There have been some fun and exciting projects the last few months, and I am sorry I have not been keeping you up to date. Over the next few days I am going to be bringing you up to speed. Also, I have some really cool projects coming up!
Happy Birthday Isabel Cupcakes! Devils Food Cake filled with home-made Raspberry Preserves and frosted with Mascarpone (home-made!) Mousse!
 
I can't believe how fast time can fly. This cake was actually done a year ago. Oooh I had so much fun doing this cake.  The bride wanted to please all of her guests, so she decided on three flavors.  The top two tiers are a classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, the middle tier is devil's food cake filled with chocolate mousse, and the bottom tier is a moist vanilla cake filled with whip cream and fresh raspberries. 
 
I am back home in Ohio for a few days and I am so excited to check out how much the food scene has grown in the years that I have been away.  I admittedly have a tendency to feel like Columbus is stuck in the dark ages in the food scene when the truth is quite opposite. Yes you have an Olive Garden and Red Lobster and just about every other chain you can think of at just about every interstate exit and neighborhood. But tucked in there are quite a few lovely restaurants pursuing the farm-to-table ideal.  And because this is something I hold so dear and important, I am taking my family to a beautiful restaurant downtown that I have been hearing wonderful things about: "Latitude 41" in the Renaissance Hotel. Then tomorrow I hope to hit up Black Creek Bistro for lunch.  There are many more options that I will have to keep on my list for my next visit home.  I'll keep you posted!
 
OK I know...it's about freakin time, so here you go!  This was "Lavender Summer", the cake I did for the competition. It was a lavender cake filled with blueberry preserves and lemon cream.  The cake was made using both fresh and dried lavender from Lavender By The Bay, located in East Marion, New York.  I always pass by their lovely stand at the Union Square Farmer's Market, so it was nice to finally get a chance to use their amazing product.  I then made a syrup to brush the cakes using my favorite liqueur, St. Germaine, and filled the layers with the blueberry preserves and lemon cream.  I find the St. Germaine adds an gentle floral note to a cake that is almost etherial, and I love it. The blueberries for the preserves came from southern New Jersey as New York's blueberry season was still a week away. They were the fattest blueberries I have ever seen in my life, and really made an amazing preserve (which I "accidentally" made to much of, and so I must suffer and eat it with my toast every morning:-) The lemon cream was a little trickier as lemons do not grow well in New York, especially in time for June.  So they had to come from California.  In the end, I was super happy with the cake, and apparently a lot of other people were too... they ate the whole thing and took every business card I had.  When it was all said and done, Blue Pantry came in third, which was a little disappointing as I know I had the best cake there, but we raised a lot of spirits, and a lot of cash for the American Cancer Society. 
 
Well, my work week at the restaurant is finally over, but my work for the week is just beginning. the Relay For Life IKEA, Best Birthday Cake in Brooklyn competition is this Saturday. Now I'm not going to tell you too much about the planned cake at this moment. Why? Well, if my competitors are anything like me, they are currently sizing up the competition by reading Facebook, and checking out websites and blogs. So for now, I will just tell you this... It's going to be fabulous! Stay tuned.
 
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So here you go!  Here is the Toy Story Cake for NIcky's 3rd birthday.  The little guy was so excited when he saw the cake, he yelled, "Zoig" and tried to grab Zurg by the head.  I think there was a collective holding of the breath by all of the adults in the room as Zurg's horns were pulled from his head.  No big deal, it was a quick fix.

 
Well, Nicky's Toy Story cake is ready for his birthday party! It is all packed up and sitting on the floor of the car between my legs. Christopher is driving as carefully as he can, while I sit here cringing with every bump and biting my lip. K.D. Lang is keeping me calm with her smooth cooing. The delivery is always the most stressful part of making cakes.
 
So production of the Toy Story Cake has begun. Zurg is almost complete, he just needs some details and his cape! Today I will bake the cake and hopefuly finish Buzz Lightyear as well. Tomorrow I will tackle Woody and piece it all together. The farther along I get with this cake, the more excited I get. I know, I think I say this about every cake. But you know what? My Grandpa Deardurff told me once, "Find something you love to do, and find someone to pay you to do it".

Now if I can only get out of the DMV.
 
So today is a great day for three reasons. First, we have been asked to make an amazing Toy Story themed birthday cake for Nicky's 3rd birthday! It is going to be sooo much fun and you will get to see lots of pictures along the way. The second reason for today's awesomeness, is that The Blue Pantry has officially entered its first cake competition! On June 9th, we will be at the IKEA in Redhook for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Grab all your friends, come out and support the ACS and enjoy a beautiful summer day, eat some cake, and of course....vote for our entry "Lavender Summer"! (Learn more about the ACS Relay for Life). The third, and the most important reason for celebration, is that we finally have a blog page!!! Now you can follow us behind the scenes on new projects and ventures, see what's going on in our plot in the 103rd Street Community Garden, and join us on our trips to the local farmers markets and farms to see whats growing on here in NY!