Megan's Birthday Cake
I'm sure you've heard the sayings before -- the carpenter's house is never finished -- the cobblers kids have no shoes -- etc. In years past, I have always taken additional cake orders the week of my children's birthdays. The problem with that - as I ran out of time during the week - it was always my kids cakes that I made the adjustments on and started cutting details in order to make my cake deadlines for my "paying customers". I realized it wasn't fair to my kids and every year would say I wouldn't take any other cakes during my child's birthday next year!
Well, this year I honored that!
This was Megan's 9th Birthday Cake!! We invited 10 girls over for a sleepover and would you believe that ALL 10 GIRLS were able to attend!! Megan and I started on Saturday working on details because I knew with all the gobs I have to bake each week my time would be limited later on to work on the details.
I posted the finished cake on my Facebook page (click here for link) but thought I would show some of the details that you might have missed from the larger photo.
First off, Megan helped with A LOT of the cake details. She made the pizza's herself (including the pieces of pepperoni and green peppers), she made a good bit of the girl's hair, the popcorn bowl with popcorn and helped with the faces! Mind you -- she just turned 9! I may have a helper in a few years.
Anyway... here are some cake photos! I hope you enjoy this project as much as I ENJOYED doing it with her :-)
The entire cake from a distance.
The girl's on the bottom of the bed. One has fallen asleep, one is excited to be here and the last one is eating an ice cream cone in bed.
These are close-ups of the girls at the top of the bed. Some have fallen asleep and the others are tucked in, but still awake.
The girls in their sleeping bags on the carpet. One is eating a bag of chips, one took her slippers off to paint her finger and toe nails and the last one is reading a book and eating a bowl of popcorn.
Megan with her cake - before we cut it!
Tasty FALL Treat...
So, last year my buddy, Vicki introduced me to a fun and easy Fall-time treat. We LOVED it and my family was sad when we couldn't find candy corn on the store shelves (I stocked up when it all went on sale after Halloween). I was just at Walmart and saw the bags of Candy Corn and I couldn't resist making some. It's super quick and looks so pretty on a buffet or table when guest come over!
All you need is a bag of candy corn (any brand will do, but we happen to think BRACHS has the best flavor) and one jar of salted, dry-roasted peanuts. (You may adjust the ratio of peanuts/candy corn to suit your personal taste.)
Eat together and it tastes JUST LIKE one of these...
You can make a big batch and keep it all fresh in an air tight container. YUMMY!! Hope some of you love this just as much as we do (wait till my kids get home and see I made some...) :o)
*A New Direction For My Business*
To all my loyal customers... I have been struggling for a few months now about the direction I want my baking business to go. I have been talking it over with my husband, praying to God to direct me to go the way He feels I need to go and talking with a few close friends about what's been on my mind. I LOVE baking for all of you, but unless you come and spend an entire week with me - you could never envision the amount of time, energy and stress that goes into making your creations!!
I've been thinking of steering my baking business more toward the gobs, cake pops and dessert cakes, and having the Facebook BAKE SALES more often. It's been playing in my mind for a few months now, but I was unsure if I wanted to give up the "fun" of some of the celebration cakes I'm asked to make. I've talked to my friends about this and my husband I have discussed it often. My husband even said, "That's wonderful. Less weekend work!". Ahhhh, that was a bonus that I didn't even think of!
Most of you call me and pick up your cake when we make arrangements - OR - I have your wedding cake at your reception venue when you arrive! It sounds simple, but for me it is a very busy week(s) of planning. I work ALL WEEK long on your order - from the hour it took me to write your quote, to the emails that we send back and forth over details, to the grocery shopping for the ingredients, to the measuring, weighing, scooping, mixing, pouring, beating, whipping, cooking and baking of your cakes, icings and fillings. It takes time to tint all the icing to make the colors for your cake. It takes time to level, fill and ice your cakes. Not to mention all the decorations that I make for you. Some details are done with buttercream frosting, but some are made with fondant or gumpaste and need to dry a few days before placing on your completed cake. It takes time to ice your cake, smooth it out and get it ready to be decorated. It takes time to add the details, write the "happy birthday" messages, and add the ribbon, sugar pearls, flowers and other decorations you requested. I have to prepare your cake boards, assemble your boxes, make cakebox labels, print serving/cutting instruction sheets and prepare/print your invoice, box up your cakes and find room in the refrigerator until you stop to get your order. I do this work all by myself, without any helpers (occasionally a friend or my mom will help if I have too much to do - but that's not very often).
In between all this preparation, I have a another job that I've worked at almost 11 years. I only work there on Monday's and Wednesday's, but that means I only have evenings on those days to work on cake details. My husband and I also have two children that LOVE my baked goods, but HATE the time I spend in the kitchen :o) They are still small (8 & almost 11) and understand that I work two jobs, but don't understand why I can't go outside with them during the day or take them to the park to ride their bikes or have a friend over last minute!
I have a WONDERFUL husband that is so supportive of this crazy "hobby" of mine. He NEVER complains when dinner isn't cooked when he gets home from work. He doesn't get mad at me when he walks into our bedroom and three loads of clean laundry are on our bed (washed, dried, but I didn't have time to fold and put them away). He doesn't mind when I have to stick around on Saturday mornings because someone is picking-up a cake and is running late. He clears us a space at the table (when possible) or helps me carry bowls of food into the living room when my kitchen surfaces are piled high with cake decorations, cooling racks, and icing bowls. He never pouts when we can't go to dinner with friends on Friday night because I am working on a wedding cake. He never fusses about me coming to bed at midnight and then getting up with him at 4:30 because I just have too much to do and not enough hours to get it all done. He's been supportive and wonderful and has even been known to help me tie a bow or two on my cake pop orders :o) I love him so much for it!! There is a lot of sacrifice that goes into running any business and these are some involved in my mine.
Well, I've been praying about this and asked God to direct me and show me what I was to do. Last week Krevetski's Convenience Store contacted me about supplying baked goods to their brand-new store in Armagh. I told them I would drop off some samples and they could contact me if they were interested. No pressure if they weren't interested. This past Wednesday morning I dropped off a few mini-gobs for them to try and I received a phone call just a few short hours later wanting to know when I could start! I am taking this as my "SIGN FROM GOD" that I am supposed to change the direction of my business.
I just feel that this is the right time to change the direction of my business. All of you that have orders on my calendar for this year and 2013 - nothing is changed!! I will make each and every one of them. I am just not accepting new orders at this time! As my loyal customers and friends and family - I hope you will support me in the change and continue to support me. Changes will come slowly, so continue to watch for posts as I work out the details.
WHEW!! this was a long post....
Love you all ~ thanks for helping me "GROW MY BUSINESS" these past two years! Without you all, I could not be doing what I do!
"FROG POND" cake
I had a fun request for a baby boy shower cake and I've been busy, busy, busy all week creating the creatures. I took a few photos as I went along and thought I would share.
I would like to introduce you to MOMMY Frog...
...and this is MOMMY & Baby Frog. I made him holding a cute little teddy bear. Of course, some of their friends are in the background - two snail critters and Mrs. Turtle.
I also had a "Tom & Jerry" cake this week, so you will see there's few pieces of cheese, colored circles and mallets scattered on my workstation also. Everything needs time to dry.
The finished cake topper. Here's the pond and lily pad with the two cute froggies, their ladybug friend and a few cat-o-nine tails behind them on their pond.
I have never "blogged" before, so bear with me. It's always been an option on my website, but I never had any interest in doing it. I have the website and my Facebook page to show my items - and those take a bit of time to keep updated - but once I created these little guys I thought it would be fun to write a little more about them and show some close-ups. So, this is how I began to think about writing my FIRST BLOG!
I was asked to do "Dinosaur" Cupcakes for a child's birthday party. The mom loved some barnyard cupcakes I did a few months ago and wanted something for her dinosaur crazy son. She kind of left it up to me what I wanted to do and I came up with these.
I created some mini volcano's, piles of dinosaur bones, a few T-Rex's, some Triceratops, a few dinosaur eggs, a pterodactyl or two, a few "sea-monsters" - you get the idea. These were so much fun I wanted to share them. I just hope the birthday boy loves them!
It's me, Cheri - the author...
I've been baking for quite a few years now and some of my projects have been so fun! I work with my customer - sometimes they just provide me with a "theme" and sometimes they have specific ideas about what they want - but all are baked and decorated with my customers suggestions and ideas in mind. I wanted to start this "blog" to occasionally elaborate on some of my "funnest" (yes, I'm going to use that word) projects :-). These are those special projects that turned out exactly - or better than - I envisioned them! Happy baking everyone!!