Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Raven's Nest & The Alma Mater

As promised, here is a sneak preview. Alas, the night lighting in this apartment fails, but this gives the general idea. p.s. The caramel in those chocolate cupcakes is to die for. Also, the chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream on top of chocolate chip cookie cupcake filled with faux chocolate chip cookie dough. Yum.

Homecoming Preview!

So, I have been creating, shopping, and baking for hours this week in anticipation of Homecoming. aDORIble Catering will be selling Handcrafted Gourmet Novelty Pastries (in other words, CUPCAKES!) at the Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project table this Saturday. I am piloting a bunch of new recipes and flavors and so far everything is turning out REALLY delicious. Here is a description of the treats we will have for sale-specially designed and created to show some Anderson University flavor! p.s. Check back later today and tomorrow for a few pictures of some of the completed creations!

The Raven’s Nest

Enthroned in buttercream, the AU mascot makes a sweet appearance atop a gooey pocket of chocolate chip cookie dough nested inside a tender brown sugar cake.

The Presidential Sweet

Enjoy this charming pastry inspired by President Edwards: Grand red velvet cake brimming with congenial cream cheese filling.

The Edible Flame

The warm hues of orange cake meld with citrus cream cheese filling and rich chocolate ganache that will leave your taste-buds burning for more!

The Alma Mater

This confectionary “friend of all that’s good and upright” boasts chocolatey cookie pieces, delectable vanilla cake, and airy whipped topping within its borders. One bite will have you singing “Hail to thee all hail” with renewed gusto!

The Non-Creedal Creed

Moist chocolate cake filled with chocolate bits, infused with caramel, and topped with a rich dark chocolate frosting. Because we don’t believe that a cupcake should be boring!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Miniature Cookie Cakes

I received some cute silicone bakeware two semesters ago and have recently been brainstorming how to actually use it. When I found out I would be babysitting at my apartment this evening, I decided to make cookies for us to decorate together. Chocolate chip cookies are the best thing ever. So, I put these three things together and decided to make shaped chocolate chip cookies.The cookie dough (here's a tip for chocolate chip cookies-add a teaspoon or two of cornstarch to the dough to give them that perfect chewy texture!) could just be applied straight to the pans. I placed them on a cookie sheet in the oven, baked for 10-12 minutes, and they came out beautifully with no mess.

I decided to make double layer cookie cakes for my Resident Assistant (RA) this semester and for my roommate who had a birthday this summer. I frosted one cookie and placed the other on top, just like a double layer cake. After frosting the outside, I used my VERY elementary piping skills to decorate. I really love how this one came out!Here's Morgan's double-layer-star-shaped-chocolate-chip-cookie-cake with tie-dye frosting hanging out in the fridge waiting for her to move in tomorrow.I frosted some cookies to give to my Resident Director (along with a bird card, of course!)And here's the rabbit cookies we decorated this evening!Ada had fun putting sprinkles on the cookies. . .And eating the sprinkles!!P.S. Just for information, I don't believe you actually have to have a Blogger account to comment on blogs. Not that I'm hinting or anything!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh the Summertime!

For the second summer in a row I've worked on campus here at Anderson University as a Resident Conference Assistant (RCA). It's a pretty cool job that involves a lot of responsibility, flexibility, and strange hours. I just finished that up this Monday (!) and have been setting up the apartment I will be sharing with a few friends this next semester. I really love the decor aspect of having my own space. I ended up spending most of today hanging pictures and art prints and using far too much Modge Podge. I wanted to share a few of my projects from this summer. I was pretty busy, so I didn't do as much as I might have liked; I am pretty excited about what I did get done!

As always, I'll start off with an edible project. Here is a penguin "cake" I put together for one my co-workers this summer.The design was adapted from the always-wonderful book "Hello, Cupcake." My co-worker, Chloe, jokes about starting her own reality TV show called "Penguin Talk with Chloe" where she narrates the activities of live penguins. Hope she hires me for catering for the premiere party! Just chillin' next to the mineral water.

Here is a card (really a small canvas-our staff signed the back of it) I painted for one of my supervisors this summer. (Modge-podged over the paint of course:D) The quote is by Emerson and it says "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Next up is my version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." It's made from river shells, sea stones, and a sea star. This was a long time in the making-I started it in January, set it aside and didn't finish is until this summer!

Speaking of projects that are a long time coming, I finally completed my t-shirt quilt which I started, well, two years ago. It's pictured here with my dinosaur sheets. I backed it with a fleece blanket.

Here are a few elements of my apartment decor. For these makeshift display shelves, I thumbtacked lace to the wall to hold up hardcover books. The wood art is from Bolivia.And behold: My newest creation! I found an old boring lamp left in my room and I decided to decoupage it with Impressionist paintings. I often look for books of art prints at used book stores in order to make cards and other projects and this one definitely got put to good use! Decoupaging is reason number 437 for why Modge Podge is the Best Thing Ever.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Two Big Projects!

I return to my sporadic blogging after a week filled with baking, 13 containers of frosting, and a few heart shaped ice cubes for good measure.
This past weekend my older brother graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with majors in Elementary Education and Intercultural Studies. I traveled to Marion to be there for the big day and to help his wife Naomi with his open house part on Sunday. In a fit of uncharacteristic altruism toward my brother, I had offered to make his cake for the event. Sitting in my Global Literature Class I sketched out designs and settled on one that reflected his Elementary Education major (of course I did all this while still learning about Russian Czars. Multi-tasking is a wonderful thing!) I sold a few DVDs online to raise the funds and embarked on a nine hour baking expedition on Saturday in Naomi's kitchen. I was fairly pleased with the results. It is made of four sheet cakes, two chocolate and two white, and filled with chocolate. Although my many hours of watching cooking shows on the Food Network and TLC helped out some, there were still several quirks about my cake that made it decidedly homemade:D But not bad for my first 100-person cake attempt. The sides are bordered with sugar cookie ABCs and simple shapes. Here I am at the party with my cake! I think Daniel liked it although he informed me that "his students WILL NOT be writing their letters backwards." Mazeltov.After the party I headed home to finish up an 80 cupcake display for Anderson University's theatre department's awards ceremony. I baked and froze half the cupcakes earlier in the week, but the remaining baking, filling, and frosting still took a good 7 hours. When the display was set up at Byrum, I was very happy with it. For once something came out pretty much the way it looked in my head. Unfortunately the lighting in the theatre is heinous so the picture does not do it justice, but here's an idea. And miraculously there were no leftovers! Flavors included triple chocolate caramel, creme-filled chocolate, carrot spice with cream cheese filling, and my personal favorite: chocolate chip cookie dough filled. Delicious!
I wanted to share the recipe for the punch I made for the event. It was very simple but super yummy. I even made some pineapple pulp heart shaped ice cubes to add my own special signature:D4 packets of unsweetened strawberry Koolaid
3 cups sugar
2 (46 fluid oz.) cans of pineapple juice
2 liters ginger ale
4 quarts water (yes, that is one gallon for those of you like me who didn't do so well in elementary math. . .)
Mix the Koolaid, sugar, water and pineapple juice together. Add ginger ale and you're all set! I made the ice cubes by freezing pineapple juice with a little bit of crushed pineapple added.
That's it for now-I'm off to get started making treats for the History Department reception. Cheers.
p.s. I added a section to my blog that includes a price list and a partial list of available flavor options from aDorible Catering.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine's Luncheon

Two Sundays ago my friend Morgan and I held a Valentine's Day luncheon for some of the actors we've been working with in our directing class. I spent most of Saturday baking and cleaning the house. I made a heart layer cake, a couple pans of cinnamon rolls, and an egg and cheese bake. Morgan rounded out the event with some hash browns. There were a few kinks in our plans. For one thing, the roll dough did a terrible job rising. (I suspect that old yeast may be the culprit!) Our hash browns turned black when they cooked (!) Apparently, potatoes oxidize if they're not submerged in cold water. You learn something new. . . They still tasted fine though :DHere is the cake!It's filled with chocolate mousse and strawberries which kept the cake really nice and moist. Thanks to my sister-in-law Naomi and culinary accidents for giving me this lovely frosting recipe that doubles as chocolate mousse and cake filling! The original recipe calls for an 8oz container of whipped topping, 1/4 cup cocoa, and 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar. Naomi accidentally put in a half cup of the cocoa and the sugar. The result was a decadently rich dark chocolate confection. I put it to good use this weekend! Here is my friend Priscilla later in the day eating chocolate mousse made from this very recipe (notice the adorable heart shaped tin!) Oh-I also spent Saturday making these chocolate favors for our guests. They were very simple to make and I was pleased with how well they turned out. I took a heart cookie cutter, greased the inside, and placed it on a plate covered with wax paper. I melted about 1/8 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave and emptied them into the cookie cutter. I covered the top of the chocolate with sprinkles. After letting the candies harden in the freezer for several minutes, I removed them and melted some white mint melting wafers in a Ziploc bag. From a small hole cut in the corner, I piped the names of our guests on the side of the chocolate not covered in sprinkles. They looked lovely and tasted good too!