Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Final......Final Exam

OMG......I cannot believe it is here.  My last final exam for school.  Like I said before my final exam consists of a two tier cake, 20 cupcakes in the theme of Hot Wheels and a dessert cake. 

Well, we started on Monday with baking all of the cakes needed for our final and then last night the decorating mad house began.  There was icing flying everywhere!  Just kidding, it wasnt really flying, but it was everywhere.  I can't wait to finish tonight and post some pics. 

Have a great hump day everyone!

Mac & Tarah's Engagement Party

This weekend was the engagement party for Mac and Tarah and we had so much fun!  It was a luau theme and they had a country low boil and lots of dips and fruit and other munchies.  I prepared all of the desserts for the party and since we didnt want to duplicate anything for the wedding I decided to go with some of their other favorite desserts and the theme of the party.

We went with Key Lime tartlets, flip flop and palm tree sugar cookies, french macaroons with mango jam, and smores cupcakes.  Everything turned out great and everyone seemed to enjoy the treats. 

I did learn that I can't wait to have access to a commercial kitchen!  I was either baking or decorating all day Saturday and Sunday up until the party.  We had a total of 96 cupcakes (36 were for another birthday party that day......a special thanks to my delivery guys....aka my husband and son), 100 decorated sugar cookies, 48 key lime tarts, and probably around 100 macaroons.  Phew, I havent been that exhausted in a long time. I wouldnt have had it any other way.  I can't wait for the wedding!!!

I wish Mac and Tarah all the happiness they deserve and I am so blessed that they are allowing me to be a part of their special day.  Love y'all! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dessert Cakes

This week our focus is on dessert cakes.  Cakes like Red Velvet, German Chocolate, Coconut Cake, etc. etc. etc.  You get the idea. 

I have to admit that I made my very first angel food cake on Monday.......chocolate angel food cake of course!  It really wasn't nearly as challenging as I thought it would be and it will make a fantastic strawberry shortcake.  Since most of these cakes are still a work in progress so I will post pictures later.  We had to make an angel food cake, a chiffon cake, a cake roll, and two dessert cakes.  Sooooooo, I chose chocolate angel food cake, orange chiffon cake (this you will not receive a picture of because alas it did not make was totally delish though!), a pumpkin roll, coconut cake, and a german chocolate cake. 

As of last night all of the cakes are done.   Now on to the know all the goodies.  I have a lot to do tonight.  Coconut pastry cream, coconut pecan icing, meringue, strawberries........oh boy!

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot!  We were given our themes for our practical exam cakes on Monday night as well.  I say given because we each drew an object out of a bag for one of our other classmates.  Whatever that object was became our muse for our cakes.  Take a wild guess at my theme...........nope, not it..........nope, not it..........ok, ok I'll just tell you.  HOT WHEELS!  How cool is that?  I can't wait to design my cake and cupcakes around that. 

Have a fantastic hump day everyone and I'll see you on the screen later.  :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

More Wedding Fun

This weekend I rode down to Destin, FL with my sister in law and our chauffer (I mean my brother in Jack to check out some rentals for Mac & Tarah's wedding in September.  I think I found a great house for Lane and I to rent that will work for me prepping all of the wedding desserts, now just to negotiate on the rates........ugh, not my favorite part, but if I can get a little break on the weekly rate maybe Lane and I can stretch it into a little mini vacay before I leave for my externship the next month. 

We visited a few places that Pam and Jack are considering and chatted about the pros and cons of each one until I think we may have been a little more confused than when we started.  LOL  Ok, maybe not, but I do hope I helped them try and narrow down which place would best suit there needs as the parents of the groom and hosts of the rehersal dinner.  :)

We also visted the Destin Bay House where the wedding and reception will be held.  What a cute place!!!  I almost wish Lane and I were getting married again so we could have it there.  We werent able to get inside, but we peeked in the windows and I got a pretty good idea of the layout and what I will have to work with as far as the kitchen goes.  The kitchen is super tiny, but depending on what needs the caterer has (maybe I should just call dibs on the kitchen) we will be just fine.  I can't wait for their wedding! 

We finished up with dinner at a local landmark called The Donut Hole and had breakfast for dinner which was absolutely delicious!  I had such a great time with them and they certainly helped me out by letting me tag along with them so I could check everything out too.  Hopefully I helped them a little as well and maybe working together we can help Mac and Tarah have the truly magical day they deserve. 

Sweet 16

Last week we worked on designing cakes around a theme and cake construction.  We were tasked with making a 2 tier cake, a mini 2 tier cake, and a dozen cupcakes all coordinating under a specific theme.  I chose to "recreate" my daughters Sweet 16 cake.  Now again I was reminded to step out from what I have done before and create something new so that is just what I did.  I stuck with the same color scheme and if anyone reading this remembers her party you will recognize some of the features from her cake, but I did do a little change up as they say. 

The two tier features some polka dots, stripes and of course a couple of roses.  I went with a combination of the traditional rose and a couple of the ribbon roses.  The mini cake is an exact replica (almost) of the large cake and the cupcakes have the two main colors swirled together. 

I have to take a second to thank my instructor and all of my classmates (whether they read this and see it or not) because at the end of class everyone helped me box up cupcakes for my nephew Austin to take to his nurses.  My nephew is 17 years old and is battling a rare form of pediatric cancer and has to travel to Jacksonville (2.5 hours away) every week for his chemotherapy.  His nurses are absolutely amazing people who take such great care of him so every now and then we like to send them some treats as just a little thank you and this week my classmates really stepped up with the cupcakes.  I took these to Austin this weekend and he was so excited!  He said his nurses were hinting last week that they sure did love the goodies.  Wont they be surprised when he shows up this week!  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mac & Tarah Wedding Fun

How fitting is it that my first wedding will be for one of the people who really encouraged my to follow my dream and is still one of my biggest cheerleaders.  My niece Tarah.....well technically she will be my niece after she and our nephew Mac get married in September, but whatever. 

Tarah and Mac have decided to have a simple southern wedding at an amazingly sweet location in Destin, FL.  Our whole family LOVES Destin so this is going to be awesome!!  Tarah decided that since she and Mac are not your run of the mill couple they will not have a run of the mill wedding cake, but a dessert bar......HOW FUN IS THAT?  We have been putting our heads together to come up with a few simple southern desserts that both of them love and will really add a touch of their southern heritage to the wedding.  Well, I think we have come up with a great selection.  Banana pudding (well duh), ambrosia, mini hand held fruit pies, strawberry shortcake (made with the family pound cake recipe), pecan tassies (sort of like a one bite pecan pie), sweet potato cupcakes with maple icing, and what we like to call Mac's favorites (it is oreo cookies, layered with peanut butter and baked inside a brownie.....wowie zowie!). 

We had a tasting the past weekend.......Mac you are lucky I love ya and left you some since you skipped out on us.  LOL  Everything was just what Tarah had in mind so needless to say I left on cloud nine.  I want this day to be so special for them and I am honored that they asked me to be a part of it.  I have posted some pics below of some of the desserts.  They ended up being taken with my phone so they arent fantastic, but maybe you will get the idea.  Picture these on a super cute table displayed on white milk glass pedastals, and with pretty little ribbons tied around the jars.

Hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July and stay tuned for more details! 

Quick Catch Up

Geez, only my second week and I am already falling behind.  Sorry about that......but, I'm back with a quick little catch up. 

Where did we leave off????  Oh yea, with the dreaded flower spray last week.  On Monday I had one more cake to decorate and several things to bake for use the rest of this week.  I have to say I was very proud of myself because everything came out great.  Now I have two 10in. layers and two 8in. layers to make a stacked two tier cake, a 1/2 sheet to cut and make a mini 2 tier cake, and a dozen cupcakes to decorate later this week.  Did I mention the assignment is for all of them to coordinate.  Now I just have to pick a theme and get to it.

But first I have to decorate this chocolate cake.  Well, needless to say I wanted a break from flowers so I decided to finally make a birthday cake and pipe balloons onto the cake.  The border ended up being a little busier than I intended, but it really came out cute.  Not super happy with my piping skills in the writing, but I think I was a little overconfident and rushed some.  The balloons came out super cute though!