Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wedding Cake Tasting

With wedding season comes tastings! And most of them start off like this. I've made mini cakes and a whole lot of fillings and icings. It may not look like it at this step in the process but it took hours of work just to get to this point:

After the "assembling" is complete it's time to cut. It's very important to have straight, uniform pieces. I start with a tall, well stacked cake. Then I take an apple corer and remove a small circle of cake from the middle of the cake. Then I make about 1" pieces. They are approx. 2  inches long and 4 inches deep. This is the standard size for wedding cake pieces. And yes- there is a method to cutting wedding cakes. For ex. a 6 inch round cake can easily feed 8 people and could maybe feed 10. 

After cutting the cake comes the plating. Which means I'm almost done! This is my favorite part because I get to see the final product. I must say I really enjoy seeing all the uniform pieces of cake layed out. Maybe it's my OCD or just my love of cake. Hmm... anyway- the bride and groom seem to like this part too :) 

 In the above picture: 
*Oreo cake with vanilla buttercream 
*Amaretto cake with almond buttercream
*Bananas Foster cake with a rum/brown sugar caramel layer and vanilla buttercream
*Lemon cake with a lemon cream cheese frosting and a layer of strawberry buttercream

Monday, July 26, 2010

6 years...

6 years ago I made the best decision of my life when I married my husband. I had no idea how many difficulties or adventures were in store for us -- it’s been one crazy ride but I 

wouldn’t change a thing. We've been through a lot and sometimes it seems more like 20 years rather than 6 and other times it feels just like yesterday. My husband has been my rock, my support and he still makes me laugh. He’s blessed me with 2 of the most precious children whom I love more than life itself. I find that each year I love my husband deeper and deeper.  I thought that when I married him I couldn't love him any more than I did that day, boy was I wrong.


 I think marriage is a journey. It forces you to be brutally honest about your own short comings and makes you vulnerable. I think it's a lesson in trust as well. And it's always 100%. There is no 50/50 in marriage. Each person has to give 100% and sometimes when the other person trips up, it's all about giving 110%. When I look back at the past 6 years it's been so crazy wonderful and I'm so excited to see what the next 60 years hold for me and my beloved.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Ups and Downs of Wedding Cake Season...

So most of you know that my "real" job is a baker. For those of you who don't know that, well, I bake. I started my own home run bakery last year and it's been an amazing journey. And there have been a lot of long nights spent covered in powdered sugar. When the end of summer comes around it begins a wonderfully stressful time I like to call "wedding cake season." In addition to actual wedding cakes that I am doing I have brides who are planning their weddings for next spring. Which means, lots of cake baking for tastings too. I actually don't mind the tastings at all. It's typically a fun time for the bride and groom and I enjoy talking to someone who's just as excited about a cake as I am! I know, I'm a little cake obsessed :) But I figure that's a good thing in a baker.

Now, I'm off to go bake. And wash....lots of washing involved with all this baking. Thus, the yellow rubber gloves. They look real cute when my hair is pulled up and covered with a cap and I have on my apron. A sight that I'm very grateful no one has ever witness except for my kids and husband.

And I should have some new cakes up on my bakery blog soon :

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Classic Comfort: BLTA

This has got to be one of my all time favorite sandwiches! I grew up eating a lot of BLTA's, so to me it's comfort food. Living in Southern California helped fuel my love of this sandwich because we had a large supply of avocados year round. Now that it is summer - avocados are in season throughout the country so I thought I'd share this simple, classic and yummy sandwich.

BLTA (which stands for Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado):

I start out with sprouted grain bread. If you don't have that a hearty whole wheat or multi-grain would be great too. Then I add sliced avocado on one side and a smear of mayonnaise on the other side. I prefer to use a mayo substitute but do this to your taste so if you love the real thing, use it. Then I stack on a few tomato slices and some organic mixed greens. When I was growing up my mom used crunchy iceberg lettuce and it is a great substitute for mixed greens. Lastly add on some crispy bacon. When I make this sandwich I use Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips since I'm a vegetarian. But pick your bacon according to your taste. My kids love the turkey bacon, and I'm sure some thick cut hickory smoked bacon would be great too. Hope you can make this sandwich your own and pass on some BLTA love. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

On The Back Patio

The heat is continuing to rise here in San Diego. And the humidity is up too. If you can believe it we had a real summer storm last night. The thunder clouds moved in late in the afternoon and the showers started soon after. And even though it was raining, the a/c stayed on in this house. And by 9 this morning the clouds were gone, the sun was out and our a/c had already kicked on. It feels very comfortable in the house but the second I opened the door to take the trash out, I felt like I had walked into a sticky hot, hot wall of air. Not a very comfortable feeling at all. I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time in the pool this summer. But one of my favorite parts of summer are the nights. The sunsets are so gorgeous this time of year. There is nothing better than sitting on the patio with a good glass of wine and just unwinding from the day.

(yes, I did drink the one on the right- had to "test" it for you)

And I was just introduced to some new wine called Cupcake. Perfect for me, a baker! Actually if you go to this wine's website: they have cupcake recipes to pair with your wine! Recipes on their website include:

*Lemon and Rosemary Cupcakes with Toasted Hazelnuts (pairs perfectly with Cupcake Vineyards Reisling)

*Dried Fig, Walnut and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Orange Zest (pairs perfectly with Cupcake Vineyards
Sauvignon Blanc)

*Chocolate Blueberry Cupcakes (pairs perfectly with Cupcake Vineyards Malbec)

I might have to bake some of these cupcakes. Wouldn't it be fun to throw a cupcake & wine tasting party?! Oooo- yum!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The sun has finally come out here in San Diego! The air conditioner switch is actually at the on position today. It's getting seriously warm here and I'm not the only one who's noticed. The flowers are soaking up the sun too.

Living in such a beautiful area it's so easy to take all the gorgeous flowers for granted. It is so beautiful here. Even the streets are beautiful since they're lined with professionally maintained trees and an abundance of flowers. I'm so blessed to live next to a city known as "the flower capital of the world". Very blessed.... and I'm soaking up all the blessings and sun today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

DIY- Home Improvement Projects

This past weekend my husband and I tackled our bathroom lighting issues. The lights above our vanity were horrible. Only 3 lights would actually light up on each fixture. They'd constantly flicker and the sides of the metal backing appear to be rusted. How can they be rusted??? Our place isn't that old! So they are now out! After we installed our new light fixtures I realized we can see every little speck now. Yikes! But honestly, what do you think? Here's the side by side with the old and new:

(did you notice how only 3 lights work on the old one?)

My wonderful hubby

(I'm not sure if you can see the yellow glue marks on the wall- the old light fixtures were GLUED to the wall. Yes, glued! Who does that?!?! )

Friday, July 9, 2010

Summer in San Diego

 There are so many things I absolutely adore about summer. One of them is all the fresh fruit in the markets. This is a very good thing because my kids can eat fruits and berries like there is no tomorrow. Last week we stumbled upon some of the most perfect peaches I've ever had.  My husband and I were getting ready to check out at the store and a heavenly smell came wafting through the air. What was it?? Peaches. Fresh, ripe, soft and so ready to be eaten peaches. I couldn't resist so I grabbed a crate of peaches. And when we got them home they did not disappoint. Juicy, soft and so sweet- just how you'd imagine a peach tasting. I was going to take a couple of the peaches and make peach ice cream but this is how it looks today:

So I think I'll just eat these instead :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Hope you all had a wonderful 4th! Ours was jam packed with food, family and fun. I actually made homemade icecream for the first time in my life! I used cream and eggs- oh yea - this was the real deal :) It was also very time consuming.... but worth it. I can honestly say that it was one of the creamiest ice cream I've ever had. So yummy! Although my favorite part of the 4th was when we all went out onto our upstairs balcony to watch the fireworks. Duke included :)

He was watching too:

Then we got up on the 5th of July and did it all over again for my son's birthday. It was a very fun weekend- although I'm kinda glad it's over. As the mom and household manager I was worked to the bone last weekend. Cooking, hosting, entertaining, smiling, playing and cleaning- oi! I'm beyond ready to put my feet up and have a little R&R.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July Crafting!

The 4th is just around the corner. Today was my day to finish up all those last minute crafts for the 4th. I did finish the paper bag decoration. And I actually made more. It's absolutely amazing what can be done with paper bags, some tape, twine and a stapler. Here are the pics. And I wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Is this what my life has been reduced to?? Paint stroke..... after paint stroke...... after paint stroke? I mean when you think about it, it's kinda impressive. I've single handedly painted my entire house. It sounds good in writing, but I'm so sore and stressed about company coming this weekend. Today I will put the paint away. I'm officially moving into crafting mode. Our neighborhood is putting on a 4th of July parade and my kids need to decorate their wagon. Where are those paper bags?? I think a couple red, white and blue triangles might be perfect :) I'm definitely going to post pics of the finished wagon project! 
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