A Flamingo Bridal Shower

Several weeks ago a few of the girl flamingos came to me with a problem. Or really a question. One of their friends, a flamingo named Fiona, had just gotten engaged, and they wanted to give her a bridal shower. 

Not just any bridal shower though, but one she’d remember for years. A very special, and of course, very pink event. And since they remembered the wedding I’d helped them with a few years ago for another friend, they figured it would be much easier if my friend Karen from Main Stream Events and I helped plan and coordinate it.

How do you say “no” to a group of flamingos when they’re looking at you with those big flamingo eyes and ruffling their bright pink feathers?

Knowing Karen would happily agree to help, I told them to get a guest list together, give us a couple of dates and a few of their ideas and we’d take care of it.

Of course, they already had all that ready for us, and after thanking me several times, they flapped their wings in excitement and headed out to buy shower gifts for their friend while Karen and I set to work!

The first thing we did was to select shower invitations. We presented the girls with several styles to choose from. With so many opinions it took a while, but they finally selected their favorite and Karen sent the order to the printer. 

We even found a special flamingo bridal shower stamp to use for mailing the invitations! How awesome was that!

Next on the list: decorations. They had to be feminine, pink of course, with a hint of gaudiness that flamingos just love! And we gave them a lot of ideas to choose from! So many, in fact, they wanted to use them all and use every room on the first floor of our house (where else?) for the party!

“Only if you flamingos clean up afterwards”, we said. And they agreed. Fortunately.

And no bridal shower is complete without a few games, and we ordered some really nice ones to use! (With Karen and I volunteering to host the games so we wouldn’t have to play.)

Next came ideas for the food. Flamingos love their shrimp, as we all know, so of course their favorite shrimp dishes were included, along with some colorful charcuterie boards.

And of course, no flamingo party event is complete without cocktails, including of course, pink champagne to toast the bride-to-be.

Flamingos also love fancy desserts, and this event absolutely has to have an array of beautiful yet delicious cakes and cookies, of which the leftovers, if there were any, would be boxed up in treat boxes for shower gifts for the attendees as they left. Karen and I actually saved a few of them in the kitchen just in case there weren’t enough left to fill up the leftover boxes!

We gave them a choice of cookies and cakes to choose from, and although they wanted them all, we insisted they pick only two cakes and four trays of cookies! Which do you think they chose?

And of course, all the gifts were wrapped in pink! Fiona had a wonderful time opening everything, and wondering how she’d get them all home!

And just before the party ended, Fiona handed out these cute little message in a bottle gifts to her “flock” to ask them to be in her wedding. Perfect ending to the shower! We also made sure everyone signed the guest book as well as getting a special treat box to take home filled with leftover goodies from the shower.

Yes, it was a lively party, and the perfect bridal shower. Every flamingo had a great time, and they cleaned up as promised, (while drinking more pink champagne of course!) and we sent them all home in a limo. After all, you can’t let flamingos drive after they’ve had a bit too much to drink!

Photo Sources: 1st Row: SE paper designs; Card Hunter; Kristen Smith via Etsy; PaperandInkDesigns; Pumpkin Design Cards – 2nd Row: minted.com – 3rd Row: Eve’s Crafts; Jessmy via Emmaline Bdide; Kaxixix; Pioneer Woman; Soiree Love- 4th Row: LooseyGoosey; Big Dot Of Happiness – 5th Row: source unknown- 6th Row: source unknown; Little Creek Creativity via Emmaline Bride – 7th Row: source unknnown via Etsy; Kazana via Emmaline Bride; Hooray Days; Sweet by Natalie; Lucansandme creations; CookieCutterBaking – 8th Row: ; pexels.com- 9th Row: KseniyaaRevia-Need My Flock; Twisted Velvet; Amazon – 10th Row: hqlimo,com

In Search of the Perfect Flavor

There are so many different styles and types and flavors of wedding cakes being used today….where do you start?

Traditionally a lot of couples still use the traditional almond flavoring, but trending today….anything goes. Just like the styles of cakes. It’s hard to say what you’ll find at any wedding you attend!

One of the most favorite parts of wedding planning for most couples, and for wedding planners, is making sure the food is perfect for the bridal couple as well as the guests.

And the most important part in that is making sure the wedding cake is exactly what the bride and groom envision…both in style and design AND flavor! Most of the couples we’ve worked with, including my daughter and future son-in-law were adamant about the flavor!

And how to be sure you’re going to like it can’t be assured unless you go cake tasting! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, as the saying goes!

Not only do the style and design and colors on the cake have to be perfect, but it has to taste good as well! We’ve all attended those wedding in which the cake itself was beautiful, and placed on a perfect cake stand, but it was dry, too dense, the icing wasn’t good, or similar problems. It made for great pictures, but half eaten plates left at the reception tables aren’t what you want.

When Ben and I got married we asked our bake shop to make our cake chocolate, with white icing, of course. But as we cut into in, I found myself whispering “It’s not chocolate!” But that was a number of years ago!

Now wedding cakes are available in a range of different flavors, from the always popular almond to vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, key lime, hazelnut, mocha, and everything in between!

You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

So cake tasting is very important. And in most cases, even the groom comes along. After all, who can resist sampling all those goodies? And sometimes you’re actually “forced” to try out three or four different cake designers, just to be sure you have the right one! Cake tastings are not exactly what you’d think, because the bakeries usually use cupcakes in different flavors for the bride and other attendees to sample. One bakery we visited had an array of “fake” cakes to show us different styles they’d done over the years.You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

You can also add your choice of flavored fillings in between the layers, and can even use different flavors in between each layer.

One of our brides wanted cake pops rather than the traditional wedding cake. Sure, they planned to have a small one layer cake on display to cut and serve each other, but the main dessert was to be cake pops!

And not just any cake pops. She wanted cheesecake cake pops! Raspberry flavored cheesecake cake pops. Which most bakers didn’t do because of the difficulty of storage as well as getting the proper consistency.  But we found someone who said she could do it. And proceeded to set up a tasting.

And she did a great job! She suggested we not do all raspberry since there are people (our daughter who was a bridesmaid being one of them!) who actually didn’t like raspberry. Personally it’s one of my favorites!

And the cake pops were delicious, and we decided on were a combo of vanilla and raspberry. They were quite popular at the wedding, and the display was beautiful! They even added a small one layer cake that they could cut and feed each other, to keep within the age-old tradition!

Funny thing…I brought several of the pops home from the tasting and left them in the fridge for my husband and daughter to try. I hadn’t had a chance to tell her the purple ones were raspberry, and later she called me and told me how delicious those purple ones were! Go figure!

The cake tastings for Ashley and Chris were fun as well, even though the groom was out of town so her matron of honor had to fill in for him. All Chris cared about was that it was almond flavored!

Brides and grooms are also changing what they have for their cake, like our bridal couple did with the cake pops. Couples are now electing to serve cupcakes, usually in a tiered display: cookie cakes; or donuts as one couple recently did; from their favorite doughnut shop of course.

One couple even decided to have a selection of various pies, since neither of them liked cake. Another made the pies into a “cake”.

Then there’s the couple who opted for a wedding cake made from rounds of cheese accented with fresh figs and grapes, since their wedding was held at a winery!

Or there’s also ice cream cakes….

Then there’s also the “naked” wedding cake, for the couple who doesn’t like frosting. Personally I don’t understand that, but that’s not my decision

Actually it’s what the bride and groom want, because after all, it’s your wedding! You deserve to have all aspects of it perfect! And delicious….

And as an update to this blog, here’s the cake Ashley and her new husband had at their wedding. And it was delicious as well as beautiful!

P.S. Note the little fish tail at the back of the cake…just for Chris!

Just A Frustrated Baker

Anyone who knows me well know that I really don’t enjoy cooking – I have to be in the mood.

I do enjoy baking though, but usually only Christmas cookies. The whole month of December our house has the best smells – and containers of all kinds of tasty cookies piled all over the kitchen, waiting to be devoured by family and friends or packed up and given as gifts!

But secretly I’ve always wanted to learn the art of cake decorating. I’m always just so amazed at the beautiful cakes so many bakers turn out, seemingly on a daily basis. Pinterest can sometimes drive me crazy because I see all these fantastic sugar creations that other people have made. If only…..

Pinterest Wedding cakes
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Here’s a treasure chest a friend of mine made for a birthday party, and she’s not even a professional baker!
birthday treasure
Aren’t they incredible? So why not me….?

Well, probably one main reason. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I just cannot frost a cake. No matter what I do there are always cake crumbs stuck in the icing. Really attractive! I’ve tried many times to make frosting flowers, and we won’t even discuss those fiascoes! And certainly I have no pictures!

I have friends who turn out masterpieces from flour and sugar – and they’re just amateur bakers who should really open their own businesses. I have other friends who are professional bakers and create beautiful wedding cakes and birthday cakes. Like this magnificent creation from a collaboration between Jessica from Cake Delights and Catherine from Catherine’s Distinctive Floral Designs…layer after layer of gorgeous wedding cake with fresh roses in between each layer!

Chincoteague

So this frustrated baker gave up! Try as I might, there was never any question that whatever cake I made and decorated certainly involved no help from ANYONE else!

But then…problem solved! With no oven or other cooking skills involved. It was perfect. All I needed was a set of towels or a package of diapers, and a couple of trips to the craft store. No ingredients to spoil. No pans or bowls to wash. No recipe to follow. Nothing to refrigerate!
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And I can even use actual cake pans to put the diaper cakes together!

Best of all, I can do the decorating at my leisure; and if I don’t like the way it looks, all I have to do is unpin a few things and re-arrange them. If I find items in the craft store I like, I can buy them and keep them on hand for future creations without worrying about them spoiling or going stale!

So who wants a cake? Guaranteed it won’t be underbaked, burned on the bottom, and it can be kept around for a long time without it going bad!
Cakes and Cakes
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Want to hear something really funny? We received a postcard a few weeks ago from a local culinary school addressed to “Pastry Chef” at Cake-A-Bye Baby! I have it sitting on my desk! I think I’ll frame it! Or change my title on my business cards!

So be sure to visit us at Cake-A-Bye Baby to shop for your next calorie-free confection! You can order early! It won’t go bad!

Photo Sources: Top Row: Photo 1-2: Source Unknown; Photo 3 – Foodista.com Second Row: Photo 1-2: Sweetcakebox.com; Photo 3: Likeitshort.com – Treasure Cake: Personal Files – Rose Tiered Cake: Cake Delights – Remaining Photos: Personal Files