Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A new blogging view....

Wow. What creative and amazing friends I have. I have just spent the better part of the day with my dear friend, Amy, doing a redesign on my den. WOW, WOW, WOW!! I tell my uber creative friends, Sonja and Amy, repeatedly that I'm their go-to girl for food art, but when it comes to the nitty gritty of making my home look beautiful it's up to them! I generally have pretty decent 'Pottery Barn-meets yard sale- meets Target' styling ability, but those little design touches that make a room fantastic have to come from my lovely decorator friends! Amy got the 'privilege' of doing this re-design and Sonja will be called upon next week for the re-working of a wall in the living room! How great is my life that I GET to alternate between two such amazing people!

It's amazing how people like Amy and Sonja can take things I already have, rearrange them, and make them look lovely. I have LOVED my red walls (red is my very favorite color) since we painted them two years ago, but I didn't think my arrangement of furniture did the color justice. Now, I love it even more. The only things I added to this room were Sonja's cast-off black computer armoire, a few plants, two floating shelves, and cubbies for the business files....voila!

I am happy to report that I can now use my laptop at my den desk rather than having the desktop computer take up the desk. It's a much more inspiring view to work in a beautiful room, surrounded by lovely things, than it is to blog on the kitchen counter (not that that's not an inspiration in itself), or hunched over the laptop in bed (again, not the kind of inspiration I probably want in the bedroom!)

So, perhaps the posts will come more frequently when typed from my new view and perhaps they'll even be more well-written and witty than they have been in the past!

Tomorrow I'm going to show you some fantastic pictures of Halloween cookies that I'm creating for my 'special' trick or treaters!

For now....

Good eats,

PS...Not sure Super Husband was thrilled about being photographed in his exercise clothes, but as long as I wasn't disturbing the reading of Flying magazine, all was good!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

108 Cupcakes, 79 cookies, 2 cakes....all in a week's work!

Wow. I can't believe it's actually been 18 days since my last post. I have been feverishly baking. Just last week, alone, I baked, frosted, filled, and delivered 108 cupcakes, 79 cookies, and two cakes. WHEW! I'm not sure my oven was off at any time except for when we were all asleep! It was FANTASTIC!!!! I cannot believe how joyful it feels to be baking and creating. There is nothing more satisfying than making people smile as beautiful baked creations are delivered to their special event. It's truly the most fun job in the world!!

This week I had the pure enjoyment of taking goodies to three birthday parties! What fun! Birthdays are such fun. There are never ending possibilities for cake creations. The first birthday party was for a very fashionable young lady with a passion for zebra print and hot pink! She requested a zebra cake with Oreo filling-YUM-O!! I created a classic white cake with an Oreo buttercream filling. The cake was so darned cute! I just wish I'd have taken a picture with my camera! Instead, I took one with my cell and I absolutely cannot figure out how to download the picture!! However, later in the week this great little gal requested zebra cupcakes for her 'friend' party. I had a very fun time creating these yummy Oreo-filled cupcakes decorated to resemble zebra print.

The second birthday was for one of my favorite 22 year-old people! Miss Lindsay also wanted the zebra/Oreo combination. Once, again, I realized too late that my camera battery was dead! UGH! picture, currently, but Lindsay's mom assures me that there is a picture forthcoming! It was so fun to 'repeat' the zebra cake from the previous day. I learned so much about how to contour the black fondant so that the zebra print would be just enough to make the cake look 'zebraish' and not 'zebra tacky'. Hee hee! I had an absolute ball making both of these cakes. They were small cakes which allowed for lots of time to really attend to detail and enjoy the process. Thanks, Lindsay and Claire, for allowing me to be a part of your celebrations!

I also got to be a part of my favorite Husker's birthday. Mr. Carson was turning seven and really wanted to celebrate with a Nebraska Cornhusker cupcake. (Did I mention that I LOVE this kid???) Carson requested strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate cupcakes. I wanted to kick it up a little, so I also created some sugar cookie footballs to place on top of the cupcakes. Each kiddo at the party received a 'two for one'...a cupcake AND a cookie!! Sorry parents, the kids were probably very highly sugared when they left the party! I had so much fun working on these cupcakes...especially since I got to make 24 bright red letter Ns! WHOO HOO!!

The third, and final, birthday celebration of the week was for sweet Morgan. Morgan is a freak of nature in that she doesn't love chocolate. WHAT is up with that??? Just kidding, Morgie! Morgan is a hip, cool cat of a kid who was having a huge bonfire party for her 17th birthday, and asked me to be a part of the festivities. I created three new flavors for her party.

The 'Holy Heath' was born out of Super Husband's love of Heath candy bars AND out of his very direct request for a cupcake with caramel filling. So, the Holy Heath was born! This cupcake is a chocolate butter cake base with caramel filling, topped with whipped chocolate ganache, toffee bits, and a miniature Heath candy bar. YUM!!

The second flavor I created was per Miss Morgan's request. Morgan wanted something 'cheesecaky'. I thought strawberries and cheesecake sounded fabulous together, so the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' (thanks Beatles) was born! This cupcake is a strawberry cake base, filled with cheesecake and topped with vanilla buttercream. It is soooo rich, but so pretty to look at!

Finally, I wanted to replicate one of my favorite summer drinks in a cupcake. I absolutely love Raspberry lemonades from Sonic. The 'Raspberry Beret' is a lemon cupcake with raspberry buttercream icing. It's tangy and tart, sweet and sassy, but unlike it's Sonic relative CANNOT be delivered on rollerskates!!

I've had lots of fun perfecting Royal icing for cookies this week, and can't wait to try out my new Halloween cookie cutters tomorrow. I created some fun Bearcat football cookies for a trip to an away Bearcat game this week. They were gobbled up quite quickly! I was lucky to get a few shots before my 14 year-old nephew absconded with the goods!

I had one more fun flavor experiment this week. I am very intrigued with the combination of regular cake batter and the infusion of fresh fruit. I had a blast creating 'The Great Berry' (named after Matt's uncle, Barry, who is affectionately referred to as Great Barry). The Great Berry is a true berry cupcake infused with raspberries and strawberries and topped with vanilla buttercream. It's a pretty little cupcake with a refreshing and light taste and texture.

I am SOOOO excited that I can now deliver my little pieces of art in artful and funky packages. I found a wholesaler for my fun pink polka dotted boxes. I love the way they look and create a very professional presentation. You can see them behind several of the cupcakes in the pictures!

Be looking for a Facebook page for Just Like Mom's launching on Tuesday of this week. Become a fan and receive 10% off your order!!

It's off to bed now. I can't wait to share more creations with you in a few days!!

Good eats,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oh blog, how I've missed you!!

I'm back in the blogging swing after two weeks of utter chaos and craziness!

The trip to the orchard yielded a peck of apples perfect for pies (Super Husband's fave!) and crisps! My dear friend, Cris, absconded with my Pampered Chef apple peeler/corer/slicer for a few weeks and made merry with her stash from the orchard. She inspired me to do the same and even returned the apple tool with a FABULOUS apple crisp recipe! The recipe includes orange juice. It was SOOO delish! The fam ate it for dessert and breakfast for one day and- poof- 'twas gone! I also taught my sous chef, Avery, how to make an apple pie. Some of my fondest memories are of making small apple pies in the kitchen with my mom when I was five or six. However, I think her crusts probably didn't come from a box labeled 'pie crust' but it was a weeknight and a pre-made crust was the best I could do!

We're still devouring the pie (well...THEY are, I'm NOT a pie fan) and all reports point to it being a hit. I'm working on creating an apple cupcake as a fall-inspired flavor! I'll let you know what I come up with!

I had a very large cupcake catering gig this week for my friend Amy's open house at another friend, Kathy's, house. Kathy has a to die for kitchen, so the cupcakes displayed oh so very nicely! Amy's product, Willow House, has some amazing pieces that we used for display as well as many versatile pieces that can be used as stands. I think much of the cupcake profit will be going toward the purchase of lots of amazing things from Willow House! You can check out Amy's website at It's gorgeous!

I had four flavor choices for this particular event. I resurrected the old stand-by, Pride O' The Bride and topped the cakes with tempered chocolate decorations and coarse, crystalline sugar. I LOVE the way this coarse sugar sparkles and mimics the crystals often used on bridal gowns.

I love to ask friends about their favorite cake flavors and then create cupcakes tailored to them. My dear friends, Tim and Jenny both love chocolate and raspberries and after telling Tim W(who has a vocabulary like Shakespeare and a wit like David Letterman) about my 'Ben and Jerry's' approach to naming the cupcakes he emerged with the name, Jen and Harry for the chocolate raspberry cupcake. You see, Jenny is an absolutely adorable girl married to a 6-foot something handsome guy with TONS of long, curly blonde hair! So, the name was quite appropriate...Jen and HARRY! Here's their namesake!

I have a sickness for all things lemon. Ask anyone who has ever gone to dinner with me and they'll tell you that I always order water with "lots of lemon". I love lemon chicken, lemon cookies, lemon cake, lemon name it. I'm kind of the 'Bubba Gump' of lemon. It was only natural to take this lemon obsession and put it into a cupcake. Hence, the lemon drop was created.

Fall is my very favorite season, hands down, so a fallish cupcake was a must. This is a very simple pumpkin spice cupcake with decadent cream cheese frosting and shaved cinnamon on top. It was hard for me to come up with a pumpkin-sounding name, but Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater kept running through my mind- and stuck!

I was able to roll out business cards and price sheets, as well! I can see a new laptop and printer in the business's archaic printer doesn't even recognize Avery label products, so this run of the price sheets and the cards was a wee-bit rough.

I've got two more cupcake orders to fulfill this week PLUS friends to fill full of cupcakes tonight as the FANTASTIC Nebraska Cornhuskers take on those boys from the land of Oz. It's a house divided for us tonight!

Good Eats,

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Comment Conundrum

Faithful blog readers...several of you have asked about how to leave comments on the blog. At the end of each post is a place that says, "leave a comment". In theory, you should be able to just click on this link. You then have the option to post the comment as either from a Google,etc. account OR as Anonymous. Click on Anonymous from the drop down menu and go from there. Let me know if it works!

Good eats,

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blog readers...I need your HELP!

Ugh....I'm a rule follower when it comes to some things. Speed limits...not so much, but starting up a business I'm trying to do things on the up-and-up.

That being said, I'm in need of either a lottery win or a commercial kitchen to rent. Most church kitchens, etc. would work great. If you know of a place that might allow me to rent their space for my large orders I would be most appreciative.

Good eats,