Summertime, When the Sweet Treats Are Easy

IMG_7804_txtHello summer!  Where could you possibly enjoy the warm months better than right here in San Diego, where the living always is easy, but never more so than during beach season?  The long days and late, slow-fading sunsets are perfect for sharing laid-back times with family and friends, on the patio, on the sand, at a picnic in the park – just about anywhere you can think to go in San Diego.  And while I always insist on entertaining in style, I take a relaxed approach this time of year.  I may put out a spread of fresh salads, cheeses and artisan breads, accompanied by my favorite wines and bubbly.  A sweet course always follows, to be sure, and while I might very well choose an 2013-06-20 11.51.54txt2elegant cake or dessert for a dinner on the patio, a beautiful selection of Extraordinary Desserts cupcakes, cookies, brownies and other deluxe small pastries are also sure to dazzle adult guests and equally delight the youngsters.

I kicked off my Summer 2013 in a particularly enjoyable way.  I had the opportunity to take my baking art to The New Children’s Museum (NCM) in downtown San Diego and collaborate with the museum’s creative minds to develop a camp that would inspire a group of 6 through 8 year-olds to become artist/bakers for a week.

I’ve had plenty of experience putting kids in touch with IMG_5740_txttheir inner cakes, but probably never enjoyed it as much as when I traveled the few blocks from my Extraordinary Desserts Little Italy location to the museum.  For five days in mid-June, the very first of the summer’s “Creativity Rules” camps brought together happy youngsters for “Sweet-Makes and Cupcakes,” a hands-on program that I nicknamed Camp Cupcake.

IMG_5708smalltxt2Camp Cupcake focused on fun, but with a purpose – which is not unlike what I do when creating a new cake for Extraordinary Desserts.  A week of creativity led up to Friday’s  “Let’s Picnic!” party, at which parents enjoyed the artworks the kids created, and ate the clever cupcakes the kids baked, decorated and shared with the unreserved delight that youngsters bring to a project.

The camp constantly challenged the kids to turn art into play. “Pin the Cherry on the Cupcake” put a sweet spin on the classic party game when the children created a huge drawing of a cupcake and attached it to the wall. Each child created an art piece inspired by a 2013-06-20 11.52.48txt2cupcake.  The camp then got into baking and decorating using cupcake recipes from my book “Extraordinary Cakes,” and the children were encouraged to use their own artistic expressions and a variety of decorative materials to come up with enjoyably eccentric creations.  The kids also used fresh flowers to create designs inspired by the decor we use at Extraordinary Desserts.

I wouldn’t even try to count how many sticky fingers got licked during the camp.  It was fun for the kids and a sweet treat for me.  Happy Summer!

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About Extraordinary Desserts

Over 20 years ago, Karen Krasne opened the first Extraordinary Desserts at 2929 5th Avenue near San Diego’s Balboa Park. Since then, Extraordinary Desserts has become one of San Diego’s most prominent dining establishments and has expanded to include a second location in San Diego’s Little Italy area at 1430 Union Street as well as a line of gourmet products and a robust online store. From the dazzling artistry and sublime taste of its award-winning sweets to the attentive customer service, Extraordinary Desserts has built a strong reputation for its decadent, gourmet dessert creations, elegant eats, and extraordinary experience. As a result, Extraordinary Desserts is consistently a top pick by critics and readers of both local and national publications. Owner and executive chef Karen Krasne studied at Paris’ best pastry schools. She uses only organic ingredients when possible, and adorns each luxurious dessert with locally-grown fresh flowers, her signature edible gold leaf, autumn leaves, and sinfully sweet sauces making her creations a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Extraordinary Desserts, Little Italy 1430 Union Street San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 294-7001 Extraordinary Desserts, Balboa Park 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Phone: (619) 294-2132
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