A New Beginning, A Whole Lot of Cakes

Hello out there!

As I write this, I’m astonished how much has changed since the last post on Little Bit Sweet’s blog! 2 years ago!!

Here’s the quick synopsis: Little Bit Sweet has changed from a blog to a business, cake orders have picked up a LOT, there’s no longer a focus on recipe-creation, the writer (that’s me!) married a wonderful man, and…frankly….I’ve grown up a lot.

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Our wedding cake! Made by a wonderful friend and fellow baker. (I got to make the bottom tier – it was fake!)

I must thank my amazing husband for becoming the “business manager” of Little Bit Sweet. That’s in quotations because we often joke about him having that title. But truthfully, he’s every bit the business manager and keeps me on task with cake order forms, scanning receipts, tracking expenses, and all of the other boring super important business tasks.

Little Bit Sweet has now gotten to a point I never dreamed it would be….which brings me to this post. What started out as a simple baking blog transitioned to a full-fledged baking business, and it’s time for the blog to transition as well. Instead of feeling the pressure to post new recipes and witty banter, I (Lauren…aka “Little Bit”) will be using this platform to provide updates on Little Bit Sweet’s latest creations, musings, a recipe here-and-there, and life discussions.

Over the past couple of years, while the business has grown, the owner has grown as well. I’ve become less afraid to define myself as a person outside of the business. The person behind the Macbook keyboard. The Christian that is learning many lessons through God’s divine intervention in my business and life in general. No, I won’t be writing in an “in your face Evangelical” way, but in a “this is the real me and real-life musings” type of way. I’ll share positivity and light, rejoicing in the blessings and potential hardships that the business (and owners) face. I’ll also share some of my all-too-often baking blunders. (There’s been a few of those shared here before….) I will also throw in some nutrition talk now and then! I AM still a registered dietitian after all. (For those that are new, yes I’m an RDN. No, I don’t think that you should 100% avoid sweets. Yes, you should have them in moderation.)

Overall, I invite you into my new world. One that is filled with faith, love, joy, laughter, and LOTS of baking!

I’m glad you’re here!

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Banal Wedding Cake

Alright, time to catch up on some posts. 

Little Bit Sweet business has picked up quite a bit! (Thank goodness, because it’s helping this artist pay for her own wedding cake.)  Which means I’ve been doing a lot of baking and not so much posting.  I’ve vowed many times to get better, but let’s be honest here….it’s not happening. 😉

 

As a matter of fact, this blog will turn into more of a “life and times” blog with a focus on Little Bit Sweet creations and the occasional recipe post.

 

So today I’m posting a cake made for a dear friend’s wedding from June 14th.

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                                                       Bridal Cake Display

Here’s the story:  The bride and I were in high school band together. (Insert jokes about band nerds here, but really our high school didn’t conform to the standard stereotypes.) Anyhow, it was a huge honor for her to ask that I make their wedding cake, and she had a beautiful inspiration cake to recreate.  Another challenge for this order: a Seattle Seahawks grooms’ cake. Fun!

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The wedding was back home (2.5 hours from where I currently live) so it was a bit of a delivery. Which always turns into a fiasco for whatever reason.  This time, the bridal cake made it just fine. Whew! The grooms cake decided to get a little crazy.  About 40 minutes into the drive, the Seahawk decided to slowly jiggle off of its cake board. My fault for not putting icing underneath it to secure it down… rookie mistake!  So for the next couple of hours, I cringed with every bump in the road and keep looking in my rear view to make sure it wasn’t falling apart.  As if I could do something about it if it had. Luckily, it made it just fine…ish. The fallen cupcakes were easily jiggled back onto the board and another smooth out with a Viva towel covered all of the evidence.  🙂

SeattleSeahawksCupcakeCake

 

New site!!

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Extra, extra, read all about it!!!

Hot off the press…er, computer….Little Bit Sweet has a new website!!

Now you can go to http://www.littlebitsweet.co to see a gallery of all cakes and desserts, contact Little Bit Sweet for orders or questions, and link back to this blog for recipes, etc.

Exciting, yes?!

Of course, I’ll still be on here to update the blog with new recipes, pictures of the latest cakes, and general musings. But the new site is for the business side of things.

Unfortunately, I can’t ship any baked goodies or cakes. (Trust me, I wish I could!) But give me a shout if you’re in the north TX area.

More exciting things to come and new pictures of the latest cakes.  In the meantime, check out the spiffy new site!

Today’s question:  Anything in particular you’d like to see on the site, cake design, or specific recipe you’re looking for?  Comment below! I love hearing your suggestions.

New Years’ Resolutions

Getting creative with flour. 🙂

Happy New Year!!

….ok, so I’m late on that one.  I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging the past few months.  It takes quite a bit of time to blog and, quite frankly, I spent my time with family and loved ones during the holiday season instead.

But I’m back!  For many reasons.  One, I’m feeling rather refreshed and ready to come up with and post new recipes.  But the biggest reason is that Little Bit Sweet got a HUGE boost in followers and Facebook likes in the past few days.  To all of the new followers: welcome! I hope you love the site.  And a big thanks to all that have liked, commented, shared personal stories, etc.  My favorite part of blogging is hearing from readers!  (Otherwise, I’m just talking to myself….which isn’t cool.)

 

Today’s post holds no recipes.  Just wanted to say a quick hello and say that I’ll be back soon with some new material.  My New Year’s resolution is to be more consistent with blogging, and to think of more healthy and delicious recipes for the site. There will still be indulgent recipes too, but I’m trying to place more focus on revamping and lightening up favorite recipes.

Have a question or a recipe idea you’d like to see?  Let me know by commenting below!!! I’d love to tailor the posts to your requests. 🙂

 

 

Deep in the Heart of TX

I’m usually a very healthy eater.  But sometimes, there’s nothing like indulging in bad-for-you foods.  Something fatty and delicious without worrying about the fact that it’s a gazillion calories.

When you need food like this, you need the State Fair of TX.  (Or a deep frier and some imagination) I’ll walk you through some food my parents and I encountered in our trip.

At the TX state fair, fried food isn’t just some cheap diner nosh.  This is serious business.  There are contests each year for most creative and best taste.  This year’s winners were Fried Thanksgiving Dinner (most creative) and Deep-Fried Cuban Roll (best taste). We didn’t try either.

I KNOW!!!!!  What a shame!  But seriously, the lines were enormous and the winners will likely be back next year.

Here’s the full fair experience:  *Note:  all food was shared between 3 people.  No judging 🙂

Circle endlessly in traffic trying to find a parking spot.  Finally give up and pay more to park blocks away. Say “howdy” to Big Tex, and let the fun begin!

Howdy, Big Tex!
RIP to the old Big Tex. He burned last year. 😦

Unlike most girls, I was most excited about the car exhibits.  We grabbed fried spinach dip bites between the first  and second car exhibit.  Verdict: delicious! But so not worth the 10 tickets ($5) for two tiny bites.

After a few more exhibitions, we grabbed lunch.  Dessert looked like this:

Fried Moon Pie

Fried Moon Pie

Can I just take a minute to explain the awesomeness that is a fried moon pie.  I grew up with these things (original, not fried) and loved them.  So a fried version just put it over the top.

Other, not pictured, experiences included a craft show, wine sample from Cupcake vineyards (and a mini cupcake for my dad from them since he doesn’t drink), a free 5hr Energy, and a free ice cream cone.  I had two licks of the ice cream and was done with sweets/all food.

After a few hours and a LOT of walking, I grabbed something healthy. (kidding)

Chocolate Banana.  Yum!!

I think I’ve filled my fried food quota for a while.  My tummy was not so happy after this day, but it was so worth it.

Be the Change. Make a Difference.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

Taking a break from typical posts today to talk about something near and dear to my heart.
Alzheimer’s disease, the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
And, unfortunately, there’s no cure.  There are only treatments to slow the progression of the disease.

Currently, it’s estimated there are ~5.2 million Americans with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that figure is projected to grow to about 13.8 million. That’s almost 1 1/2 times the current population of New York City.  Do I have your attention yet?

Unfortunately, I’ve experienced the effects of Alzheimer’s in my own family.  My great grandmother and, now, my grandma are Alzheimer’s champions.

I was somewhat young when my Grandma Mable was diagnosed and began showing effects of the disease.  At the time, I didn’t understand what was happening, just knew that things were no longer the same.  I grew up visiting my great grandma any time I was at my grandparents’ house.  She lived in a cute little house adjacent to my grandparents’, and I loved spending time with her.  She made beautiful quilts (one is on my bed right now), always had vanilla sandwich cookies and ice cream, and I spent hours at her house cleaning her “animals”…a porcelain dog and cat.  Looking back on that last part, it’s pretty hilarious.  But in my little kid mind, that was my job and I was darn good at keeping the animals dusted clean.  🙂
I miss my great grandma, but am blessed to have her quilts to remember her daily.

Now, sadly, my grandma is fighting a similar battle. I’ve mentioned my grandma on the blog before.  She is a wonderful women, and has taken care of me throughout the years.  She’s told me stories, helped me get ready for dance class (introducing me to the wonder that is AquaNet hairspray), and so many other things.  And, as mentioned before, I love my grandparents very much and cherish the memories I have with them.  Still love talking to them and visiting.
It’s sad to see my grandma struggle to remember things, as she had a great story-telling memory before, and it makes me mad at Alzheimer’s.  Mad that this disease isn’t one that can be stopped, just slowed.

But, really, the beauty in all of this is that it’s brought our family closer…and stronger.  And it’s also made me see what true love is.  The love that my grandfather has for my grandma.  The patience that he shows in caring for her, explaining things, and being a wonderful caretaker.  (If you’re reading this, hi grandpa!)  They’re the epitome of what a marriage should be.

In a few weeks, I’ll be walking in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s near my home town.  I’m determined to raise awareness and funding for research.

Now, the reason for this rather long post….I’m asking for your help.  More and more people will be diagnosed with this disease.  Now is the time to research cures and treatments.
For more information, or to donate to the cause, please visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.  Click to donate under “Join the Cause”.

Thank you for reading this novel of a post, and thank you if you donate to the cause.

Peanut Butter Frosting

Sometimes, baking experiments don’t work out like you’d planned.  Case in point, everything on this previous post.

Also take, for instance, my latest experiment of peanut butter cupcakes.

It was a wonderful idea at the time.  I was going to make PB&J cupcakes.  Because, well, PB&J rocks and putting it into a cupcake form would only make it more awesome.  But this little idea didn’t really pan out.

I am still working on the cupcake portion of this experiment.  I tried to alter my white cake recipe and make it peanut butter-y.  The result was a cupcake that wasn’t really sweet and tasted a lot like uncooked flour. Kind of a peanut butter-y, dry cornbread.

…..ummm….yuck.

 

Good news, though!  The peanut butter frosting was a hit!  …and the peanut butter cupcakes were a great lesson for what NOT to do.

So the finished product became chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  Which has been done and isn’t as impressive as PB&J cupcakes.  *sigh* Back to the drawing board…

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Makes enough to frost an 8″ cake

  • 3/4 cup whipped peanut butter (can use creamy PB if you can’t find whipped)
  • 1 1/4 cup butter or shortening
  • 6–7 cups confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp skim milk

Cream peanut butter and butter together until well combined.  Slowly begin adding confectioner’s sugar, scraping sides of the bowl often.  Continue doing this until all of the sugar is incorporated.  Add vanilla and milk, beat well.

If the frosting gets too thick before all of the sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and milk a little earlier in the process, then finish off with the sugar. I honestly use a different amount of sugar every time I make frosting, and I never measure it.  So the 6-7 cups is an estimate 🙂