Long Weekend

Long Weekend/Mentoring/Business Fail

A four-day weekend, without a trip to California, without being on call but, still lots to do.

The highlights…..

Christmas Eve I had a couple cake orders for Baby Cakes.  They were both Pineapple upside down cakes and were pretty easy.  I also went out to Freddies and to the cake store, clearly just to experience the Christmas Eve madness because neither trip were necessary.

Christmas started out super low-key.  I slept in, made coffee, walked Missy, talked to my aunt in California and kind of just hung out with the dog for the first half of the day.  Then I went to Katherine’s for dinner.  She had purchased a lovely organic meal from PCC and as we sat and visited and waited for her mom and the mom’s boyfriend to show up and our friend Steven and his mom.  After everyone got there we realized, the dinner still needed to be heated.  We had talked right through her schedule.  Dinner was about an hour later than she had planned but it was still perfect and everyone had a lovely time.

When I got home that night I should have put together all the baking gear I would need to take with me the next day, or perhaps Christmas morning in my self described “low key” morning but I did not.  That meant Saturday morning I was showering and doing my hair since this cute little cut requires more maintenance that I am used to and I was also pulling together decorating tools, cooling racks, fondant gear and recipes to take up to Chars.  Of course I took the wrong exit AGAIN and was lost in the crazy windy roads up in MountLake Terrace and I have got to remember its exit 145 from now on!!!

I was up there all day to help the high school senior with her class project that she must complete to graduate.  She had emailed me months ago and asked if I would be her mentor for a cake project.  So yesterday was the day we baked a cake and logged hours for her project.  We had a good time making the cakes and the icing them.  It takes quite a while when making a three tiered cake and each tier has two layers and they take about an hour each to bake.  Just oven time was over four hours only because we were able to bake the two smaller layers at the same time.

They fed me and kept one libation or another throughout the day.  Also Katherine had picked up Missy and taken the dogs to the park and then back to her house so when we were having fondant issues and I realized I was going to be there until midnight I was able to text her and ask that Missy stay overnight with them.

We had major fondant issues.  We used the same recipe I had used in the past but when we rolled it out and tried to put it on the cake it would just tear.  We made more, we put in the fridge, we tried several different things before changing her design all together and we rolled and cut out stars and she painted each one onto the cake.  I am thinking we should have started the day making the fondant so it would have had eight hours or better to rest.

At about hour fourteen, she put the final stars on the cake and I showed her how to dowel and stack the cakes.  She gets an “A” if I were grading the class.  There was a party tonight and the people there were going to rate the cake on appearance and taste and she will log more hours for her class.  Luckily Char is a photographer and she took a ton of photos throughout the day and will help her put her presentation together that she has to give to her teacher and graduation panel.

So in other news Reverie is currently dead.  We have lost the space we were building the cafe in.  Looks like I’ll be out the time, energy and money I’ve put it so far but in the long run it isn’t all that much considering everything I have learned.  I also still have Baby Cakes small business going even if I am only getting a few orders a month it is a lot of fun.

Even with four days I still didn’t finish getting my house cleaned.  It is better than it was yesterday and I got the yard picked up but I really think I work better under pressure.  I have another four-day weekend coming up, granted I am on call but maybe if focus I can get some chores accomplished before then.

Dogs on parade

These little guys were part of my view today.  Vacation day number 2 was spent at Reverie finishing up the flooring and touch up paint.  We also went to Second Use looking for a door and instead found these pups in a carriage, all dressed up for the holiday.

Speaking of Reverie, here are a few before and after pictures.  We need to move a pastry case that we have in the back of the warehouse up to the space but it wont fit through one of the doorways so we are waiting for help to bring it around the actual building and in the front door.  Next is the figuring and building of the some counters.


I thought tonight after I got home from working at Reverie and walking the dogs in the wind storm I would try and make portable pineapple upside down cakes, or cupcakes if you will. You know, in my spare time.

However since it starts with melted butter and brown sugar and the fact that they are upside down it’s not like I could put them in paper cups.  Also the pineapple rings are a tad bit bigger then the bottom of my large size muffin cups.

But try I did.  I think they need work and I haven’t tasted them but it certainly was fun to try.  Granted I usually make my pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet and heat up the butter and sugar in the oven while I’m making the batter.  But my first attempt I ended up making caramel from overheating the butter and sugar and once it started to cool was more like toffee.  So the batter sat while I redid that portion, arranged the pineapple which works better to tear the ring and overlap it so the batter doesn’t seep below the pineapple.

I think I understand more the difficulties from making this classic into a mini and next time they will turn out better.  But for now here is a quick peek.

Muffin Weather

My plans to walk the dogs last night were completely thwarted by the ridiculous pounding, pouring, torrential rain.

That and the fact that Missy and Sophie even in her coat and on leashes thrilled to go out had no desire to step outside the door when I opened it.  I let them have their way and retreated back into the sofa to watch the news, I mean the reports about the weather with a few MINOR events thrown in like Obama visiting China.

Watch the weather reports and make muffins that is….

I have been working on a couple savory muffin recipes for Reverie.  Last weeks was a spinach, feta and pine nut muffin.  I took two different versions to work for feedback and the feedback was “more feta” also onion.  But with the pine nuts and feta these were getting quite spendy and I don’t know if they will be profitable.  But they are yummy.  Perhaps buying in larger quantities will help with the profit margin.

Last night I made a corn muffin with roasted chilies, corn, green onion and pepper jack cheese.  These are pretty good.  But it was the first attempt at the recipe and again they could use something else.  I brought them to work for my trusty taste testers and again “more cheese” seems to be a common request.  I think they could use some black pepper and be pretty perfect so I am sure round two of this recipe is in the plans for this week.  Or maybe I’ll make them for Thanksgiving and make the family taste testers also.  They are pretty good however, I had them for dinner and breakfast this morning.

Tonight after work I have an appointment at 3:30 to get my windshield fixed.  It has taken me long enough to deal with it and all the added weather this week I just need to get it done so I am safe driving.  I fear another good sized rock hits it and it would shatter in on me including all the wind and rain that is out there.  No bueno.

Hopefully the rain will hold up this evening and the dogs will be ready for walks.  Although Sophie hasn’t slept much the last two nights as she paced because of the howling winds.