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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!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pee-Aie-Eee: Whats that spell? Pie! (Or awesome...)

This has been a month of pies.
So many tasty pastries with crusts and fruits have been happening.
Let us take an instagram adventure in the world of PIE.

First pie that happened was a really ugly lemon blueberry concoction that happened in the evening after a long day of work. Boy was it hideous. And absolutely delicious! I probably ate 3/4 of it on my own...within a two-ish day time period? Yeah....once I figure out how to make this pretty and tasty there will be an awfully exciting pie recipe up here.

Blueberry Lemon Ugly Pie = Blueberry Lemon TASTEE.  

Thennn...Thursday happened! Thursdays are Farmer's Market days. It's unavoidable. There is all this delicious produce sitting in the sun and there are happy kids drawing with chalk and dogs on leashes straining at all the lovely smells coming from the stalls, someone is playing guitar and singing folksy acoustic songs. One thing leads to another and Candice finds herself buying way too much fruit and making a rustic pie tart thing that tastes phenomenal.

Peppers and Pie Ingredients! Peaches, two kinds of cherries, and blueberries. 
But now this is when it gets crazy fun. Hold on to your hats, kids, because our instagram adventure of pie is leaving the Purple Door Kitchen and heading to New Jersey! Enter Pie Master 2.0. Now, sometimes a girl just plain lucks out and finds out that her staggering good looking, incredibly smart, hilariously funny, and perfectly sweet boyfriend also likes to bake pies. (I know, RIGHT?) Tada! Pumpkin Pie was made in Jersey and Candice thanked Jesus for pie making men. ;)

A few days after the ridiculously successful pumpkin pie was eaten, David called me while he was in the grocery store hunting for apple pie ingredients. (Oh, look the Candice-O-Happy Meter went off the charts...) and a couple of hours later pie flavored skype date! Gosh darn it, we're cute.

And David was thoughtful enough to document our pie adventure, of course. (look! There I am being really happy to watch David make pie for three hours or so) He's always thinking of genius things like that. :) The only bad thing about this arrangement is that I couldn't actually taste the amazing apple pie he made, but watching him bake/eat it made up for it.

Good news about July being the month of pie? Tomorrow I am completely free all afternoon and I think I'm going to make more! Flavors up for debate.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Weddings and a Carrot Cake

It's wedding season, guys.
Seriously...when I was at Target the other day they were selling bride themed bikinis in the swimsuit section. (Don't ask me why I was at Target. Or in the swimsuit section. Who needs to go shopping? Who needs a new swimsuit? NO one, that's who.)
But yes, I digress. Weddings. Summer is in full swing and here in the Pacific Northwest when the weather gets sunnier everyone goes a little twitterpated and wants to get hitched. It's cute.
And really, everyone likes to go to a good wedding. It's perfected fun, right? We've been carefully crafting the art of wedding celebrations since the beginning of time and boy has it paid off. And there is almost always cake.

I got to make a wedding cake this past weekend for a friend of mine. The first time I made a carrot cake and brought it to a get together at Kyle's house years ago he found me and said, "Candice, when I get married I want you to make this carrot cake." I laughed and replied with an "Ok!" thinking that he would forget all about it.

He didn't. Three years later he met his lovely wife, Velina. They did their cute falling in love thing, got engaged, and started planning a wedding. And who did they ask to make their cake? Me!! I was so excited and a little humbled.
And really nervous.
But it turned out to be really fun and rewarding. Everyone loved it, the bride and groom were super thankful and it was a happy wedding.

My sister actually was the photographer and my mom helped with the garden preparations so it was a regular family gig! Laura and I were pretty excited because we have always wanted to retire and start a wedding planning/photo/cake business after we grow old and grouchy from being in the education system for years.
(Yeahhhhh we haven't even started teaching and we already are planning for retirement. It's pretty sad.)

It was a blast, Laura took beautiful pictures, I brought a decent looking (and great tasting) cake, everyone had the time of their lives and swore it was the nicest wedding they had ever attended.
Or at least, until the next wedding...which was about 24 hours later. ;)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fun Times and Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes

Heyyyy there.
Remember that super fun time I was ambitious and said I was going to bake 52 new cupcakes recipes in one year?
Those were fun times. Fun fun times...it is good to reminisce, isn't it?
I thought (after skipping 6, um 12? weeks of cupcake recipes) that maybe I was too ambitious. Too crazy. Too obsessed with cupcakes.

Well, okay. I thought right. Because I am most certainly too crazy/ambitious/cupcake obsessed. Which is why I didn't give up!! HAHAHAH...behold me and my evil adorable cupcake laughter! Well, I probably won't meet my 52 recipe goal, but I'm still going to make as many dang cupcakes that I can. I'm also a bit stubborn maybe?

Here we are dedicated cupcake friends:
Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes
I do apologize for the not so impressive photos. I was left with a dead battery after the recent Adventure in Brazil and so the only camera available was on my phone. Believe me, these cupcakes are much much much tastier than theses pictures make them look. Like, I actually ate three of these. Um. Within a half hour.

OKAY. That's enough confession time! Heheh. Recipe!

Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes                                                                                          Yield 8
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
6 TB room temperature butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced
Leaving 10 slices for topping the cupcakes, finely chop the remaining peaches and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. In another large mixing bowl beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the almond extract and one egg, beat well. Add the other egg and beat well. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternating twice with milk.
Line a muffin tin with liners and fill each with about two tablespoons of batter. Fill each with a heaping tablespoon of peaches and then fill with the remaining batter. Bake about twenty minutes or until the edges turn golden. 
Let cool completely. 
Top with sweetened whipped cream and grilled peaches. Add a honey balsamic sauce for extra yum factor. :)
Honey Balsamic Drizzle
1/4 cup honey
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Whisk together and drizzle over cupcakes...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

How the Amazon taught me to bake cupcakes

Welcome back to the interwebs, Candice.
Now, while I really like you all and I really like blogging...I have to confess. I really didn't miss the internet at all this past month. Like, none.
Zip, Zero, Nada, Negative.
It could be because I was hanging out with these gorgeous people the whole time...maybe.



(Sorry for the overload of pictures, but I really like these people, okay? Okay. Moving on...)
I think I checked facebook once and even then as I was scrolling through my news feed, I got bored. And so the fact was reached that the world wide web was completely unnecessary for survival (or even happiness). This, and the realization that my life is going to get topsy turvy pretty soon, caused me to set aside a lengthy period of time to consider giving Purple Door Bakery a break. (and by "lengthy period" I mean 3 whole hours. That's a lot of hours for me to think about one thing, guys. Seriously.) I made nice pros and cons lists, and then I crossed them out and made different ones. In the end, I decided to keep it going as long as I can. I mean, I already took a mini hiatus for the month of June anyway. So for now, PDB is still chugging along.

That being said...let's talk cupcakes!
Yeahhhh. Cupcakes are pretty much always going down around these parts. It's a thing.
So yes. Show of hands, please. How many of you lovelies have been to the Amazon?
Nope, not the website. The jungle.

Right. If you haven't, you should. It's incredible. (This is connected to cupcakes eventually, I promise.)
Incredible people, incredible rivers, incredible lightning storms.
Incredible starry skies, incredible hearts, incredible opportunities for God to pick you gently up and thrust you into a story you never thought you would tell, much less live right out.

You know, it's pretty unfathomable that the person who imagined, designed, and put together every detail of the universe can still somehow know you perfectly.
God knows my favorite song and why it makes me cry (even though, to this day, I still don't know why myself.) He knows that when I was a girl I wanted to be a red-winged blackbird.
Confession: sometimes I still have days that I want to be a red-winged blackbird. This, along with why my favorite song makes me cry, is a mystery.
And He knows that when I am very happy (or unhappy) or very relaxed (or stressed) I like to bake. And He knows (yes, the all powerful, jaw dropping, magnificent God knows) that I like cupcakes.
The reason I know that He knows this is because of the Brazilian Amazon.

Ha! I love it!

On Sunday, June 23, 2013, in the small town of Caqueta, I woke up at 6 am to a tiny kitchen with no electricity. I hand beat enough butter cream frosting to decorate the five dozen cupcakes I had made during an impromptu prayer meeting the night before.

It was hands down the best baking experience of my entire life.
Better than any of the wedding cakes I've done, better than the time I sold my first cake, better even than the satisfying "pop" of the lid on my first can of successful jar of jam. It was just amazing.

I managed to make 5 dozen Bolinhos de Acerola e Morango without measuring cups, spoons, an electric mixer or American ingredients. The oven didn't even have degrees of temperature. It was a stick-your-hand-in-and-see-if-it's-hot-enough oven.

And to be doing something I really enjoyed for children I had never met (and yet somehow already loved) while praying with a group of women in two languages. Asking for grace and truth and Christ given power to cover ourselves and the men with us?

Yeah. You guys all need to visit the Amazon.
And make cupcakes there.
And if you do, I promise that it will only be the tip of the iceberg...there are so many things that happened in Brazil. Making cupcakes there just happens to be something that pertains to my frivolous baking blog.
That in and of itself is just SO DARN COOL. :D