Monday, May 31, 2010

black and white decorating and parties

Ask 20 people what using black and white in decorating means to them and you will get 20 different opinions.  Some think it is ultra contemporary, others country, and some traditional. Chic you say?  Sure, Chanel thinks so too.  Really, black and white can be used in any setting from formal to country and that is why I love this color combination. 

I have been in a sleek modern office where the walls are a stark white and placed on the walls are black frames setting off the owners perfect piece of art.  A black chair is neatly tucked behind a glass and chrome desk that supports a crystal vase filled with white roses, a black pen holder and a black phone placed just so on the corner of the desk completes the look.  This to me says minimal sophistication

I have also seen many situations where black wooden chairs, painted in a satin finish, have been tucked neatly around  heavy country or early American tables giving way to a hint of elegance.

 One of my friends has the black and white New England style decorating down pat.  Her kitchen, with its black granite counter tops, black chairs, and hutch, also has some quiet touches.  Topping off her crystal chandelier were simple white shades, but to finish them off, French silk ribbons with a small black and white check pattern were lovingly tied around each shade and finished off with a simple bow.  A nice New England style touch.  That extra touch personalized her kitchen and helped make it feel warm and inviting.

If you would like to see and read more on black and white decorating and black and white party theme ideas.  Please come visit me at my web site as well. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Champagne Cupcakes with Butter Cream Frosting

Champagne Cupcakes
from: Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better – even strawberry would be great!!)
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Champagne Butter Cream Icing

3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons champagne
4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl beat the shortening and butter until combined. Add the champagne. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. If necessary, add additional champagne to achieve desired consistency.

Photo of Champagne Cupcakes by