Sunday, July 30, 2006

Planning a Shower?

Step ONE: Call jin!

I can show you examples of what some clients order for wedding or baby showers.
(My sincere apologies to all the guys who rushed over thinking I was referring to a different type of shower! You WISH!)

Mini Muffins bursting with lots of succulent tiny Maine Blueberries.

Devil's Food Cupcakes
glazed with Belgian Chocolate
& a Sweet Icing Flower.
(I am embarrassed to admit that I ate 6 of these. *BLUSH* It was an accident! I SWEAR! I was running to answer the phone when I tripped on a leprechaun & fell. My mouth happened to be open because I was singing an Aria for the newest version of Carmen, which the leprechaun was recording in my shoppe. As I cascaded to the floor, my head flew into the table where the cupcakes were displayed. Somehow, they ended up in my mouth. I nearly choked to death on them! I had to chew & swallow very quickly! It was SO traumatic!)

Tiny Cornbread Muffins
(FYI: Crows absolutely LOVE these! Go ahead, ask me how I know! ;-)

4 Layer White Butter Cake
filled with Swiss Raspberry Preserves
& Thick Lemon Curd
frosted with Vanilla French Buttercream
Sprinkled all over with Organic Coconut

These are one of my FAVES!!!
Mini Savory Scones
made with shredded cheese
organic pepper & garlic

Actually, I kind of think showers are BORING! (No, not THAT kind! Minds out of the gutter!) I mean the wedding & baby showers are boring, unless, of course, you have a huge table full of my pastries! That makes for a GREAT time!

Enjoy your Sunday & stay COOL!
Actually, you might want to eat a Sundae to keep cool!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


A pale pink petit four here
A pale pink petit four there
Pretty pink petit fours EVERYWHERE!

An apple a day
Keeps the doctor away!

Delicate yellow sweet buttermint
For a happy lover I'll give you a hint
Eat one of these before you deliver a kiss
You'll both be in absolute bliss!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sublime Saturday

If you adore good chocolate then after one of these you'll pledge your eternal love to me along with ALL your bank cards. Indulge at your own risk. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Once upon a time I ate Oreos. Yes, I know...disgusting things with ingredients reminiscent of a chemical laboratory. Never again. So, I had to find a way to recreate them using only the most natural & organic ingredients. The crispy chocolate cookies above are filled with a dreamy combination of organically grown (in MY garden) mint leaves infused in cream, then whipped up with European style butter & powdered sugar. I'll NEVER crave a store-bought Oreo again!

Buttery crumbly thin lemon zested wafers held together with Belgian white chocolate. Simply elegant!

Tiny (not even an inch in diameter!) fresh raspberry cheesecakes in a shortbread shell mere seconds after they've come out of the oven. I love how they look all poufy & shiny. After they are cooled & refrigerated the center settles into a dense heavy mouthful of creamy berry cheesecake delight (as shown below, drizzled with white chocolate).

Only one wedding yesterday. I'll give you 2 angles for definition of the hexagonal tiers. This is the fourth 'scroll pattern' wedding cake in the last month. I have a theory on why different clients tend to choose the same cake repeatedly during a brief time period.

I have several portfolios for the brides to look through for design ideas. Most pick an exact cake, some pick 2 or 3 designs to be combined & a wonderful rare few just give me a colour scheme with free artistic license (I like these the BEST!). One month every year a particular design rules. I believe when certain people flip through my portfolio & land on 'the cake design' a tiny bit of energy stays on that page. It's truly amazing because the next half dozen or so brides STOP on that same page. With every 'STOP' I think more energy hovers there. Call me crazy if you like...but I've seen it too many times in the last 13 years to believe otherwise.

I wanted to get a photo of this raspberry white chocolate mousse cake I made. It started selling soooo fast I had to quick grab a piece for 'tasting' (quality control, you know ;-). It was a rather large piece that I set on the kitchen counter for the 4 of us working to sample. I ran to get the camera & 3 seconds later this was all that's left!
Well, once I tasted it I knew why. OMG! Seriously one of the 5 best tasting cakes I've ever made. On that note.....Happy Monday! :-)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Saw

I saw a Pie to-day
was green & red & gray?
A hole in one
was not quite done
but oh my
Apple Pie!

I saw a plane to-day
was plastic & for play
grooms cake it was
caused quite a buzz
yummy to eat
Such a treat!

I saw some cats to-day
created from baked clay
the colours match
two cats scratch
cake looked cool
made YOU drool!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Customers from Hell Volume V

First, a happy story to offset the 'Customer from Hell'.

A few years ago I was commissioned to create a likeness of a local museum (The Rahr West Art Museum). The museum has 2 parts, the newer art gallery addition & the older & historically preserved 3 story mansion. The Museum's president wanted me to recreate the mansion out of gingerbread. It was to be auctioned off to the highest bidder as a fundraiser.

Here is how something like this normally works: an individual donates the $ to pay me for my work, they write it off as a charitable contribution, the institution makes their $ from the sale of the item & everyone is happy.

I ALWAYS spend more time on a project like this than the amount of $ I receive from it. I feel that my extra hours & perfectionism is my donation. Most people are very pleased with an arrangement such as this.

Now I will treat you to the photos of the gingerbread mansion. (The link above will take you to a picture of the building itself.)

For scale: The base of the mansion was aprox. 2' x 2'. It stood roughly 4' tall.

This was a successful project. The persons involved were VERY pleased with the finished results. Yay!

Now...on to my rant. About 2 weeks ago I receive a call from the local courthouse. They are celebrating their centennial with a plan to restore a good portion of the beautiful building. The woman I spoke with explained that I came highly recommended as someone who could recreate the domed courthouse out of cake. "Of course!" I said.

She explained that they had a very limited budget & they needed cake to serve 200 people. As they were giving it away free I suggested the most cost effective option & told her I would give her an additional 10% discount just because. She said they really wanted me to make a small replica, whether or not they were able to order the additional sheet cakes from me. She stressed that it was very important that the cake resemble the courthouse from the stairs all the way up to the dome. I said that I could copy it in exquisite detail! She closed the conversation by saying she had to run it past a few more people yet, but that she would call back the next day either way.

People can be very rude & shallow in a small town. You'd think it would be the opposite. Nay. Very few people return phone calls or emails. (Except Uniquely Yours!) I really didn't think that would be the case here. I didn't expect the entire order but I did EXPECT the courtesy call back. Silly me. In hindsight, I have to wonder if the entire call wasn't just a 'hint' to see if I'd do it for FREE. In your fucking dreams lady! You can't tell me she couldn't collect 10 bucks from every well-to-do person in that building to fund an exquisitely 'Detailed Replica'. Oh, wait, I suppose they need that cash to run their gas guzzling trucks, bmw's, mercedes, lexus' & suv's. Right.

They did find someone else to do it for free. I assume. I mean I hope to hell they didn't pay one cent for the 'courthouse cake' that appeared on the front page of our local rag. I won't even post it here people. Sorry. I know you're dying to see it, too. It was the UGLIEST, most CROOKED cake I've EVER seen! Truly pathetic. If I were the person that was responsible for acquiring that monstrosity I would be embarrassed for the rest of my days. Not to mention whomever made it, because NO ONE took credit for it, in the article anyway. I did try to find a linky for luck. Haha!!! They wouldn't even scan that badboy to put it up on the internet!

Ah well, c'est la vie. Life in a small town keeps getting better & better.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hot Hot Hot!!!

Am I speaking of the weather, me or today's food photographs? YES!

Friday was INSANE! 14.5 hours straight, in my pretty pink vegan Birkenstocks, minus a 45 minute break for some dinner. Sad thing is, I only have a few photos to show for it all. I was simply too tired to take them. D snapped a few of the most unique.

Tiny old fashioned cheesecakes, 1" in diameter, baked in a thin shortbread shell, topped with Swiss strawberry preserves & a white chocolate drizzle. These were a very small part of an order for bite-sized wedding desserts. They also had: Petit Fours, Blueberry topped Cheesecakes, Lemon Curd Cheesecakes, Key Lime Tarts, Turtle Triangles, Lemon Berry Dream Squares & Housegrown Rhubarb Dream Slices (for clarification purposes: the rhubarb is grown here, not the dream slices, but wouldn't that be COOL? Hey D, I'm going out in the garden to pick dessert, do you want something off the Creme Brulee Tree or the Eclair Bush? ;-)

This was a combo birthday cake for Daddy & daughter. I'm assuming the balloons & crayons were for the 7 year old girl & the racing tractor was for the Daddy. Maybe I shouldn't assume, though. One never knows.

Baby Shower Cake

The bottom was a 14" round cake nearly 6" tall. It was a white cake with white chocolate mousse & fresh sliced strawberries between the 4 layers. Each little 'block' was also mousse filled. The COOL ladies that ordered this cake simply told me the flavors & number of guests. The design was totally up to my creativity. I like that. A LOT! My best cakes start off with no instruction. My imagination is a vast chasm filled with sugar induced visions.

The aerial shot. Unfortunately I wasn't here to witness the customers reaction. I heard she was quite satisfied. Her I please, blogfans I tease! All in a days work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

There's A BlogFan at My Door!

Some of you may have already heard, I had my very FIRST visit from a fellow blogger today! Katy (for pronunciation: Katy rhymes with hottie) had to fly into Chicago for a few days. She drove ALL the way up to visit me, over 4 hours I believe (She mentioned a 50 mile accidental 'detour'. Pop on over to Okay, fine! Whatever?!?!? for her version of the story.)

Katy brought with her, Erin (I do hope I have the correct spelling of her name, I forgot to ask!) the girl she took care of many years ago as an Au Pair. We all sat down & had cheese & vidalia onion quiche for lunch. It was a GREAT time! Then onto the desserts...picture this: they each got a plate & free reign to help themselves to anything they wanted! Aren't you all SO jealous now?!!? Heeheehee!!! I'm a good hostess, right Katy?

Ok, I know you want to see the photos, just remember that Katy has different ones, so check hers out, too!

Here we are just after they arrived.
From the left: Erin, Katy, Tom (my Dad) & Moi.

Katy & Erin both love doggies so we brought our little Brioche to
meet them. Here she is trying desperately to eat Katy's hair twistie!

Then onto dessert! Here are a few of the selections they could choose from:

Lemon Berry Dream Squares

Petit Fours

Peanut Butter Jewels

Strawberry & White Chocolate Mousse Cake

Now, a VERY rare treat. A picture of David...yes, you read that right. He abhors having his photo taken, but he was an absolute sweetie & posed with Katy for one picture. That's all, ONE. So, unfortunately, his eyes are nearly closed, but this is all I've got (He is smiling, though!). David happened to be making a batch of French buttercream &, well, my regular comment readers will already know that Katy has offered to lick the spatula once or twice! This is how we accommodate our blogfans:

From the left: Audrey (my Mom), Tom, Me, Katy, Erin &
in the center, Brioche. My pup embarrassed me.....she stuck
her nose inside Katy's bag & before we knew it out she came
with a 10 dollar bill! I had a hard time proving that I didn't
intentionally teach her to do that! Although, it could prove
quite interesting to encourage her behaviour!!! :-D

Just before they left: a blog buddy shot.
(With me in my goofy apron!)

Maybe I should make this a new feature on my blog.
Something like: "Who's at the door today?"
But I'd need more visitors. Anyone game?
(Of course, Katy can come back ANYTIME!!! :-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Enrobe Me

almond, marshmallow, cherry too
bites of them for me & you
what makes them all SUPERHOT?
dipping them in choc-o-lat!

cream cheese filled chocolate cake
cut in squares will not break
even if the weather's hot
just dip them in choc-o-lat

candies, pralines, truffles too
you know what you have to do
serve them plain? I think not
cover them with choc-o-lat!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Wedded Bliss

I just HAD to share this one!
Today's only wedding cake delivery.
But how COOL is that?!!?
Do you love it as much as I do???

It was all Devil's Food Cake
(Extra tall tiers!)
Toasted Almond French Buttercream Filling
Enrobed in Belgian Dark Chocolate Glaze

The flowers were made of fondant, royal icing & gumpaste.

An 8" round tier atop a 10" round tier.

The two tier cake stood roughly 15" tall.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fresh or Dead?

For the past decade 9 out of every 10 wedding cakes I made were finished with real flowers.
The trend is decreasing.
I breathe a sigh of relief.

Yes, they can be beautiful, but that depends on:
1. which florist you get them from
2. who adorns your cake with them
3. overkill

The cost to dress your cake with roses & daisies has escalated beyond belief. Simply to be viewed briefly, before they are removed & tossed in a trash bin. Poor... dead flowers, did they ever have a chance? I have received wilted roses with brown spots on occasion, the bride having paid good money for a pretty pink tea rose...then what do I do? I want the cake to look fabulous, sometimes it's not as easy as you'd think. I have already replaced flowers at my own cost to avoid finishing a perfect cake with un-perfect flowers. But, you learn from your mistakes. I charge an additional rate for dealing with 'live' flowers. The cost depends on which area florist the bride has chosen. I don't tell them this, of course. Because, to be blunt, some florists are bad & some are good, one is EXCEPTIONAL, while others are just ok.

Then there are also the flowers you have to stay away from, because they are poisonous, even with the tiniest brush against frosting. Ideally any flowers coming in contact with the cake should be grown pesticide free. Then again, this will cost you twice the amount of $$$. Bummer.

I have nothing against a few roses/rose petals here & there. On one occasion I was given enough loose flowers to cover at least 3 cakes. I felt obligated to use them all, as they were already paid for, yet there was no way I could fit them all on the cake. I made a separate arrangement & set it on the table next to the cake. Gotta think fast sometimes! Especially if you're setting it up in a hotel...people everywhere, some just watching me. A rare occurrence, but it does happen, heckling. Mostly by men who think they will somehow gain my attention by shouting, "Don't trip! Don't drop the cake!" Really, how dumb is that?!!?

If you have ever seen me deliver a cake, odds are I haven't noticed you. In fact, to glance at me, whilst delivering, you might even think to yourself, "Gee, that one looks like a right bitch!" I have to tune out everyone & everything. Set my eye on the goal [cake]. There aren't any distractions if I don't allow them. So, when the flowers are already at the reception waiting, I have set up the cake, I open the package to find dead horrible wilting flowers, with many people around watching me, instead of loudly exclaiming, 'Now what the fuck do I do?' I graciously salvage what I can, then decorate the rest of the cake with the 'emergency kit' I brought along, just in case.

What's your opinion?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Touch of Red

Red means:








Red says:
I Love You
I Hate You

I Want You
Stay Away

It's too Hot
Start a Fire

Innocent Blushing
Sexual Flushing

Living Pumping Veins
Deadly Gunshot Wound

A Natural Redhead
Chemically Dyed Locks

Sweet & Juicy
Sour & Poisonous

Natural Juices
Toxic Alcohol

What is the first thing you think of when YOU see the colour red?