Sunday, December 18, 2011

Festival of Trees 2011

Short and sweet this time.
(I actually got it done before Christmas.)
My favorite character of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
Smooth, very smooth tree topper.

I am pretty sure this was everyone's favorite display.

A little xmas bling.

This tree looks perfectly edible.
Remember always, Safety first when setting up Holiday decorations.

Now on to the Gingerbread action.
"Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
by Helen Bernhard Bakery.
"Dream house Galore"
by Saint Cupcake
Steampunk Santa & Sleigh
by Pastrygirl

"Wish, Hope, & Dream"
by The Dessert Tray
(Hey, that's my bakery)
Next year I really want to make a Gingerbread house 
for All Hallow's eve. 
Sooooo many possibilities. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taste of Zupan's 2011

This event signals the start of the Holiday season for us at the bakery.
The half crazed dashing around (on my part) 
to make sure every thing is gathered and ready to go.
The baking off of oodles of samples because 
one oodle is simply never enough.

Pies, gingerbread, shortbread cookies, and anything pumpkin 
(though pumpkin is good any time of the year as far as I'm concerned)
are winding their ways through the bakery ovens. 
The air is heavily scented with cinnamon, nutmeg, and peppermint.
Therefore-Bring forth the Holidays!
Although you can hold off on the Xmas music until after Thanksgiving...
At the Heathman Hotel
We get there, get everything set up, arrange things around just so 
which is usually when I realize that I've forgotten 
the two or three things that would 
have been extremely useful to have.
*C'est la vie*
Maria prepping samples.
Anyhow, the Taste is a lot of fun to do and all of the proceeds are donated to a good cause.
The Sunshine Division
Plus, any leftover food from the event is picked up 
by the Urban Gleaners for donation.
So nothing is wasted and I like that part a lot.
 (slight warm & fuzzy feeling taking hold)
Now, on to the pictures!
This is Maria-one of the reasons that I'm not completely crazy 
People are queuing up out front.

Some of the "actual size" versions of our samples.
Set up and waiting for the event to begin.
Zupan's has many of their vendors participate.
Here's our friendly rival Kim
of Portland Style Cheesecake & Dessert Co.
She seriously has that bright smile every time I see her and is 
a very nice person to boot.
"Hi Kim and friend!"
I am officially hooked on this.
It's similar to the Skurdahl Farm cider that I get
because it tastes like the actual fruit rather than 
just a sparkling sugar bomb.
The pear is really tasty too.

 Zupan's has a lot of their staff help out at the event and I always see a few faces that I know.

"Hi Matt!"
"I warned you, you might be in the blog."
These two were across the room from us sampling out some of the items that you can order for the holiday season.
Our table: set & ready to sample.

The girls next door.
 More of the gang across the room from us. 
"Hi Everyone!"
(I am craving more of those Brussel Sprouts right now.)

 And to finish, a little dessert.
Pumpkin Torte, Caramel Apple Cupcakes, 
and Red Velvet Cupcakes. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bakers aren't always full Sugar & Spice...

Freddie Kruger, Chucky, Jason, Jack (yawn). Hmmm, mildly entertaining horror films those characters were in I suppose...
Wait, they were supposed to be scary? 

Huh, do those characters and movies actually scare some people? 
Well, I will concede that Jack Nicholson is pretty convincing 
in "The Shining" but he's pretty terrifying all on his own anyway.

 (Wait, did you hear something?)
*Looking over shoulder*
(Must be my imagination. Could have sworn I heard something though...)
I have witnessed the true visage of horror
that inspires terror in all who survive it.
I'll tell you right now, it is not a pretty sight to behold.
What could it be you ask? 
It is...
(sound of creaking door)
Oh No!
No!no! NO!(whimper) 
I didn't think she'd look in here!
channeling Jack Nicholson I swear

Darn it! I knew our coffee beans were getting on the low side! 
Why? Why didn't I place the order yesterday?! Why?!

If she's found me...then...
that means that...(sniffle)!
all of the others have
already fallen before
the "lack of caffeine" rage.
*tears up a little*
I am sorry my fellow bakers. 
I knew not what I unleashed until it was too late.

"Quick! Look behind you! Crazed non caffeinated baker!
The coffee shipment just arrived!"
(wrests knife from grasp)

Ha HA! Take that!  
(gory stabbing scene follows)

The bakers are safe!
Oh...wait...that's right...
she got to them first. Darn.

Hmmm, time to hire replacements I guess.

Now...Where did I leave that dustpan?
And I'm pretty sure I'm going to need the bleach for this cleanup.

Seriously, people. 
Never, Ever, EVER!
Get between a Baker and her first morning cup of Coffee.
This is the third incident this week.
Geez, maybe someone needed to switch to decaf.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding season

This barn is Gorgeous!
Wedding season is winding down.
The rainy season is winding up.
Here are a few Wedding cakes that we made this season.

The locations that we got to are always interesting
whether for the beauty of the space
or the challenge of the location;
four flights of stairs and a forty pound cake
make for an interesting delivery,
especially when your arms get tired two flights up ;)
The additional toppers are so cute!
Setting up at one of the country farm locations.
Ready for the Reception.
One of the many winery locations, up a long & very windy road.

Guarding the entrance.

Sometimes, the locations aren't just where we deliver to.
Set and ready.
I'm always a sucker for flowers as a cake topper.
Well, that's a small sampling of the cakes that we made
for the Wedding season.
Hope that you enjoyed seeing them as much as we enjoyed making them.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Going coastal

 Sometimes I forget what it's like to not be in the middle of deliveries
or knee deep in phone calls taking/placing orders. 
Hectic pace, long days,
 stressing about anything and everything whether or not you need to. 
Such is the life of someone running a small business.

 Every once in awhile I get a reminder that there is a whole other world outside of work:
delivering wedding cakes to a winery in the countryside, eating dinner under the oak tree at Kruger's Farm, taking a sip of the first fresh cider of the season from Skurdahl Farms.
(mmmmm, it's almost fresh Cider time again...drool)
I begin to feel my self decompress a bit. 

If you work in the baking industry or run a small business
more often than not, those moments are very few and far between
but every now and then 
the stars align and you can slip into a different reality for a few days.

My version this year was to go Coastal!
No, not in a "Heeere's Johnny!" sort of a way. 
I actually went to the coast.
Destination Newport.
Soooooooo, here's some of the vacation pics...
(and yes, I am working on a steampunk post I promise)

If you have always driven past this place east of Lincoln City on Hwy 18, then stop next time. 
Excellent Cinnamon Rolls, Molasses bread, and hash browns.
There was this gorgeous antique delivery van sitting outside. 
It's been converted to a mini RV!
The guy who owns it said that he has a bed and bathroom in there. Wow!
 In reality, it's a tree stump but,
it looks like a sea monster clawing it's way onto the beach, no?
Cat! On the Beach!
(Okay, technically on the railing on a dune but still)

 Yaquina Head lighthouse.
 Lighthouse interior.
 Local flora
Local seating
I love watching the fog roll in and out-one moment bright sun blinding you, the next? 
You can't see the person walking next to you...
which also means it's a really good idea 
to pay attention to when the tides are going in and out. FYI

When the fog envelopes you, it reminds me of softly falling snow;
all sounds are softened, even the surf is muted.

 Another local hanging out.
The "friendly naturalists" cracked me up for some reason.
And, of course, the standard go to picture...