Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cakes, Cookies, and Christmas Trees!

Hi there! Please forgive my lapse in blog-posting! I am in the final week of a 10-week study that has strictly limited the foods I eat, and therefore, bake, so I haven't been as creative in my kitchen as I would be otherwise. The upside of that is a weight loss of about 25 lbs. (depending on the day) and I've signed on for another 6 months, modified a bit, so I should be in really good shape (health-wise) going forward. Still, I have been baking the regulars, muffins and scones, for my little gig at my favorite Saratoga Hotel, mostly just weekends here and there. I made "everything" cookies for my brother Michael's birthday dinner last week. And, I'm baking the occasional birthday cake as well and getting ready to do some Thanksgiving baking, and then it's full steam ahead to Christmas!

Yesterday I delivered a cake for a friend's little guy, Aiden. Aiden is 2 and his cake came out really well, especially with the very appreciated assistance of my daughter Katie who did wonders with fondant.

Here's a photo of Aiden's not-so-little cake (3 tiers!). Unfortunately, it didn't take the drive too well on the 1/2 hour trip from my house to his, and it shifted a bit even though it was very secure in the box and well-structured with internal supports. Just one too many curves on the way there! Aiden's mom, Jen, was great about it. Transporting a cake like this is always a tricky thing. I've had my share of transport mishaps, and this was mild as things go, but a little disappointing to say the least. But, I am sure 2-year old Aiden didn't mind. Glad I got a good shot of the cake before it left my house.

3 tiers for Aiden's 2nd birthday!

Michael's "everything" cookie!

For the everything cookies, I took a basic oatmeal cookie recipe and added chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and roasted and salted sunflower seeds. The saltiness of the sunflower seeds complimented the sweetness of the fruits and chocolate beautifully, and oatmeal made it all very healthy (right?)! You can use any good oatmeal cookie recipe and add whatever you like for your own everything cookie. If I had had them, coconut and walnuts would have made their way in as well.

Finally, here's a photo of Henry and Peter yesterday as they, with their Mom and me, tagged their Christmas tree at Bob's Trees in Galway, NY. They'll go back after Thanksgiving to cut it down.

Thanks for reading. Come back soon for more tasty goodness!

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