About Me

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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I haven't baked (or even made ANYthing) in two whole weeks!
I did however, go to a funeral, a graduation party and a wedding.
So I ate good food and saw several gorgeous cakes. :) Hopefully I have some pictures to put up later.
Can't wait to get back to my kitchen!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is the look people give me when they find out I am at it again: Cupcakes.
It usually is accompanied by a hopeful gasp as well. :)

Photo: Laura Lango
The little dude is my 8 year old brother: John Mark.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Puffs of Garden Happiness

Last week I ventured out into the land of the unknown: Cream Puffs.

I had never made a cream puff before and people had warned me about them. I was told they were difficult to make, they were a failure unless you did everything perfectly, sometimes they didn't puff, they didn't store well...warning after warning.
Needless to say, I was a little intimidated by the thought of them. But when I got a request to make some small snacks for a garden party I thought cream puffs would be a good idea. (Actually, my mom thought it would be a good idea and I cautiously took her advice. Good move on my part, always trust your mother!)
I didn't make the original sweet cream puff with ganache, though. I made a savory puff!
Sun dried tomatoes, red pepper and chive cream cheese: Heaven.
They were so awesome! I mean, they tasted good, too. But my favorite part was making them. the dough wasn't even comprehensible when I piped them onto the baking sheet. It was like: Savory Garden Goop from the Swamp of Failure. I was pretty nervous putting them into the oven.

 But lo and behold! They were true to their namesake and puffed up like good little children.

My sister even took a picture of me happily noting their progress from goopy to delicious in front of the oven:

The final product: Yumminess in the form of a garden puff. Perfect with a glass of wine. Classy and Tasty at the same time. Score.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Logo!

The brand new logo for Purple Door Bakery!
At the moment it is a sorta a hurried and shoddy version of what I want it to be in the future. :/ But at least I have one! I made a sign for when ever I cater things so people can get information now. Thank you to my dad for foolproofing the design, and the kinkos guy that let us print the second copy for free. You rock, kinkos guy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Almond? Joy!

Everyone loves a good candy bar. Whether it be snickers, reeses, baby ruth, 3 muskateers, twix, or a plain old hersheys...everyone pretty much likes candy bars. Even if you aren't a chocolate fan there is bound to be a candy bar out there that you can believe in.
My favorite candy bar is the Almond Joy. Coconut is my love and almond is my dream...so cover it in chocolate and VOILA! Perfection.

All this to say: I have made Almond Joy cupcakes. They are a cupcake, but with the taste of an almond joy candy bar.
One of the world's happiest combinations now comes in the form of a mini cake...and people say the world is getting worse. Imagine!
I started by making a thick and fluffy almond cake. I thought about making the cupcakes chocolate flavored. But then, how would I get the nutty taste in the end result? And plus, almond flavor in a cake is undeniable.
Then, cutting a cone into each cupcake, I filled it with a coconut and yoghurt cream filling. It was just like the coconut nougat you get in a real Almond Joy candy bar. The next step was getting a frosting extra chocolatey for the top. So using dark melted chocolate and whipping cream I concocted some of the best fudge icing ever. It was light and fluffy, but rich at the same time. Yum!
The final touch was the toasted coconut and almond slices on top. And so the ultimate candy bar cupcake was created!
Tada! Of course, the fun part was eating them!

Photos, as always, by the lovely Laura Lango.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Garden Party

Saturday, The Duvall Church hosted a ladies Garden Party at Kokopelli Gardens.
It was a beautiful day and the event was lovely. The music was great, the pretty tables were very cute, the ladies themselves all looked wonderful in their hats, dresses, and shoes. Sue and Davin, the owners of Kokopelli, have done a great job on the gardens themselves. The plants and lights make everything look so whimsical and inviting. I had a great time.
Also, happily enough, I was able to make a few fun treats for the party! I made about 70 each of mini quiches, fruit topped shortbread cookies, and savory cream puffs.
Unfortunately, the camera was short on battery power and I have absolutely no pictures at all of the event or the food. :(
But I did want to leave a shout out to Kim Smith (and her hubby, Steve) who organized and ran the whole operation. They did a superbtastic job making sure everything ran smoothly. *applause* You rock, Kim. :)
I can't wait til the next one!
Also, Kokopelli gardens has offered to put me on the "Recommended Caterer and Baker" list for future events. I'm super excited for new customers and baking expeditions!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Berries and their True Love.

"Wauv, Twue Wauv is vaht brings us togevah tuday"

Don't you just crack up at that one priest on "Princess Bride"? I think he might be my favorite part of the whole film. (although we all know that it's impossible to pick just one favorite part. I mean, Billy Crystal is the best, too, right? "Have fun storming the castle!")
Anyway. I have created a food that imbodies a true and beautiful realtionship. It takes one thing that is amazing by itself, and another thing completely different and unique also amazing on its own. And it puts them together to compliment and better eachother in beauty and harmony!
Yes, I may be pushing my analogies here. But I know that I for one, am in love with this new experiment of mine:
Strawberry and Chocolate Love Cups!
Ok, you can take the word "love" out of there. Strawberry and Chocolate Cups is fine. ;)
I had quite a time trying to keep these chocolate cups from breaking as I peeled them out of their wrappers. They were very (VERY) fragile and I made them on a hot day so I had to peel them as fast as possible, while not touching the chocolate itself. I ended up keeping my hands in the fridge as I peeled them to minimize the melting chocolate breakage. I ruined two in the process. But after I found out the secret to intact chocolate cups, all I had to do was add strawberries and chocolate mousse/frosting. (It was thick mousse, or fluffy frosting, whichever you want)

True Love <3

Downtrodden by Cupcakes.

My experimental recipes have been bringing me down lately. :(
Sunday I tried to make strawberry surprise cupcakes, but my frosting separated into a grainy sticky mess so I ended up frosting them with Cool Whip and pre packed colored sugar. Fail. The cupcake themselves were great though. I stuffed each one with a whole strawberry which everyone thought was pretty clever.
Today I tried out a Peaches and Cream cupcake repice I found but something went horribly wrong. They were all sticky and way too moist. The cake fell apart when you tried to take the wrapper off and they fell in the middle as they cooled. I tried to redeem them with spectacular homemade whipped cream but it wasn't enough I'm afraid. Another Fail.
I realize that when you are experimenting and trying new things that they aren't always going to be perfect and you have to take everything back to the drawing board. But twice in a row? I'm ready for a success to turn my luck around.
Tomorrow I am making three different things because of a Garden Party for Saturday. I'm hoping my bad mojo doesn't cross over. Crossing my fingers:
Savory Garden Cream Puffs (So fun to make! I could do it all day long. Puff pastry and cream cheese and they smell so great when baking.)
Mini Salmon and Spinach Quiches (Who doesn't love that brunch favorite? And in bite sizes!)
Fruit Topped Shortbread Rounds (Do you know those dessert pizzas with fruit on them? Like that, but cookie sized. Awesomeness.)
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brazilian Theme Cupcake

There is a delicious Brazilian dessert called Arroz Doce. (Pronounce it Ah-hose Doe-see). It basically translates to "Sweet Rice". Now, I never really like rice pudding. It always seemed not quite right, all soupy and warm and tapioca pudding was worse! That was slimy and cold. My dad always called it "Fish Eye and Glue Pudding". Bleck.
But Arroz Doce is wonderful! It's cinnamon and sweetened condensed milk and rice perfectly mixed together and chilled. I know that in Spanish the same dish is called Arroz con Leche. So, of course...I had to make a cupcake. I saw a recipe SOMEwhere online, but I can't remember for the life of me where it was. So I kinda made one of my own. Unfortunately I undercooked the rice and so the cupcakes were kinda crunchy. :( (Fail) Other than that they tasted just like the South American favorite. Mmmmm...I might just have to make a fresh batch of this stuff sometime very soon.  
Arroz Doce
4 cups water
1 cup long grain rice
1 cinnamon stick

2 cups whole milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz can)

Pour 4 cups of water over 1 cup long grain rice and 1 cinnamon stick.
Cook until the rice absorbs all the water and add water as needed until the rice is well cooked.

In a separated sauce pan, bring to boil 1/2 qt milk and 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can).

Add the the cooked rice to the boiling milk (rice need to be still hot). (To your rice pudding gets creamy, you need to combine the hot milk with hot rice).

Cook the rice pudding more. About ten minutes or until it gets a thicker sauce. Remove cinnamon stick.

Pour rice pudding into cold serving dish and sprinkle with cinnamon. Refridgerate overnight or until cold.
Needless to say, these cupcakes (with sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and moist rice) were the best spice cake I've ever had. I would eat these all day. :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mission Cupcake: Fruits!

I've got to make this quick because I have to make a Independence Day cake for the Fourth tomorrow. But I had a wonderful idea!
There are two things that I do when I get stressed out: Bake and Copy out Bible Verses. I'm working on 1st Kings and a whole stack of recipes. So I decided to combine my two loves.
Enter: the idea.

I'm going to make a fruit cupcake for every Fruit of the Spirit! Ok, so it's a little dorky, but I'm excited...which fruit should I do first? Goodness, Love, Peace? I've got some wacky ideas up my sleeve but I love experimenting so I'm ready to bake...
Now onto that patriotic pastry.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Family in the Kitchen

One of my favorite things to do is cook with my family, or even just cook with people I really love. Last spring break I came home after a grueling 3 months without a kitchen. I had been living in a tiny dorm room, without a roommate and without a good place to cook and I felt like I was going insane. I couldn't even go home for a kitchen fix on the weekends. To top it all off, I had also been eating cafeteria food the whole semester beforehand. I was desolate. So the first day I arrived in rainy Seattle for spring break I burst into the new kitchen and set right to work! My mom and I love cooking, and one of my sister's passions is photography. Needless to say, we were soon all chopping, stirring, clicking, and snapping away. The results? Some great pictures that bring back great memories and a delicious dinner of Pecan Crusted Cod. Unfortunately, I don't have the exact recipe we used. However, I found one that I'm pretty sure is very close to it. Try it out and leave reviews as comments if you'd like!

Pecan Crusted Cod Fillets 


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1cup nuts peanuts or pecans, chopped
  • 4 ounce(s) fish fillets, we used cod but tilapia would work as well
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cayenne
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter


1. In a small bowl, combine flour and cayenne pepper. Spread flour mixture on a plate. Spread nuts on a separate plate.
2. Season fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge one fillet through flour and shake off excess. Dip floured fillet into egg whites. Press the fillet into chopped pecans until it is covered.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place fillets in skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.
4. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh parsley for garnish if you want to make it look fancy. ;)

Me, slicing lemon wedges

My beautiful mother frying up the fillets

 The perfect side dish--baked potatoes!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Live and Learn

Friday afternoon last week I set out to enter the big wild world of catering. I had gotten a request to make a meal for not just a normal graduation party, but a double one! It was going to be themed after the Brazilian style of a Churrasco mixed with traditional American Barbeque. I was pretty excited...until I started stringing the last leg of the veggie kabobs, my chocolate cake fell, and the raspberry mousse wouldn't form stiff peaks. My feet hurt, I was sleep deprived and my emotional state was in shreds since I had never had a cake fall on me before. Not once in my whole life. Needless, in the end I did have a lot of fun and people liked it more than I thought they would. It was incredibly satisfying to see everyone having a great time and the graduates happy to relax. To heap on the good news: I have another catered event! Next Saturday I'm going to be making some baked goods for my church's garden party.

Menu for Double Graduation Party:
Romaine Caesar Salad
Bacon Water Chestnut Appetizers
Homemade Baked Beans
Creamed Corn
Colorful Kabobs with Peppers and Onions
Cheesy Grilled Potatoes
Brazilian Vinegrette
Churrasco-Style Grilled Steaks
2 Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cakes (one with more fudge than it's fruity sister)
Carrot Cake