Tuesday, April 15, 2014

*Holly Bake* Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

I haven't posted FOREVER but I'm still here and I'm baking my way through the 
Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.  

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions but for some reason this year I wanted to take on a challenge. I was reading the Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, drooling over all of the recipes.  Before I knew it I snapped this picture and threw it up on Instagram with:
"Thinking that 2014 goal should be to make ALL the recipes in this cookbook. Starting on 'Nana Cream Pie!! Let's see of I can do it?!?! #backinthedaybakery #backinthedaybakerycookbook"  

And now it is all baking history!  

I came across Back in the Day Bakery a few years ago while watching this episode of Paula's Best Dishes.The owner Cheryl Day was making Sweet Tea Brined Buttermilk Fried Biscone Sandwiches. Now that is a mouth-full to say but I fell in love with Cheryl's personality and did a quick internet search and found the cute little bakery that she owns with her husband Griffith. 
 Well...it's located in Savannah, Georgia...quite a commute from California...Darn it!! 

 So I started following the bakery on Facebook and enjoyed seeing there post pop up in my Facebook page. Every once in awhile they would post that the bakery is hiring and I was so tempted to send in my resume but once again that darn commute from California! 

  Then, one day I get a text from my cousin, who was road-tripping through the south, that said "I found a bakery that you would LOVE!"  Of course it was The Back in the Day Bakery! She raved about the Biscones with Cinnamon Chips. When that same cousin moved to Tennessee we had a "southern send-off party" and made those Sweet Tea Brined Buttermilk Fried Biscones....delicious!

Eventually I bought their cookbook and read (and re-read) every page.  You see I have always wanted to own a bakery and have had it visualized in my mind for ages.  Looking through the pictures in the cookbook was like seeing my vision come to life, in fact, I own half of the same vintage items they have in their shop!! 

So this all leads me to that day in January when I decide to challenge myself and make all of the recipes in the cookbook.   I post a picture of each recipe on my Instagram Hollydoboutique using #backinthedaybakerycookbook 
I also connect the pictures with my Facebook page Holly Do. Boutique.
 Do you know how excited I was when I saw this on my Instagram feed?!?!  Ummm...so exciting and yes, I did take a screenshot of this!!  Really, I'm not a crazy stalker, just a big fan!

I record the number and the date in the cookbook when I completed the recipe.

This is my baking shelf with the little metal board I use to write the recipe name on for the picture.  

Follow along if you want to see some yummy food!

So here's the answers to Frequently asked Questions:
How do you decide what order you are going to make the recipes?
   It is all random!  Sometimes on my mood, cravings, or if it is a savory item what will go with the dinner/meal.  It is also based on what is in season.  The local strawberry stands have just opened so I will be starting on strawberry recipes soon.  There are also a couple blackberry recipes which I will cook in July when I can pick them fresh at my grandma's house.

How do you have time to bake all these items?
  Well, baking is a passion so I have always baked a lot.  I probably don't bake more often then I used too, I'm just using all Back in Day Recipes.  I have always enjoyed trying new recipes, in fact, I don't think I have ever made the same chocolate chip cookie recipe twice.  

How do you organize the recipe list?
  Not to long after I started this challenge I sat down and wrote every recipe name down with a list of ingredients that I would need to purchase for the recipe.  I take this list to the grocery store and just choose a few based on what I feel like cooking.  

Have you been able to find all of the ingriedents you needed for the recipes?
  I have had to search for a few of the ingredients like mace, currants, and fresh cranberries.  I had to use frozen cranberries that my aunt gave me because I couldn't find cranberries anywhere.  Maybe it is a southern thing?  Also, still have to get benne flour and sorghum which I will have to order on line.  Otherwise my grocery store has had most of the items.      

Sometimes you post 2 or 3 recipes in a day.  Do you bake all of these recipes at one time or do you just forget to post?
  I usually bake a few recipes at a time, especially on Fridays.  It is just easier to do a lot at a time.  Why on Fridays?  Well that is answered in the next question!

Who eats all of this food?
  My family and I eat our fair-share of the food.  If it is a chocolate recipe I eat more than my share!   I take most of the food to work with me and share with my co-workers.  I work at a local restaurant and we have a larger staff on the weekends. That is why I bake more on Fridays. The staff is more than happy to polish off a plate of cookies, bars, pie, cupcakes, whatever the latest recipe may be.  They are like a bunch of vultures when I walk through the door.  Since we work in a restaurant that believes in using high quality, seasonal food they are all a bunch of "foodies."  I love hearing their feedback...so far they have liked everything!  

Will you share the recipes on your blog?
  So this is a hard one to answer.  Since I am cooking my way through the whole book I would have to write out all the recipes and just don't think that is fair for the bakery's cookbook.  You see, I'm a big fan of supporting local, small business.  I am a small business owner, and also work for a family owned restaurant.  We depend on the local support from awesome customers to earn a living.  If you are drooling over the food that I post I highly suggest you purchase the book.  It is listed on Amazon at a great prize.   Trust me you won't be disappointed.

What recipe has been the hardest so far?
  I don't know why, but i just couldn't get the Brown Sugar Fudge to turn out for me!  I had to make it twice, since the 1st batch was inedible.  The 2nd batch wasn't bad but not perfect.  I guess I will just have to keep trying.  

What is your favorite recipe so far?
  Well, that is a hard question.  Once again, anything chocolate I love.  I think my favorite is the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies.  The intense chocolate flavored followed up by a little bit of heat from cayenne pepper is right up my alley.  The chocolate chip banana cupcakes always stand out as a favorite too. They all have been great, it is really hard to choose just one.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

*Holly Create* Baby Shower

A good friend of mine who was hosting a baby shower asked me to help with the decorations. 
 Of course I wanted to since party planning is one of my favorite things.

The baby shower was gender neutral but the hostess did not want to use the typical green and yellow.  She found this invitation from Print Smitten on Etsy...so ADORABLE!!
The hostess requests were to use chevron print table runners, make a backdrop for brunch buffet, and use the invitation for inspiration. 
Invitation purchased from Print Smitten via Etsy
Pinwheels and bunting are the "in thing" right now and I was able to find some great paper and wrapping papers in the perfect colors and chevron prints.  For the OH BABY sign I used one of my old frames and stapled cardboard to the back.  I purchased chipboard letters from Hobby Lobby and covered them with navy scrapbook paper.  I then hot glued the letters on the board. 

Using the stork from the invitation as inspiration I made a wooden stork with a fabric bundle to hold cards and decorate the gift table.  My husband built a wooden box and filled it with concrete to hold the stork.  The bundle is made from navy fabric, dipped in a mixture of Elmer's glue and water.  I wrapped it around a balloon and let it dry over night. 

This is the chair from my living room...just something cute for the mom-to-be to sit in while opening gifts.

 The hostess created WHO'S THAT BABY? game using a chalkboard that I had given her in the past.  
She made the cute game cards too!

The table settings with the chevron runner, a mix of milk glass vases, ribbon tied napkins, and mini-pop tarts.  It's all in the details!

 Mini pop tarts made by the hostess and our friend who helped with all the food preparation and set-up.

The hostess wanted a favor that was something the guest could use so I made mini-notebooks.  I covered notebooks with scrapbook favors, added some color with more paper, and then hand stamped the guest name on each book.  The best part was the favors doubled as place card settings.

The hostess made yummy syrups to create your own mimosa or flavored sparkling waters.  I made the bunting for the ice buckets. 

And last but not least the name tags for the guest, using the stork from the invitation.  What a fun party, this was one lucky Mom-to-Be!!  I am so glad I my friend asked me to help...so much fun!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My "other" Job...Weddings!

Of course you all know that I paint furniture, sew and bake. 
 But did you know that I also work at a local restaurant???  
Silva's Sheldon Inn, of Elk Grove, has been my place of employment since 1996!
I started as a busser my Senior year of high school and then I was the dining room manager for 4 years until I had my son.  I continued to fill in here and there for a few years and then returned to do bar-tending 1 night a week in 2008. 
 Well, that one day of bar-tending has turned into 3-4 a week of bar-tending/serving.
 But my main passion is weddings and I have the job of being the wedding coordinator at Silva's Sheldon Inn.
 The owners have an amazing patio, garden and gazebo area perfect for an outdoor ceremony and reception!   
But it is like the Secret Garden of Elk Grove...nobody know it's there. So it is time to show it off and let people know about this amazing place. 
 Imagine the weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday and anniversary celebrations that can be planned here!

This weekend I had the opportunity to help plan the wedding my my next door neighbor.  A romantic, shabby chic wedding venue was the plan.  The bride's florist was Jackie's Flowers.  Jackie and her daughter Chelsie are the best florist in town!  They put countless hours into their floral designs and bring extra flowers for last minute details!  Can't beat that! 
 See their blog post of the wedding here

Okay, now for the tour of Silva's Sheldon Inn...

Overview of the patio.  Hold up to 50 people for dinner service or perfect as a dance area with D.J.
 Entrance to Silva's Sheldon Inn Garden and Patio.
 Pathway to gazebo and lawn for an outdoor ceremony.
 Outdoor Ceremony Garden.

 Outdoor ceremony under olive trees and large oak tree.
 The restaurants herb garden.  Doug and Barbara Silva grow all of the organic, fresh herbs in these raised garden beds.  They also have another garden that they grow heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, onions, fava beans, and many other organic vegetables for their menu.  They believe in using the freshest, highest quality ingredients available.

 A shot of wedding ceremony.

The photo booth.  My husband made the bench out of an old French Provincial bed.  The headboard is the back of the bench and he used the curved foot board for the arms.  We spent over 30 hours stripping and sanding paint off of the bed to stain the edges and repaint the it pearl white. Crazy but worth it! 
The bride also paints shabby chic furniture and she had the 2 old patio beams that she wasn't going to use.  She gave them to us and we used them to make the photo booth backdrop.  I couple vintage bed sheets, crochet table cloth and fun bunting made it super-cute. 

My husband built this tree stand for a craft fair that I did awhile back. I had used it to hang apron on but it worked perfect to hold photo props.
More photo props and a collection of fun glasses hung on a shutter. 

I have used this laced frame and birch branch easel for so many events!
The gift table with vintage handkerchief bunting.  The brides friend made the bunting for the card suitcase.
The sign-in table was a desk that I had painted.  I used my vintage typewriter that I found at a garage sale for $5.00!! 

I made this fans with a letter from the bride and groom to their guests.  So sweet but unfortunately not necessary since it was cool, breezy and rained a few times throughout the day! 
 Oh well, still a cute detail!
 Fabric scrap bunting and twine pom-pom balls for the entrance.

Banner over head table.  I used an old birch branch, vintage table runner and washi tape for the lettering.  The washi tape looked like fabric on the table runner but peeled right off so I can reuse!

 My husband came home, one day, with this door that he picked up off the side of the road!  He really is a great guy, I would rather have an old door over flowers any day!!
A mixture of birch branches, twine, fabric strips and tiny clothespins became the  hanger for the guest seating cards.

The gorgeous flowers and chandelier by Jackie's Flowers

The cake table...look at that cake stand.  An old vintage stool provided by Jackie's Flowers.
Fun with the photo booth props.  
I made the tie and suspenders for the brides son...Adorable!!