Tuesday, November 23, 2010

celebrate the hunt

We are on the heals of what is known as America's biggest "Feast Day", but more importantly, in South Louisiana, "Kill Week". Men of all ages look forward to this last week in November, not for the all you can eat buffet right in your very own home...but for the hunt. The weather is cooling, school is out, the office is closed, and some "man instinct" tells them it's time to disappear into the deepest parts of the woods. Whether it's the whole week, part of the week, or just the weekend while wives and moms are shopping, our men are decked out in camo, covered in "deer pee", and holed up in a tree at godless hours of the morning waiting for the perfect shot. As an homage to all the men in my life...and a thank you for the deer parts and products that will soon fill the deep freeze...this week we celebrate the hunt.

Browning Logo cake for my brother. Good luck this week JB!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

junk...i mean CAKE...in the trunk

It was bound to happen at some point, and I've been keeping my fingers crossed that it would go well. This weekend I made a cake delivery...and not the kind where you drive across town. The kind where you put your fragile "cake baby" in a car and drive two hours trough traffic and interstate construction to deliver a cake to another city! So I cleaned out the trunk of my car, laid out a rug with the no-slip rubber side facing up, set my "cake baby" in the middle, said a few prayers, and shut it closed. Cake in the trunk? Yes. Cake travel is best done on a FLAT surface, no seats...ever! Leaving the floor boards and the trunk as my only option, I went for trunk. The only problem, I couldn't SEE the cake the entire trip. Oh, and did I mention that I let my husband drive? This is how our adventure went...

Him: [after hearing news of interstate construction on the radio] "We'll be sitting on I-12 for hours. Let's see how far we can get going the back way."

Me: "Just don't forget there's a cake in the trunk!"

Pothole #1.


Crazy driver who cut us off.


On ramp (the crazy loop kind) acceleration.

Me: "For the love of god, there is a CAKE IN OUR TRUNK!!"

I was a nervous wreck when we finally arrived at the reception site. (I'll skip the part where their parking lot was riddled with speed bumps.) My husband and I get out of the car, look at the trunk, say another prayer, and timidly lift the door open afraid of what we might find.

THE LORD IS GOOD! The cake didn't budge at all! Completely in tact and looking fabulous we delivered the CROWN ROYAL XR safely to the reception!

This Crown Royal XR was the groom's cake at a family wedding. Congratulations Laura and Josh!! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

baked alaska

This week's cake adventure was a surprise! Some friends of ours were coming in from Alaska and the husband needed a surprise birthday cake for the wife. Although the birthday was on the day of a very big LSU v. Bama game (GEAUX TIGERS!!!), he wanted to avoid an LSU theme and focus on the fact that the wife is a teacher. With the added input that her age and something involving Alaska should appear on the cake, the brainstorming began. We threw around some ideas in our secret emails and decided to go with an apple!

The stars: the big dipper and the north star appear on the Alaska state flag.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

bye week adventures

It's bye week here in the land of the LSU Tigers....and in the Simon kitchen. No cake occasions this week means I get to play! I have a few orders next week (stay tuned!) so I spent the afternoon working on some recipes.

One of the cakes I'm gearing up for is a surprise cake, so I can't give away too many details. "Person X" who called and ordered the cake had a little difficulty deciding what flavor cake "Person Z" would like. Cookie cake is usually the cake of choice and they weren't sure what "regular cake" flavor was the favorite. That's when it hit me! We used to make chocolate chip cookies USING yellow cake mix all growing up! What if I adapted the cookie recipe back into a cake recipe?? A cake cake that tastes like a cookie cake! Genius much?

I made two batches. One, staying close to the cookie recipe with a thicker batter. And the second varying a little more with a juicy batter. (me. juicy = regular cake batter consistency.)

AND the winner is...batch number 2!!

Can't wait to make it again...for the real deal!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

felt like "butt" today...

LSU and Auburn are at the half...time to update the blog.

An old friend from high school contacted me last week to do a cake for her little sister's birthday party this weekend. I was excited to hear that word of my "caking" was traveling around and ready to take on the challenge. You see, she didn't want just any cake...she wanted a Yorkie cake. Rule number 1. Dogs weren't made to be cake. I figured this out the hard way.

I mapped out my week. Law office by day, and baking by night so that come Friday I was ready to stack, carve, and create a cute puppy dog out of cake. I was on a roll until 9:00pm Friday night when the body of said cute dog was complete and it was time to attach the head. I made the head out of rice crispy treats and had some dowels to help it keep its position on the cake. Easy enough. Head on. Stand back and admire. Looks great to me!

The problems begin when I start to decorate the head. You know, adding the fur, eye balls, and nose. Despite the dowels in place to hold the head up, it keeps sliding off of the cake, taking huge chunks of cake and icing along with it! Panic mode!! So I patch up the cake, add more dowels, run out to get more icing, and get back to find the head and MORE cake chunks on the counter and NOT on the cake where they belong. I patched and iced, rearranged and doweled until my husband got home from work around 2:30am. [He works at a local restaurant] Needless to say he was surprised to see me awake at that hour of the night, but even more so to find me sitting on the kitchen floor staring at a pile of cake crumbs covered in icing, holding a rice crispy dog head in my hand.

Per his loving advice we went to bed in hopes that the little cake elves would show up in the middle of the night and work their magic on the crumbling pile of chocolate cake in my fridge. Did not happen. I woke up to a bigger mess than the one I left the night before. I was supposed to deliver this thing at 11:00, and I had to call my friend at 8:00 to tell her there would be no Yorkie cake. "The cake died," I told her. I. Felt. Horrible.

upon finding the cake in this state...it was officially miller time.

After admitting defeat, the husband and I were navigating the kitchen to assemble some type of breakfast when we got a call from one of his friends. This friend was having a birthday today as well and was calling to cancel his party as he had to make a visit to the ER the night before. The "dead Yorkie" still in the kitchen, we joked around about bringing him the dog's butt -- the only part of the cake that stayed intact. Soon the jokes started sounding like a great idea. What better than a big dog butt made out of cake to cheer you up on your post ER birthday? We removed all the crumbling parts and delivered this to our friend's home...

The icing reads, "Heard you felt like butt on your birthday"

Out of the disastrous weekend comes a new simplysarahsimon staple: get well/feel better cakes involving butts of any kind and witty "feel like butt" sayings.

Monday, October 18, 2010

sweet dreams of...a better camera!

I say let's get some cake pictures up! Unfortunately the picture quality is not so hot...but, the cakes are still cute, yea?

New camera coming soon...fingers crossed.

Anniversary Cake! (my parent's met at a dentist office..haha!)

Birthday Cake for Mom!

Birthday Cake for Mom-in-Law!

Birthday Cake for Claire!

21st Birthday Cake for Annie!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

easy bake to wedding cake!

Once upon a time I had an easy-bake-oven. Certainly not an unusual thing for a little girl to have, but I LOVED mine. The tiny packs of various cake, cookie, and brownie mixes were always on hand. Then one day it hit me...this was ridiculous! Who would want to eat such a small cake? Why am I mixing this in the same shallow dish it cooks in?  I know you can't expect a whole lot from food cooked by the heat of a light bulb, but I was no longer impressed. I wanted more out of baking.

And that's how it started. Since that easy-bake-oven there have been Christmas Eve baking extravaganzas, front yard bake sales, "the best chocolate chip cookie" vote in high school, and then...a TV show? YES! But not my TV show. Ace of Cakes started playing on the Food Network and I was blown away! They did things with cake I'd never seen before! I learned about fondant and gumpaste and that you can put FIREWORKS into a CAKE! I was sold. I went to LSU to get a business degree so I'd know how to open a bakery. Done deal.

Well, I've since graduated with that business degree...and there's no bakery. I did a few cakes and blew people away with cookies and brownies throughout my college career, but nothing serious. I've made some really fun cakes for friends and family, but it was always just for fun. UNTIL, My sister got engaged, decided to have a DIY wedding, and asked that I man the cake. It was on! I had a plan. The week was mapped out. The fridge needed to be cleared to make room for 5 dozen eggs and two gallons of buttercream icing. I worked by day and baked by night. I made my first "this has to count" cake...and it was a wedding cake!

I am newly inspired {hence the blog} to do this. For real this time. Bring on the classes and a fridge full of eggs and icing. I want to bake. simplysarahsimon is "open for business".