Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's Lovely Thing

If you do nothing else today, watch this video!

In the words of Dooce, This is not the official video, but something someone made in his spare time out of the love of what he does. I don't know much about this guy, his name is Gabe Askew, but I hope whoever employs him pays him a lot of money.

Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear from Gabe Askew

How unbelievable and beautiful is that?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Awwww Yeah!

I'm on summer break! Even though my program goes for the full year, there's a 5 week break between summer and fall quarters. I'm on day 2 and have already had to remind myself what day it is. Probably a good sign of my stress level.

My sister Michelle came up for the weekend for a cake tasting! She is getting married next weekend and is brave enough to let me tackle the cake. She came up with her fiance and they loved everything, but somehow managed to limit themselves to 3 flavors. We're going with almond cake with lemon curd filling, vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream filling, and german chocolate with coconut pecan filling. Sounds delightful, no?

After they left to go back home to Portland this afternoon, I checked the mail and was happy to see an item I have been waiting for...a letter from the financial aid department at school! Opened it and I am just OVER THE MOON! They are giving me enough in grant money to fully cover tuition for the next 3 quarters!

Things are good!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wishing the buttercream roses trend would come back to the cake world

The best of school this week.....Roses and multi-colored pearls were all hand-painted!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cake Party!!

Had to share pictures of the totally adorable cakes that I made this week. They totaled about 2 inches tall - SO CUTE. Of course, the small size made the decorating especially tedious - but the results made it totally worthwhile.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

If It's Too Hot in The Kitchen....

I recently celebrated my 29th birthday! My friend Zak offered to host a party at his house so that I could invite more people to celebrate. I had a summer dress-up cocktail and Hors D'Oeuvers party. About 25 people showed up, all with amazing offerings of appetizers, wine and cocktail fixings! Unfortunately no one took pictures at the party, but trust me, it was an amazing time!

One of the best gifts I received was from Nick, of course. I have been talking about betta fish for some time --- he surprised me on my birthday with a whole setup for two! I have a red and a blue. They're in the same tank, but there's a plastic grate between, so they can't get at each other -- not that attempts haven't been made! They have natural rocks and they each have their own houseplant! I'd like to introduce you to Bebop and Rocksteady:

The coolest fish ever! I've mentioned the attempted aggression - they are both pretty fiesty! They both come up to the glass when I touch it, and they even come up to the surface for a pet when I dangle my finger in the water!

As most of you know, we're having a bit of a heat wave in the NW these days. Last Wednesday hit 103 in my neighborhood, 112 not too far away. Friday only hit 99 and it was a bit of a relief, actually. It's currently 80 degrees at 9pm. Crazy by normal standards, but damn refreshing in Seattle these days.

Of course, when it rains it pours, so to speak. Last week when we were in the midst of our high temps, the AC went out at school. Let me remind you that my schooling involves baking. with ovens. hot ovens. lots of them.

In spite of the heat, amazing things are happening. Take Exibit A:

Unfortunately this is not my handiwork, but a fellow student. One day... ;>

To beat the heat, Nick and I took an overnight trip to Anacortes, WA this weekend. We have a friend who has parents who own a house. What an amazing trip. Beautiful house on amazing property, right on a serene lake. We were there for less than 24 hours, but felt we had been gone for several days by the end. It was so rejuvinating, it seemed we had been on a mini vacation! While we were there, our friend Zak took this great shot:

So, that's this week's update! I hope it has been as enjoyable to read as it has been to retell!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Holy Update, Batman!

Good grief, has it really been that long??? I've received a number of comments lately that my site updates are particularly enjoyable, which has only made me feel guilty, regardless of the intent!
SO! Nick and I took a really amazing trip at the beginning of the summer! We went camping for a week and saw some really cool things. We started our trip at Glacier National Park, and ended at Jasper National Park, with a midway stop at Banff National Park. It was quite the week! I took some great pictures, as evidenced below. Also, as an added bonus, we stopped at campgrounds the entire way, so we're a good reference for what is good and what isn't worth your time along the way!

For more great pictures from the trip, please visit my Flickr album.

Also, I have been baking! No big surprise, I'm sure! I hosted a cake tasting for some very good friends who are getting married in September. I made and decorated 6 different cakes - we celebrated with champagne! The happy couple were made even happier with my creations, and they walked away with 3 flavor choices for their special day! I also made graduation cake for a friend. Rather than making a typical graduation sheet cake, I decided to make something to fit the barbeque theme:

Yes, those are made out of cake, and yes, I did fool a few people! I had several moms stop me on the way to our picnic site to take a look at my creations, and I had more than one person tell me that if I hadn't been in attendance they would have been totally fooled!
So, that's what I've been up to...Oh! And my garden, of course:

I have four MONSTER tomato plants - I can see tons of tomatoes, and they aren't even ripe yet - can't wait to see what my harvest will be once they start turning color and I can actually see them in that mess! I also have a red pepper plant, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and strawberries!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a Girl Wants

It's birthday time again! My special day is right around the corner! This year's list:
  • Shampoo and Conditioner. My favorite right now!
  • Gift Card for Victoria's Secret. I am poor and need new underwear.
  • Gift Card for Old Navy. I am poor and need new jeans - Old Navy is one of the only places I'm guaranteed to find jeans that fit for a good price.
  • Any jewelry made by my good friend. She makes amazing stuff!
  • Cash Money!!! As most of you know, I am a poor student these days. Would be great to have some money to go towards tuition and/or books and/or groceries!
  • Please note that I do not have any room for kitchen items!!! I know it's super tempting when you find something interesting, but I seriously don't have anywhere to put it! (I'm currently storing some items in my bedroom closet!!!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Product Placement

Nick and I are driving home from breakfast, and as we're pulling up to a red light we see a bumper sticker that says, "Nice truck. Sorry about your small penis". Three cars later, at the same red light, a 4X4 "off road" truck with a window sticker that says, "It's not how deep you fish, it's how you wiggle your worm."


Friday, May 29, 2009


I'm walking to the bus stop downtown to catch my next bus and I notice a sweet smoke smell - reminiscent of camp fire. I spend several minutes trying to figure out what on earth would be burning in downtown Seattle at 6am that would cause that smell. Finally look over to see a man with a fire extinguisher who has just put out a fire in a newspaper box. A newspaper box that I walked by on my way to the bus stop. I start to recall incidents where I have slept through and/or not noticed things like earthquakes and ants nests.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Past Due Update

First, my most recent Facebook Status, for those of you who aren't on Facebook:

"Suggested orange tea cakes instead of lemon. After some convincing Chef let us experiment with the recipe. The next day he tried our new creation and liked it! He said, "Kim, I think you're on to something!", then made orange tea cakes a regular part of the weekly rotation. The End. PS - King of the lab!!!"

And, some pictures!

Hat Cakes:

We got about halfway through decorating the second one before it really started to take on the Minnie Pearl vibe...so we threw the price tag on for good measure.

And purse cakes!

Apparently accessory cakes are HUGE around Mother's Day....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


"I take this class because I want to get more knowledge about the nutrition. In this way, I can have a chance to serve my future customers more knowledgeable in cooking the delicious dishes."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Heads Up

School is going well and I'm learning a LOT of neat stuff. Check out the bagels I made at home today:

So, going forward, if you're invited over to my place for brunch, you probably won't want to miss it!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Plan C???

I just received the unfortunate news that a second cosigner for my student loan was not approved. Anyone out there with good credit wanna put their financial future on the line and help me get funding for school?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Passing

IM Conversation:

Me: Ah! I'm brilliant!
T: ?
Me: So...I have an idea for a "alcohol abuse affects those around you" commercial
Me: It opens with a couple having a party...so many people bring beer that they have to store it in a cooler out on the deck...
Me: One night, the boyfriend decides to get a beer.
Me: We'll call him Nick
T: ok...
Me: The next morning, the girlfriend gets out of bed and sees a soaking wet, very unhappy cat locked out on the deck.
Me: We'll call the girlfriend "Kim" and the cat "Cricket"
T: Ahhahaaha
Me: Dood. She won't come out of hiding from the litter box.
T: Oh man
T: Poor cat
T: lol

Monday, March 23, 2009

Like Fresh Snow Without Footprints

I started school last week and I'm really really enjoying it. I've always hated school, but the passion I have for what I'm doing seems to make all the difference. I made enough chocolate chip cookie dough this week to bake 1,000 cookies! I learned a new recipe and put my own spin on it at home over the weekend!

I'm on spring break for the next week and a half, though it won't be too much of a break for me - I have 15 dozen cupcakes to bake for a wedding this week. This is something that I would dread to a certain extent if I were still working full time at my office job, but now that baking is my whole focus, I'm really excited to get started!

Don't get me wrong, there are certainly some challenges. Take for example my alarm that goes off at 4:30am. No, seriously. 4:30am every single morning. It's all I can do to keep my eyes open until 8pm at night! Anyone who knows me even a little bit would tell you what an anti-morning person I am, but I've been getting up to my alarm every morning, sometimes even waking up 5-10 minutes before it goes off!

Then there are the other students. Let me be the first to tell you if you don't already know: There is a HUGE difference between 28 and 18. HUGE. There are a variety of ages in my program, including retirees, career changers, and those fresh out of high school, and it seems that the later is the majority. Lockers are decorated with pictures of characters from High School Musical. Conversation consists of Britney Spears and "My parents suck so bad you don't even KNOW." (Nevermind that said parents are paying your full tuition AND letting you live at home rent-free AND driving you to and from school every day. God.)

But. I digress.

So, school is awesome sofar. Here's hoping that it's not just the same way I feel about a new job until the novelty wears off.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A First 1st!

Birthday, that is! Check out the pictures of the 1st birthday cake I made for friend's daughter:

And...what post would be complete without pictures of cupcakes I made for a wedding tasting???

Monday, March 02, 2009

Moving Right Along....

So, I wasn't kidding about the school thing. I registered for classes this morning, and I'm so excited I could pee my pants! Classes are as follows:

Pastry Orientation
Breads 1
Cookies 1
Cakes 1
French Pastry 1

French Pastry 1....it just sounds awesome, no?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Get Thee To The Seafood Counter!

My new favorite recipe, courtesy of The Wednesday Chef, courtesy of Orangette:

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp
Serves 4

2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and chili powder. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

2. Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast, tossing once halfway through, until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges, or squeeze lemon juice all over shrimp and broccoli just before serving.

My side note: Don't skip the lemon at the end! Also, though it seems like a small amount of liquid for the broccoli, don't double it! Just stick with the recipe as is, and you'll thank me later.

Seriously, guys, this is awesome. I found the recipe and it looked easy for a weeknight. Plus, Nick was gone***, so I could get away with cooking seafood (I was willing to put up with the complaints of "fish smell" when he got home in order to try it out). I have literally made this 3 times in the last 2 weeks - it's that good. I've hit the seafood counter at the grocery store, and even splurged at Pike Place Market once for uber fresh prawns. It doesn't seem to matter - I bet it would be just as good with thawed out prawns from the frozen aisle if that is more cost effective for you.

Unfortunately you will have to go to The Wednesday Chef to see pictures - I couldn't stop eating long enough to take a sip of wine, much less to take a picture!

***I've since made just the broccoli portion with a lemon chicken dish for Nick. I think oven roasted broccoli might be my new favorite thing!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Y'all's Just Jealous!

I suspect this would crack me up even if I weren't on The Wine.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Photos

These are some amazing shots from the inauguration - some very cool perspectives.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Year

Remember this post? I did eventually receive them, and I still have them. They're just lovely.

Now I'd like one of these bouquets. Just as cool as the last ones, but much cheaper.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At Least It's Still January

Alright, 2008 reflection piece!

Daunting, yes.

Where to start? I guess January 2008?

This would be so much easier if I kept a journal! I guess this site is a journal of sorts, but I certainly don't keep it updated as much as I should.

Okay, January. Oh! Yes, I remember now. January started out with unemployment! So, as you may remember, I was laid off from my last job the day after Christmas. It was a nice break, actually, what with the severance pay to cover the bills. I was diligent in my online job search and found new employment within 2 weeks. I did enjoy my two weeks of afternoon wine drinking and CSI marathons!

The job has been....well...interesting. I feel like I've learned a lot, both about administrative work and how to deal with very difficult people. There have been times I've wanted to pull a Starbucks and walk, but I've stuck it out for a year now. There have been some great times - some of the people that I work with are absolutely wonderful to be around. I've made some amazing friends during my time here.

To celebrate my one year anniversary, I've decided to move on! A conversation with Nick over Thanksgiving weekend brought about a decision that will change the course of my career. You all know that I have my baking business, which is a lot of fun for me, but I feel that there are some missing elements that would make it that much more successful. I'm going back to school in the spring! I'll be taking a pastry and specialty baking program for the next year. I'll learn new techniques and even get some business management classes in!

So, that's new.

Summer brought some interesting health issues to our household. Remember summer of 2007, when I got all sick with an abscess on my backside and had to stay in the hospital for a week? Apparently this is an annual occurrence which has rotating victims! Nick had something very similar this last year. His was technically a Pilonidal Cyst, which is in the same general area, but a bit higher, and in my opinion, a bit grosser. Of course, I guess I didn't really see mine on a regular basis, but WOW. Luckily Nick's was caught before his ass had a lump the size of a small cantaloupe, so there wasn't a hospital stay, but that didn't really make matters any easier for him in the long run. Imagine not being able to sit upright or lay on your back for 3 weeks straight. Yeah. Good times. Because of the location of his wound, I had the privilege of playing nurse for those three weeks, changing out the gauze twice daily.

I can now say from experience, that seeing your loved ones in a wounded state is very hard to take. Remember the CSI marathons in the first paragraph? I can handle blood and guts, but when you're dealing with them in relation to someone that you care about, it's very difficult on an emotional level. It's especially hard when what you're doing to help is causing more pain!

On a more positive note, summer also brought an anniversary! Nick and I celebrated 3 years in August. It's been a great three years, I must say! There's been a lot of good times! Traveling, cooking, Scrabble marathons, heartfelt conversations, laughing at stupid jokes. (and seriously people, there have been some bad jokes to laugh at). We've seen some friends start relationships, some get married, some having babies and even some getting divorced over the years. All the while, we sort of float along and get excited for the end of the day when we can sit down with a glass of wine, good food and maybe a little unexpected butt grab.

Fall brought a trip to Africa for Nick! He had the amazing opportunity to fly out to Togo to visit a friend from high school stationed there for the Peace Corps. They had an amazing trip and Nick took some really great pictures. He brought me back pretty things, of course, along with tons of great stories. Perhaps one day he can get everything organized enough to guest post here! Unfortunately he's ridiculously busy....


Nick started at the UW Law School in September! So far things are going well. He participated in a mock trial competition and went all the way to the championship! I was able to go out to see him in action for the semi finals and the championship - I'd say he's definitely in his element in the courtroom! (of course, it helps that he looks damn good in a suit!)

November brought pride and inspiration with the election of our first black president. I watched the inauguration yesterday and some of the celebrations last night - what an amazing time to witness. A lot of peoples' hopes are resting on him, and I'm sure that must be incredibly overwhelming. I look forward to seeing the positive changes he can make over the years.

Winter brought the holidays, which were just lovely. We ate a lot of ridiculously good food and received some truly amazing gifts. My family doesn't live close by, so I count myself fortunate that I'm able to enjoy the holidays with Nick's wonderful family. His grandmother flew up from San Diego for Christmas and she was able to stay for an entire week. It was great to see her and spend the holidays together.

Well, I think that about covers our whirlwind 2008!

In closing, I feel like I've grown in so many ways this year. Most of the growing has been a result of those around me, and I am so thankful for those people. Now I look forward to 2009 and all the crazy amazing things that could happen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Telling Text Message

Jesus Christ. Good thing I don't want kids. Trying to use the new steam cleaner on the couch. First, couldn't get the cap off the reservoir. It finally went, unexpectedly, causing me to knock over the solution, which exploded all over me. Clean that up. During cleaning, try to figure out why spray is going sideways. Spray self in face. Tasty.

- Sent the following morning:

Oh my god. There is something seriously amiss with my karma. Steam cleaned the entire couch yesterday. This morning I woke up and one of the cats had puked all over the center cushion. Awesome.