Bambina Mia
Toddlers, Parties and a Day in the Life.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookies For Santa

A last minute job of thirty Christmas "cookie in a jar" office gifts for a family friend yielded these happy mason jars. I wanted to tie an ornament to each one as an additional gift to the recipients and found these really attractive glittering silver bows and stars in the dollar section at Walmart (ahhh glitter - the herpes of Christmas). Tied up with a red satin bow and a recipe card attached, these make a fab and festive gift or party favor!

These dollar ornaments are a total steal!

Recipe card attached to the back

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First Catering Gig!

Busy, busy, busy! I booked my first professional catering gig recently creating desserts for the crazy talented Jeff Lavia from Dinner MoJo, and was asked to provide one hundred mini cupcakes and one hundred cake pops for a private "winter lodge" themed Christmas party. Having a ton of chocolate ganache left over from our Haute Chocolate fund raiser, I psychotically decided to bust out over a hundred truffles for the party to showcase what I can do, in hopes of booking future jobs.

Adorable mini spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate cake pops with snowflake sprinkles.

Truffle mania!

And the party was gorgeous! Everything was already set up at the dessert table. I just filled in their cake stands with the treats and left them with pan after pan of goodies to be replenished throughout the night. What a great first experience!

All the extra work was totally worth it when I received this text from Jeff: "People are raving about the desserts!! And that was probably the best cake pop I've had. And the truffles - omg - those were the best truffles I've ever had, hands down. Great job!!! I was not expecting the hard shells and the soft chocolate inside."

Hooray for rave reviews!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Haute Chocolate

So excited to share pictures from our hugely successful, first-ever grass roots attempt at fund raising for our co-op preschool, which is in danger of closing due to budget cuts. My partner in planning this little event, Erin, and I wracked our brains for ways to raise money when it dawned on us: ladies love chocolate!

We came up with our "Truffles for Tots" idea calling it a Haute Chocolate party where we would do a truffle making demo, get the ladies nice and lubed up on cheap red wine and ask for donations. Never having done anything like this before, we crossed our fingers and hoped to raise $300. We had such a great turn out and unbelievably generous donors that we tripled that and actually raised almost $900.00!

Two Buck Chuck gets dressed up with custom labels.

The most perfect donation receptacle ever for our event!

We did a dry run to work out the kinks of the truffle making portion of our event and, with all the lengthy refrigeration needed in between steps, decided it would be impractical to have our guests be hands on, as originally planned. This left me with the daunting task of cranking out over ten dozen truffles in time for the party. Needless to say, I am a proficient truffle maker now.


Here is the phenomenal recipe I used from Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacque Torres. I tweaked it to avoid the whole tempering chocolate business (I am less proficient in candy thermometer usage) by using chocolate candy melts instead. The truffles were then boxed up and wrapped as take home thank yous.

Take home truffle boxes

I put together a scaled down version of one of my dessert tables, adding a couple of hot savory appetizers for guests to nibble on.

Love how the banner turned out.

Banner detail

With a cherry on top!

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Marshmallow pops!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular

Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Halloween has finally come and gone and I am so over fake spiderwebs stretched across my house and all things zombie! It is official - I am ready for Christmas to get here. But before I hang a sprig of mistletoe I thought I'd share some photos from our family's Fourth Annual Halloween Spook-tacular. We had a great turn out of kids (and adults) ready to carve up some pumpkins, bob for apples and parade in their costumes.

I received so much wonderful feedback from partygoers regarding the decorations, food and dessert displays. Please enjoy the photos and Happy Halloween! (Only one more year before we get to do it all over again - oy!)

The spooky dessert buffet

Putrid Pudding cups

Perennial faves - the candy apples

Sour apple cotton candy

Cockroach cupcakes - adorably disgusting

Malted milk balls

Dollar Tree swirl pops get dressed up for Halloween.

Menu for the night

Overview of the creepy kitchen

Spider pod people - loved these!

Guess how many Ogre Boogers are in the jar (366!)

Mad scientist specimens on the bakers' rack

Specimen details

Abby's playhouse lands on the Wicked Witch!

Pumpkin carvers hard at work

An oldie, but a goodie - always a hit!

Hailey and Abby - 2010

Hailey and Abby - 2009

Julia is Snow White

Baby Lilly and Andrew

The motley crew - Happy Halloween!