Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's how I roll...

Let me start by saying that this post is going to be a little scattered, but it's been a busy couple of weeks and I have a lot to share ;)

Where to start....well...the inspiration would probably be as good a jumping off point as goes...

A couple of weeks ago I was reading the Simply Iowa blog created by my good friend Barb, something she wrote struck such a chord with me I've been thinking about it ever since. She included a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that I hadn't heard before...."Do one thing every day that scares you."

It really got me thinking about all of the things I just don't do because I doubt my ability. The age-old fear of know (it's not just me right!?!?) Well, anyways, I decided that I was going to make a point to check a few things off my To-Try list that had been haunting me for awhile.

Of course, being the sugar-fiend that I am, one of the first things that came to mind was making a Pumpkin Roll. This dessert has been taunting me for seriously years. I love eating them but never had the nerve to try making one myself. Just the idea of rolling up a cake made my tummy do a flip-flop. So what better excuse than a Thanksgiving at home to prepare one right?

I was so proud of myself when that first roll was finished....I had to make two more! One with crushed pecans, and the other one...well it was a Banana Cake filled with Cinnamon Buttercream was good. Why did these things intimidate me so much? I don't know, but I'm so glad I took this task on because now the ideas are really swirling....just think of all the cake-filling combinations!!!!

I actually tackled a few scary tasks on Thanksgiving Day. This was the first Thanksgiving that I prepared the entire meal. I've never made a Turkey because...well... it's just not my Mom or Grandma or whoever was in charge of the bird and we brought a side dish. We were staying home this year to dedicate the 4-day weekend to a Potty Training Bootcamp for my son (I don't think I need to even mention how scary that task is!) Well, since we didn't have a big crowd, and we're not huge turkey-people (gasp!) I opted for the less intimidating option of preparing some Cornish Hens....or Starter Turkeys as I prefer to call them. They turned out great, and it was really fun for each person to have their own, my 2 year old was very impressed.

The meal turned out delicious...we had Pumpkin Roll for dessert....and I kind of felt like I had a Blue Ribbon Day.

The final scary thing I went after this weekend was a little sewing project. Let me just say that I am not, by any means, skilled in the art of sewing. I own a sewing machine that rarely sees the light of day. But for some reason I got it in my head a few weeks ago that I wanted to try to make handmade ornaments for Christmas gifts this year....out of I figured this would be a relatively simple, starter-type sewing project for someone with absolutely no technical knowledge, but with a sincere wish to make something cute. So far I've made one little mitten ornament. I was encouraged by the fact that it does, in fact, look somewhat like a mitten....and as a starting point I don't think I did half bad.

I must admit, this weekend left me feeling fairly exhausted...the Potty Training alone, ugh...let me tell you! All-in-all I feel like I really accomplished a lot and plan on trying to make a point to do "scary" things more often....cause you know....that's just how I roll these days ;)

How about you? Tried anything you've been wanting to for a long time....or have anything on your list? I'd love to hear ;)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving Thanks...

It isn't hard for me to come up with many, many things to be thankful for if I'm sitting back and taking stock. With two small children in the house, most days I'm thankful to make it through with my sense of humor and good faith in tact.

One of the things that I'm most thankful for is the time I get to spend in the kitchen baking with my Grandma Deanna.

My Grandma taught me how to make Kringla Cookies when I was old enough to help roll the dough. I remember making those cookies and feeling like I was helping create something really special. I was right....the memories we created in the kitchen are some of my favorite childhood moments....and that is where my love of baking and giving goodies as gifts started. Every year at Thanksgiving my Grandma would make a "double-double" batch of Kringla dough and we would spend all day baking. After the cookies were finished and divided we would share them with friends and family.

In honor of this tradition, and as a THANK-YOU to all my customers and followers I'm offering a special this month on Kringla Cookies!

For those of you who have never experienced a Kringla,
they are a Norwegian Pastry. They are simple, sweet, and impossible to resist!
I use my Great Grandma Viv’s recipe as taught to me by Grandma Deanna herself!

Sweet Cheeks November KRINGLA Special!
1 Doz Kringla Cookies for $15
1/2 Doz Kringla Cookies for $8
I’ll be taking preorders for Kringla Cookies until November 19th!
The cookies will be ready for pick-up by November 24th….just in time for Thanksgiving!

I also wanted to share a few images of the BEYOND adorable Milk and Cookies themed Birthday Party I got to create for last weekend. I already posted pictures of the Cookie Monster Cake Pops, but I can't help but share these additional images.

The party pictures are amazing...they really thought of every detail and I'm just excited that I got to be a small part of the festivities!

 All party images courtesy of Kenzi Photography.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's what's inside that counts!

This was one of my busiest baking-treat making weeks to-date! On the roster this week: 20 dozen Cake pops with a couple dozen Cupcakes on the side. Every night this week, after the kiddos were in bed, I was up in the kitchen...baking...mixing....rolling...dipping....decorating....wrapping.

Same drill, every night, all the way up through this afternoon.

There were a couple of nights when I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it off. I had a real, genuine sense of accomplishment when the last order of the week went out the door this afternoon.

So, besides the fact that I sent a bunch of super cute (if I do say so myself) Cake Pops out the door...what I was really excited about was what was on the inside of some of those pops!

The biggest order I was working on this week was an assortment of birthday party treats for two very special little boys. Grady & Jude are having a big 1st Birthday bash this weekend, the party theme: Milk & Cookies! Too cute right?!?!? I was asked to come up with some special treats for the party...Cake Pops for sure, but something different....ya go with the theme and all. Well I instantly thought my Cookie Monster Cake Pops would be a big smash....but what flavor would be best?

Here's where it gets exciting....I created Cake Pops that taste like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!

I'll give you a minute to wipe the drool off of your chin.These seriously taste just like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough....which, I don't know about the rest of you....happens to be one of my favorite things in the world! What's better is they taste like Cookie Dough...but they're fully cooked and safe to eat!

I love it when people come to me with an order and ask me to come up with something new and different. It's truly rewarding to be faced with a fun challenge and feel like you exceeded even your own expectations!

Here's to a great week everyone!