Lemon Isn’t Just for Sweet Tea!

A change in seasons calls for a change of desserts! Spring and soon-to-come summer have led me on a thorough search for warm weather confections. Serious consideration is given to recipes that include ingredients I don’t have to Google. Lemon is my go-to dessert flavor as it is offers the perfect combination of tangy and sweet. Those served chilled another plus in steamy southern Louisiana.

At Haydel’s we whip up lemon-esque goodies like lemon creme pie, lemon meringue, and lemon breakfast danish by request. But the locally loved lemon doberge sits atop the lemon list of popularity. At the mention of doberge, our customers immediately sing the praises of chocolate, which has a huge following, rightly deserved. Lemon doberge may always be the bridesmaid, but I highly recommend chocolate’s fairer sibling, who may just might win your heart!

As the baking weekend warrior type, I have found myself in over my head with a new recipe on more than one occasion. My self-imposed standards have even led to all night bake sessions because the first go round (or second) was a big fat fail. I’ve included a couple of my favorite lemon dessert recipes below that did not require all-nighters. Both of these recipes received rave reviews from multiple taste-testers.

Lemon Pound Cake

Top notch! I made two and gave away quarters to friends and family who raved about it. I’m certain it would be lovely with nearly any pairing (you’ll have to sub the pairing suggested in the recipe with an alternate brand right now) but it stands solidly alone with no adornment whatsoever. Takeaway: Once you get the hang of putting this recipe together, it takes no time. A zester is a must!

Lemon Dream Cake

A cinch to make and served chilled! The ingredient list does include boxed cake and cans, but that doesn’t bother me and it’s too delicious to pass up just because it’s not scratch made. The frosting is soooo good! Lemon Dream Cake was taste tested and given two thumbs up by Ryan Haydel himself so get to work on this one!

Enjoy y’all!

 

Tips for King Cake Season

While others may have a touch of the post-holiday blues, here in New Orleans we’re packing up the red and green and replacing it with purple, green, and gold as we prep for arguably the world’s largest and longest party. The next six weeks will be the busiest of the year here at Haydel’s, so we’ve compiled a list of your most frequently asked King Cake related questions. Read on for tips on making your Haydel’s King Cake acquisitions as stress free as possible during carnival time.

My shipping order is due to arrive tomorrow, but it doesn’t show that it has shipped yet.

Haydel’s King Cakes are baked fresh daily. Your order is baked, packed and shipped the same day. During our busiest times of year, UPS picks up in the evening.  We suggest you track your package after 9pm EST.

When should I place my order?

Don’t wait to place your order. As Fat Tuesday draws near, our business volume in the front shop, over the phone, and online will continue to increase while shipping dates will begin to fill up. You can place your online order for shipping anytime and in advance at www.haydelbakery.com, just choose your ship date (the day your order will leave the bakery) or give us a call and speak to one of our shipping specialist at 1-800-442-1342.

Do your King Cakes come with a baby inside?

Every Haydel’s King Cake comes with a plastic baby.  The baby is placed underneath the cake after baking.

We don’t plan on eating our King Cake right away.  How should we store it?

King Cakes, both traditional and filled can be frozen for later enjoyment.  Place your cake in the freezer in the bag it came in. Thaw at room temperature when you are ready to eat and enjoy.

I have a peanut allergy….do your King Cakes contain nuts?

Our traditional (non filled) King Cakes do not have nuts in them. However, they are prepared around other products that have nuts, so contact with nuts or a product containing nuts is possible. Some of our filled King Cakes do contain nuts.

If you can’t make it to Haydel’s HQ on Jefferson Highway, we have three pop-up King Cake outlets this season for your convenience, including one drive thru! Find location information, hours, and menu offerings for each here. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

 

Pink Ribbon King Cake is Back!

Once again, Haydel’s has partnered with The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  For every Pink Ribbon King Cake sold during the month of October, Haydel’s will donate $5 to fund breast cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

This is our third year partnering with The Pink Ribbon Shop.  Here’s the back story on our partnership. Founder of The Pink Ribbon Shop, Kim Hellmers is a New Orleans native. She was originally diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at age 32 in 2000. Her diagnosis prompted her to think about the people around her and their own risk.  In an effort to reach as many as possible, The Pink Ribbon Shop was born, continuing its mission today to promote breast cancer awareness and fund the cure one pink ribbon at a time.

Kim has documented her personal journey in her own blog.  “From the mundane everyday to the ongoing cancer treatments, I chronicle it all in Ya Only Live Once … A Survivor’s Journey.  I hope to reach others who are on their cancer journey with information, inspiration, encouragement, humor and maybe some I’ve been there.” 

A resident of Texas now, I asked Kim to share what she misses most about New Orleans…

“Having grown up in the New Orleans area, and then moved away, I realize that there’s a lot that I took for granted!  I heard people say how much they miss the food when they left, and both my husband and I didn’t understand it.  We figured there are restaurants everywhere, right?  Well now I can honestly say that WE MISS THE FOOD! 

When we visit, once or twice a year, we eat.  A lot!  Seafood, po-boys, etc.  My parents and sister, who live in Metairie, visit us here in Texas 2-3 times a year, and we ask them to bring us the Louisiana goods that we just can’t get here.  If I could figure out how my parents could transport chocolate snowballs to Texas, I’d have them do that too!”

Pink Ribbon King Cakes are available online for shipping and in-store purchase. Please call ahead to place in store orders for pick up.  Applies to all Pink Ribbon King Cakes sold online and in-store between October 1st & October 31st, 2014.   

 

Wedding Traditions & Superstitions: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Paul Wood Photography

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.” This old, familiar rhyme suggests brides carry several tokens of good luck on their trip down the aisle.

  • Something old means continuity and is often represented by a family heirloom.
  • Something new is symbolic of the future and could be a gift from the groom. Often the bride considers her gown her “something new.”
  • Happiness is said to be denoted by wearing something borrowed from a friend or loved one.
  • Something blue means faithfulness and fidelity and is believed to protect those who wear it and make their wishes come true.
  • The sliver sixpence is a wish of wealth for the couple. Today, a penny usually stands in for the sixpence.

Ricky Songy Photography

While some may consider this custom old fashioned, you can preserve tradition and still add your own modern twist. Besides, I’m never one to turn down a chance for good luck! Check out author Zoey Gulmi‘s suggestions in 10 Old, New, Borrowed and Blue Accessories for the Modern Bride.

I am especially fond of Zoey’s new take on the sixpence. And she suggests monograms. And you know we southern gals LOVE our monograms! There are unlimited ways to keep these pleasant traditions close to the heart, yet make them your own.

Thanks for reading y’all! Hit the share button please! – M.T.

 

 

 

Viva Las Vegas!

I was lucky enough to spend last week in Vegas baby, a city that boasts nearly as many nicknames as New Orleans. Las Vegas has definitely earned the title of “Marriage Capital of the World” and although I wasn’t there for a wedding, this trip was all about weddings. Along with our HR Director, Tonya, I hit the strip for the annual Wedding MBA (Merchant Business Academy) with 2,000 other wedding professionals from around the world to check out first hand the latest in weddings on behalf of our NOLA brides. I know, tough assignment, right?! Take a look at some highlights here: Wedding MBA 2014

We had the opportunity to scout more than sixty wedding related seminars on everything from styles and trends (rustic is still hot) and ways to button up business, to what’s to come in tech. This glimpse into the future of technology pretty much blew my mind and was hands down one of my favorite presentations of the week courtesy of the guys at Wedding Wire. Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot, gave an enthusiastic talk about today’s on-the-go brides and grooms. And seeing her live was just plain awesome. Charles Oster, V.P. of mywedding.com hosted a seminar that was entertaining and on point. He shared priceless tips on how we can help bring your vision to life.

Yep, we made The Knot Wall of Fame!

We returned with tons of innovative ideas about the business and service side of tying the knot. We’re looking forward to introducing the best of them here at Haydel’s to make your bridal experience top notch, so stay tuned!

Oh and in case you’re wondering, we only lost $30 on the slots. And when I say we, I mean Tonya. See you in 2015 Sin City! – M.T.

 

Wedding Superstitions & Traditions: The Bouquet & Garter Toss

Greg Randon Studio.

While some may cringe when they hear the call for all the single folks to come to floor, others can’t wait to wrestle their gal pals for a fist full of fresh flowers or try to beat their bros to the garter.  But few give a second thought as to how these celebrated shenanigans that supposedly signify the next to wed, got their start…

The Bride’s bouquet is said to be filled with good fortune.
Greg Randon Studio.

Bridal Blessing

The bride’s bouquet is thought to be filled with good fortune, so back in Queen Victoria’s day it was customary for the bride to remove flowers from her bouquet and present one to each of her bridesmaids.  This eventually evolved into tossing the bouquet itself.  Modern brides often have a special toss bouquet made just for the occasion.

Marriage Mob

The origin of the garter toss on the other hand, is light on romance and heavy on creepy.

In medieval times it was common for wedding guests to escort the newlyweds to the bedroom as the celebration was drawing to a

Ricky Songy Photography

close.  And like the bouquet, the bride’s clothing was also said to bring good luck, sometimes causing inebriated guests to tear at her gown.  The protective groom would often throw her garter into the unruly crowd as distraction and to prevent anyone from going after it themselves.  Thankfully, this custom has also evolved!

A special thank you to beautiful brides Lacey G. and Amanda B. for the use of their wonderful wedding photos in this post! ~ M. T.

Ricky Songy Photography

 

 

Wedding Superstitions and Traditions: The Veiled Bride

The bridal veil has come along way, in both style and significance.  This traditional accessory once actually served a purpose, or two, according to wedding historians.

Behind the Veil

Add the bridal veil to the long list of Roman creations.  Originally worn by the bride as protection from evil spirits that might be jealous of her joy and attempt to harm her, the veil was meant to render her unrecognizable by these grumpy ghosts.  Early Roman veils are sometimes described as cloths placed around the face, decorated with fire and flames.  Fortunately the bride-on-fire look did not last.

An even less romantic purpose for the veil worn over the face was allegedly to hide the bride’s beauty (or lack thereof) from her groom when the marriage was arranged, to prevent him from potentially fleeing.  The act of lifting the veil was the big reveal to the groom and his family.  And the moment was symbolic of him taking possession of the bride.  Over time the veil’s meaning evolved in some cultures into a sign of religious respect and even the bride’s virtue.

Veil Variety

To the sometimes stuffy Victorians, the veil was viewed as a status symbol.  Both quality and length were an indication of the bride’s place in society with royal brides having the longest veils.

The mid 20th century saw a trend towards smaller veils.  They were often simply ornamental and sometimes covered only the eyes, like the popular birdcage veil in the 1940’s.  Fast forward to the 1980’s, when bigger everything was better, and we find veil length often tied to the formality of the ceremony.  Cathedral length was common at the most formal affairs, for instance Princess Diana’s 24 foot long veil.

When considering your veil style (or if you should wear one at all…for the record, I vote yes, yes, yes!), embrace this delicate compliment’s fabled past, keep an open mind, and as always do what makes you feel most beautiful. ~ M.T.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Superstitions & Traditions: Wedding Day Weather

Steve Randon Studio.

Not a rainy Saturday goes by that I don’t think about it being someone’s wedding day.  The bride who wakes to drizzle or downpour will certainly hear over and over that rain is good luck, as she attempts to keep frizzy hair at bay and her dress out of puddles.

While worrying about this uncontrollable element of your big day is perfectly pointless, it’s the wise bride who is prepared with a back up plan.  But what’s with this good luck theory?  Is it simply a made up concoction courtesy of well meaning family and friends attempting to cheer up a rainy day bride?  While the origin of this superstition is not entirely clear, multiple cultures have something to say about wedding day weather.

Rain is said to be good luck as it washes away sadness and sorrow.  It is also said to increase fertility.  The Hindus wisely observed that “a wet knot is much more difficult to unravel.”  Americans tend to embrace the good luck theory as well, while the Irish are divided.  Some agree it is a blessing while others believe rain prior to a wedding foretells of a lifetime of tears.  Other folklore states that windy or cloudy skies predict a stormy marriage, but falling snow brings peacefulness and warmth.

Superstitions aside, many photographers appreciate shooting on a rainy, overcast day as lighting is often optimal, free of unflattering shadows created by harsh sunlight.  Colors appear brighter and more saturated when wet, enhancing the richness and look of both buildings and nature.  And wet pavement can cast beautiful reflections.  Use gray skies to your advantage to create unexpected shots that enhance your true bridal beauty.  If the forecast is looking bleak, discuss unique, rainy day image options with your photographer.

Embrace your wedding day weather no matter what.  If the forecast calls for rain, make a plan B and stick to it.  Rain or shine, make your own good luck!  ~ M.T.

 

Freeze Your Cake and Eat It Too

If you’d like to keep with popular tradition and freeze the top tier of your wedding cake, but fear freezer burn and a sketchy tasting cake 365 days from now, we’ve got you covered.  Here’s how to successfully store your big-day-dessert so you can enjoy it on your one year anniversary.

  • First, remove any adornments like sugar flowers or other ornaments and set aside.
  • Chill the cake.  This allows the icing to harden so the plastic wrap doesn’t stick to it.  Chill time will vary, just be sure the icing is firm.
  • Next, wrap the unadorned cake generously and snugly in multiple layers of of plastic wrap.  Be sure there are no gaps or air pockets that might lead to dreaded freezer burn.
  • Once the cake is solidly wrapped, place it in a sturdy container, like a box, which prevents dents from other misbehaving or carelessly placed frozen foods.
  • Be sure to mark your little frozen bundle of nostalgia appropriately so you don’t mistake it for last month’s lasagna and accidentally toss it.
  • When it’s time to celebrate your first year of wedded bliss, simply remove the box from the freezer 24 hours in advance, leaving all wrappings intact, and place it in the fridge.  An hour before serving, unwrap it and set it out at room temperature.

Hints:  Consider keeping your cake at a distance from other frozen leftovers so it doesn’t absorb any unwanted flavors.

Be mindful of cakes of with delicate ingredients, like creamy fillings, that may not freeze as well as heartier flavors like almond or carrot cake.

Some event planners will see to it that your top tier is wrapped properly and given to a trusted friend or relative until you can place it in your own freezer.  And of course you always have the option of revisiting your bridal bakery prior to your anniversary and having them recreate your top tier if you’d rather not be bothered at all.

 

Did you know…?  This modern tradition stems from an old custom when couples once preserved the top tier of their wedding cake to be used at their first child’s christening or baptism, which was assumed to take place within a year of the bride and groom’s nuptials.

Live it up y’all!  – M.T.

 

Meredith handles Brand Development, Social Media and Special Projects for Haydel’s.  Keep up with all things sweet and southern right here on “Haydelicious.” 

 

 

Everything’s Better With (Cream Cheese) Icing!

What goes with cream cheese icing?  A spoon?  Really, you can pair this rich, creamy frosting with nearly any kind of cake.  Carrot cake and red velvet traditionally receive this classic topping and happen to be two of our favorites.  For those of you that enjoying baking at home, here’s a simple and proven recipe for cream cheese icing in case you don’t already have one in your arsenal.

Ingredients:

1 lb. softened butter or margarine
2 lbs. softened Philadelphia Cream Cheese
4 lbs. of powdered sugar

Combine butter or margarine with cream cheese.  For best results, use the paddle attachment on mixer, instead of whisk. Once butter or margarine and cream cheese are combined, slowly mix in powdered sugar.

Makes enough for approximately 20 cupcakes depending on how much you use on each each. Clearly, we like to use a lot!  Will keep in refrigerator for several weeks.

Enjoy y’all!  – M.T.