Friday, July 1, 2011

A whole lotta change

I know a lot has happened in the almost 2 years since I last blogged regularly. So much so, I almost couldn't quite remember how to work this thing. Here's a quick catching up on my life, and what I expect to be blogging about. I left my ex and now live with my best friend(You've seen pics of us together here.) and her family which includes a 2 year who truly has my heart. You last saw him here, but he's grown up soooooooooooo much. I've gotten back into knitting and thrifting and have found a new hobby in beading. I chopped my hair off uber short and went blond, got a couple of tatoos, and some new piercings which are not in the picture above. This was my 1st tatoo and still my fave designed by an artist friend of mine. I'm now the first straight president of Fredericksburg Pride which takes a ton of my time, but is a great cause. I recently got totally hooked on Pinterest thanks to my friend Shell. I hope to get back to talking with y'all about crafting, cooking, organizing which is a must with my penchant for collections, and of course, shoes(I know some things never change.) In fact, I am psyched that during a recent trip to Target I happened upon a 75% off sale on almost all of their summer shoes. I was proud that I contained myself and only walked away with 2 new pairs. More on those later, I promise. I've decided I want to try my hands at some new craft techniques and take you along for the journey including embroidery(I grew up cross stitching, and though my mom did embroidery, I never tried it.) and working with clay.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ringing in the new year

I know that I have pretty much been gone since September with Pride Week. I must admit that was never my intention. However, I had no idea how much I was taking on when I got involved with Pride. I am so glad I did as I have made some really amazing friends as a result of my involvement. And, sadly instead of constructively using my time blogging online when I do have free time, I find that have become sucked into the worlds of Farmville and Cafe' World on Facebook. With the new year all too quickly approaching, I am in the resolution mode. I have decided one of my resolutions will be to get back to blogging. I would begin right now, bu as I am away petsitting, I have no access to my own computer with my photos etc. I look forward to reconnecting with many of my bloggy friends.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Miss Fredericksburg Pride Pagaent 09

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today only: Free Panera Samples

At participating bakery cafes, Panera is offering free samples of their new fall products like their new napa chicken salad sandwhich or bbq chicken salad both pictured above. And, right now with purchase of half dozen bagels or a loaf of bread, they will make a donation to a local charity. Yummy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pride Week aka Good Stressful Days

I have a feeling I will get little posted this week, but I do have a ton to share. So far, I have over 600 pictures. I am stressed over things left to do like hmmmm my Alice costume. I am congested and tired but having a wonderful time. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend and great week. And, yep that's me with the camera taking pics of the fab queen Betty while I am wearing way too much stage makeup.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Freezing Cakes

Sponge Bob Squarepants Home Cake by Funky Bundt Lovin owned and operated by my dear friend John Lee.

For next week's boat ride, John Lee has taken on the task of creating Mad Tea Party themed cake. Actually, he is planning on doing a couple of shaped cakes since the boat holds up to 120 people. I think he will need approxiamately 12 cakes. Unfortunately, we have so many things to do in the days leading up to the boat ride that it would impossible for him to bake all those cakes the day before. So, he asked me for ideas of how to bake them ahead and store them so that all he will be left with is putting them together and decorating them the day before and day of the boat ride.
I immediately suggested freezing the cakes allowing us to begin them as early as this weekend. He was nervous about this as he had bad luck with freezing cake in the past. When I was in college, I worked in the bakery department of a grocery store. We always froze our cakes. The waiting for a cake to cool and set so that you can ice the cake is often the lengthiest time of the baking process. Freezing the cake ensures a cool enough cake every time. If you think that is the reason bakery cakes tend to be dry, you are wrong. They do not use enough fat. A moist cake requires a lot of fat generally in the form of butter, mayo, or oil though applesauce and other lowfat options can work well. Lowfat cakes using applesauce or other fruits will not freeze as well. The higher the fat, the beter the cake will freeze. If you are concerned about your cake being dry, add extra fat it probably needs it anyway. (hehe) I will freeze just about anything I can. My freezer currently has an odd mix of items in it including 2 blueberry loaves, biscuits, flour, cornmeal, and soups as well as your usual packaged frozen fare like tater tots.
I also recommend freezing cakes undecorated as not all icing freezes as well not will it be as fluffy as I prefer when it comes back to life.
Here's my process for freezing cakes and other baked goods like the blueberry loaves.

  1. Allow the cake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Placing a warm baked good in the freezer will cause the temperature to raise and possibly compromise your other frozen goods.
  2. Prewrap your cake with plastic wrap to seal in moisture and out air.
  3. Wrap in another wrapping or container which is airtight to prevent odor from leaching in cause this will definitely ruin your cake. I recommend either aluminum foil then a plastic freezer bag or a plastic container such as a cake carrier.
  4. If you use a plastic container, you can avoid this step. I recommend placing the cake on top of a solid sheet like a piece of cardboard. My freezer has wire racks and the last thing you want is to discover wire lines on your cake when you go to decorate it. The plastic container will prevent the need for this and also prevent any damage that might happen if someone knocks into the cake while in the freezer especially in the first few hours before the cake is frozen solid. However, I know this is not always a possibilty like with the numerous cakes my friend will have to freeze.
  5. Do not freeze your cake for more than 2 months as it will definitely begin to dry out at that point.
  6. When you go to thaw out the cake, simply place at room temperature on a solid surface until thawed. The time to thaw will vary based on the size of the cake from 2-5 hours. Do not try to force the cake to defrost faster by microwaving or reheating the cake. This will ruin your cake.
  7. After the cake is thawed, decorate as desired.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spacing issues

I apologize in advance for the spacing issues that I had with the Anna Sui preview posts. I am having difficulties in blogger and am hoping some of my bloggy friends might be able to give me some advice. Every time that blogger saves my posts including auto saves it adds another line between my pics, paragraphs, etc. Since I was having problems making any changes to the Anna Sui posts since they were apparently too big, I kind of gave up. Anyone know how to stop this other than just manually removing these extra lines? Thanks in advance for any advice.