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Archive for October, 2010

I haven’t done a Daring Bakers Challenge in a couple months because of several reasons.  Not going to elaborate, but I decided to get back on the horse this month with the Donut Challenge.

It’s a great challenge except for the fact that I hate frying.  It makes my place smell like oil for a week and it’s not very healthy!  Yes, I’m a baker…. but frying is as unhealthy as you can get.  However, I figured that I would give it a go this time around.  But first, the weather needed to cool down a bit so I could open the doors/windows to rid my place of the horrible smell.

October 23… Phoenix, Arizona… finally cooler in the night and wee hours of the morning.  I grabbed a can of pumpkin and got to work, making the pumpkin donut recipe provided.  Oops, I didn’t have canola oil in stock and I didn’t want to go to the grocery.  Not to mention the fact that the only thermometer I have is an old mercury one.  We all remember my last adventure with frying and using mercury thermometers (https://saylorkel.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/novemberextracredit/)?   Therefore I set the oven to 375F and baked those suckers.  Worked out to be a bit healthier at least.

Well, my friends thought they were cookies initially.  I did glaze them and add sprinkles, so I could see the confusion.  They were pretty flat and I shaped them like pumpkins with no donut holes.  In the end, I don’t think I can really call them donuts.  But, if you thought about it while you ate one, you could kind of taste the resemblance to a pumpkin cake donut.

I definitely half-assed this challenge.  I’d like to try it again sometime when I get some oil and buy a proper thermometer.

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

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I am not learning any new skills lately.  Rather, I’m working on the ones I already have.  And let this be a lesson to you… networking is a very important tool.  I’m using my cookie skills to get my name out there.  Like I’ve mentioned before, I will write a book at some point about my experiences traveling around, following bands.  Until then, here’s a tip to being a good groupie, I mean fan.  Consistency is key.  You can meet a band, but they won’t have a clue who you are if the next time you see them is 1+ years.  They remember me, but it also helps that I bring baked goods.

My kitchen’s been pretty busy the last couple of months making cookies for rockstars.  Athlete was here and I was so excited because it had been way too long (2+ years) since I’d seen them.  They remembered me only after I mentioned making them fortune cookies way back when.  See, it works!

Then my friend Jason Kanakis was in town playing for Angel Taylor.  They shared their dose of cookies with Kris Allen and crew.  Shortly after, Tony Lucca and Ernie Halter rolled through town.  Lovely guys, great show.

I had a brief intermission to hop across the pond to my more favored part of the world, Europe, to visit my sister and her family in France.  I baked my sister a Domo-kun cake for her 30th birthday.  A side trip to Belgium was taken, so don’t be surprised if you see my experimentations making Belgian waffles soon.  So delicious!

I hate pie!  Kind of randomly thrown in there, but after I got back from France, my friend Nick (Nickstar) had a birthday and had been requesting pie for a couple months.  So I figured I’d make some rather than the traditional birthday cake.  What a bitch!  Fifth time was the charm with the pie crusts.  They stuck to the rolling pin, shrunk in the over, burnt, etc.  I even got angry with the kitchen, though it was clearly not the kitchen’s fault.  A heated argument lead to blood (pumpkin) stains on the carpet (tile) and an injured chef.  I still have a scar from the burn the oven inflicted upon me.  I know that I should tackle (literally) pie again since it appears that I have a serious weakness there, but I hate pie!

Back to cookies. Next was a failed mission to deliver cookies to Gavin DeGraw.  My friend and I went on a man-hunt the night before his concert to a hotel he had stayed at before.  We thought we hit the jackpot when we saw a tour bus outside, but it turned out to be the bus for DJ ATB.  The next day, after Gavin’s show, the same friend and I walked around and even hung out at the Hyatt downtown hoping that Gavin would be sighted.  No such luck.  I hate failed missions, but his loss was my coworkers gain.

Then the King of kings rolled through town with a great big grin and some good cocaine, Jesus by his side in the pouring rain.  **Alert – Bob Schneider reference**  Okay, I didn’t see cocaine or Jesus, but it did pour that day.  I worked on his cookies all weekend.  They were very special cookies.  No, not like that!  I just spent a lot more time on them and even designed special guitar sugar cookies that had the artwork on them that his guitar has.  He got the motherload:  sugar cookies, Bob bars (AKA magic cookie bars), chocolate chip, vanilla macarons, and snickerdoodles.  Everyone in the band/crew enjoyed them, except Bob who notified me that he’s on a diet.  Stop dieting Bob, you look hot!

The opening band, Bascom Hill, was a bit jealous of Bob’s cookies.  So I decided it was time I took my cookies on the road (or in the air) and went to see the two bands a week and a half later in Salt Lake City.  Both bands got chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies.  I had neither the time nor money to bake a lot.  Traveling with cookies can get annoying too.

In between the Bob shows, I was also asked by a friend to make her cupcakes for her birthday.  A paying gig!  I just made her a dozen and a couple special ones for her and another girl whose birthday was just beforehand.  I had an idea to make them like little tiered birthday cakes.  Big cupcake on bottom, medium in the middle, and a small on top.  They turned out really cute, but decorating small things is probably harder than larger models.  After the money on ingredients, I probably made 25 cents per hour that I worked on those cupcakes.  But I wasn’t really doing it for the money.  Networking!

Five For Fighting (John) was here so he got cookies too, then winding down the concert marathon, the Script was in town last weekend playing a show at the Fair.  I’ve been a fan of theirs for about a year, after I saw The Man Who Can’t Be Moved video on VH1.  The song is good and the lead singer looked hot, so I grabbed their record and really dug it.  And they get MAJOR bonus points because they’re from Dublin.  Awww… Ireland, I miss you!

So I was really excited to see them, but didn’t know if I’d have a shot at meeting them.  It’s a bit different at a bigger venue.  I whipped up some chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies just in case.  And luck would have it, I spotted a friend of mine on stage before the show.  Connections from networking!  I texted him to see about a possible meet and greet, but they had already done them.  The quest was not over, and after the band took the stage, I knew I had to meet them.  It was love at first sight.  Yeah, I’m geeking out a little.  But I think Danny O’Donoghue has to be the sexiest man I’ve ever seen in my life.  My friend Jessica and I were smitten… I think I could triumph over her in a battle.

After the show, I got a text from my buddy of a possible lead to where the band was going to go party.  We went to bar #1 and spent an hour and a half there.  No signs of hot Irish men (except the bartender who was actually quite cute, but a bit older), so we moved on to the other possible bar.  Score!  Walked in the door and almost into Danny.  He’s hot on stage, but even hotter in person.  Good Lord, I’m smitten.  I handed him the pink box (that sounds dirty… I wish it was) of cookies and introduced myself.  They all really enjoyed them which totally makes me happy.  And of course, I threw in guitar picks, just like I had with all the other cookies.  Those guitar picks are probably some of the best networking tools I have.  It’s something they can keep even after the cookies are gone and it definitely helps my name get out there.  At some point, I think I’d like to have a cookie bake shop.  Until then, I want Cookie Kelly to be spread around as much as possible (that sounds dirty too).

There’s a few more concerts coming up soon.  Tony Lucca will be back, Griffin House is playing that same night.  I’d like to try to see both.  Then I may try to see the Script in Orlando next weekend.  After that is Tyler Hilton.  My oven will stay busy, but I love baking cookies for bands.  And the way musicians light up when they see homemade cookies being brought to them makes my day.

I will hopefully have more updates for you shortly.  I’ve been a bad blogger, but I promise I’ve been a good baker.  Until next time, stay sweet!

I did not get a picture with Danny, sadly.

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