Archive | October, 2014

Getting in Spirit of Things!

31 Oct

It is Hallowe ‘en at Bake Me A Cake, and we are in the spirit! Like every year, we decorate our cupcakes in true Hallowe ‘en fashion! We also dress ourselves up as well! This year I put on a promotion, if you come into the bakery dressed up for this day, receive a free cupcake! We like to see kids and adults alike in the spirit of things! I used to not be in the spirit, unless it was Christmas, but then I had kids! I thought, I want my children to see that I can have fun with them and I don’t want to put down what they find fun! Also, Shanna, the manage or the store and my neice/sister/best friend got me into it as well! She is super fun when it comes to holidays and dressing up and such ( I know Halloween is not a holiday!).

Halloween at the Bakery 2012

Halloween at the Bakery 2012

652

Halloween at the Bakery 2013, Shanna is a kitty cat, and I am a sock hop girl!

Halloween at Bake Me A Cake 2014.

Halloween at Bake Me A Cake 2014.

Me as mother nature, the kids in my sons class were feeling my feather eye lashes!

Me as mother nature, the kids in my sons class were feeling my feather eye lashes!

We go to my children’s school every year for Halloween and let them decorate cookies, we dress up! Its pretty fun and the kids like it!

Mother Nature and a magic Unicorn(Shanna)

Mother Nature and a magic Unicorn(Shanna)

Through the years we will have some more fun Halloween’s here at the bakery! The cake and cupcakes in front of us today are also today’s theme! I am going to post a bunch of cool gorey and just fun cakes for Halloween! I hope you enjoy the day and don’t poo poo the others who get into the day!
006007008009

Mr. Dancing Skeleton is just happy to be in the Bakery!

Mr. Dancing Skeleton is just happy to be in the Bakery!

899 Shanna really loves to do Halloween cakes, it is really where she shines bright! The more messed up and gorey, the better for her!

Chucky! Shanna's creation

Chucky! Shanna’s creation

Freddy. Man, he is creepy!

Freddy. Man, he is creepy!

Bloody and ripped open torso~...ew~!

Bloody and ripped open torso~…ew~!

I hope you enjoy the pictures! We really are lucky to really enjoy what we do for a living! Sometimes it is a really hard job, other times it feels like “really? we are getting paid to do this? THis is awesome!” Pros and cons to everything, but we like what we do and we love to get festive when it calls for it! The gorey cakes actually give us some more creative space, we can add more or less until it looks just right. When it comes to putting flowers on or ordinary decorations, it can really show when there is too much or not enough!
I might stay dressed up to take my kids out trick or treating tonight! I had my husband come to the bakery this morning with the kids before school so they could see me dressed up, and my youngest son didn’t even want to come near me! I guess that my costume is successful! He eventually came to me! But it shocked him for sure! My husband will probably stay at home and hand out candy, and I will take the kids out, in the rain and snow…from what I hear! Ugh! Oh well, my wig will keep me dry!

For the Love of Pie!

28 Oct

Since the cooler weather has arrived I have been making pies! Ah, pastry! Some people are scared of it, others think it is a breeze to do (like my mother)! My grandmother used to make pies, and she was known in my family as THE pie maker!

A rare photo of my  mother and me!

A rare photo of my mother and me!

Her crust was so like and flaky! My mother learned from her and she can make beautiful pastry dough as well. My mother taught me. There is some things to be aware of when making pastry dough, like the butter/shortening should be cold, and don’t handle the dough too much, it becomes tough and not flaky at all. I used to cringe when mom wanted to make pies or tarts because she was so fast at it and it turned out perfect every time! Living up to her reputation in the family is pretty hard when making buttertarts especially! In my family, she it the buttertart queen! So, it took a long time before I could even think that I did a decent job on the pastry dough! I had to do a bunch of time on my own first, then I was able to feel more confident! Now, I can make a really nice pastry dough that is light and flaky! Thanks to my mother! We use the same recipe as my grandmother used, and I am pretty confident that her mother used to make it as well. A long line of bakers in my side of the family!

My Aunt Linda and me at a birthday celebration.

My Aunt Linda and me at a birthday celebration.

My carrot cake recipe is the best in the city, and I say this with confidence because numerous people ask for it and tell my staff and I that it is the best they have ever tasted! I swiped this recipe from my Aunt Linda, who is a nurse (which also runs in the family, taking care of people) and she is known in my family for this delicious dessert which everyone asks if she brought it to every family function! I learn from the best! The best desserts are made with fond memories attached to every recipe.

Every time I make a pie, I think of my mom. I wonder if she is proud that she taught this art to me that I am creating baked goods for everyone to enjoy! Like a kind of legacy. The only thing that I think of and wonder is if one of my sons is going to carry it on and learn the ways of the Morley pastry dough!

I made 35 pies for Thanksgiving at the shop, and in the end, we had 8 left. Not bad I think for the first year making pies for the holiday! I will make pies for Christmas as well. And buttertarts. I do not use my mother’s buttertart recipe, hers drip down your chin when you take a bite, I rather a sugar free chin, so I opted for a thicker filling, which I have recieved props for as well. Plus, I don’t want to step on my mom’s toes with buttertarts, so we have different styles!

Making the dough and rolling it out is like nurturing myself. It relaxes me and brings back fond memories and warm and fuzzy feelings. It is hard work after the first 10 pies though!  I love it, and I would not make it, bake it and sell it if I didn’t love it!  Now, I just need more filling recipes! I do, raisin, blueberry, lemon, apple, pecan, chocolate pecan, chocolate almond. I need to get a really nice peanut butter pie recipe and some other fruit recipes! A pear pie would be delicious and I have a strawberry rhubarb pie as well! Pie makes everything better!

“NO” says the Child

27 Oct

Yes, yes, those of us with children completely understand the word “no” better than anyone! Those of you without children have probably witnessed the upheaval that this word can make!  Now, I have found that children tend to respond better to positive reinforcement than the negativity, my 5 year old needs positive reinforcement, otherwise he is on the edge of becoming one of those children, the kind that you see out in public with their parents and they do and say whatever they like without any repercussion, but everyone else is appalled. I wouldn’t let it get that far EVER!checkmark So, I have found the magic trick for him that works. Calm voice, asking nicely and letting him know what is to happen if he does not do what he is told. He does not always do what he is told, with a little help with his chore, or if I stand there and watch him and guide him to do it, he does a wonderful job with no screaming! It is my little success which I have just achieved! What a difference!

Now, it is my 7 year old who is giving me a hard time now. And, not just me, but my husband as well! He must think that he is 13 or even 27 for that matter! I have a big problem with children not doing as they are told and fighting with authoritybaby-temper! I was raised with a very strict mother, and she NEVER had to tell me a third time. If I was not up and doing what I was told by the second time, it was trouble! And if you see my mother’s mad face, you will know why! It’s pretty scary. I guess I do not have that mad face, it is pretty ineffective on my children, although they do listen to my mother and knows when she means business!

My 7 year old is advanced for his age, he reads at a 5th grade level and he picks up information like a sponge. He always has his nose in a book and I read bed time stories to both of my children every night. It is punishment for them if they don’t get a story! We watch Cosmos together and he plays Boggle and Scrabble with me all the time. For his 5th birthday, everyone bought him word search books! I am thinking that maybe this is why he likes to defy authority. Maybe he thinks he knows better than his father and me! I tell him to do something and he says something along the lines that he is going to do something else first, and he has reasoning for this, and thinks that he is perfectly logical. I keep telling him that he cannot decide on what is good for him and what has to be done at what time. His father and I have to constantly remind him that he is 7 years old, not an adult! You should hear him talk to his brother! It’s enraging! If I hear him say “No Adam” one more time! Ugh! Another thing, I keep telling him is that I am the parent, he is not. He cannot decide what is good for his brother either! I mean it is okay to have his brother’s back if he were to get hurt or something, but to parent him is MY job! I have no idea how to get through to this child!Naughty Dad He does not respond to any kind of talking. I have to remind him constantly what he is doing. It is like stuck in his brain that he knows better than his parents! I have tried talking nicely, I have tried punishment, I have explained things to him, nothing sticks! I should try a control exercise with him. Make sure that he has no control of anything and see how he stands it. I will have to do some research for this! I don’t know what he thinks is going to happen if he loses control.

I know, this is partly my fault, I admit that I prefer control, and I wish I wasn’t like this all the time! Ha ha! My mother had full control because she was a single mother. I have done well at letting go and letting my husband take control. I sometimes prefer to be sitting on the side lines. I hate to be the one to make all the choices, especially since I have to make all the choices at the bakery. It’s very tiring and wears me out. I just want to sit and let stuff happen around me sometimes!  I know that my 7 year old is too young to appreciate just letting go, but it must be tiring for him, worrying about things and thinking that he needs control, or maybe he just likes the feeling of being in control. Playing the puppeteer to his brother. I do not remember being in need of that much control when I was his age, probably because I had a bossy friend who needed to be smarter and in control of everything, which made  me just go with it! I didn’t really care! There must be some reason why he is like this. Maybe he has anxiety or something? Maybe I am reading too much into it, and he is just like every other older sibling? I don’t know. Whatever it is, he has to be stopped! Ha ha, like he is an enemy of war that just has to be stopped at all costs! Ha ha!

My kids are really wonderful, no matter what a ranting mom says! They are smart, cute and lovable, and I don’t want them to change who they are, just the manner in which they talk to and treat other. This is their life, not just mine. They have to be who they are and need to possess control at times. I am okay with that. But they need to be decent adults. I will not raise children that will be demanding and needing to be in control. You don’t accumulate friends that way!

I will figure it out! I will try until something works! It is becoming harder all the time! Kids are a lot of work! Sometimes I just want to relax, not have to yell or give someone a stern talking to, and not hear any screams from brothers fighting! Just relax kids! Be good! Just be good! I enjoy these days, they will be gone in a flash, but a mom can vent!

CaKe TrEnDs!!

23 Oct

I see a lot of trends come and go with cake themes. From Thomas the Tank Engine, to Toopy and Binoo to Frozen, for children’s cakes and the always changing themes for wedding cakes. What is the trends I am seeing now?

Oh man!elsa and anna I decorate at least 3 Frozen themed cakes every week, and some weeks there is about 5 more than that! I can pipe the sisters in the dark now! At least the Dora the Explorer theme is over! It goes in spurts. As soon as a new movie or cartoon comes out, this is what the kids want! Now, it is not as popular as frozen but Everafter High is starting to come in close to Monster High with cake requests as well! And, now that we have a larger bakery and we are in an area with more traffic, we are seen and people are starting to recognize the kinds of cakes that we make!

Simple 2 tiered wedding cake with ribbon.

Simple 2 tiered wedding cake with ribbon.

The wedding cakes are pretty much always the same trends,

Rustic Wedding Cake, buttercream.

Rustic Wedding Cake, buttercream.

it is mostly the colours that change. There is the plain with ribbon tiered cake, the pretty and lacy type cake, and the rustic type cakes. Some people like to break out of the box for wedding cakes, I have done a wedding cake that was a Jack Skellington theme, and a leprechaun/green theme! Mostly, the colours change, it was brown and pink, lavendar, royal blue, sage green and purple and now the mute colours are in, in Sarnia anyhow! We seem to get behind on keeping up with trends! Ruffles are in as well. I like the look of the cake when it is done, but it’s a bit of a chore to do, unless it is in buttercream!

Frills and Lace

Frills and Lace

I made a couple of display wedding cakes for a show we were in, and I made a black wedding cake, very elegant with white flowers on it, and everyone loved it, but I think they would not choose it for their wedding. Cupcakes are still very popular, and I think it is because for the hall rentals, the newlyweds do not have to pay for the cake cutting. This can cost sometimes over $1 per slice. Well, when the wedding cake costs anywhere from $2.50/slice to $4.50/slice, who wants to spend another $100-150 on the cutting of the cake? The range $2.50-$4.50 is my pricing and is not comparable to other bakeries, they all price thing differently. I say this because someone may read this blog and think that this is the going rate for wedding cakes, you have to take in consideration where you live! Bigger cities seem to have higher pricing and I am assuming that is because it is more expensive to live in the city and even to rent space can cost more than what I pay in two months for my mortgage!

wedweddinweddi
All of the cake pictures that are in this posting are the ones that I have done myself. I hope you enjoy looking at them, and if you are in the market for a wedding cake, I hope they help you make decisions on the type of cake that you get for your wedding! wedd

Who IS this kid?

22 Oct

My five year old, Adam, is trying my patience! Whoa! I know, every child has their own personality, but I am seriously starting to wonder where the heck he came from! He seems to not care about anything! I take care in putting outfits together for my youngest so he can get dressed for school and look somewhat less like a little hobo!messy-kids-bedroom I put his shirt or sweater on a coat hanger, then I take the pants and hang them upside down and clip them to the shirt hanger with a clothes pin. This is his outfit for the day, he just has to grab the hanger, and get his socks and underwear. Well…. I go into his room and he has shirts with no pants and a pile of clothes on the bottom of the closet! Also, he has all sorts of dirty clothes in his room! My kids have daily chores, one of which is to put the dirty clothes in the laundry! I took away his story time at bed time last night because I was so frustrated with repeating myself to him over and over, which seems like months and months. And, he gets upset because I am upset, but when I ask him why he is being punished, he can’t tell me. Now, this kid is pretty smart at acting like he does not know! He wants to stay a baby! I ask him if he is a baby, he says yes! I mean, it’s funny but not at the same time! I get it, wanting to stay so little that everyone has to do everything for you, but really? If it means you get into trouble, wouldn’t you make more of an effort? Who wants to disappoint their parents anyway?

I fear that this “phase” will stick and he will  not care about things in the future.153 My hubby and I can have an argument at home, and my oldest is upset by this, and we tell him that arguments are healthy in a relationship, it does not mean hatred, just difference of opinions. My youngest isn’t phased in the least. He does not even act like he heard anything! This scares me! I think I might have to take some special time with him. He needs more guidance in human emotion or something.

He is really a good kid, he tells me he loves me all the time, he likes to cuddle and just sit on my lap to watch a movie, and he is really adorable! He is very very funny as well! So goofy! We are pretty goofy at home as a family anyway, and he is pretty hilarious! Like all kids, just keeps going until it is too much! Ha ha! Like some adults I know too! But, he is so damn cute!  He plays me on that one for sure! I am a sucker for “mommy, I hurt myself”, or the, cry, you know the cry, the one that makes you stop whatever you are doing, I mean, this cry can get me out of the shower with shampoo in my hair! I crumble every time! Well, my 5 year old knows how to do this cry on command!

202I think I need to pay more attention to my children. Okay, that sounds terrible, but I am sure if you have kids, you know what I mean. Really pay attentioin to them. I am always busy, either practising piano, cleaning, taking them to activities, etc. I am not sure I am really getting one on one time with them. When I ask them about their day, they say “good” and that is the end of it. My oldest likes to talk a lot, but he will just read something from a magazine out loud to us, or explain a very simple thing that happened to him in the most long and detailed, agonizing way! I mean, he gets distracted from his distractions! It’s cute, but it is a little much at times! I have to tell him sometimes to stop talking because nobody else can say anything!

My 5 year old cries a lot. I mean, A LOT! Its that high pitched scream-cry that pierces the eyeballs and stream-lines into your brain, giving you an instant headache! I love him, I really, really love him. Really! I am not sure I am doing anything really wrong, but I need to focus more on him until his behaviour turns around! Then I feel guilty because my oldest thinks that I prefer my youngest to him anyway, and that is not the case. I am sure he thinks that his little brother is more spoiled than him, that just isn’t true. Different personalities….man, a parent just can’t win! Damned if I do, damned if I don’t! 237

I will try to focus more one on one with my youngest and see if his behaviour starts to change. Make him more concerned with others anyways!

We will see how it goes!

They are so cute! Ah!

Warm and Fuzzy!

21 Oct

I love making pies! I love baking all sorts of goodies! I made lemon meringue pies and chocolate pies today, as well as some baked goods! It is so comforting to me! Maybe that is why I do it! My favourite is when someone tries the baked goods and I can see their reaction! I love it! It’s an addiction! I admit it! I, Amy Bourgon, am addicted to making people happy with food! There, I said it! I feel better now!

I just took some random photos, and I thought I would share! It is not really like me to take pictures of myself without my kids in it, but, whatever! I am happy about pie!goodiespie

I love the looks of our baked goods in the baskets, it makes it feel more homey to me. I like to make people feel all warm and fuzzy, and I think the basket display makes things a little more warm!

I guess I just love my business! My youngest baby! Almost 4 years old! I am so happy that we have kind of “made it”! I hope this feeling never goes away! My oldest son always is telling me that he wants to work with me at the bakery! I am sure they will both play a part in the business when they are older!  My expansion into pies is a start! I might as well keep doing what I love and what I am good at!

I am so blessed!

cupcakes

My cupcake display! It was full! Each day is different! The top row of cupcakes is our all the time flavours, white, chocolate and french vanilla. The bottom row flavours change every day, so every time someone comes in, there is something different! People like it that way, they can always go to the basics on the top row and the something new and different on the bottom. We always make new flavours as well. Tomorrow I am trying a new flavour, Pumpkin Spiced Latte….we will see how it goes over!

Its nice and crisp outside right now, and the bakery smells like freshed baked chocolate pie! How warm and fuzzy does that sound?

Have a great day! Stay warm!

My kinda weather!

20 Oct

debbie downerI have been Miss Debbie Downer as of late….this has to change! I have to open my eyes and appreciate what I have right in front of me, instead of dwelling on all that is my misfortune. I sit here typing and telling you all about my sorrows, when there is people out there with a much harsher reality. I am sure that those of you who read this that have it a lot worse would like to slap me into next week! Shake me until I see that I really have it pretty sweet. I apologize.

Now that autumn is in full bloom, my mood is becoming so much brighter!autumn I love this weather! Everything about it! The smell, the colours, the crispness in the air! Ah, this is my kinda weather! I see neighbours out on their porches having a cigarette all bundled up in their warm jackets and hoods on! I am out there in my regular clothes, loving being out there just for the fresh air and the little bite that a small breeze can give me!

I am starting to get more into Halloween for my kids as well. I never was really excited about it. But now that the kids are the age they are, I want to encourage them if they really like it! My youngest loves to dress up! I got the costume bin out of the basement to see what they could fit into this year, and he was rummaging through the bin, wanting to try everything on! It was pretty funny! I think my mother was excited about Halloween when I was about 5, but she lost interest. I know, my kids are at the perfect age to enjoy dressing up and getting candy! I am going to make it as fun as I can! We have made some decorations at home and when we were at the cottage. That was pretty fun, they liked it and they like seeing their art work out at holidays as well. I have saved all the decorations they have made and I bring them out and put them up every year! It’s pretty fun for them to see the things they have made.

Yesterday I enjoyed a day at home! My oldest and I were doing a puzzle, he was sick. My hubby and youngest son were out grocery shopping. I had a tea and was taking care of my oldest, puke bowl, water, magazines and books, blankets and pillows, movie and a puzzle. The only thing that was missing was a fire place…..and another puzzle after I finished the one I was working on.  I love the indoors and outdoors during this season. Both are equally cozy to me!  This, makes me happy! I am thankful for these days, the bakery isn’t as busy and I have more time with my family. It’s almost like a little vacation. But, I hope to spike business this Christmas since I make pies now and such. It would be nice to not have a slow season at all….I am working on that!

Time to check the cupcakes! I smell them, that means they are done!

Ta ta for now! Have a great day!