Monday, December 23, 2013

Cityscape in Phoenix, Arizona ~ 2013 LaVallee Ice Capades

If you've got 9 minutes to kill and want a glimpse at a holiday day in the life with my husband's family, then this video may be just the thing for you. My husband, Mike, is the oldest of five kids. When you get us all together, it's almost certain to be entertaining. Mike didn't join in the skating but worked safely as camera man (and heckler) on the sidelines.

Without further adieu, here's the LaVallee crew on ice at Cityscape in Phoenix, AZ. An outdoor skating rink is quite a novelty and engineering marvel for us warm weather folk. Oh yeah, and I've been skating for years on figure skates but this is my first experience with hockey skates. I'm sore today, haha.


The Lemonista

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Best Of Elf On The Shelf

Every year we all look forward to Elfie's arrival. Here are the 2013 highlights from my home. 

Until next year, Elfie! We'll miss you.

~The Lemonista

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blue Cheese Stuffed Pepperdoo, An Easy Holiday Appetizer

My dear friend, Laurel, introduced me to blue cheese stuffed pepperdoos and after the first taste, I was hooked!

Sweet and spicy with the robust bite of blue cheese, these pretty little appetizers are bursting with flavor. Party guests go nuts over them and I get immediate requests for the recipe. These are simple to make, so let's get started.

There are two ways you can make these. The first is to simply use a spoon to stuff them with blue cheese crumbles. I fancy them up a bit, however, and pipe my blue cheese into the pepperdoos. To do this I buy around a 10oz wedge of good blue cheese to fill 32 pepperdoos. You can find pepperdoos in the "Olive Bar" at most high end grocery stores.

I put the crumbles in my mixer and bring them to room temperature.

Next, I add a splash of heavy whipping cream and whip until the consistency of spreadable bakery icing, adding more cream as needed while you whip. I'd say I've used around 1/4 cup total off cream for this batch.

Using a spatula, I fill the whipped blue cheese into a pastry bag with a large star tip.

Place the pastry tip into the hole of the pepperdoo and fill it with your whipped blue cheese until you get a star on the top. 

When you've finished filling all your pepperdoos, arrange them on a platter.

You can stop here if you wish, but I like to add some extra color by garnishing with fresh minced chives. 

I simply sprinkle the minced chives over the top and now I have an amazingly delicious & festive appetizer!

I use a few extra sprigs of fresh chive to decorate the plate, because I'm a "more is more" kinda gal and can't help myself. 

Time to sample my work. 


~The Lemonista

linked to:
French Country Cottage

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Scene Cupcake In A Jar ~ Think Vintage Snow Globes!

Given the task of creating a handmade gift for a holiday mug swap with a $15 limit, I came up with this idea that tastes as good as it looks!

I found these darling clear glass mugs that look like a vintage canning jars at the Dollar Tree for only $1. Standard canning jar lids fit these mugs, so that made them even more perfect. I filled the jar with layers of white almond cake and whipped white frosting and then topped them with fondant trees and edible glitter to create a darling winter scene reminiscent of vintage snow globes.

Here's how I did it:

I started by baking a white cake mix in a 9 x 13" pan. I added 1/2 tsp almond extract to the batter but other than that, followed the directions on the box. I allowed the cake to cool completely.

I cut a piece of cake about the same circumference of my jar and then trimmed off all the browned edges so only white cake was showing.

I pressed the cake into the bottom of my jar, using a spoon to reach.

Clean up any smudges on the inside of your glass jar with a slightly damp paper towel. Now you are ready to pipe a layer of frosting. I am using a whipped frosting here because it is easy to spread and looks most like snow. If you do not have a pastry bag, put your frosting into a large Zip-lock bag and cut off the corner.

Now add another layer of cake.

Add another layer of frosting.

The cake portion of this project is finished. Time to make the trees. I used store bought light green fondant icing. This is very much like working with Play-Doh.  I formed some fondant into a cone shape.

Then rolled a long "snake" out of more fondant.

Using a rolling pin, flatten the snake and roll it out thin.

Moisten the cone by rubbing it with a small amount of water with your finger tip. This will help the fondant strip to stick. Next, start wrapping your long flattened piece around the cone. Start at the bottom and work your way up, making little pleats as you go.

I give the top a little pinch to form it into a point.

You can find edible luster dust on the cake decorating isle in craft stores. Use a dry paint brush to dust it on your trees.

Carefully place your trees into the jar, arranging them like a winter forest.

Sprinkle with white edible glitter found here, to make your snowy scene sparkle like new fallen snow.

To add a touch of color, sprinkle just a few edible pastel color dragees found here around your scene.

Time to put on the lid. I found this darling jar lid topper on Etsy.

In keeping with the white theme, I tied a white silk ribbon around the lid and attached a vintage spoon. You can find vintage spoons at the Goodwill or antique stores. I paid $1 for this one.

You can use any flavor and color of cake and frosting you wish with this project. So many possibilities here. If you don't want to make the trees, I think the Peeps snowmen would also be very cute in these jars/mugs.

Hope this inspired you to make your own creation!


The Lemonista

Linked to:
French Country Cottage
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