Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buzzin' Bees

Buzzin' Bees
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
We made some bees with fondant the other day. So today I took three of them and did a cake in about twenty minutes. It's a lemon cake with buttercream filling. Then I added the lemon curd to the top. Mmmm. I could resist the cuteness of it all and had to take a photo to share with you.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

This week's cakes

Closer to the cake
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
I didn't have a chance to shoot everything we did this week. I did get three cakes photographed. First this one. The dino cake in the round. I used rocks for the front edge border, on the other side it was green and had grass on the edges.

Second is the cake I did for my son-in-law's birthday. He is a big Tonight show fan, so it was decided we'd do the logo on his cake. Silly? Yes, but he liked it.
By request for Matt!

Third is the cake I held out to do last. A group of sisters came in bearing a card. Can you do this on a cake???? I told them I'd try. This was my effort. It turned out okay, I love the cottage cheese thighs myself. When picked up, I was told the sisters loved the cake. Whoo!
Ann's cake

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Gordon, Gordon, Gordon

The western world is abuzz talking about the new "F-word" king. Hell's Kitchen has returned to Fox this season. I watched the last time and enjoyed watching Gordon rip people to shreds in hopes that they would become better at working a kitchen. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.

The winner of the show last season, not only turned down the opportunity to have his own place, but also seems to have walked away from the opportunity to really learn from the finely tuned skills of Gordon himself. See here: Skull. Too bad, he could have learned more than ever if he'd made the correct choice.

This season's Hell's Kitchen has been less a cooking show and more a farce from the get go. Way too much drama on the part of the staff and the customers, less of the real Ramsey. How do I know that? Well, I also have the BBC on my tuner and I watch Kitchen Nighmares with Gordon Ramsey all the time.

In Kitchen Nightmares Gordon visit an ongoing concern to help them fine tune their operation to keep from closing the doors or increasing their visibility in the community. He has been a restaurateur, has failed and has learned from the experience. He willingly goes in, bashes a few heads, or politely tells them to get their act together (depending on who they are) and helps the business step up to the challenge of success. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. He usually has a corollary at the end, where he either stops by to see if rules are still in place or if the business is there at all.

One thing he stresses is the fact that we eat too many processed foods. We have become numb to the flavors of real foods. By allowing a giant concern prepare foods for microwave-ability we are robbing ourselves of knowing the joy of eating well prepared foods. We instead, exchange form for function. We rob ourselves of the joy that is eating.

I came upon a car a few days back, in it the driver was quickly forcing down lunch. I thought to myself, "is this what we have become?" A society so busy that we have lost all decorum? We don't even have time to enjoy a quiet moment and a bite of food or nourishment. It makes you wonder about that word nourishment. Does the food you eat nourish you? Does it help you feel better, look better, or enjoy life a bit more? I am not saying you need to eat nutritionally sound meals and always prepare everything from scratch. What I am saying is that you are all worth a bit of time. Time to reflect, and enjoy a meal. STOP EATING IN YOUR CARS! Give yourself some time, you deserve it. Sometimes a simple cup of hot tea and a biscuit will do more than a four course meal. Stop. Think. It's about what you're doing that is far more important than getting somewhere before everyone else, or being first in line. Take a moment, it'll do your body good.

So the Gordon Ramsey over at Kitchen Nightmares is the Gordon for me. He says things that make sense. He recognizes what people want from food. And it isn't entertainment especially.

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So how's that Shangri-la thing?

I am still working the Shangri-La diet. I wouldn't call it a diet though. It really is a behavior modification program for me. Why? Well, for some strange reason, I have become acutely aware of what I am eating and why I eat with this program. It has been a very positive experience and weight loss is only one of the benefits.

Check out Seth's site for yourself. Maybe it's something you want to try, maybe it isn't. It has made a difference for me.

UPDATE: Click here to get updates on my progress!!! Welcome to Food Chronicles! Leave a comment or ask a question, either way I'm glad you stopped by.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cakes of the week

Fifa 2006 Germany cake
Originally uploaded by foodchronicles.
This is a picture of the most difficult cake of the week.It really wasn't so difficult at all. Only, I had another person telling me it was so hard, how could I do it?, or that cake is going to be the death of me if you don't come in!

See, the problem was, I tore the minicus in my knee and half way through the week I had to go to the orthopoedist to have him decide whether or not we're going to do surgery.

Then came the freak out.

But drugs were issued, time to get rid of inflammation was determined and the time line for surgery was lengthened. I went back to work to a stressed out boss with too many cakes to do. So what to do?

Call for wonder woman! S'mee came to help out yesterday. She did most of the cakes that needed to be done by the other person in the bakery so she could finish a wedding cake while I worked on my cake orders. S'mee helped me with the soccer ball portion of my cake. I had covered it in fondant and it had begun to weep very severely due to the high humidity we are experiencing. So we removed the fondant, smoothed it with buttercream ans S'mee used the star tip to rescue my cake at the last minute.

The client was thrilled with her cake. Her husband is being surprised with tickets to the finals for the World Soccer deal in Germany and brought in this picture. I did pretty good with s'mee's help!

Here are a couple of other cakes S'mee did for orders:

Lyle likes cars by S'mee

Cute car lover cake for someone turning three!

Jungle cake by S'mee

This one had to be a jungle theme. It turned out so cute! Check the alligator waiting to chomp someone not paying attention! I love the bamboo writing. S'mee did a great job on all the cakes she did and the other half of my working arrangement kept saying she was awed by our combined talents. Hey we're pretty humble saying, pretty much anyone could do this stuff.

Baby Shower Girl

The last cake is a baby shower cake. The woman just couldn't figure out what she wanted. I finally opted for this and she should be pretty happy with it. Oh, yes, I did repair the spot where I blobbed my finger in it! It was a lot like the cake I did for another customer the week prior who wanted a Mary Engebreit theme but no flowers:

Life is just a chair of bowlies

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