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?