Go ahead and Leap

It only comes around every four years, so if you've been dreaming up something big... today is for you my friends.  Go ahead... take the leap.

photo © cookieluver33

A Rustic Ranch Wedding

Katie + Kyle were married at Holland Ranch, a beautiful venue in San Luis Obispo.  I simply loved all their charming rustic details, captured and submitted by Danielle Capito Photography... from the antique book centerpieces (since they are both English teachers), to the mason jars, monograms and fresh wheat.

photos © danielle capito photography

Venue: Holland Ranch
Event Planner: Sassy Celebrations
Floral Designer: Lori Boe
Cake Designer: Cakes by Judy
Cinema and Video: Jonathan Conflenti

Sponsor Spotlight: Dressing on the Side

Our new sponsor has the most adorable (and soft!) cotton tees in her Etsy shop.  Donna of Dressing on the Side creates customized silk screened shirts with food inspired themes.  I've been rocking the 'Morning Buzz' and my husband loves his 'Bears Love Cupcakes' tee, but it was kinda hard to choose a favorite.  Just look at all these fun, fresh designs... they make me both happy and hungry.

This week, enjoy 30% OFF at Dressing on the Side! Exclusively for CAKE. readers and good through Sunday (3/4) - just use the code "cake2012".  Happy shopping!

photos © dressing on the side

This is a sponsored post, but the review is my honest opinion.  If you have a shop that you think would be a good fit for CAKE. and are interested in sponsorship, we'd love to hear from you.

A Brunch Picnic

Hello again from Caroline of Coeur De La! Going on a picnic is one of my favorite past times. I love filling up my basket with an assortment of delicious foods and heading out for a relaxing afternoon. Well, it also just so happens that I love to picnic when the weather is cool and crisp, and a wool blanket is not only a must have for sitting on but to snuggle up and keep warm. Lucky for you, February and March happen to be some of the best months for a winter picnic.

Now when most people think of picnic foods they think along the lines of lunch, but I am going to change your way of thinking and entice you to plan a picnic brunch. Brunch foods are perfect for a winter picnic as they involve coffee, scones, and breakfast sandwiches that will keep you nice and warm while you picnic outside.

The Perfect Picnic Brunch Menu

I planned our picnic brunch menu around seasonal ingredients and what I love to bake at the cafe I work at. I found a cute box to line with parchment paper for my box of scones. My scone of choice right now is a maple date walnut scone that is perfectly sweet, warm, and all together perfect for a chilly afternoon. The morning of our picnic I woke up early, mixed my dough, and stored half the dough in the freezer for another day, and baked a half dozen maple date walnut scones. I love the way my kitchen smells while baking scones. Even when these scones cool they still have the ability to keep you warm, and when served with a piping cup of coffee, you will never want to leave your picnic blanket.

Greek Yogurt Parfaits with Granola 
I love making simple yogurt parfaits in mason jars as they are easy to transport, look cute, and are a great alternative to scones. I found some tasty granola at the Davis Co-Op (you can easily make your own granola), layered a mason jar with granola and yogurt, capped my mason jar, and had the simplest and tastiest yogurt parfaits for our picnic.

Breakfast Baguette Sandwiches 
with smoked bacon, chevre, fried egg and arugula 
I love having a fresh sandwich on a picnic and even though it was a brunch picnic, I knew a breakfast sandwich would be easy to transport, filling, and satisfying. My husband and I love breakfast sandwiches, so when we unwrapped our parchment paper and took our first bite into our sandwich, warm egg yolk dripped all over our hands while chevre, crispy bacon, and arugula popped with flavor ... we knew that these sandwiches would be a picnic brunch staple. You can easily adapt this recipe to your liking and make a just as tasty vegetarian option with sun dried tomatoes, chevre, and arugula.

Coffee or Tea 
We filled a thermos with Guatemalan coffee (a gift from my husband's brother) and brought two mugs so we could enjoy coffee. For me, there is nothing quite like sitting on a blanket in the early hours of a crisp cool morning drinking a hot cup of coffee. If you like cream and sugar just pack two small mason jars with cream and sugar and you are set ... morning coffee perfection while you picnic.

Seasonal Fruit 
To balance the meal out we chose to bring seasonal fruit for dessert. We brought several dates and deliciously sweet pears that capped off our morning picnic. We packaged our fruit in small brown bags and made sure to bring a knife for slicing.

There is nothing quite like savoring the last few sips of coffee, sitting outside on a crisp cool morning, and truly appreciating a good meal. A meal that transformed our winter afternoon and brought warmth to the rest of our week. So, the next time you are in a mood for a picnic, plan a picnic brunch with those you love. 

photos © coeur de la

Breakfast Sandwiches on Baguettes
with chevre, arugula, bacon and fried egg

-one small package of chevre
-a bundle of arugula, no more than a handful
-4-6 strips of bacon
-2 farmers' market eggs (or any egg)

1. Beforehand, cook your bacon till nice and crisp, pat dry as bacon is greasy. Then fry two eggs till over medium in a small pan.
2. Slice a baguette into thirds ... use two for your sandwich and save the other to slice into pieces for jam. Toast your baguette ... we like to do so in our oven for several minutes
3. Slice your two baguette pieces in half and spread a thick layer of goat cheese, then add your arugula.
4. Place three strips of bacon on your open sandwich with the arugula and chevre. For the final touch, add your fried egg. Place the other piece of your baguette on top and wrap your sandwich with parchment paper and tie with twine.

You can adapt this sandwich to your liking, but have fun making a savory brunch sandwich as they go perfectly with a warm cup of coffee!

All in the Details | Terrariums

West Elm's recent catalog featured some beautiful terrariums created by designer Shane Powers, along with his step by step guide to creating a tabletop version for yourself. Terrariums have made a resurgence as of late, and I happen to think they make an inspired DiY centerpiece for events.  Check out some of my favorites from around the web...

photos (top to bottom) via: west elm // sprout home // design sponge // flora grubb // paula hayes // martha stewart // doodle bird // project wedding

A Classic Transportation Themed 2nd Birthday

Casey of the blog My Life as a Sugar Lander is such a talent. I always love her creative projects and she was kind enough to share her son Noah's recent 2nd birthday party with us here. Simple sweet and full of fun... which is exactly what a second birthday party should be. The wooden trucks in handcrafted invitations are just plain brilliant.  As a sidebar, Casey and her family just made a huge move to Scotland this month, so join me in wishing them the best on their new adventure.

photos © casey baudoin

From Casey: We celebrated Noah turning two this past weekend.  It was a lot of fun!  For his second birthday, we had a festive transportation theme, complete with a little wooden cake topper, car and bus cut outs (inspired by Orla Kiely and Dwell Studio) and some cardboard cars and airplanes. There also seemed to be a stripe theme too which I didn't plan.  What can I say, I love stripes!  For the invites, I found these wooden trucks months ago at Michael's, and picked some up, thinking they would be good decor for the party.  I decided to use them as part of the invitation instead. I also made a little pom pom for the top of Noah's birthday hat.  It was super easy to make!  For the cake, I finally got to try making a rainbow cake, although I attempted a gradient green.  I liked the 4 greens I did a lot more when they were in the batter stage.  Once cooked, it looked like I made 2 layers of 2 colors.  It was pretty all icing-ed up and was yummy to eat.  Noah loved the sparkle candle too!  It was such a fun afternoon with friends and family. We'll have to do it again!