Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Farewell Party

I'm currently:
Watching PTI (I missed ESPN during the Olympics!)

Eating a yummy sandwich left over from today's party

Some thoughts:
I'm feeling quite sentimental right now. At lunch today my coworkers surprised me with a farewell party complete with scrumptious sandwiches, bright decorations, and my favorite part: cupcake decorating! Everything was so thoughtfully done, and I felt so special knowing how much effort they must have put into it. The cupcake decorating was really a fun touch. They called around the city to find a bakery that would sell them cupcakes without the icing, and then they went out and bought tons of fun icings, toppings, sprinkles, etc.

As if all that weren't enough, they made me a card, which may sound generic, but when I read it on the train home today I nearly got choked up. Everyone wrote such nice messages, and it really struck me how sincere they all are with their well wishes and excitement over my new career. And to top it all off, as a parting gift they gave me a free month of COBRA (a.k.a. health insurance). This may seem impersonal, but it actually couldn't have been more spot on. (They truly got me exactly what I needed!) And they told me about it in a funny poem that my boss wrote herself.

All in all, a really exciting day, and a wonderful party. I can't believe I only have two more (official) days of work in the office. And Tuesday I start work in the bakery!! Wow, I can't believe it's (finally) almost here...
Until next time, Bake Big! -Christine

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coconut & Pecan Brownies for the Boys

I'm currently:
Watching Enchanted (I admit, I still love Disney movies!)

Some thoughts:
I'm getting a scale! No, not a bathroom scale to get weighed on (which wouldn't be a bad idea with the new profession)... But a cooking/baking scale! For weighing ingredients and making 'professional' recipies. I used one last week at the Tea Shop, and it was the best! (I think I've already mentioned that in last week's blog) My boss at the Tea Shop needs a second one, and she knows I'm interested in getting one, too. So, she sent me the info, and it turns out there is a great sale on buying more than one! Long story short (too late?!), we're both getting new scales. That's right, 15k by .02 grams of excitiement should be coming in the mail soon! woowho!

Anyways, I've got to go check on the coconut pecan brownies that I'm making for Adam to bring into work. (Got to keep the boys happy!)

So much to bake, so little time!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

1st Day of Baking-- What a Rush!!

I'm currently:
Watching the Olympics games!

Stealing some of Adam's fries from White Castle. (Yeah, I said White Castle. I couldn't deny him since I was gone all night having fun up to my elbows in cookie dough.)

Some thoughts:
What a rush!! Tonight was my first night of baking at the Tea Shop. It was sooo worth the wait! We made scones with apricots, white chocolate, and toasted walnuts, the batter for sesame coins, and chocolate mud pie cookies.

I got to the bakery at 3pm, and we baked until 8:30pm. (Although it felt like I was barely there for an hour.) S was great at showing me new things and trusting me to work on my own. I thought it would be so much more difficult to bake in a bakery than at home-- but I think it's actually a lot easier.

Why do I say that? Well, for one, I like weighing ingredients as opposed to using measuring cups like I do at home. We used an electronic scale which was awesome! It's so much more accurate, and I think it may actually be faster, too!

The other great thing about the bakery is the TOOLS. Working in a bakery you have everything you could possibly need! Aside from the super cool, super-huge industrial mixer, we used simple things like ice cream scoops and scrapers which I'd never used before. S even gave me a scraper to take home! woowho!

I am dog tired right now, and I need to crash, but I'll write more soon! What a day... I hope this is a sign of things to come!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I'm currently:
Eating a biscuit & finishing a decaf iced coffee from D&D

Watching pre-Olympics stuff on tv

Some thoughts:
Tomorrow I'm scheduled to bake at the Tea Shop for the first time. (Take Two!) Last time this didn't work out so well, so I'm trying not to get excited until I'm pouring ingredients into a large Hobart mixer. However, it's difficult not to get excited when I keep having to talk to people about becoming a baker, yet I still have to go to my desk job every day and wait until I get to start. I'm tired of talking about this change-- I want it to happen! Sept 2nd seems so far away. Well, at least tomorrow night should be a start!

In the meantime, tonight I baked a batch of biscuits to keep myself occupied. Since I felt the need to justify baking (again), I made one into a homemade egg mcmuffin for dinner. mmm That's sort-of healthy, right?

Ok, maybe not. Good thing I have a date with the gym tonight... I need to go run some of these off!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Brooklyn Pizza... MMMmmm

I'm currently:
Watching the Olympics on DVR

Baking chocolate chip cookies

Some thoughts:
Yesterday I met up with some friends and took a little trip to Brooklyn... all for something Brooklyn does very well: pizza. The trip was pretty long (PATH train to NYC and then subway over to Brooklyn). The wait was also pretty long (I left my apartment at 1:30pm and ate around 4:00pm). But all in all, it was pretty worth it.

The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm, but low in humidity (and there was actually a breeze!) The reason we had to wait so long for the pizza is that the man who owns the place (and who has been working there since 1964) makes every single pizza by himself. He stretches his own dough, grates his own cheese, snips his own basil... you get the point. This does take time, but can you say FRESH? We ordered a sausage calzone and a 'square' pie (aka Sicilian)-1/2 plain and 1/2 artichoke. My favorite was the square slice with artichoke. Every bite was full of new flavors and tastes. The whole experience was a lot of fun. (You really can't go wrong with good food and good company!) And the best part is, I have two leftover slices in the fridge to enjoy later today!

Now, I need to go fold the laundry I have been ignoring for days, and do the dishes from the chocolate chip cookies I just finished baking. The cookies came out perfectly. Nice and crisp around the edges, but soft and chewy on the inside. YUM. Now if only the dishes did themselves... that would be perfection!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Japanese Market Goodness

I'm currently:
Procrastinating on folding laundry.

Drooling while thinking about going to a pizzeria in Brooklyn for lunch...

Some Thoughts:
Yesterday, Adam & I went to an Japanese Market in NJ for dinner (and goodies). [I'm happy to report that I did NOT have to drive, which was a stress reliever!] When we got there, we dove right into dinner (dumplings, fried rice, and mixed seafood/veggies). Then we searched around for dessert (my favorite part!) They had an assortment of cakes and confections, but we finally decided to go with a fresh raisin roll. It tasted similar to Challah bread that I've made before. Very soft, sweet, and light. It was the perfect cap to the meal.

After dinner we shopped in the market. We bought makings for homemade sushi, a box of frozen steamed buns, and a container of Lychee ice cream. (Yum!) When we got home, I tested the ice cream. (Double Yum!) It's very sweet, but super refreshing. I can't wait to come home hot and hungry one evening this week... that ice cream will be the perfect remedy!

All in all, a very fun experience. I would definitely go back for more supplies and to try another one of their many restaurants. Our dinner was good, but the lady at the table next to me had something that looked AMAZING. Next time, I'm having what she was having! Oh, and another raisin roll, too!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Too Hot to Bake; Just Right to Blend!

I'm currently:
Checking my email

Drinking a decaf iced coffee from D&D (I'm such a Jersey girl!)

Some thoughts:
Yesterday was too hot to bake. So I decided to make a smoothie when I came home from work. I blended a whole banana, a handful of fresh cantaloupe, some Splenda, and ice. It was unbelievably refreshing. I don't think I even needed to add the Splenda because the melon was so sweet on it's own.

Tonight Adam & I were supposed to go to the Mets game, but our tickets fell through (There's a long, sad story behind this which I'll skip.) Instead we're going to pick up a rental car-- which I'M going to drive. Side note: I haven't driven a car in, well, I can't remember the last time I drove, but I'm guessing it was over a year ago. Then we're (safely) going to drop Adam's car off at the dealership, at which time I can turn the driving back over to Adam (thank goodness).

Then the plan is to take said rental car over to a highly recommended Japanese grocery store in Edgewater, NJ. I can't wait to see this place! Apparently they have a Japanese bakery there, too! I can't wait to check it out! I will post details and pictures tonight! Until then... TGIF!

And the Winner Is...

A BIG 'Thank You!' to everyone who emailed me feedback on the headshots. Here's the photo with the most votes. Thanks Again!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Headshots! What's Your Fav?

I'm currently:
At the office spending my lunch hour in my cubicle since its super muggy outside.

Eating a very ripe peach which got sadly bruised by being tossed around in my purse on the way to work this morning. (Sorry, Peach.)

Some thoughts:
My brother, an aerospace engineer/budding photographer took a series of photographs of me last weekend. Out of these photos, I need to pick a headshot for an upcoming event program. I'd also like to have a few photos handy for when I do other events.

You're probably wondering: Why is an aspiring baker holding a pile of fresh fruit and not a plate full of mouthwatering cupcakes?? A good question. The answer is slightly complicated. I do love baking, but I also love FOOD in general. And while I love to BAKE goodies, I can't always EAT goodies.

The hell you say?!

You see, I have type-1 diabetes. A diabetic baker? Yup, that's me. (Well technically I'm still a diabetic baker's apprentice, but that's just semantics.) Anyway, aside from baking, I do food demonstrations and tastings at events in NYC. One of the main events I work on is a Makeover Event for women with diabetes put on by DIVABETIC. In September, I'll be doing this Makeover event in Washington, DC. I'll have a station and will do food demonstrations, talk about different healthy foods, and show women with diabetes how to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables. This may seem a little hypocritical since I'm a baker, but I like to think that both can go together. I don't see any reason why I can't be healthy, eat well, and still bake. Everything in moderation, right? Who knows... maybe someday I'll own a bakery that sells sugar-free sweets!

Anyway, the point being that I switch between two different hats: 'Christine the Baker' and 'Christine the (healthy) Food Expert'. These photos fall under my Healthy Hat.

You can view the photos on my brother's new website: www.michaeljcphotography.com.

Let me know which pic gets your vote!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Foodies Unite!

I'm currently:
Watching the Yankees vs. Rangers.

Sitting next to Adam while he eats a second dinner of left over spaghetti and cheddar cheese. (Can you tell my boyfriend is NOT Italian??)

Some thoughts:
Dumplings. Ice Cream. Waffle truck sighting. ahhh, what a night.

Tonight I had dinner with fellow foodie, Robyn (aka The Girl Who Ate Everything). We went out for dumplings and then ice cream. Last time Robyn and I went out we had burgers and then donuts. Granted they were delicious burgers, donuts, dumplings, and ice cream, but we do have a habit of being super unhealthy when we eat out together. Taste over calories every time. (And it is soooo worth it.) Anyway, I'm already thinking up new places we can go next time. And Robyn wants to stop by the Tea Shop to visit us while we bake, and so she can write about us. (woowho!) If only I could start baking soooon...

On an unrelated note, on my walk home from meeting up with Robyn, I saw the illusive waffle truck! Some quick back story: Once upon a time, I was walking in the city at night and I saw a truck selling Belgian waffles. (Some back back story: I Love Belgian waffles.) I have told all of my friends about this truck, and on a few occasions we have tried to find it-- to no avail. But tonight, there it was, right where I had seen it last. I was too full to get a waffle (darn those amazing dumplings and ice cream!), but I did get their postcard, so I can now locate them online any time I want. I can see it already: it will be slow at work and I'll be online checking to see the current location of the waffle truck. Just great! Now I'll be dreaming of baking... waffles...

And on that note, sweet dreams (pun intended). ;)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sugar... ah, honey honey...

I'm currently:
Singing (in my head) the song 'SUGAR SUGAR' by the Archies.

Planning a shopping list including butter & sour cream so I can make a batch of super soft sugar cookies tonight

Some Thoughts:
I'm still at work for the day. IT'S SO SLOW. I know, it's barely 3pm, but Mondays just seem so long! And it's so hard to concentrate on dong this work when I've already made the conscious decision to quit desk work and go bake.

Speaking of baking... Adam won't be getting home until late tonight, so I'm planning some baking of my own. My friend's co-workers have been requesting more goodies from me (I baked for her office once before). I'm thinking a batch of super-soft sugar cookies will be perfect. I would love to make mini cupcakes or even a layered cake, but I need to transport the goodies via train, and I'm afraid the icing on the cake/cupcakes would melt. Whichever I decide, I will take some pictures and post them here later tonight.

Ok back to work! Only 30 minutes until I can go home and bake!