Archives for posts with tag: dessert

I know of a couple that got married several years ago in November and took advantage of the season. Instead of serving the usual chicken or filet mignon, they served a meal of turkey with stuffing and seasonal vegetables, presented elegantly and enjoyed by all. Perhaps they were ahead of the seasonal catering trend popping up this season. From what I can see, they came out on top (and under budget) for three reasons:

Guaranteed Freshness: So, it’s November and you’re hell-bent on having strawberries? Think twice, as these and other summer fruits are not at their peak season, ergo the quality may be sub-par. Instead, stick to fruits in season such as apples, figs, pomegranates, pears and cranberries, just to name a few, when they are at their best and can be incorporated into truly delectable dishes.

Cost-Effective: On the note of guaranteed freshness, I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to pay more for a lesser quality wedding meal, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Well, if you go for products that are out of season, that is exactly what you will be doing. Furthermore, holiday favorites such as turkey begin to cost less than chicken or fish during this time, making it a welcome alternative to the usual wedding meal suspects.

Comforting: There is also the comfort factor to consider. True, you and your guests may be eating a lot of turkey, stuffing, candied yams, pumpkin pie… but, is anybody complaining? These food tend to be comforting to most and rarely get complaints, thus making sure there is something for everyone. Besides, these food can be presented in an elegant, whimsical fashion (say pumpkin soup served in miniature pumpkins), lending a posh twist to a perennial favorite.

With that being said, here are my picks for a fall wedding menu, all taken from Epicurious.com:

Starters
Spicy Green Salad with Machego and Pears
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Main Course
Porcini Mushroom Turkey with Mushroom Gravy
Rustic Bread Stuffing with Bell Pepper and Fresh Thyme
Haricots Verts, Roasted Fennel and Shallots

Dessert
Harvest Pear Crisp with Candied Ginger
Cafe Au Lait Pudding
Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Caramel

Signature Cocktails
The Autumn Orchard
Rosemary Martini
Flaming Brandy Punch

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The dessert bar has become a welcome alternative (or addition) to the wedding cake served during the reception. However, not all of us are able to hire a professional such as Amy Atlas to build a display out of color-coordinated macaroons that match perfectly with swirly lollipops and the table runner. So, here are the basic DIY steps steps for building your own dessert bar without breaking the bank.

The Set Up: Apothecary jars have made a comeback as the ideal containers for candy at the dessert bar. They can be found on several specialty sites at moderate prices. They can also be found cheaper still in the home decoration sections of various stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls, along with retailers such as Target. For candies, make sure you have candy scoops available so that guests won’t be so inclined to use their bare hands for loose, unwrapped sweets. You can also use more traditional cake stands and trifle bowls for your bar to display smaller baked good such as brownies, blondies, and cookies. If you’re still bent on having a wedding cake, use it as the centerpiece.

Apothecary Jar with Lid, $26.99, SaveonCrafts.com

Anchor Hocking Trifle Bowl, $9.99, Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Tiered Pedestal Serving Plates, $24.99, Target

The Decor: Your dessert bar will most likely be inspired by your color palette, which will help it serve the purpose of further decoration. However, make sure you add touches of decor to it to avoid a sterile effect. This can be done by adding a table cloth and runner in colors that are in line with your overall scheme. Use flowers, but minimally so they don’t detract from the display. Candles are a no-no; the heat may melt some of the goodies (especially chocolate) and over-eager guests may burn themselves. Even if your dessert bar is a carnival-inspired kaleidoscope, still add a pop of color found within the overall palette-just, don’t use them all, as doing so would be sensory overload.

This Amy Atlas creation uses a trendy color palette of yellow and black along with vintage-inspired vessels to display the dessert.

This Amy Atlas creation mixes a modern color palette of yellow and black with vintage-inspired pieces.

Colin Cowie mixed sweet pink, sophisticated black, and full-blown glamour for this decadent display.

Monochromatic candy bars such as this are perfect for minimalist mavens.

The Goodies: Candy is a relatively easy thing to buy in bulk, even old-fashioned favorite such as whirly pops or rock candy swizzle sticks. For items that are more of a novelty, several web sites that sell old-fashioned favorites are available. Otherwise, put that Costco membership to good use and stock up. If you have a bit more money to burn, personalized M&M’s in your wedding colors will be a fool-proof hit.

Bulk Candy Sites:
Candy Warehouse
Candy Direct
Candy Favorites
A Candy Store

As for baked goods, don’t look past your local bakery, as large quantities of cookies or brownies may be cheaper than you think. Even bakeries that specialize in wedding cupcakes or cookies could offer reasonable prices for their products. If all else fails, your local supermarket or bulk shopping superstore will gladly provide the baked goods you need you need with a professional touch and a low price.

These three basic steps will help you start brainstorming on how to build your dessert bar. If you’re in need of more inspiration, visit the following sites:

Amy Atlas
Hostess with the Mostess
Swank Sweets
The Celebration Shoppe Blog

…or, just type “dessert bar” in the search engine of your favorite wedding/hostess blog. I’m sure they too have something to say on the matter.

I saw this Valentine’s Day-themed dessert buffet done by the talented Amy Atlas on Hostess with the Mostess’ blog and I just had to share it! The pink color scheme, French macaroons, and overall lovely presentation could serve as some inspiration for a dessert buffet for your bridal shower or wedding. What’s not to love?

Too sweet for words! Click here to see the rest of Amy Atlas' creation.

Wedding cakes have gone far past their humble white buttercream beginnings into works of art. Tradition has given way to lavish cake decorations such as fondant flowers, 24 karat gold dusting, and sugar bling along with exotic new flavors being added all of the time. However, these cakes can cost thousands of dollars! So, what’s a bride to do if she wants the same impact for less change.

Brides Magazine teamed up with five noted wedding cake designers to conceptualize five wedding cakes that pull inspiration from their pricier counterparts without breaking the bank. With a few slight changes, the savings can be quite sweet.

Click here to see the cakes.

When it comes to weddings one of the details that rarely, if ever, escapes anyone’s notice (besides your fabulous gown) is the cake. Besides the fact it’s usually the last thing on the agenda, it’s also the highest anticipated aspect. The Knot has compiled a guide for stumped couples to follow including flavor advice, decor pointers, and ensuring that you actually get a slice (sounds crazy, but you’ll be surprised).

Click the photo to read "12 Wedding Cakes Dos and Don'ts" on TheKnot.Com

Click the photo to read "12 Wedding Cakes Dos and Don'ts" on TheKnot.Com

This one is exclusively for my South Florida brides on the hunt for something sweet-namely, a wedding cake.

The cakes featured in my Bridal Show post were created by Divine Delicacies, located across the street from FIU’s south campus. Not only are they master cake decorators, they are master bakers as well. I sampled their cake flavors at the bridal show: vanilla rum (their signature flavor), lemon, coconut, and guava cream cheese cake. Trust me, these cakes will taste just as good-if not better-than they look. When it comes to cake decor, there is nothing they won’t do from traditional to colorful to an homage to the work of Miami’s ┬álocal artistic icon Romero Britto.

Click here to go to the Divine Delicacies homepage to view an extended gallery and for contact information.