January 28, 2012

Welcome Home Smith Family!

Today is the day! 

One of my favorite families in this whole world, the Smiths, are coming home with their newly adopted children from a 7 week journey to Ukraine today. They are truly some of the most loving, compassionate, selfless, and awesome people I have ever met. They have been so obedient to the Lord's calling of them to adopt 3 children from Ukranie, and they are such a blessing in my life and the lives of so many others. If you haven't seen it before, you should check out Mrs. Lisa's adoption blog. It tells their whole story. Anyway, they were FINALLY able to come home today, and I made some cupcakes to welcome them home to! 

January 21, 2012

My Story

Hey everyone!

I'm spending this lazy, rainy Saturday morning working on homework and getting some other things done. One of those things I had to to was write a scholarship essay. The topic said, "Describe your most meaningful achievements and and how they relate to your field of study and your future goals." Because my ultimate dream is opening my own bakery, I decided to focus on that portion of my life. I thought I would share it with y'all since, after all, this is a baking blog. If you get all the way through it, MAJOR props to you. I know it's fairly long. Anyway, enjoy!

Scholarship Essay

          My love for baking is certainly a result of eggs. That’s right—eggs. Ever since a young age, I have always loved to bake. I remember standing on a kitchen chair as a young girl, reaching to the counter to help my mom mix up some chocolate chip cookies. I would dump in the flour she measured out for me, add the sugar, and stir. What came next was my favorite part. The next step was cracking the eggs into the bowl. I always wanted to break the eggs. I don’t know what it was about that cold, hard, round food that was so enticing to me. Nevertheless, I never missed a chance to crack one into the bowl. And so my love for baking was born.
           As I got older, my passion for baking began to grow. Beginning in high school, I started following numerous food blogs. I constantly found new recipes I wanted to try. I would (and still do) compile them into a word document and save them for a rainy day. Any time I had a chance to bake something, I would pull up my recipe list and find something I had been dying to try. Today, that word document is 82 pages long. I think it’ll take me a few more rainy days to get through my list. I then decided to begin my own food blog—A Day in the Life of an Aspiring Baker. I post pictures and recipes of the foods I make. I even include some of my own random thoughts of the day, often completely unrelated to food.
           Not only did my passion for baking grow in high school, but my talent grew as well. Around the time I began my food blog, I started making all kinds of cupcakes—cookies and cream cupcakes, Milky Way cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes, and my ever-famous vanilla cupcake. I learned how to perfect the cupcake shape and the icing swirl on top. Soon after, people actually began to buy cupcakes from me. I was flabbergasted. Someone wanted to buy something I made? I was going to make money by doing something I absolutely loved? I didn’t know that was possible. I associated work with words such as boring, awful, long, and exhausting. That’s not to say baking is not often long and exhausting, but it’s certainly not a burden to me in any way. I could spend hours on end in the kitchen, not even noticing the time quickly passing by. It was incredible. So, as people began buying my cupcakes, I started baking more and more. Not only did I bake cupcakes, but I baked cakes, cookies, and other desserts. I was in my element, and I loved it.
             I would consider the growth of my baking talent to be one of my most meaningful achievements. While many are gifted in sports, singing, math, writing, etc., God has given me a talent for baking. I learn something new each and every time I get in the kitchen, and I believe it will only continue as I get older. I am so thankful for this God given gift, and I want to use it to glorify Him.
            In the past, each time someone asked me what my major was, I didn’t exactly know what to tell them. I would tell them my chosen major with uncertainty, knowing I hadn’t definitely decided on one. During my first semester of college, my major changed from journalism to dietetics to advertising. I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. However, in January, I attended the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta. One of the speakers emphasized the fact that God has given us passions and gifts for a reason. My love for baking was not to be left alone. I knew what I wanted to do with my life—own my own bakery. Therefore, I began to seek the best college path and major to make that dream a reality. I decided to major in management. Not only will management be extremely helpful to me in opening my bakery, but it will provide me with a very versatile degree. I will likely need to find a job right out of college, for I need to accumulate some savings before I can open my bakery. Therefore, a degree in management will give me plenty of job opportunities.
         Focusing more on my future bakery, I would love to open it in my hometown of Kennesaw. I picture a quaint, peaceful store where guests can come in to enjoy a cupcake and a hot cup of coffee. The store itself will be welcoming and warm. It will provide customers a place to sit and read, work, or simply enjoy time with friends. I plan to not only sell desserts to eat in the store, but I hope to sell wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and other special orders. Having a degree in management will be so helpful to me as I try to organize business strategies for my bakery. It will help me open the store, run the store, make a profit off the store, and deal with customers and sellers for the store. I truly hope to make this dream a reality, and I am determined to do everything I can to make that happen. 

January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year!

I welcomed in the new year with my best friends, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! I'm really looking forward to 2012 and so many things it has to bring...some serious, some fun. To name a few...

I'm looking forward to Passion 2012...beginning tomorrow!
I'm looking forward to the movies The VowThe Lucky One, and Batman.
I'm looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends.
I'm looking forward to reading the series, The Hunger Games, and seeing the movie. 
I'm looking forward to more baking adventures.
I'm looking forward to finishing my freshman year of college and MOVING OUT OF THE DORMS! 
I'm looking forward to a wonderful summer at home with my friends and family.
I'm looking forward to moving into my first apartment in the fall with a few awesome girls I've met at UGA. 
I'm looking forward to decorating my apartment for fall and Christmas.
I'm looking forward to celebrating my 20th birthday. I'll no longer be a teenager! 
I'm looking forward to the Christmas season. Just because one just ended doesn't mean I can't look forward to the next one :) 
Finally, I'm looking forward to moving further in my walk with the Lord, finding out more about myself and His character, and seeing His plan for my life revealed piece by piece in a way I could never imagine. 

Now for the cookies...

Good news. My cookies weren't a disaster. I think this is the first time I've successfully decorated sugar cookies. I'm kind of proud. I got the cookie recipe, icing recipe, and idea for the colors and design from a blog I read, The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle.

Basic Sugar Cookies
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
1 egg
2-3 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond, etc.) (NOTHING with oil in it)
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream together softened butter and confectioner's sugar. Crack the egg into a separate bowl, and add the flavoring. Add that to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until the egg is thoroughly incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add little by little to the mixture.
Roll out on parchment paper about 1/4 inch thick. Then, cut and bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes.