The Cake Lady

Our church is turning 10 in a week and a few weeks back the party was mentioned in the church bulletin. We have been a part of The River Church since the Grand Opening celebration and are pretty excited to be here to celebrate this moment in the life of the church. Anyway, the bulletin mentioned that there would be cake and ice cream... wait, did they say cake? I like cake... I love making cakes... I want to make the cake for the church!! I jumped at the chance. I would make all the cake they needed and donate it to the church as a love offering. This could be a way to thank God for the talent that he has given me and the church for their years of service and community.

So I started putting my plan into motion. How many servings? 300-350. No problem. What kind of cake? Well, in order to not totally break our budget I decided on a very yummy recipe that is based on a box mix that is doctored and comes out like a coffee cake. Yum! So off I went to Walmart to buy supplies.

Most of the time you can walk through Walmart and not be noticed by anyone unless you run into them or get in their way. Try walking through Walmart with your arms loaded with 15 boxes of cake mix! That definitely gets you noticed. People start to comment. Some even ask what you are doing and if they can have some. "Why I am making a cake for our churches 10 year anniversary/birthday, come join us and eat as much as you would like!" The checkers really got a kick out of this and mentioned that they might just join us.

Now try going back to Walmart a few more times, equally laden with cake mix boxes, pudding, powdered sugar, and marshmallows. Now, 39 boxes of cake mix, 39 boxes of pudding, 18 bags of powdered sugar, 6 bags of marshmallows, 2 gallons of oil, 13 dozen eggs, 3 bags of brown sugar and two XL containers of cinnamon later, when they see me coming, they greet me with "Hey, it's the Cake Lady!!"

**Unfortunately I did not think to take a photo of the lengthy list of supplies until after most of them had been made into cakes, but you get the idea.

Sweet Success!

My Father-in-law and my mother both have milk sensitivities, so I enjoy challenging myself to make delicious foods (mostly desserts) that contain no dairy. Last week was my hubby's birthday and his parents invited us to their place to celebrate. I, of course, would bring dessert. What is my hubby's most favorite dessert in the who world? Cheesecake. So thus I was presented with my most challenging dessert to date. Is it even possible to make a cheesecake non-dairy? I decided to find out.

After exploring the health food section of our local Safeway, I think my hubby discovered that Tofutti makes a product called "Better Than Cream Cheese" that is a nondairy cream cheese. Ah ha! But could you bake with it? One of the challenges with not using dairy is that the non-dairy substitutes do not always hold up in the baking process like their dairy counterparts. The only way to find out was to try.

I whipped it up, tossed it in the oven and waited. I was a bit worried when I took it out because it did not seem to set up like a normal cheesecake, maybe I should have added an extra egg? Too late now... so I let it cool and then chill in the fridge. The next day I took it out and it seemed that success was near. It set!

The next challenge was to decorate it. I had never decorated a cheesecake before. I decided to try some chocolate. I had never worked with chocolate as a decoration before, so there was yet another challenge. I had visions of elaborate, delicate chocolate bows, but time and common sense caused me to keep it simple. So a few chocolate plaques and some strawberry topping and voila! A beautiful non-dairy cheesecake that did in fact taste very much like a "normal" cheesecake!

Alyssa's First Birthday

A couple of months ago I got to peek at the new Wilton Yearbook and I ran across the photo of a Tinkerbell Flower garden cake and I fell in love with it! It was cute and girly without being pink, and if I left off the little Tinkerbell candle, it was just a flower garden! Perfect for my little girl's first birthday cake.

So I spent a week making the flowers and all the leaves (really only a few hours, but in snip-its here and there in the evenings after the kids went to bed). I did underestimate the amount of time it would take me to put it all together, but I finished mere seconds before the first guest arrived at the party!

Happy Birthday to my little girl!!

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