Rene'John Designs

Blogging Beautifully For Today’s Brides

Cheryl and Company

Sweets play a major role in any wedding.  No longer are wedding cakes the main dessert.  During cocktail hours and wedding receptions across the country, we are seeing sweet stations with candy buffets, cookie buffets, and cheesecake bars.  I know of one bride that had a small room as her “Dessert Cafe”  that was filled with all kinds of candy, cakes, cookies and fine pastries for her guest to enjoy!

With this being said I would like to introduce you to Cheryl and Company.  This company makes gourmet brownies, cakes, and fancy cookies with a signature buttercream icing that will make you think you have died and gone to heaven!  The cookies with buttercream frosting are so fresh.   It’s as if they have just been baked and frosted.  I wonder how they do it! 

You can order cookie baskets as gifts or get a variety of cookies and brownies for the rehearsal dinner.  Also, their delicious cookies can be ordered as individually wrapped favors for your guest.  This is one favor that won’t be thrown away! 

Disclaimer:  Rene’John Designs is not responsible for the amount of calories ingested or weight gained in said client’s pursuit in the acquisition of Cheryl and Company baked goods.  LOL!!  No, really, I’m very serious!

Check out Cheryl and Company and Enjoy Beauty!


January 9, 2010 Posted by | Favors, Tastebud Treats | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cocktails Anyone??

This blog posting is dedicated to my bride Karen because of her set answer to any irritating situation, “I need some drinks!”

The “Specialty Drink” at wedding receptions has become a vital part of the festivities.  It’s a fun and tasty way to add a personal signature to your wedding reception. is one of a my favorite websites for libations.  This site provides you with hundreds of drink recipes and loads of cocktail pictures to help inspire you in mixing up your own “Specialty Drink” for your party or reception!

Below you will find several individual drink recipes with the prepared drink pictured in a beautiful glass, thanks to Science of Drink.

Drink Responsibly and Enjoy Beauty!




209 East Cocktail

60 ml tequila Sauza Hornitos
30 ml Cointreau
15 ml strawberry Liqueur
30 ml fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

You can use tequila Leyenda Del Milagro Reposado (100% de Agave) instead Sauza Hornitos.




Bahama Mama

20 ml gold rum (I use El Dorado 12 y.o.)
15 ml coconut rum (Malibu)
15 ml banana liqueur
10 ml grenadine
30 ml fresh orange juice
30 ml pineapple juice
Shake. Double-rock glass. Garnish with some fruits.





50 ml fresh peach juice
150 ml dry sparkling wine (white)
Build in flute. Garnish with piece of peach.




American Beauty

15 ml brandy
15 ml dry vermouth
15 ml fresh orange juice
15 ml grenadine
1 dash creme de menthe white
30 ml port wine
Shake all without port, cocktail glass, top with a port.




German Chocolate Cake

30 ml Malibu
30 ml creme de cacao white
10 ml Frangelico
1 splash half-and-half
Shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with four squirts of canned whipped cream (about 3/4 inches high) at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions.




Green Dragon

30 ml vodka
30 ml green creme de menthe
15 ml Cointreau
Shake. Cocktail glass.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Tastebud Treats | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vendor Spotlight


Who’s your cake boss?  My cake boss is Gail Ciriello of Cheesecake Etc. .  I have known Gail for about seven years now and what most impresses me about Gail is her tireless work ethic.  She works very hard at what she does and I have watched her business grow as a result.  Gail cares for her clients and wants them to have the best on their special day.  Her cakes are amazing! And they taste as good as they look!


cheesecetc (2)

Peninsula Yacht Club - Charlotte, NC


Meet Gail Ciriello and Enjoy Beauty!


RJD:  How long have you been making these amazing wedding cakes?

Gail:  I have been making wedding cakes for eleven years.


RJD:  Why does cake baking give you so much joy?

Gail:  I grew up in an Italian family where we lived to eat instead of eating to live.  Baking was a daily occurence but the sweet stuff was a special treat.


RJD:  Do you have a nightmare story about a wedding cake that you totally turned around in time for the wedding?  How did you handle it?

Gail:  Anyone who has been in business this long has at least one nightmare story to share.  My worst was when I had to make a delivery in downtown Charlotte for a Friday wedding.  The cake was a huge 5-tier with white icing and intricate dark brown scrolls piped all over it.    A city bus pulled out in front of me and when I hit my brakes , the sections of the cake slid into one another.  So much for my  beautiful brown scrolls.  As I often transport my cakes in sections and assemble them onsite, I was prepared with extra icing for such an emergency.  So when I pulled into the parking deck of the venue, I set up my delivery cart right there in the parking deck.  I scraped off all the ruined icing and re-iced the cake.  When I delivered it, it was perfect and the ordeal was invisible to my bride!


RJD:  How do you help your brides with the cake design process?

Gail:  I meet with all my brides for an inital consultation that includes both a tasting and design session.  I ask her questions about the venue, the style of the wedding, the food they are serving, the time, and what she wants her “dream” cake to look like.  Many brides already have definite ideas.  For those that don’t, I have tons of pictures for them to look through to get them inspired.  I try to make each cake unique for that bride and her special day.  I am NOT a fan of “cookie cutter” cakes.  Basically – I LISTEN!


RJD:  In this economy how do you work with budget conscious brides?

Gail:  There are many ways to work with a budget conscious bride.  We can limit the flavor and filling choices, make the cake a bit less extravagant or the most popular way is to create a smaller cake that is exactly what the bride wants and supplement the extra servings with a sheet cake.


RJD:  What do you feel is your best contribution to your couples?

Gail:  I am passionate about what I do!!  I believe that most bakeries can make a cake look good but not all can make them taste good too!  Brides do not have to settle for one or the other.    When a bride books with me, she can be confident that her cake will be made from scratch and that I understand exactly what she wants.  I bake the cake AND decorate it so nothing is lost in communication with other employees.  The buck starts and stops with me! 



August 25, 2009 Posted by | Local Flava, Tastebud Treats, Vendor Spotlight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment