Life, like food, is better when shared! GNG is adventurous in the kitchen, and in life, and is collecting golden nuggets wherever she goes to share with you. If you are hungry for life, or simply hungry, stop by her kitchen and see what’s cooking. Take a golden nugget and pass it on.
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It’s not about Perfection It’s about Connection
Can you believe that I almost put this cake that I made as a
gift in the garbage because I didn’t think it was good enough? I put a ton of
energy and love into this cake, but I ran into a few problems throughout the
baking process that threatened to make my cake less than what I believed was perfect.
Did I bite the bullet and just bring the cake as it was, leaving me vulnerable
to its imperfections, or did I pitch it and simply bring the cake stand by
itself so I could avoid revealing my imperfections to others. Read on for the
Last April, I had the honor of attending my friend Amelia’s
bridal shower. Amelia loves to bake and since she and her fiancé had just moved
into their first home I decided to get a 4-in-1 crystal cake stand that she
could proudly display her baking creations on in her new kitchen. Then my Type-A
personality came into play, and I thought to myself it would be a pretty standout
presentation at the shower to have my homemade carrot cake on her new platter.
After searching the web for different cake decorating ideas, I stumbled upon a
beautiful rose tutorial by i am baker. Perfect! I had the platter (I’m not
going to lie, I loved it so much I thought about keeping it for myself J),
a decadent cake that was going to make me look like a rockstar…but wait, that’s
the only child coming out… this was truly Amelia’s day!
Being the perfectionist that I am, I bought several extra
cans of frosting to practice making the roses on a cake pan before actually
applying roses to the cake. Now it took my laid back, go-with-the-flow self, to
convince my perfectionist self that it would be ok to pipe Duncan Hines cream
cheese frosting instead of making my usual homemade frosting. I wasn’t sure if
the homemade frosting was going to be stiff enough to pipe into roses, and I
was under some time constraints, so I caved and decided to take a chance on the
canned frosting. Now, I’m already feeling uneasy about using the canned
frosting, and a few extra mishaps in the baking process really pushed me
towards throwing out the cake and just taking the stand. But I decided to eat
my pride, and bring the cake on the stand as I had originally planned.
So after all this worrying about whether people would be
able to tell that it was canned frosting, that the cake was too dense, that I
could have made the roses look better, blah, blah, blah, everyone
RAVED about it. So what did I learn?
1.Had I caved into my pride, and dumped the cake, I
wouldn’t have given Amelia what I really wanted to give her, which was
something that I made just for her.
2.Allow myself to be less than perfect in front of
others. Only revealing my “best self” is not giving people my “authentic self.”
It is one thing to know that I’m not perfect, it’s another to share with others
that I’m not. If I want to feel confident that people love and respect me for
who I truly am, then I have to know I am giving them a balanced perception.
3.If something doesn’t come out perfect, I will
refrain from telling everyone it isn’t my 100%. Harping on the minors in my own
work might unintentionally suggest that I’m on the lookout for the minor flaws
in my friends’ work, and that’s not the message that I’d want to send.
4.And most importantly… I will always use the
canned frosting to make the roses! I actually couldn’t convince a few that I
had indeed used canned cream cheese frosting (kudos to you, Duncan Hines) and
these were seasoned bakers.
After my dad retired from over 40 years of paper mill management, he did a short stint working at Moe's Southwest Grill before he and my mom moved down here to Maryland. After working a shift, he would often bring home Moe's famous queso and heat up their fresh tortilla chips in the microwave. I started craving Moe's queso, this unique white cheese dip packed an addicting heat that I had never had at any other Mexican restaurant. I started searching the web looking for the best copycat recipe and found the closest replica at Seeded at the Table. I think it's right on the money!
Bobby Flay's Lemon Rosemary Marinated Grilled Halibut recipe came highly recommended from my soccer friend Little Lisa. She has very good taste in EVERYTHING so I knew I had to try it after she raved one night before stepping out on the field. Easy to make and bursting with flavor, this fresh fish dish is a keeper!
Whole Foods opened up across the street from our neighborhood. Like, literally, across the street. It has been a long time coming and highly anticipated, so when they finally opened their doors, I went THREE times on the first day! The ever-changing salad bar is our bank account's downfall. Every day at noon it keeps calling my name, taunting me with quick, easy, and healthy options for lunch when I'm hangry.
I always get a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a bigger receipt than I had hoped for. So, I decided that I would start making batches of these sides in my own kitchen so that I could enjoy them all week long without the guilt. You can purchase the Whole Foods Market Cookbook on Amazon!
First up, one of my absolute favorites, the Indian inspired Cracklin' Cauliflower! It's so good that I recommend making at least a double batch!