It's official. We have 10 days until Christmas (I don't count today). Which means two things. I've got some serious shopping to do, which by the way, is a task that I am ALWAYS up for. AND it also means, that if you haven't ordered your Christmas Holiday Box, you best bust a move!
In case you haven't been paying attention -- Eggnog, Red Velvet, Godiva w/ Peppermint frosting, and Winter White are your Christmasy choices. 36 bucks gets you a pretty red box, filled with deliciousness (IE. a dozen BABYCAKES)! I'll be taking orders until the 20th *unless I book up before hand*.. e-mail or call me!
This week I've been busy on a big order for another local business (you all know how much I adore local and small business, so I was beyond thrilled to work with them!)
OUTDOOR CREATIONS ordered 1/2 dozens for their clients. Maybe I'm biased, but I'd love it if someone showed their appreciation for my business via cupcakes!
I thought their Happy Holidays/Thank You note was adorable!
BABYCAKES all stacked up and ready to go.
I think the Christmas packaging came out splendidly. If I do say so myself...
For those of you that have e-mailed me, asking me WTF "I bake naked" means... it is NOT in the literal sense, although -- it's eye catching right? That's kinda the point.
It means, I bake w/out preservatives, or any of that other crap. There is no margarine or liquid egg whites in BABYCAKES. It's all farm fresh eggs, and real-deal butta!
I just had to share these. I'm a little bit obsessed with the way they turned out. The best part -- I am delivering them to someone that has no idea they are coming (SURPRISE from her Fiance!) How stinkin' cute is that? All you boys out there.. take a hint! I cannot wait to see her face.
And, in recent news.. as you know, the week of Dec. 11th -- 18th is booked solid for BABYCAKES. If you'd like to get an order in for the following week, you should probably light a fire under your hiney, or you just might miss out on your Christmas Holiday box. (per usual, I will be delivering the 23rd and 24th).
Hope every one's Holiday season is going smoothly and of course, cheerfully.
Warning: This post might be totally and completely unrelated to cupcakes, but will be however, filled to the gills with talk about food, vacationing, ad nauseum. I'll throw in a picture of some of my cupcakes, here for good measure.
So, on to the yappin'... I recently acquired a vacation. Yes, I do mean to say acquired, as I sort of threw myself upon someone else's trip -- which, wasn't really at all a vacation (other then the fact that it wasn't home... it was somewhere way better.. San Francisco, and The Napa Valley, but it was going to be mostly work). So, she is headed west, all business... and I decided to fly out for a long weekend, so that we could play a little and of course work a little, because -- honestly, when it comes to the two of us.. we are never NOT talking about work. And, now -- we have literally come up with 763 things to do in three days. Most of which involve eating. You can't possibly be shocked.
While we visit Napa I believe that our journey is going to begin at Domaine Carneros followed with a visit to Yountville for lunch at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro (I was devastated to learn that The French Laundry would be closed while I was there. Heartbroken.) After lunch, I believe it's off to Frog's Leap and/or Chateau Montelena followed by (perhaps) a stop at Auberge and then dinner is most likely going to be in Sonoma at ZAZU (Vegetarian's be warned). Pretty much, heavenly. I am beside myself with excitement.
I'm not even sure what's going to happen the other two days that I'm there... could be more Napa stuff, must see at least parts of San Fran., and just general fabulosity. I know we discussed dinner at Delfina's -- which I'd love as they are James Beard award winners (obvi. another one of my 754 obsessions). *Sigh* I cannot flippin' wait.
I suppose that I should take this moment to thank the hubs for being the absolute BEST man, EVER. He spoils me. He ships me off on vacay's to California w/out he or the kids, and simply says -- he's happy to do it. I'm a verra lucky girl. I'm sure that The Winter Classic tickets/jersey helped support his decision, but hell... we BOTH deserve to be spoiled a little every now and again...
It's true. I survived Thanksgiving. I survived 37 dozen cupcakes, in basically three days... and I'm not going to lie.. it was no easy feat. There were times when I thought that I was getting sick (pretty much everyone else in the house was so, I assumed I was next.. and the exhaustion didn't help) -- where I could be seen shotgunning orange juice and any other source of Vitamin C that was left lying around the kitchen. I drank approx. 657 cups of coffee. My husband and children were basically left to starve. And, I was talking about pumpkin and other such things in my sleep. I had other orders on either side of the Thanksgiving mania (both the weekend before and the weekend after) so, I've been busy for 7+ days straight, baking. Hence, the lack of blogging. I adored knocking on doors -- "HI! BABYCAKES ARE HERE!" I felt like an old fashioned delivery girl!
Honestly. The last 24 hours have been spent relaxing, eating, cleaning, napping, eating, and napping some more. I needed it. Enjoyed every second of it... but, now. It's back to work. Time for Christmas flavors, more holiday boxes, Christmas packaging, etc.
I am pretty sure that I will go into the Christmas season a little bit more prepared. I'm allowing myself two days for delivery and pick ups this time around. I am pretty sure that Christmas will be just as busy, if not more so then Thanksgiving, and I'll need the extra day. Therefore, delivery/pick-up for Christmas orders will be the 23rd and 24th (FYI).
I've gotten bright RED boxes for the Christmas season, and am still searching for the perfect ribbon... something that I can make a spectacular bow with. I love the idea of these Holiday Boxes looking like a present. And, everything is going to be finished off with a label that claims -- Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice! Happy Holidays, BABYCAKES!
I've also changed things up a bit when it comes to the Holiday flavors, in honor of Christmas. I've decided on; Winter White -- Vanilla/Vanilla topped with White Sparkling Sugar, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting, Eggnog with Spiced Latte Frosting, and Candy Cane -- Chocolate with Red and White striped Peppermint Frosting.
First of all, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to La Plata TV and Appliance for inviting me to hand out some samples of BABYCAKES on Tuesday night at their open house. It gave me the opportunity to get face to face with more people and chat it up about this little business. I adore the Elder family, and their store. Now, go buy me some Kitchen Aid accessories for Christmas! They will appreciate your business, and I'll appreciate the stuff!
Secondly -- I spent the better part of last night shopping for Christmas STUFF for BABYCAKES. I ended up with pretty bright RED boxes, and really bright Holiday Labels -- Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice! Happy Holidays, BABYCAKES. I thought the labels would add to the festiveness of the Holiday Boxes... and, make them even more perfect to give as gifts.. or bring to the office Christmas party (do it).
And, finally -- I put together my little "thank you gift" that I'll be distributing w/ orders throughout the Holiday season. Nothing over the top.. just a little I appreciate your business, thanks for the support kinda thing...
You'll just have to wait and see what it is when you get your Turkey Day BABYCAKES. If you HAVEN'T ordered BABYCAKES for Thanksgiving (for shame!) -- then, I suggest you hurry up. I have room for another few dozen.
And, thirdly I fully intend on dragging out the Christmas decorations on Saturday afternoon. I look forward to glamming the Jones' household up with a metric shit ton of holiday CHEER! I absolutely obsess over the Holidays and they are hands down my FAVORITE time of the year. I'll post pictures when the project is complete. We are actually painting a wall Christmas Red -- in preparation of the placement of our Christmas Tree. (Believe it or not -- Christopher's idea!)
If you are thinking about ordering a BABYCAKES Holiday Box, I'd suggest doing it today. I'm only taking 5ish (depending on the size of the order) more orders for Thanksgiving -- Christmas is still wide open (FYI). I want to make sure that every one's cupcakes are perfect... And, we are looking at 20-30 dozen at this point throughout that week, and although I am thrilled about the business, and of course the money, I am also obsessed with everything going smoothly and the cupcakes being perfect.
Not only do I have Thanksgiving coming up, but there are orders on either side of the Holiday as well. Soooo -- I'll be a busy little girl over the next 10 days or so. You know what? Altho, exhausted. I'm stoked. I had no idea I would be this busy three weeks after I started this little business. And, what's exhaustion? Nothing a little (or a lot) of coffee can't fix.
Tomorrow night BABYCAKES will be at La Plata TV and Appliance (with SAMPLES) helping the store kick off their line of KitchenAid small appliances. Come by, grab a mini-BABYCAKE and place an order for Thanksgiving before it's too late (we are down to the wire!) and don't forget to grab a KitchenAid stand mixer for the pastry chef in your life (or accessories for a certain someone that already has a KitchenAid...)
Tuesday November, 16th -- 4-7pm at LaPlata TV and Appliance, 5895 Crain Hwy. LaPlata, MD
Oh, and Happy Birthday Marines! Semper Fi to all of you that serve/ed and sacrifice for this country. Thank you.
Let's get to the delicious stuff. Today is Vanilla Cupcake Day!
And. this is personally my FAVORITE Vanilla Cupcake recipe because it's so super vanilla-y.
1 3/4 C. cake flour 1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. sugar
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, cubed
4 L. eggs
1 C. whole milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 Vanilla Bean
Preheat oven to 325°. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. Add the scrapings of the vanilla bean, mix on low for 30 seconds or until the beans are evenly distributed.
In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 17 to 20 minutes.
So, I have gotten to the point (and this is VERY out of character) where I am actually avoiding a certain someone because of the things that she has to say about me, and this little business that I call my own. And, BTW -- I call it my own, because.. that is what it is. It's mine. If I ask you for advice, help, guidance, ad nauseum -- by all means, give it to me. But, please do not mistake me for the kind of girl that will flounder on her own and fail without your unsolicited bullshit. Do not tell me that my "goals are too lofty" or that you "believe that people fail because they think they can do too much, and aren't capable.." or, that you think my "cupcakes are too pricey".
I don't tell you what I think about the sweatpants that you walk your kids to the bus stop in (?????), or even your Crocs... do I? And, anyone that knows me -- knows just how difficult it is for me not to tell you what's what about your Crocs.
I am positive that what gets to me about this situation is that said party is also a Mother, Wife, and small business owner. I would assume there would be instant high-fives, or even just a "Congrats, Good Luck!" rather then a Negative Nancy attitude. And, what is the worst. I let it bother me. To the point, that I took my children to school this morning, rather then face her and her terrible sweatpants at the bus stop.
Shame on me.
I'm not saying I should go out there guns blazing all what the fuck attitude (I mean, hello -- there are kids there after all), but I have never been the type to actually stand there and listen to crap like that and not even respond. I walk away every time (it has happened more then once) perplexed. So, now I'm avoiding it all together.
At least for the time being, until I come up with some sort of quip or remark that's appropriate yet does the trick, IE. gets Mom #43 (her age) to zip it.
I've been obsessing over, well.. I obsess over just about everything. But, I'm currently racking my brain over what BABYCAKES to take with me to our family's Thanksgiving celebration. It's generally easier to prepare what you all order and request then it is to decide what to make for my favorite people, not to mention show off a little bit of what I've been so hard at work over.
I think I've finally decided on Sweet Potato Cupcakes topped with Vanilla Meringue and Apple Cupcakes filled with Dulce de Leche and topped with Browned Buttercream. I'll put money down now though, that I change my mind 17 times before Turkey Day.
And, then there's Christmas?! Godiva Chocolate with Peppermint Frosting? Gingerbread with Butter Glaze? Vanilla Latte?
One thing is for sure.. We won't be having fruitcake. Well, other then the ones that will be sitting at the table!
and, PS: If you are considering BABYCAKES for Thanksgiving, please order soon -- I am looking to be a busy girl and may have to stop taking orders eventually.
BABYCAKES is offering Holiday Boxes from now until the New Year. Dozen cupcakes, two seasonal flavors of your choosing.. $36 (keep in mind that shipping is additional if you are outside of the MD, VA, DC area).
PUMPKIN WITH SPICED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING APPLE WITH BROWNED BUTTERCREAM SWEET POTATO WITH VANILLA GLAZE GINGERBREAD WITH BUTTER GLAZE CRANBERRY WITH PECAN FROSTING
Kindly, Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Nov. 20th and Christmas orders must be placed by Dec. 20th. You can place your orders directly at babycakesSKJ@gmail.com
If I didn't quite make myself clear in the first post about how much I dislike quantity over quality (think McDonald's, and other mass produced food/or conglomerates), let me put it to you this way. I adore family owned, mom and pop, local business... I think that it's what America was built on(excuse the soap box) and it should be what we pay for as well. We should all, whenever possible, support the little guy. Because, not only does that cheese from local/artisan farmer taste delicious, but I am pretty sure that Kraft doesn't need our money. They'll survive w/out your cash. And, you'll survive a lot longer w/out putting that processed cheese product in your system, also. My point is, shop small and local whenever possible. Don't get me wrong. We don't always have the time.. but, I believe it's important to make the effort when you can.
Which brings me to my next point. La Plata TV and Appliance. (I know, what happened to cupcakes? Apparently -- I've taken a turn for the crazy. All preachy and pushy... Well, your wrong. I was always crazy... and it's totally pertinent). La Plata TV and Appliance is a family owned store in our little town (it also happens to be where I purchased my washer). And, BABYCAKES is going to be working with them to help kick off their promotion and sales of Kitchen Aid small appliances. On Nov. 16th they are going to be hosting an open-store if you will.. inviting people to come in, check out the Kitchen Aid small appliances, have a few munchies and OF COURSE have some BABYCAKES!! I'll be there with 150ish of my mini BABYCAKES giving out samples. They will also be raffling off a gift certificate for a free dozen BABYCAKES to be redeemed when the winner chooses. It's going to be a great time. Come grab a stand mixer for someone for Christmas... or one of the attachments (if someone you know, ahem... already has an Artisan, or even a Professional... you could get them one of the gorgeous glass bowls to go with it... or an extra whisk attachment... you know... if you know someone like that....)
Bottom line is, I am obsessed with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I think everyone needs one. And, you should come and get one on the 16th (details to follow).
Besides, I'll be there w/ my BABYCAKES... what more reason do you need to show up??
I've been looking for some sort of charity to get involved with since I'll now have the time to participate... even if it only means, donating cupcakes to an event. And -- then, this fell into my lap while I was listening to the radio this morning. HEROES AGAINST CHILDHOOD CANCER -- check it out. Do it, now. You can follow them on Twitter, and FB as well.
I'm definatly going to try and get in touch with them before their next event (which PS: is Sunday) and hopefully donate some BABYCAKES. But, somehow -- that just didn't seem like enough to me. I started thinking... If I could power fund raise (yes, I just made that term up)... if I could, and possibly raise enough money in the next few days... I might just shave my head. What's wearing a wig for a few months, if it helps sick children?!
I immediatly thought about our two children, and if anything were to happen to them, if they were to get sick, in a way which rendered us powerless... well.. let's just say, I sobbed my way through that website. The empathy that I have for those parents, and children alike... it's almost painful. And, it made me want to immediatly get involved.
I'm def going to look into this, and focus some energy on being an active participant -- be it donating BABYCAKES, shaving my head, or simply volunteering with HACC.
Although, I can promise you -- my kids would LOVE to watch me get my head shaved! :)
Alright, so she's back. It's been so damn long since I've actually put something it writing -- I feel a little bit rusty. I wonder if I've lost my uncanny ability to be witty via type? I guess we'll find out.
So, here I am.. I've quit my job and I have this dream. You know what, I won't even call it a dream -- because that makes it sound almost unattainable. I'll call it a goal. In fact, I've got several goals. So, here I am.. I've quit my job and I have several goals.
Wow. That sounds like an absolutely fascinating, entertaining, and hysterical path we are on.. Jesus.
And, that brings me to my next point. If you are easily offended, by language and/or inappropriate content you may want to just go ahead and stop reading right now.
What have we got so far... Goals? Filth? and of course, Cupcakes?
Seriously. I'm starting this BABYCAKES thing from the ground up. Those scrumptious looking treats that are featured behind this blog -- those are BABYCAKES. It's true, I did quit my job... and I'm relying on my ridiculous determination to fuel my success. Of course, I make fantastic, delicious, and out of this world confections... however, I have yet to meet a person as stubborn as myself. And, I'm pretty much banking on that characteristic to push me through.
I'm cupcake obsessed. Or, I should say -- I'm obsessed with particular cupcakes. Mostly, the good ones -- nope.. the great ones. The ones that use quality ingredients, and have beautiful and unique design. The cupcakeries that are all about the quality and consumer, not the dollar bill.
Dare I say it? I should probably get it out of the way now (so you can go ahead and stop reading). I have issues with the cupcakeries that crank out 1000 cupcakes a week, and charge $55/dozen. You lose quality with quantity. That is simple fact. And - I'm going to assume that you all know who I'm referring to. And, no -- it is certainly not jealousy, folks. None of my goals include selling out, or mass producing... I can assure you. But, if they did!
I'm not only cupcake obsessed, it's more of an obsession with that final course. I adore dessert. What good, stress loving woman doesn't though? Who leaves the table after dinner and talks about how great the broccoli was? No one that I'm friends with anyhow.
So, let's recap for those of you that don't read Shan-Speak (you'll get used to it the more you follow along.. think sarcasm.).
Trashy Smart Ass-ness? Check.
My obsession with quality? Check.
I see nothing more to add here, at the moment.
I'll be using this to get the word out on BABYCAKES promotions. Probably, talk a little non-sense. And, most importantly keep you up to speed on all things BABYCAKES. I may even throw in a recipe or two, along with some photographs - although, I did promise to be different. Didn't I?