September 11, 2009

Eat Cake!


Tonight I'm making a small wedding cake for delivery tomorrow morning. Of course, I'd like to be further along on it than I am, but that's my life! I'm taking a break while some things cool, and others warm up, so I can share a few things with you.

A good friend of mine recently (ok, it really wasn't all that recent) suggested that I read a book called, "Eat Cake" by Jeanne Ray. She said it was a really great book and she thought the similarities between my situation and the main character's were amazing.

So, I finally found a few minutes when I could have some quiet time reading. I've only had time to make it through the first chapter, but so far, I LOVE it! At this point, I'd gladly recommend it to any "foodie". I've already found a favorite passage to share with you all, which seems to speak perfectly to my dessert-laden heart.

" Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn't, she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn't a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don't eat the whole cake. You don't eat cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it s offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that's safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what's served on the happiest days of your life."

Gotta go stir the raspberry filling that's cooking on the stove. . . .and nibble on the cake crumbs!

September 8, 2009

Yay! Somebody's Out There!

Well, so far I've found out that there are at least 5 of you out there reading this blog! I feel like Julie in the movie when she found out she had some people out there paying attention to what she was doing, and gave a "high five" to her friend at work. So, here's a "HIGH-FIVE" for all of you!!! Thank you!!!

Tonight I attended a casual church dinner/activity with some of my dear girlfriends. We were supposed to bring and/or tell about our 5 favorite things. Of course, I brought my "Cake Bible", and then proceeded to mention more than 5 things: chocolate, baking, cooking, FOOD, flowers, art, design, fashion and graphic design, sunshine (you really learn to appreciate it here in the Seattle area), really old movies, romantic comedies, musicals, Jane Austen, my family, my AMAZING friends, etc, etc, etc.. I guess I like a lot of things, and I'm not really good at narrowing it down to a short list!

I'm watching "Amazing Wedding Cakes" on WE tv as I type. I really love watching other cake designers/bakers work. I have learned so many different little tips and tricks that way. This episode has Cakegirls from Chicago, Christopher Garren from somewhere in CA, and Merci Beucoup Cakes in LA. There is a HUGE difference in the level of craftmanship and design between the first two and the last one mentioned! Ugh! Everytime I watch the LA group I just have to stifle my jealousy that they have a real shop with great equipment and lots of space, but generally don't put out a very well-executed product! I just think, given the resources, I could do at LEAST that well, and hopefully better! Is that terrible to say? I don't want to be mean or overly critical, or too proud - I guess it really does all just boil down to jealousy. I'd better reform!

Well, it's late, my show's almost over and I have to get up early. Tomorrow I'm making the fondant for the wedding cake I'll be doing this weekend. FYI - BEST recipe is from Rose Levy Bernabaum's "Cake Bible". Add a little lemon extract, and it's perfect! The consistency is so much better to work with than most commercial brands, and it doesn't have that chemical-ish after taste.
'night!

September 7, 2009

Is this tacky?

So I did it.  I put an option to donate to my company on my website's store.  I can't decide how I feel about it.  I may take it off.  It's a little weird.

So today was my daughter's birthday.  She turned 6 years old.  Every year on her birthday it has been BEAUTIFUL weather.  Today it rained.  I had invited about 20 girls.  Yes, it was completely crazy, but the number ended up working out fine.  It was the weather that put a big crimp in my plans.  She had been wanting a Pink Pony Party, so I had put several hours into researching and designing a really cool pony cake.  With the nasty weather, I ended up spending a couple of hours this morning on the phone working out changing the location of our party from our backyard to a covered area.  This SERIOUSLY put me behind on the cake.  So it ended up being a 16" x 16" square, frosted in pink and with some left-over-from-a-wedding sugar gerber daisies on top.  It was pretty, and yummy, but I was so disappointed that I couldn't create the pony in my head!

September 6, 2009

Is anyone out there?

I mentioned that I just saw "Julie & Julia".  It really made me wonder if anyone out there is actually reading MY blog.  Granted, this is not near as interesting as a year-long, daily-documented project of cooking 524 recipes from a famous person's cookbook, but part of me hopes someone checks in once in a while.  

If so, I'll gladly start posting more regularly!  Also, I will be simplifying this blog when I finish working on the real website, sweetlorrainecakes.com.  It's up, but not beautiful yet.  

Back to the movie - I also thought about the advice Julie's friends gave her to put a "Paypal" thingy on her blog, so that readers could contribute $ to her project.  What if I did something like that?  Would anyone notice, care or be offended?  I am, after-all, in business.  BUT, my topsy, turvy life and finances right now are not allowing me to put together the official commercial kitchen area that I really need for the business to grow.  It will probably be an addition to the house, or a bay of the garage built in, but I definitely need something better.  There are kitchens I can rent space in for special projects, but I haven't found that to work too well for me.  If you know of anyone that would like to invest in my venture, please send them my way!  

After the next several weeks, when I can help my parents into an appropriate nursing home/assisted living situation, I will be able to get "back to business".  In the meantime, if anyone IS out there, please let me know what you think!
THANKS!

September 4, 2009

Fabulous!

Today I finally got to go see "Julie & Julia"!  It was absolutely FABULOUS!  I was thoroughly entranced with the stories of both women, the lovely sites of Paris 60 years ago, and, of course, the food.  Several of my dear friends were able to join me at the movie, and I think they really enjoyed it to.  For me, it was a really personal experience, as I found I related surprisingly well (on so many different levels) with Amy Adams' character, Julie.
It was obviously and inspiration to get back to my "blog", as well as my baking.  

However, that said, I am not quite ready to head back full force into the cupcake world.  I still have a few weddings on the books for this year, and WAS planning to start back up with "Cupcake Fridays" at the beginning of this month, but am totally and over-whelmingly engulfed in trying to manage some elder-care issues for my parents.  That, in itself, could be a full-time job.

So - when will you get your cupcakes?????  Let's aim for Oct. 2nd - feel free to comment on what flavors you may prefer as we look ahead.

Oh - how could I forget????  I am now approved to accept credit cards online!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I also have my sweetlorrainecakes.com website up and running - well, the bare bones, at least.  I really have some marvelous things I'd like to do with it if I could just find the time.  

Anyway, you are welcome to take a peek at it - it also has its own "store", where I will be itemizing products/cakes/cupcakes for sale.  Feel free to check it out.