Create a Dexter Theme Party

I'm pretty excited for Sunday night. As you may or may not remember, when Dexter premiered last fall, I created a cupcake to celebrate one of my favorite shows. It was featured on USAToday.com, CNN's Eatocracy, AOL City's Best and more. Since there's really no topping that in my opinion, today I'm rounding up all the other goodies you need to throw a killer Dexter season premiere party. I love theme parties!

(clockwise, starting from lower left corner)

Dexter is back for Season 6! Though Season 5 was not my favorite, Season 4 (with John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer) remains as one of the best seasons of TV ever in my opinion. I'm not sure how I feel about this whole 'Avenging Angel' thing, since that's not exactly how I think of Dexter, but I'm ready to find out what that means for this season!

They may be hard to come by during the fall season, but your party will be just perfect with the addition of some blood oranges. We all know that Dex loves some freshly squeezed ones, so I recommend using them in a cocktail or to make a glazed loaf cake!

If you're having a party, you're going to need my Dexter cupcakes. Period. Soft vanilla cake, sour cherry filling, whipped cream frosting and red gel blood spatters make this a dessert that even Dexter would kill for! Don't forget the fun microscope slide with a drop of 'blood' in the middle. So fun.

These DIY Halloween candles from Young House Love are just about the coolest. Drizzle red wax over white candles and it will look as if Dex went all Dark Passenger on it.

As any Dexter fan knows, plastic wrap will be paramount for your gathering. As Dex's dismantling technique of choice, this is an easy item to work into your party. Simply cover tables and chairs with plastic wrap, coat platters with plastic and place food on top. If you are feeling particularly in the spirit, you could even drap clear tarps over your walls and floor. Oh and don't forget to hang up big photos of your guests. They are now on the list!

If you're looking for some easy 'blood', I recommend Wilton's red sparkle gel. It's the perfect bloody red with a nice sparkly sheen. I used this for the 'blood spatter' on my cupcakes and also to create a fun Dexter logo.

If you're hosting the party, this black apron is a must. Though it's Dexter's outfit of choice for getting the deed done, it will work for you as not only an homage, but also as a practical and cute hostess apron.

I made this bloody cocktail in honor of True Blood, but I think the same principal will apply. Change it up with orange flavor, instead of cherry, and add a few drops of red food coloring. Fun!

Everyone knows that Dex loves his breakfast. For easy fare, make up some eggs on toast, drizzled with just a bit of hot sauce.

This is one of my favorite opening credits of all time.

What's a party without a cool manicure? I absolutely love this amazing nail design from Kimber's Lacquer Korner. You just can't go wrong with blood spatter.

These cute red and white straws from Bake It Pretty are the perfect way to lighten up the mood while still keeping with the red and white theme. It's a perfect way to jazz up your signature cocktail for the evening.

 

So there you have it. My {possibly slightly crazy} Dexter mood board. Perfect for your upcoming premiere party!

 

Questions of the Day:


Are you a Dexter fan? Will you be watching this weekend?

 

 

psst...we're rounding up a bushel of handpicked peaches over on The Peach & The Pit! Head over to find some links to stuff we're loving around the web today!

My Fall TV Line Up

It's no secret that I like TV.

Ok, I'm a borderline TV freak. So you can probably imagine my excitement that fall TV is back! I can't wait to dig back in to my usual favorites, and explore some new ones too! Here's what I'm looking forward to this week and in those to come.

Castle. The first ep aired last night but of course I DVR'd it so that I could watch the Giants game (which I in turn fell asleep during). Castle left us with quite the cliff hanger at last season's end, not to mention the never-ending tension between Castle and Beckett. I look forward to this show every week because it's just a fun, cute show. And the ever-charming Nathan Fillion doesn't hurt either.

 

Fringe. This remains one of my favorite shows and I would bet money that most of you aren't watching it. Well don't start now, unless it's with season 1 on DVD because this is a show that really needs to be enjoyed from the beginning due to its complex storylines. I adore the entire cast and last year I proclaimed it the best show on TV. Peter Bishop (aka Joshua Jackson), I'm ready for you to come back into my life.

 

Parenthood. I became obsessed with this show last season, after loving the original film from years ago. The entire cast is fantastic and I undoubtedly end up crying every single week (which is why I try to watch it when Shaun is out of the apartment!). And that, my friends, is just good TV.

 

Boardwalk Empire. Shaun and I loved this show so much in its first season that we spent an entire winter weekend (including New Year's Eve) catching up with it. I'm in love with the costumes, sets, truly awesome cast and it doesn't hurt that it's another quality show set in New Jersey either ;) Not to mention that it's just good writing (or the fact that Michael Pitt is just fun to look at). I love Sunday nights on HBO!

 

The Walking Dead. We discovered this show as a fluke while we were in Aruba. I ordered the DVD from Amazon.com because it was inexpensive and I'd heard good things about it (I literally did not even put 2 and 2 together to realize that the show was about zombies). Sound silly? It is. But somehow, AMC makes this show cool, exciting and 100% anxiety-ridden...my favorite kind. The first season was only 7 episodes, so we are beyond ready for it to come back in October!

Dexter. You know I love me some Dexter. I even created a cupcake in his honor. I've proclaimed that season 4 is one of my top favorite seasons of television of all time. Somehow the 'will he or won't he get caught' thing never gets old for me. Though last season struggled a bit for me (especially following season 4's explosive ending - no spoilers for others please!), I still love the entire cast and look forward to seeing who's ending up on Dex's table each week. Coming this October.

Modern Family. Despite its obnoxiousness at the Emmy's, I do love this show. I think Ed O'Neil is amazing. I'm excited for what is clearly the best comedy on television to come back into my life. Just give me more Jay-Gloria-Manny please :)

 

The Office & 30 Rock. These definitely are not on my must-see list, but once we've gotten through all of these other amazing shows, we'll check these out too. I am kind of excited to see James Spader (from my love of Boston Legal) on The Office, so it may move up in priority. As for 30 Rock, I always think it's funny, but again, it's near the bottom of my list.

 

As for new shows debuting? I'm looking forward to Up All Night (with Will Arnett!), The New Girl and possibly Revenge (with the girl from Brothers & Sisters). And that's most likely all that I can handle at the moment :) Add in a couple of Food Network shows, still catching up on this season of Breaking Bad (hands down one of the best shows ever and I think this season is one of their best yet!), Sundays filled with football, Jersey Shore (obvi) and I'm pretty much fully stocked on TV for the season :) So there you have it. Please don't think I'm a crazy, pop culture and media-obsessed freak. Pretty please?

Questions of the Day:

What shows are you watching this Fall? Any great ones that I should be watching?

What would you say is your favorite season of television ever? In my top few, I include Dexter season 4, Lost season 1, Arrested Development seasons 1 and 2...

Dexter Season Premiere Cupcakes + Giveaway

ENTER THE DEXTER GIVEAWAY! YOU COULD WIN SEASON 1 OF DEXTER ON DVD! SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT HOW!

It's a big week my friends. I can hardly contain my excitement over the impending season 5 premiere of my favorite show on TV, Dexter. For those of you who watch, you understand my anticipation and anxiety over how this season will pick up after the amazingness and finale shocker of season 4.

my homemade Dexter logo that I made out of cake decorating gel

In honor of Dexter and its wonderfulness, I whipped up a batch of Dexter-themed cupcakes to celebrate my favorite serial killer and his moonlighting habits. When I devised my plan for these tasty little treats, admittedly I had no idea how ultimately delicious they'd turn out. Light and sweet white cake filled with tart cherry jam and topped with the smoothest, lightest buttercream icing ever make this the perfect dessert to celebrate the premiere, and would even make a great party food should you be watching with a group! Oh, and did I mention that we also have sweet giveaway to boot for all you fans and burgeoning fans? Read more on that below.

As every fan of the show knows, Dex not only spends his nights hunting down his prey vigilante-style, but he takes a little momento from his victims - a microscope specimen slide containing a single drop of blood. And if that doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps knowing that Dex lovingly stores and hides these in a cute little box, keeping them near so he feels safe might. Anyhow, to capture the justaposition of Dexter's moonlighting habits and daytime job as a blood spatter analyst, I thought cherry filled vanilla cupcakes would be the proper tribute. Oh and a little blood spatter just to tie it all together.

GIVEAWAY
So in honor of Dexter, TAA is giving away 1 copy of Dexter Season 1 on DVD! It's gripping, brilliantly written and will make you squirm with delight and anticipation. To enter, please answer the following question in the comments:

What is your favorite TV show and why?

The giveaway will end on Thursday, 9/23 at noon and the winner will be picked at random and announced on Friday morning. We all know mine is Dexter due to the genius storylines and brilliance of Michael C. Hall.

Good luck!

So back to these amazing cupcakes. Do you want to know how to make them? Good, because I'm gonna tell you. It might seem like it's difficult, but it's just a lot of simple steps - I promise!

Dexter Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes
For the cake:
*Adapted from Softasilk box
1/2 C vegetable shortening
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 C cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
cherry jam, I used d'arbo all natural sour cherry jam

For the frosting:
*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
5 tbsp flour
1 C sugar
1 C milk
1 C butter (2 sticks, at room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tube Wilton red sparkle gel (Shaun found this for me at Target - isn't he the best?)

Special equipment:
Microscope specimen plates
I got a pack of 70 for $5 at Home Science Tools online.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tins with baking cups. Beat together the shortening and cream cheese. I did this in my stand mixer. Once combined, gradually beat in the granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Next, beat in 1 egg at a time. In a separate bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. It is imperative to use the elusive cake flower or these cute little cakes will be deader than a Trinity victim. (Note: I used Swan's Down brand which is sold in a box, not a paper bag like most flour). Stir this into the cream cheese mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Pour into muffin cups and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. This should yield 24 cupcakes, though I overfilled mine and only got 22 along with some giant cupcake tops!

To fill the cakes:
For the filling, I went with a tart cherry jam. After all, it doesn't get more gory and bloodlike that this:

Doesn't it just scream Dexter? I know it's proper to use an icing tip dug in through the top of the cupcakes to fill them, but it just wasn't working for me. So to get 'er done, I used a little cheese spreader to cut a square out of the center of the cake.

I then used the same spreader to fill in the holes with cherry jam. You know, kind of like spackling.

Oh and you get bonus pieces of cake which Shaun, Kim and I thoroughly enjoyed before the finished product.

Yum! and you can see how I attempted the icing tip filling process, but unsuccessfully

To make the frosting:

In a saucepan, pour in the milk and whisk in the flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens into a roux. Stir in the vanilla and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the cooled roux and beat until combined. The icing will look like whipped cream and taste silky and wonderful, knocking any other buttercreams off your 'best of' list. Frost the cupcakes generously, which will cover up the hole you made for the cherry filling.

To Dexterfy them:
Place a small dollop of the red gel in between two microscope plates.

Meanwhile on a small plate, mix a bit of gel and a tiny bit of water to loosen it up and make it spatter-appropriate. With a small silicon brush, go Bob Ross on your cupcake and give it a good splatter by loading up your brush and whipping furiously at the top of the cupcake. Bonus for getting it on your white plate too! Very authentic. Unfortunately I can't take credit for this genius move as Shaun is the one who came up with the idea. Many hours of Bob Ross-watching really paid off :). Oh, and you might want to do this in the sink so as not to get red gel mixture all over your kitchen. Insert the microscope plate into the cupcake and voila! A beautiful Dexter cupcake that's not only authentic but absolutely delicious to boot!

Now that's what I call a Dark Passenger. And there you have it. A pretty delicious and delightful way to celebrate my favorite show. So what do you think? Have you ever made a dish inspired by a favorite show or movie?

And don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY to win season 1 of Dexter on DVD! Just answer me this:

What is your favorite TV show and why?

 

DISCLAIMER: Hey everyone! Thanks for commenting and entering the contest! Please, though, don't post spoilers to any of the shows mentioned, including Dexter! Not everyone has seen them, so we don't want anyone to miss out by finding out the endings! I have edited (and will remove) any comments that include spoilers. Thanks!