Sunday, July 18, 2010

Testing, Testing...

We've had a busy few days. While thinking about wedding favors (not wanting to spend too much, nor wanting to buy something for each place setting that would be of little use and tossed before long anyway) I had kicked around the idea of mini banana breads at each place setting. They would be wrapped in tulle (over the cellophane) tied with a ribbon, which would also hold the place card.

I found bananas half price early last week because they were quickly ripening. I had planned to just make some banana bread for here at the house, but once I saw the HUGE bowl full of batter those bananas made, I decided to see just how far it would go. If she decided that she didn't want to use them, they freeze well and would make a nice little snack or quick breakfast for some time to come.

My big bowl o' batter made 32 mini loaves of banana bread, almost exactly half of what I'd need if everyone comes who we've invited. I wrapped them well and put them in the freezer to be brought out the day before for wrapping. In the next week or so I'll buy the rest of the needed bananas and make the rest of these little loaves.

The last couple of days have been test days. Rebekah decided to do the trial run of how she wants to wear her hair on her wedding day. It came out beautifully, though she did decide she'd like it to sit a bit higher on her head. She's glad she took the time to try it out!

She beaded her veil, my part of the job being attaching it to the barrette. We were thrilled with how it came out.

Here is a closer view of her hair and the veil. The beads are in a zig zag design all the way around, the gathering made a beautiful little sparkly bunch right under her curls.

Since we are making all of the cake, and are using recipes unfamiliar to us, we decided we needed to do a trial run of those as well. Friday I made this chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. The sides will be a little less rough when we make them for the wedding, I started out not having the baking spray so improvised. The roughness sure didn't mar the taste, these are a little square of chocolate heaven.

Once I did those on Friday, I started really wanting to work on the others. I had most of the ingredients but was short a few things to make all of the different cakes. While running other wedding related errands, we picked up the additional groceries and I started baking.

These are chocolate cupcakes with white icing. I tried a new icing recipe that was supposed to be a stable whipped cream icing, but it didn't work. It never did get stiff enough, then turned to butter. Thank goodness we decided to try it out early! As I was making it, I realized that it was quite close to the icing recipe I use for pumpkin bars, so I made that one instead.

It went without a hitch and I piped it onto the cupcakes.
Next up was strawberry shortcake. The cake is angel food cake and we made homemade strawberry sauce. I used the same icing, took some out of the bowl and added a bit of lemon extract. These only have a bit of icing, we wanted something that would appeal to those who don't like their cake bathed in icing.

Finally, the tiramisu. This is a sponge cake recipe. I cut them in half and "painted" both cut edges with coffee. I added some coffee flavor (instant coffee with just enough water for it to dissolve into a thick liquid) to the remaining icing and piped it between the cake layers and added a little dollop on top. Then I sprinkled a mixture of cocoa, sugar, and cinnamon on top.

Our table was full of these little cakes, and my family has quite enjoyed testing them all out. I know that I've been walking 5 days a week and really trying to watch what I eat in hopes of my dress looking as good as possible....hopefully all this taste testing won't thwart my efforts! I sent a plate with a couple of each with Rebekah when she went to see Brian, so they could taste test them together.

I also put a plate full of the tiramisu in the freezer, hoping they would freeze and thaw well so I could take them to a friend's house on Wednesday. That gave me the idea to try freezing one of each so we can test them all. Anything that freezes (and thaws) well can be made earlier in the wedding week, those that did better waiting will have to be baked on Thursday and Friday.

In the midst of it all, Ruthie is coming out of her shell more and more. We're hoping this bodes well for the wedding and she will really enjoy herself. There will be a few other small kids, which will also help, I'm sure. We hope that she loses sight of the fact that people will probably be watching her and just has fun. I tried to get this picture without her knowing, but she knows when the camera is around. I had to tell her to look at the TV to get it.

The work of the day is done now. I'm going to spend the rest of my day working on the wedding quilt. I hope to get it done by the bridal shower in two weeks so I can give it to her there.

Tomorrow we head to Joann Fabrics to look for fabric for tablecloths. We're going to use quilting cotton so I can save them for later use. What Rebekah doesn't know is that I plan to make her a quilt from them for her next birthday (there should be plenty of fabric so I may be able to make one for me, too!)

For now I'd better go, that quilt won't quilt itself!
Stay tuned!


mouse said...

Those cakes all look wonderful!! My mom, a friend from church, and I ended up making pies for my wedding a couple years ago--it was a lot of fun, and I think everyone enjoyed the variety. :) I also love the banana bread idea! Too often wedding favors are pretty but not very useful, and they just get thrown away--these look like they'll be great! Good luck with all of the preparations and may the wedding go smoothly and enjoyably for everyone :)

Winona said...

Sue, I loved this post. This wedding is going to be delicious. LOL I think I gained weight just reading the post and looking at all of those tempting goodies. LOL The veil is beautiful! Good luck with your continueing preps. My money is on you getting that quilt done in time for the shower. Now go quilt away. (grin) Winona

Linda said...

What a great post! It was super to see all the cakes you're trying. My goodness but you're a hard worker! The veil is truly beautiful. Ruthie is so cute. Glad she's coming out of her shyness just in time! Have a great week.
Lurking Linda

Shellie said...

Wow! It's sounds like things are really rolling along. I'm so impressed with all the pre-wedding testing. The veil is very pretty. The cakes look quite yummy and I really like the idea of the banana bread as edible favors/place card holders.

Linda said...

What's happening????
Lurking Linda