Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger.... Or At Least More Creative!

Hello All! I want you to be the first to know that the kitchen is officially back open! The Muffin Top is back in business!!

I took on my first few jobs 2 weekends ago (I didn't want to post about it until I had pictures). I cannot tell you how good it felt to be working in the kitchen again. I have fallen slightly out of my groove, but I know I'll have it back soon enough. I have been collecting kitchen supplies and equipment for a while, and was so excited to put everything together in one room! I'll have to post later about my new kitchen/baking room.

Anyhow... I wasn't really planning on taking on jobs right now considering my arms are still broken and not healing very quickly, but a good friend asked me to do cupcakes for a baby shower she was hosting. I was a bit hesitant, but couldn't say no. A few days later a friend from church asked me to do a simple cake for a wedding shower she was hosting. Very soon after my mother announced that she was hosting a bridal shower as well, and needed me to do the desserts. Not only did I agree to take on all 3 jobs, but they all happened to be on the same weekend! Start slow, take it easy??? Not me!

I will confess that these 3 seemingly easy jobs were a lot harder to take on than I thought. Maybe they would have been easy 3 months ago, but with broken arms it was a bit of a challenge. I had to call Paige over a few times to help me lift things and scrape out the large (20qt.) mixing bowl. I felt bad pulling her away from what she was doing, so I had to get a little creative with moving things around and working with the heavy things. Let's just say I am glad I was working alone because anyone else there would have laughed at me trying to carry a mixing bowl with my legs or pushing the table with my hips. Who knew baking could be such a aerobic experience! By the time I was finished with all 3 projects my arms were pretty sore and swollen; I had to ice them for a few days afterward :( .

I am absolutely my toughest critic (although Nathan is pretty critical as well), but considering the circumstances I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out! Everyone was very complimentary. I can't wait to start taking on more work and getting back into a routine!

For the first bridal shower I made a yellow butter cake with vanilla bean custard filling and an American buttercream frosting. The bride's colors are yellow and silver, and she loves sunflowers, so I did a basic white frosting with fondant sunflowers cascading down the side set on top of a silver base.

The baby shower cupcakes were my favorite! My friends Missy and Lynsey are extremely creative, so I knew they would go all out for this shower, especially since it was for the "oh so creative" Holly Mathis! It was the cutest baby shower I have ever been to! Go check out their blogs to see more pics of the shower decor!! The theme was "Nesting" and the colors were baby blue and brown. I made lemon and blueberry marbled cupcakes with a blueberry ginger filling and a Swiss lemon buttercream. The cupcakes were decorated with blue and brown frosting with white chocolate birds, pearls, and little "H"s made from gum paste. Of course I had to play up the nesting theme, so I displayed several of the cupcakes in little nests and set the others on cake stands. If really turned out pretty cute! These pictures are compliments of the talented Lysney Kramer!

I really enjoyed doing the desserts for the bridal shower my mom hosted. Instead of the traditional cake, she opted for tangy lemon tartlettes and strawberry French macaroons...yum! I wasn't able to attend the shower, but my mom said everyone loved the desserts and were very impressed. Nice!

The only project I have coming up is a wedding and groom's cake for my friend Crystal on July 25th. I am a bridesmaid as well, so I will be posting updates on the progress soon since I will have to work on quite a bit of it ahead of time. Until then.....Happy Baking!


Sophie said...

Everything looks very pretty; I love sunflowers :)!

I don't think I could carry a bowl between my knees :P.

Tori said...

AMAZING..... haley everything looked awesome and my mouth was watering. i think my role in the muffin top should be the official taste tester!!! think about it and let me know. and.... whenever baby shower time comes for me you and Paige remember that nesting idea. that was super cute. love ya!

Paige said...

That baby shower won't be coming anytime soon for me! I'm just trying to work on getting through wedding showers first!

Natalie said...

It all looks beautiful and delicious! I am so proud of you! I had seen the pictures of Holly's shower on Lynsey's blog, and they really should be in a magazine! Everything was perfect!

Colleen said...

haley!! everything you've made is absolutely gorgeous!! you're such a talented food artist, even with broken arms! :)