love bake create

Time for some New Adventures! August 18, 2014

Filed under: Family — lovebakecreate @ 9:27 PM
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So obviously I’ve been out of this blog writing and baking loop for a while. Like over a year kind of while. Oops!

Quick update on our little lives. I gained a new “job” last August as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant (I know! Never would have thought it either!). I was super excited when I first signed up and my dear sweet Eric dampened it by announcing that we were moving in October … Back to Winnipeg.

still figuring out this blogging thing :-/

At that point I (very sadly) had to give up my job at the museum. Gah, still gets me. I freakin’ loved that job! But Mary Kay came with me to Winnipeg as did Eric, Ella and apparently the little fetus growing inside me. Yup, we’ve added to the family.

Meet Ash 🙂

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Hmm. I think we can do better …

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There we go!

Ella’s still her unique little self…

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Oh, and I’ve decided to take a course! Nothing crazy like an actual school course but a decorating course! Not playing with icing was making me sad so I signed up for a Wilton decorating course and finished my first class today. Check me out!

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It’s a two week condensed course so perfect for my attention span! I also cannot believe how EASY some of the techniques were! I have lots of icing and cupcakes left (as long as they’re not eaten) so I’m going to be practicing during the week. Got to hone my skills for the cake we’re decorating next week … No pressure!

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Home Sweet Home March 19, 2013

Filed under: Cookies — lovebakecreate @ 10:47 PM
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It’s taken WAY longer than I ever expected, but we’re (mostly) settled in. There are still a number of items in boxes (more than I’m willing to admit) and one room has been deemed the random crap storage room but that will eventually morph into the spare room/office. I’m just happy that Eric and I have a bed, even if Ella is taking up most of it. Speaking of which, we have ourselves one awesome traveller.

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No major freak-outs in the car and we managed to do laundry at one of the hotels, so little Peanut here stayed in her cloth diapers the whole trip. That’s right, Mother of the Year, that’s me.

I think for me, I finally felt somewhat at home when we woke up to this view in Canmore.

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It was amazing to see mountains again and so peaceful since I was one of the only few people out early on that Sunday morning (searching for food). Seems I was in such a trance that I managed to leave our night light in the hotel room. The following evening I think travelling finally got to me because I had one serious meltdown over that night light, tears and all. In my defence, it was the perfect night light.

So now I’m back at work, Eric is adventuring into the world of being a stay a home dad (and rocking at it!) with only minor issues, like realizing how much attention our little Peanut demands. I’d like to say I’m getting the 1950s treatment, coming home to a roast in the oven and a drink in my hand as I walk through the door. It’s more along the lines of barely getting my shoes off before a thirsty child is shoved to my chest and I’m told dinner might happen by 8pm, what did I want to make? Pizza has definitely been the cop-out more than once in the last couple of weeks.

Have I been overwhelmed? Absolutely! Broken down? A couple times. Baked? It’s what keeps me sane.

Mostly scones and quick cookies when they could be fit in. Oh, and everything has disappeared in record time. I didn’t get pictures, but these might be the easiest cookies I’ve ever baked. Tastiest too.

Super Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 and 1/8 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

almost 1 cup chocolate chips

This ones great, because it doesn’t require a mixing bowl. Mix the butter and both sugars until they’re creamed (I used what I had on hand … a potato masher). Then mix in the egg and vanilla. Switch to a spoon (again, I used what I had on hand … soup spoon) and mix in the flour and baking soda until it’s just mixed in. Finally, add the chips and mix those in. Spoon the mixture onto a cookie sheet (good thing I had that soup spoon on hand) and bake for ten minutes at 375°F. Oh, and they do spread out while baking, so if you drop them too close together, you end up with conjoined cookies. Still tasty, but now you might have to break out a knife.

Other than lazy baking, I’ve had some ideas rolling around in my head. I’ve been having conversations in my head about where I want to take this blog and what I want to get out of it. I love baking (surprise) but I have so many other passions that I feel I’ve been ignoring, or at least not giving much credit to. So spurred by a late night discussion with Eric and the name of this blog, I’ve decided the following;

Love: My family and friends are my life (such a mom thing to say) and without both sides of that coin, I wouldn’t feel as wealthy as I do. My daily life is going to be making more of an appearance, if only to document it through pictures so that I can look back and smile.

Bake: It’s my outlet for stress, my way of connecting with others and a way of reminding myself that when all hell is breaking loose and nothing is going my way, the  laws of chemistry still apply so my scones will turn out. Unless I forget to check the expiry date on the baking powder. Always check the expiry date.

Create: Always. I’m creating a life all the time so there’s no sense in waiting for the perfect moment when I’ll have enough time, money, energy or whatever other resource I think I’m lacking. We all have exactly enough time to do the things we deem important, no more, no less. There’s never enough money anyway, so why worry ourselves? And energy? As long as I’m putting passion into what I’m doing, the energy will come, it always does.

Speaking of energy, I need to put some of it into calming the grumpy child in Eric’s arms and getting her to look more like this.

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Enjoy!

 

Second Time Lucky February 21, 2013

Filed under: Holiday Cakes — lovebakecreate @ 6:41 AM
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I’m not one to be defeated. So after the gong-show of an attempt at double baking a cake I did some poking around the internet to see if there were any other techniques I could use and maybe make it a slightly less painful process. The result was a success!

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We have a cake!! There’s surprise hearts inside! Yay!

Now, before getting to this point of delicious cake, there were several hiccups and A LOT of work.

Let me explain…

Since there were going to be cookies inside, I had to… bake cookies. Heart shaped pink ones since it’s still February. It took quite a few to fill the pan.

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Sorry about the random blob of cake mix; I forgot to take a picture of just the cookies

105 to be exact. Not that it was an issue, because my paranoid self made 185 cookies. Take that Christmas!

So the cookies were baked and lined up the night before using a simple sugar cookie recipe.

The next morning I snuck out of bed early (abandoning Eric and Ella) so I could mix up a batch of Red Velvet cake. I know, it should be red, but I thought the pink hearts would look better against a brown cake.

It did come out a little thicker than I expected, so after plopping the mix into the pan, I used the back of a spoon to poke the batter, getting it between the cookies. Totally unnecessary. After it heats up in the oven, the mix becomes quite liquidy and fills the spaces all on its own.

February 17, 2013 011Even with a gigantic 13″ springform, I had batter left over, so I went to town making six extra cupcakes and a smaller heart shaped cake. Why not?

Now, I’m just about convinced my mom’s oven is possessed has hot spots because it took FOREVER to bake this monstrosity. The recipe called for an hour to 90 minutes at 325°F. Since it has a tendancy to be too hot, I lowered it to 300°F as usual and happily set the timer. I also left the extra cakes out, being slightly smart, knowing they would bake faster than the giant cake.

After an hour, I grabbed a skewer, opened the oven door and poked.

Raw.

The middle was freakin’ raw! Not ‘little bits of cake were on the skewer’ but like ‘gooey batter sticking to the skewer’ kinda raw.

Deep breath.

Turn up the temperature to 325°F, re-set the timer for another 30 minutes, and quietly give the oven the finger as you walk away. Maybe it was that last step?

I ended up doing this three more times with the temperature ending up at 350°F and that cake sitting in the oven for just over two hours! At least I was able to bake the other cakes in the meantime.

Once cooled, I could decorate! The plan had been to cover the whole cake in swirly roses but I didn’t have nearly as much icing sugar as I needed and I didn’t want the cake to be overly sweet, so I settled on covering just the top. Sadly, my MacGyver-ed equipment wasn’t up to the task.

February 17, 2013 014Since I left all my piping and decorating equipment in BC, I had to use what my mom had. Yes, that is a plastic bag. Sturdy one, though. She did have a few piping tips but no couplers. Seeing as I didn’t want the tip to come rocketing out of the bag mid-squeeze, I secured it with tape. Cow print scotch tape, to be exact.

Starting with the top of the cake, I layed on the roses and made my way around the edge. I love this technique because it’s relatively easy but still looks pretty.

I had enough stiffer buttercream icing to make one circle. The rest was supposed to be done with the slightly softer whipped cream but when I went to pipe it on…

February 17, 2013 015It came out looking like a pink and white turd.

Plan B; smooth the whipped cream over the top and sides, and be done with it.

As for the cupcakes and heart cake, I piped on some turd-like mounds and put cookies on them.

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February 17, 2013 018I think this is it for our Valentine’s baking this year.

I’m also super excited to be heading back to BC tomorrow and having my own kitchen again!

The promise of warmer weather, cross country trips and seeing friends again, whoo!

Enjoy!

 

family February 15, 2013

Filed under: Family — lovebakecreate @ 6:12 AM
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