I’m totally not in the holiday spirit this year. I thought I was kind of blah about this last year, but after Sandy, it’s been kind of depressing and sad and a bit selfish to be spending all this dough (*kneeslap*) on presents when some people barely have basic food/water/shelter/clothing =/ I’m so incredibly grateful that we were lucky, but ever since Halloween, I just haven’t been into it, and it’s tough b/c I LOVE the holidays. I’m one of those weird people that gets her Christmas gift shopping done before November 1, and this year I’m just having a complete brain fart when it comes to anything holiday-related. The only thing we’ve done is ordered Christmas postcards, and that was somewhat half assed because Vin designed them, they’re postcards, and I’m only sending them out to you if I already have your address on hand. I don’t know what presents to get anyone and I don’t feel like decorating and I don’t feel enthusiastic about baking. Thanksgiving is in T minus 3 days from the time I’m starting to write this post and I still have no clue what to make for the T house dinner and when I see my parents on Saturday. I’m just… blah and frustrated.
I spent the 2 days leading up to Party Time Wednesday (apparently Thanksgiving eve is one of the biggest nights out of the year and clubs and bars are ridiculously stuffed *ba DUM tsssss* with people gearing up for that mega dose of family time), flipping through food magazines and clicking on a bunch of sites to try to spark any ideas. Bread? Cakes? Cupcakes? Tarts? Maple syrup? Pear? Cranberry? Apple? Bacon? Pumpkin? Chocolate? ALL OF THE ABOVE??? It just fizzled. I didn’t want to make any pies because Vin’s other relatives always bring them, and his sister makes one of THE best cheesecakes, so I steered clear of those desserts. I scribbled all my potential pastry prospects in my cake notebook and it looked like the musings of a madman, an Einstein that inhaled too much sugar, perhaps, but definitely not the plans of a sane, organized chef. AND I still had to work on Wednesday, so I wouldn’t have time or energy to do anything elaborate, like a cake that looked like a turkey. (Maybe next year, if I had a day off before Thanksgiving.) My indecisiveness had bested me yet again! Read More
I went on a baking binge last weekend (note: this was the weekend before Halloween; keep reading to see the dramatic turn of events as to why this post is super late). I haven’t really made anything in a month and really wanted to do SOMETHING, but I had too many ideas. The frazzled and flustered conversation went something like this in my head: Should I do something with apples? But I did that last time… Oh, but I’m craving bananas and fruit… what about muffins and bread? Do I REALLY want to deal with finding the bread pan? But I want something with fall spices… Hmm, butternut squash? No, it’s just because I was craving butternut squash soup… I don’t really feel like making it… what about, what about… PUMPKIN? Oh yes, Vin suggested I do something with pumpkin…
And that settled the decision.
Vin and I went to the supermarket so I could buy baking ingredients (eggs, milk, cream cheese, whipping cream… perishable things like that) and the rest of the town was there stocking up on batteries and water and bread and snacks for their storm sustenance. We had heard that this hurricane was coming but figured it would just be this blue balling storm like Irene was for us. Plus, we already have a stockpile of non-perishable/no heat required food items and tons of beverages in our basement that I accumulate anyway for non-storm use, so we figured we’d be fine, expecting we’d lose power for a day or two, tops. (dun dun DUNNNN…)
So we went on our way as people were freaking out and driving like maniacs (all caution goes out the door @ the sign of a storm and riot mode takes over… geesh!) and I finally decided to make 2 pumpkin items: the equivalent of a Boston cream pie but with PUMPKIN… and pumpkin and cream cheese whoopie pies.
I made a vanilla cake batter with pumpkin puree and cinnamon and baked a couple small fillable cakes. There was extra batter so I baked a tray of mini cupcake wrappers. While these cakes cooled, I stood over the stove to make pumpkin spiced pudding (to substitute as the vanilla cream filling) and a brown sugar and cinnamon caramel glaze (instead of the chocolate ganache topping). I had these Halloween themed plates (I won a pumpkin carving contest a couple years ago after spending almost 5 hours making the Death Star and these were my prize) and little mummy and witch figures and thought, “Hey, why not make this Halloween-y?” Uhh, the assembly wasn’t as pretty as I had hoped, but it tasted delicious. I whipped up some orange frosting for the mini cupcakes and sprinkled some crunchy toffee pieces on them.
For the whoopie pies, I added pumpkin puree to a light angel food cake batter and scooped it out onto this whoopie pie pan Vin got me last Christmas. I added a sweetened cream cheese zigzag topping and popped the tray in the oven and then piped the extra batter and extra cream cheese into mini cupcake wrappers. For the filling, I whipped up a pumpkin-cream cheese-caramel frosting and it went perfectly with the cake. I was worried it would be too sweet, but the cake part balanced it out, and I smashed up pecans to add to the pies. They looked pretty awesome, in my humble opinion =) I topped the minis with the extra frosting and crushed pecans. This experimental combination tasted REALLY good.
So I finished my baking and decorating on Saturday, and then spent all day Sunday making a vat of pho in preparation of the hurricane. We didn’t expect much to happen… maybe power would be out for a day, but we were without power for more than 5 days and the wind was super strong. Luckily, Vin’s parents had a generator and his mom had prepared a TON of food, so we spent some time there eating properly cold food and having microwave-heated meals. I also brought some of the beef pho and extra cupcakes and cakes to share, and we pretty much just ate and slept and ate all week until the lights came back on. We bought some Twix and Almond Snickers for trick-or-treaters, but we didn’t get that many kids stop by. Halloween was just a bummer this year… We were cleaning up our busted fence and watching for costumed kids coming for candy @ the same time. =/
When I came into work the following Tuesday, people shared their war stories and some of the tales were heart wrenching. I mean, we didn’t have electricity for a week and our fence was destroyed and there was some damage to the roof, but that was nothing in comparison to what so many other people lost. And it was one of those situations where I just listened and all I could do was say, “Oh my God… I’m so sorry… Oh my God…” over and over. As soon as we got power, Vin and I turned on the lights in the basement and sorted out warm clothes and coats and extra non-perishables we could donate. As soon as the supermarkets were restocked with fresh food, I wanted to restock our fridge with the basics and bake something for coworkers that lost so much more. I quickly made some mini blueberry muffins for a couple coworkers and packaged them properly in pink boxes with signature ribbon and Cake Dealer labels. Admittedly, they weren’t my best offering, but I just wanted to give something to try to cheer them up. When I gave the care packages to a friend that had to flee from her apartment in Coney Island and another coworker that lost her house and car in Long Beach, I got appreciative smiles and huge hugs… the best thank yous ever.
**This post was delayed because I just had to add one more pic of apple turnovers I made for another coworker that has been displaced due to Sandy. The first day I came back to work, I emailed him and asked how he and his family fared because of the storm and if he could give me an update on his part of a project we were working on. He didn’t answer all day, and finally I get a response saying he didn’t forget about it and would get back on the work ASAP but he was tied up with a few things since his entire ground floor apartment was destroyed. Guess who immediately felt like an @sshole for nagging about the progress of this not-so-dire quarterly project? So this guy has been in and out of the office for the past week and every time I had a chance to bake something, he was out. I asked if the dude would be in tomorrow and he said yes, so I scrambled to Stop n Shop after dinner and got some ingredients together and basically made apple turnovers in speed mode. I peeled, cored, and cubed 4 Granny Smiths in record time, and cooked them in Jack Daniels (come on now… booze makes things better!), sugar, butter, and spices (Vin’s apple turnover moment of the day: while the cooked apples were cooling, I took a break to watch Top Chef with him and he goes, “Why does the house smell so good?” This, after he had seen me cutting up and cooking the apples =) , and rolled out some puff pastry. After a sloppy wash of egg and sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon, I popped the filled turnovers in the oven for 15 minutes. In my haste, I forgot to put slashes on top so some of the pastries started splitting on the sides (… oooops) but they still came out well. I boxed them up and will bring them into work… hopefully my coworker and his wife will like the apple-y efforts to cheer them up a bit =)
To donate hurricane relief funds to the Red Cross, click here.
buttercream , cake pops , custom design , holiday , kids/babies , wedding
Guess who had a full day of work and was still behind on writing cards and wrapping presents and still had not made Christmas Eve dessert by Friday afternoon on December 23? MEEEEE!!! That break I had the week before was more like a short gasp of air; there was so much to do @ the office before everyone else was trying to escape for the holidays. Fun. When I got home I couldn’t even think about making dessert @ the time and just rushed to wrap all the gifts for Vin’s family and tried to @ least sort out gifts for my family. I took a break to give Vin the rest of his presents (super awesome knife cufflinks, shoes, tickets to see pro bull riders @ MSG, Japanese thermal long johns). Our romantic pre-Christmas dinner @ Maloney and Porcelli was my gift to him the day before (I don’t care if you’re vegetarian; you MUST get the crackling pork shank!). Vin gave me mine super early: I got a second 6-quart KitchenAid stand mixer (I have now christened them Thing 1 and Thing 2) and some neat baking pans a week before Christmas =P
I woke up early on Christmas Eve to get started on the cake balls. I had a clear vision in mind for this Christmas dessert, and it was basically making really fancy, hand-decorated cake balls that were to resemble ornaments on this wooden tree stand I bought from Godiva last year. The tree came with wrapped chocolate truffles, but those are long gone and all that remains is this simple wooden display. Although these aren’t my favorite things to do, I admit I’m getting quite adept @ making cake balls now. Plus, I had some leftover cupcakes from last weekend, and what better way to salvage dry cupcakes but to process them into cake ball dust?
I took out a Godiva truffle to gauge what size to roll out the balls (1 Tbsp scoop) so that the wooden tree display would cup the balls ever so snugly. I had a bit of candy coating leftover from last month’s wedding favor order to cover a few balls, and broke open a package of white candy coating to make different colored “ornaments”. I made the white balls first one @ a time: dipping, setting them to dry, artfully arranging Christmas tree sprinkles, and wash, rinse, repeat with the remainder of the yellow and green coating. The candy coating dries rather quickly (man, I thought the white coating was fickle… no way, the green coating dries super fast!), so I couldn’t just dip a few balls @ once or the decorations would never stick. And I couldn’t just throw all the sprinkles on or it would look like crap. These were delicate, handcrafted, ornate cake balls with a coating that dried pretty damn quick. I’d liken this to decorating a Fabergé egg, but on speed. haha
The three final designs were: white balls with red and green Christmas trees, yellow balls with clear/red/green sugar sprinkles, and green balls with white snowflake sprinkles. I WANTED to make a fourth design: red balls with crushed peppermint sprinkles, but my downfall was not having actual red candy chips. I thought I was being sooooo innovative and smart by adding red food coloring to the white coating after making several white balls… but I overheated the candy by just a tad and didn’t have enough time to fix that mess. It was 1055 am and Vin was already hovering over me to pack this up and get ready to go, so I just brought a not-so-Christmassy variety pack of balls. I mean, yellow? Come on now… =/
We set it up @ the T house and it did look nice. Someone said it was a really great cake ball dispenser and Vin’s
crazy cute nephew Patrick was very adamant on having a “gween ball wif white snowfwakes!!!” I made extra balls to refill the empty spots on the tree and hoarded some to bring to my parents’ house for Christmas Day. My mom, dad, and grandma had never had one before and said they were good, my sister and her boyfriend were quite familiar with my baked good experiments, and my brother just popped the whole thing in his mouth, grinned, and ate it. =P
And with that, I give you the end of Christmas 2011 baking. (Phew!)
Things @ the office are JUST starting to slow down as we’re approaching that holiday lull where nothing gets done b/c frankly… everyone I need to harass work w/is out on vacation. Normally, I like being super active and multi-tasking, but it was getting a bit out of control. The breathing time is quite welcome b/c I needed to get my crap together for the holidays, too!
I’ve been staying up late and using ANY free time I have @ home to organize gifts to ship out to faraway friends and family and addressing our awesome, one-of-a-kind Christmas postcards using Vin’s photography. I figured we should have two sets made: one for “adults” and one completely nonsensical, weird set for people who are OK with our unique sense of humor =) I spent a LOT on stamps and shipping gifts this past week, but thanks to baking orders and selling stuff on eBay, it wasn’t a big deal. After bypassing the ridiculous line @ the post office on Saturday to send out 10 boxes of gifts to friends and family (thank youuuu, Click ‘n Ship!), Vin and I went to the supermarket to pick up ingredients for baking time.
This weekend’s order was very important. A very nice woman found my site online and asked if I could make cupcakes as Christmas presents to deliver to her loved ones in LI since she wasn’t able to visit them for the holidays. I definitely couldn’t say no. We decided on making a mix of chocolate cupcakes with red peppermint frosting and vanilla cupcakes with green vanilla frosting. I made a dozen minis to deliver to each house and added Christmas sprinkles to make it more festive.
Then I also made a bunch of chocolate cupcake minis with chocolate frosting and eggnog frosting. And then meticulously placed more Christmas sprinkles on these, too. (I seriously love being able to use all these cute sprinkles!)
I made some extra chocolate minis and brought in leftover eggnog frosting to bring to co-workers. I didn’t have time to decorate before bringing them in to the office, so I rushed to squeeze every last drop of frosting on the cupcakes and put one Christmas tree sprinkle on each during my lunch break. There were a lot of gift baskets and store-bought baked goods out in the office, but I’m glad everyone still had room for my cupcakes. =)
PS. After I take the baked cupcakes out and let them cool, I dump them out on cooling racks and then line then up to make room for more batches. As I was straightening up the chocolate minis, I saw that one of the cupcakes kind of looked like it had my initials. I swear I didn’t try to make it look like that! I thought I was seeing things so I showed Vin and he said, “Yeah… it DOES look like there’s ‘KT’ on it!” oooooooohhh… it’s a sign I was meant to do this, huh.
I completely forgot about posting this. I made a TON of cream puffs for Thanksgiving over 2 weeks ago. I guess it was glossed over since it’s been crazy @ work and the photos are forgettable and this wasn’t a big deal; I’ve made these before. Ain’t nothin’ special.
I was on a puff-making spree the morning of Vin’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner and made hundreds of little puffs. I just kept going and going and all my racks were overfilling and I lost count after 250. I made this many with the intention of bringing some for the T house dessert, then bringing them for my family’s post-turkey dinner on Saturday, and then doling out the rest to coworkers.
I made pistachio filling for the T house puffs. No, pistachio filling is not naturally green; a bit of food coloring gives it that lovely processed pastel shade. And there were bits of nuts in there, too. I also made chocolate filling and vanilla filling, but as usual, Vin likes to get to his parents' house early so I didn't have time to change tips and refill pastry bags to do multiple flavors. I REALLY wanted to construct a tower of puffs (croquembouche), but there definitely wasn't any time for that. Meh.
I brought about 60-70 puffs to the T house and brought along my nice cake stands to assemble them, but I was preoccupied with our new little niece for a few hours. She was so cute and peaceful sleeping on me that I didn't want to move and wake her up to arrange cream puffs and hold her @ the same time, so Vin's mom set them all up on one platter. There were extra puffs so Mom T froze them. (I was told she took them out to eat 2 weeks after Thanksgiving and they held up well and were still good.)
For my parent's house, I packaged the dry, baked puffs in a bag and didn't fill them till we got to the house. I didn't want the puffs to be soggy. And it was a much more relaxed setting so I just sat down @ the dining table and took my time filling the assortment of pistaschio, chocolate, and vanilla while my siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, and my dad eyeballed the process and commented on the "messy ones that needed to be eaten right away." hahaha It was a nice sampling dish... I think I made about 80 for my mom's family feast and they were all gone by the time we left.
And I REALLY wanted to bring some for my coworkers and teammates since we were finishing up a big group project and this would have been a nice treat, but I just didn't have time to make more filling before then. So frustrating. Now I have another 150+ empty, frozen puffs in my freezer, so maybe I can make a small caramel croquembouche tower for later. In addition to the awesomely fun idea I have in mind for the Christmas... stay tuned...
birthday , buttercream , cake pops , cupcakes , custom design , holiday , kids/babies
On off weekends, Vin and I catch up on all the shows we missed during the week and one day, we got reeled into watching “Along Came Polly” with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. It’s not a must-see, but there’s a memorable scene where the man-of-a-million-voices Hank Azaria shows up as this jacked up scuba instructor in a Speedo with a super thick French accent who tries to assure Ben Stiller nothing will happen to his new wife. He’s like, “Louban [Ben Stiller's character's name is "Reuben"], look to me in my eyeballlluuuuhhh, I promEESE you I take care of LEEsa…” When Vin imitates Hank Azaria and says that line, it makes me laugh and I was reminded of it when I made these cake balls.
I wanted to make these last weekend for Halloween but just didn’t have time. There was too much going on @ work for both of us and we just weren’t that into it this year. No parties, no dressing up… total lameness, I know. We didn’t get that many trick-or-treaters last year, so I only bought one regular bag of candy in anticipation for the holiday. Vin and I didn’t get home till close to 8 on Monday night and all the kids were done trolling for sugar by then, and since no one showed up we’re stuck with a bowl full of Whoppers, Reese’s PB cups, Take 5s, KitKats, and Jolly Rancher lollipops.
We had some time yesterday before heading to the T house so I decided I’d try out these eyeballs. Just b/c Halloween is over doesn’t mean I can’t still make weird cake balls, dammit! I wanted to test out some sizes and designs for cake balls anyway b/c I have a wedding favor order to fulfill and wanted to triple check they’d fit in the favor box with a fondant design on them, too. I took out some homemade fondant and colored and rolled tiny chunks of it, then cut out circles for the iris and pupil pieces. I made an assortment of brown, green, blue and yellow eye parts, and as soon as I put the brown eye pieces on the cake balls, I started giggling to myself. I laid out the pieces to make a crazy yellow eyeball and hand painted some gel for the bloodshot eye vessels. That made me chuckle, too. I made a bunch of different colored eye sets looking in all different directions, and I kept cracking myself in the kitchen.
Vin hears the giggling and thinks I’m chatting with my sister online and we’re making silly jokes. It’s almost time to leave (he likes getting to his parents’ super early so he can play with the dog) and he comes into the kitchen while I’m still laughing to myself and he’s all exasperated and goes, “Baby, you’re TOTALLY not ready–oh cool!!!” when he sees what I’ve been working on. Then he heads straight back into the office to get his camera to take pics. I grab his 80s computer guy/pedophile glasses and put the yellow googley eyes behind them and I’m laughing hysterically @ my creation while Vin’s snapping away. It just looks too funny AND freaky @ the same time. I go and get my glasses and put the other eyes behind them. They look creepy, but I think it’s so hilarious and I’m so proud of myself b/c they DO look realistic. I brought them over to the T house and Vin’s fam thought the balls were fun, too. His mom looked @ me like I was nuts for making creepy edible eyeballs, but she smiled and it was a loving look that said “no wonder my son loves you.” <3
I also did a few quick prototypes for the wedding favors, and they came out just the way I wanted so I was extra psyched about this cake ball experiment. =)
Oh, and I decided to make a variation of banoffee pie, but this time I made coconut whipped cream instead of regular whipped cream. That sh*t was GOOD. I brought 2 little pies to the T house and Vin’s brother and his wife loved it. They ate one and took the other home. Vin’s OK w/that just b/c he knows I have the rest of the homemade coconut cream and toffee @ home in the fridge and can make him his own deconstructed coconut banoffee pie parfait later. haha
AND, last but not least, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I could help out with baked goods for a play she was involved in, and I was more than happy to oblige. The play is “The Laramie Project” and proceeds from the sale of the cupcakes are going to support a great cause. I made a whole bunch of mini cupcakes with colorful frosting and delivered them to the director herself on Friday. My friend told me the cupcakes were awesome. I’m just glad I could help out and benefit The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Interweave. The last performances of the production are next weekend (November 12-13) so check it out if you have the chance.
Next weekend and week after will be cake ball mania @ my house. And then it’s Thanksgiving and it’ll be cream puff mania. And then it’s Christmas. And sometime in-between now and New Year’s I hope to get some sleep. Even better if I was sleeping AND catching some rays on a nice, warm beach, but thanks to Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, the odds of that happening before year end are mathematically impossible. And now, it’s the end of Sunday funday…
birthday , buttercream , cakes , cupcakes , custom design , fondant , holiday , kids/babies , wedding
After this weekend’s baking project, I wish I were on a nice beach instead of creating mini edible vacation scenes. A friend of a friend is getting married and the theme of her bridal shower: her honeymoon in the Caribbean. As soon as I heard that, I had the perfect idea in mind. I suggested doing a beach theme: half sand and half ocean with a couple seashells scattered on the cupcake.
This was one of my more organized baking endeavors. The execution went just as planned (save for one minor design kink, but that’s what test cupcakes are for) and I finished an hour ahead of schedule. The baking went smoothly, the frosting wasn’t a complicated fiasco, and cutting and shaping the fondant was a breeze. Why? B/c I used my homemade fondant for this. I really don’t know why I keep thinking that MAYBE using ready made store bought fondant would be better; it’s like I keep going back to it thinking it’ll be easier and faster than making my own, thinking that hey, maybe this overpriced factory processed fondant will work this time, maybe it’s changed for the better and won’t try to piss me off so quickly or be so difficult… but no. Purchased fondant is just like that bad relationship you can’t get rid of until you meet this NEW wonderful home made fondant and learn to open up to it. How’s THAT for an analogy, eh? Life lessons AND pretty baked goods all in one website. hahaha
Back to the cupcakes. I rolled out homemade yellow fondant and punched out stars and then hand shaped them into little starfish. I felt like the tiny starfish wasn’t enough, so I cut out forms to hand shape into those skinny, long, swirly-looking shells (kind of like conch shells… but not…). I took a couple of the “reject cupcakes” (smaller or misshapen cupcakes) and used them as test subjects. I frosted half of the cupcake and then patted brown sugar on it to resemble the “sand”. (BTW, graham cracker crumbs will also work, but the texture of brown sugar is much closer to sand.) Then I piped wavy rows of blue frosting for the water, and then pressed one of each shell onto the cupcake. It looked pretty much as I imagined in my head =)
I was also requested to make a small cake for the event in the same design as the cupcakes, so I cut out larger stars to shape into bigger starfish. I pressed the brown sugar on the cake first, then piped the ocean waves. And I used extra icing to “glue” the fondant shells onto the top and side of the cake. Pretty cute, right? I was happy about how these came out. The bride texted and said they were amazing and perfect and my friend (one of the maids of honor) said they looked awesome and tasted delicious. I think I can say from the sound of things, this was a job well done. haha
I punched out extra stars and made some extra cupcakes to donate for this West Islip Family day event. They’re going to give my cupcakes out as one of the prizes and my cards will be passed out. I’m not really looking for more business or press around here since I’d like to be out of this house soon, but I have a ton of cards so I might as well distribute them. Couldn’t hurt, right? And I don’t feel too shabby about helping a good cause, either.
Taking a hiatus from baking for a couple weeks. This has been too exhausting with work. I need to recharge…
buttercream , cupcakes , custom design , experiments , fondant , holiday , roses/flowers
Last Mother’s Day I made two small vanilla cakes for Vin’s mom and decorated them with some of the first frosting roses I’ve ever made. I remember one had chocolate frosting with pink roses cascading down the side, and the other had white vanilla frosting with lavender roses. I didn’t take any pictures @ the time b/c I considered it to be practice and didn’t think I’d really continue decorating cakes and baking. Oh well. I guess if anyone orders a wedding cake from me in the near future, I can make basic tiers with borders and *drumroll please* cascading roses. Because I haven’t tried anything else. haha
It’s weird to think that a year has passed since I took up this hobby. I don’t feel like I’m significantly better @ it since I haven’t really had a chance to practice or learn any new techniques, and to be honest I really don’t think I’ll ever have the time to ever take legit cake decorating classes. I guess being meticulous and adventurous helps make the baking look and taste good. And having a photographer for a husband and a studio in the basement isn’t a bad thing, either. But I do strive to make things that are slightly out of the ordinary or challenge myself to make things outside of the cake mix box, so to speak. Being that it’s Mother’s Day, I had to make something special for Vin’s mom that was better than last year’s cakes. (Unfortunately my mom is too far away to get the same gift; the best I could do was have flowers sent =( Boo.) With my current work schedule and still being tired/achy, I didn’t have time to construct a cake masterpiece. So I thought, what could I do that’s relatively simple yet still be spectacular? What am I good @? Cupcakes… frosting roses… I’ll make huge rose cupcakes!
I made some chocolate cupcakes… well, 96 chocolate cupcakes to be exact, since I also had to fulfill another Mother’s Day order and had another request for Lakers-themed cupcakes (and I always bake extra). It was a pretty big baking weekend for me, but it felt good diving headfirst into the deep end again. It made me feel “normal” again. That and baking in wedge heels = I was back in business. (I used to bake and decorate barefoot but spending hours flat on my feet really hurt and I’ve since worn 4″-heeled wedge shoes to put less weight on the balls on my feet… b/c wearing sneakers would simply be too obvious of a solution =)
I crushed some chocolate, graham cracker and pretzels in the food processor to simulate “dirt” in the planter for my mother-in-law’s baked gift. And I was going to make green fondant leaves to put it instead of green icing since I figured, hey, might as well go big or go home (wait…). Unfortunately, the rest of my awesome plan didn’t work out so well. I kneaded green food coloring for the fondant leaves to put around the pot, but everything else took so long that the fondant started drying out before I could place it where I wanted. And then I couldn’t get the perfect frosting flavor + consistency (again, the balance between taste and stiffness drove me up the wall) so my icing flowers came out a little softer than I liked. And then I didn’t put enough stabilizing sticks in the planter so the cupcakes didn’t stay on the pot. My original plan to put 6 roses in the pot surrounded by fondant leaves turned out to be a disaster b/c I was out of time (had to make a delivery for a customer and head to the T house for dinner), I was THIS close to smashing the clay pot since this really shouldn’t have been this difficult. So with Vin’s assistance, we ended up with one single rose cupcake in a planter as a quick fix.
Here’s to constantly one-upping myself all the time… this may kill me if I keep it up. haha
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and grandma, too! <3