Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

So, Mother's Day is coming to an end, but I wanted to get this in.  I want to tell you about the wonderful ladies in my life!  This day is for them, and they deserve it!

First, of course, is my mom.  What can I say other than she is amazing!  She's been through so much through the years, accomplished so much, taught me so much.  While we (there are three of us kids) were growing up, she was working hard.  She worked a full time job, she cleaned the house, did all the laundry, cooked dinner for us every night, EVERY NIGHT!  I don't know how she had the energy!  I'm exhausted after work!  I rarely come home after and cook and clean!  She did, and I have to thank her for it.  One of the most important things to me was those family dinners every night.  There's nothing better than a home cooked meal, and she's an amazing cook!  It also brought us together as a family.  We all sat down together at the table every night, ate, talked about our day, and just enjoyed each other's company.  If I ever have a family, this is a tradition that I will continue as it has meant so much to me.  My mother instilled in us family values, a work ethic (that I think is seriously lacking in a lot of kids today), and a never give up attitude.  She made us believe we could do anything and did everything in her power to help us reach our goals.  Thank you Mom!  I love you!

Next, I have to talk about my sister.  I have to say, as kids we were quite different and didn't always see eye to eye.  I feel like we always had a good relationship, but we were definitely just different.  She was always pretty, popular, and outgoing.  I was nerdy and extremely shy.  However, over the years, we have grown very close, and I am so happy we have!  She is a year younger than me, but in a lot of ways I feel like she is my older sister.  I look up to her a lot, and am so proud of the amazing lady she has become.  She has a full time job, a four year old daughter (who is quite an amazing little lady herself), and she does just an unbelievable amount of things on the side.  I don't know how she finds enough time in a day.  She is an interior designer, and does that on her own on the side, she does some classes in my parents community, she sews (I'm so jealous), she's done so much work for me to help get my business started, she is my wedding planner!  Wheew!  The list goes on and on!!!  Now, when I say she's my wedding planner, I mean she is doing everything for my wedding!  She researched a ton of places to help us find a location, she's making my centerpieces, gift bags, favors, fabric flower bouquets!  It's unbelievable the amount of stuff this lady does for everyone, and on top of that she is a fabulous mother and somehow finds time to do dance classes, play dates, and numerous other activities with her daughter.  She is just amazing!  Fallon, thank you for all you do!  I love you!

Last, but certainly not least, is my soon to be mother in law.  Such an amazing, talented lady.  She is an artist, mainly a painter, but very creative in many areas.  She has done big, amazing canvas paintings, wall murals, and anything else you can think of, glasses, plaques, stools, mailboxes! :)   She is also an entrepreneur, and has started her own company, Someday Isle Apparel (check it out!).  She is full of amazing ideas, and has given me a lot of support, courage, and inspiration in my journey to open my own business.  She also has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know, and is always doing everything she can to help others in any way she can.  She started a women's group, she is involved in the Make a Wish Foundation, and she has helped numerous family members and friends in time of need (including my fiance and myself).  She is a believer in the power of positive thinking, and it shows!  She always looks on the bright side of life and she radiates happiness to all around her.  Cindy, thank you for all you do!  I love you!

So, those are the important ladies in my life right now.  I sincerely hope that all of you have been blessed with equally  amazing women in your life.  I can't imagine what my life would be without these women or who I would have become without them.  Their attitudes, morals, strength, and outlook on life have been the inspiration in my life.  I hope all you mothers had an amazing day and have been told how much you are appreciated and loved!  
No one deserves a day that's all about them more than you do!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cookies

These are some of my favorite cookies!  They are rich and decadent.  If you are making these for a party and will use them that day, they can stay out.  If you are going to keep them overnight, they need to be refrigerated.  These will stay good in the refrigerator for a week.  This recipe makes about 35 small cookies, using a number 40 scoop, but you can make them any size you like.

all purpose flour       2 c.
baking soda             1/2 tsp.
salt                             1/2 tsp.
-sift these ingredients

unsweetened chocolate   2 oz.
red food coloring               1 tbsp.
-melt chocolate and add coloring

butter, softened              1/2 c.
brown sugar, packed     2/3 c.
granulated sugar             1/3 c.
-beat these ingredients in a mixer with a paddle until light and fluffy.  It will look like this.

whole egg      1
-add and beat until smooth.  your batter should look like this.

Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and 3/4 c. sour cream.  Add 1/2 of the dry, mix well.  Add the sour cream, mix well.  Add the other 1/2 of the dry, mix well.

You will want to scrap the bowl and mix one last time.  Next, scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes.  You just want the cookies to be set.  If you touch the top, your finger should not leave an impression.  They will feel firm, but do not try to brown the cookies.  You want them to be soft after they cool.

You will need to make a cream cheese icing for these which is very simple

cream cheese     1 1/2 lbs.
butter, unsalted    12 oz.
powdered sugar   3 lbs.
vanilla                    1 tbsp.
- mix the cream cheese and butter until very soft and free of lumps.  Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Pipe the icing on the cooled cookies using a pastry bag and a medium sized star tip.  These are the finished cookies.  Enjoy!

New Adventures

I quit my job 6 weeks ago to start my own business.  It wasn't well thought out.  I didn't save up money, I didn't have a business plan.  I don't have a place or all the equipment that I need.  All I knew is that I was tired of my job, tired of working 80 hours a week for someone else.  I had to get out. 

Now, I have to say, I've had the taste of freedom, and I don't want to go back.  I love being on my own, working at home, being with my puppies and my fiance.  My mom and my sister just came up (I live in Massachusetts and my family is in Georgia), and we finally started working on wedding plans.  

 I have missed so much working in this business.  This business means long hours, working holidays, working every weekend.  It is a tough and tiring business.  Don't get me wrong, I love to cook, and I especially love baking.  I just needed to get out on my own where I could have some control over my work and my life.  Now, I have a great balance of both.

So far, things are going great, and I couldn't be happier.  I started this blog (actually, my sister started it for me) so that I could share my journey with you, and hopefully that journey will lead to the opening of my own little shop.  I will share the process of making a cake from mixing the batter to the decorated final product.  I will also share some of my favorite recipes for you to try at home.  If you like what you see, follow me!