Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Autumn Cookies

 Boy.....I love fall! :) It is such an exciting season. The anticipation of the cooler weather, the brilliant colors, and the wonderful smells. :)

I decorated my first fall cookies of the season this week. It's funny....I was going to "play" this week and make some fall cookies just for the fun of it.....and then two people ordered fall cookies. So I got to play.....and earned some money for missions. Pretty awesome. =)

There's some things I'll do differently with these different shapes next time....in particular the Indian corn.....but overall, I'm pretty happy with how these turned out.






I'll share some more this weekend.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Cookie Camp 2010 Pics :)

Just a few more pics of cookie camp.
These were taken by other campers......Jen (Posh Pastries) and Karen (SugarDeaux)

Here's most of the campers posing in front of the most amazing view close to Cookie Camp
(in Smoky Mountains, TN).
 

 Lisa's son was concerned for her getting together with all these people from the Internet and not really knowing them (something we've all taught our kids was a bad, bad thing!). We joked that we might hit her over the head with a rolling pin.
We took this photo for her to show her son how dangerous we all are. :)))))))

A fun photo of campers shopping at Hobby Lobby. :)

 Here's the collections of cookies we all did.
It is amazing how different a leaf, dress, flower, & crown can be!



Look at Jen's version of a crown cookie (top right corner). It's a ballerina's legs and skirt. Amazing!

Look at all the ideas the decorators came up with for a candy corn cookie!

Here's a fun project we did. We wanted to surprise, Alan.....Lisa's husband (the camp director) with a special cookie gift since he prepared all the meals for us. Each of us received a square cookie and decorated with a letter to form a cute and very unique cookie message to Alan. =) 

My favorite picture of the "dozen decorators". Everyone of these ladies has become so special to me!

Can't wait until next year......

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cookie Camp 2010!

I'm home from Cookie Camp! It was an amazing time with my dear cookier friends. We went to Camp Ba Yo Ca up in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Lisa (TheBearFootBaker) was our most excellent hostess. She and her husband Alan are the camp directors all year round, and they took good care of us.

I was able to go early (right after Keith's Army BCT graduation), so Lisa & I baked cookies together for the event. First we made plaid hearts to give to all the campers.

Then we made some fall cookies for Bea's (Cancun Cookies) demonstration on making bouquets.

And then I attempted to make an entry for the cookie decorating contest we had at the beginning of camp. Since I didn't have time to plan, I just did some quilt cookies. Taken out of my normal environment (even though Lisa's kitchen was MORE than adequate and wonderful to work in with her!), I felt like I was not doing my best work......but at least I had something to enter the contest.

Once everyone arrived, we had a field trip to Hobby Lobby. Some of the ladies had never been to HL. (gasp!) When we arrived at the store, we asked a lady who was walking out if she'd take our picture in front of the store. She was willing, but she said, "You DO realize that this is just a craft store, right?" It still makes me chuckle to think about it. :)

Once back at the camp, we got to work and started baking cookies and making icing.





Gina (ThePastryPrincess).....our resident SnowWhite :)

Lisa(TheBearFootBaker) and a fantastic hostess.....


Here's all the cookies we baked up for the event....

Here's the entries for the best decorated cookie....a contest we had at the beginning of camp.
Doughboy: Dawn (KneadACookie) / Apple Basket: Bren (Brenda'sCakes-Ohio), Black Bear: Lisa (TheBearFootBaker), Cookie Sheet: Maryann (TheCookieArtisan), my quilts, Halloween Witch: Susan (AndoverCookieMama), and Slumber Party Pillow: Johnna (PolkaDotZebra).

And the winner is...........................


Maryann's fabulous Cookie Sheet with Cookie Camp Cookies. :)

Next we did a taste test, sampling some of the fantastic cookies people make.

And the winner is........................


Here's some random pics of  camp....

Bea was sweet enough to bring us all Mexican candies and then tell us what each candy was. She is a SWEETheart for sure!
Here's the prize table. Oh my goodness, we had SO MANY wonderful prizes donated. We are so thrilled that so many sponsors were willing to share with. Everyone took home several prizes. :)

While decorating the cookies.....Karen (SugarDeaux) had a lot of fun with the sanding sugar (her first time with it) and had a little accident with the green sanding sugar glass jar.

We all decorated 5 shapes.....it was kind of hard since it wasn't in our own environment and lots of fun distractions.....but I finally eeked out my five designs. We each did a chocolate square cookie with a letter on it.....spelling out the message, "Thank You Alan" to give to our host Alan for his incredible effort in providing us with all our meals and taking care of lots of needs for camp. Plus, he let us "borrow" Lisa for several days when she normally is working as hard as him taking care of camp.


After the decorating was done (and we even got to see a few informal decorating demos), we cleaned up and had lots and lots of very informative demos on everything from shipping cookies to photography to cookie bouquets to Kopy Kake. We were pleasantly overloaded with information that will hopefully make us all better cookiers. :)


Here's a pic of the flavoring demo. Tracy and Jen shared about flavoring icing (and cookie dough) with a plethora of yummy flavors from Spices, Etc. We got to smell many flavors and even got to sample some on cookies. YUM!!!!!

Bea showed us how to make cookie pops and arrange them in a bouquet.

We all stayed up late Tuesday night gathering up lots of info and trying out new techniques. We had a blast and came away with lots of things to improve our decorating.

We had a wonderful time, and I feel so much richer.....especially because of the amazing friendships I made while at the first annual International Cookie Camp. (Bea came from Cancun, Mexico.....so we decided to expand the name, making it sound much more impressive. :))

I hope to get more pics from some of my cookie camp friends so that I can show you even more glimpses into our time at camp.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Army Mission Accomplished

I'm still here in Ft. Jackson, SC, but wanted you to see a few pics from Keith's Basic Combat Training graduation. Here's Keith (right) and his friend enjoying some of my cookies......

And here's my son, Keith. Boy, am I SO proud of him! And I love him so much. :)

Hopefully I'll be able to send you pics from Cookie Camp these next several days. We leave tomorrow from here and my family is dropping me off with Lisa (near the Smoky Mountains in TN) so that we can prepare for Cookie Camp 2010 that starts on Monday. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cookies for Keith :)

Here's the box and jar I made especially for Keith on his graduation from Army BCT.



Headed to Ft Jackson SC tomorrow morning. So excited!!!

Toodles everyone. See you in a couple of weeks. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

You Did It, Keith! You made it through Army BCT!

My youngest son, Keith, is graduating from US Army Basic Combat Training this week. I'm extremely proud of him and wanted to do some very special cookies for his graduation. I'm going to put together a special box of cookies, just for him.....and then I'm also going to make a jar of mini-s for him too.

As I wrote to him daily, I would send him pics of my current cookies in the letters. The guys in his bay went crazy over the cookies and asked him to have me bring some. (Remember these guys have been sugar starved for TEN weeks!) At first, he told them......"Wait a minute.....I'm her boy, I get priority." But then he asked me to make cookies for his platoon.....all FIFTY of them!.....but then he pared it down to 25, saying that would be great too. (Good boy!) So I've made a bunch of cookies for him to give away as well.

Here's Keith with his beautiful girl, Kayle....right before he left for BCT.

Here's the only pic I could find of him on his Battalion's FB page:


I tried to make minis of most of the big cookies I made. Some of them were fairly easy, some were not. lol

Here's the cookies paired up. The chevron represents the rank Keith will earn to be come a Pvt 2 in the next few months.

My favorite of all these cookies. The MREs (Meals Ready-to-eat) were Keith's idea. He asked for a rifles and bullets too....but I just didn't feel up to something so complex after those girl bears I did the other day. ;)

Cookies especially for Keith.....I'm going to box them with camo ribbon. (I did the Hummer because in his AIT [Advanced Individual Training] that starts next week he will train to be a mechanic and work on them.)

A close up of my favorites. :))))))

I've got to pack to leave early Tuesday morning.....first stop is the graduation in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.....AND then I go directly to Cookie Camp 2010 in the Smoky Mountains, TN. It will be interesting to try to be ready for both trips by Tuesday morning. ;)

I'll be taking pics of Keith's box and jar.....but I don't know if I'll have time to post them before I leave. If not, there will be lots to post when I return home. I hope to get lots of pics to share from Cookie Camp too.

See you when I get back!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What In The World Was I Thinking???

I guess I've gotten a bit cocky. When someone asks me if I can do "such and such" on a cookie......I tell them I will try. I'm going to be much more careful when I say that!

A friend from work wanted me to do some cookies for her little girl's 2nd birthday. I was happy to do them for her......and thought the cute stamp image that she asked me to emulate was no big deal. Boy.....was I wrong. It was quite a challenging image to do.

I won't bore you with all the things that went wrong today......and even though the end product is "OK"......I'm not happy with it. But it is what it is.

I was tempted to not post any pics.....but then I decided that is not being honest to only post the things that I deem good enough. If it makes any other decorators feel better.....we all have our bad days.

My biggest headache today was that frustrating phenomena of the icing caving in in the small places. It was all over my bears. :( And when I tried to fill in a few, the small "repair dot" caved in too. ARGHHHHH! 

OK....I've vented. Here's my little girl bears.



Heidi, I did my best, truly I did. But some how, it just wasn't a stellar day of decorating for me.

Hopefully I can do better on Friday when I make Army-related cookies for Keith's Basic Training graduation. I have one day to recover and bounce back.....we will see. ;)
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