October 28, 2013

Food for the Soul

I am fully convinced Grandparents are one of God's greatest gifts. Especially mine. I was blessed with the most wonderful grandparents, and I got to spend time with 2 of them this past weekend. Gramps and Nanny are my Dad's parents. Gramps LOVES to fish, and his birthday is coming up, so obviously it was only acceptable to make him a fishing cake.

The McGuffins all got together last weekend at my Aunt and Uncle's cabin in Young Harris, GA. It is always such a joyous time with these people. We don't get to see each other too often, so the time we have together is cherished. Despite the 14 people, 1 baby, and 3 dogs crammed in the tiny house, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Y'all know I love fall, so the fact that my weekend was filled will all things fall related was just icing on the cake. We took TWO trips to Mercier's Orchard, ate pumpkin cupcakes, made smores, looked at the stars, and enjoyed the first cool, crisp air of the season. Also, some of us hiked (or should I say climbed) up a mountain to an incredible view of North Georgia on one side and the mountains of North Carolina on the other. The hike was absolutely killer, but the view was so so worth it. Funny story from the hike- at the beginning, a random dog decided to join us and lead us up the mountain. He stayed with us the entire way up and even led us back down. The only name on his tag was what we figured to be his owner's name, Dorothy, but we called him that anyway. Dorothy was a really nice addition to our day. This was the view from the top...

And this was the view from the house in the morning...

Sometimes, it is so refreshing to just get away. Whether it's across the country or just up the interstate, a weekend trip is good for the soul. 

So about that cake. My Gramps is turning 86 this year, so we surprised him with a birthday "party" this weekend. Meet my grandparents. Are they not the sweetest looking people in the world?

So there you have it. Hope your weekend was as rejuvenating and restful as mine!

Sweet eats,

October 15, 2013

The Dawgs and Shattered Dreams

Saturdays in Athens have given me some of my best memories. Whether I was a student at the time or simply a visiting fan, the Classic City has never disappointed. Tailgating on Myer's Quad, taking a walk across North Campus, and pointing South at the trumpet soloist as the Battle Hymn plays in Sanford Stadium. These are a few of my favorite things. There is something magical about being in Athens on Saturdays in the fall. It is an experience like no other.

If you know me at all, you know I am a diehard Georgia fan. I've always loved sports in general, but Georgia football is one of my absolute favorite things in this world. And that's a scary thought. It's not easy being a Dawg.

The loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship last year made my heart hurt. It really did. I know that sounds ridiculous, and some of you still won't understand, but we were four yards shy of something I have waited my whole life to see. Much more, something Aaron Murray has played his whole life to achieve. And after the loss to Mizzou, that won't happen now.

This article is so beautifully written. It conveys my thoughts exactly on the loss last December, the loss last Saturday, and the rest of the season to come. In the words of the author, "We have the chance to enjoy the artistry of Aaron Murray for half a season before we all get a little dusty-eyed on Senior Day in Sanford Stadium, and cheer him on at a bowl game during a warm-weathered, post-Christmas vacation." I can't wait to be there that day to see Murray's final game in Sanford Stadium and cheer the Dawgs on to a victory over Kentucky.

So in honor of my Bulldog pride and passion for all things UGA, here are some decorated sugar cookies and cupcakes to express my love for this school in food form. Go Dawgs.

While we're on the topic of college football, I made this Arkansas Groom's Cake for a wedding a few weeks ago. The wedding was at a gorgeous outdoor venue in Rome, GA. The story of the wedding day is actually an incredibly perfect picture of God's faithfulness and ability to answer prayers. It had been beautiful all week before the wedding, but it rained ALL day long on this Saturday. Not only was the ceremony was supposed to take place outside at 6 that night, but the rain was just ruining lots of other plans. Miraculously, the sky completely cleared up a couple of hours before the ceremony began, and there could not have been a more perfect night for this precious couple.

And, though most of these are older and have already been featured on my blog, here are some other sports related desserts I've made...for your viewing pleasure :)

Sweet eats,

October 14, 2013

Peaceful Pursuit

Warning. This is going to be one of those posts where I go on a random tangent about life and school and the future and other nonsense that doesn't relate to baking. But hey, that's okay. You all want to read about my personal struggles, right? Thought so ;)

Growing up, no one told me how hard it would be to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. Well, maybe they did, but I didn't listen. I was too set on being a vet or a teacher or a journalist. It changed pretty often, but at the time, I was always so sure of what I wanted to spend years of my life invested in. Entering my freshman year at UGA, I was absolutely positive I would be a journalist. And still, my farthest reaching fantasy is to be Erin Andrews. I would love love love love to get paid (the big bucks, too) to go to sporting events and watch from the sidelines, interviewing players and coaches in the process. But, that being said, something didn't feel right about being a journalism major. It just didn't fit my personality, and getting all up in someone's business to write a juicy story wasn't something I felt comfortable doing. So I became a Marketing major, and that is where I stand today. What I want to do with that major, I still don't know. Obviously I would love to own my own storefront one day, but in my case, it's not realistic to do that right out of college. I sit in my Finance and Econ classes at school and wonder what in the heck I am doing as a business major, but then I'm reminded of the One who placed me where I am. The Great I Am has been orchestrating my life from the very beginning, so why start worrying now? I have no idea where life will lead me when I graduate. No. Idea. But I know Someone who does, and He provides peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Today, I am so grateful for that peace. I'm not entirely sure of my point in sharing this rambling, but it was something I wanted to get off my chest. Maybe someone else out there needed to hear about the Lord's provision today? 

Now to awkwardly transition into baking...here is cake that I am quite proud of. 

Baking and cake decorating is stressful. I'm producing a good for someone, and they expect it to be perfect. They have placed their trust in me, and I have to deliver. If you saw me in the kitchen while I was working on a big project, you would think I was crazy. I often have flour and icing all over me-- in my hair, on my face, ALL over my clothes. You do NOT want to try to talk to me while I'm working. My parents know that first hand. I'm not pleasant when I'm stressed. But despite all of that, I still love what I do. It is my passion and talent. Seeing a successfully finished cake makes all of the stress and worry worth it. That scenario was definitely the case with this 60th anniversary cake. Lots of things kept going wrong, but somehow, everything came together to create something I hope was thoroughly enjoyed. I would want want to spend my busy, often worrisome hours doing anything else.