Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fudge and...Christmas Shows

Hello! It's been a while...but alas. I have made fudge. Three different fudges in the past couple of weeks and only one of them is worth keeping! First two were apple fudges using apple juice and applesauce. Did NOT turn out well at all. Forget apple fudge.
The other one, I made yesterday, turned out beautifully. It is whopper fudge. I used non-hydrogenated whoppers that were pretty pure in ingredients. It was excellent and extremely creamy and smooth. It is a white chocolate base:

It is incredibly yummy.
And of course. My trophy from the Greatest Fair Cookie Contest: sister and I will be selling fudge at two upcoming Christmas shows. It was our Mom's idea and our sis is helping with the aprons.
I can't explain the excitement.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's the County Fair, folks!

So it's that time of year again. The Tulare County Fair. I have entered:
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • "Painted Cookies" in the food art Div.
  • Greatest Fair Cookie Contest-3D Cookies
  • All Chocolate Confections Contest-Truffles
I did not take pics of the cheesecake, bread or painted cookies. (I know, what was I thinking?) But here I will post pics of the Cookie Contest cookies and the truffles. The Greatest Fair Cookie Contest is judged by children so there is no bias opinions there. They love it when the cookies are good tasting, but more importantly, pleasing to the eye. They gave me Best of Show.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

17 Months

This blog is about the bakery I plan on opening with my sister, Lacey. Lacey and I are still pursuing the opening of our all-natural bakery in the central valley area. Just a reminder: I am still attending College to obtain my Associates Degree in business. My sister, Lacey, is starting College to obtain her certificate in business. We are both baking up a storm and recording the outcomes on Myspace and in our blogs. Check Lacey's blog out here: Lacey.
I realized something yesterday. Sometimes, I get very anxious to open the bakery, because I want to start this thing. So I decided to figure out when I can graduate. 17 months. Seventeen months! I can graduate in seventeen months, Fall 2009. However, I might want to take some support courses to supplement my degree. So if that takes up another semester, I will graduate in 22 months, Spring 2010. Either way, Lacey and I will start this natural bakery endeavor in less than two years!
We have been extremely excited and creating new ideas all the time. One thing is the name of our bakery. If you have any clue to a name, please let us know. Even if you think the name is dumb or silly, we might like it, or it could spin off into the name we choose! So let us know, please. We are starting to create logo’s and designs for menus and our website, (Not yet created), so we need a name!
We are starting many lists of things we need to do and getting into the California laws regarding this type of business. Lot's of laws and codes...we are also looking at locations, just curiously. We are not in the place to buy anything yet.
Lacey and I have been thinking of ways to use our bakery for good, a type of ministry. We were thinking of ways to feed people, etc. I had the great opportunity to work at Calvin Crest Conferences this past Summer. While there, I heard a lady speak from the Dakota House in the heart of a ghetto in Fresno. This is a house where the staff takes care of children and loves them and feeds them, while their parents are off doing drugs, etc. She told one story of how the kids were talking about what they found to eat that day. Lacey and I want to feed people. If you have any ideas regarding the ministry/giving to the community of our bakery, please let us know .
I have also met some inspirational people in this past year. My family always inspires me. My older sisters, April and Heathyrre, and Mother are wonderful cooks/bakers. I learned all I know from my Mom, Violet. She is awesome. My sis and business partner, Lacey has been very encouraging to me. (You would hope so, as we are going into business together. :0P). She made up this really yummy blueberry muffin recipe and she is a GREAT food photographer. She is extremely professional in her photo taking. Check them out in her blog, above. She made me get into taking the same kind of photo's.
Mr. Clarke, one of my business teachers, taught my "Opening a Small Business" class and I learned an incredible amount from him. Lacey and I are applying everything we have learned from him now, as we start on this journey. I also got to bake with this awesome girl named Rachel this past Summer. Of course, we had different baking ideas, but she was adventurous because she made up many of her own recipes. That was encouraging, as I have always wanted to mostly stick to the recipe, as far as baking goes. Rachel will also own her own bakery business someday, and she will rock it.
Lauren and Christy were also so much fun to bake with. I loved seeing them get into it and fall in love with it. Great bakers right there. There were some great cooks and bakers at Calvin Crest including Sarah, Mary and Buck. Thanks to the kitchen staff at Calvin Crest. You guys are too, too cool.
Lacey and me LOVE feedback! Share with us stories, comments, etc.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Bostom Cream Pie Cake!

So last Saturday I was thoroughly excited for a three day weekend and decided to make the best of it-with cake. I whipped out my new Williams Sonoma Cakes book and started searching. (I got this book for my Birthday from my parents!) I found a Boston Cream Pie Cake recipe. The cake is a simple butter/yellow cake. Best yellow cake I've ever made-very moist and great texture. Then I carved out the middle section of one layer and filled it with a vanilla pastry cream. Then, I topped it with a second cake layer and poured a ganache type glaze over it. Very good.
Also, my sister, Lacey, is inspiring me to take more food pictures and become a better food photographer. So, as you can tell, I am not as good as her yet...but someday I will be!
Lacey has great signatures for her blog posts so I am trying to think of something original to sign my posts with. So far, all I have is my name/middle name, which is what I usually use-and the abbreviation of "All Natural Baker Woman". So yeah...I'm working on something original.

~Laurel May-A.N.B.W.~

Monday, August 25, 2008

So my first food blog. This isn't the most labor intensive/challenging good I've made, but it was fun! I love making sugar cookies and decorating them all ways. A favorite is too ice them with meringue icing and "paint" on them using food coloring. But alas, these are not those. These are sugar cookies for Valentine's Day this past year. I iced them and decorated them.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Introduction to My Blog

My name is Laurel May. I live in California Central Valley area. I have have 5 brothers and sisters and I love my family a ton. I am the penultimate child.

Along with my little sister, Lacey, I will be opening a bakery in the area in 2-5 years. Currently I am attending College to receive education in business so Lacey and I will know what we are doing in the business world.

Baking is my passion. I bake all natural and specialize in cakes, cookies and candy. My sister is marvelous at breads , cake and candy. We will make an excellent team someday. I don't only want to bake for profit. I will bake because it is what I love. My sister and I will open our bakery up for ministry opportunities as well, such as feeding the hungry kids on our hometown streets.

I love seeing people when they eat. Or when people get excited over something like dinner. What could be a routine meal, might turn into a marvelous experience with what we call food. If the cook loves what they are doing and loves people and their could be wonderful.
I believe in food. But I also believe in exercise, fitness and diet. My Mom raised us kids to be healthy and that is how I intend to live.

I learned a lot of what I know from my Mother, Violet. A wonderful cook, she always encouraged us in the kitchen and I am entirely grateful to her. My Dad, Ted, has been a great taste tester over the years.

My family and friends are great supporters of this endeavor and Lacey and I will continue to work toward this dream.