Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day/Mardi Gras....it has a lot of names and quite honestly, not a lot of people know what any of them mean. However, if it means eating pancakes...I'm in!

My idea started by wondering how I could make pancakes at work for my dinner break. This expanded to include co-workers and blossomed into a full-fledged potluck party!

As I pitched the idea to people on the evening shift ...it was met with great enthusiasm! We've never really tackled this kind of event before and people were pumped for pancakes. Everyone was assigned something to bring, including 5 griddles!
As soon as the news was over, everyone sprang into action - moving tables, pulling out extension cords, setting up griddles, rearranging extension cords when we kept tripping breakers and finally frying up the bacon, sausages and pancakes! It was fantastic! We had three flavours - banana, blueberry and chocolate chip...and plain if you prefer. Somebody even brought in a latte machine to complete the whole "breakfast experience".

It was an overwhelming success with emails flying about the next day wondering what our next themed potluck should be. Good times. I love that I work with such awesome people :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Check out these adorable cookies! I made them for my friend Elvin's birthday. Usually when one of my coworkers has a birthday, I make cupcakes. But I decided to try something different this time. Since my Christmas cookie experience, I've been wanting to practice my icing techniques.

Elvin loves the Toronto Maple Leafs. To say that he loves them is an understatement, really. So...I remembered the maple leaf cookie cutter I got for Christmas and thought it would be perfect!

I made the sugar cookies, rolled them out, baked them and let them cool. I mixed up a 1/2 batch of royal icing and filled the icing bag. I was using the new tip I got. It was a size up from the plain round one I tried to use at Christmas. I thought this would make piping the icing easier. However, when I started outlining the cookies, the icing wasn't sticking to the cookie. It was frustrating as there were a lot of corners and each time I changed direction, the icing would come off the cookie. Augh!

After consulting some fellow bakers, I decided to add a little water and try again. Worked like a dream! After outlining them all, I mixed up the blue icing. It was a little "baby blue" for my taste, but it's the best I could do. Getting the icing on the cookie, in each little nook and cranny can be tedious and messy.

After doing a little googling, I decided to purchase a squeeze bottle. Wow, what a difference! So, here are the finished cookies. They were a big hit with Elvin and pretty much everyone else at work.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today is my niece Madison's 7th birthday. I can't believe it! Madison came into our lives in an unexpected and wonderful way.

Madison was adopted at the age of 3 months. But due to some unusual circumstances (knowing the foster parents), I met her (as did Connie & Steve) when she was just 3 weeks old! When we realized she was going to be part of the family, we were all ecstatic!

Watching her change and grow, explore and learn has been so cool. What's really neat is when someone tells Connie how much they look alike  ...and it's true!

Madison loves to bake with Mommy, watch Wheel of Fortune, use the computer, Webkinz, swimming, and becoming bilingual! (yes, she's in french immersion)

So, happy birthday Madison!