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Showing posts from May, 2014

Tea Cakes and the bus lady

I love making a new recipe.  Don't get me wrong, I love my standard recipes, the ones I can do in my sleep, or write down for a friend, like I did for Sarah yesterday, without even looking at my original recipe.  But I love trying something new any day of the week.  I never get scared of new recipes.  Ever.  I have friends that have a morbid fear of trying something new in the kitchen.  I don't get it.  I mean, what's the worst that can happen?  So that new cookie you want to try comes out bad?  It's not the end of the world.  And in my house, it all usually gets eaten anyway. So this morning, the twins' bus lady said to me, as I was sitting on our porch bench with my coffee, seeing the twins off, "I wish I was doing what you're doing today!"  She obviously has no idea what I actually have to do today, which is clean house, catch up the laundry, bake 40 baseball/bat cookies for my amazing photographer friend, Ashley over at www.ashleyrutlandphotog

Kitty cookies

Just a short post on some cookies I made for a drill team.  I loved the idea the client gave me about wanting to do kitten cookies and I ran with it.  The theme, besides being kitten cookies, was "Mo's Munchies" so I made 2 "sugar drops" for each bag with "M" on each of them for the saying.  I made each kitten with different colors and markings so that each one would be unique.  I hope the girls had as much fun at their tea luncheon opening these as I did making them and I can't wait to do more fun things for this drill team! Have a great week everyone! Jen

It's all about the national pasttime people!

So this week, along with all of the 50th anniversary goodies (which by the way I am still baking), I made cookies for my niece and nephews' softball and baseball teams.  Talk about a fun set of cookies to do!  And to get paid by your sister is always gratifying too, now that I think about it. For those of you that don't know, I am a perfectionist.  To the point that it's unhealthy.  Because I constantly pick apart my personal performances. Never anyone else's, just mine.  So of course I super stressed over the color of these softballs. I mean, how the heck was I supposed to make neon "safety" green royal icing.  But it all worked out surprisingly.  I even had to mix an extra batch because I didn't make enough and got it matched.  I can't even tell a difference in the two batches of color, maybe because I was praying to the cookie gods during the entire process.  Another perfectionist/OCD trigger is lettering.  It's my weakest skill.  But

When in doubt, bake cookies...

I love all kinds of baking, especially the decorating.  But of all of the stuff I do, I LOVE, and I mean L-O-V-E decorating cookies.   It's the first thing I think of doing for someone for a special occasion.  And I don't mean the usual birthdays and such.  I mean, you bought a new bikini?  Here's some bikini cookies for ya!   I see everything, and I mean everything as a cookie.  I think my hubby might be sick of me trying to "cookiefy" the world actually, but probably not if he gets to keep eating the "cookiefications". So of course when my in-laws 50th anniversary came up, I jumped at the chance to make cookies, along with empanadas and hojarascas.   Talk about a week of baking.  In fact, it's Thursday night/Friday morning at 12:08 am and I am baking empanadas as we speak. Hopefully I can get all of these goodies down to good ole San Antonio without any trouble.  Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)

Different cakes for different folks...

So If you remember my post about the cake batter and fondant fiasco , you'll be glad to know that everything turned out perfect in the end! (Doing my happy dance on the inside...) It was a rough week.  Having to bake everything twice, and also having to make the fondant twice, had me a little stressed.  Not to mention that as I was on the verge of a nervous break down, the hubby was shaking his head up and down, saying everything is fine, all the while stuffing his face happily with the cake that sunk, and grinning from ear to ear.  I think he loves my dessert fiascos (for obvious edible reasons) more than  Sheldon Cooper loves Spock, but I digress. The sweet 16 cake was so much fun and really renewed my love for animal prints, which are still going strong.  And thank goodness because I just came up with a new technique, at least a new one for me, to make leopard print which is super easy!!  I plan on posting about the technique as soon as I can. Thank you Niki for the n

Cake batter is a fickle thing...

Remember last week when I was knee deep in sunflower cookies and I was wishing for a cake to make?  Yeah... So I have two cakes this week.  A two tiered sweet 16 cake in neon colors with animal print and a one layer gold and white confirmation cake.  Easy right?  I can do this in my sleep right? The clients both requested white cake with buttercream filling.  Easiest cake ever.   Or so I thought. When I made the fondant, my marshmallow fondant, which I've made so many times I can do it with my eyes closed, it wouldn't come together.  What the heck?  Same brand ingredients.  Same utensils. Same method.  Not the same result.  Luckily I made it again and it worked.  With the same ingredients.  Same utensils.  Same Method.  Go figure!!! So then I got to the cake baking.  This white cake recipe is the recipe I have made dozens, and I mean dozens, of times.  I have made little cakes, big cakes, and cupcakes with this recipe.  And all of my cakes were sinking in the middle.  

My Mom... is hilarious

My mother is moving back to Texas!!!  She has been living for the past several years in Alabama, but she is finally coming home!  She made the decision about 9 months ago and has been splitting her time between here and Texas.  I had hoped she would be here for Mother's Day, but she is still in Alabama.   So I decided to make her some cookies and send them to her, along with some other goodies from me and my sis Jess.  She's been a little down, being away from us, and wanting to hurry to get here, so I thought that a beach theme would be perfect!   My mom, my younger sister Jess, and I have always been extremely close.  And since my mom had me at a young age, we kind of raised each other.  Actually sometimes I think we still are raising each other.  We are all more like sisters, than mother and daughter, and it has made us all need each other so much more.  I can't even tell you how hard it is for my sis and I to be away from her.   All of our best times, and f

This weekend...

So this weekend, with a very small break between bookings, I decided to make some mexican shortbread cookies called Hojarascas, and some sweet empanadas with apple, pineapple, sweet potato, and cream cheese fillings. I'm practicing this weekend because I would like to take some sweets to my hubby's parents' 50th wedding anniversary/mass in a couple of weeks, and I definitely need to practice first right?  (Or I just want to eat this stuff and this is a great excuse...)                     The hojarascas came out really well.  My husband is obsessed with these cookies. So much so, that I have to literally drag him away from them every time we go to the local Mexican market, which isn't easy, he's a big guy.  And determined.  I had put off making these cookies because all of the recipes I found were pretty basic and I just knew there was a better, more authentic, recipe out there.  And I wasn't disappointed.  Sonia Mendez Garcia at hispa

Happy Birthday Gigi!!!

I have a very special sister-in-law.  I know that everyone says that, or maybe they don't nowadays, but I do.  Probably the most special sister-in-law of all time.  She's really one of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Because of her I strive to be a better wife, mother, sister, friend... basically just a better person all together.    She was the first person I met from my husband's family.  Her parents and brother and sister are just as amazing as she is.  They have always welcomed me with open arms and loving hearts.  We often joke that I was a member of her family before I was a member of my husband's. Gigi is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever come across.  She remembers every birthday, special event, and alot of times just surprises me with a gift or a sweet text for no reason.  It's just who she is, and it is done out of pure love.  And somehow she does all of this while being a super mom, running a household, and volunteering for he

Cookies, cookies everywhere....

I just finished 400+ sunflower cookies for the Keller High School Band Banquet.  I realized Wednesday night, that is over 6400 petals that I piped.  I know it doesn't end world hunger or anything, but part of me feels like freakin' wonder woman.   I don't know quantum physics or how to climb Mt. Everest,  but if anyone ever needs anything piped with royal icing through a leaf tip, I'm your gal. :) Believe it or not, the decorating was the easy part of the week.  The hard part was coordinating baking, storing, icing, drying, bagging, and then boxing in the small space I have to work with.  Thank goodness I am a problem solver and organized.  And after tackling 400+ sunflower cookies, I'm in for whatever.  Which is why I didn't even blink at the 100 football booster cookies request from my friend Caprice.  I'm so glad she asked AFTER the sunflowers... I have 2 fondant cakes to do next week, and I am looking forward to it.  The week after I bet I will

Here we go....

Hello, my name is Jen and this is my culinary story.  (That sounded like the beginning of every bad reality show).   I have recently taken the plunge on a Home Bakery business.  I love to cook, and I  love to bake even more.  The only things I love more than being in my kitchen are my hubby and kids, and they definitely benefit from my second love.  I decided to start a blog to chronicle my new adventure, for myself, and for anyone who loves their family and kitchen as much as I do.  I have spent alot of free time on other bloggers' sites, and have learned more than I ever dreamed I could,  and laughed til it hurt.  I hope I can do as much for someone as those blogs have done for me. It's funny how things happen...  I grew up, never really cooking, and with no special love for the kitchen.  My earliest memories of cooking in the kitchen are watching my mom or grandmothers cook, and occasionally making cookies with them.  But then I got married and moved into a house of my own