Recipe Box: BeautyFrosting’s Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches

Oh, how I love a tea party! And for me, no tea party is complete without tea sandwiches  – or finger sandwiches – as they used to be called in Dallas from which I hail.

So when I hosted a “sprinkle” tea party for a good friend a few weeks ago, I simply had to include a few dozen of my Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches.

Recipe Box: BeautyFrosting's Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches

Now, here’s the recipe so you can whip some up for your next tea party! And remember a tea party doesn’t have to be a formal affair! It can be as simple as inviting over a friend you haven’t caught up with in a while and sipping a cup of cream tea and enjoying a sandwich. You know me…life’s all about those daily delights


BeautyFrosting’s Cucumber Dill Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches

8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature

4 tablespoons freshly chopped dill

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic salt

Dash of salt

Dash of pepper

Approx. 1 cucumber, thinly sliced (with skin or without)

12 slices white sandwich bread (or preferred white bread)

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, dill, garlic salt, salt and pepper.

Prepare a sandwich work station by laying out two long strips of wax paper. I usually cover my stainless steel bar to do this. Lay out 12 slices of bread. Coat each slice of bread with the cream cheese mixture. Cover 6 slices of bread with your thinly sliced cucumbers. Top with the remaining bread. Cut off crusts and cut into quarters. I prefer triangles or rectangles depending on the shape of the other sandwiches I’m making. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. *BF Tip: If you have to wait to serve, layer damp, wrung-out paper towels between each layer of cut sandwiches. These will keep the sandwiches moist.

Prep work...

Enjoy with your favorite cup of tea! Personally, I prefer a cream tea with sugar cubes!



BF Asks: What’s your favorite finger sandwich or tea sandwich to have at a tea party?

Cocktail Corner: The Golden Globes Moët Golden Night Cocktail by Aida Mollenkamp

Oh, how I love award season! It has filled me with glee, delight, suspense and excitement ever since I was a tiny girl! So you can bet I’ll be glued to the screen this Sunday night to see who will be taking home the coveted Golden Globes this year.

I had the pleasure of attending a Golden Globes luncheon at the Beverly Hilton this past Thursday to meet and chat with Miss Golden Globes 2014 herself, Sosie Bacon.

With Sosie Bacon, Miss Golden Globes 2014, at an intimate bloggers luncheon at the Beverly Hilton


The official cocktail of the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards that they served sent me over the moon.

The official cocktail of the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards: The Moët Golden Night Cocktail crafted by Aida Mollenkamp


Moët & Chandon were kind enough to share Aida Mollenkamp’s delicious recipe with me so I might enjoy it on Sunday while watching. And being me, I of course have to share it with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did on Thursday  – and be assured that I will be enjoying it again come Sunday!

To the Globes!

The Moët Golden Night Cocktail - photo courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp


Made to celebrate the glamour and glitz of the awards season, Moët Golden Night is a decidedly sophisticated cocktail of cardamom syrup, pear brandy, and Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne. Garnished with a “fan” of fresh pear slices, this cocktail is the perfect sipper to toast the festivities. 


Makes: 6 cocktails // Enough simple syrup mixture for 8 cocktails

Total Time: 25 minutes

Hands On Time: 5 minutes



1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

20 whole cardamom pods, crushed using the back of a knife or a mortar and pestle

1/4 cup pear brandy

1 (750 ml) chilled Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne

2 small ripe Forelle or Seckel pears, for garnish



Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, stir to dissolve the sugar, add the crushed cardamom pods and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the simple syrup for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to steep and cool for 20 minutes.


Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the simple syrup, discard the seeds and pods, and place the simple syrup into a liquid measuring cup. Add the pear brandy and stir to combine. (The pear-cardamom simple syrup mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead and the Asian pears can be peeled up to 2 hours ahead.)


Just before serving, cut the pear off the core and slice pear lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick slices. (Separate slices into stacks of three and spread slightly to make a fan. If cutting slices ahead of serving time, coat them with a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning.)


To serve, add 1/2 ounce of the pear-cardamom simple syrup mixture to 6 white wine glasses or 6 Champagne coupes (this makes enough syrup for 8 cocktails). Add 4 ounces of chilled Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne to each glass, filling each glass about halfway. Garnish each glass with three pieces of fanned pear slices and serve.


Perfect pairing of pear, cardamom, brandy & bubbly



BF Asks: What will you be snacking on & sipping come Sunday night? 

Thirsty Thursday: Charlotte’s AppleJack Brandy Cider

This past Sunday, I hosted an intimate gift wrapping party for my friend, Lindsey, and I. The ultimate girly, holiday-prepping day, I had to serve Christmas cookies and, of course, Charlotte’s Cider. Whenever I make this cider, I think of Christmas in Nashville.

See, I lived in Nashville for 4 years and one year I couldn’t make it home to Dallas for Christmas. I was busy, my mom was sick and it just wasn’t the time to go. So I spent Christmas with my neighbors and it ended up being one of the most memorable Christmases I ever celebrated.

One of my best friends, Charlotte Cooper, made this delicious cider and we drank mugs of it all night long as we went caroling door-to-door in East Nashville.

Sometimes the unexpected Christmases that end up making the sweetest memories.

I hope this cider can be part of your holiday memories this year! Enjoy…

Thirsty Thursday: Charlotte's AppleJack Brandy Cider - perfect for the holidays!

Charlotte’s AppleJack Brandy Cider 

Perfect for the Holidays and Has an extra kick!

2 1.5 liters Martonelli Apple Cider

1/4 cup orange juice

2 ts lemon zest

2 ts orange zest

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

whole cloves

4 whole allspice berries

Dash of nutmeg

Dash of salt

1 Bottle Apple Jack Brandy


Bring to boil on medium high. Then turn to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

After simmering 30 minutes, add 1 bottle Apple Jack Brandy (Laird’s).

The ingredients...



BF Asks: What beverage gets you into the holiday spirit? 

Recipe Box: Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a homespun recipe

A few weeks ago, I had a game night scheduled with my dear girlfriends with whom I used to work at Barbra Streisand’s. I love these girls. I have soooo much fun with these girls. And they love me for everything I am – the bad, the good, the goofy. Heck, they even love my dog more than most people.

But I also knew that no matter how busy I was, I couldn’t show up empty-handed. That was just not an option. They would be expecting something buttery, sweet and delicious. So I knew I had to deliver. But what to bake on a Friday afternoon when you have less than 2 hours to prepare?

My answer? My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake – a fave of my girlfriends for years. Perfect for an impromptu dinner party, an easy dessert on a beach vacation or the perfect treat to whip up in a jiffy, this cake will tantalize the tastebuds and delight the pickiest of dessert-eaters.

My Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake - serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and your guests will be in heaven


And it’s a homespun recipe which means it’s homemade but with some ready-made products you probably have in your pantry right this second!

So bake it up, have a taste and share with the ones you love!
Sweet Georgia Peach Southern Dump Cake

1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches in juice (strain juice and set aside)
1 (18.25 ounce) Package yellow cake mix

1 (6 ounce package Peach-flavored Jell-O)

1/2 c Salted Butter

1/2 c Water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan, place drained peaches. Sprinkle the dry peach Jell-O over peaches. Sprinkle dry yellow cake mix over Jell-O. Cut up butter in pieces and scatter over cake & Jell-O mixture. Pour 1 cup of the (previously set aside) peach juice and 1/2 cup of water over the top.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 60 minutes or until top is golden.


BF Asks: What is your favorite in-a-pinch dessert recipe? 


Recipe Box: Dawn’s Comforting Egg Custard

Comfort Food. It’s the food from our childhood that soothed us, nurtured us, healed the hurt, made us well when we were sick, mended our broken hearts and made us happy when we were sad. These heart-and-tummy-filling foods are the ones we’ll turn to for the rest of our lives.


My ultimate comfort food: Dawn's Comforting Egg Custard


One of these for me is my mom’s egg custard that she used to make for me. I got chronic sore throats growing up and this was both tasty and soothing going down. It felt like a hug for my throat. I know, I know. That sounded, um, weird.

Nevertheless, it’s the oh-so-comforting dessert recipe I always go to when a friend has their wisdom teeth taken out, has a baby or just needs a little pick-me-up.
I hope you – and your loved ones – find as much comfort in it as me and mine have.

p.s. Serving the custards in cute-shaped dishes, such as hearts, is totally optional but I highly suggest it!

The Chantal heart dishes are optional...but highly recommended


Dawn’s Comforting Egg Custard

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

*Makes approximately 6 individual servings

6 Slightly beaten eggs

1 c sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 c Scalded whole milk

2 c Scalded Heaving Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Heat the milk and cream just until scalded (very hot) – not boiling. Take off stove and let cool.

Combine eggs, sugar and salt.

Slowly stir in milk and vanilla.

Fill six-ounce oven-safe custard cups, ramekins or bowls. Set in shallow baking pan on oven rack.

Pour hot water into pan 1 inch deep.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm (for a creamy crème brulee-taste) or chilled for a straight-up, comforting custard.

*Note: If you’d like to make one large custard, bake in a 2-quart casserole dish or standard cake pan for 60 minutes.


You know how I love a good bath? Well, even my desserts sometimes love taking a long, hot bath.

Recipe Box: Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake

There are a few cakes from childhood that dance deliciously in your memory, forever. They are the beautiful cakes that symbolize nostalgia and will always remind you a little bit of the magic of your youth.

For me, one of these is my Mom’s Southern Red Velvet Cake.

Mama's Cousin's Southern Red Velvet Cake

Actually it’s her cousin’s recipe so I call it, “Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake.” Whatever the name, it’s delicious. The rich red velvet cake pairs perfectly with the creamy, cream cheese frosting and it’s sweet, rich and delicious while still having a bit of a refined taste as it’s not too sweet. This might be attributed to the acidic elements of buttermilk or vinegar in the cake (yes, VINEGAR!!) but the two tastes of sweet and tart balance each other out so well.

So when my friend, stylist Jennie C., was having a birthday party and I found out that her favorite cake was red velvet. I knew immediately the recipe I would use. I promptly got on the horn and called Mama for the recipe.

While it’s messy to make – it seriously looks like an episode of True Blood at points…

– in the end, this cake beautiful to look at, gorgeous to display or take to a shindig and scrumptious to eat.

Mama's Cousin's Southern Red Velvet Cupcakes

Without further ado…

Mama’s Cousin’s Southern Red Velvet Cake or Cupcakes

2 ounces red food coloring (I prefer the Wilton No-Taste Red)

3 tablespoons cocoa

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix food coloring with cocoa and set aside.  Beat shortening with sugar; add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add food coloring mixture and vanilla.  Alternately add flour, salt, and buttermilk, beating well.  Stir in vinegar and baking soda. For cake, grease bottom and sides of three pans and line each with wax paper (cutting off excess at top). Bake in 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Makes one 3-layer cake or one large loaf cake. For cupcakes, Bake for 18-24 minutes (makes approx 28 cupcakes). Let cake cool before frosting.


Cream Cheese Frosting:  Cream together 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, 1 bag of confectioners’ sugar plus 2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 stick butter, softened.




BF Asks: What cake from your childhood dances deliciously in your memory?

Thirsty Thursday: Pampadour Summer Sangria

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the “Be Parisian For A Day Event” hosted by Fournier PR. While eating macarons (yes, I’m serious)…

Macaron heaven at Be Parisian For A Day

and getting to know all of the new beauty products I’m destined to be in love with –

Being, well, Parisian...or at least trying to be...

 I spotted this:

Pampadour Summer Sangria

So what is this sangria-making “Pampadour“, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing…and then I promptly signed up and became obsessed. It’s a social platform for beauty. Need more details? Here you go:  If Facebook married Pinterest and it was a marriage based solely on a love of beauty then you would have Pampadour. And luckily we do. By the way, that sounds divine, doesn’t it?
I’ve played a bit on Pampadour and let me tell ya – it is ADDICTIVE!!
But back to their sangria. It was delish and they were nice enough to send me the recipe.
It’s a refreshing warm weather beverage that’s just dying to be enjoyed with friends!

Summer happiness - also called Pampadour Summer Sangria - in a cup

Pampadour Summer Sangria:
1 bottle White Wine ( Pino Blanc or New Zealand Sauvignon – I personally prefer the $3.99 Espiral Vinho Verde from Trader Joe’s!)
1/2 c Brandy
4 c Club Soda
Sliced Plums, lemons, limes, strawberries, apples, tangerines
Serve chilled on Ice.
BFBF Asks: What’s your favorite sangria recipe? 

Recipe Box: BeautyFrosting’s Chocolate Buttermilk Beer Birthday Cake

When I asked my sweet friend, Sarah, what she wanted me to bake for her birthday party, she didn’t have a preference. But the party did have a theme: Bier Garten!


After poring over tons of recipes, I couldn’t find the perfect one – one that used buttermilk in the recipe. So the only answer? I had to come up with my own Chocolate Buttermilk Beer recipe.

Now, here it is for you to enjoy! It was moist, not-too-sweet-but-just-sweet-enough and topped with a buttery, butterscotch frosting.

I then matched the writing on the cake to the colors on the invitation.

The Birthday Bier Garten invitation

Disclosure: I am not the best icing writer!

Regardless, I hope you all enjoy as much as we did! I made 6 dozen cupcakes and one cake and there wasn’t a crumb left  to be nibbled!

BeautyFrosting's Chocolate Buttermilk Beer Cake with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

BeautyFrosting’s Chocolate Buttermilk Beer Birthday Cake

(Makes one 2-layer round cake, 1 sheet cake or approximately 30 cupcakes)

2 Extra Large Eggs

1/4 c Salted Butter

1/2 c Sour Cream

1/2 c Buttermilk

1 c Stout Beer (such as Guinness Draught)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 c Cake Flour

1/2 c Cocoa

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 c Granulated Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a separate bowl, combine the cake flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside. Beat the eggs thoroughly until fluffy. Add in the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla and butter. Combine well. Add in sugar. Fold in the flour mixture. And lastly, add the stout beer. Mix well.

Pour into 2 round layer cake pans or cupcake tins.

For cake, bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.
For cupcakes, bake at 350 for approximately 18-24 minutes.

Frost with:

Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup Salted butter, softened

1/3 cup butterscotch-caramel topping

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

1 to 3 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream

*optional: If you want a more golden butterscotch buttercream frosting, add gold, orangeor yellow food coloring

Combine butter, butterscotch topping and vanilla. Alternately add in powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until desired consistency is reached. If a more golden hue is desired, add in appropriate food coloring.

BeautyFrosting's Chocolate Buttermilk Beer Cake with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

BeautyFrosting's Chocolate Buttermilk Beer Cake with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting



BF Asks: What’s your stout beer of choice? 

Recipe Box: Chocolate Cream Pie with Salted Buttermilk Crust

Any Classic Southern Easter can’t be complete without a classic chocolate cream pie.

And as we segue into summer, cream pies are essentials in the south for any good southern, backyard bar-b-q or picnic.

Some chocolate cream pie recipes can be tricky! But not mine, sweetheart! There’s no bitterness and absolutely NO bumps or lumps! Just creamy, chocalatey, chocalicious goodness!

Here is my recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie with Salted Buttermilk Crust.

Dawn's Chocolate Cream Pie

May you and yours enjoy it as much as me and mine do!




Dawn's Chocolate Cream Pie with Salted Buttermilk Crust


Dawn’s Chocolate Cream Pie with Salted Buttermilk Pie Crust


Mix in pan until smooth:

1 2/3 cups water

3 tbsp. cornstarch

5 tbsp. cocoa

½ cup sugar

Stir in and cook until thick:

1 14-oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

3 extra large egg yolks, beaten

Add butter and vanilla and stir.

2 tbsp. salted butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.

Pour into baked buttermilk piecrust.

Chill overnight.

Beat whipping cream, sweeten to taste, and add vanilla.

3 cups whipped cream

½ – 1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Top pie with whipped cream and refrigerate.



Dawn’s Buttermilk Pie Crust


Mix flour, shortening, and butter.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup Crisco butter shortening

3 tbsp. cold salted butter

Add buttermilk and vegetable oil and blend with pastry tool until sticks together.

1/4 to 1/3 cup buttermilk

2 tsp. vegetable oil

Divide and shape dough into two equal balls, flattening to make disks.

Place disks between parchment paper and put in plastic freezer bag.

Refrigerate and/or freeze until ready to use.

Easter Perfect Punch: BeautyFrosting’s Blackberry Patch Punch

Yet again, it’s time for my favorite holiday!! EASTER!!!

Last year, my Blackberry Patch Punch was a HIT!!

BF & Blackberry Patch Punch - Easter 2012!


When I was preparing the menu for my Classic, Southern Easter dinner, I thought it would be so nice to have the perfect Easter punch. I looked online but there were no fitting recipes. See, when I think Easter, I think purple.
So I thought of blackberries and mint and, ta-dah, a new recipe was born.



Since I had adults, non-drinkers and children at my dinner, I kept it unspirited but added mixing options on the side. If you want a spirited version, I highly recommend making it a Bourbon Blackberry Patch Punch! Delish!


Tanya sipping her Blackberry Patch Punch

Try it and, as always, let me knw your results and thoughts!




BeautyFrosting’s Blackberry Patch Punch 

64 oz. Trader Joes’ Blackberry Crush Juice

1 bottle Cost Plus World Market Blackberry Pomegranate Soda

1/2 gallon Limeade

2 – 2 Liter Ginger Ale

2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract

Blackberries & Mint Sprigs to garnish

Combine all in a punch bowl/pitcher/server.

Garnish mixed punch with mint and blackberries. Set aside some to garnish glasses.

Serve each glass with mint and blackberry

And, if a cocktail is desired, add a bottle of bourbon to the mix. Or, if entertaining all ages, put the bourbon, as an add-in, on the side.

Super easy, super lovely and super tasty in no time at all!