Sweet Dreams

The next few days are going to be filled with presents, packing, and travel, so I just wanted to check in and say MERRY CHRISTMAS before life takes over.  Did I mention that we're traveling this year with all of the pets? Yes, two dogs and a bird...and presents...and suitcases...and traffic.  It should be a fun trip.

I appreciate all of you very very much, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!

This week, I've been in my kitchen baking away.  I tried to recreate a Sesame Ginger Salmon recipe that I wrote 2 weeks ago but forgot to photograph.  It's a great recipe, but not as much fun with no pictures.  Unfortunately, there was no time for salmon this week!

I did, however, take a few more steps towards my goal of being a real, live, legitimate baker!  Since I stopped being sorry and officially owned it, I have been slowly but surely setting everything up so that I can follow my dream of having a bakery.

I got a logo.

I started a website.

I offered to give away my goodies.

[I'm happy to report that many, many people want my goodies, by the way]

I also signed up for my Food Service Manager class, which is happening on January 10th.  I'm working on getting business liability insurance, a Maryland business license, and I have found a catering company in Gaithersburg that will allow me to rent their kitchen [that was the most exciting piece].

In the meantime, I've been working on my recipes!  I have a game plan as far as menu selections, so now I'm just coming up with the things that I absolutely think must be fanned out to the Taste Crew, and those that are just not worth it.

Coming up with creative flavors is kind of challenging.  I'm afraid I'll send out a batch of cupcakes or cookies that people don't like, then I'll get crappy blog reviews, and it could affect my business in the future.  Oh well...I suppose that just comes along with the territory.  I would imagine that people understand that in the beginning I'll be working the kinks out for a while.

Hopefully.

So, I've been practicing.

Incidentally, the last time I made these mint cookies, I did not know that Rolling Pin Rings even existed.  Being the cookie perfectionist that I am, I was really upset that none of the cookies had the same thickness.  I started Googling, and found out that when you put a set of Rolling Pin Rings around your rolling pin (see the green one on mine above?), it makes it so that all of the dough becomes a uniform thickness as you roll it out.

Genius, I tell ya!

[Unfortunately, I left my new big girl camera at work, or these pictures would have been even more delicious.]

In addition to learning how to use my rolling pin rings last night, I was also taught a very valuable lesson in chocolate.  After dipping cookies in chocolate, placing them on a metal rack, then allowing them to chill in the fridge for a few, they will not come off of the aforementioned metal rack without critical assistance from The Jaws of Life.

Send help.

Actually, I quickly realized that gently pressing on them from the bottom of the rack makes them pop off.  Well, it wasn't quick.  I suffered at least 5 cookie casualties before I figured out that minor detail.  Next time, I'll be using the silicone mat for chilling the cookies.

In the end, all was well.  Almond paste and dark chocolate mint cookie success!

Sugared Bakery is happening, people.  I still don't really believe it, but it's definitely happening.

[...squeeeeeeel...]

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