Thursday, October 18, 2012

Royally mine...

      I have a princess in my house... she doesn't wear a tiara, glass slippers or fancy dresses but she is my princess none the less.

      Alana has been sick all week and Ive been sick worried for her. She has asthma and bronchitis which it's not a good combination. Today she woke up feeling better and when she saw me frosting some cakes in the kitchen she asked where were her cakes. I make cakes for everybody and for the most important person in my life I always make something special.

      Alana is one of those kids that has a stool so she can "help" me when I'm cooking, she makes sure everything I do it's up to her quality and flavor and she even has her own cookie cutters, rolling pin, set of spatulas, whisk and spoon (the whisk, spoon and spatulas are pink and have piggies on them). She loves rolling dough to make sugar cookies, loves pouring sugar on them and opening the door of the oven to check if they are done. She eats the frosting on top of the cupcakes, eats frosting alone with a spoon or finger and eats the cupcake alone, without frosting. I love everything about her, she's 46 pounds of deliciousness and like everything I bake I made her from scratch.

      So to my little princess I made this cupcakes, she loves the Disney Princesses and already decided she wants her birthday next year to be about them, castle cake and all. It's a good thing she has a mom that loves to bake. These cupcakes are simple vanilla cake but it's important that when you bake cupcakes you don't over bake them so they end up being rich and moist.

      The other day someone on the street told me how cute my daughter was and I answered she absolutely is. She heard me talking to that person and everyday she asks me if she is cute and everyday I answer her the same thing... You're the cutest girl in the entire world. Does it sound like I'm in love with my daughter? It must be because I am...


Friday, October 5, 2012

The lesson...


      For the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot of the things I should say on this post. It's an important post and one that has changed my life in a very unique way.

      A few weeks ago I heard about a bake sale being organized to support the Go Bo! Foundation and even when my cookies are not the best out there or the prettiest or super mega fancy I wanted to help, I knew I wanted to do it and I knew they would be my most beautiful cookies to date.

      Bo Johnson was a remarkable young boy, full of love and hope and wisdom, even at the short age of 13. He suffered from a very aggressive form of leukemia and unfortunately passed away last Friday but not before changing the lives of his family and the people of his community. His message was clear- "Love each other, help each other, have your neighbor's back. If you see someone in need, even a stranger, reach out and help. This world can be a better place if we care and help each other". So much wisdom and strength in that little boy, he was definitely a hero.

      When I heard about Bo's passing I had a wave of emotions like I've never experienced before. I cried a lot, then I was calm knowing he was no longer suffering or in pain and then I asked myself, why do kids suffer from these kind of diseases? I talked to my sister about these feelings I was having and she told me something that stuck with me: "We as humans learn to value life through loss". Even in death we learn, we come together and we grow. It's all part of living.

      Last night I started packing the cookies, one by one with so much love, arranged them in the plastic containers with care and the put them inside the box. I woke up this morning, took my daughter to school and the waited patiently for the post office to open so I could send those cookies to Wisconsin. I felt at peace. Even when I am out of a job and don't have big luxuries I was able to help and as long as I have flour, sugar and butter I will continue to do so. My mother taught me something I follow by heart, share what you have not what you have to spare, give with your heart. I'm so honored to have been a part of this and so grateful of the chance Jill Wettstein gave me to help.

      Love those close to you, share what you have, be involved in your community... these are rules to live by. All you need is LOVE...



Sunday, August 5, 2012

No day like tomorrow...

      I know it's been a while since I've posted and this post it's not sweets related but it's a post I know a lot of mothers out there will relate to.

      I have a 4 year old daughter and she is my pride and joy. I know she is the reason I'm still alive and I know God made her exactly for me. When I was much younger I knew I wanted to be a mother. I was raised by a wonderful mom, a fighter, a survivor, a kind woman that gave every bit of herself to raise 3 girls. When you grow up with such an awesome woman how can you not want to be a mom?

      The idea of love and committing to another person and have a family was all I could thing of and I knew I was meant for it. From the moment I knew I was pregnant my world changed, I became someones mom and I knew that my only job in the world from then on would be to protect her.

      She was born on an eventful day, in a foreign land and under very stressful and life threatening complications. We both almost didn't make it but God had a plan for us two and he gave us a fighting chance. She was born a preemie and got taken away as soon as they performed the c-section, every memory from that day it's still a blur but I remember seeing her and knowing she was mine. She was taken to a hospital for children 2 hours away from mine and I was in bed... she was born on a Friday and that Sunday was Mother's Day. After that day I knew I couldn't wait any longer to meet that daughter of mine and I made the trip to see her. I still remember how she felt in my arms the first time I held her... it cannot be described with words.

      Yes, she was mine and I would forever be hers. It's been 4 years and we've been through a lot but I've always had her by my side and my hand has always been there to hold hers.

      Tomorrow it's a very special day, she starts school. Not a day in her life I've left her with a stranger and tomorrow, for the first time I will leave her in a room full of them. I will leave her with the conviction that I've given her the tools to be an extraordinary human being, that it's a new chapter in our story together and that tomorrow her school years begin and I wish her all the success in the world. I'm a little sad, after all to me she is still that 4 pound little baby I held in my arms but I am also excited to see her grow, do new things, be independent and excel in everything she does. I'm happy because I see her and I look at her smiling face, happy, and I know I've done a good job. So wish my baby a good day tomorrow and to all the mommies out there that will go through the same in the next few weeks I send strength and happy thoughts.

      Until the next time!!...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here we go...

      Anticipation can be a good thing but it can also be bad. For someone like me it can be a cause of death... I like everything here and now, if I have an idea I have to make it as soon as possible and I never (well, almost never) leave a project incomplete... I've tried but I find myself unable to sleep and showering at 2am and finishing at that time.

      I've been preparing myself for a very important trip for me. My daughter and I will leave on Friday to visit my baby sister in New York. It might not be a big deal for some people but I am hoping that by going away I can find the strength I have lost over the past few years and I can somehow get back in the right path. You could say I'm going away to find inspiration, a way to find myself again. My daughter will be starting going to school in August so this will be a good way to spend a little mommy and me time, be happy, have fun and enjoy ourselves... I have high hopes for this trip.

      I'm so proud of both my sisters. They have grown to be fine women, so smart, so beautiful and so wise. Even at my lowest they have been there for me and that means the world to me, to be able to count with that kind of support and LOVE. My little sister lives in New York where she is a nurse and she is so good at it, we always new she had passion and so much love to give to others and she is right where she belongs.

      So you see, the anticipation for this trip has been killing me, the packing, the waiting, wanting to give her a big, big hug that will make me cry. I've been needing that hug, from her, needing it REALLY bad. So I've kept myself busy for the past week and made two projects. The first was a fruit and cream mini tarts and the second was artistic gelatin. I've never done them before but by searching on the internet and researching it's pretty easy to find a way to start.

      For the tarts I made everything from scratch, the tart dough, the pastry cream and the glaze. It was delicious and so fresh, perfect for this hot summer. The gelatin was a little different. I was working on it for three days straight, trying recipes, practicing how to inject the gelatin, colors, flavors, gelatin consistency... it's really a work of art. Here are some pictures of these projects that have kept me busy and sane for this past week.

      I realized that I was going to be spending the 4th of July in there so I managed to pack all my baking basics in my suitcase, it's a big suitcase so half of it has baking stuff in it, I'm THAT crazy. I'm excited so I will be posting updates of my trip, pictures and of course the 4th of July desserts I will be making for my sister, her boyfriend and her friends... Have I mentioned I'm EXCITED?!! Till' next time, wish me a good trip!!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let the sunshine in...

      This will be my first recipe related post so bare with me. Did that sound like a warning? It was. I'm in no way a professional baker and have no training of that sort so what I make I make from the heart... with LOVE.

      I own a notebook that's filled with recipes I would love to try and this year I hope to make them all. My family and friends are always saying I should post online, take more pictures, get creative and they are right. I promise I will try, step by step I will get where I should be.

      This summer has been super hot here in Puerto Rico and we know HOT!!! I thought it was only appropriate for my first posted recipe to be something light, delicious but most of all refreshing. I know its sweet, I'm guilty of loving sugar but it has fruit in it and that's got to count for something, right? 

      Through all my years baking I have found that there is something that's key for a delicious treat... FRESH ingredients. Fresh eggs, good butter, flour that has been well preserved, fresh milk. Keeping things fresh and the kitchen clean it's a must, although when you have kids it can be a challenge... the super clean kitchen part that is.

      So, I'm stopping the nervous rambling now and I will leave you with an easy, delicious recipe for your family. The 4th of July is coming soon so using blueberry and strawberries or raspberries can be very festive and a beautiful way to put something really special at your dinner table that day. ENJOY!!!!!



For the sponge cake:
1/2 cup real butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
2 eggs

Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the flour. Bake at 325 until golden on edges or use the toothpick on the center trick.

For the whipped cream:
3 cups heavy whipping cream (make sure it's really cold)
3 tsp vanilla extract
3-6 tbsp confectioners sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
Start whipping the cream and when it starts to get stiff add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff picks start to form. Don't over-beat or it will become lumpy. Refrigerate until needed. Tip: Putting the whisk and mixing bowl in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before beginning helps a lot to achieve the right texture of the whipped cream.

Since it's a Berry Berry trifle use any kind of berry you love or can find in season, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry... any berry you like.e


For the bottom layer you can cut the cake in the shape of the glass it will go in or my preferred method, crumbling it.
Pour a spoonful or pipe the whipped cream on top and then fruit. From here on you can put as many layers as you like in the order you like... be creative!!!! You may top it with fruit or chocolate chips, nuts, anything you feel like having with it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When life gives you lemons...

Hi there!!!!!

      Well, where to start? Life doesn't always works out as planned but in the spirit of embracing it's twists and turns I've decided to make lemonade of the lemons that have fallen on me (yes, they hurt pretty bad when they fell). It's been a couple of tough years for me and I've decided there is no way for me to go but forward. You win some, you lose some, the important things is to keep living...

      Someone I love said to me not long ago that if my life didn't work out as I had planned it maybe it was time for me to start living without a plan. 

      Baking came to me almost 4 years ago when I decided I wanted to bake my daughters first birthday cake. She was a miracle baby and I wanted that day to be absolutely perfect, even if she wasn't going to remember it. So I asked for some help from a dear friend from college and she gave me the starting piece of this puzzle... a cake recipe. I started practicing making the batter, tweaking it to my taste, started decorating the shaped cake I wanted for the birthday, those first weeks were all about trial and error. The day came and it wasn't the perfect cake, it didn't have the best taste but I was so proud because I knew that those pictures that were taken, those memories that had been made were going to be with me forever. I made it my mission to keep on reading, learning, practicing and get better and I have.

      I will be sharing new things to come as I move forward without a plan, growing, learning, maturing and finally allowing myself to do what makes me happy. I'm never as happy as when I'm baking... This will be a tool for me to hopefully make new friends, share knowledge and techniques, grow as a person and if it's in the cards for me turn my dream of having a business in a reality so stay with me...



Here's a picture of that first cake... what do you think?