I didn't have the chance to mention that I've been taking a cake decorating class at Michaels for three weeks now. I'm enrolled in the first course of the series and will "graduate" next weekend! I've learned how to work with basic buttercream, making those cutesy shapes you see on any grocery store cake. A couple things I learned are that there are proper angles to make these shapes and you have to watch the pressure with which you push the icing out of the pastry bag. I'm proud to say that I now know how to make the famous Wilton rose! I'll be practicing that this week with a batch of cupcakes and my leftover icing from my last class (co-workers are going to get a treat!) We voted on not making a cake for the last class just so we could focus more on the rose, but the week before I made a cake, which conveniently went to my neighbors' daughter who was celebrating her 5th birthday!
This cake is just decorated with a lot of stars and dots...that's it! It looks really complicated, but it was super easy. I can't wait to get to the more challenging shapes! I've already signed up for the second course, where we learn more flowers and fun borders. With the 50% off promotion they have going on right now plus the $5.00 off coupon my cake decorating instructor gave me, the class only totaled $12.50! September is a good time to sign up for any of Michaels cake decorating classes, because no matter where you are, it is 50% off! I promise you, I will make it up to wedding cakes. In fact, I was looking at the cake at the wedding I attended the past weekend and I totally could have decorated it! Just a series of dots and shells.....so simple!
As an aside, I really really want to attend pastry school. Baking is a very new hobby to me, and had it not been for this deployment, I might not have discovered this new passion of mine. It sometimes trumps knitting--especially at these times when my poor wrists and forearms can't take any more (ouch!) It all started out with me wanting to take better care of my husband when he got home. We spend little time together, and the times we do share together, I just want to spoil him. And all us women know that the quickest way to a man's heart is his stomach! Good thing mine loves sweet, decadent desserts! I've been pretty obsessed with baking lately (look at my frequently read blogs!), sometimes baking goodies for my lab mates twice in one week. We have weekly lab meetings and last Friday was my turn. Usually the person presenting brings in something small for the others to munch on whilst listening to them drone on and on about dry science. Usually I just stop by the store and pick up something on the way, but this time I baked some blueberry muffins and coffee banana muffins--they were much appreciated (sorry, no pics!) I love trying out new recipes, although I still don't have to confidence to experiment that much yet. But the more challenging the recipe the better! It all makes the end product that much more worth it!
Well, as impractical as it may seem, I hope to eventually make it to pastry school. I've done a little research and it looks like it's going to be really expensive (the Art Institute of Seattle charges about $50,000 for an AA or $16,000 for a diploma!) I know I need to lean on a more practical, solid job, like nursing, but I'm halfway tempted to ditch those previous aspirations and go for these new ones.