DIY: Blueberry Baseball Centerpiece

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Location: The Loft at Straton Hall Events

When you have a box full of baseballs leftover from a previous event and your “Pork and Berries” dinner needs a centerpiece…you make blueberry baseballs! #homerun

Blueberries, A food-inspired life, Centerpieces, DIY, Crafts

Blueberry Baseball
makes 1

What you need:
1 Baseball
Newspaper
Scissors
Blue, white, and black paint
Masking Tape
White glue
Water
Paintbrushes
Paper Towels
Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Blueberries, Baseball, DIY, How to, Paper Mache, Blueberries, Dinner Party, Ideas, Crafts

What to do:
1. Mix equal parts white glue and water in a small bowl. While that mixes, cut the newspaper into half inch strips. Then, cut the strips into small 1-2 inch pieces. Use the masking tape to create a “lip” on one side of the blueberry…this will be the top of your blueberry. Paint the mixture onto the baseball, place one piece of newspaper on the baseball. Continue one by one until ball is completely covered. Allow to dry completely.
Pro Tip: We made a “stand” out of rolled up foil for the balls to dry on.
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2. Mix white, black and blue paint together to make a perfect blueberry color. Cover the entire baseball blueberry in the blue color. Allow the blueberry to dry completely. Save leftover paint, you’ll use it soon!
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3. Mix black paint with a slight amount of white paint. Using a thin brush, paint a primitive star in the lip at the top of your blueberry. Allow to dry.
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4. Add a bit more white to the saved blueberry blue paint mixture. Wet a paper towel and dip it into a slight bit of paint and pat the color all over the sides of the blueberry. Let dry overnight.
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Thats it! Gather some trimmings from your Blueberry Bush (or any tree outside), lay the branches down the center of your table. Add in your blueberry baseballs and fresh blueberries if you like.
Tablescape, Blueberries, Papier Mache, centerpieces, Tablescape, Blueberry Season

Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse

By Libbie Summers
Photography Assisted by David Dempsey

Even if it isn’t served in a hand-painted cherry blossom trifle dish, this gorgeously delicious mousse will wow any dinner guests. Creamy, rich in flavor and not-too-sweet it’s perfect for a spring brunch table.
Raspberry Mousse, Cherry Mousse, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life
Raspberry Cherry Blossom Mousse
serves12-16

What you need:
4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
12 cups fresh raspberries, divided or two 10-ounce bags frozen raspberries, thawed
1 1/2 cups super fine sugar (pulse regular sugar in a food processor to make it fine)
2 teaspoons cherry extract
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Pink food coloring (optional)
Powdered sugar for dusting

What to do:
1. Bloom Gelatin: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Make the Raspberry/Cherry Puree: In a blender, add 10 cups of the raspberries with 1 cup sugar.  Puree until smooth. Using a fine sieve, strain the puree into a bowl to remove the seeds (don’t worry some seeds will get through and that’s okay). In a microwave oven, melt the gelatin for 10 seconds on low power. Whisk the gelatin and cherry extract into the raspberry puree. Stir in pink food coloring if desired to enhance the color.

3. Whip Egg Whites: In a large pyrex bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the whites at medium-high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the raspberry cherry puree.

4. Whip Cream: In a standing mixer fitted with a whip attachment or using a hand mixer, add the heavy cream and beat until creamy. Add pink food coloring if desired to keep the dessert super pink. Continue to beat until firm.

5. Finish Mousse: Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry cherry mixture. Pour into a trifle dish or individual dishes and refrigerate overnight.

To Serve: Top with remaining fresh raspberries and dust with powdered sugar.

Raspberry Mousse, Libbie Summers Recipes, Spring Desserts, Mousse Recipes, Cherry Mousse, A food-inspired life

Watch this beautiful Cherry Blossom-inspired Dessert Course come together!

DIY: Louis Ghost Chair Update

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

When your event needs a little more POP, here’s an easy and fun removable idea! For this application, I was hosting in intimate dinner party inspired by cherry blossoms. The environment was very organic and I thought I needed to add a bit of a modern twist. Boom. A simple chair decal on a white ghost chair brought it all home…and was so fun to do.
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What you need:
1 Plastic chair
Vinyl Sheets (Available at Michael’s Crafts. For this chair, I used one light pink, one bright pink and one copper)
1 piece thick card stock
Pen/Pencil/Marker
Scissors

What to do:
1. Make a Paper Flower Template: Depending on what your inspiration is for the chair (mine was cherry blossoms), Draw a simple outline of a flower, bud and leaf on the card stock and cut out. NOTE: for this application, I did two different sizes of the same flower. Flower were 2 to 2.5-inches in diameter.
2. Cut Out Flower Template: Cut out the flowers, buds and leaves from the card stock.
3. Cut Out Vinyl Flowers, Buds and Leaves: Working on the back side of the vinyl, use the paper templates to draw around onto the vinyl and cut out. Note: for this application, I did a full sheet of light pink flowers and a used the bright pink for buds and flowers. I didn’t cut leaves.)
4. Apply the Vinyl: Do a simple sketch on paper of the the design you want to start with. Beginning with the limbs, cut out strips (1/4-inch wide and various lengths), peel backing off and apply to the chair. Working one at a time, peel off backing from the vinyl flowers, buds and leaves.

Before and After!
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The whole process took me 1 hour and was the perfect modern touch the table needed.
Vinyl Adhesive, Chair Decoration, Flower Chair, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

A Cherry Blossom Inspired Tablescape (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I find inspiration for meals and events great or small in those things blooming and growing around me. This dessert moment is inspired by the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms.

Spring Table top design, Spring Entertaining, Dessert Course Table Decor, Table Top Decorating, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life

Ken and Barbie: Valentine’s Day

By Libbie Summers 
With David Dempsey

Once a year, on Valentine’s Day, Ken takes one for the team. 
Ken and Barbie, Barbie Dolls, Ken Dolls, Fun with Ken, Instyle Magazine, Valentine's Day

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