Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dog days are on their way

It's getting hot. I mean really hot. Life is heating up, too. Shana graduated from high school! Then, three weeks later, she finished all her tests and actually completed high school. Hmm... Ayelet celebrated her fifteenth birthday, and later went to the wedding of one of her teachers - Dani and Shana had both enjoyed that experience in the States, but when they were much younger. Ayelet and her friends were old enough to be a real part of the celebration, dancing up a storm and singing with the kallah before the badeken. Dani finished the school year, and is now attending gemara "camp" until the end of the month. He is still in the throes of bar mitzvah partying, with many events still to come. And poor, poor Lola. She still has school for another day, and boy is she peeved about it. But come 11:45 tomorrow, she too will be done with the school year, and my nerves will be totally fried. And I am getting old. I will hit the big 4-0 shortly, but I am oddly okay with that. My life is in a good place, my family is in a good place; really no legitimate gripes. What I am not okay with? My eyes getting old, my hair getting old, my joints getting old. I am hoping for some real psychic rejuvenation this summer, and some time outside the kitchen, though not too much. But be careful what you wish for...

To celebrate Ayelet's birthday, Shana, who is becoming severely underpaid as my unpaid intern/indentured servant, was allowed to go crazy on cake decorating. The canvas? Vanilla cake with chocolate fudge filling and iced smooth in white vanilla buttercream.

And then Shana went to town with flowers in teal and mint, accented with yellow.
She used large sunflower/daisy cutters, and small blossoms.
She even did the funky style lettering on her own. We may have to open a branch in the big city next year, when she is living away from home!

Happy Birthday Ayelet - hope this year is as sweet as can be! And since the summer has begun, let's hope we can all keep our cool...

Imma (Dvora)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sugar Cookies Make Everything More Fun

It's true; they really do. Proof?

For starters, this Rosh Chodesh treat platter is more fun with a Chodesh Tov message, on a sefer Torah in honor of the month of Sivan.
This anniversary platter is a celebration in sugar - decorated sugar cookies tell beloved parents how much their children care. The cookies underneath will get eaten, but I have a feeling (past experience) that the sugar cookies will be cherished for a long time to come.
All of these cookies were in the shape of a sefer Torah, to celebrate a chanukat habayit and hachnasat sefer Torah at a new shul in a nearby city. The linzer cookies, thin mint sandwiches, lemon curd sandwiches, and sugar cookie ganache sandwiches are all enhanced by the Torah shape, while the closed scroll sugar cookies feature a metallic gold keter Torah - a little bling for a good cause.


Ninety Years Young

You are never too old for a fun birthday cake. Case in point, this young at heart grandmother - can you guess how old she is?

Okay, maybe that picture (and the title of this post) was too much of a hint. But yes, this is a ninetieth birthday cake.
Pretty darned impressive - no traditional flowers and bows for this bobie (one of the many spelling variations for the Yiddish term for grandmother - sure glad I double checked the spelling with the client!). She got stripes and polka dots in yellow and shades of purple, on a background of lilac buttercream.

The cake inside was two layers of moist chocolate cake, filled with fluffy vanilla cream. Almost like a devil dog. But with the added bonus of frosting on top.

Hope this was a wonderful birthday! Ad meah v'esrim in health and happiness.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Not Good-bye, but See You Later - L'hitraot!

When a family comes here for the year, often it extends to two, three, four years, or maybe just forever. But sometimes a year is just that; a wonderful year of experiences and adventures, then a return to the old life. For one such family, dear friends were made, friends who wanted to make sure that the good times were not soon forgotten, perhaps in the hopes that a return visit would be sooner rather than later. What better way to let them know that they would be missed, than with a cake?! I had a good time making the components for this cake - it involved a combination of cutting, molding, and painting, so I was really feeling creatively challenged, and satisfied.

The top of the cake was graced with the logo for our fine yishuv, and the message "L'hitraot" - "we will see each other," or "Til we meet again."What is Israel without the national snack, falafel? And you can't forget the beautiful beaches, especially since many, many months of the year are beach weather.And of course, there is the Kotel, and the flag - two unforgettable symbols.The inside of the cake was chocolate chip cake with chocolate filling - all in all, a truly memorable way to end a terrific year.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Check out the new logo!

If you look up - not to the sky, but to the top of this page - you will see the lovely logo redesign that my daughter made for me. I love that incorporates the original flower/bee concept, but with cookies that I am known for. She also included a version of the cupcake painting she made for my kitchen. Love it! Shana did an unbelievable job of drawing on the computer; her new tablet-pen plug in has made her very happy. I hope you will all enjoy the new view, and if you are ever in need of some freelance design, you will call on her! Thanks for looking!

Sleep is overrated

I guess Lag B'Omer isn't just a night for bonfires and barbeques. It is an all clear signal to start the simcha season. And what simcha does not need dessert? So it has been a very hectic couple of weeks, and not yet slowing down. I am about to throw several pictures at you to illustrate the very first part of the holiday rush - I hope you don't mind!
Let's start with an easy one, a sheva brachot.
The hostess served a variety of cookies, including heart-shaped thin mint sandwiches, chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookies, ginger crinkles, chocolate-caramel filled sugar cookie sandwiches, and linzer cookies. They also serveda lot of lemon squares.

Another sheva brachot held on the same night was a giant step to the formal. Having had no wedding cake at the wedding, the parents of the bride wanted a very wedding-like cake. We went with an all white decoration of various flowers and a monogram on a cake of alternating chocolate and vanilla layers. Shana had a great time working onthe sugar flowers while we all pretended we were working in Carlo's bake shop.

The sides were decorated with Swiss dots (I don't know what makes them Swiss, but hey, I will just throw around the terminology) and a bead border on top and bottom.

Another fun cake was this l'chaim cake,

a tall, 4 layer white cake, filled with alternating layers of lemon curd (world's most perfect food, I could wax rhapsodic on its merits for hours, but I digress) and buttercream, covered with more buttercream and fondant blossoms.

Next post will continue with more tempting photos; til then, let's all try to get some sleep!

If you like the pictures you see here but would love to see more updated photos, make sure to check out our Facebook page! In the meantime, we will do our best to keep the blog a little more current.