Friday, April 24, 2009

Easter Goodies

I know it's been a while since Easter, but I figured better late than never!

I don't really have set traditions when it comes to Easter. Every year it's always something different. Whether it's an egg hunt, dying eggs, or dinner, it's always played by ear (no pun intended). This year, I decided to pass out Easter goodies to friends.

Let me first just say that I had no idea how much effort it was going to take to assemble these packages. I thought at the most it would take three days, one day for each different item. Nope. The boxes themselves involved slowly exacto knifing every curve and angle to achieve optimum precision. Then, the cards. Same comment as above, in relation to the cutting, but this time, the paper sizes needed to match exactly and the glue had to be applied just right to reach the goal of smoothness and perfect attachment. Now, the cookies definitely took a lot of time. I kept getting interrupted so I couldn't just finish the cookies and icing in one day. I had to stretch it out for a series of days. Luckily, sugar cookies keep well.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of assembling these packages. I would do it again. It's just fun doing something you enjoy for people that you care about. I only wish I was there to see the looks on everyone's face when they received these packages in the had to have been a good response, right?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

700 Cupcake Project

It's here! A new post after a very long, involuntary hiatus. Much has gone on in the last couple of weeks. I can't wait to be able to share with you, so stay tuned.
Among the many events, I had the honor of baking 700 cupcakes to donate to an event put on by Giving Children Hope. After the confirmation of this opportunity, I proceeded to freak out! You see, when I found out that they would like 700, I was in shock. I expected maybe a couple hundred, but never anything like this. I spent about a month having anxiety about what I potentially have gotten myself into. Knowing that as a full-time worker, I would not be able to bake 700 cupcakes in one day, I knew that I would need to bake the cupcakes in advance. I then worried about where and how I was going to store these cupcakes. Then, thoughts wandered to which recipe I was going to use. Then, how was I going to use my lack of creativity to my advantage and make these cupcakes something I was proud of? Then, when was I going to bake all of these? Between work and night classes, I hardly have the time to eat and get myself to bed at a decent hour, let alone bake 700 cupcakes. I put myself on organized mode and made myself a calendar, where I proceeded to map out everyday of the ending weeks of March and the first few weeks of April. I had it written down when I would get supplies, when I was going to bake, when I was going to make frosting, and when I was going to decorate.
As for storage, my sig-o graciously volunteered his mini dorm room refrigerator, which from experience can be set to be so cold that it would actually freeze anything that is put into it. I had planned to put all the cupcakes in the mini fridge, but as more and more cupcakes accumulated, I was running out of room for them. In the end, I moved all the space taking beverages (milk, juice, water) from the in-home fridge to the mini fridge. Then, all of my cupcakes fit neatly on top of cookie sheets in the in-home fridge.
After one month of planning and freaking out, two weeks of baking, gathering supplies, and yards and yards of saran wrap later, I have what you see here. Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention. Throughout the whole process I was worried about how I was going to transport these minis to the event that was 45 minutes away from me. I had plenty of ideas, but a friend who owns a pizza parlor gave me the advice of using pizza boxes. My sig-o volunteered to pick up 5 boxes from Costco and was successful! Yay sig-o! Unbelievably, 5 boxes were not enough so I found some like-pizza boxes at work that people had not needed and reused them (think green).
As for the recipe, I turned to one of my favorite blogs, smitten kitchen. The frosting, I used a recipe of equal parts of shortening and butter, double vanilla extract and as much or as little powdered sugar to get your desired consitency.
The day finally came and I packed up the large boxes carefully in my car and slowly drove the 5 minutes of freeway. When I dropped them off, I received positive feedback. At the actual event, I received positive feedback. All in all, I would say it was a success!
I was so elated to be able to contribute to this event. It was not only about pulling out my checkbook and contributing. It was about me putting my heart and soul into what I love to do and using it to contribute to what I belive in. Would I do it again? YES! Because of this experience, I now know what to do and what not to do. The next time I attempt a similar task, I will be more prepared and more efficient.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More soon

Hello!!! Is anyone still out there? For those who have not given up checking regularly, you may have noticed that pictureperfectpassionphood hasn't been updated recently. With perfectly good reason, mind you. First of all, my laptop charger was held hostage last week - my sig-o had broken his laptop and he needed to borrow mine until he bought a new one. I finally got my charger back, but now the camera that I use has been taken to Costa Rica with my sister! Some timing huh? I promise that I have been working on quite a few projects that I would like to share. Stay tuned! All will reveal itself in due time.