Friday, April 25, 2014

Lab Week - We ROCK!

For those of you who are new to my blog and don't know, my cake decorating business is really a side business. My day job is as a Medical Technologist. Every year, at the end of April, those of us who work in the medical laboratory field get to celebrate the small yet important role we play in the overall patient experience. Each year has its own theme with a poster designed by someone in the medical laboratory field. I loved the poster for this year!

And with this being my first year as a permanent part time employee since Lucas was born (I've been picking up hours on an as needed basis since then and was finally hired to a part time position earlier this year), I wanted to take part in the festivities. And what better way than by making cupcakes?

Yet, these are no ordinary cupcakes. These are special cupcakes. Lab cupcakes! And I got to use a new toy - food markers! The cupcakes themselves are red velvet with vanilla frosting. I usually do cream cheese frosting with red velvet cake, but since I knew that the cupcakes would be sitting out for a while and I know what happens to cream cheese when it sits... I made something that is much less likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria.

So now for some explanation of the decorations... These are dedicated to the techs who work in Blood Bank, readying units of plasma and blood for transfusion to save the lives of patients every day

And here are the lab coats that we wear to keep ourselves safe from spills so we can go home with our clothes as clean as when we left. (and they look pretty sharp too!)

 And last but not least - my personal favorite. White Blood Cells! These are the cells in your blood that help to fight infection. The pink one is a Neutrophil - they fight bacterial infections. The blue one with the round purple circle on the left is a Lymph - they fight viral infections. The blue and purple one on the right is a Monocyte - it's not what you have a lot of when you get mono, but those cells gobble up the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. Kind of like little vacuum cleaners.

Happy Lab Week!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Every year I make a cake for Easter, and this year was no exception. I went a bit simpler this time around, just because I was also hosting dinner. But I wanted the cake to be special, so I made a new kind of filling to go inside - lime curd! Last year my dad had bought a ton of limes at the grocery store and my mom had already had a ton of lime juice in the freezer so she gave them to me. Note to my readers - you can buy limes and lemons, juice them and put the juice in ice cube trays, then freezer bags when the juice is frozen. That way whenever you need a little bit of lime or lemon juice for a recipe, it's right there!

This lime curd was so easy to make. Lots of stirring but I didn't mind because the lime curd smelled wonderful. So fresh and summery - a real breath of fresh air after a long winter! Added to the yellow cake and it was delicious.

Here is my finished cake - complete with the last of my royal icing flowers. Which means that the next chance I get, I'll need to make a batch of royal icing to make more flowers for next time! And to add a little bit of fun, I piped some grass on top and put some jelly beans in there too - courtesy of my wonderful husband. He's a truck driver and one of his stops the week before Easter was at the Jelly Belly factory about 45 minutes south of where we live. One of the perks of being a truck driver - free jelly beans!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

God Bless Casey

I love happy endings. And happy beginnings. Heck, I love anything happy! A little over a year ago, I made an awesome Incredible Hulk cake for my friend Leanne's son Luke. A few months later, she and her husband announced that after a long time of trying, they were expecting a little girl! I was so happy for her - especially since I would now be able to give her my daughter's baby clothes that I no longer needed. Cecilia was born at the end of December, and Leanne was due at the beginning of January. Perfect! After Casey was born, I brought the clothes over and she told me that she would be in touch for cakes for her baptism and Luke's first communion. Fast forward a couple months and I got an e-mail from Leanne saying that Casey's baptism was a little over a week away and she wanted a cake, but it didn't need to be fancy. Nice and simple, with lots of lavender. I found a design, she approved and I set to work. The cake itself is yellow cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. No filling on this one. I could have filled it but then the layers would have been really thin and there would have been more frosting than cake. I then added some fondant accents and letters, and dusted the cross with some purple luster dust.

A pretty cake for a pretty little girl!

When I dropped off the cake, Leanne was just finishing up giving Casey a bath. I waited patiently for her to dry Casey off and get her dressed, and then offered to hold her while Leanne wrote out the check for me. Casey is such an adorable baby - she took a few moments to warm up to me, but once I started talking to her and telling her that I'm the cake lady, and how I make lots of yummy cakes, her eyes just lit up! Looks like I have another fan!

Happy Baptism Casey and God Bless you and your family!