Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I've been meaning to try Bakerella's recipe for Cupcake Bites for a long time and this weekend my son and I finally got some made. I had some plain leftover red velvet cupcakes and some cream cheese frosting and this was the perfect way to use them up. My son had fun helping. This is a really "kid friendly recipe." He crumbled the cupcakes, mixed in the frosting, made the balls, squirted the melted chocolate in the candy molds and placed the cake/frosting balls on top of the chocolate. He could have done the spinkles too but he had all ready gone off to do something else by the time we got to that step.
They are delicious!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I have some bowls. I like them. I piled them up and took a picture. I made some cupcakes. They turned out ok.
Well, it's summer and it's hot, and I just can't seem to think right now (let alone write) but for the sake of all my adoring fans I'll try. : ) ( yes, I'm being sarcastic)
As far as the business planning goes, I'm in "wait and see what happens" mode for right now. The kitchen space I was interested in is not yet available and as discussed in my last post the response to my things at Art in the Park was mixed. I think everyone liked both the taste and appearance of my cookies and cupcakes, but I'm not sure they're willing to pay what I have to charge. On top of that, our Starbucks is closing (yes, we only have one, unless you count the one in Target). I've always said that people would pay more for my cookies and cupcakes (verses the Walmart bakery) for the same reason they would buy coffee at Starbucks instead of McDonalds. –They're just fancier/better. And I've reasoned that if my town could support a Starbucks then it could probably support a business like mine. Well, now I'm not sure what to think! I know budgets are pretty tight these days. Anyway, I'm not giving up, just cooling my jets a bit. I'm still trying to make some connections in the community and get the word out about what I do.
Ages ago I asked some very nice bakers if they would be willing to let me interview them. That was so long ago that I'm sure by now they've given up on me. In an earlier post, I said that I would try to get those interviews done this month. YIKES! This month is almost over. Here's my dilema… If I just e-mail some questions to these ladies and they e-mail me back with their answers… well…there's no back and forth…it might seem kinda cheesy and boring. I want this to be more conversational. So…I've drug my feet, trying to come up with the best format for this (it's harder than I thought!). Maybe, I should try calling them on Skype, record the call, turn it into a podcast and post it somewhere. Huh…I'm not a journalist, I don't really know how to conduct an interview and I know even less about podcasting, plus I really don't have the time or money required. But… it might be fun! Having a podcast that gives me an excuse to call up bakery owners and cupcake bloggers and just chat sounds great. Plus, I haven't been able to find any podcasts like this on iTunes or anywhere so I might be able to fill my own little niche. Hmmmm… me and my big ideas. Anybody know anything about podcasting? What do you think?
I haven't promoted my etsy shop for a while, so I thought I would show you some of the "cool" things I have listed now. I keep adding new things and I'm working on some new cupcake toppers so stop by from time to time to see what I've got.
I function best when things are structured and organized. (Although, I am getting better at flying by the seat of my pants!) Anyway, I think I can improve the content of this blog by adding a bit of structure and planning. By September, this is the structure I hope to follow each month (altough I may change the order):
Week 1 – I'll share a cookie or cupcake recipe, probably from one of my vintage cookbooks, along with ideas about decorating and presentation.
Week 2 – the interviews or podcasts or whatever I decide to do
Week 3 – I'd like to start a feature called "Baking with My Boy" . I'll drag my son into the kitchen and we'll bake/make something together and share it with you. You know… fun, simple stuff.
Week 4 – Kinda random. I might talk about my business planning or my etsy shop or some fun products I've found. Whatever…
I didn't think I had much to say and look how much I've rambled on! I have to say, it feels good to get all those things that have been piling up in my brain all typed out. I just hope it doesn't sound completely senseless!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Damaris from Within the Corners of My Kitchen shared her favorite sugar cookie recipe. They look delicious! And, Jennifer Conway celebrated by showing us her vintage cookie cutters and buying some cookies from a local bakery.
Caitlin of Carmel Turtle asked if I made any cookies for Sugar Cookie Day…
Yes! I did! Actually, I made about 9 dozen cookies for "Art in the Park". Here's some photos of my cookies…
"Art in the Park" was my big community debut. Honestly, I'm not yet sure what to think about how it went. First of all, without really thinking, I bought the cheapest canopy that they had at Wal-mart and (of course) it was a piece of junk. My booth looked and felt like one of those forts you rig up with blankets and stuff when you're a kid. Tall people had to duck to get in. Then, having set up much earlier than the boothes around me, I guess I got the schematics wrong because the Indian Taco stand set up in front of me at the last minute so I ended up being kind of blocked off and hidden. Also, keeping the food out of the sun and keeping the wind from blowing everything over was an issue (which I expected).
Enough whining…it wasn't all bad.
I offered a variety of cupcake flavors and frosting flavors. Customers ordered their choice of flavors and I swirled the frosting on with a pastry bag right there in my booth (I kept the bags of frosting on ice). Then I let them choose what color of sprinkles they wanted and let them pick out a sugarpaste shape for the top. I had a big chalk board with all the flavors and instructions on it but I'm not sure everyone understood what I was doing. Those who did "get it" seemed to really enjoy having a cupcake custom made for them while they watched, especially kids. I heard one super sweet little girl tell her mom she loved me! That totally made my day.
The cookies I brought did not sell well at all. Lots of people looked at them but very few bought them. I had them individually priced at $3 - $3.25 ea. and the boxes (shown above) had 5 cookies in them for $7.00 with one "fancy" cookie on top and 4 more simple cookies underneath. I overheard one person say they were too expensive. My guess is that that person has never made decorated cookies before. Given the price of ingredients and the time involved in making my really fancy cookies I've got them priced as low as I possibly can.
I guess, when it was all said and done, I covered my costs and handed out lots of business cards so we'll see what happens next.
Michelle of Faerie Dust Dreams must have somehow known I needed a little confidence boost. She gave my blog some awards!
In accepting this award,
I agree to:
1. Display logo and link to who gave it.
2. Nominate at least 7 blogs.
3. Add links to those 7 blogs.
4. Leave the nominees a message that they received the award.
So, I'll link to my nominees in my next post. Right now it's time to get my boy to bed.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
The big day is here! Happy Sugar Cookie Day!!! Thanks everyone for participating! You are all so talented!
These are some of the submissions (clockwise, starting with the top left corner):
The elegant Paisley Cookies are from distopiandreamgirl whose website is Mirabelle.
Lilley shared the yummy looking polymer clay cookie charms.
The pretty pink dress is from Obsessed with Cupcakes. I highly recommend checking out their website. They have some great content!
Since my husband is a Raiders fan, these Raider's jersey cookies from Glorious Treats caught my eye.
Janice, one of the nicest people I've met on flickr, posted the yummy looking sugar cookies with the red sugar. Her blog is called "Pug Yoga". How can you resist checking out a blog with a name like that?
Mollie of Wild Olive made the star cookies for the Fourth of July and Be Cheery shared the Scotty and heart cookies.
Those ADORABLE cupcake cookies (with the blue bottoms) are from my extremely talented friend Heather of Merry Moon Sweets and Treats. I love reading Heather's blog. She is attending culinary arts school and shares all of the things she's learning, plus she makes totally wonderful needle felted desserts (available in her etsy shop). She posted her favorite sugar cookie recipe on her blog. I can't wait to try it!
The leaf cookie is from Bree. Here's her etsy store.
Kim and I have decided we must be long lost sisters as we have so many things in common. She made the other super adorable cupcake cookies (with the pink bottom). Crumbs is the name of her delicious blog.
Mercedes shared her collection of cookie jars from her cookie jar shop in Chicago, Jazze Junque, Inc. Looks like a fun place to visit!
I want to thank Allison of "The Lark" for writing a very nice post about this "event". I'm so flattered. Her blog is very fun and her shop "Lark" is so sweet!
Finally, the Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls are from my friend Teena of Kitschen Pink, a talented baker and also a very talented textile artist! Looking at her work just makes me smile. It's so "happy".
Thanks again for taking part in this. If you still want to share your sugar cookie photos or recipes, please do! I'll keep posting photos and links until the end of this month.