sweet celebrations

I never had the chance to actually savour the ending moments of 2008 as we embarked on a new year. Sure, the mister and I did our “I’ll talk to you again next year” routine seconds before the calendar turned 2009, but I had actually envisioned an entry here recollecting the best and worst of 2008; her lessons, experiences and momentous occasions.

A proper update had been put on hold because as I’ve learnt, the end of the year [and the beginning of a new one] spells celebration for many. The moment I bade farewell to snowmen and candy canes, I ran by the baking supply store to stock up for new celebrations, hoping that I left nothing out, because even stores need to go on Christmas-New Year vacation.

Some grabbed the opportunity of a new year to celebrate new humble beginnings with a loved one over exchanged vows and interlocked fingers. Many knew that their birthdays could not have come at a better time, and threw a party, inviting family and close friends over themed chocolate cupcakes and an 8-inch cupcake-looking cake.

Some preferred their birthday celebrations tinkered with a no-frills chocoholic touch, over chewy and moist Oreo brownies, dense peanut butter-swirled brownies, and a dark chocolate torte.

Others preferred smaller bites, enough to tantalise palates, while being the perfect serving to be munching around while mingling with other guests. Less messy, more dainty.

And several celebrated their year end and new year the best way they know how. With a box of colourful cupcakes spelling a simple birthday wish, a personalised gift to bring along when visiting an open house, or a mere ‘Just Because’ box of sweet treats for that special friend.

I may not have celebrated the New Year in any special way, but with all the celebratory orders, I feel like I have definitely been surrounded by enough love to close the chapter on 2008, and embark on a new calendar.

p/s: On a totally unrelated note, I’ve used up ten blocks of butter (and more; that’s 2.5kg++), and more than twenty-five eggs in six days, and now I’ve finally reached a baker’s block. Any suggestions what I can do with either Za’atar, hazelnut ganache, or cinnamon sugar that doesn’t involve butter nor any fruits?


21 thoughts on “sweet celebrations

  1. ovenhaven Post author

    Thanks, dear πŸ™‚ And thanks for the support, and all the weight-lifting;– by that I’m referring to you lugging all my baking supplies each time I head to PH πŸ˜›

  2. mammamm

    As I have already told you, I am loving the wedding cake! It’s a “happy” cake…cute! As for what to make…I urge you to TRY the nutmeg syrup sauce thingy. You can just chill the bugger and use for almost anything. I dribbled em on me pancakes. SEDAPPP!

  3. ovenhaven Post author

    Gigi: Thanks, dearie πŸ™‚ And happy new year to you too!

    is: Yup it is. Thanks! Hope you have a great year ahead, sweetie πŸ™‚

    deeba: Hope you have a lovely 2009 ahead, dearie! Cheese crackers with za’atar? Sounds intriguing; maybe I’ll make them for the mister!

    mammamm: Okay I’ll *TRY* them. If I do, can you please stop trying to divert my attention away from my cinnamon sugar? πŸ˜›

  4. linda

    That cake is sooo pretty! The rest looks pretty and yummy too!
    About the za’atar: simply dip bread in olive oil and in za’atar.
    Hazelnut ganache: roll into truffles, if the ganache is not so firm do it whilst cold and dip them in melted chocolate. Roll in the cinnamon sugar πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful 2009!

  5. grace

    although it requires a little butter, i think you should make cinnamon-sugar-coated pretzels. i recently had one at the airport and it really hit the spot. πŸ™‚
    beautiful photography, as usual. πŸ™‚

  6. didally

    I love the tier cake! Simple and elegant. I don’t think I can handle all the casual bakes and orders like you. Baking a simple tart has already take up much of my time. πŸ˜›

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    linda: I read your suggestions, and went “Genius” πŸ˜› I’ve been wondering what to do with the hazelnut ganache for the longest time ever! Somehow I didn’t want to have it on a cake, so I’m really looking forward to having them as truffles. Thanks alot, dearie! πŸ˜€

    grace: Thanks, sweetz πŸ™‚ Oh trust me, nothing hits the spot like a cinnamon-sugar-coated pretzel. If I could, it’d be a daily feature in my home. Okay, just because of that, I’m gonna get off my lazy rear and get me butter πŸ˜›

    HHB: Thanks, dear HHB! Nothing compared to your bakes πŸ™‚

    didally: Oh but even though it takes up much of your time, the end result is satisfying, no? πŸ˜› I guess it takes me a lot of bakes to make me satisfied!

    Sylvia: Thanks for your kind words, dearie πŸ™‚ Hope you have a gorgeous 2009 ahead.

  8. The Purplefoodie

    Ohh you used the star stencil! And you’re looking to use stuff I sent! I wish that lady didn’t ask you to remove the spices. 😦 Made it a little disproportionate, didn’t it? I opened the package with much anticipation!

  9. ovenhaven Post author

    The Purplefoodie: So sorry about the package; perhaps I should’ve wrapped them in tea towels the way you did with the vanilla beans. I hope to send another parcel your way soon πŸ™‚ Oh, and I haven’t used the star stencil you gave me yet (this was a large star cookie cutter), but the very first stencil I’m dying to use is the butterfly one! Thanks, sweetie.


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