Saturday, February 14, 2009

A snowy delivery day

I love winter weddings! Everything is less stressful for a baker in the winter. Our arch nemeses heat and humidity are on hiatus, and the cakes love it. Plus, there are less weddings per weekend, so we get to take our own sweet time and enjoy decorating the cakes at a relaxing pace. The only trick is when, as in this December and January, it seemed as though there was a snowstorm every Saturday. Okay, I take it back... I only like winter weddings. So, here are two cakes that, though the weather outside was frightful...made it to the reception on time.

Laura and Sandeep had a dreamy winter wonderland reception at the Carlson Rotunda. We met with them earlier in the year, and they really let me play around with unusual elements like using Oval tiers, offset stacked to one side, allowing the snowflakes to flutter asymmetrically down the side of the tiers. The hidden gem on this one, however, was a frosting replica (not to scale by a longshot, he's huge!) of their dog Captain. We gave him a pale blue frosting scarf for the occasion. You have to look closely, but he's there, hiding among the snowflakes on the second tier.

Dori and Andrew had their reception Downtown St. Paul that same snowy night. They were both here for the wedding from London where Andrew is a Grenadier. We just couldn't help ourselves. We had to pitch them frosted Grenadier cookies as favours, and they agreed, they were a must-have.

The cuteness was almost overwhelming, so we balanced it with a cake modelled after Dori's amazing wedding gown. We pleated the fondant and copied the lace and ribbon embroidery from her bodice. The vase on top was frosting, but it could still hold fresh flowers. We just loved the glamour.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Do you have any idea how many calories are in this stuff?

No, I'm not stupid enough to answer that question...and hey, who eats wedding cake everyday anyway? It is a special indulgence that we all allow ourselves in honor of two souls uniting in their mutual journey on this crazy planet we live on. And, while that doesn't happen everyday, no harm in a little slice of Cream Cheese Nirvana or Turtle Cake to celebrate the occasion.

There are, however those of us fortunate few, for whom, that "occasion" is our business, and we are surrounded by the evil-gooey-goodness of wedding cake every day. That explains how, while my friends were all gaining "baby weight" I gained "owning a bakery weight" right along with them. Long story short, I woke up one morning and realized that in 5 years of owning Gateaux Inc. I had put on 40 pounds.

So, convinced that my body had reached its equilibrium, and I couldn't drop the weight, I reluctantly joined Balley's with my husband in December of 2005. They scheduled me a complimentary session with a personal trainer (her name was Sarah, a mere two modest vowels off from Satan) and I began another futile attempt at dropping some weight.

I met Sarah at the gym on a Monday at 9:30. I thought she would show me how to use all of those weight machines that were a mystery to me, and walk me around the gym to get familiar with the facilities. At 9:45, while sitting on the floor of the gym's bathroom trying not to vomit, I realized that I was mistaken. Her job was to show me just how far I had let myself go. Now, a sane person would run away. So what did I do? I hired her for 8 more sessions. I've been working out with Sarah every week since, and she's the best.

She not only showed me how a real workout should feel (I never would have pushed myself as far as she does) but also helped me figure out how to adjust my diet and eating habits to a maintainable level of healthy, without dieting or cutting out any one food. She is responsible for my losing 32 pounds and feeling more fit than I ever have in my life. I was the skinny wimpy kid who couldn't run a mile once a year in gym class without hyperventilating. Now, I can run 3 miles in around 30 minutes.

One of my full-timers hired her to train leading up to her wedding a couple of years ago, and she had similar results, losing 40 pounds. We've both kept the weight off for two years now, and feel great! Take that, triple espresso ganache truffles! Mmm, truffles.

Anyway, why do I bring this up now? No, not to toot my own horn and show off the new cake lady bod. More to pass along this awesome thing to other people who I know would benefit as I did. Sarah has started her own business Real Fitness Solutions. She is now training people at a small club in Minneapolis. You don't need a membership to the club to train with Sarah there, and since she's gone independant, her pricing is an absolute steal! Don't let this one pass you by. If you're intrigued in the least, go to her web site and contact her. You'll be glad you did. I was.