Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Celebrating Fat Tuesday the Only Way I Know How...

With a cupcake!  :)  So there any many different things that go along with Fat Tuesday, but my interpretation of it is that it's 1.)  the biggest day of Mardi Gras and 2.) the last night before Lent to gorge oneself with rich, sugary, fatty foods.  I've never been one to celebrate this day before, but I'm not one to turn down a holiday that encourages binging.  In celebration of this, I present to you list of the tastiest foods I know of, the only way for Mardi Gras to go out in style.  Also, I must warn you that these are mostly local businesses, so I apologize if you don't have access to all of these amazing calories.

(from flickr)

Chelsea's  3 Favorite Sweet Treats:
1.  Scratch Cupcakery:  Located in downtown Cedar Falls, these cupcakes are BY FAR the best thing you have ever tasted in your life - even if you're not a huge fan of cupcakes in general.  With a beautiful shop and a large selection of flavors, you cannot go wrong with this place.  Jared and I make sure to stop there every time we are in the area, and we can't agree:  Jared says the frosting makes the entire cupcake, while I am a bigger fan of the cake.  My favorite flavors are Wedding Day (vanilla frosting and vanilla cake with a hint of almond flavoring - SO good) and of course Red Velvet!  :)  They also have amazing seasonal flavors, such as Salted Caramel and German Chocolate.  Honestly, you have not had a cupcake until you've experienced a Scratch cupcake.

2.  Cookies Etc.:  There are 3 different Cookies Etc. shops, found in Clear Lake, Mason City, and Ames.  I have loved these cookies since I was little, and chains like Great American Cookies and the like just cannot compare.  These cookies are soft regardless of the time of day they're made, and the flavors are all equally amazing!  I am partial to Monster and Snickerdoodle, but fiance prefers plain ol' chocolate chip!  Fiance also argues that Cookies Etc. is better than Scratch; however, I'd be hard-pressed to agree with him.  They are pretty darn close in my book, though!

3.  Scoopy Doo's Ice CreamThis cute little ice cream shop and diner is located in downtown Forest City, and it's one of the first places Jared ever took me out on a date.  They serve many different things, like paninis and soups, but we go there mainly for the ice cream!  Tons of different flavors, but I like the rainbow sherbet the best.  To be honest, I enjoy the decor probably more than I do the ice cream, though.  Each table is painted a different, vibrant shade, and there's huge, bright polka dots on all the walls.  In fact, Jared and I love the shop so much that we had some of our engagement photos taken there!


(Pictures courtesy of Kaptivating Creations)

If you live in the area and haven't tried these places, put it on your to-do list ASAP!  They are all definitely worth a visit!

Another tradition of Mardi Gras is to make "King Cake," a festive-looking round cake that tastes kind of like a cinnamon roll.  I used a recipe from Martha Stewart, which can be found here.
Tasty, no?

Since I'm all about the sweets tonight, I might as well give you a little taste of what our wedding reception is going to be like.  Both Jared and I are big into desserts, so we decided to make our reception into a dessert and candy buffet.  Besides a few things including a popcorn machine (!!), the reception will be sweet as can be - diabetics, I apologize.  So far, we have a cotton candy machine, a chocolate fondue fountain with various fruits to dip, huge glass fountain-type things for different flavors of lemonade, and many different stands (which are made out of old records!) for our cupcakes.  We are planning on having different candies displayed in pretty glass jars, several toppings for the popcorn, mini cheesecakes, miniature pies, and various other things.  I am VERY excited.  I think it's going to be very cute; they always say the bride never gets a chance to really eat at her own wedding, but looking at my own menu, dammit, I'm gonna EAT! 

Here's a little idea of what the reception is going to look like:

Sigh.  Hope you guys bring your appetites!  (all pics from ruffled)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fat Tuesday, and that you did it up right...we sure did!  :)


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