Here are the invitations I made:
I just typed up the invites in MS Word, printed them out two per page and cut them in half. Then I took an old atlas, tore out a bunch of pages, cut them in half and glue-sticked the invite to a map. Super easy, kind of time-consuming (though I was gluing them while watching a movie so that may have been why) but I got TONS of compliments on them from my neighbors!
[Side note: we've lived in this house for almost 20 years, so my neighbors have seriously watched me grow up-- my first bike, learning to drive, graduating from high school and college, etc]
I wanted to make a special dessert, too-- part of my "I'm 24 and need to learn how to bake or else my future kids are screwed" summer mentality-- and after browsing around some of my favorite baking blogs, I found a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. It was actually a guest post on Carrie Sellman's cake blog, Half Baked.
These are the treats as created by cupcake contributor Lauren of Crave.Indulge.Satisfy:
|I loved her idea for making cupcake jars but I'm taking baby steps with my baking... for now =)|
And these are how mine turned out:
I'm sure a professional photo shoot like Lauren's wouldn't hurt too, instead of just a cell phone pic, but you get the idea! What I just can't figure out, though, is how she got her cupcake wrappers to stay so yellow-- mine ended up going from a bright primary yellow to cake-color invisible yellow. How do you maintain the color???
Now, I cheated a little on the cupcakes... Instead of making the cake from scratch (the idea of which still terrifies me as a total newbie baker), I did pick up a box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake mix. But I made the strawberry buttercream frosting totally from scratch! I ended up having to play around a little bit with the proportions of powdered sugar, strawberry puree and lemon zest but overall they weren't too difficult!
And they were a hit at the party =) Everybody loved them and said they can't wait for my cupcakes at our next party!
Things I learned while making these cupcakes:
- How to use a food processor
- How to puree something
- How to use a stand mixer
- The best way to load an icing bag is to fold over the top so you have a cuff, then place it in a glass or jar (with the cuff folded over the top edges of the glass/jar) so you can use both hands!
- Always use an apron! Unless you're baking in an old sorority t-shirt and Soffe shorts...
- Flexible spatulas are a necessity
- Strawberry juice/puree will stain things (spatulas, icing bags, etc.)
- If you don't have a zester, a small handheld cheese grater works just fine
- Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake recipe from Half Baked
- Cross-check of puree directions
Have a great Sunday =)