Cheers: French Macaroons

IMG_5420I realize I’ve recently blogged a recipe and another one might be a little over kill but I am beyond excited about these little babies that we made for my daughter’s birthday party.  I will post the whole party soon AND share my experience making the Petits Fours I talked about here.  They didn’t go as smooth as the recipe makes you believe, but I’ll explain later.

Today, I bring you…Basic French Macaroons.IMG_5429

I threw Zeda a little afternoon tea party with her closest girl friends.  In attendance were 8 sweet little 3-4 year olds and I realized they couldn’t come to tea without Macaroons.

I knew Macaroons could be tricky and I didn’t really have the time (or patience) to make the recipe over and over until it was right so I searched for a simple, well directed recipe and found this one on POPSUGAR Food.  Then I handed over the iPad and sent my hubby to the kitchen.  You see, my husband is a science guy and he follows directions to a T, never skipping steps or guessing amounts.  Since he actually likes to cook and he’d do anything for his little girl, he happily obliged.

Guess what?  They turned out fantastic!  The girls were happy, the mamas were happy and Jarrod was proud of his work.

Perfect.

Here is what you need:

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Click here to see the whole recipe and directions.

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Cheers: Petits Fours

This weekend is big.  My sweet Zeda girl turns 4 and we have a few parties lined up.  First, a little Tea Party tomorrow afternoon with her favorite little girl friends.  I’m working hard today getting everything baked and organized and these little beauties are on the list!

They seem so easy and look so pretty; I’ll let you know how they turn out.

From Amy Atlas in Country Living:

“People will swear these are from a fancy bakery,” says Atlas of this tempting shortcut. To follow her lead: Use a serrated knife to cut the crust off a pound cake, then slice the cake into one-inch squares. Place them on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath, pour icing over the squares, and let set for an hour. Atlas’s 60-second icing recipe? Mix four tablespoons of water to two cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar. Tint the mixture by stirring in a bit of gel food-coloring.

I’m off to start these Petits Fours!

Stay tuned, I’ll be writing much more about her birthday in the next couple of weeks.

 

417 Magazine: Sweet Sweet Baby

We are so excited to share a sneak peak of our article in 417 Magazine Summer Home issue.  We had a blast planning out Baby Bade’s shower and bringing it all together.  We will post more photos another day but for now, here is a little look for your Friday.

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you enjoy your weekend.  The Social Graces team is off to another wedding!

Photos: Meg White Photography

Desserts: Cynthia Matrone and Elle’s Patisserie.

 

Party: Ava’s Pinkalicious Party

edits182My sweet sweet niece, Ava, is turning 3 and this little spitfire is a total Princess.  What better way to celebrate her than a PINKALICIOUS party!

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For those of you who haven’t heard, there is a book series called Pinkalicious and if you haven’t guessed it; Pinkalicious loves PINK.  Here is a quick summery from Pinkalicious:

Pink, pink, pink! More than anything, Pinkalicious loves pink, especially pink cupcakes. Her parents warn her not to eat too many of them, but when Pinkalicious does . . . she turns pink! When the pink does not wash off, she is told by her doctor to eat only green food to get better. Instead, she eats just one more pink cupcake! Pinkalicious has gone too far this time and in order to return to normal, she knows just what she has to do.

This sparkling picture book celebrates all things pink while showing that being yourself is best of all.

It is such a cute book and makes for a great party theme.  Our little Ava doesn’t need to be pink to be beautiful…she already is and so was her special day!

IMG_5311edits185IMG_5309edits183The Menu:

Strawberries n’ CreamTaffy
Grapefruit Sours
Strawberry wafers
Pinkalicious Rocks
Strawberry Gummies
Pinkalicious Jelly Bellies
Raspberry M&Ms
Raspberry Meltaways
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Dipped Strawberries
White Chocolate Filled Raspberries
Pink Lemonade Fudge
Pink Lemonade Spritzer
Pinkalicious Cookies
Pink Marshmellows
Cream Cheese Mints

Pinkalicious Cupcakes : The Hot Chocolate

 

Sweet Little Details: Homemade Granola Bars

Image by Jen Campbell

I’m trying to eat a little healthier, but being a party planner with a major sweet tooth…well, you can see my dilemma.   We have some major events coming up with lavish desserts and I cannot wait, which means I have to be extra disciplined at home.  It’s not an options for the planner to NOT try the desserts.  We have to know who has the best in town and to be able to answer questions like, “What does a macaroon taste like?” Right? Right.

However, it’s always nice as a host to offer something on the light or low calorie side.  If you have a woman’s brunch or a baby shower coming up, these are perfect.  They come from our favorite Sweet Little Details friend, but she received the recipe from one of our other friends, Courtney.  Enjoy!

Granola Bars

2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup total (or more!) of any extra goodness you want! -Chocolate Chips, cranberries, nuts, coconut, etc.

For these I added 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips and 3/4 cup coconut.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, (extra ingredients) and salt.

Make a well in the center, and pour in the oil, honey, egg, applesauce and vanilla. Combine with a large spoon. Pat down the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Use a section of plastic wrap over the pan to press down and make it nice and smooth!

Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges, but are still a little shiny. DO NOT OVER BAKE!

Cool for 5 minutes, and then cut into bars while still warm. Serve when completey cool & enjoy!

 

 

Easter Party

It’s almost Easter, we at Social Graces are beyond excited for Spring and our 2013 wedding season to kick off.

We hope you get a little inspiration from this super cute Easter party by Leanne at Catch My Party.  Enjoy your Holiday weekend with your friends and family.  We encourage you to take away from a few of our inspiration pieces here and here and add a little flare to your family gathering.

easter party

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