Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fourth of July Specials!!!!

It is a holiday weekend, so there will be lots of 4th of July-themed goodies. They are great for your large holiday get togethers or an intimate family gathering. Call or email if you wish to reserve some of these treats. Otherwise, come out to the Lilburn Farmers Market Friday 4-8PM and the GHA Farmers Market Sunday 1-5PM and stock up!

Funfetti Cake Pops:
Enjoy a vanilla cake studded with red, white and blue jimmies that is encased in either red or white chocolate and topped with more jimmies!

S'mores: In addition to my normal s'mores offerings, I also have a special coffee flavored marshmallow. Chocolate and coffee...yum!!!

Mini pies: I have cherry and apple mini pies available. They are individual sized so each person gets their own mini treat! What is more American than apple or cherry pie?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Instant Coffee plus sugar syrup = DISASTER

In preparation for the markets this weekend, I decided to add another flavor of marshmallow to my customizable s'mores. I already have 4 types of chocolate to choose from (milk, white, dark and dark with mint) and several other add-ons to make them special (Nutella, peanut butter, raspberry jam, orange marmalade and my recent addition of blackberry Merlot from Saucy Spirits).

Adding another marshmallow option was next on my list. Coffee and chocolate are a great combination and would have a wide appeal.

Here's a brief run through on how to make marshmallows. Soften gelatin in some water in a large mixing bowl with a whip attachment. Make a sugar syrup and heat to 240 degrees and slowly add to the softened gelatin. Once all the sugar syrup has been added, turn the mixer on high and whip for 10-20 minutes, or until thickened. Add vanilla or other flavoring and transfer to a greased pan to set up.

I toyed with where to add the instant coffee crystals. Whether I should add them to the water in which the gelatin softens or to the sugar syrup or at the very end. I didn't think the crystals would dissolve very well if I added them with the vanilla, even though one recipe I found chose to add it then. The water for softening the gelatin needs to be cool and I wasn't sure how the coffee would affect the gelatin.

So I just made my simple syrup in my same pot as usual and added two teaspoons of coffee granules. It made sense and things were going well until it reached a boil. At which time it majorly boiled over in half a second. Which spilled all over the hot stove, which caused a lot of smoke, which made the house fire alarm go off, which made the company call the house, but the house phone's battery was dead so I couldn't answer it, while trying to keep the sugar syrup from running onto the floor, running over to the alarm panel 5 times to shut it off, the dogs were upset at the smoke and the sound, then the garage door starts to husband is coming home, the house phone starts ringing again at the same time as my cell phone, I am able to tell the guy not to send the fire department just as my husband walks in to the mess, all the while he is getting phone calls about the alarm. Then both our cell phones go off at the same time, our friends were calling to see if we were ok since they were evidently our emergency contacts through the alarm company.

Did you follow all that? And it all happened in a span of 2-3 minutes. Needless to say I am more than a little embarrassed about it all. And it doesn't help that I wasn't alone to clean up all the mess and no one would ever know better. Or that I could fix it all then tell people and laugh about it after the fact. But it is what it is. And now I am telling all of you about it.

So what do you think, should I give coffee marshmallows another shot? Maybe I will add the coffee crystals in the end and see how that goes. I am a little gun shy after the disaster I just made, but it happens to the best of us. I just need to pick myself up and keep trying because I never know what I can do until I try.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Farmers Market Updates

This past Friday started out great at the Lilburn Farmers Market. There was a live band playing and a fun activity for the kids. Many of the vendors flew a flag from around the world off their booths and the kids had to come guess which country it represented. Once they did, they got stickers in their 'passport' and when they visited all the booths, they got a goody bag. It was such a cute idea and it really got a lot of people interacting with the vendors they might not have stopped by in the first place.

It was also the first week of Lilburn Idol, which would bring more people to park right next to the market. Unfortunately, it started raining really hard so everyone packed up by 7PM. I believe the Idol competition was to start around 7:30 so I am not sure if it went on or had to be rescheduled.

Despite the rain, there was a really good turnout for the market and I hope it brought some new people in that will become regulars in the future!!

Yesterday I went to the GHA Farmers Market for the first time. This market is held in Hoschton on Sundays from 1-5PM. I am not very familiar with the area (other than the facts that Chateau Elan and the Mayfield Dairy are near by), so I had no idea how many people would be driving through the area. Its at a great location, an alpaca farm, so there is a lot to do. You can take a tour of the farm, sample some goodies from jellies to goats milk cheese to candles, biscotti and of course my wonderful cake truffles, s'mores and mini pies. And Lisa of Everyday Indulgence is always making something very yummy to eat, so bring your family out for a fun filled afternoon and a great meal!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Update

Hi All!!
I know I've been a bit behind on the blog recently. I had a few out of town trips in a row that has really thrown a wrench in everything! I think I am starting to get everything back under control again. Here's a bit of what I've been up to:

The Lilburn Farmers Market started a few weeks ago and is bigger and better than ever! It is located in downtown Lilburn, just off Lawrenceville Highway. There are lots of great options at the market from pasta to produce to prepared foods to honey and soaps...the list goes on. So stop by and have a great night and find some very yummy things! Visit me on Fridays from 4-8PM. I have my homemade s'mores, cake truffles and mini pies.

This past weekend was Fathers Day and I was asked to come by a Wild BBQ at the Gilliland Alpaca Farm, which is also the location of GHA Locally Grown Farmers Market on Sundays from 1-5PM. Angie and Lisa are great hosts and have really big hearts, they really want the best for everyone. The farm is close to Chateau Elan in Hoschton, GA. It is easily accessible from I-85 and is in a gorgeous location. Not only can you buy products at the market, they also have an order system up on their webpage with four convenient pickup locations. How cool is that?

Now that all my traveling is done for a while, I can get back to focusing on the markets, hopefully spending some weekends at the GHA Farmers Market.

Check in with this blog and my new facebook page to know exactly where I will be and when. But don't hesitate to email me at or call at 770-279-2048 with any questions or orders.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthday Cake!!! And Cupcakes!!!

I was asked to make a birthday cake for a coworker last week before going out of town for a few days. It was a bit crazy to get that and 3 dozen red velvet cupcakes for my husband's coworker done in the few nights before a trip to the Caribbean to see my brother get married, but I made it all work. I'm still not sure how it all came together, time must have taken pity on me and slowed down a little.

The cupcakes were velvet cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting. No cream cheese frosting and no decorations. Luckily that was not difficult, it just took some time the night before leaving the country. My husband delivered the cupcakes since he was staying here. He told me that his coworker loved them and they were just what she needed. It was her daughter's birthday and she wanted something to bring in to her class, but knew she wouldn't have time to make it. It worked out well for everyone and it sounds like they all enjoyed the cupcakes!

Back to the birthday cake...My coworker wanted a birthday cake that wasn't too huge, but was two tiered, black/white/hot pink, shaped like a gift box and used the flavors from the Drunken raspberry cake truffle. Baking the layers and the initial layer of hot pink frosting was easy, I even split the layers and put a little raspberry jam in between. But I made sure to give myself lots of time for decorating.

I chose to use buttercream as the foundation because most people I talk to do not like the taste of fondant. Fondant may have a smoother appearance, but I haven't met anyone that actually likes the taste. Why have a pretty cake that no one wants to touch? I did use fondant for the decorations. She gave me a picture of a cake with tiger stripe-like decorations and I knew it would look best in fondant. I also made the ribbon on the box in fondant.

I haven't used fondant before, I was just winging it the best I could. The ribbon and side decorations looked good, but there was still the bow on the gift box to be done. I followed the directions on the fondant box (I bought it because I knew I was short on time) to make the bow. The pieces were not dry enough to put together that night, so I had to wait until the morning I was taking the cake in to work to assemble the bow...risky, I know.

I put together the bow right after waking up so it could set up before being moved to the cake. By the time I was leaving for work, I could tell it had sagged a bunch. I put the bow on and took pictures, which turned out nice. But then the bow was sagging even further than eventually broke. Rather than crying about it and being upset, I had to come up with plan B...and quick! I had a white gift bow that I put on top, hoping it would be good enough. I took some pictures and carefully drove in to work.

I gave her the cake and she loved it!!! I was so excited. I was hoping I had incorporated all the elements she wanted in the way she imagined. Its always nerve racking, but its good in a way because that forces me to be a perfectionist and produce the best product that I possibly can. Pictures will be posted this weekend for all to see. Enjoy!!!