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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 Rewind (August): Baking and Cooking??

The Teacher and the Student
To be clear, I don't just use the kitchen for anyone...my skills are limited.  I toast, I make coffee, I make great scrambled eggs, and I microwave.  I am also good at doing dishes.  When I was in high school and took baking...I just did the dishes.  I also kneaded bread dough...I was pretty good at that too.  I am best at selecting food options from restaurants/stores/caterers and reheating, if necessary.  I can throw together a great menu with excellent food pairings...including desserts!!  But this past August, for my sister's birthday, I decided that I wanted to cook one of her favorite meals (one that Grandma used to make) and bake her a cake.  So I did...with excellent teaching/coaching from my Mom.  I made Chicken N' Gravy (which is chicken cooked in Cream of Mushroom Soup), parsley potatoes, a salad, and a cake.  Another motivating factor was brand new marble counter tops...they were so pretty I was actually inspired to use the kitchen.

My Mom took my enthusiasm and seized the opportunity to teach me lots of things grown-ups apparently should know how to do - for instance - how to quarter a chicken, julienne fruits and vegetables, mix together ingredients for baking, use a mixer, decorate a cake, and many other things.  We had a really good time...we make a good team.  She is an amazing cook and baker...I usually just help with dishes (not as often as I should), design, color, and flavors.  This time...I was all in.  I took pictures throughout the process so that I could remember everything.  Plus, I wanted visual proof that it actually happened.  I cooked!!  I baked!!  I decorated!!

So here is a pictorial listing of how I made a birthday dinner and cake for my sister...
 
Everything I do starts with some notes and lists...

Shopping!!!

 
Baking is done first...and the order of ingredients is important.

Two perfectly finished cakes!!!

Layering Up...I made the orange color too...
You can see the stress...
 
All iced and ready to go...I made the yellow color!!

Starting to decorate with fondant pieces I cut out...what will it be?

The chicken...so gross...but I conquered my fear!!
  
All cut up!!!

All souped up...and ready for the oven!!

Cutting Skills...

My favorite...Grandma's Parsley Potatoes...
 
The table...ready to serve with some 802 Woodchuck!!

A Lion Cake for My Leo Sister!!
 
Ready to Eat!!!

I don't just use the kitchen for anyone... :)

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