Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 2010

Aside from playing with Bailey and helping her learn the valuable lessons in life such as the dog goes woof woof and the duck goes quack quack, I have been keeping pretty busy.  

Bailey stole John's cup and she was looking pretty adorable

Bree and I had several busy weekends with baby shower cakes, wedding cakes and birthdays.  I also started going to a cooking class, I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.  It's been lots of fun to bring friends to, to cook and drink and be silly, a good night out away from family life.  
Chef Craig, we love him :)

I have done some painting classes that are also a great girls night out, bring your own wine and they supply the rest.  John and I have cooked out several times with friends and family and gone to several cook outs. I take Bailey to the pool with her cousins and her Aunt Candi.  She loves the pool!  
another stolen drink... what's with this kid LOL

I was so close to enrolling in Le Cordon Bleu culinary school for baking and pastry but sadly classes filled up too fast.  I did my interview and testing, which proudly I scored almost perfect scores on all three sections, I thought for sure I would have failed the math section.  To my surprise they offered to hire me in as a tutor, didn't see that one coming.  I will aim to start in February if life permits me to.  In the mean time I am trying to research scholarships to get some of the costs cut down, it would sure make it easier!  So yeah if you know anybody that is in tune with scholarships and free college money let me know, I am in the market!  The whole Mommy's go back to school thing only applies to single mom's struggling to make ends meet, very strict salary restrictions... but I know their is a ton of free money out there for school I am just having trouble locating it.   

and then speaking of school, I had my ten year high school reunion last weekend.  Wow really??  Am I that old?  I don't feel that old, but half the people that I reconnect with are starting to look aged, which makes me wonder what I must look like through other people's eyes.  All mommied out and kinda tired.  yeah, I probably do look a little old.  Oh well, I can't complain, life has been pretty good to me lately.  It took me ten years to find a real passion... there are lots of things that interest me but I think I really enjoy this.  I just got finished this last weekend with doing mini cakes for Barbara's bridal shower.  I did 20 of them, as my own personal project and contribution to the shower planning.  I also created the cupcake stand that they are displayed on.  It was a fairly easy DIY project.  I bought a couple of styrofoam disks from Michaels, some vintage scrapbook paper, a cheap charger and a couple of cheap vases, and a can of glossy spray paint.  Covered the styrofoam in the scrapbook paper, spray painted the charger and lined it with scrapbook paper, and spray painted the vases.  Then assembled with hot glue.  Easy and cute, cost about $25 in supplies, the priciest part being the styrofoam.  

I put in a ton of time on these mini cakes!  OMG I couldn't believe how long these took me!  I did the flowers and bows ahead of time, they needed to dry.  I figured the dots and monograms would be pretty simple and that the hardest part would be covering them in fondant.  Luckily it was good fondant weather, a cold front had come in so it wasn't all hot and humid Texas summer weather like usual which can cause the fondant to tear or get air bubbles and make you want to throw your cake on the ground after several failed attempts.  No it was great weather, the fondant went on easy and smooth, no tears or re-dos.  It was the crumb coating and buttercreaming that was the real nightmare.  I did two flavors, pink champagne and red velvet.  The pink champagne was pretty cooperable, it was the red velvet that chose to hate me.  I don't have a mini cake pan, cupcake pans have a slope so that doesn't give it the nice straight edge, I had to use a sheet pan and then cut the cakes out with biscuit cutters.  Since they were cut out the sides were all crumbly which made it impossible to crumb coat.  I had to do everything in many cycles, with freezing the cakes in order for them to be stiff enough to crumb coat* and not fall completely apart (thankfully that didn't happen because I had just enough for 10 cakes in each batch and needed to make 20 total), freezing them again in order to buttercream them so they wouldn't look all lumpy, and then hot knifing** them to smooth out the surface... and then rolling out fondant and covering, and finally I could decorate and dust in gold luster dust for a sparkly satin look. It was indeed quite a process.  No real difficulties except with crumb coating of the red velvet, but definitely quite a process.  I was surprised that they ended up using twice the amount of icing and twice the amount of fondant than I originally thought they would need.  But after all was said and done, I still love the mini cake.  They make for a really cute display.  However I have a better idea now after the whole process of how much supplies they actually use and how time consuming they are even with a simple design.  

*crumb coat- thin layer of buttercream that is not pretty, called crumb coat because crumbs are usually mixed in
**hot knifing-  a heated knife dipped in hot or boiling water to smooth buttercream or chocolate free from any lumps

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2 comments: to “ Summer

  • Jennifer
    September 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

    Your cakes are always so pretty! I love looking at the pictures of them. It sounds (and looks) like you have to have a whole LOT of patience to make them work the right way. The cooking class sounds fun too. I need to come up with a class or something to do weekly soon. I'm trying to wait until Max is sleeping a little better, but may just need to go ahead and do it! So good to get out on your own every once in a while :)

  • Kailing Krew
    September 26, 2010 at 5:31 PM  

    You are so talented, they are absolutely perfect!!!!!

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