Wednesday, December 30, 2009


This year's gingerbread making has been quite different from past years. Not only did I make my own traditional gingerbread house, I also made 12 other gingerbread buildings and the cupcakes you see here. I didn't use my gingerbread cake for the cupcakes, but I thought that the little men added a nice touch. :) The gingerbread village that I baked up over the course of three days is now on display in our dining room, around the base of a beautiful Victorian Christmas tree.

I made these men with royal icing, black licorice, and of course, gingerbread. They turned out really well-- and I enjoyed making different little faces on all of them.

And then, of course, here's my yearly gingerbread house. For the past few years, I've used loads of candy to decorate it, giving it a colorful, warm, and festive look. But this year, I decided to simplify it, and just use royal icing to decorate it (and one candy). :) It turned out rather well, I'd say.

So long for now! Looking forward to the loads and loads of comments this post should bring me. ;)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas and Coca Cola

You find me now sitting in our living room wearing a Santa hat, listening to the melodious voice of Josh Groban, watching my sisters transform our living room into a Christmas wonderland, and sipping some hot apple cider. :) We are a little behind this year with getting all of our Christmas stuff together (hence the lack of gingerbread houses on this blog so far), but alas, we're finally getting it all up. It's so exciting!

I spent a good while today looking up recipes and making a grocery list for all of the Christmas festivities. We are having a Christmas party this year (yay!), and there are lots of delicious goodies to be made. Yes, the air is finally filled with joy of Christmas. :)

The pictures in my post today, since it MUST include photos (as I've said many times before) are going to be some of my favorite ones to look at. I loved them when I was a little kid, and I love them now. They are... dun dunna na... Christmas Coca Cola advertisements! :D Betcha never would have guessed that. ;) We have these beauteous Christmas mugs with a bunch of these pictures on them, and they have always brought me a great deal of pleasure to look at. The style reminds me of my favorite artist, Norman Rockwell.

So, here we go! Enjoy!

Oh, and... speaking of Christmas and Coca Cola... did you know that we each get one of those old fashioned glass bottles of Coca Cola in our stockings each year? Yup. We do. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a Day!

I have the pre-Christmas jitters! In our house, Christmas is not just a day. It's a season. :) And it starts the day that Dad squeezes a hug, beautiful fir tree through our front door. Usually, American Thanksgiving is the day that we try to get our tree, but this year we've had so much going on that we haven't been able to do it yet. So, every day, we wonder "Is today the day?" And every day, we clean the house, and wait with bated breath for the moment when the house will be filled with the scent of a freshly cut tree. The day when a path of fallen needles and sap is made from the van to the porch, from the porch to the living room, and from the living room to the window, where the tree usually sits. It's a good day.

I find myself today very, very jittery. I can't quite get myself into the Christmas mood until we've started decorating, but I can tell that as soon as we DO have our decor, I'm going to be dancing around in a frenzy of Christmas cheer and... baking. :) Can't wait.

And I especially can't wait to start posting on here about it all-- Gingerbread houses, Christmas tree decorating, Christmas shopping, and who knows what all. I love this season. Every moment of it.

Photo credits: Google. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I' bet you've been wondering what has been taking me so long to update this blog. Or... maybe you haven't. But, regardless, I'm going to es'plain myself. :) Just 'cause I want to.

Did you know that my family owns a chocolate company? Well, we do. And I am the Chocolatier! I make all of our chocolates, from Fudge to Chocolate Bark to Painted Turtles to Truffles. The picture below is of our Turtle Pretzels, a wonderful variation on the traditional chocolate and caramel dipped pretzel rods.

(F.Y.I.-- The above are one of my favorite things that we make. De-licious.)

So, this is what I've been doing for the past three weeks. Like crazy. I do this all the time, but I figured out that I have made approx. 500 lbs. of fudge alone during the past little while. And, just in case you were wondering, that's a lot more than I usually make in a short period of time. :) Plus a whole whack of other chocolates on top of that.

Thanks for checking up on the blog, and make sure to check back again soon! Pretty soon (ish) I'm going to have a post up about making gingerbread houses with the family (and like this post, photos will be done by of Figgie Photography). It should be a good one!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Punkins," Pumpkins, and Baking

I remember the days when I was small enough to receive the greeting "Hi, Punkin!" from my dad. Ah, fond memories. :) Actually, we (my siblings and I) have all been called "Punkin" at some point in our lives, I'm sure, and now, since some of us are older... we've taken to calling a great number of small, rosy cheeked young'uns by that term of endearment as well.

So, here I am, posting pictures of the two smallest punkins in the house. This post is basically just a picture post, with captions thrown in here and there. This is what it looks like when I bake cookies with my little siblings! (Most of the time-- sometimes it involves a lot more rolling and cutting than this.) These particular younger siblings are the two youngest girls in the family, Anna and Tabithah. Anna being the taller blond one, and Tabithah being the smaller blond one. Their aprons were a little too big for them, but we made do. :)

Enjoy the pictures! (Poor quality, though they may be.)

Here we go. Measuring...



(I love the look of concentration on her face here.) :)

Watching the cookies bake...

Done! Tabithah was taste testing and posing for the picture AT THE SAME TIME! She's so multi talented.

The finished product!

And now for the afore mentioned pumpkin. :) I've never carved a pumpkin before-- this was my first try. What say you to that? :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Apples and Cinnamon

This week's entry is going to be about some of my favorite things-- apples, cinnamon, and cider. Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year, and let me tell you, it wouldn't be half so wonderful as it is if it weren't for those three things! The smell of applesauce cooking, apple cider simmering, and cinnamon scenting are three little things that add greatly, I am convinced, to the "Magic" of the season. Oh, and apple cinnamon candles are pretty much the bomb. Just for the record. ;)

What are your favorite things about fall? Do they involve apple picking, cider sipping, and warm, fuzzy blankets? When you think of fall, what kinds of warm memories flood your senses? If you can't think of any, then I'll tell you what to do-- clear your mind by running out the grocery store and getting yourself a jug of apple cider and some cinnamon. Then, grab a nice heavy blanket, cuddle up in your most comfy piece of furniture, and look out the window at the falling leaves whilst you sip this wonderful stuff.

Thomson Apple Cider Recipe

1 gallon cold pressed apple cider (the best you can get)
1 large navel orange
whole cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks

Begin by slicing the orange into 4 thick slices, and press about 4-6 cloves into each slice. Combine the apple cider, cinnamon, and about 2 of the orange pieces in a large pot, and heat until hot, but not boiling (you can save the other oranges in the fridge for next time). Turn the cider down and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove the oranges and cinnamon. Serve.

Note: Taste the cider to make sure that it isn't too strong at this point. Cloves have a very strong flavor, and should not be left in the pot for very long. If the cider has gotten too strong, you can dilute it by adding more cold pressed cider or apple juice.

And that's it! Enjoy!

(Oh, and did I mention that I finally bought myself this AMAZING machine??! And it's RED!!!)


Photo credits: Google :)

Monday, October 26, 2009


There is something wonderful about vanilla. Whether it be in tea or coffee, ice cream or chocolate chip cookies, I love the stuff. It has a way of making just about anything extra special. Even chocolate can be bettered by adding vanilla.

Today I'm going to share one of the most simple, but most wonderful ways to use vanilla. I love to drink this on cold days, after I've been on my feet all day, and I need a soothing, hot drink to calm my frazzled nerves.

Those who know me can all testify to the fact that I am a huge, huge, huge, adoring fan of Starbucks. :) But I think we can all agree that there are times to refrain from such places. At least, I can speak for myself when I say that money doesn't always fall from the sky in envelopes labeled, "Go to Starbucks and Spend This." This is a great thing to make at home when you need to special drink that won't cost you much to make.

"Poor Man's" Earl Grey Tea Latte

You'll need:
1 Large Mug (Pick a nice chubby one-- they're the best for holding on cold winter days)
1 Earl Grey tea bag
Hot water
Vanilla extract
Honey (Or a bit of sugar)-- this is optional

Step 1--
Start by putting the kettle on, and bring it to a boil. If you're a tea person, you probably already have a whistling kettle... but if you don't, I highly recommend getting one. They're awesome. :)

Step 2--
Measure about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla into the bottom of your cup. Add a splash of milk, and have a tea bag ready.

Step 3--
Once the water has boiled, put the tea bag in your cup and pour the boiling water over it. Let it steep for about 3 minutes. Remove the bag. (Earl Grey tea gets really strong and "Scented" when it sits for too long. I like the tea to be quite strong for this drink, but not so strong that it tastes like a melted flower.)

Step 4--
Add honey, to taste. I actually like to drink this without any honey at all, but just a little bit does add something special, if you like your beverages with a bit of sweetness.

Enjoy! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009


Well, this would happen. Just as I start my brand new blog, my computer dies. A sad, sudden death. :( I am only able to write this post thanks to my marvelous sister Deborah, as she has a laptop that I am permitted to use whilst I figure out what to do about my computer troubles.

So, for now, I will have to bid you farewell. Until I have all of this sorted out, that is.

Goodbye for now!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bows, Bows, and More Bows

I think have an unusual obsession with bows. When I make a cake and it doesn't look quite right... I always stand back, put my finger to my chin, frown, and then say, "Eh... I'll just stick some bows on it." And so I do.

I'm beginning to think that this is a new trademark of mine: Cakes with bows on them. One day in the future, when I'm rich and famous, everyone will recognize my cakes by their bows. I can hear them now...

"Oh, who made your wedding cak--- OHHHH... Riiiiiight. The bows. Nevermind, I think I can guess."

Here's proof. The proof is in the pictures, I always say!

Oh, and guess what? Did you know that I just recently did another wedding event? I made two display cakes, and guess what was the distinguishing feature on both of them? I'd give you a hint... they were fluffy and cute and very satisfactory to my critical eye. Oh, and they're made of ribbon.

I bet you'll never guess. ;)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Bit About Me

Well, I've decided that this post should be a "Little Bit" about me and my decision to start this blog. So, here goes!

I am the kind of person that loves, loves, loves cooking and baking-- I love creating things in the kitchen, not just because I love the ending result in taste and satisfaction, but I love to make things as visually appealing as I can. I love the art of food. I am just the sort of person that, if I had loads of money and wasn't quite sure what to do with it all, I'd go to the best chef school around just for the enjoyment of it. Not because I necessarily wanted to come away as a world famous chef (although, the idea of that does sound rather appealing), but for the simple reason of... loving to learn about this stuff.

For the past couple of years, I've been working on growing my little cake decorating company, Silver Spoon Cakes. I love my company. It's still in the beginning stages, and I still have a ways to go before I can call it extremely profitable. But I am proud of it.

Here's a picture of one of my cakes (I was rather fond of this one).

I got started with cake decorating because of the book "The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating." It's an excellent book-- and to anyone who is interested in getting into cake decorating, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat. It is the marvelousness! Basically, I picked it up and thought, "Wow, this looks like something I'd like to do. It looks like something I COULD do. You know what? I'm going to just do it!" And here I am today. Making wedding cakes from April-October.

So, that's me. A cake decorator with a dream of becoming a chef. However, since I'm still young, I'm not going to think about that too much just yet. I can't afford chef school right now, and I've got some other things that I'd like to do before I go off to school, so... for the time being, I'll just have to content myself with teaching myself. And then blogging about it.

That's what this blog is all about. Books that I'm reading to teach myself various kitchen-ish things, and other things that I'm making just because I like to make them. I might also get into making some tutorials on different foodstuffs, and I think I'll probably stick some good restaurant reviews in here every so often as well.

But at the moment... I'm off to bed. Probably to dream about cheesecake.


A Little Idea

Hello world!

I think I'd like to begin this blog by asking you a pretty simple question: What do YOU think of food?

I'll bet that most people think pretty well of it. It's wonderful stuff. Not only is it the fuel of life for our bodies, food is a way that people connect with one another. I once read a quote that said, "Laughter is brightest where food is best"-- and I believe it! There are billions of people in this world, all with different interests, tastes, personalities and pleasures... but the one thing that we all have in common, no matter what our differences may be, is food.

This blog is about just that. It's also about people and the pleasure that they get from that delicious wonderfulness. I have decided to keep this blog for a number of reasons, one of which is for my own education and enjoyment (I'll share more on this topic in my next post). I intend to use this blog to share my discoveries, as I go about learning more about food from different cultures and lands. I also intend to share some of those moments in my home where the laughter is bright because the food is best-- like at Christmas time, when each one of the 12 kids in my family gets to decorate his or her very own gingerbread house.

Also, I very much hope that I will be able to keep this blog updated regularly with pictures, pictures, and more pictures-- because I am a firm believer in the power of pictures. They are awesome. Some day, I aim to buy a really amazing camera with which to take those amazing pictures, but for now, my cheap digital shots and pictures borrowed photos from my amazing photographer sister's website will have to suffice. Oh, and Google's image search. Some of those pictures, too. :)

So, this is my little idea. To write about little bits and pieces of life that have to do with food. :) Is this a good thing, do you think?

Here's a random picture from the afore mentioned incredible photographer for you-- I just couldn't bear to put up my first post without any pictures. So be grateful for this one. It's way more amazing than this blog will probably ever be. ;)

Goodbye for now!