heart healthy oil!)
1/2 C organic raw agave (about half the glycemic index of sugar!)
1 T pure vanilla extract (optional additional inside of vanilla bean)
2 T juice from a lemon
the zest of one lemon
2 1/2 C blanched almond FLOUR 
1/2 t baking soda

Combine all wet ingredients, mix well with a  hand mixer, combine dry ingredients, then slowly add dry ingredients as you mix carefully to combine.  Do not over mix.  

Small liners use 1 T mixture, it will be thick and easy to measure,
larger cupcake liners use about 2 T mixture
If using the Babycakes cupcake machine they cook for 6 min

If using oven, it is 350 for 10-12 for smaller liners and 350 20-22 for larger.  TEST stick!
Cupcakes need to cool and "rest" about a half hour....middle will seem very moist at first but will
become equally fluffy and consistent after cooling.  Frost as desired. 

Here is the recipe for the amazing CHOCOLATE alternative cupcakes!
See new VEGAN frosting recipe HERE

Read about eating less sugar here.

Thank you to Elana Amsterdam for her amazing cookbooks that inspire me 
and move me to modify and try my own healthy recipes! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Lunch

Mother's Day

My one request for mother's day...lunch on my new "patio"!
I kinda made a make shift patio out of some extra space on the side of our house that was used for some practical purpose prior, and although it won't show up in Home and Garden Magazine, I am enjoying using the prior wasted space.  The girls and I grabbed a bunch of matching things we had stored in my closet of supplies and came up with this fun decor for a wonderful lunch outside!  

Have a few table cloths handy in some general holiday and popular easy to find accessories.  Gerber daisies are always around, polka dots, stripes....things like that.  I just sew table toppers from two selections of inexpensive fabric  that can be used on either side so you can store less. 

I also keep some faux flowers in basic colors and a few 
to match the simple universal toppers or dishes I have.  

A few glass square and cylinder shapes from the Dollar Store can go endless miles in
party decorating.  Here we added 2 drops of blue food coloring to water to bring out the blue in the table topper.  Just floating a top to one of the daisies added a stylized and colorful touch. 

Keeping a few items to "mark" a holiday is nice too.  Perhaps next year we could do an all lime green
theme with just a touch of pink somewhere?  I stopped collecting too much since storage is an issue now and really concentrate on reusing the versatile common items by dressing them up with fabric, craft or wrapping paper, ribbon and other disposables.  

My youngest daughter always humors me with a vast collection of holiday t shirts she loves to collect 
to wear to our parties!  I'd say this is MY favorite!  :)

My favorite roasted heart of romaine salad just fringed with the fired flavor from 
 the grill with pickled onions,
feta cheese and a carrot dressing was such a treat for me on my special day!

I do tend to collect inexpensive items like these cutsie straws and napkins from the Dollar Tree, knowing full well I will find a place for them soon enough.

Yummy no nitrate turkey sandwiches with lettuce on nice wheat hard rolls
 was a perfect light touch to our lunch.  

No time to decorate a zucchini bundt cake?  Just another head of the flowers stuck in the middle.