Monthly Archives: November 2012

9 Delicious Alternatives to the Traditional Wedding Cake

When it comes to dessert everyone’s sweet tooth craves something different. Whether you’re an ice cream fanatic, a pie fiend or a rich chocolate cake lover we can all appreciate a delicious post-dinner treat. So then why do so many people assume they need to have a cake at their wedding?

For those of you who are looking for a unique dessert to offer your guests at your wedding or those who simply aren’t huge cake fans, here are nine delicious alternatives.

1. Croquembouche, Je t’aime

Image by yajiko

As an avid whipped cream lover, I adore profiteroles and therefore obviously am a huge Croquembouche fan, alternatively called “pièce montée ”. This is a much lighter alternative to the classic wedding cake, which works well for anyone wanting to avoid a bloated belly.

In terms of the newly married couple adoringly feeding each other dessert the Croquembouche is dainty and sweet, and the likelihood of spilling crumbs all over you is greatly reduced.

2. Cupcake Collection

Cupcakes are all the rage at the minute; the delicious treats even have multiple Food Network shows dedicated to them. Choosing gourmet cupcakes over one large cake at your wedding means you can go for a variety of flavors, so all of your guests will be sure to find a dessert they can enjoy.

3. Sweet Assortment

Do you have a super sweet tooth? If you’d rather have a chocolate bar or some cotton candy over a piece of cake why not set up a mouth-watering sweet table? Create a mini vintage sweet shop and sprawl your favorite sweets out.

4. Pies Galore

There is a seemingly endless variety of pies that you can whip up for your wedding. Maybe you want to take the season into consideration? If you’re planning a summer wedding bring out a lemon meringue or a blueberry pie. For fall try apple or pumpkin. If you’re having a winter wedding a rich chocolate pecan pie would be luscious and a strawberry crumble would be a hit in the spring.

5. Pastry Paradise

Éclairs, cannoli, biscotti oh my! Pastries are perfect for weddings and depending on the size of your wedding party, could be cheaper than buying a large cake.

6. Macaroon Swoon

A macaroon cake is another splendid choice for a wedding if you’re a fan of less heavy desserts.  Just be sure to have enough for all of your guests!

7. Cheese Mountain

Now here’s a trend I wasn’t aware of until recently. Apparently many people are having ‘cheese cakes’ at their weddings, which are simply however many wheels of cheese as you want stacked to mirror a tiered wedding cake. So if you don’t have a sweet tooth at all and would rather opt for something a little more savory, why not try a cheese wheel cake and some crackers!

8. Donut Ring

I am incapable of passing a Krispy Kreme without popping in for a glazed donut. If you’re like me and love some deep fried dough, why not go for a tastefully decorated donut stand at your wedding?

9. Sundae Love

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! While you may not want people screaming at your wedding, you do want to delight your guests. Creating an ice cream sundae bar with all kinds of toppings, whipped cream and fudge or chocolate sauce is bound to be a hit with the crowd, especially if you are inviting a lot of kids.

Remember, your big day isn’t about how well you can recreate a wedding off the pages of a glossy magazine – it’s about celebrating the unique and special love between you and your partner. It should reflect who you two are as a couple, from what dessert you serve to personalized wedding presents, do it your way.

Elise Leveque is a food lover and French bride to be who blogs for Goodheart Gifts  where she finds trendy presents for her special guests!

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Food Gifts for Seniors

As we age good nutrition becomes even more important, even more so when it comes to seniors. Similar to college kids moving out for the first time and either not eating enough or eating all the wrong things, seniors often don’t cook enough, especially the right combination of foods. A delicious, assortment of food gifts for seniors will help ensure that they eat right, getting all the antioxidants and nutrients they need to lead energetic, vibrant lives full of travel, golf, playing with the grand kids or whatever else it is they enjoy.

Good nutrition can extend life and help keep the body working like a well-oiled machine. Smart food choices can help build stronger bones, muscles, organs and a healthy immune system to ward off illness and help avoid heart disease and diabetes, as well as various cancers. Certain healthy nutrients found in vegetables, fish and nuts can help improve the sharpness of the mind as well and ward off Alzheimer’s.

There are a few ways you can make meals a bit easier for your elderly loved ones. You can start cooking meals for them on a regular basis, trying something new, introducing new spices and fruits or vegetables or offer cooking classes which can be a lot of fun to do together. There are cooking classes available for all types of different cuisines whether you want standard American meals or something more exotic.

All these suggestions make work for some Seniors but how about those that just want to skip whipping up meals and would rather spend their time having fun doing everything else but cooking? That’s when giving food gifts comes in and they’ll love you for it; who wouldn’t love having delicious, gourmet meals stocking their freezers that can be ready in minutes?

MagicKitchen.com offers delicious prepared meals that taste just like traditional home cooking. Any senior in your life that hasn’t been eating as often or as well as they should will want to dig into dishes like home made meatloaf, roasted turkey breast with apple and sage stuffing and even Chicken Marsala; who wouldn’t? You can visit the website and order a combination of delicious food choices based on the recipient’s tastes and who would know that better than you? You can pick desserts, meal bundles, different courses and all sorts of sides for each night of the week and it’s very affordable, only a bit more than it would be if you cooked it yourself.

The choices offered by MagicKitchen.com are also health conscious and you’ll be able to pick which healthy meals you think they’d enjoy including menus catering to diabetics and those who need to stick to low sodium foods. You’ll also have your choice of the perfect fall dishes and can the seniors in your life can plan dinner parties serving foods that can be ready in minutes but taste like they’ve been slaving over the stove for hours.

Food is a necessity, particularly as we age but it needs to be tasty and fun as well. Anyone luck enough to receive the gift of love through the MagicKitchen.com will looking forward to enjoying every meal, and of course desserts like Cherry Bread Pudding with deliciously rich Brandied Brown sugar sauce! Yum!

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10 Unique and Non-Traditional Anniversary Gifts

Being in love is a feeling unlike any other in the world and no other emotion carries the amount of energy, excitement and inner warmth. Marriage takes love and commitment to a whole new level and celebrating the happy union each anniversary is a great way to commemorate that love year after year. Creativity is at the heart of passion so why not give your loved one something unique and thoughtful to honor your special day? Here is a list of some non-traditional anniversary gift ideas you might not have thought about that can jazz up your next anniversary and help make it special occasion that it is.

1. Personalized art that shows you two drawn together in a stylized fashion is like a portrait only a little bit more exciting and unique. You can incorporate all sorts of things from your past and make it into not only a great piece of art but a tribute to your love in both the past, present and future.

2. Anniversary wine package. Wine is a traditional drink for celebrations and over the years it is never forgotten. Wine, much like love, changes and evolves; improving with age and always is fresh and new despite its timeliness. Add some lovely cheese, fresh fruit and gourmet crackers and you have a picnic of sorts.

3. A couple’s letter book. A letter book gives you a chance to create something together; it’s essentially a diary in which you write to each other. The gift giver can add the first entry and write out the story of your love and then the recipient can respond. Over the years this gift will only become more treasured.

4. Professionally engraved necklaces. By having a necklace engraved you leave your mark and your message. You can have it details and custom made to the recipients liking, giving them a wholly unique piece of jewelry they’ll absolutely love.

5. Customized charm bracelets. A lovely charm bracelet complete with custom images of each other allows you to create unique piece of jewelry representing the love shared between you.

6. Create a Custom DVD. This gift choice will require a bit more creativity but you can record a special message personally to her/him on video about your love and incorporate interviews from all of your family and friends. It’s a video keepsake that is sure to be appreciated.

7. A bucket of love. Get a bucket, put some nice designs on it and fill it with things you know your significant other will just love. This is an easy to do option for those crafty romantics out there.

8. Wood creations. Whether it’s a jewelry, accessories or work or art, there is something about beautifully sculptured wood creations that always seem to warm the heart.

9. Beautiful dinnerware. Everything from fine china dishes to shiny silverware are traditional anniversary gifts that provide a timeless way to remind each other of your commitment and love every time you use them.

Chicken Ana Luisa

10. Magic Kitchen Meals. Cooking can be a lot of fun but there are always times when you’d prefer to spend your spare time with your life partner. Give yourself and your significant other a night out without even having to go out. Magic Kitchen delivers delicious home cooked meals right to your door so you can spend a romantic evening together by candle light and never have to leave the home. It’s a great way to enjoy a nice romantic dinner together, complete with dessert. All you need to do is add the roses and a lovely bottle of the bubbly.

Cheryl, MagicKitchen.com Blogger

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Desserts Make Perfect Gifts

“Roses are red.  Violets are blue.  But I’d rather have cookies.  Wouldn’t you, too?”

That might not be the way you remember this little rhyme, but let’s face it — a lot of people feel this way.  Flowers are nice, but are they really worth the money?  A tie lasts a long time – which is part of the problem if you don’t love it.  Perfume?  Headache-inducing.  A gift card? Impersonal.

Ready for the oven Apple Raisin Strudel

Which leads us to another literary reference.  Who said the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?  Whoever it was, they were a genius, although perhaps it is a bit sexist.  After all, isn’t the best way to anyone’s heartthrough their stomach?  And well, desserts are just the cherry on top – far surpassing any other food.

So where do you go to get gift desserts?  Some people would make a beeline to the candy store, but while there’s no doubt that chocolates are divine, they don’t really count as dessert.

What we’re really taking about is cookies, cakes, pies and puddings.  They’re referred to as “scrumptious desserts” on mostlydesserts.com, a website devoted to the truly delectable.

You could spend hours baking your own, but then you’d still need to package up this fragile surprise and send it off as expediently as possible.  So why not just save one big step and go straight to mostlydesserts.com? Here, all you have to do is find the dessert of your dreams and click.  There you’ll see, for better or worse, the ingredients and calorie count.  (I don’t recommend making that information part of the gift card).

Panna Cotta with Raspberry Sauce

Desserts are the perfect choice for almost anyone – from your grandma to your graduate, Boss’s Day or baby shower, and even your own true love.  Especially your own true love.

Desserts are not just a path to someone else’s heart; they’re a gift straight from yours.  They’re unique.  They’re fun.  They can be shared with family and friends or savored in solitude.  Yum.

They’re truly the perfect gift.  And if the giftee doesn’t like desserts?  Well then, you’ll just have to eat it yourself, won’t you?

Guest blog- Senior Living

 

Rugulach- delicate pastry around sweet, nutty fillings

 

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