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Bliss Celebrations Guide



Sweet Spotlight on JCakes

The sweet spotlight is on JCakes this week! Located in North Branford Connecticut, JCakes is a custom-order bake shop specializing in cakes and cupcakes.

1. How did JCakes come to be?

Current JCakes owner, Hope Looney, graduated from Chapman University and began a career in healthcare finance. After some international travel, Hope decided to take her dream of a culinary career and make it a reality.  She specialized her training on French style pastry and techniques with Chef Jeff Trombetta, Chef Ken Ayvazian, and Jessica Kimball (formerly Trombetta), the original owner of JCakes. The business began as Jessica’s Cakes out of a home in North Haven, CT in 1992. Since then, JCakes has grown into a full-scale bakery through its reputation of producing delicious, unforgettable cakes for weddings, birthdays, and all special occasions. The name changed to JCakes when the first storefront opened in East Haven, CT, and Hope purchased the business in 2007. Through the years, JCakes has grown and moved locations to better serve the local community, ultimately landing in its current North Branford, CT location in 2016.

2. What is on trend this year for wedding cake design? 

There are different trends for every style and theme, and JCakes caters to all venues from rustic barns to lavish ballrooms. Some rustic trends have been textured buttercream frosting, naked cakes, and fresh flowers. Trends among more elegant, black tie events include marbled fondant, Art Deco designs, and geometric accents. Metallics have been universally trendy — a more rustic wedding cake might have flecks of gold leaf to enhance the design; whereas, a ballroom wedding may have entire gold fondant tiers. JCakes also makes a lot of groom’s cakes for weddings. It’s a nice way to add a personalized touch specifically for the groom.

3. Do you offer a menu of cakes or cupcakes that can be customized to comply with dietary restrictions such as vegan or gluten-free?

JCakes is not an allergen-free bakery, but we do offer a chocolate gluten-free cake and most of our fillings and frostings are gluten-free as well.

4. Do you service clients outside of Connecticut?

JCakes currently delivers only within Connecticut, but people have transported our cakes all over. JCakes even made a specialty birthday cake for actress and Telemundo host Adamari Lopez, which traveled by plane to the Dominican Republic!

Perceptions Photography

Carrie Draghi Photography

Robert Norman Photography

JC Carley for Robert Norman Photography

Ashley Therese Photography

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Sweet Spotlight on JCakes

The sweet spotlight is on JCakes this week! Located in North Branford Connecticut, JCakes is a custom-order bake shop specializing in cakes and cupcakes. 1. How did JCakes come to be? Current JCakes owner, Hope Looney, graduated from Chapman University and began a career in healthcare finance. After some international travel, Hope decided to take […]

Capers Catering — Vendor Spotlight

Capers Catering believes in a farm-to-fork philosophy. They partner with local farmers and artisans to source the freshest ingredients for their seasonal menus. Dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, Capers Catering composts all food so nothing goes to waste. Read on to learn a little more about this amazing catering company!

1. How did Caper’s Catering come to be?

I started Capers Catering 26 years ago.  I have always loved to entertain and create happy memories – catering was the perfect field.  We are incredibly lucky to meet wonderful clients and create many gorgeous weddings each year.

2. Do your menu offerings change seasonally? 

Our menus do change with the seasons.  We specialized in hand-crafted menus, with locally source ingredients.

3. Do you have signature dishes? If so, what are some? 

Some menus items do tend to stay on the menu if they become very popular.  Our miniature New England lobster rolls are one such item.

4. What is currently trending in wedding catering? 

This year we are seeing several trends which include more vegetarian & vegan weddings, Korean barbecue stations, intricate dessert buffets that may or may not include wedding cakes, and personally customized menus.  We are continuing to see an interest in organic farm-to-table menus, everything miniaturized, and innovative flavors.

Celebrated

Capers Catering — Vendor Spotlight

Capers Catering believes in a farm-to-fork philosophy. They partner with local farmers and artisans to source the freshest ingredients for their seasonal menus. Dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint, Capers Catering composts all food so nothing goes to waste. Read on to learn a little more about this amazing catering company! 1. How did Caper’s […]

Captivating Beauty at The Chanler

Secret garden elegance meets refined vintage glamour for this styled shoot tucked away at The Chanler on the Newport Cliff Walk.

Rich with history, The Chanler embodies old world elegance with its opulent architecture and gilded décor. The back lawn with its vast ocean views was the perfect canvas for an elegant, garden-like display of floral extravagance. Forgoing the traditional rectangular trellis, Sayles Livingston and her team at Sayles Livingston Design covered a circular trellis in peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, sweet peas, hydrangea, lemon leaf, eucalyptus, and ferns creating a romantic setting for the ceremony site that overlooked the ocean. The soft, neutral palette allowed Beth Chapman of the White Dress by the Shore to style the bridal party in rich, jewel tones and sumptuous textures like fur a gold embossed bridal gown as a nod to the autumn season. The entrance to the back trellis was draped with stormy-gray linens laced with greenery evoking a secret garden-like vibe as you walked up the steps. Crystal chandeliers floated above a traditional wooden table that was draped with a shadow gray velvet runner topped with lush flora that cascaded down to the stone patio creating a look of effortless luxury.

Celebrated

Captivating Beauty at The Chanler

Secret garden elegance meets refined vintage glamour for this styled shoot tucked away at The Chanler on the Newport Cliff Walk. Rich with history, The Chanler embodies old world elegance with its opulent architecture and gilded décor. The back lawn with its vast ocean views was the perfect canvas for an elegant, garden-like display of […]

Winter Warmers from Forks & Fingers Catering

Forks & Fingers Catering by Design has crafted quite the menu of lively libations we at BLISS like to call winter warmers. So grab your cozy cable knit blanket, curl up on the sofa and toast to the season of hibernation with a tantalizing cocktail that will warm you from the inside out.

Event Manager and cocktail connoisseur Ali shares the inspiration for the 2018 winter cocktail menu as well as the [not-so] secret ingredients so you can make them too!

2018 is the year of the guilt free cocktail — say goodbye to simple syrups and sugary mixers. This year we are introducing fresh, local and healthy ingredients into our winter cocktails!

Exotic seasonal fruits, spices and fresh herbs are all the rage this season. Floral notes, such as rose and lavender, are also some of our go to cocktail elements! Skip the simple syrup and muddle some fresh fruit instead, or even add a touch of local infused organic honey to appease your sweet tooth. The use of coconut waters, homemade almond and hazelnut milks and even kombucha are all healthier ways to have fun with cocktails this winter season.

What is the beverage version of farm to table? Maybe, Sip to Season? Or since it is winter, shall we call these hibernation libations? Anyways, do not be shy this winter season — hit your local markets and play around with fun seasonal flavors this winter! Here are a few of our coveted winter recipes to help get your cozy on…

His & Hers Breakfast in Bed

His – Bourbon Brunch

2 ounces of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

1 ounce of Sugar Bob’s Smoked Maple Syrup

Garnish with a Luxardo cherry & a piece of house made cayenne candied bacon

Hers – Love at Dawn

2 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

.5 ounces of St. Germain

1.5 ounces of home made tarragon infused syrup

Top with Mionetto Prosecco brut

Garnish with fresh tarragon

670 Main

1 whole cara cara orange squeezed

2 ounces of Chopin vodka

1 ounce of fresh thyme & ginger infused amber honey

Garnish with cara cara orange slice, fresh thyme sprig and candied ginger

Hibis-kiss

2 ounces of your favorite bourbon

1 large hibiscus, raw honey, fresh thyme and ginger infused ice cube

To make ice cube mix 1 cup of water, ½ cup of raw honey, 2 hibiscus tea bags (from your favorite local tea shop), 10 thyme sprigs and 4 slices of fresh ginger. Simmer all ingredients on low heat until mixture comes to a boil.  Let cool. Pour cooled mixture into ice cube tray and let sit overnight. 

Spiked Chai Tea & Rose Latte

2 ounces of Perc coffee liqueur of Saxtons River Distillery

.5 ounces of home made rosewater

2 ounces of almond milk infused with two chai tea bags & 10 cardamom pods

Garnish with culinary dried rose petals

To make infused almond milk take one cup of almond milk, add in two chai tea bags and 10 cardamom pods, let simmer on stovetop on low heat for about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Elderberry Good Kombucha

1.5 ounces of Organic Prairie Gin

3 ounces of The Common Bond’s Elderberry Kombucha

.5 ounces of Sticky Situation’s lavender honey

.5 ounces of Natalie’s fresh lemon juice

Garnish with micro flowers

 

 

Celebrated

Winter Warmers from Forks & Fingers Catering

Forks & Fingers Catering by Design has crafted quite the menu of lively libations we at BLISS like to call winter warmers. So grab your cozy cable knit blanket, curl up on the sofa and toast to the season of hibernation with a tantalizing cocktail that will warm you from the inside out. Event Manager […]

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