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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Schneider’

Sadly, I didn’t have time to do May’s Daring Bakers Challenge.  But my kitchen has still been busy.  I had an Easter cake to whip up (when I say “whip,” I mean 12 hours of work) and another cake a couple weeks later for my dad’s birthday/mother’s day.  Also attended a couple concerts.  Busy busy busy.

First was the Easter cake.  I’ve had a duck cake pan for quite some time and never used it.  So I decided to make the duck cake (chocolate) and decorate it in flowers to look Easter-y.  But it couldn’t just stand alone, so I put it on a yellow cake lake with a couple rice crispy ducklings.  Turned out quite well, though there were a couple details I would have liked to add but didn’t have time.

The next cake was dual purpose that fairly seamlessly worked together.  Half was for my dad’s birthday that featured a modeling chocolate dinosaur, which in no way was a reference to that fact that he just turned 60.  The other half was flowery for Mother’s Day.  A blue sky with scattered clouds was above both scenes.  The idea was good, but I only spent about 4 hours decorating it.  It could definitely have been more professional, but I also didn’t want to use fondant.  It’s not my favorite medium.

Other than that, I’ve still been churning out cookies.  Ari Hest and Matt Wertz each were in town, so I took them some goodies and guitar picks.  I flew to Minneapolis to see Bob Schneider and his fantastic band/crew with a few Bob Bars and derby pie bars since it was Kentucky Derby Day.  And a couple days ago I went to see the Script in Los Angeles so I made them my renown fortune cookies with personalized fortunes for the band members.  One of Danny’s cookies simply had my phone number in it.  He hasn’t called yet, by the way.  I didn’t have enough time to personalize fortunes for the crew too.  Those things take long enough to make as it is.  They also got Bob Bars (no fail) and white chocolate chip craisin cookies.

Right now, there are no concerts on the calendar for the next two months.  That will probably change, but in the meantime, I’m going to try to come up with some signature recipes.  Will probably focus on the standard chocolate chip cookie first.  Usually I just make the recipe from the nestle bag.  But I’d like to see what I can do with making my own recipes.  Will take some time and I’m sure there will be several taste-testers involved, but we’ll see if I can create the most delicious cookie.

              

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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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Bombananza… a little Bob Schneider reference for you.  Or in the words of Apu from the Simpsons, “Celebrate the independence of your nation by blowing up a small part of it.”  Don’t worry, I’m not blowing up anything.  But I did make an Independence Day (ice cream/cake) bombe.

The 4th of July is not exactly my favorite holiday.  It’s a reminder of mistakes I’ve made and also the fact that I’m still living in the US.  I have more excitement for St Patrick’s Day.  However, with a family gathering on the 4th, I decided that it would be the perfect occasion to make my baking challenge of the month, a Swiss swirl ice cream cake with an Independence Day twist: red, white, and blue.

I talked to my mom the morning before to brainstorm.  The necessary components of the cake were the Swiss roll cake, two different (and homemade) kinds of ice cream, and a sauce.  So what’s red?  How about strawberry ice cream.  And blue?  Hmm… blueberry ice cream.  White?  Vanilla ice cream of course.  But the example for the challenge used a chocolate cake, and my mom didn’t think blueberries should mix with chocolate.  Okay… so back to blue.

After a few more ideas thrown back and forth, the verdict was out:  vanilla swiss roll cake with strawberry ice cream (red/white stripes), vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and a layer of blueberries for a bit of crunch.  So the blueberries are kind of replacing the sauce, I just didn’t know if a blueberry compote would be gross if frozen.

Upon making the sponge cake for the swiss roll, I decided to color part of it blue.  Then when I cut the swiss rolls up to make my bombe, it’d have all three patriotic colors showing.  Once the cakes were out of the oven, I rolled them up in a towel to cool and drove off to the grocery for a carton of eggs and a large bottle of heavy cream.  I’ve had an ice cream maker for probably about 5 years and have only used it once.  But lucky for me, the bowl was still in the freezer, ready to churn.

Once home, I went to the trusty allrecipes.com site to search for ice cream recipes.  Nothing really appealed to me.  So I chose to use the recipes in the cuisinart booklet that came with my maker.  The most exciting part of this challenge was to finally use the vanilla pods I bought.  I’ve never used one before but they provide such a good vanilla flavor.  I made the vanilla ice cream first and since the recipe contained tempered eggs, I let that sit in the fridge while I whipped up the eggless strawberry ice cream.  Since that one was quick, I let it churn in the ice cream maker first.  It produced a deliciously creamy and flavorful strawberry ice cream.  I scraped out the bowl and rinsed briefly so my vanilla ice cream wouldn’t taste of strawberries and set that one in the mixer to churn.  It would not freeze.  Damn.

All is not lost, I put the bowl with the liquid in the freezer for an hour while I worked on filling my vanilla swiss cake with strawberry ice cream, then I tried again.  Shit.  Still wouldn’t freeze.  I thought maybe ice cubes in the liquid could help.  Note to any of you who may have the same idea, it does not help.  So I removed the cream and put it back in the fridge and put the bowl back in the freezer.

I thought maybe I should try to make the cream again since version number one now had trace amounts of water in it from the ice and that could cause ice crystals to form.  This time, I used another egg-based recipe courtesy of David Lebovitz.  With that completed and put in the fridge, I made some dinner and watched Harry Potter 3.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.  Four hours should be enough time for the ice cream bowl to freeze, right?  Note to those who may be thinking the same thing… it’s not.  Thirty unsuccessful minutes of churning and I finally called it quits for the night.  I’d just have to try again in the morning and if it still wouldn’t work, then I’d have to buy vanilla ice cream since there’d be no more time to try again.

Up at 8 am on July 4th, here goes vanilla ice cream take four.  The bowl had had eight hours of freezing time and I could hear the liquid inside slush a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad and I didn’t have time to wait any longer.  Hallelujah, the Ice Cream God was with me!  It froze.

I grabbed my blue swiss roll and it was pretty hard.  I let it sit in the towel all day and all night.  It cracked and crumbled and I fussed and cried.  Okay, I didn’t really cry, but I was pretty frustrated at this point.  In a desperate attempt to still have red, white, and blue on the outside of my bombe, I put blueberries in the little spaces between my cake slices.

Time was just not with me on this challenge.  I had two hours to assemble everything and take it to the family gathering.  And when you’re working with two different kinds of ice cream and not wanting them to blend in with each other, you have to have a bit of time in between the layers for freezing.  I just said “screw it,” (actually, I think I said something else) and layered up everything and hoped for the best.

It was a hit for all, except my dad, who seems to find fault in everything, didn’t like the frozen blueberries.  They weren’t that hard, but maybe his old man teeth couldn’t handle them.  Unfortunately the layers wanted to mingle with eachother, but the bombe still tasted delicious.

Grade for Swiss swirl ice cream cake – B

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

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I’ve been slacking, seriously slacking, on updating my blog.  Please hear me out.  In mid-February, I moved into a condo.  With packing, unpacking, and getting familiar with my new kitchen (electric stove, really?  Ugh!), I haven’t had much time for blogging.  Okay, I’m just making excuses.  It just boils down to me being lazy.  But I’m settled in now and will try to work on new recipes/techniques to entertain you with.

In the last few months, the only baking I’ve really done is making cookies for bands who’ve come through town.  It’s what I do.  If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that my nickname is Cookie Kelly.  I’m not sure who really started that, but the name has certainly gotten around.

“So you’re Cookie Kelly.”  I’ve heard that a few times from people I just met.  I always wanted to be famous.  I thought I’d be known for my singing and songwriting skills though, not for baking and following musicians around the world.  But now that I want to possibly pursue a culinary career, I could use this attention.

I’ve baked cookies for many musicians, including: Bob Schneider, Ari Hest, Matt Nathanson, Matt Wertz, Dave Barnes, Howie Day, Cary Brothers, Guster, Joshua Radin, Missy Higgins, Matt the Electrician, Tyler Hilton, Ingram Hill, Gavin DeGraw, Josh Kelley, Paolo Nutini, and probably a few that I’ve left out.  Most of these musicians have gotten cookies from me more than once.  I’ve seen Bob Schneider about 60 times, so I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made him cookies.  I can even tell you which kind of cookies they like.

My greatest claim to fame though is baking cookies for the Fray.  It all started with a trip to San Diego, about 4 years ago.  Their song “Over My Head (Cablecar)” was just hitting the airwaves and I really wanted to see them in a small venue, because I knew they’d be selling out theaters and arenas shortly.  The show was sold out and my flight was delayed, so I couldn’t find a ticket by the time I got to the venue.  I was bummed, but they had a sold-out show in Phoenix the next day, so I made it my goal to get in to that show.

So how does one get in to a sold-out show?  Well, you can buy a ticket, probably higher than face value, from a scalper or person with extras.  Or, you can make cookies for the band and go to the venue early to deliver them.  That’s what I do, of course.

I didn’t even know what the guys in the Fray looked like.  It’s always a bit embarrassing to ask “are you in the band?”  I looked up pictures of them and tried to memorize names.  I don’t even remember who I ended up giving the cookies to at the Brickhouse.  I think it was Steven, a guy in the crew.  But then I met all the guys in the band and told them my ticket predicament.  They put me on the guestlist and the rest is history.

I’ve seen the Fray probably around 18 times now, in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, St Louis, Milwaukee, and Paris.  Cookies, cookies, and more cookies.  I take care of those boys.  The way I see it, bands on the road don’t get a lot of homemade foods.  I think it’s nice to give something like homemade cookies.  Cookies make people happy.  I’m totally that girl in “Stranger Than Fiction,” the movie with Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I was in France in October last year visiting my sister and caught the Fray in Paris the night before I left.  Rather than waiting in the very long line to get in, I walked around to the side of the building and listened to their soundcheck.  Afterward, Isaac (the lead singer) came out with his wife, surprised to see me, and introduced me to her as the girl who brings them cookies.  He even mentioned to her the personalized fortune cookies I took them once, which was around the time I started seeing them.

Since the fortune cookies were so memorable, I figured it was about time they made a comeback.  So I typed up some fortunes specifically for each band member and the tour manager and put them in bags with their names on them.  I also made a few not-so-personalized ones for the crew who I don’t really know anymore since there are so many of them.  I took them, along with a couple other kinds of cookies, with me to Tucson this past November.  I didn’t really want to feel like a stalker, so I just got them to the tour manager and made my way into the show.

Halfway through the concert, Isaac brought out some of the cookies.  He started talking about their “crazy fan Kelly” who travels around for their shows.  So much for not wanting to feel like a stalker.  He talked about how they randomly see me around the country and even in Paris.  And then he went into how I make cookies, including fortune cookies, for the band and crew, whom I always seem to know.  Thanks Isaac for making me sound like a psycho fan.  It was funny though.  He opened a fortune cookie onstage and read it to the crowd: “You have the equipment for success, use it properly.”  It wasn’t one of the personalized ones I made the band, but it was a good one to open onstage.  Could be innocent, or dirty if you think as I do.  Appropriate enough for a crowd of all ages.  He wrapped up by dedicating the next song to me, which was “All at Once.”  And he threw a couple of sugar cookies to the audience after the show.

That was probably one of the coolest concert experiences I’ve had.  I made sure to tell their tour manager that I’m not crazy though.  He said that’s just how they refer to me whenever they see me in a city.  At least I’m the crazy fan.

Afterwards, I hung out for a few minutes to try to catch the guys, say hi and thank them for the shout-out.  I kept hearing people talk about “the girl who travels and brings cookies” so I introduced myself to them and they asked me how I know them and always get them cookies.  Trade secrets, my friends.  It will all be in my book, which I’ve written about a page of since I started a year ago.  Hmm… I really should work on that book.

The funniest thing about that night is that a bunch of people asked to take pictures with me.  Maybe I should get a shirt made that says “I know the band.”

Actually, after my 15 minutes (more like 3 minutes) of fame, I got the idea to try to start getting the word out more about “Cookie Kelly.”  It doesn’t hurt to have a bit of publicity if I start up a business at some point.  So I baked up some sugar cookies in the shapes of letters, decorated them, and positioned them to read “COOKIE KELLY.”  I snapped some pictures and went online to Clayton, ordered 200 guitar picks with my new logo.  They will be distributed with the cookies I take to bands.  Bob Schneider’s already gotten some.

Next order of business; a website.  My friend Nickstar gave me the idea.  I was surprised to see that cookiekelly.com was available.  So I snagged it and have it displaying my blog for the time being.

What’s next, you ask?  T-Shirts, aprons, bumper stickers — the possibilities are endless.  Okay, I probably won’t get anything like that made until I at least start selling cookies.  And that won’t happen until I rent a kitchen for a home-business.  But in the meantime, I’ll continue to get my name out there.

Click here for an interview with Isaac Slade from the Fray, Cookie Kelly reference towards the bottom.

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