Pool Party Cake (Recipe)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Three layers of delicious cake colored in an ombre of “country club” blues. Butter cream frosting, sides covered in Swim at Your Own Risk sprinkles, white gum balls and miniature pool floats. Quite possibly the most adorable, delicious and easy to decorate cake in all the land.

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Pool Party Cake
serves 20

What you need: 
2 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (can substitute extract)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Blue food coloring gel in three different colors (I used a turquoise, cornflower and royal)
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (recipe to follow)
Swim at Your Own Risk Sprinkles
White gum balls or other white candy balls
Small pool float toys (I bought mine HERE)

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9-inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. |
4. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.
5. Add flour mixture alternating with the milk JUST until smooth (don’t overbeat).
6. Stir in the extracts.
7. Divide mixture evenly between 3 bowls. Add a little of the different food colorings into one of each of the bowls (each bowl will only have one color in it). Stir until well mixed. Add additional food coloring as needed to achieve the color you like. I liked mine super saturated, so I added enough to achieve that.
8. Pour each color of batter into one of the prepared pans and bake until tester inserted in the cake comes out clean (about 20-25 minutes). Allow to cool before removing from pans.
9. Frost cooled cakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting and decorate with sprinkles on the side (watch video below for sprinkling the sides of a cake and final decorating), gumballs on the top and pool float miniatures floating on the sea of gumball bubbles!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
yields about 5 cups

Ingredients:
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (can sub vanilla extract)
4 to 8 tablespoons milk
copper colored food coloring (or any color you like!)

Directions:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar. Add the salt, vanilla paste and 4 tablespoons of milk. Beat for 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more of the sugar (1/2 a cup at a time). If the frosting is too thick, add more of the milk (1 tablespoon at a time). Stir in a little food coloring at a time until you get your desired color. Refrigerate the frosting for a few minutes before using.
*Vanilla sugar is sugar that has been with a vanilla bean in a jar for a few weeks imparting a mild vanilla flavor
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Watch the video here for easy decorating!

DIY: Pom Pom Clown Shoes

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Clown Portrait: Liesa Cole Photography
Clown Stylist: Mindi Shapiro
Clown Hair: Mark Hyde
Clown Makeup: Erin London

Clowns get a bad wrap. I always thought it was about those oversized shiny red shoes. I’m changing the way clowns are perceived…starting with the feet up! 

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DIY: Pom Pom Clown Shoes
makes 1 pair
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What you need: 
1 glue gun with glue sticks
Premade pom poms in 2 sizes (each pair of shoes used approximately 240 small and 100 medium)
1 pair shoes (I used pale pink “faux keds” from Target)
2 (24-inch) pieces of ribbon (I used grey)
2 small handmade yarn pom poms (get Pom Pom DIY HERE)
2 medium-sized handmade pom poms
1 pair scissors

What to do: 
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Step One: Using a hot glue gun attach the medium-sized pom poms around the base of the shoe (making sure to leave a little gap from the bottom of the shoe). Then fill in the other area on the top of the shoe and back of the shoe with the small pom poms. Continue until both shoes are covered.
Pro Tip: I pulled all the colors of pom poms I wanted to use together first and separated them into piles of the same color. It made it easier to not use the same color next to each other.
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Step Two: Remove old shoe laces and replace them with a big ribbon.
PRO TIP: Never throw away a new shoe lace. They are fun to mix and match between shoes…it’s what a lazy clown would do
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Step Three: Tie the handmade pom poms onto the ribbon shoe laces.
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Striped Socks Optional.

 

 

Sprinkle Fortune Cookies For Mother’s Day (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I love a fortune cookie anytime I want to send a fun message to someone. Add a little sprinkle and any message inside is instantaneously more colorful. This one is for the moms! 

Sprinkle Fortune Cookies
yields 16 cookies

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What you need:
2 large egg whites
1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1⁄2 cup superfine sugar
1 1⁄4 teaspoons Almond Extract
Pinch of salt
1 jar
2-3 tablespoons Spring Break #libbiesprinkles
16 compliments for mom, written on 16 (1⁄2-by-5-inch) strips of paper using a nontoxic pen

What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Have a standard muffin tin ready.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the flour, superfine sugar, almond extract, 2 tablespoons water, and the salt and whisk for another 30 seconds, or until smooth. Preparing two cookies at a time on the baking sheet, measure
1 tablespoon batter and pour it onto a spot in the middle of one half of the baking sheet. Use the back of the tablespoon to spread the batter out into a super-thin, 4-inch-diameter circle. Repeat this process on the other half of the baking sheet to create a second thin cookie. At this time, sprinkle in your #libbiesprinkles! Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

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Working quickly (the cookies begin to harden about 10 seconds after you remove them from the oven), use an offset spatula
to remove the cookie from the cookie sheet and lay 1 backhanded compliment down the center of the cookie. Using your fingers, fold the cookie in half and pinch the top together to form a loose semi-circle. Hold the cookie with your index fingers inserted at each open end, and slide your thumbs together along the bottom line. Press into the center of the cookie while bending the two open ends together and down to meet and form the shape of a fortune cookie.Place the shaped cookies in the muffin tin to cool (this will help the cookie keep its shape as it cools). Repeat with the other cookie. Continue until all the batter has been used!

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Libbie Loves: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 2018

By Libbie Summers

From fragrant candles to flowery flamingoes, I’ve got you covered with fresh ideas for Mom this Mother’s Day. And, whatever you decide to get her, please make sure you include a note that tells her how much you love her…or even better, tell her a story you remember about your youth. I do my best each year to make my mom cringe with stories. We always get a laugh…well one of us does…that’s what the candle is for. 

1. Lilac Ribbed-Knit Polo Shirt from Acne Studios
Why? Because it’s soft and sporty and slightly retro and the perfect shade of purple. 

2. Grey Silk Palazzo Pants from The J. Peterman Company
Why? Because The J. Peterman Company catalog is the only one I read from cover to cover. I’ve been a fan since college…way before Seinfeld. 

3. White Crackle Oxford from Billy Reid
Why? Because Billy Reid does shoes right. The sizing on some of his women’s clothing is still a bit off, but his shoes…he crushes every time. These are timeless and timely. 

4. Platinum Whitening Pen and Mouth Guard from intelliWHITE
Why? Because Mom’s like white teeth! It’s simple really and intelliWHITE is supposed to be the new hot whitening thing that won’t leave mom’s gums sensitive. 

5. Powder Day Sprinkles from Libbie Summers
Why? Stop it already! What Mom wouldn’t LOVE some #libbiesprinkles. Even better if you get a jar for you and a jar for her and bake her something. Check out the #libbiesprinkle recipes on my website for ideas. 

6. 2018 Basic Planner from Marjolein Delhaas
Why? Because not all Mom’s love a flowery day planner. This one is bad ass and chic and cool! 

7. Lavender & Lovage Home Candle from Jo Malone
Why? Because a Jo Malone candle is like giving Mom a gift for a week! This scent is not too flowery either, a rosemary and thyme undertone make it have an earthy vibe. 

8. Wicker Ball Basket Bag from Ulla Johnson
Why? Because wicker handbags are all the rage and the shape of this one sets it apart from the rest. 

9. Flamingo Pool Float from Urban Outfitters
Why? Stop it already! The flowery flamingo has taken over for the swan. Mom will love the beauty of it’s gawkiness! Make sure to blow it up for her and then leave her alone to float in the pool! 

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Lamb and Feta Burgers with Sweet Pea Mint Sauce

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Wine Pairing by @grapefriend

A burger that celebrates Spring!
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Lamb and Feta Burgers (sweet pea mint sauce)
serves 4

What you need:
1 pound ground lamb
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 Sandwich buns, split
Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce (recipe to follow)
2 tomatoes sliced

What to do:
Heat grill to medium high heat.

In a large mixing bowl use your hands to mix together the lamb, feta, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 4 equal size patties and allow to rest while grill is heating up. Brush grill with the vegetable oil and grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and allow to rest while making the Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce.

To Assemble. Place one burger on each bun and top with a dollop of Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce and top with tomato slices. Serve immediately.

Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce
makes about 1 cup

What you need:
1 cup sugar snap peas, shelled and blanched
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper

What to do:
Add the peas and mint to the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until just smooth. With the motor running, add the vegetable oil until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Lamb and Feta Burgers.
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Wine Pairing:  You’ve gotta go red with the lamb, but nothing too, too huge. In a Bordeaux, the predominant grapes are Cabernet and Merlot. The bigger and bolder tannins in Cabernet are balanced out with the softer, lusher Merlot. Think Tom Brady’s brawn with Gisele’s curves. So any Cab-Merlot blend (Bordeaux or not) will be great. Some Cabs even have a little minty, menthol element which will be perfect with the peas.

 

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