Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I can not live, I can't breathe, unless you do this with me

Angels and Airwaves. Jacksonville, NC, September 19, 2008
One happy Karen!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thank you Paul Newman.

You will be remembered as a quintessential American male and great man.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I have such a craving for M&Ms

As a certified chocolatier, you would think my tastes run a little bit more sophisticated. And normally, they do; an ounce of sublime dark chocolate or a sumptious truffle will just satisfy like nothing else. But, there are times, when a handful of M&Ms will hit the spot like nothing else.

Love cake by Dahlia's Custom Cakes.

M&M satellite cakes by Cater It Simple.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Champagne wishes (and caviar dreams)

Hi Karen,I would like to thank you again for the cake, it was beautiful. My sister was blown away! You do amazing work. I will be sure to let you know if I or anyone I know needs another cake made. Here are some pics of the cake.Abbey

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Not a Soccer Mom!

Since my son will never play soccer (for the foreseeable future anyway), I won't ever be called a Soccer Mom. I am however, venturing into the neo-suburban world of Parent Teacher Organizations. I'm the new Vice-President of my son's school's PTO.
Something tells me I'll be organizing a bake sale sometime this year!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yay! Wedding pictures!

Congratulations to T and E on their marriage! Here are some of the photos they were gracious enough to send to me. Their reception was at the Bluewater Grill in Wrightsville Beach. Best wishes to them both for a long and happy life together. Semper Fi.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From RoadsideAmerica.com:
Anchorage, Alaska - Chocolate Waterfall and Fountain
Inside "Alaska Wildberry Products" you'll find a 20-ft. chocolate waterfall that spills into a beautiful fountain, the waterfall is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. It contains 3,400 pounds of real liquid chocolate. Finger dipping is of course discouraged.

I am looking for a contractor who can install one of these in my house.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


So I have found the perfect brownie recipe. After some testing, taste-testing, and reviews by objective folks, the results are in!

It's new on the menu, and just fabulous. They're sliced big enough to say "I can't believe I ate the whole thing", and fabulous enough for you to say "but I'll have another one too!".

Thursday, July 17, 2008


So, I have been relying on disposable cameras to take photos of my work, particularly wedding cakes after setup. Of course, you see no new photos posted because I bought one without a flash; ergo, all the pictures are very dark.

I hate buying gadgets and anything electronic. I can't commit to spending alot of money on something that really takes a beating from me, and ends up sticky with icing. But, it looks like I'll need to take the plunge and buy something; my portfolio is looking old, and I've done some pretty cool cakes lately.

Any recommendations?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

The rules are as follows:

1. Post the rules!
2. Answer the questions about yourself
3. At the end of the post, list 5-6 people you would like to tag and leave a comment on their blog letting them know
4. Let the person who tagged you know that you posted your answers.

So here goes....1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Working in NJ for a nonprofit agency serving people with developmental disabilities.

2. What are 5 things on your to-do list today?
I am done for the day! But...went to church, packed my son for camp, drove my son to camp, actually let my son stay at camp (instead of changing my mind, and my husband was thinking the same thing!), and catch up on emails/paperwork

3. What are some snacks you enjoy?
I love popcorn. And chocolate chip cookies. And strawberries.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Share, share, and share. And give, give, and give.

5. What are three of your bad habits?
I make a lot of lists, and misplace them constantly.

6. 5 places you have lived?
I've lived in over a dozen towns in NJ, and 2 towns in NC.

7. What are 5 jobs you have had? Cake decorator, nanny, nonprofit supervisor, shipping clerk, waitress.

8. What is currently playing on your Ipod? I don't have one.
9. What are the last 5-6 books you have read? The Bible (not the whole thing..it's a a work in progress); Winter Solstice; Black and Blue; Look Me in the Eye; Tara Road.
10. Who do you want to tag? Oh, I don't know.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer vacation!

Today is the last day of school for my son, who has been counting the days since April. In just 5 days, he'll be leaving for his first foray into summer camp. He'll be going to a wonderful program run by the NC Autism Society, and spending 5 nights at a sleepaway camp. He's not even 7 years old yet, but this is an opportunity that you snatch up while you can.
My son has always made the most progress when he is challenged to do new and sometimes scary things. Likewise, my husband and I have always made the most progress with him when we make ourselves not baby him. Autism has made him young-at-heart, and sometimes young emotionally, but we have to push him out of the nest sometimes. And watch him fly.
He always lands on his feet.

Am I nervous? You bet. Is my son? I'm not sure, but he's already told me what I need to pack for his "summer camp". And I will probably sit on his bed every day while he is gone and cry. A little because I miss him, but mainly because I am so proud.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gift cakes

Sometimes it's good to have a friend that is a cake decorator! Pictured are some cakes I've done recently as gifts (or just for supply costs).

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Has it been almost a month since my last post?
Well, since then...I've celebrated a birthday, got pampered on Mother's Day, and made some great cakes, including an elegant beach-themed wedding cake, a colorful- take-on-a-filigree-patterned wedding cake a celestial star-shaped wedding cake, a 4 tier pink girly-girl birthday cake, and a whole lot of cupcakes! I am knee deep in frosting and loving it!
The trend I've seen for this summer is no trend whatsoever...every event has been totally different with flavors and themes, and I'm up to the challenge.

And congrats to the new addition to the world...Jayden! (I made your baby shower cake!)

Pictures soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Autism Awareness Month

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss

I love someone with Autism. And here he is.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I've been tagged!

I'll do it, but just for you, Tara!

Six random facts about me.

1. I have over 60 first cousins.

2. My nickname is from the novel Anna Karenina, which I've never finished reading (sorry, Mom).

3. I am allergic to shellfish; I wasn't for the first 20 years of my life, so I know what I'm missing!

4. I don't have a favorite flower. I like them all.

5. The words "cookie dough" were used in my wedding ceremony.

6. I am on a new roller derby team here in Jacksonville, NC. (I can't skate backwards, but I can go forward really fast!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Life is good

It always has been, really. I've been blessed beyond belief in my life. No, it's not always a "cakewalk", but those times have always been gotten through with an amazing family and a few great friends.

I make mistakes...who doesn't? But accepting your own imperfections and making amends and being accountable will make you a far happier and LOVING person. It helps you grow, believe me. I've grown lots these past couple of years!

What does this have to do with cake? Nothing, directly, really...but some very good news recently means I don't have to do cakes anymore to earn an income; now, I can just do them because I love to do them. And that is passion.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Chocolate-dipped strawberries and handmade truffles are becoming more popular than ever at weddings and other special events.

Here are several beautiful ways these scrumptious delectables can be displayed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Girly girl!

From Estiloweddings.com

Swarovski cake "jewelry"....from small ornaments to wedding cake toppers, these are beautiful keepsakes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baking tip of the day

If you have a recipe that calls for (candy) chips, toss them with a little flour before folding them into the batter. Then, they will be less prone to sink to the bottom.

We have an awesome chocolate chip cake, by the way. It might make you give up cookies...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The bold and the beautiful

Cake by Ellen Baumwoll for Bijoux Doux Specialty Cakes, New York

As a caker who began her business as a confectioner, I have a very deep appreciation for cakes that spotlight chocolate.

This caught my eye this morning...a tribute to the simply elegant cocoa bean.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

fantastical chocolate chip cookies (thank you Paula Deen!)

I watched her make these cookies on Food Network, and found the recipe on her site. I made them yesterday, and they are phenomenally wonderful. Cookie baking tip: Bake for a minute less than called for, and take them out of oven, off of pan, and cool them flipped over. These are extremely rich, so be prepared with a tall glass of cold milk.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
3 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup almond brickle chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels and almond brickle chips. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls about 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 mintues
Ease of Preparation: Easy

Recipes courtesy Paula Deen

Thursday, February 14, 2008

e e cummings wrote...

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Happy Valentine's Day, of course!


Since my own wedding anniversary falls on February 10, I get a week full of romance (well, maybe not exactly like in the movies...).

Have a happy Heart Day.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Top o' the cake!

I love this.

You can get it here, at That's My Topper (www.thatsmytopper.com).

They've got hundreds to choose from, and they are categorized for very easy browsing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Uh oh!

Each weekend in May 2008 is completely booked now!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blog special (thank you for visiting!)

If you made it here, you are privy to a 15% discount off of all wedding services!
This offer ends March 1, 2008 (with deposit to confirm booking). Please mention this offer when contacting me for your consultation.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New inspiration and a whole lot of chocolate

Another website I came across this morning...Chocolate Earth, out of New Zealand.


Their style is fantastically unique, bold, and elegant.

Need some ideas for your wedding?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My current favorite cake

By my cake hero Colette Peters. I had the very good fortune of being in one of her classes, and plan to do so again this year. I check her website (www.colettescakes.com) occasionally for inspiration, and this cake just popped out. Wouldn't this look fantastic in YOUR wedding colors?


When you are trying to put a very personal touch on your wedding, a consultation with each of your vendors is very important. It is a good way to get a feel for your vendor's style, try their wares, and discuss your needs and preferences at length. It should be fun, also, and what is more fun than eating cake? (Well, maybe eating cake with no calories!)

Consultations with me are complimentary for most events. I will bring some samples of your choice, my portfolio, and other design ideas. You should bring your design ideas as well, and some trusted taste-testers.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Based in Jacksonville

And serving up delicious cake in:
Rocky Point
Surf City
Emerald Isle
Morehead City
Outer Banks
Oak Island
Ocean Isle
Bald Head Island
Orton Plantation
Old Brunswicktown
Myrtle Beach
Sunset Beach
Boiling Spring Lakes
Kure Beach
Fort Fisher

I love the Carolina Coast.

In 2008, Karen's Just Dessert will be devoting most of her time to wedding cakes. We are looking for adventurous, creative, fun, elegant, casual, discerning, beachy, retro, happy couples who want to make a statement with their cake!