Friday, July 22, 2011

Sweet Cream and Sprinkles!

In a world that has become obsessed with cake decorators and cupcake shops, where shows like Cupcake Wars and Cake Boss are all the rage, I ask myself, why didn’t I follow my first attempt to make a career out of something I love?  Quite simply put, finance is not easily expendable at my house.  But things are a changing.  My hobby has led me to a new opportunity.  I have taken up teaching the Wilton Method of Cake decorating as an independent contractor, which will hopefully open all sorts of doors.  After finding out that I would be starting this endeavor I set out to flex my muscles.  As a result I have learned new recipes and techniques that will allow me to expand into almost any direction once I put some time under my belt.  It's an exciting time for me, being able to once again turn to something I love doing, especially after not thinking I would be able to do it after my second surgery.

So, you may be wondering, what I’ve been up to and how this is all working out for me.  Well my answer is not as simple.  Right now, it’s just an idea and a pile of raspberry cupcakes with champagne butter cream frosting.  To track my progress and to share with you all of my new found tips and recipes and projects, I have decided that instead of changing this blog, where I write about anything that comes to mind, I would start a second blog, specifically aimed at cakes and cupcakes.  You can check out the new baker's blog at 
No fear fellow readers, this is not the end of Life’s Lessons, just an experimental growth.  Both blogs will continue on and will be posted with updates often!  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting Inspired

So the world seems to have turned to food.  Not just particular types of food, but just in general.  People are looking more at their food, trying to spend less, eat fresh, cook simple, and have fun.  More and more people are tuning into food network, cooking from scratch, canning and freezing fresh, local produce, etc.   You can find everything from books, to internet sites, to TV shows, to magazines that will teach you how to cook, bake, and preserve.  Why all the fuss?  I think that as the economy still holds steady in its rather large slump, people struggle.  They want to save money, yet get it done fast.  Others want to just have fun and eat well.  I myself, find joy and freedom, and relaxation in my kitchen.  Anything from cooking, to preserving to making fun and decorative deserts, that's become my passion.

So, what do you do when your passion tends to become your obsession?  I go with it.  I went to the library and checked out books on canning and freezing.  Then I bought the equipment to get it done.  Now, I'm working on doing it.  Who would have thought that preparing produce and even meat ahead of time, and preserving it, would make cooking so much easier, and cheaper.  You may ask, what do you mean?  I went and bought some meat, mixed it in a marinade and then froze it.  That way when I decide that is what we are having for dinner, I don't need to worry, it won't be undermarinated, and it won't be a rush to get it around.  All I have to do is unthaw it.

I've also rekindled my love for baking.  Thank you cupcake wars!  I have recently taken on the chance to teach others how to decorate cakes.  So in order to practice, I'm trying new recipes outside of the normal plain jane realm of baking and finding that there are some pretty good things out there.

What got me started on this new obsession?  I'm really not sure.  I think it is a mixture of things.  I watched Julie and Julia the other day and that inspired me to get my butt back in the kitchen.  Then cupcake wars was on, and my creative genius stepped up.  Then I decided we really needed to find a way to save money on groceries, and what a better way than to preserve everything possible!  I'm sure with the kids being with their mom for the last few weeks, giving me a lot of extra time on my hands, has aided in that decision to spend almost every waking moment in my kitchen.  And I'm loving every second of it.

So I ask you, what inspires you?  Do you love your kitchen as much as me?  All of this inspiring, and I may just have to add a new section to my blog on my kitchen adventures...we shall see :)