Monday, October 29, 2007

A Sunny Sendoff!

We were so lucky to have such a gorgeous sunny day for our last farmer's market of the season. We enjoyed seeing so many of our regular customers and letting them know that we will be around to bake for them this winter. Our most loyal and favorite customer is pictured below in front of our booth with his paper bag that he has used since the beginning of the farmer's market season. He picked up his favorite pie- rhubarb custard-every week that he could and saved his pie boxes and tins as well! Great recycling job!

For our last day we decided to create some outstanding treats for our market crowd who to me seem more like guests at our outdoor tea party every Saturday! Pictured above is our vanilla cake filled with apricot preserves and cream cheese icing & iced with a rich chocolate buttercream. What a delight!

We also decided to try an East Coast favorite in a new fall flavor: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (pictured below). They are so good! We made ours with two soft pumpkin cookies sandwiched with a cream cheese and ginger filling. They are so delicious!

We also enjoyed giving out samples of our salted caramel and hazelnut caramel truffles for the upcoming holiday season. They are absolutely divine! I love the extra flavor that the salt imparts into the chocolate and caramel in the candy. Many people purchased and enjoyed these truffles.

After the market we stopped by the Green Grocer in Oregon City to return the commercial coffee maker that Gwen let us borrow for the market. We were able to get one on Freecycle for next season, so we are all set! Thank you Gwen for letting us borrow your coffee maker this season! Her store is so cute and so full of delicious foods. The store front is pictured below. If you live in the Oregon City area and haven't stopped by, you should check out the Green Grocer. We will have some of our pastries there shortly.

To end, I would like to thank so many people for our successful farmer's market season, 2007! Thank you to all of our wonderful customers, many of whom became "regulars" at our booth! We will miss you! Also, thank you to my dad and brother for helping us set up our booth very early every Saturday. Thank you to my dear husband for his support in my baking adventures and for doing household projects every Saturday while I was at the market. And, last but not least thank you to my mom and sister in law for their wonderful work baking all of our goodies, coming up with great ideas and being so supportive of this business! I really appreciate all of you! Thank you so much!

Keep checking back for all of our latest endeavors and holiday happenings!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Singing in the Rain

As I drove through the torrential rain on Saturday to set up our booth for the Oregon City Farmer's Market I thought that anyone that came to the market that day would be extremely brave and really want some wonderful produce or pastries! We had so many delicious creations for the market that day. Pictured above is our vanilla, chocolate and raspberry torte frosted with chocolate buttercream and decorated with chopped hazelnuts. It was very popular and served by the slice.

At the beginning of the market we told a fellow market friend that "even if we stand here all day and laugh and talk, it'll be a great day." And, so it was! However, we did see a lot of our loyal customers and they were so appreciative that we were there. We were also so thankful and happy that they came on such a cold, wet & rainy day! They are true Oregonians and true market-goers as well. That is the mark of a person that is dedicated to supporting farmers and local businesses and we really appreciate that so much!

On Saturday at the market we gave out samples of some delicious handmade truffles in three different flavors of coconut, vanilla and Earl Grey tea. They were very well received and we had fun talking to people about our holiday offerings. The truffles are pictured below:

The market manager decided to end the market early and so we decided to all go out to eat and then go and visit our friend Gwen's new store The Green Grocer in Oregon City. We took a lot of samples of our pastries there and we talked to her about having our baked goods in her store. She is very dedicated to supporting all of the local farmers and businesses in her store and has many wonderful things to offer there. It's a great chance for businesses like ours to keep going in the off season from the farmer's market.

After the market is over this Saturday, October 27th if customers order cakes, pies, scones or other baked goods from us we will deliver them for pick up at the Green Grocer store located at 891 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, OR 97045. Her phone number is 503-657-5977. So, feel free to order from us during the off season and for the upcoming holidays. Let us know when you'd like your order and we'll make sure it is delivered to the Green Grocer and you can pick it up there at your leisure.

A huge thank you to Gwen at her store and to all of our wonderful, loyal customers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Celebrating Milestones

Today I had a great time creating the fortieth birthday cake pictured above for my husband's boss. His big birthday party is tomorrow and I hope that everyone in the office enjoys this wonderful chocolate fudge cake covered in buttercream made from organic butter. Yum! The fabulous colors on this cake were created using gel frosting colors from a great cake decorating store located near me called Deco Supply. I rely on this store for all of my cake decorating supplies because I know they will always have what I need and they are so helpful and friendly.

I'll be back later with my adventures in candy making!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cakes and Community

On Saturday, October 13 we had a fabulous market day! We made an amazing cake that celebrates what's best about the Oregon Fall harvest! Pictured above is our hazelnut torte filled with quince preserves. It was a big hit at the market & will be added to our vast fall repertoire.

This Saturday we also gave out samples of our fabulous Christmas & Holiday cookies. The cookies included little Butter Spritz, Buttery Brown Sugar Cookies, Peppermint Buttons dipped in chocolate and Hazelnut Mexican Wedding Cakes. The delightful array of cookies is pictured below. This week I'll be busy in the kitchen making samples of our candy including truffles & fudge.

We only have 2 more weeks at the market this season & we will dearly miss it. I was telling friends this weekend that serving customers at our booth at the market was like being paid to have a party every week. It is so much fun meeting new people & celebrating with friends that we have made over the two years we have been at the Oregon City Farmer's Market.

My Mom and I were talking to one of our dear customers last Saturday morning about how much the farmer's market builds community. You get to know and network with people in your community you may have never met. We have made so many great friends through this market and through the winter we hope to keep in touch with them and through the years be lifetime friends.

Also, it is such a great way to support our local farmers and other local businesses. We enjoy buying produce, hazelnuts and other items that we in turn use to make our fabulous cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pies, scones and other delights this time of year as well as to enjoy in meals at home. You an see our vast selection of scones and cinnamon rolls in the photo below:

Pictured above left to right are our apricot nut scones made with spelt flour and oats, spelt coconut scones, chocolate hazelnut scones, ginger scones made with our own candied ginger, coconut scones & our famous huge cinnamon rolls.

This week...candy made from scratch & more holiday treats to come. Back to the kitchen I go!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Let's Celebrate!!

We had a fabulous time this weekend at the market & also creating some wonderful celebration cakes! It's so great to have the opportunity to help someone celebrate a special occasion with a delicious & beautiful cake!

This week we created a lovely gluten & dairy free banana cake (pictured above) for a special wedding anniversary as well as a flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. We also had so much fun making a large square banana cake with pastry cream & banana filling (pictured below) for a little boy's birthday party. We had a great time with the bright colors that our client requested! We love the combination! We certainly enjoy days where we can be creative with our pastry skills & this was one of those wonderful weeks!

We also had an incredibly busy Saturday at the Oregon City Farmer's Market! We made some new items this week including some hazelnut honey sticky buns (pictured below), a pumpkin cheesecake pie & a lovely spiced pumpkin pie! We also featured some hazelnut butter tarts! Yum! Just about all of our yummy pastries were gone by the end of the day! Wow!

I think that when the cold weather comes we all crave some delicious treats to keep us going! It was a bit blustery on Saturday & the cold of fall has set in so everyone was in the mood for a cup of our hot organic coffee or tea & a sweet treat to top it all off! We had the best time talking to customers & enjoying the day! We also enjoyed shopping at the market for our honey & potatoes that we need for next week's delicacies.

This week I'll be making some gluten free pumpkin pies as well as some mini Christmas Cookie Trays that we will display on Saturday. We'll give out some samples of our Christmas goodies for people to try so that they can experience our amazing holiday treats! These trays will be available for purchase during the holiday season. More to come.....enjoy the Fall!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Free At Last!! Gluten & Dairy Free Cakes!!

Last week I had a request to create three flavors of gluten free & dairy free cakes for an anniversary cake coming up in October. Tomorrow our client is coming over the try the cakes!

Today I successfully met the challenge of creating three delicious flavors of cakes that are both gluten free & dairy free. I am so pleased with the results & may even proclaim that these cakes have better texture & flavor than some traditional flour cakes I have made & tasted. Above is a photo of the carrot cakes I made with a pineapple & coconut icing & topped with light macaroon coconut & a coconut slice.

The second photo above is of my second gluten & dairy free creation: banana cake with a creamy banana pudding filling topped with vanilla buttercream & a sweetened banana chip! Wow! These are good! They are super moist & delicious!! I am so happy with the results of my experiments!I took the various gluten free & dairy free recipes I have and I was able to create a marriage of the two! I'd say they are a match made in heaven! The banana & carrot cakes are also egg-free for those who cannot or do not eat eggs.

The third cupcake photo is of my final gluten free & dairy free creation: a light lemon cake with raspberry jam filling & topped with a lemon buttercream. Some of the cakes are topped with crushed lemon candies & some are simply garnished with lemon rind slices. These are so amazingly good! They have a very light crumb & incredible lemon flavor! My next challenge will be to create these cakes using agave nectar as the sweetener.

Later this week (after I get my kitchen cleaned up) I'll be back to write about cooking fresh sugar pumpkins that we bought at the farmer's market on Saturday for the pies that we are going to make this Friday for the market! Fall is here! Happy days to you all!