Posts Tagged ‘elizabeth falkner’

Fun Times with Friends

Monday, May 12th, 2008

This past weekend I had the chance to hang out with some good friends of mine and celebrate my dear friend Kate’s birthday!  We thought it would be fun to try out a couple new drinks and have some appetizers, so my friend Matt was in charge of two drinks and I was in charge of one drink and the dessert.  It was my first time trying out drink recipes and I had a lot of fun!  I decided to try a recipe from Elizabeth Falkner’s book Demolition Desserts.  Once I read that this drink had passion fruit juice in it I knew I had to try it…and to make matters even more interesting the title of the drink was “Shagadelic”!  Elizabeth says that this recipe was made to match her “Shag cake” that was quite popular with her customers at Citizen Cake.  


As you can see from these photos this is definitely not my typical food photo shoot, but I still wanted to share these pictures and recipe with you…hope you enjoy them!  


adapted from Demolition Desserts

serves two 

(I changed some things in the recipe…like the sugar rim instead of a shredded coconut rim and a strawberry instead of a maraschino cherry) 

1/2 c. bottled passion, such as Looza brand

1 T. Cointreau

1/4 c. white rum, such as 10 Cane brand

2 T. coconut rum, such as Malibu brand

Juice of 1/2 lime

Ice cubes

A couple strawberries

Sugar for the rim

Rub one of the cut limes around the edge of the glasses and then dip into sugar.

In a cocktail shaker, combine passion fruit juice, Cointreau, white and coconut rum, and lime juice.  Fill the shaker with ice, cover, and shake.

Strain into the sugar-rimmed glasses and add a sliced strawberry to the rim.  

Like I said earlier, my friend Matt made two drinks for us too…both which were a lot of fun and delicious too!  The first drink he made was a Peach Bellini.  He said you just need a good sparkling wine and a scoop of peach sorbet and presto dingdough your done!  


The other drink he made took a little preparation beforehand, but was really yummy and looked beautiful too!  He infused vodka with strawberries for 2 days or so and then drained the vodka from the jar.  (The strawberries definitely lose their beauty in the infusing process and end up looking more like little tongues, but the end result is worth it!)


Matt added simple syrup (equal parts of sugar and water heated until dissolved), mint, and ice to the strawberry vodka and muddled it around.  Overall, a really great drink!


Sadly I don’t have a great picture of the end result, but take my word for it…it’s a winner!  Thanks Matt!

To end the night off right I thought that I should try out a gift that my husband’s aunt had gotten me…a Skookie Cast Iron Skillet!!!  I had some leftover Peanut Butter M&M Monster cookie dough, so I thought it would make the perfect birthday dessert…and it did!  Here is the birthday girl with her own Skookie aka pizza cookie.



Hope you had a great birthday Kate!  Thanks for being such a great friend!





My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I have had a couple viewers ask about the type of buttercream that I mainly use, so I thought that I would share it with you.  I had many buttercream woes leading up to this fantastic find of a buttercream.  Either the buttercream was too sweet, too artifical tasting, grainy looking, not thick enough to pipe with, or had some other quality that led me to turn my nose up to it, but once I tried Elizabeth Falkner’s vanilla buttercream from her book Demolition Desserts my buttercream nightmares were over.  This, in my opinion, is the perfect buttercream to use on everything from cakes to cupcakes.  I love her addition of salt to the recipe, which I think takes away that overly sugary taste, which I am not a fan of.  Also her addition of lemon juice aides in this as well.   However, I don’t add quite as much lemon juice to my buttercream as she does.  This is not the recipe that I use for buttercream roses though, so please don’t try it, instead go to my posting on “A Dozen Rose Cupcakes” and click on the link for Martha Stewart’s swiss meringue buttercream recipe.  Anyways, I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I have and let me know if you try it and what your opinion is.


Vanilla Buttercream

as adapted from Demolition Desserts

Makes about 2 cups


4 oz. unsalted softened butter

2 1/2 c. or 10 oz. powdered sugar

1/2 t. kosher salt

1 T. plus 1 t. whole milk

1 t. pure vanilla extract

1 t. fresh lemon juice (I put 1/2 t.)


In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter & salt for about 30 seconds and then add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, and the lemon juice and beat until combined.  Scrape down the bowl again.  Beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until the frosting is fluffy.  She says that she prefers to use it the same day, but that it can keep in the refrigerator for 3 days if tightly wrapped.  I have also left it out at room temperature overnight (if I was going to use it in the morning) and it was just fine.  Make sure and stir the buttercream well though before using to get the air bubbles out of the frosting.  

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