Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wedding Planning Wednesday Part 7

We have a website!!! It is in the very beginning stages and there is not a ton on it yet, but it is up and running!  We will be adding to it as we go and I am pretty excited about this next big step!

I created our wedding website on The Knot.  It is totally free and they have a ton of great templates for you to get started with.  The other super cool thing is that a lot of the templates are based on invitations.  So, if you want to stick to a common theme, you can create your invitations to look like your site!

As we continue to make plans, we will continue to update our site so that guests can get all the information they might need about our big day!

If you want to see what our site looks like here it is: Jodie and Brian

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Great Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

These sugar cookies came out great!  I used them to ask my bridesmaids/bridesman to be in our wedding.  Besides looking amazing, they also taste amazing.  So, here is how these came to be:

When I was in college, I met this girl in one of my dance groups who also had a food blog.  At the time, her specialty was making amazing looking cookies.  Now, she also blogs about clean eating and being gluten free.  Please go check her out at: A Dash Of Megnut.  

Of course, I looked to her when I decided that I wanted to bake these cookies.  I adapted her sugar cookie recipe a bit and then I used a different recipe for the royal icing based on the ingredients that I had at home.  Everything turned out amazing!  I mean, look how pretty those dresses are :)

Bridesmaid/Bridesman Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
Royal Icing:
2 egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar
food coloring and sprinkles (optional)

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the powdered sugar until well combined.  Beat in the almond, vanilla, egg, and salt until well combined.  Mix in the flour gradually until just combined.  Place bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill.
2. Once chilled, preheat oven to 375 and grease or parchment paper a cookie sheet.  
3. Take the dough out of the fridge and on a clean workspace, sprinkle some powdered sugar.  Place the dough on the powdered space and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is about 1/4 inch in thickness.  Use more powdered sugar as needed so that the dough doesn't stick.  Cut cookies out using cookie cutters and place on prepared baking pan.  
4. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the cookies just start to turn light brown on the edges.  Remove from oven and cool.  
5.  For the icing, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until they are light in color and then bean in the powdered sugar until well combined and the mixture looks smooth.  Divide the icing into however many bowls you need based on how many colors you are using to decorate.  I just did purple, black, and white.  Then frost and decorate as you want!

Enjoy :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Marathon Training Monday

So I'm halfway through the base training portion.  This means that runs are getting longer, but they are not that long.  In about 1 month, I will be running at least 13 miles every weekend!  I guess I should enjoy this base training while I can!  I just got back from a 3 mile run.  The other midweek runs for this week are 4 miles and then 3 miles again.  On Saturday, I will be running 9.  Currently, I am icing my knee and doing some stretches because if you are keeping track, this week I will be running a combined total of 19 miles and that is more than I've done in a while!

This past Saturday was a taper long run.  I only had to run 5!  That is the shortest long run of the marathon training program and it was awesome.  It was also Pride Weekend, so I had a ton of things to do and I was grateful for the short run that started my morning off in a great way, but didn't take up too much time.

This past Saturday was also my buddy, Caryn's, going away party.  She is leaving for this incredible excursion to Asia and I am going to miss her a whole lot.  If anyone who reads this has any advice on traveling, Asia, or being away for 2 months, I will pass it along to her!

This week, besides running, I am also going to be getting ready for two of my best buds from college to come in town for the 4th of July! I can't wait!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Happy Pride Parade Day! Celebrate with Rainbow Cake

With all the great news regarding marriage equality and with the Chicago Pride Parade today, I felt like I just had to make this cake.  I am so excited that this country finally decided to make this happen because everyone should have the right to marry someone they love.

This rainbow cake was so much fun to make and I have give a shout out to my bestie, Katie, for helping me put it together.  The first few layers didn't come out of the pan so well, but we trouble-shooted and the rest were great.  The frosted was phenomenal as well!  This cake is delicious and a great way to celebrate pride!

Rainbow Cake
(adapted from Divas Can Cook)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
food coloring: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple (I found these colored gels at the grocery store, but you can also mix colors to create your colors)
Frosting:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
16 oz light cream cheese
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Then, add in the eggs and cream until well combined and mixture lightens in color.  Add in the vanilla, cream, and buttermilk and mix until just combined.
2. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and the salt over the mixture and mix until just combined.  Then, sprinkle another 1 1/2 cups of flour over the mixture and mix until just combined.
3. Preheat oven to 325 and prepare 6, 9 inch cake pans.  For the cake pans, grease them and cut a circular piece of parchment paper to line the bottom.

4. Divide the cake batter into 6 bowls.  Start with about 1 cup per bowl and then divide the rest up as evenly as you can.  Use your food coloring to dye each bowl of batter for the colors of the rainbow.

5. Spread each bowl into a prepared cake pan.  I only had 2 so I had to do 3 batches.  Bake for about 12 minutes so that the center of the cake sets.  Let cool in the fridge.  Continue this with all the layers.
6.  While baking, make the frosting:  Beat the butter with the cream cheese until well combined.  Beat in the whipping cream and vanilla.  Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until you have a desired taste and consistency.
7.  Place your first layer on a plate and spread a thin layer of frosting on top.  Place the second layer on top and repeat with the remaining layers and frosting.  Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting and serve!


Enjoy :)