Monday, February 13, 2012

Just a Quick Valentine's Treat

Okay we are in the thick of "busy season" at work so lets make this a quick one... To add to the many addicts of Pinterest, I too must admit to being addicted to the wonderful endless flow of pictures/goodies and crafts that it supplies.  During one of my Pinterest sessions I came across these WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC looking/sounding beauties: Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod.

These already sounded SPECTACULAR as is, but then I had also seen these red velvet marshmallow thumbprint cookies from How Sweet It Is on Pinterest, so guess what I did?!? I combined the best of both these recipes to make RED VELVET CHEESECAKE THUMBPRINT COOKIES!!!! Yes yes I totally went there and it was amazing!

Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod.

For the cookies:
1 box red velvet cake mix
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cheesecake filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Essential Baking Tools

Wow time sure does fly!! It feels like just last week that I was celebrating the holidays and sharing lots of laughs with my family... I truly cannot believe that it is February already!

First, I would really like to take a moment to thank all of my wonderful customers who kept me busy during the past few months! Although it was stressful at times, it always brought me such joy to see the final product and see how people's faces lit up!! :)  Now I will attempt to get back into my blogging, but it is tax season and I have been really busy at work these days.  But I will do my very best to keep updating.

I would officially like to welcome in the new year 2012! You may all be thinking that I am late, but honestly I'm not... you see my family celebrates the Lunar New Year (aka Tet if you are Vietnamese)!  My dad is still celebrating the new year and going to various Tet festivals around town, so as you can see I am right on time, Happy New Year of the Dragon! To kick off this new year, I wanted to share with you all my essential baking tools.

Just before the holiday break, my company sent me to Washington, DC for a national developmental training program which focused on soft skills.  On the last day of the conference, we had 30 minutes to prepare a 15 minute presentation complete with a visual aid and everything.  This was a lot of pressure for me because I already get so nervous giving presentations! I honestly spent at least 10 minutes just running circles in my brain about what I could talk about for 15 minutes to a huge crowd of people.  Then I realized that I LOVE baking so I should be able to talk about that... but then what about baking?!?!! My first idea was a recipe, but then I couldn't for the life of me remember any recipes off the top of my head, darn! At this point I am really starting to panic because I have less than 15 minutes to prepare my speech.

FINALLY, I thought of essential baking tools!  I figured that my audience was not a huge crowd of baking enthusiasts like myself, so keeping things basic was the way to go! Luckily, thinking of my most essential baking tools was a cinch :) I quickly put my drawing skills to use and put together this lovely visual aid!  Then it was time to jot down some talking points about each tool, and I was ready for my speech in the nick of time!! Phew!

(1) Portion Scoops
(2) Piping Bags
(3) SilPat
(4) Stand Mixer

Now let me tell you WHY these are MY essential baking tools. All bakers sing their own tune and we all have different styles for doing all the same thing.  These are my baking essentials.

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