Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Have You Ever..........Be Honest

So now be honest we all have done it. We have all told someone that something the made was good when we really didn't think it was. I think that we have all felt bad or just didn't think that we could really tell the person the truth. Because the last thing that you want to do when someone has spent hours making something is tell them THIS SUCKS. 

But I do have to admit that every time I bake something I wonder if that is what people are doing. I think that they are always just trying to be nice and use don't want to hurt my feelings but honestly I just want their honest opinion on what they think. I know that this may sound strange to some people but I truly believe in negative feedback. Because how else are you supposed to improve if you never get any negative feedback. That being said I also believe that there is always room for improvement. But when I bake something and I have someone try I am always looking for there honest opinion on what they think but I almost always doubt what they say because I think that they are just trying to be nice because they know that I am a baker and don't want to hurt my feelings but the honest truth is that I want to know what they truly think. What they don't like. What they would like to be better. Because I do this because I enjoy making things for people and I enjoy that sometimes it seems to lift peoples spirits. So I really do this more for others and for myself and if people don't like things that I make then why am I wasting my time making these things? And more importantly why am I making people suffer through having to try all the different things that I make?

So next time you try something that someone has made I challenge you to be honest. Now I am not saying that I will for sure go over well but you never know the person might go back into their kitchen and make something spectacular and it was all due to your honesty.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mini Cupcakes

Every Summer my Mom has a party for work at her house, and I usually try to help out by making something for the party. So this year it is Mini Cupcakes. I made 2 kinds...

The first is a Classic Yellow Mini Cupcake
 This recipe is pretty basic but I find that no matter how simple the recipe is there are little things that can make a big difference in the end result. For this one the most important thing is when you are mixing the sugar and butter is to mix it really well you want the mixture to turn white.

The second one is Devil's Food Mini Cupcakes
Now this one was a little different even though you still need to cream your butter and sugar really well but when you add the cocoa water you need to make sure that it is room temperature because if it is too warm it will melt the butter which will ruin the cake.

I topped both of the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

If anyone would like the recipes just let me know and I will post them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

4th of July

So I have had a few requests for some photos... So here are the things that I made for our family 4th of July BBQ.

 Above is a fruit tart with strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. The filling was a custard.

Just remember that you can never go wrong with good fresh fruit and a custard! People will always love it!!

Above this is a Mud Pie and I do have say that this was my first mud pie and it is one of the easiest things to make there actually isn't andy baking (except for the crust) the rest of it is just coffee ice cream and chocolate sauce (and I sure that you can cheat on this any buy some but I can't do that so I made it myself) and I am a big fan of coffee ice cream and Heath Bar so I added some Heath Bar bits into the ice cream as well as on top.

I have a few events coming up in the next week or so, so I will have some more pictures soon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


So a little while ago I bought this baking book called The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. And I do have to say that it is a very nice book it covers all kinds of recipes. As I was reading through the beginning of the book and it was going over measuring. And I know that this sounds basic and straight forward but I thought that she had an interesting idea that I think that I am going to try out and see if it makes by baking more consistent. So one of the things that she says to do is to weigh out your dry ingredients rather than using measuring cups. And the theory behind it is that it eliminates inconsistencies so that you won't have variation from batch to batch. She even goes on to say that you can weigh out your liquid ingredients as well. But the main thing that she goes over several times is that when weighing out dry ingredients you need to check to see if it is sifted before or after measuring so if you want to weigh out a old recipe that you have that does not give you weigh equivalent you should alway assume that it was sifted

So I am going to give these things a try and see what happens. I am also hoping that it will actually make my life easier, cause when you think about it there should be less dishes because if you have a good scale you can just add the ingredients straight into the bowl and tare it after each addition. I am going to work on this for my next few baking projects and let you know how it works.

Monday, July 16, 2012


So I am a strong believer in that you can not call something homemade unless you have actually made the entire thing at home yourself. So you can't call a pie or tart homemade if you went out and purchased the crust. I am not a fan of semi-homemade things... sorry Sandra Lee. And by the way to all of you crust buyers WE KNOW a purchased pie crust sticks out like no other. And some people are okay with that but if you are anything like me you are not.

So now the real debate: Butter or Shortening

This is something that my mom and I have gone around and around about and every time a go to make a pie or tart crust she always gives me a hard time. My mother is a shortening fan I on the other hand think that butter works way better. And every time she sees me making a crust with butter she always tells me that my crust is going to be tough because of it but the amazing thing is that no one has ever complained to me that my crusts are bad. Now on the other hand EVERY TIME (and I really mean every time) I struggle to just roll the crust out. I can't ever get it to roll out nicely and I have to start over and over and over again until the dough gets so tough that I can't even work with it and then I am so frustrated at that point that I don't even care how my pie or tart turns out.The next time I make a crust I will take pictures to show you what happens when I try to use shortening. And I have never had any problems with using butter it always cuts into the four nicely and rolls out easily as well. So until people start to complain about my crusts that I make with butter I am going to continue to make them and my mom is just going to have to deal with it. And honestly the crusts that I find to be the toughest, and I mean so tough that you can't even cut into it, are the ones that are store bought. So in my opinion the only way to avoid a tough crust is to use butter and make it yourself.

Baking Basics

I am starting this blog in order to share my experiences with baking. I would have to say that I enjoy baking more than I enjoy cooking. I am hoping to share both my successes and my failures along the way and believe me there are both.
So here are some basics that I have learned……
First of all the primary device that you will use as a baker is your oven so you need to know if it is working properly. This means testing to make sure that it is at the correct temperature. I learned this the hard way, for some reason anything I every put in the oven just wouldn’t bake right and it wasn’t until I spent a long time struggling with a very simple partially baked crust for a tart that took almost twice as long as it should and then it dawned on me…maybe I should check the oven to make sure it was at the correct temperature, and it turns out that my oven is off by over 50 degrees. So don't make the same mistake I made, always check to make sure that your oven is at the temperature that it say it is it will save you a big headache.