Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tis the season!

How is it that you can be so busy when you are unemployed?  Anyways thats about to change soon (hopefully).  I have an interview next week at a bank.  I know, it's not a bakery but I've got to be realistic with my availability and all.  Anyways hopefully I'll be employed by the end of next week.

I've got a few things coming up this week.  I'm baking for this really neat event being put on her in Ottawa for awareness against gender violence. You can read all about it here.  So I've got some cookies, cupcakes, carmel popcorn and other goodies lined up for that.  Let the baking begin!

Monday is the anniversary of the deaths of  the 16 woman who were shot dead in Montreal.  It is National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence Against Women.  On December 6, 1989, 14 young women were killed by a gunman at an engineering school in Montreal. The events of that day focused national attention on male violence against women. Here in Ottawa there is a vigil being held.   A vigil to honour and grieve all women who have died as a result of male violence.

Monday December 6th, 6pm at the Women's Monument (Elgin and Gilmour)
For more information call 230-6700
This is an event for all women and children.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the service at First United Church, 397 Kent St. at 7pm.  Everyone is also encouraged to attend a fundraiser for Harmony house at "Mash" on Elgin St. from 7-10pm.

So all you woman out there who have been affected by violence or know someone who has been affected by violence or even just for woman who want to stand strong and be a part of something beautiful and support one another, come on out and light your candles.  

Next one my list is some cupcakes for thursday.  Then a really cool golf birthday cake for a friend of my sister.  I'll post pictures when it's made or course. That same day is my other sisters birthday so I'll be making something special for her as well!

Then Christmas baking!  I've got some fun stuff planned and pictures will be coming as well.

On a non baking note I'm heading to the Sens game this evening with my father!  A good family friend couldn't go so she passed them along to us and let me tell you they are amazing seats!  I'm not positive but I'm sure they pretty are center ice very near the rink (& players ;)) So the baking will have to take a break tonight.  Baby is being watched by Grandmaman so he's in good hands.  

Also my old dogs (who are now in the loving home of my brother out west) are coming to visit over Christmas!  They normally go to a sitter but she's booked up for the holiday season and west jet does not fly over Christmas so they are arriving before the cut off day and leaving after then cut off day.  They will be here on the 14th!  I can't wait!  For those of you who have pets, you get it.  And those of you who do not, they were my babies before I had my son, so I am very attached to these two mutts!  I'm almost more excited for them to come visit then I am for my brother and his new girl friend to come after Christmas, almost lol.

So that's all for now folks!  Watching Nemo with my boy before the baking begins.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cake Sampling

One of my mini cakes for the wedding cake sampling.  Chocolate and red velvet with fondant 
Both mini cakes together.  The yellow one is a vanilla and lemon cake with a lemon buttercream icing.

It's been a while, I know, but honestly not a whole lot has happened. I had a cupcake order and a wedding cake sampling though. The sampling went really well and I was my first time having one. I still haven't had a chance to make those Golden eggs or the caramel popcorn I keep saying I'll make. It seems every time I plan to make it, something gets in the way, or I realize I ran out of butter. Don't you hate that? Oh and I also found this really cool recipe for red velvet brownie cheese cake that I've been dying to try cause it sounds like a mythical creature and how could I not give that a try.

On a non-baking note I've started on my Christmas gifts. I will not mention what they are in case the people I am making them for are reading this right now. But I've also started making a giant advent calender made of felt. Got the idea from the blog homemade by jill. So far I've got my little felt squares cut out and that's about it. I'm a little behind. Then it occurred to me that my mom made a similar one when she was young so I asked her to pull that out to compare. It's so neat and I'll have to take a picture of both when I'm done.

Also I've started pulling out a few Christmas decorations cause I guess its about that time already. The tree isn't up yet though, it seemed a little early for that. But it won't be long until that's up too.

I've got a couple of orders coming up soon, two birthday cakes so far. I'm hoping for a few more orders though. Then it's holiday baking and cooking with family and I can't wait!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Elmo cupcakes

The elmo cupcakes were a great success!  The customer was pleased and my son kept trying to steal one.  Here's what they looked like.

And now for a family birthday dinner of shawarmas with baskin robbins ice cream cake!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I finally got the pictures from Emily Murphy Non-Profit Housing's 20th Anniversary.  I never found it in any papers but someone from Emily Murphy sent them to me so I thought I would share them.
cutting the cake with two local politicians running for city councilor.

It seems this week has gone by so fast and it seems like I got absolutely nothing done.  I'm going to blame it on my birthday which was yesterday.  I did not make my own cake but a good friend of mine too me out for cupcakes at the flour Shoppe.   I had a delicious peanut butter cupcake with a berry buttercream icing on top.

Tonight I will be getting ready to make Elmo face cupcakes for an order of mine.  I will post pictures when they're done.  I never got a chance to make my caramel popcorn so I'm hoping to do that in the next few days. Oh and I am dying to try these golden eggs that I read about in Gesine Bullock's book "My Life From Scratch".  You can visit her blog here.  They sounds amazing.  So off to bake some cupcakes I go.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Belated Halloween?

I know, I know, it's been a while since I've had a blog post but in my defence I have a really good excuse. First of all, I may have mentioned this before, I don't have internet at home so to be able to post an entry I need to go somewhere with internet.

Secondly my son has pneumonia again! Third time this year. I don't know how he keeps getting it and why our family doctor chooses to not look further into it. I am this close to getting a new family doctor. The cihldren's hospital here in Ottawa wasn't any better. I had to insist multiple times to get a chest Xray. They forget that this is the third time in a year and that maybe I might have an idea of what to look for. Besides I didn't want to have to go back in a few days when he got worse. Normally the hospital here is amazing, they've done wonders for Fionn. He was born with club feet and has had to have multiple casts on both legs to correct his feet and all were done by the amazing Orthopaedic surgeon at Cheo (Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario). So I don't know where we would be without it. But the ER is another thing. So finally they did Xray him and the results were early pneumonia. HA I was right. Not that I wanted to be but I know my kid. So here we are with more antibiotics. One more pneumonia and I'm insisting on seeing a specialist.

So all that to say that I've been pretty tied up. But I've still managed to get some baking in there. And now halloween has come and gone. So what have I been up to, well I had an order for 3 one year olds birthday cakes for a friend of mine so each baby had their own cake. Twins and their cousin. So one girl and 2 boys. I made a vanilla cake with white vanilla buttercream and pink accents for the little girl, chocolate with white vanilla buttercream and brown accents for one of the boys and red velvet with cream cheese icing and yellow accents for the other little boy. I had a lot of nice comments from the party goers.

Next I tried making baked stuffed apples from a recipe I found in a Jewish holiday cookbook. They turned out alright. I might add a scoop of ice cream on the side next time but they were pretty good by themselves too. Kind of like a lighter version of apple crisp stuffed in an apple.

I also made some shortbread cookies in all sorts of Halloween shapes and decorated them with royal icing. I will be making more to send to my son's daycare for the kids to decorate. He wasn't the only one sick so their Halloween party got postponed.

I think I'm all updated now. I was planning on making caramel popcorn last night after trick or treating but we were too full from the duck roast and roasted vegetables I made at my sister's new home. So I might make that some time this week.

Hope everyone had a fabulous and safe Halloween! Now get ready to be bombarded with Christmas!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baking Tangent

First of all, is there anything better then warm bread and butter? I don't think so. I love fresh backed bread or biscuits still warm out of the oven, spreading buttery love all over and watching it melt. And it tastes as good as it smells.

My mom made buttermilk biscuits(a Martha Stewart recipe)  a few days ago while the baby's napped. We spent the day there since Fionn slept over the night before. The boys love waking up knowing the other cousin is here already. They are a pretty silly bunch. They had a blast playing in they're play kitchen and watching a movie and painting. The painting quickly turned into body painting, which then led to a mid-day bath, then nap. Which brings us back to the biscuits. I was just browsing through my favourite blogs while my mom made delicious biscuits. My mom asks me to make things for her all the time and I tell her no because I know she can make it. Where does she think I learned to bake in the first place, the neighbour? Well that's not too far off because I use to bake cupcakes with a good friend of mine, who happened to be my neighbour, all the time! But I got the baking gene from my mamma.
So these biscuits were so nice and crumbly and warm and awesome! With butter and a little bit of jam it was like a bite of heaven.

I made two Apple Tart Tatins this week. I got the recipe from Joy the Baker.  They were so easy to make and very delicious. Not quite apple crisp but a lighter more caramelly version. The other night I also went on a tangent when I made my second apple tart. I also made bark that night and chocolate chip cookies. All easy but sooooo good. Then I had to invite people to eat them so my sister and cousin stopped by for a snack.

I've got 3 cakes to make for this sunday for a birthday party so that will keep me busy. Also I might have my first wedding cake order! More details to come when I have them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rainy day to end the week

So I guess Epic cupcakes was just too good to be true and it needed to be counter balanced by some bad luck. Too much of a good thing can't be good.  Yesterday evening I tripped over my puppy, Chinook, in the middle of the parking lot on our way home from a walk and did a triple axle type flip and fall.  It was bad.  I ended up scraped and bruised something fierce and of course so did my ego too.  Let's hope no one saw that graceful moment.  The silver lining is I somehow did NOT rip any clothing, yet I got all scratched up, weird huh?  I was totally wearing my favorite jeans too so that's awesome that they didn't rip.  Then today I had to go for my yearly physical which is never fun when you're a woman.  AND get blood taken out of me.  'Nough said.

And if all that wasn't enough, I banged my elbow in the doorway, knocked my scrapped knee, couldn't find a stupid parking lot while running errands today, AND had to listen to Katy Perry's stupid new song 'teenage dream' like a hundred thousand times on the radio because apparently there isn't anything else to play.

Anyway, the weekend is here and my sister and I are taking the boys to the mall to see Toupi Binou.  I must face my fear of over sized stuffed mascot people for the sake of my 2 year old.  Oh the things we do for our kids.  After that I'm thinking of making homemade hummus.  Mmm hummus.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Epic Cupcakes

I texted my sister last night and told her to expect some epic cupcakes when she picked up her son(I was babysitting).  She told me later that she underestimated my 'epic' comment and that these better be EPIC if I were to use that term.  Well she underestimated me and my EPIC cupcakes.  I made the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes from made with pink and they were AMAZING.  I almost went in to a diabetic shock they were so rich and delicious.  My mom thought it was too much but she loved the peanut butter buttercream icing.  I say she's crazy but that's cause I can't resist reese's pieces buttercups!  But other then my mother(who is one of my best critics), everyone I gave them to absolutely loved them, which makes me happy!  So I would say they were a great success.

As for tonight I will not bake anything but instead do a workout.  Yes folks, that's right, I said workout.  I said I would make a change and I'm doing my darnedest to do it.  So tonight is the first workout of this week(I realize its already Thursday), and that means I'll have to squeeze in two more workouts by Sunday.  FML  I will learn to love the pain!  Damn you cupcakes!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Honors Baby!

I just got my college transcript in the mail and I will be graduating with honors October 26th! I'm gonna do a little self horn tooting here and say that my lowest grade was an A- and I only got one!  Let me tell you, it feels great!

And to honor this honorific occasion I shall make cupcakes tonight!  I haven't decided yet but I'm leaning towards peanut butter cupcakes from Made With Pink.  I shall test, taste, and take pictures of this crazy delicious sounding cupcake and report back tomorrow.

But for now, since my son's second birthday just past, I will leave you with a picture of the 3D duck cake I made for his first birthday.  Well this picture is actually of the cake I made for an order but it is the same mold and I can't seem to locate the picture from his actual birthday.  The difference was I used a softer icing for his and wasn't able to pipe it and I had blue and white bubbles pipped on the bottom to look like it was in the bath.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanksgiving side effects

 I hope every had a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a lovely meal and some good family time. We had our family meal on Saturday and it was fabulous. And the pumpkin cheese cake was a huge hit! We carved our pumpkins yesterday with my little one and two nephews. It's always a crazy time when all three boys are together. But we always have a great time and get even greater pictures. We took a walk behind my dad's place where there's a little forest and LOTS of leaves. The boys and I found a huge pile of leaves and had a blast.

I realize what I'm about to say next is probably what a lot of people say or think right after thanksgiving or any big food holiday, but this has been put off for far to long. I really must change my lifestyle and start a real low impact exercise regime and start eating better. So starting today I will do my very best to at least do three 30 minute workouts a week. And working my way up.

You see baked goods and I have a love/hate relationship. Love because well who doesn't love baked goods, I mean really? And hate because I hate what it does to my waistline. It's bittersweet really, and not like the chocolate. So this will be hard to do but it must be done. I'm not saying I'll never eat sweets again, just cut down... a lot. So folks wish me luck! (I'm gonna need it)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Terrible Twos anyone?

It's official. I have a two year old. And let me tell you this; the terrible twos do not start the day your child turns two. In fact it starts earlier. I know right. As if a normal crazy toddler wasn't enough that they now throw tantrums and everything is mine and they say no to you. It's enough to drive anyone a little crazy. But then there's those special moments where he says "G'night mom, I love you" and then puckers up his lips and asks for "un beck"(for those non-bilinguals out there it means a kiss), and all that just makes it worth all the tantrums in the world. Okay maybe not all the tantrums but you get what I mean.

It was his official birthday yesterday and since we had already had his party last weekend and my sister's birthday two days prior, cupcakes and all, I thought I would instead shake things up with a chocolate fondue for two. I melted toblerone chocolate over a double boiler and had a mix of fruit to dip in there. but not even two minutes of dipping and Fionn just takes the spoon and eats the chocolate but who can blame him.

So now I'm working on getting ready for thanksgiving weekend. I've got to go and do groceries and I'll be able to make the pumpkin cheesecakes in advance and have them out of the way while I do the rest of the cooking. This year we're all going to Grandpa's house. Let's hope everyone is on they're best behavior. And I'm not talking about the kids.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday

It was my sister's birthday yesterday and for her cake she requested the oh so delicious oreo cheesecake cupcakes. This time with 100% of the cheesecake. I also added extra crushed oreo(They were on sale). The recipe says it makes 30 but I somehow got 42 out of it and they were a good size too. They're life was shorter lived then that of a fruit fly. Suffice to say that they are all gone.

In other news my giant cake was a hit. I stuck around the party until they cut the cake and they asked me to do the honors along side two local politicians and I'm pretty sure someone from the local newspaper took our picture. Would be cool to see. But back to the cake. Everyone told me how much they loved it and I was just glad it worked out. And I'm pretty certain I got a client out of it. Should be getting an order in two weeks. I'm loving this, just wish I had a bigger kitchen and better appliances. But who doesn't?

Next on my list will be my son's birthday tomorrow. We already had his birthday party last weekend where we had 'a very hungry caterpillar' theme I made plain vanilla cupcakes with thick vanilla buttercream from the primrose bakery cookbook. It was very good but really rich. Then I took several of them and sprinkled them with green and one red to make the caterpillar. But I have to make him something on his actual birthday. So maybe I'll make caramel cupcakes with a caramel buttercream. Oh wait I just got a brilliant idea, mocha caramel icing. Okay maybe not mocha for a two year old but its something to think about.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cakes 'R' Us

Finally this week has come to an end. Sort of. In terms of my baking orders for this week, it's all done! I am typing this mostly one handed as I fend off my nearly two year old son, Fionn-pronounced Finn, from the keyboard as we watch Finding Nemo for the zillionth time. I have to find time to write any chance I get. Being a single mom, finding balance is a tad more complicated. But I'm not complaining.

I spent the day in hospital yesterday with my sister and nephew. My nephew had to have surgery to remove his tonsils, adenoids and have tubes put in his ears and having been there myself I was there for emotional support and to help her out. Dylan, my nephew is doing marvellously well for a 2 year old and he's still in the hospital but should be out sometime today if all is well. Kids are such troopers, and he is one tough little dude.

The dozen cupcakes for my friend turned out beautiful and I found these super cute cupcake liners that were red with white polka dots(I love polka dots!) so I decorated them with a white buttercream swirl and pipped some red dots all over.

So after getting home from hospital last night, putting Fionn to bed and having a small puppy training session from my neighbour, it was now time to decorate the giant cake. At 8pm I started making the buttercream in 2 one kilo batches and I was up until 1:30 am last night icing that bad boy. But it's done and they picked it up this morning and were very pleased.

I will head out to the anniversary party this afternoon to make sure it's a hit. I like to see people enjoying my cakes, don't you? The inside of the cake is half vanilla and half buttermilk chocolate, recipe taken from the Magnolia Bakery cook book which I got while ago and I love it. I'm planning on making their pumpkin cheese cake cupcakes with gingersnap crust for thanksgiving. It's my new tradition to make a new pumpkin desert every thanksgiving. Last year I made a Jamaican spice pumpkin pie which was sooo good. The difference was mainly that it had coconut milk, rum and a few extra spices in it but it made all the difference in the world and topped with some delicious whip cream(Starbucks style, since I make it exactly the same way- I use to work there and managed to grab an old whip cream maker before they threw it out since they hadjust received a shipment of new ones and this one is still in fine condition. Anyways all that to say that doe

sn't Starbucks have the best whip cream?).

I would like to take this evening to relax but I am babysitting my other sister's newborn baby girl, Zoe, while she and her fiance go to their good friend's wedding. I will be in close proximity and just a text away from calling mommy when baby girl wants a meal. My boobs are closed for business and are out of production, sorry baby girl.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Great friends & Chocolate cake

I have this great friend who is one of my best customers and all her love and support just warms my heart. I made her father's birthday cake several weeks ago and it got rave reviews from her whole family. It was a moist chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream icing after which I added chocolate shavings all over and rosettes around the top. The happy birthday was written with pipping gelly.

This week is pretty busy with looking for employment in the baking field(hopefully), dealing with my son's asthma diagnosis(and he had his shots yesterday, poor kid), trying to focus more on my writing, and two orders for this week. The same friend as mentioned above needs a dozen cupcakes for Thursday and she's given me full artistic and flavour freedom and then I have a big cake order for 75 people needed for Saturday morning. It will be the biggest cake I've ever made and I will be making half of it vanilla and half of it chocolate and covered in a classic buttercream. It is for the 20th anniversary of Emilly Murphy Non-Profit Housing. Not sure my fridge is big enough to fit everything in it! So now its up to me to balance and organize my time and keep on schedule and everything will be fine! I hope.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Officially a baker?

So I recently finished my program at Algonquin college for Baking and Pastry Arts which is partly why I haven't updated in a while. School, an almost 2 year old and a new puppy will keep you very busy, as I have learned. But anyways so now that I am done I guess that makes me an official baker? As it is I'm looking for a baking gig but in the meantime I'm still doing a few cake orders on the side. I'm waiting on my business cards and I'm really excited to see how they turn out. I'd like to post a few pictures of things that I made during school, some good, some great and some not so good at all but hey it's all part of the learning process right? The first of which is the wedding cake I decorated. We used a dummy cake for the tiers, covered them with fondant and decorated using royal icing. I had fun with this and for my first wedding cake, I think it turned out more then okay.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Vegan Raspberry Scones anyone?

So I'm not entirely sure that they are vegan but I got the recipe from the cookbook 'Babycakes', from the vegan bakery in New York so I assume they are. I, on the other hand, am not vegan but I like to try out new things. And they are fabulous. I had to run to the grocery store with my son to find spelt flour, coconut oil and agave nectar, for which I didn't have in my pantry, and that was interesting. I had never heard of agave nectar before and therefor had no clue what I was looking for. I searched the jam isle, baking isle, juice isle and finally gave up and went back to the health food section to look around and then I found it right where I started! So at 10:30pm I started making these scones because I wanted to send some out to my brother in Calgary(my mom was flying out the next morning), so I wanted them ready for take off. I doubled the recipe because they only made 8 and I wanted enough to give to the rest of my family. they said to bake for 14 minutes, rotating half way, but I found that they were still too soft in the middle so I left them in for another couple of minutes. Next times I might leave them in a bit longer because they were still a bit soft but otherwise delicious!

I'm not sure if giving out the recipe would be some sort of copy write issue so for the time being I won't. But so far, the scones are the first recipe I try, this book is very good. Here's a link to their website if anyone is interested.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Buttercream icing

This past Wednesday the people in my college program put on a bake sale and I decided to make one-bowl chocolate cupcakes but then realized I didn't have enough cocoa powder so I had to take a look in my cupboards and take inventory of what I had. I had lots of peanut butter. So peanut butter cupcakes it was. And OH MY GOD they were awesome. They came out crispy on the outside and moist and tender inside. Soooo good. And to top those off I thought; "What goes best with peanut butter? CHOCOLATE!"

I made a chocolate buttercream from another cupcake recipe book I had and it turned out a perfect match. The buttercream was very light and fluffy but lots of butter. Like a heart attack in a bite.

And so they were a hit with the public AND my family. Although one of my nephews is not a cake person (what kind of one year old doesn't like cake?) and he refused it. You don't know what you're missing kid.