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sweet popcorn party favor

Last weekend, mister and I, celebrated his birthday with a few close friends and relatives.
It wasn’t a big party with fancy lights and dj’s. It was a rather small gathering with heartfelt wishes and cozy corners where friends and family got together to wish my darling another happy year.

Mister has a “strong affinity with water”. In fact we both do. In one of our first dates we decided to go swimming in the middle of May in the Atlantic Ocean at around 3 am. It was freezing cold and I didnt manage to get past running my toe in the water but mister took a brave dive. The water attracts us. Its magical color, the light defracting on its surface. There is something poetic about it and when mister asked me to make a party invitation for him, naturally I suggested a nautical theme.

You see, mister is the little star of my life and nothing makes me happier than see him smile so I decided to pull together a few colorful treats according to our nautical theme to delight our guests and bring excitement to the otherwise rather dull standardized birthday buffet concept.

custom flags for party

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v_effected

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nautical theme party treats

So even though birthdays occur only once every 7 years, we decided to eat, drink and celebrate in a sweet nautical theme style.

Did you know?
Birthdays occur only once every 7 years since the date you were born on moves each year to the following day of the week. This means your annual celebration is actually for your birth date – not your birthday – and in truth your birth day (= the actual day you were born on) occurs only every 7 years!

Here is a free template for your own mini popcorn paper boxes. Just add your name and print out!

So.. on the 2nd of August i celebrated my birthday.
As i was flying at noon, i decided to have a small happy celebration in the morning as I was to blow a full size birthday cake at night.. What better way than to make a couple of chocolate muffins and decorate them with strawberry icing, vanilla creme, cranberries, strawberries and sugar flakes that sparkle for a dose of glitterful happiness!:)

I placed the leftover cakes in a box and carried them along on the plane…

A quick, easy and happy birthday treat!

Did you know?

Though the origin of the cupcakes concept remains unknown, we have a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” in American Cookery by Amelia Simms, a book written in 1796!!!

Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled. said Frederic Raphael, an American, British educated screenwriter best know from his contribution on the script of Eyes Wide Shut, the last movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Waking up with a cup of mint tea, I m considering the above statement in relation to last night’s dinning adventure or perhaps experience. On the occasion of my coming 25th birthday, we went for dinner to a well know restaurant in Amstelveen called De Jonge Dikkert. The stuff was friendly, the establishment magnificent (an old windmill) and the food I have no words for so I decided to post a snapshot for each of our 3 dishes.

So did i sin last night? Probably yes..

Today, I was browsing through my shelves, reorganising and decluttering old volumes of various kinds of magazines when a thichk dusty Forbes volume fell literally on my head!
Unlike Archimedes eureka moment i just got a headache from all that paper’s gravity force.
Never the less, this random event coincide with me forgeting to trash that particular magazine.
Later and much to my surprize, i decided to give it a go and browse briefly through the glossy pages, mainly seeking an excuse to take a break from tidying up my shelves..
As I was browsing through expensive watches, powerful men and yachts wondering why i had that particular magazine “in house”, I found a full page commercial depicting :

“The most expensive chocolate truffle in the world, La Madeline au Truffe”.

“La Madeline au Truffe starts with a decadent 70% Valrhona dark chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, truffle oil and vanilla as the base for the rich decadent ganache. A rare French Perigord truffle (a rare mushroom) is then surrounded by this rich decadent ganache; it is enrobed in Valrhona dark chocolate and then rolled in fine cocoa powder. The result is pure extravagance! Lying on a bed of sugar pearls in a silver box tied with a ribbon.”

Fascinating right?
And it is so that i decided to go make some ganache and roll into coconut crumbles, caneel flavored crystal sugar and lick my finger as i roll my very own freshly made chocolate truffels!

Did you know?

Truffels were invented by M. Dufour in Chambéry, a beautiful city on the south east of France in a cold December 1895! M. Dufour used ganache, rolled it and coated it and served the first truffel that would come to be the number 1 cherished chocolate sweet in the world today!

Today, we can distinguise three different variations of truffels, all made with the same principle (rolling bitesize balls and covering them with yummie things).
-The Swiss variation
-The Canadian variation or American variation (depending on your source of info:P)
-The European variation
While the swiss variation includes a mixture of melted chocolate with cream and butter and uses cocoa as a coating, the european uses cocoa powder, milk powder and fat which makes its lifespam on the shelf or in your cookie jar more lasting. The American/Canadian variation differs even more since peanut butter and graham cookies are used as main ingredients.

Though i like all three variations, i usually make my truffels using Elleen’s Method, which i like to call the French-Dutch variation as i came up with it during my studies while sitting in a high speed train crossing Europe.

I use ganache and mix it with cake crumbles. Leave it to cool and roll it in balls. Then i use farmers butter mixed with syrop to coat it and then dip it in chocolate flakes, coconut or crystal sugar.
I tend to divide the paste and add liquer , amaretto, coconut liquer or menthe de creme or kaluah and make variations of truffels to please all of my friends.

Nothing is more yum yum than a nice freshly ground mug of coffee with an assortiment of truffels after a dinner!