When Life Happens

So it’s been a couple months since my last post… Thats about a couple months longer than I expected.  Well to bring y’all up to speed, this is what I’ve been up to:

  • dyed my hair violet (because, why not?)
  • took a trip to California to visit some of my favorite CIA chefs, wineries, and, of course, some best friends
  • dyed my hair bright pink (because, again, why not?)

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  • baked a kick ass LBI, NJ themed cake for some friends
  • dyed my hair light brown, because I’m definitely not cool enough (or patient enough) to keep up with the pastel hair trend

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  • went to LBI HopSauce Fest with my dad (just on a whim but had a great time)
  • accompanied my mom to Florida for some medical procedures
  • back to NJ to attempt to develop some kind of normalcy in my crazy life

All in all, there has been a lot of travel over the past couple of months.  While it’s looking like there is not going to be much of a let up in the next 2-3 weeks, here’s to hoping for some semblance of peace and quiet.

But in the spirit of my love for NJ and the island I call home, I wanted to share my favorite cake to date.

Here’s the story:

My brother’s girlfriend texted me one morning and all sorts of crazy thoughts popped into my head… is she pregnant, is my brother in a hospital somewhere (again) for supermanning over his bike into the pavement, did she hate my pink hair, are they engaged or eloping… I’m a worrier, yet romantic optimist.  Nope, none of the above.  Tess just wanted to know if I’d be interested in making a Long Beach Island themed cake for her family as a surprise to their parents for buying their beach house.  Was I interested? Heck ya, I was!

So off I went to make this cake, and I can assure you that it went anything but easy.  In my giddy haste, I messed up about every aspect of this cake.  Seriously an accident in the baking.  I didn’t do my math right TWICE (once with the cake and once with the buttercream) but that gave my cousin, Ellie, and me some goodies to eat.  Finally, I got the basics down and was down to the nitty gritty, and my favorite part, the decorations.  I promised Tess that I would give her something along these lines:

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I needed to perfect each of these items, not only because my brother’s girlfriend’s family would be judging me (they have a very large, fun family) and would disown my brother forever if it was horrible, but I had to do right by the island.  In my mind, every mistake I made for each component was a sign of disrespect towards the island I grew up on….no pressure.

Essentially, I sketched out how I would execute each element.  Initially, I thought Barnegat Lighthouse was going to be the biggest pain, but I was wrong.  I cut the pieces of the lifeguard stand a little two thin for my liking, so they were a bit (a lot of a bit) too delicate when dried.  Seriously, I tried everything to get that thing together…

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The ocean waves and birds were colored on with different colors of food coloring gel.  I was pretty happy with them in the end.

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The only thing about this cake that I absolutely did not like was the sign.  It was a brainless move by me, but I decided I would paint the sign (in the form of a Garden State Parkway street sign) with food coloring instead of color the gumpaste… big, big mistake. It came out pretty darn awful, and then I couldn’t get as detailed as I wanted to with the sign.  But I didn’t have enough time to make another one so it went on.

IMG_0598 Barnegat Lighthouse Cake

But in the end, and thankfully without any more brainless mistakes made by me, I think it came out pretty spiffy.  I mean, I got the colors of Ol’ Barney right, so there’s that.

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