Aime Dunstan, president and creative director of It! Weddings & Events — and also mom to 19-month-old Barrett — shares tips and tricks for pampering mom at home on any budget.
$25 Baby Mama’s Breakfast in Bed
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RECIPES: Stir up a party for mom
Lemon Peach Sangria
2 ripe peaches, diced
2 lemons, sliced
1 bottle pinot grigio
Orange juice to taste
Combine ingredients and stir
Classic French 75 Champagne Cocktails
1/5 cup Gin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup
Brut Champagne or Prosecco
Garnish: Lemon Twist
Combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and ice and shake. Strain into empty glass and top with Champagne or Prosecco. Garnish with lemon twist.
Getting by with a little help from our friends
Janderyn Makris, owner of Earth and Sugar organic bakery, whipped up these mini cakes and Parisian Macarons for us! To create your own mini-cakes at home, try her simpler recipe:
1/2 cup organic unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup organic evaporated cane juice
1 large organic egg, room temperature
2 large organic egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic whole milk, room temperature
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a sheet pan by spraying non-stick spray and cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit the base.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined, reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture and mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and tap it lightly to remove any air bubbles. Once the cake has baked completely, remove from the oven and let come to room temperature before wrapping in plastic and placing the pan in the freezer. Freeze the cake overnight or until firm enough to turn over onto a flat surface.
1 cup organic unsalted butter, firm but not cold
pinch of sea salt
3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tbl organic heavy whipping cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Reduce the speed to low, gradually adding the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and whipping cream and beat until smooth and creamy. Do not overmix or the frosting will incorporate too much air; it should be creamy and dense, like ice cream. Add additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.
Miniature Cake Assembly
3-inch round cookie cutter
Allow the frozen sheet of cake to thaw out enough where you can cut into it without creating too much crumb. Take the round cookie cutter and cut out two pieces, one for each layer. You can cut out as many as you would like if you are planning on making more than one. Place the first layer of cake on your cake board and top with a heap of frosting, smooth out the layer of frosting with your angled spatula. Place the remaining layer of cake on top of the frosting and place the cake with the board into the freezer to firm up the layers again.
After 15-20 minutes, remove the cake and the board and place on a turntable. Add frosting to the walls of the cake in a side-to-side motion bringing the buttercream toward the top of the cake until you have covered the cake completely. Take your bench scraper and place the blade gently against the side of the cake and turn the table slowly to create a smooth finish, use the same technique on the top of the cake cleaning the edge of your blade after each turn.
Decorate your mini cake with a beautiful ribbon to match your decor or use miniature flowers to accent the cake on the top and the base of the cake for a fresh and elegant look.