Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green Smoothie

I keep seeing people make green smoothies and hear about how good they are for you. I have been wanting to make one but have been scared to try. The thought of putting dark leafy greens in a smoothie just doesn't sound too appealing. Today I was brave and decided to make one. Verdict? Delicious! It didn't turn out to be green because of the blueberries but there were still plenty of greens inside. :) I used a handful of spinach, blueberries, strawberries, a banana, papya, cinnamon, soy protein powder, wheat germ, and water. I didn't even taste the spinach because of all the fruit. Glad I finally took the plunge and tried it out. I found a blog with a lot of good looking smoothie recipes if anyone would like to try one out as well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crescent and Quiche

Today was our last real baking lab. Why don't I sound up set... It has been an alright class. It would have been better if I had been assigned to a better teacher. Hopefully next semester will be better. We made plain crescent rolls, chocolate filled pastries, and stuffed crescent rolls with out croissant dough we made two weeks ago. We were suppose to use ham and cheese to fill them but, since I don't eat ham, I used pear, onion, Gruyere cheese, and cream cheese. They turned out very puff as you can see. But I had a tiny corner and they were quite tasty.
I didn't try to the chocolate one or the regular crescent roll since I'm doing the Body-for-Life program. Only been a week so far but I'm hoping that if I exercise and eat like I'm suppose to I'll start seeing results soon :D Anyway, back to baking. I bought the stuffed crescents so I could actually eat one on my free day tomorrow and to share with my mom and Hunter.
We also made a quiche out of pie dough that we made and froze a good 5 weeks ago. I filled mine with thyme, basil, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. It needed to be turned half way through but oh well, it was my first quiche and we were ready to get out of there.I am so ready to start cooking for Thanksgiving! My mom asked me if I wanted to make everything and I said yes of course. I warned her that it was going to be all vegetarian but she said that was fine. I've been looking at several of the blogs I follow and Vegweb for ideas and I think I know what I'm going to be making. No more class till after Thanksgiving but, sadly, I do have work Monday, Tuesday, and probably Wednesday. I'll post more about the "feast" closer to time. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Get your Christmas shopping done now ~.^

Oh and here's a recent picture of my baby Joanna! She even struck a pose for me. She is so cute and getting so big! She just seems to be having trouble shedding for some reason, so I've been giving her baths. They are very good and fast swimmers!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Puff Pastry

We have been working on puff pasty for the last couple of weeks in my baking class. For those of you who have made it before from scratch you know how long it takes to make that dough...It's ridiculous. But I still might attempt to make a vegan version for Christmas eve or maybe even Thanksgiving. We made puff pastry and croissant dough last Friday and today we finished up the puff by making it into a Napoleon, a Fruit Band, and Voul Au Vent. They were easy to make once all of the dough was ready. The fruit band just took a very long time in the oven. While it looked beautiful before and after baking, I would much rather have had some brie and apricots in puff pastry instead of the extremely sweet apricot and frangipane filled pastry topped with apricot glaze. Way too much.The week before we also made a mushroom and shallot filling for our voul au vents. They were cute and easy to make as well but I could only stomach one. I think it was due to the butter in the puff. It was like eating very rich Ritz crackers. So yes, I was a very bad veg and tasted my work. I hope that if I veganize the pastry it won't be so rich. Even before I became vegan I did not like butter and now that I'm not use to eating it, it's even worse. I did not take any pictures of the Napoleon partially because I forgot and also because I was not that happy with how it turned out. I didn't try this one either because it was nothing but puff, pastry cream, and chocolate glaze. Yeck, no thank you


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Fun

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Hunter and I went up to Chapel Hill to the Eccentrik Festival in our Steampunk outfits. It was a lot of fun and the bands were great, especially Unwoman. I encourage everyone to check her out, she has an amazing voice and rocks the electric cello. When I talked to her after her performance she said she had been playing for 20 years! Amazing. I have always wanted to learn a stringed instrument.
I had wanted to make more goodies this Halloween but I ran out of time and people to eat them! So I just made 1/2 a dozen Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. I started with have cake, will travel's recipe and tweaked it a bit due to not having all the ingredients. They turned out really well and Hunter obviously liked them because he ate almost all of them. :) Don't you just love those lucky people who can eat like that and not gain a pound?! I'm going to be in charge of Thanksgiving this year and it will be vegan! I might make 2 main courses if there is an absolute need for meat but I am not going to make 50 different side dishes. I hate how Thanksgiving has turned into a stuff-your-face-till-you-can't-move holiday. So I am making a simple, healthy dinner for my mom and brother this year. I've been looking up recipes and can't wait to cook for everyone! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Culinary Classes

I have been very busy in both my Culinary and Baking classes. Sadly my phone is retarded and did not want to take any pictures for me. I brought my camera instead but guess what?! It died as soon as I tried to use it...Someone does not want me to take pictures of my work lol I might buy a disposable camera to take to my classes. Here are just a few pictures from some older labs. I made Almond Tuiles, Chocolate Chip Almond cookies, and Fancy Tea cookies.The next week me made Chocolate Dipped Eclairs, Swans, and Cream Puffs.Of course I did not try them but I brought a swan home to show off my work to my boy friend and he said it tasted wonderful. :) This lab was fun and easy just time consuming. I would like the make the chocolate dipped and swans again.

We made pasta from scratch in my last cooking lab. It was so much fun! We made Goat Cheese and Herb Ravioli, Shrimp and Cheese Tortellini, and Vegetable Lasagna. They turned out lovely. I really wish I could have taken a picture, especially of the tortellini, but my phone would not cooperate.
This week in my baking lab we made tarts. The week before we made three different kinds of pie: Apple, Cherry, and Coconut Cream. The tarts we made this week: Pear Almond tarts and Fresh Fruit tarts, both topped with an apricot glaze. I didn't care much for the glaze, it made the tart look messy after spending all that time arranging the fruit. I took this picture before adding the glaze and I'm glad I did.
I will try and take more (and hopefully better) pictures while in my labs. I know I could always make these recipes at home but what would I do with all of that food?! Anyone care to buy some baked goods? Just email me! :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Cookbook!!

I just bought the new Vegan Yum Yum cook book yesterday. I've been following her blog for a while and always look forward to the next recipe post. I have already made her Super Quick Tomato Basil Cream Pasta and it was delicious. The pictures and recipes look amazing! I can't wait to dive in and try these wonderful looking dishes. Thank you so much for the beautiful book Lauren!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have always wanted to make a sourdough starter but was always so intimidated by them. They sounded hard to start and like they took a long time before you could use it in bread. But I found a really easy step-by-step website and took a shot at making a sourdough starter. I only took a couple of days before it was ready to make bread out of. I didn't let it rise long enough so it didn't turn out as tunnel-y as it should have and it was not as sour as I had hopped. Not bad for a first attempt though. I now have plenty of sandwich bread :) I have another starter growing in the fridge and hopefully I'll do better with this one. I love the taste of the bread but that starter smells terrible! I guess it lives up to it's name in not only tasting sour but also smelling sour.If nothing else, being in my baking class is helping me at home. My bread turns out much prettier and is a lot easier to handle now that I know what to look for and what order to go in even if the directions for the recipe don't tell me. I can't stop playing in the kitchen! At least I know I will not get tired of baking and that this will be a great career choice for me. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Back to work and class tomorrow!
Oh! If you have yet to see Julie & Julia, you HAVE to drag your husbands/boyfriends to go see it! My mom paid for my boyfriend and I to go see it because she thought we needed to see it that much. He wasn't to thrilled about going because we both thought it was going to be a chick flick (which neither of us enjoy) but boy were we wrong! It was far from being a "romantic comedy", it was hilarious and a wonderful, true story. We were both laughing the entire time. I highly recommend it. I know movies are pretty pricey now a days but go to the matinee!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's the Nannerpus!!

*sigh* I miss that commercial... But I have some amazing banana recipes to share! I love making whole wheat pancakes with oat flour and bananas and recently I found a new light and fluffy recipe. I did not have my usual recipe with me so I looked around online and found a vegan blog called Holy Cow!. This is her wonderful recipe for whole wheat pancakes:
Whole Wheat Vegan Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix the dry ingredients well and set aside.

1 1/2 cups soy milk
2 tbsp flax seed powder mixed with 6 tbsp water
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry. Mix gently until the dry ingredients are just moistened. There should be some lumps remaining in the batter.
Heat a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. Smear lightly with a few drops of canola oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter on the griddle and let it cook until bubbles appear at the top of the pancake and the underside is golden-brown. Flip over with a spatula and cook the other side until it is lightly browned.
Serve hot with a pat of vegan spread and maple syrup.
They were wonderful! I enjoy topping mine with some Earth Balance and 1/2 cup of fresh-from-the-yard blueberries. A great way to start your morning.
Last night (instead of studying) I made some banana bread out of my room mate's forgotten bananas. I just can't resist blackening bananas :) I found this recipe on VegWeb and it turned out a lot denser than what I'm use to but forgot all about that once I took a taste. Best banana bread I've ever had! No offense banana bread baking family members. A brown sugar/cinnamon, slightly hardened crust formed on the outside giving it a sweet, slight crunch. I can't wait to make this again for family dinner around the holidays!
Moist and Delicious Banana Bread

Ingredients (use vegan versions):
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, mash bananas, and add 1 tablespoon oil, vegan sugar, vegan brown sugar, and vanilla. In a separate small bowl (I use a short drinking glass) mix 2 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon oil, and 2 teaspoon baking powder. This is to substitute using an egg. It gets fizzy, but don't panic, it turns out great. Add this mixture to the first small bowl and mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. I like to sprinkle some extra cinnamon on the top to make a nice crispy cinnamon crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a wooden toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes, and slice it up!
Serves: 1 loaf
Preparation time: 15 minutes

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More bread

Not only have I been making a ton of bread in my baking class, but I have also been busy kneading away at home. I never get tired of playing in the kitchen ^.^ We braided challah and made knot rolls two weeks ago and then this past Friday we made cinnamon rolls and brioche. I forgot to take a picture of my most recent work :( But I did get a picture of the challah. My friend Rachel recently went to Europe! (so jealous) She was nice enough to think of me and bring me back a beautiful bracelet and a jar of real Italian pesto! It has some Parmesan in it but hardly any so I looked past the fact that it was not vegan and used some to make bread. I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs have cake, will travel. I made the Spelt Pesto Bread. It turned out fantastic! It made two loaves so I froze one and enjoyed the other. I made some little "mozzarella", tomato, and basil sandwiches with my new bread and they were delicious. Money's been kind of tight here recently due to having to buy everything I need for my culinary classes among other things so I've been trying to bake a lot of my own bread. I can't wait to try out some more of Celine's recipes! They all look so beautiful and delicious. I highly recommend checking her blog out if you love baking, especially bread. I'm going to have to watch my waistline though lol hard to stop eating hot, fresh bread. Mmm... ^.^
Went to the Exotic Animal Show in Raleigh yesterday. There were a lot of corn snakes, ball pythons, and leopard geckos. I was hoping for a bit more variety but it was still a lot of fun. My room mate wanted some more corns so she had a good variety to choose from. It's fun to see all of the different creatures people bring and allows you to meet a lot of breeders that you might not have known about other wise. Hope everyone has a great labor day weekend! Don't forget to stop wearing white by Tuesday :P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Busy Baker

Wow, I have been the worst blogger! I have just been so busy. I had a bake sale to try and help raise money for non-profit animal shelters. I sold cupcakes and cookies for a dollar. I ended up making around $50 all together. Not too bad but I was hoping to make more. I had a couple people order a dozen cupcakes. One order was chocolate peanut butter and they turned out wonderful! Everyone loved them especially my peanut butter loving boyfriend who, of course, had to taste test for me. :P He loves his job. I ended up making way too many chocolate chip cookies though. One batch made about 50...So I ended up just giving most of those away.
I started school last week at Wake Tech. It's so nice going to class and learning about cooking and baking! We even made yeast rolls and baguettes in my lab Friday. I was not able to make them vegan since they wouldn't turn out the same as everyone else but I can always tweak the recipe and make them at home. I took my creations home for everyone and they did not last long. A friend of mine asked if I would make her son's birthday cake last weekend. She wanted something kind of detailed but I told her I would do my best. I found a picture of a cake online and just went off of that. This was my first time playing with fondant so I wasn't 100% sure that I was doing everything correctly but I did my best and I think it turned out alright. The only thing I really had a problem with was the paint. I used egg yolks and food coloring gel. It didn't work too well but I got by. There has to be a better recipe or a place to buy paint. If anyone has any suggestions or links it would be greatly appreciated because this was all I could find. Her son, his friends, and their parents all loved the cake and kept asking where she got it. Hopefully I'll get some more business soon. That would be an awesome way to make money while in college!
I'm all moved into my new place and have already baked in the kitchen a couple times. Today I thought I'd try a recipe out of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. I bought it about a month ago but haven't really had a chance to make anything. So, as I previously stated, since my boyfriend loves peanut butter so much, I decided to make the Peanut Butter Cupcakes. He won't even be able to tell they are vegan (especially since there is only one vegan ingredient in them). I had one while I was cleaning up and they are so yummy! I highly recommend this book if you like baking cupcakes whether you're vegan or not.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthday Cake and Kitty Treats

I made my first Birthday cake since my Wilton classes! It was for my little twin cousins. Their favorite colors are pink and purple so I made pink and purple flowers. The butter cream was a bit too thin so they didn't sit as nicely as I wanted them too but they turned out alright. I thought I would make fondant butterflies to add to the cake but I ran out of time and Michael's didn't have any fondant so I made chocolate butterflies instead. I got the idea and instructions from a fellow blogger (Cake on the Brain). My butterflies were no where near as pretty as hers but they looked pretty good for my first time. It doesn't really matter what I think of the cake because my little cousins LOVED it! They both gasped and then gave me a hug. I had plenty of left over butterflies just in case and they had me decorate each of their cake slices with butterflies. My family also Oowed and Ahhed over it which is very rewarding :) If they like this level of decorating skill, I can't wait to see what they do when I am able to do much more complex decorating. One cake down, two more to go.

Today I am making kitty cookies =^..^= I had to take my baby to the vet Monday and felt terrible about it. Especially when they told me he needed his rabies shot (even though he never leaves the house...). He was such a good boy and never even mewed when he got his shot, I think that deserves a treat. I looked around till I found this recipe from Healthy Recipes for Pets:

Cat Cookies
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp catnip
  • 1/3 cup CATMILK
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 2 T butter or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T Wheat germ
  • 1 T Unsulfured molasses

Preparation & Cooking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together. Add molasses, egg, oil and milk. Roll out flat onto oiled cookie sheet and cut into small, cat bite-sized pieces.
Bake for 20 minutes and let cool. Store the cookies in a sealed container.

I didn't have soy flour of catmilk so I used flax meal and a mixture of 1/2 milk 1/2 water since milk is not good for cats. (Just as a side note, do not give your cat soy milk, especially if it is a male. It's extremely bad for them, it can cause infertility and liver damage.) He seemed to enjoy them :) Probably would have liked them better if I had topped each cookie with some smoked salmon.

I have been a busy baker this week! I also made some vegan whole wheat bread. It is so yummy! I was worried when it called for molasses but you don't really taste it. I got my recipe from Vegweb, great place for recipes and answers to vegan questions. Hope you like the pictures and the recipes!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Final Wilton Cake...

Well, you would think by the time I got to cake 3 it would look the best but...I had to drive an hour home to bake my cake plus I was rushing because I had to drive BACK the same day. So I didn't do the best job (putting it nicely) putting on my top layer so it looks like someone punched it sideways :( I made a strawberry cake this time and, since I'm on my fast, just made it with animal products. It got so FLUFFY! lol I guess because of the eggs, I don't know. But it was so light, it was kind of a pain to work with. Not to mention frosting...for some reason fruit cakes are very crumby. We did the "famous Wilton roses" to top our cakes. Also a bit of a nightmare. My icing would not get to the right consistency. It was so thick that it hurt my hand and made me shake to try and pipe the roses. The petals wouldn't even stick to each other. Not a very fun class. I was ready to leave but I kept working at it and finally the last couple turned out alright.I know it's no where near my best cake so far but I learn from my mistakes and it's not like it's for a special occasion. (No idea why this picture won't rotate but at least you get a better view of the flowers). I have been asked to do two more cakes! My little twin cousins' birthday cake and another lady asked me to do her son's birthday cake as well. Plus I still have the wedding cake to do later on this fall. ^.^ I love that all these people come to me for their special occasions, I just hope I can meet their expectations. I would love to one day be as good as all these people on TV if not better. There's not many cake decorators in my area so I think I could make a killing. Especially since my only competition would be Wal*Mart... Not very intimidating lol

I am almost done with day 3 of my fast and am still going strong. Definitely feeling the hunger pains though, even when I have my tea and juice. I can't wait to try out some of the vegan recipes I have found. I've even managed to find some lower carb ones but most of what I find are casseroles, pastas, and pot pies. I even found some vegan cat treats but my baby is a boy and they are not suppose to eat much vegan kitty food. I want to make a personal vegan cook book of my favorite recipes so I will definitely be sharing some of those with everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A couple of recipe ideas

I started my Fast today so I won't be cooking for a while sadly... I will be making my final Wilton Cake Wednesday so I will definitely post pictures of that. I am fasting to help detox my body and give it a chance to "clean house". It's really not that bad, just drinking real fruit juice (none of that high fructose corn syrup stuff) and teas.

I did make a couple of things a while ago that turned out really good so I thought I'd share. I made an awesome vegan potato salad. I am not a big bacon fan and so I didn't put any vegan bacon in it but I'm sure it would add a nice touch :) I just used Nayonaise, spicy mustard, celery, chopped onion, lemon juice, boiled red potatoes, and of course salt and pepper. I just kind of did it to taste. I tend not to measure when I'm cooking in my tiny dorm kitchen. I put it in a covered bowl and left it in the fridge over night. It turned out really yummy!
I also made an amazing salmon dish courtesy of Chef Gordan Ramsey (one of my favorite chefs!). I got it out of his Healthy Appetite recipe book. Wonderful Asian, honey marinade and it's really quick and delicious. Just pop in the oven and bake for 6 minutes then put on a bed of spinach and sliced radishes. Dribble a tahini dressing over it and voila! you are done. I know I'm not suppose to eat fish because I'm vegan but I only have it every now and then. Can't give up my sushi!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Second Wilton Cake

Here is my second Wilton cake. We did drop flowers and shell borders. I made a red velvet cake (my favorite). I wanted to use cream cheese frosting but we have to use the butter cream for practice. This cake is also vegan except for the flowers and border. I just have one more cake to bake for my last class. I was hoping we would be doing Fondant and Gum paste but it turns out there is a whole other class devoted to that. Maybe I'll take another class when I get up to Raleigh if my college cake classes aren't starting yet.

This past weekend I also made birthday cupcakes for my friend. All he told me was he wanted chocolate. So I asked him if he wanted cookies, brownies, cupcakes, or a concoction of all three! Guess what he chose lol I know he probably thought I was kidding when I said I would do it. He was pleasantly surprised when I brought him a plate of brownie and white cake swirled cupcakes with "cookies and cream" icing and an Oreo cookie half on top. They did not last long. :)I recently ordered Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World! I'm so excited and can't wait to start playing in the kitchen some more. I'm trying to find some more easy and not very expensive vegan meals. It's hard making all these dishes that call for six different kinds of fresh vegetables or some ingredient that I would have to go to Whole Foods in Raleigh for. My fridge is tiny and likes to freeze things. When I move to Raleigh I will have a regular size fridge for the first time in two years and a HUGE kitchen! I cannot wait! I'm sure my room mate won't mind me cooking and baking. I'm also having a hard time finding meals that don't include a lot of carbs like pasta. But like I said, it'll be easier when I move and will be within 10 minutes of Trader Joe's, the Asian Market, and Whole Foods.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Food Inc.

Have you heard of the new movie Food Inc? It's suppose to be actually showing and talking about the food people pour into themselves everyday. When I first read about it I thought it was going to be some extremely disturbing movie with footage of slaughter houses but after watching the trailer I was reassured. I really want to go see this movie. I don't know if I can get many people to go with me but I'm going to try. I was shocked and disturbed when I read the slaughter house section of Skinny Bitch. I don't know how anyone can read that and still want to eat a cheese burger or even an omelet. I get kind of frustrated when I say I made a vegan dinner and people say "UGH! disgusting!" What do you people think vegan means? Grass and dirt? If you eat an organic fruit salad hey! you just ate something vegan. I am not a perfect vegan but I do my best. I support PETA and have told several people about Skinny Bitch. I read the ingredients before I buy things to make sure they are safe. I am vegan not only for the animals (and the environment's) sake, but for my health. Not only am I reducing the amount of chemicals and junk that goes into my body, being vegan has almost totally gotten rid of my Hiatal Hernia (hereditary stomach problem) symptoms! That's definitely worth never eating a chicken sandwich again!

What I really don't get is that a lot of people DO know something about what's happening to their food before they receive it and it doesn't seem to faze them!? Ok, lets say you're favorite burger is from McDonalds mmk? You have been eating there for years and LOVE the taste. Now what if you found out that your burger was actually not made of cow meat but dirty cow dicks? Would you eat that burger anymore? Of course not! (I would hope) Yet when you tell people that the burger they are eating has been (if nothing else) pumped full of steroids that cause cancer along with a HUGE list of other health problems, they say, "But it tastes good and I don't want to give it up". I just don't get it. I've asked a lot of people if they know what's in their food and many have heard about the terrible conditions in slaughter houses and don't care. It's cheaper and faster to go through the drive threw and get some artery clogging, rotting animal flesh than to actually have a healthy meal.

Sorry to rant but I had to get that out lol I hope lots of people go to see Food Inc. and it makes them sick and change their minds about the food they eat. So what if it tastes good? If it's going to kill you, wouldn't you rather give it up? There are so many delicious healthy foods out there that you won't even miss it. You'll feel so good after getting all of that junk out of your system you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner. I have experienced this first hand. I felt great after getting all the animal products and non-organic foods out of my fridge. Have a wonderful, healthy day everyone!

Here is the trailer for Food Inc. if you have not watched it yet:

First Wilton Class Cake

Tuesday I baked a 3 layer yellow cake with a raspberry filling for my cake class on Wednesday. I made it vegan of course and I also made a delicious vegan butter cream to cover the cake with. We had to do a rainbow design with a star tip in class the next day. Mine was the prettiest and got compliments (which isn't saying much since there's only 3 of us in that class). But I felt like I did pretty good for my first time working with butter cream to that extent and using tips. The cake tasted amazing but was kind of rich. Everyone loved it even though they picked on me because it was vegan. *sigh* Oh well, I don't think JoCo people will ever be able to wrap their heads around the benefits of at least eating LESS meat and junk if not stopping all together. I'm definitely going to try to do better on my next cake and can't wait for the fondant class. Sorry for the short post, I have a lot to do today. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bring on the cake!

I just went to my first Wilton cake decorating class yesterday morning. We (myself and 3 other women) didn't actually get to bake anything but I did learn some stuff I didn't know (just a little though). We learned about butter cream, all the different tools we will need for the class, and some techniques. The only decorating we did was piping a border around the bottom of the cake the instructor had used to show us hot to ice a cake. It was the first time I had piped a shell design (know that I actually knew how after looking in the book) and everyone kept complimenting me on it. Telling me I did it like a pro and how all the shells were the same size. It made me feel really good :)

Next Wednesday we have to bring in a cake, tools, butter cream icing, coloring, and a turn table. We actually get to play this time. I can't wait. We got to choose between a character cake or just a two layer cake. The two layer one's going to have a rainbow piped onto it (ok?) but she said it doesn't have to be the awful colors in the book (and there was much rejoicing!). I'm not sure what colors I'm going to do yet but it's definitely going to have some purple! My friend is letting me use her kitchen, since she actually has an oven. I can't wait to get started, going to have to start brain storming.

Besides the fact that I want to get some technique and knowledge under my belt before I go to baking and pastry school, my friend wants me to make his wedding cake (*gulp*). I was flattered that he would ask ME but I also have never made a wedding cake and have never even touched fondant in my culinary life. There's going to be a fondant and gum paste class at the end of the month in the Wilton series and my friend's wedding is not till October. So hopefully between now and then I'll have enough practice to make a cake for him. I am so excited about it but on the other hand, this is not a Birthday's a WEDDING cake! Wedding's are suppose to be the one day where every thing's perfect. I would not for the life of me want to ruin that for anyone by bringing a Wal*Mart looking cake. Everyone loved my chess cake but I would Never bring that quality of cake to a wedding. I am a perfectionist, so if I give it a stamp of approval, it's probably pretty good. It's hard for my work to please me.

Good news about that is the flowers he wants are one of the easiest (so I've been told) to make out of gum paste: Calla lily's. Also it's not going to be a 5 tier monster, just a small 3 layer fondant covered cake. I want to jump right in and start but I'll be patience and wait for the class. If anyone has any good advice, pictures, videos they want to send me please feel free!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vegan weekend

I have decided not to post my tattoo because I think I want it to be my little "mascot" for my bakery. Don't want anyone to take it.
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. I was in the kitchen the whole weekend. I have recently decided to go as vegan as I can afford. It's also very hard to find a lot of the vegan products that are suppose to be in your local whole foods store. Living in NC is hard if you don't like greasy, artery clogging foods. I was able to hit up Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods but still was unable to find a lot of stuff I see in many vegan or just cooking show recipes. But back to the holiday cooking.

I made a Grilled Tomato Bruchetta as a starter. Then I took yellow squash, zuchini, red onion, red pepper, snap peas, and yukon gold potatoes and made shishcabobs with a rosemary vinegarette. Very yummy. For the main course I made Portabella mushroom "sliders" with sauteed onions on top on whole grain rolls with sweet potato fries on the side. It was a lot of slicing and prep work but it all turned out wonderful. My mom and grandma loved everything. They didn't miss meat at all :) I didn't care for the sliders that much but I would definitly make everything else again. I got all of the recipes from this month's Vegetarian Times. I also got my dessert idea from the magazine but I switched it up a bit. The Summer Pudding recipe called for Angel food cake. Making this cake vegan would be a lot of trial and error due to the large amount of eggs used in a traditional angel food cake. So instead I made a pound cake. It stayed so nice and soft that I was able to mold the cake into the bowls and then fill it with the fruit syrup. One fed three people lol But it just depends on how big the cups you put them in are.
In addition to 4th of July grilling, I also made sushi this past weekend. I made one of my boyfriend and my favorites, Spicy Tuna Roll. Then I tried a couple new things: Phili Rolls and California Rolls. I was able to make my Phili rolls vegan with some Tofutti. My Cali rolls I filled with red snapper instead of crab and it was the first time I had ever made an inside out roll. I think I like making them and eating them better that way. They all turned out really well, especially the Philli rolls. Obviously everyone liked them since they were pretty much gone that day.
I am on the look out for easy, non-spicy vegan recipes if anyone has suggestions. I've been wanting to go vegan but, as a student, didn't know if I could afford the cost of the foods or the long drives I'd have to take to get them. After reading Skinny Bitch, I knew I couldn't eat meat anymore...If you've read it you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, you should, it's a real eye opener. I still eat fish but I try to not eat any other animal products. I hope you enjoy the recipes I've posted!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bubbles and Stabbing

Yes, I have been a very bad blogger... I am sorry. I've just been very busy and have not been baking much. I went to California with my boyfriend for two weeks! It was so much fun. The weather was perfect, no humidity or bugs. I didn't want to come home. It was nice to see my family and to have a chance to relax. I made a couple of pizza's and different things while I was out there but nothing new or exciting. While I was out there I read an article about a woman who opened up a cupcake shop. I decided to go check her bakery out. It wasn't much but it was cute and she is obviously doing quite well. I got a mini Party Girl. It was a bit too much icing for me but this is coming from the girl who rarely eats junk food. The name of her shop is Cupcake Love. So if you're ever in Solana Beach and want a cupcake go see her.

Well today is full of fun stuff! I made Boba for the first time today! I use to have to wait till I went to California over the summer before I could enjoy this treat but then I found a place in Greenville! Of course I find the place right before I move... So I went to an Asian Market in Raleigh and guess what I found?! A package of boba with instructions. So excited. I made one today for lunch in a strawberry banana smoothie. Pure Gooey Bliss.

I'm also getting a tattoo today. I have been wanting to get another one for a while but wasn't sure what to get. I don't like getting random things on my body. I want them to mean something to me. Since I want to be a cake decorator I thought I'd get something that has to do with baking. I really think cupcakes are cute so I took those thoughts and made something up. I tied a couple of the things I love in life together to make (what I think is) a really cute tattoo. I can't wait to see how it turns out and I'll be sure to post some pics when I get back!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Sorry about the late post. I made some sugar free yellow cupcake with left over vegan chocolate icing from my birthday cupcakes. I decorated them with some edible Easter grass (Target), Dove Dark Chocolate Eggs, and Reese Pieces eggs. Everyone loved them. I made them specially for my boyfriend since his favorite is yellow cake with chocolate icing and his favorite candy is Reeses. ^.^ I also helped with brunch after church. I made a spinach egg roll. That turned out...ok. I'm a perfectionist so if it's not perfect, I'm not happy with it. Everyone liked the taste, and it was good, I just didn't like how it looked. The rolling didn't go so well and it kind of fell apart. Oh well, food is suppose to taste good and it did so I guess I didn't do too badly. I also made buttermilk biscuits for the first time =) They turned out a little small since I didn't have a biscuit cutter and used a drinking glass instead. They were very tasty though.
The Easter bunny was very good to me this year (yes he still visits me). I got some baking stuff which always makes my day. Didn't get my Easter egg hunt due to the fact that we couldn't find the box with the eggs in them. Oh well, I still have an IOU when we find them! Hope everyone had a blessed and fun Easter and didn't eat too many chocolate bunnies or peeps!
I also made an awesome pizza over my long weekend. I had made one before but without a pizza pan so it didn't turn out as nice. This is the best pizza I've ever eaten. It's not greasy or anything. It's mushrooms, mozerella and goat cheese, with some parsley sprinkled on top and a few other things tossed in for flavor. The best part though, is the wheat crust! It's amazing! My boyfriend and I think I should just make some bread stick out of it next time lol I might do that next time I make some pasta. Yummy!