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His and Hers Sweets: Herbaceous Holiday Treats

Herbaceous is one my favorite words. I love subtle hints of fresh herbs in savory meals and cocktails, and one of the reasons I love Angela’s pastries so much, is that she has perfected mixing traditional dessert ingredients with nontraditional elements such as herbs.

One of my favorite food memories was tasting a mint macaron from Pierre Herme in Paris. I was skeptical as we waited in a long line outside of the crowded patisserie to pay $4 a macaron, but each bite was an explosion of the freshest, coolest, most delicate mint flavor. It was crazy good!

Now onto this month’s blog series post….

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About the Pastries (from Angela):  I always know that Candace is going to find a really unique way to style whatever they’re doing, so there’s no way I could stick to exact holiday classics for this. I love rugelach, but it’s sometimes lost in the hustle and bustle of pies and other traditional holiday cookies. My best friend makes it every year and is a rugelach master, so she was my inspiration. I added in rosemary for this herbaceous theme – but just enough to make it fragrant. The pear upside-down cake, I think, is so sexy and lovely. I just love the shape of the pears on top and the deep color of the cake. With a hint of fresh sage, everyone knows there’s something else in there, but, again, it’s just enough to make it fragrant. Now, cozy up and be merry!

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About the Styling: Angela’s pastries are always as delicious to look at as they are to eat, so I decided to trim a tree made of evergreen and herb sprigs with her pristine but rustic little packages of pastry goodness. My family used to deliver holiday gifts of handmade baked goods to family friends, so following that tradition, we packaged up Angela’s pastries using hand-painted wrapping paper and snowflake gingerbread cookie embellishments. These sweets are perfect for cozying up with loved ones with a cup of hot cocoa or tea, so we convinced my husband to hand model for us. Happy Holidays!

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PastrySeries_11_005Photos by Jenny Rawson

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his and hers sweets: dia de los muertos

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Now for the second post in our His and Hers Sweets blog series with Goldenrod Pastries and Jenny Rawson Photography. When planning the editorial calendar for this series, I knew I wanted to incorporate Dia de los Muertos into our November shoot. This holiday, observed on November first, honors the Mexican tradition of celebrating the lives of departed loved ones using vibrant flowers, colorful sugar sculls, and bright papel picado banners.

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About the Pastries (from Angela): I wanted to do my take on some classic Mexican sweets. Churros are so great because they have such a unique, organic shape – and . Instead of doing the classic cinnamon and sugar coating on these, I chose to use cardamom and sugar. I wish you could smell them! The cinnamon cake includes a rich dulce de leche that was infused with star anise and cardamom pods, then roasted cashews were added. Both of these desserts would be unique and exciting additions to any wedding menu.

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About the Styling: Even though Dia de los Muertos is known for it’s bright colors, we wanted to keep the look and feel of the shoot bridal. In the spirit of the holiday, we created a Mexican-inspired altar or ofrenda filled with candles and dark red garden roses. We kept everything neutral, so the focus remained on the enticing dulce de leche dripping down the cake and the dramatic dark chocolate accompanying the churros.

Intricately decorated sugar skulls and elaborate face painting have become well-known symbols of Dia de los Muertos. Lindsay had the great idea of recreating these patterns in bridal white, so we had Sharon of Arbor Street Studios hand-paint these detailed designs on our model’s forearms like lace gloves. The painting looked stunning on her olive skin and paired beautiful with the lace wedding gown from Ready or Knot.

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We invited a few of our vendor friends to help bring the spirit of Dia De Los Muertos to our photo shoot. A big thank you to:

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His and Hers Sweets: Beer Lovers

We first met Angela of Goldenrod Pastries last year when she hired us to design and plan her wedding. (Check out her wedding photos here and here!) From our first meeting (when she gifted us with her blueberry cream cookies), we were hooked on her mad pastry skills. We started having Angela-withdrawal after we completed her wedding last February, so Lindsay and I decided to start the His and Hers Sweets blog series, so we can share Angela’s talent with all of our readers. Angela is our go-to for out of the box wedding pastries, and my husband knows that all birthday cakes must be ordered through Angela (hint! hint! my birthday is next week).

Each month Angela will create two desserts based on a pre-determined theme. One pastry will be more masculine (in texture, shape, ingredients, etc) and one will be more feminine to show how different pastries pair together.

Photography by Jenny Rawson

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About the Pastries:

When we started talking about this shoot, my first thoughts went to Oktoberfest and the flavors around the fall harvest. I wanted to put beer in everything, but it just didn’t seem right. If you’re already drinking beer, do you need to eat it, too? I went to some of my greatest memories in Belgium, with one of my best friends. We drank beer and ate sweets on a really brisk night. We had paper cones filled oliebollen, covered in mountains of powdered sugar, from a street fair. I added lemon zest and Nebraska City apples to these free-form doughnuts to lighten them a little. The speculoos were inspired by a bakery in Bruges – with deep flavors of cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. So amazing. To take them beyond the traditional version, I made them into little sandwiches with salted caramel buttercream, some dark Belgian chocolate, and roasted pistachios. Sitting down with a big glass of my favorite Belgian beer and these sweets would be an autumn dream come true for me.

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About the Styling:

We love styling dessert displays for our clients’ weddings, so we’ve amassed a large collection of different food presentation items over the years. Our beer-themed pastry shoot allowed us to incorporate materials you’d see in your favorite pub such as dark natural wood and slate. I pictured our beer lovers enjoying a picnic with their favorite microbrew, so we made colorful paper cones for the oliebollen to fit perfectly into a four-pack beer carrier.

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Drooling yet!?! We’ll be sharing more delicious pairings next month!

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featured on 100 Layer Cake

When Tracy from Rhylan Lang Bridal introduced me to Dori by Hayley Paige, I knew we needed to design a styled shoot around this whimsical gown. I started designing the shoot by pairing a soft lavender, inspired by Dori’s voluminous skirt, with a deep indigo color. This fresh palette along with Dori’s unexpected crop top design, lead us to our mermaid-inspired shoot.

I gathered an amazing group of vendors to help bring this shoot to life with food/drink, stationery, ceremony design, draping, table design, lighting, and pastry all inspired by our theme. This shoot was original featured in the Omaha Wedding Essentials Magazine (page 65) and was also featured on 100 Layer Cake. Be sure to look at the full gallery of inspiration!

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JF+M created this amazing video from the shoot.

Mermaid Styled Shoot from Dundee Digital Wedding Films on Vimeo.

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featured on Snippet & Ink

We hit it off right away with Angela and Russell. Their shared love of great food and pastry was the center of their ceremony and reception. The post-ceremony gelato, local artisan cheese display during cocktail hour, and bountiful family-style meal were some of the highlights from their celebration.

Check out more details of their big day on Snippet & Ink. Thank you Mullers and Karen Obrist for the fantastic photos!

Small Note: Angela owns Goldenrod Pastries. We’ve utilized her exceptional talent at many of our events and weddings, and we’ll be showcasing her work in an upcoming blog series – so stay tuned!

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Featured on Glamour and Grace

Erin and Dusty’s wedding was event I will never forget. We set up their beautiful tent reception through sprinkles and downpours of rain, but nothing got in the way of celebrating the marriage of this incredible couple. There was delicious food, great music, and the bride danced the night away in her gorgeous Vera Wang gown. The event concluded with an amazing fireworks show. Check out the feature on Glamour and Grace.

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