Monday, August 9, 2010

Fancy Nancy

Recently a customer contacted me to do cupcakes for her daughter who was really into Fancy Nancy books. Being immersed in a world of baseball and testosterone I had never heard of the books, but was excited to learn more. Apparently they are all about a girl who wants to be fancy and loves all things wonderful like pearls and heels, and feather boas and generally being a bit over the top. My only starting point was that her daughter asked for strawberry fuchsia cupcakes.

Brace yourself for girliness:

Strawberry, fuchsia (or as close as I could get!) cupcakes. To make a bit more...fancy, I went with the rose frosting technique and dipped them in purple sprinkles

I also layered some of the cupcake wrappers for a fun look

Feathers, you may ask? Feathers! Maybe one of the most fun cupcake accessory I've gotten to work with! These are double chocolate cupcakes with hot pink sprinkles accessorized with pink feathers.

A side view.
I had a lot of fun making these. They were just so wonderfully girly. I love getting to do fun and creative stuff as well. I think these would be great fun for a bachelorette party.
Now for a complete change of topic. I don't know about most of you, but it seems like we have been either going to, or hosting quite a few cook outs recently. It seems like with school starting up these are actually increasing with friends getting back together or kicking off new groups or seasons.
While I'm sure it may be assumed that I always bring something very homemade and usually sweet to these types of events, you would be wrong. Not only am I more of a salty person there for bringing mainly more savory dishes (plus that way I have something I know my kids will eat, just in case), sometimes I'm tired of baking cupcakes for my job and just want something quick.
This is where I'm going to share a few shortcuts I have with you. This weekend we were invited to a cookout. We wanted to go but had already had a very full day planned. We would have 45 minutes in the house in which I needed to make something, get me and the boys changed, freshened up and swing by the store to grab drinks.
Confession: I make things from a box. Well, maybe not things, but I do make one thing from a box. Brownies. In particular, Ghiradelli. I buy the box from Costco that has 6 packages, and in 45 minutes I can have wonderful brownies ready to go. Bringing vanilla ice cream usually makes me a rock star as well. They have no hydrogenated oils and are just a shade less tasty than homemade.
Now for an easy savory side dish for cook outs. I don't know about y'all but my family loves baked beans. They can be easy and are usually a crowd pleaser. While I have tried numerous recipes making baked beans from scratch, I haven't found one yet that beats this shortcut. Buy Bush's baked beans, the family size can in the vegetarian flavor. Poor the can in a pretty bowl, add about 3 (or more) tablespoons of your favorite sweet and smokey BBQ sauce. Stir, heat for 3 minutes, cover and walk out the door. These are really good and really simple. In fact there was hardly any we got sent home with and I got irritated at my husband for throwing them out without asking. I was going to eat them as a snack with potato chips. Because I'm pregnant and I can do things like that.
Hopefully that gives you a few easy go to options for you next get together. Fanciness and convenience all in one post. Amazing what I can get done with only one child around!


Julie Seward said...

I love the Ghiradelli mix too! Though they stopped carrying it at my Sam's Club. I could buy the regular size box at Schnucks, but it seem so lackluster after the gigantic box. I started using this recipe :

Super good, and I always have all the ingredients on hand.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh! Clara's cupcakes made the blog. LOVE it. Everyone loved them. Linking this to my FB page right now.