Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

So 20II (aka the year of ME) has come to an end. It was a GREAT year for me. But I say out with the old and in with the new. I am ready to conquer 2012.

I had a pretty low key New Year's celebration due to a sick puppy. But Abby was right there by my side (struggling to stay awake) to help me countdown and kick off 2012.



I look forward to the experiences ahead of me this year. I plan to take more cake and sewing classes, work on my cupcake/cake business a bit more and have fun with Abby as she grows from a puppy (she is 16 weeks now) to a one-year-old dog. And if things goes awry along the way, I will just take one look at my little puppy's face and smile.

Monday, November 28, 2011

And... I'm back!

Sorry for the lull in posts. A lot has happened in the last five months. First, I started a new job in July. I am still working in public relations, however I am with a new firm. It has been a nice change of pace. The atmosphere is more professional. I have my own office with a door, windows, etc. The only downfall - a commute. It isn't a big one, but with rush hour traffic it takes 30 minutes or so.

I also added a new addition to my family. Abby, a beautiful Goldendoodle puppy. I had been looking at dog breeds for a months now. I talked to a few of my friends. Visited with different breeds. In the end, the stars aligned and a fabulously beautiful puppy became available. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.

8 Weeks

9 Weeks

10 Weeks

11 Weeks

It has been a change having a dog in the house again, but it is welcomed. I will say, however, that I have not had a puppy in 15 years. So the whole potty training and fits of energy are something that has taken some getting use to. Abby is doing great with potty training though. We have very few accidents. And she loves her dog door and newly sodded backyard. She is definitely a spoiled little girl, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Next up, training for another half marathon - the Rock 'n Roll half marathon in St. Petersburg. After taking the summer off from running, it has been difficult to get back in the running groove. My body isn't the same since the marathon. So I am taking things slowly and easing back into things. Thankfully, I have until February to get back in shape. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Frosting for the Cause

As some of yo u may already know, I joined forces with Frosting for the Cause this year. Here's how it works: bakers who join are given a day to blog on the site, sharing one of their recipes. Bakers must also donate at least $25 to the cancer charity of his or her choice. And then donate the goods baked for the blog post to a local cancer hospice or charity.

My blog day has finally arrived. I baked key lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. You can read my post on the Frosting for the Cause website. This year alone the bakers who share on this site will help raise more than $9,000 for cancer research.

In addition to Frosting for the Cause, I would also like to thank my friend, Steph, for letting me share her story through my blog post. It really was a major reason I chose to take part in this project.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ganache Gives Your Cake Panache

As many of you know, when I am stressed out or have a lot on my mind I bake. That was case this week. So I decided to challenge myself a bit and make a torted chocolate layer cake with peanut butter frosting. But that wasn't enough. I wanted to kick it up a notch, so I tried my hand at covering the entire cake in chocolate ganache. It turned out really well. I even had some leftover sugar flowers to use as decorations.

I can't wait to cut the cake to see how the layers turned out. Since this was just an 8 inch cake, the layers were not very tall to begin with, so cutting each layer in half was a challenge. I will have to take a photo when we cut into it tomorrow night. Speaking of cutting into it, I hope it tastes ok. If it was anything like the groom's cake I made for my friend, I am sure it will be delicious. That cake was awesome, so pouring chocolate on top can only make it better. Don't worry, I bought some milk to go with it. I have a feeling this one is going to be rich.

How to Ganache a Cake:
For those of you interested in chocolate ganache, all you need to know is you heat some heavy cream (you can do this in the microwave - don't let it boil). Then dump in an equal amount of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of butter (that give it the shine). If you want to pour it on top of the cake (it is good to frost it first), you let the ganache cool down a bit. This will allow it to thicken up a bit. Then you just pour it over the cake, letting it run down the sides. You will have to use a spatula to make sure the sides are well covered. After the first pour, I put the cake in the fridge to set. Then I poured a second layer on. Keep in mind you can take the used ganache and reuse it. If you chill it, it becomes a great frosting (which is what I used to pipe around the cake and set the flowers). You can also roll the chilled ganache in balls and make truffles by coating them in cocoa powder or chocolate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My First Wedding Order

The power of word-of-mouth advertising is amazing. I booked my first wedding and the client is not a friend or someone I know. I was hired to make cake pops and a small wedding cake. The colors guava and marine needed to be incorporated into the design, as well as a big bow on the cake.

Here's how everything turned out:


The cake is a 6 inch double layer vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. I covered the cake in ivory fondant, added a quilt design, border and accents of colored frosting and candy pearl. Then I topped it with a fondant-gum paste bow.

The cake pops were made to match the main cake. The marine color is chocolate cake. The guava color is red velvet cake. And the white are vanilla cake. In all, I think it coordinated nicely.

I also made a dozen vanilla cake pops for the kids. Those were just dipped in candy dots to make them festive and fun.

Happy First Birthday, Gabe

I know I haven't blogged in a while, so it is time to play catch up. My cupcake business seems to be taking off. A college friend hired me to make treats for her son's first birthday. There really wasn't a theme for the party, so I tried matching the cupcakes to the invitation, which had candles all over it.

This is what I came up with. I made individual candles out of royal icing to top the cupcakes, which were chocolate and strawberry. They look a little creepy on the wax paper, but looked cute on the cupcakes.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, especially the kids. It was neat to see the candles dye their tongues blue, green and red. But most important, the birthday boy had a great time playing with the frosting and cake.

Happy 1st birthday, Gabe! And thank you for letting me be a part of the celebration, Isabel.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That's What Friends Are For

I have been putting off writing this post for a while now. Those who know me will tell you I am a loyal Florida State fan. I went to school there. I still go to football games every season. I am proud to be a member of the Seminole Nation! Go Noles!

However, I put my loyalty aside when my friend, Brie, asked me to help her surprised her soon-to-be husband with a groom's cake for their wedding. He kept asking for one, but she managed to make him think they were tacky and unnecessary, especially since he wanted a Florida Gators cake. Brie is a proud USF Bulls fan! 

So despite my disdain and utter hatred for UF, I managed to tackle the request. Actually, I am pretty proud of how the cake turned out, despite the ugly orange and blue frosting (haha). And the best part is the groom, Mike, had no idea until he got to the reception. It was the perfect surprise, which Brie made even better with her figurine of the bride dragging the groom away from a tiny television showing a Gators game.

Of course, I had to add my own personal touch. While I couldn't mess up the cake (it was their wedding after all), I could let my love for FSU show. So I made him a special tomahawk to cut the cake. The best part is he used it to cut the cake, which was a double layer chocolate cake filled with peanut butter frosting and mini chocolate chips.

I am very honored that Brie had enough confidence in me to ask me to make a cake for her wedding. I was definitely nervous about it. There will be photos of this cake floating around for years to come. But I am glad I did it and thankful to be included in their special day.

Mike and Brie are two of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met and I am so glad to have them as friends. I love the both of you and wish you the very best on what I am sure will be a lifetime of happiness. Congratulations!