Sunday, October 28, 2012

I survived my first week!

My first week of externship is over and I have lived to tell about it. This week was amazing! I am exhausted and ache all over, but it was so worth it!!! You not at a desk job anymore Dorothy......LOL

With my parking dilemma solved I was ready to get started. Oh, and to make it better there is a parking lot directly across the street from the one I was using that is the same price for an hour longer of parking. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me this is a Win! :)

Wednesday was my first real day. I left the house around 7:00am thinking this will be plenty of time to get there by 8:30........wrong, well almost. I parked in the lot at 8:25 and ran to the shop and made it just in time, so now I will be leaving at 6:45.  I met Eric the pastry chef and then it was off to the races. We didn’t use the commercial sized mixers much in school so I got a crash course in commercial mixer 101 (which really is pretty easy). We started with a big batch of buttercream icing which I felt pretty good about since I have made this TONS of times. Then he had me make a batch of chocolate cake batter for cakes later in the week. We had several cakes for this weekend so we made a few batches of different batters. Chocolate cake, red velvet cake, white cake.....etc.

My days for this week kind of run together, but I really got to make a lot of fun things. We made bagels, brioche dough, chocolate chip cookie dough, Oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie dough, Amaretti cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, muffin batter, buttercream icing, cake, cake and more cake.

I have learned so many little things to keep in mind for when I come back to Tally and get ready to open my own place. Some of them seem like common sense, but I just haven't really thought about it before. We made huge batches of cookie dough and scooped them out, flatten them a little and then froze them for later. They only bake a few for the day so that we have fresh cookies for sale every day. With the cake batter we always bake whatever is left after measuring out the cakes into cupcakes. The cupcakes that aren’t needed for the case right away are tightly wrapped and frozen for the next day or two.  When they are thawed later they are just as moist and yum-o as when they were frozen.  Bagel dough is also made in a big batch, shaped and frozen before the dough starts to rise; then each evening we take out enough bagels and croissants for the next day to thaw in the cooler overnight and be baked fresh the next morning. Can you say YUMMY! Again most of this is common sense for shop/bakery/restaurant owners, but you and I really don't think about it.  In my mind it was everything made from scratch everyday........what a mess that would be, I would have to get in waaaaaay too early.

I also had fun making "cup"cakes for the Wednesday in the Square event where Cheryl has a booth set up.  The picture below is of the chocolate caramel "cup"cakes.  I piped a little caramel buttercream into the bottom of the cup, placed a chocolate cupcake in the cup, then piped a little ring of the buttercream around the top.  Some caramel was piped on the top and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and then finished off with another drizzle of caramel.  I thought this was such a great idea both for transporting and for serving at events like this one. It's like a little cupcake parfait.  :)

Cheryl doesn't normally serve sandwiches, but she had an order for some box lunches that we prepared and delivered on Saturday.  The picture is of the veggie sandwich with sauteed portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sprouts and a cream cheese spread.  We also make chicken salad sandwiches and roasted turkey sandwiches.  Let me tell you, I have had box lunches before and I only wish mine were as good as these.  Each box had a sandwich on a fresh brioche bun, a little bag of cheese straws, and a chocolate dipped strawberry.  Mmmmmm!

I do miss everyone back in Tally, but I am having a blast learning and spending time with my parents.  Well, what little time I am home.   LOL 

Until next time.........Keep it Sweet!

Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My First Day.......well sort of

Ok, so I am finally getting started.  Well, sort of.......yesterday I told my boys good-bye and went down into New Orleans to Bittersweet Confections where I will be completing my externship.  I met with Cheryl, the owner, and got my official job description and went over company policies, etc.  I also got to meet a couple of my co-workers Grace and Andy. 

Grace is sort of a newbie like me, but she has been there for a little over a week and already looks to be having a great time.  She is a baker like me and looking at the schedule it looks like we will be working together a lot.  We already chatted a little yesterday and she is super sweet.  :) 

Andy is in the front of the house and seems to be one of Cheryl's key people.  I remember meeting him when I came to visit in July and he seems to be a pretty cool guy.  He is going to be teaching Grace and I all about the front of the house and the coffee/ espresso machine.  Oh boy!  You know I love coffee so I am really excited to actually learn the right way to make all of those yummy drinks.

Eric is the kitchen manager and will be my direct supervisor.  I'll get to meet him tomorrow on my first real day.  He writes up the schedule and since today (Tuesday) is my scheduled day off I thought I would go ahead and catch everyone up to speed.  (Hense, the My First Day.......well sort of) 

My biggest challenge thus far is  Since I am from little ol Tallahassee where pretty much every business has a parking lot, I'm not used to having to hunt for parking.......or parking on the street........or getting a contract for a parking lot......or just flat out paying for parking.  Anyway, everyone thinks its funny that it is the parking that is stressing me out.  Alas, I have found a lot that is a few blocks down on the same street that is $6 a day so that is where I will be shooting for getting a spot for now.  I have been told that there is a lot 3 streets over that is $4 a day, but while the walk would be great I just dont feel comfortable enough with the city yet.  I know, I know, quit being a weenie.  :)

I'll let ya know how the espresso machine tutorial goes.......keep it sweet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The time has come

Ok, so I know I have been completely MIA.  I have no excuses, just life and the craziness of it.  :)

I'm here and this time I can't fall back on my promise to keep everyone posted of my adventures in pastry.  Yesterday I moved to Slidell, LA to complete my externship in New Orleans at an awesome place called Bittersweet Confections on Magazine Street.  Seriously, this place is great!  If you are in the area you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't stop in and have a little something and if you are not in the area then you should at least check out their website at

I will be living with my mom and dad and I am super excited to have some time with them!!!!  My boys (husband Lane and son Brandon) are on their way here now for the weekend and I can't wait to show them where I will be working.  Anyway, my point is because I have now begun my externship I will be keeping up my blog on a regular basis because now not only will I actually have some things to share with you all, but keeping a journal is also a requirement for school.  :)

I have had a couple of adventures since my last post such as TWO WEDDINGS!!  As soon as I have some good pictures I will blog about the weddings. 

So, without further adieu.......the time has come!