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Archive for August, 2010

In my former life (BK-Before Kids), I worked as a Sensory Food Researcher (ie, food taste tester). Not just a food taste tester, but I also worked on recipe development, data analysis, statistical reports, questionnaires, protocols…etc. It was truly a great job and learned so much about the food industry.

Now that my oldest is old enough to bake with, I thought it would be fun to change the kitchen to a test kitchen for one day. My oldest received a cookbook last Christmas and has been begging for months to try to make one of the recipes. Here’s the Camryn with the book…

The recipe she chose was called “Dory & Nemo’s Breakfast Cookies”. The day before, Camryn made a list of ingredients we needed and headed off to the local market. Now, for those that have baked or cooked with their kids, this is probably one of the best ways to teach math especially fractions, volume & weight.

I have to say she did very well. I wish I took pictures of her baking and measuring, but we were having too much fun! But here’s the final product.

While I was taking pictures of the cookies, Camryn also showed interest of styling the food herself. Here’s my version…

…and here’s Camryn’s version…

…I think she has a future profession in food styling!

And the taste testers give these cookies…
…TWO THUMBS UP!

Here’s the recipe and a few tips that could help make them more fun…

“Breakfast Cookies”
Recipe by Disney, The Magic Kitchen Cookbook

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups multigrain cereal flakes with blueberries (we used Trader Joe’s Pomegranet & Blueberry cereal flakes)

(ADDITIONS: We also added a handful of semisweet chocolate chips because we LOVE chocolate!)

1) Turn on the oven to 350F. Coat the cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Save until step 3. (We used a nonstick silicone sheet on the cookie sheet)
2) Put the butter in the mixing bowl. Beat with the electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking soda. Beat until mixed. Add the eggs; beat until mixed. Add flour and beat until the mixture no longer looks dry. Use the wooden spoon to stir in the cereal.
3) For each cookie, pack the mixture into a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Sue the rubber scraper to scrape it out of the cup onto the prepared cookie sheet (we used cookie scoopers-a lot easier and less messy). Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies about 3 inches apart.
4) Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Turn off oven. Use hot pads to take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Let baked cookies stand on the cookie sheet for one minute. Use the wide spatula to transfer the cookies to the wire rack; let cookies cool. Makes 12 cookies.

Overall, this recipe is very easy to follow and pretty healthy. In the future, I think we’ll add flaxseeds, replace the butter with applesauce or some vegetable puree, add oatmeal…so many things that can be added or changed…all part of a test kitchen!

And for those that are counting calories…this picture’s for you!
Happy Baking Everyone!!

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October 2009, CakeJournal.com, blogged a post about a decorating book to be published in 2010 and submissions were requested. Nervous to submit anything, I went ahead and sent my information and website. Knowing how much talent is out there in the world, I honestly thought I was going to be passed. As deadlines rolled by, I was sent emails from the creators of the book asking for pictures and more information. February was the deadline for submissions and that’s the last I heard of anything about the book.

March & April rolled by and didn’t hear anything, so I assumed I didn’t make it. In May, I got an email from the creators asking for clarification on my information. June & July rolled by. Then a few days ago, I, nervously, decided to send a quick email to the creators to see if any of my work was picked for the book. I received a wonderful response letting me know that an email was sent back in March that a few of my pictures were picked for the book.

As I think back now how nervous I was to enter, I’m even more nervous to see the book. Just being chosen to be part of this collection is very humbling and very grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you to Cakejournal for her post and, of course the creators of the book, sisters, Sarah & Gina, for letting decorators shine.

Book will be published in November 2010. Pre-order now here.

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I can’t believe a year has gone by since Brendan’s 1st birthday! Joan, Brendan’s mom, had a HUGE Mickey Mouse Birthday party last year and I got the chance to make cupcakes and a smash cake for the party.

This year, Joan was throwing a Blue Clues 2nd birthday party. We discussed different ideas of what to do for the party. With all the different characters on the show, it was really hard to decide what to do. Normally, I would shy away from character themed cookies…but I was really up for this challenge. So here’s the complete set of cookies…
Joan wanted 2 dozen Blues Clues, 2 dozen #2’s and 2 dozen little Brendan boys to use as centerpieces for the tables. The mini cookies were used for the favors. We broke it down to Tickety Tock, thinking chair, mailbox and the notepad.

Here they are all packaged up! Steve was also made and appearance on the tags!

Happy Birthday to Brendan!!! I hope he had a great birthday!!!

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