I Should Start Baking Again

My mom’s birthday was recently, and I did something I haven’t done in a really long time. I baked. I used to bake all the time. It was a very soothing hobby. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, pies, pastries, buttercream and fondant icing all made from scratch. I’ve baked one or two things in the past few years, but it’s been a few years since I really got down and dirty in the kitchen. At the height of my baking, I was baby-free and I worked part time, but I can’t really blame the baby or work for my lapse.

Baby Shower Goodies

The funny thing is that I worked at a bakery all through high school and a lot of college and never baked or decorated while I was there, but I did grow a bit of an aversion to cakes and cookies. That happens when your hair starts to smell like cookies and you dream of the holiday rush.

baking

Afterwards,  I spent to spend so much time perfecting recipes and piping icing, and I rarely ever ate any of it. Instead I’d find people to pawn my hobby off on. Eventually, though, everyone else started to become bored of cakes and cookies, and it all started to go to waste.

fly cake

I was looking at some older pictures and I realized I need to get back into the baking game, at least a little bit. I made so many cute things for everyone else, and now I have to make sure I can make something adorable for Jack. Plus, everyone has been deprived of baked goods for long enough. It’s time to re-introduced them.

Birthday Cakes

For my mom’s birthday I thought about baking a from scratch, I really did. But then I got into the kitchen and felt really “meh” about the whole thing. It wasn’t the same. I just didn’t feel like lugging out the mixer, and my mom doesn’t like sweet icing so it seemed like a waste to make butter cream. Instead, I jazzed up some box cake and made a cake and cookies. Super easy to do! For the cake, just replace water with orange juice (or whatever juice you like), add a splash of vanilla extract, and your cake is instantly flavored and more refreshing. I added a few raspberries to the batter before baking too.

Orange Raspberry Cake

The cookies are easy also. Add 2 eggs, 1/3 a cup of dried cranberries, 1/3 a cup of candied pecans, and 2 tbsp of orange juice to boxed cake mix. Scoop batter onto parchment lined trays and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Cake Box CookiesCake Box Cookies

I filled the cake with banana pudding and iced it with whipped topping. I didn’t get a chance to take a pic of the cake or cookies  because they were torn into pretty quickly, but I guess that’s a sign of how tasty they were. *Note to self, take pictures of everything before you go over mom’s!

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Ode to Dad’s Mustache

Happy Father’s Day weekend, and happy first blog post to me! I decided to start blogging as a reason to write. I’m a marketer by day, a professor by night, and a janitor on the weekends. so, like anything else in my life, if I don’t have an obligation to something it won’t get done. I may not have followers or fans, but the existence of a blog is enough of an obligation for me. And so we begin.

For as long as I remember, my Father has had a mustache. I don’t think I’ve even seen a photo of my dad without one, so I’m pretty sure once he started growing facial hair, he never shaved his upper lip.

My dad’s a pretty modest man, a t-shirt and jeans type of guy who has his wife pick out “nice” clothes for him, so when Dad’s black hair started to speckle with some white and grey a few years ago, he thought it best to embrace his new, sophisticated look.  However, the speckling was much more apparent in his mustache hair than my mom would have liked.

I’m not exactly sure how she managed to do it, but my mother convinced my dad that he was too young to go grey, and he should dye his mustache black. Now, a person’s naturally black hair is different than black hair from a bottle. Instantly, my dad went from regular guy to looking like Nintendo’s Mario. Needless to say, my father hated it, and for the first time in 30 years, he shaved his mustache. The resulting uproar forced my father to never shave off his mustache again and my mother to never attempt to dye it.

Every year for Father’s Day, my parents host a barbeque at their house, and for every even I try to make something fun. Thanks to my eldest niece, Angelina, I had the idea to honor my dad’s mustache by making cookies with my Munchstache Cookie Cutters by Fred and Friends. The set comes with 5 different styles of mustache cutters which double as design stampers.

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My roll out cookie recipe is pretty easy.

You need:
a stick of butter
half a package of cream cheese (about 4 oz)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour

First cream together the butter, sugar, and  cream cheese. I cut up my butter and cream cheese to make it easier.

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When the mixture starts to look fluffy, add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again.

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Mix in the flour and baking powder to make a dough.  You will want to chill the dough for about an hour so it is easier to roll out. Roll out the dough, cut out your shapes, and set up your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Because these were costume cookies, I added a stick to them by wetting the back of the cookie and adding some of the dough to hold the stick in place.

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Bake the cookies at 375° for 8-10 minutes and enjoy. Because the cookies were stamped, I didn’t ice them, but I may make some different flavor cookies next time to show different hair colors.

The cookies were an adorable hit. All the grand-kids honored their Pop Pop by having ‘staches just like his.

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