Monday, September 26, 2011

House keeping + cakes with a slice missing...

I have some house keeping to do.

First of all, here is a link to a video tutorial for those fabric roses I showed you last week.  I have tried to do a tutorial as still life, but a video is necessary I think.  So there you go.

Also, some of you have noticed that I have removed my "Purchase a Cake" page in the last two weeks.  That is for a few reasons.

1.  We need some fall cakes.
2.  And a slight price adjustment
3.  I was so stinking busy at the time, I couldn't make any cakes outside of what I was already doing.

So here is the deal for all of you semi-locals (Augusta, GA and anywhere within a 30-minute radius):  I need consistent pictures of the following cakes...

Beatty's Chocolate Cake + Fudgey Frosting

Vanilla Party Cake + Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Apple Spice Cake + Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake + Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cake + Peanut Butter Frosting

Coconut Cake + Marshmallow Frosting

Chocolate Cake + Peppermint White Chocolate Buttercream

I will need to make all of these cakes (6" 2-layer cakes) in the next 2-3 weeks.  I will remove one slice to photograph, but then the rest of the cake will need a home.  A cake like this is normally $27, but as a slice will be missing, I am asking $12.  Obviously, it is not something you will bring to a birthday party- just something special for your family.

If you are crazy enough to buy a cake with a slice missing, comment either on this blog or on the Facebook post.  I am only making ONE of each of the cakes listed above.  A 6" two-layer cake will feed 6-8 people (unless you are really hungry).

First come, first serve.  Help a sister out.

Have a great one!

Rachel Bee

An apple green wedding cake...

Good morning, everyone!  We are up and at 'em at the Bee home this morning- sipping coffee and eating things like grapefruit and yogurt.


It was a very busy weekend in our house, starting Friday evening and pulling straight through to Sunday night.  Friday brought a mere two hours of sleep as I made sense of 125 cupcakes, a cake for cutting, and a groom's cake for a Saturday wedding.

I read a Facebook post requesting an "inexpensive bakery" in Augusta, and with no thought I replied something like, "Well, right now it's my kitchen."  After a day's banter she decided to let me do it, and everything went very smoothly from that moment.



All of the ordering went very smoothly, the baking went well, but on Friday night I sat down for a moment to relax with a Diet Coke.  Langston approached me to ask for some of my "juice," and saying "no" was just not acceptable to him.  He stuck his finger in the opening of the can, and ever so slightly slit it open (his finger, not the can).  Langston has not seen blood in over a year, and as P went to find a bandage, Langston began to fuh-reak.

"Red, Red, RED!!!!!!  RED!!!!"

The bandage bothered him even more than the blood, and the only thing that soothed him was mommy's hands (both of them) covering the "owee" up.  For an hour or more.

Although I began a few hours late, I finished everything on time and made it to Washington, GA without a single tragedy (Oh, come on.  Twas nothing but a flesh wound).

P came with me to help me piece together the "Cupcake Tree."  OK.  And to take a few pictures.  And because he smells good.

Ribbon Cake, Cupcake Tree

Apple Green Wedding Cake

The cake topper the bride used had been used for generations of weddings.  How romantic!

The groom was the drummer for the band the "Dead Confederates" for a decade, so the bride asked that the groom's cake resemble a drum.

Drum cake

Dead Confederates Drum Cake

Pardon my ignorance, but those little silvery screwy things- well, I intended to make 6 of them, but I then got so caught up in symmetry that I ended up with four.  I could have made 8, but that didn't seem like a very good idea at 3:30 AM.  I think it still looks like a drum.

All in all, I am really pleased with the way everything turned out, although it was a bit stressful at times.  All throughout the making of these cakes, and while setting them up- I prayed for my friend and her (now) husband.  I prayed for so many years of togetherness, unity, and love.

I did.  I prayed for you, "K!"

So now that that's over, we are on to other things... like hair and makeup for four other weddings in the next three weeks.  And maybe some knitting.  And (squeal) a trip to New York.

May your day be beautiful.

Rachel Bee

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I really have been doing stuff, I promise...

I am busy.  Oh, so very busy.

I am busy with home, with work, church, friends, crafting, and baking (of course).

I would love to inspire you right now, but I simply must start in the kitchen before my son gets up.  My son.  What a beautiful declaration!

I went into his room this morning to see if he was under covers, and naturally he was not.  His thick pink thighs were curled up against his body, with pieces of the "Memory Game" pinched between his snug little joints (yes, he wanted to sleep with it last night).  His rosebud lips were gently open and somewhat smashed against his pillow, with a generous pool of drool gathering under their fullness.  As I watch him, I think (oops, he heard me talking about him- he's up) of so many of my friends who are currently pregnant- some of them expecting 3rd and 4th babies.  I look my child's curls falling over his face; I think of his excited eyes as he recites his ABC's and counts to fifteen- and I understand.  I understand why parents want more, even though we can just barely keep up with the ones we have.

He is exquisite.  Bless the friends he will choose to have.  Bless the wife he will call his own.  God, help me to be worthy of him.

And here is what I have been doing these past few weeks...

Thomas the Tank Engine Cake

This is my attempt at a Thomas Cake.  After making my Phineas and Ferb Cake, a friend asked me to make her son Thomas Cake and I agreed; and shortly afterward declared that I would not ever do another character cake.  And we'll leave it at that.

Ruffle Cakes

This is a typically bad photo from my phone of my first attempt at a ruffle cake, and I was so pleased with it.  I made it along with 60 cupcakes for a good friend's 40th birthday party.

Cakes in Augusta, GA

This is a Double Chocolate Crunch Cake, one of three cakes I sent to the Limited's corporate offices 3 weeks ago.  By the grace of God they arrived safe and sound, and I was beyond relieved.  But given the experience, I am not going into shipping cakes as habit for now.  Sorry, my far away friends.

Cakes in Augusta, GA

This is a two tier Humming Bird Cake I made for a first birthday party.  I made this and another smaller one for the little girl to dig into.  I think I actually have a decent picture of that one somewhere...

I know you love the nice, greasy cake board...

Oh, dear... this is an engagement cake for a good friend of mine.  It was lemon-scented cake full of lemon curd and covered in lemony cream cheese frosting.  It was heavenly.

Bird Cake 

Bird Cake

And there has never been a boy so excited to marry a girl.  She is lovely, and he is well-aware.

Fondant Roses

And this is a Chocolate Cake frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting.  It was for a 13th birthday party.

Pink Cake

Please forgive the countertop.  It is all sugar and it is somewhat clean now.  I say "somewhat" as I am currently baking for a wedding on Saturday, so my kitchen is covered in a haze of powdered sugar and flour.

So there you have it.  I have also been making more headbands, and I will put together a tutorial on those shortly.  Oh, and it is way past time to pull out the knitting...

Have a wonderful day.

Rachel Bee

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cute and girly headbands...

"Melancholy/Phlegmatic," and boy am I feeling it today.

Perhaps it is my song choice.

Perhaps it is a sea of chlorine-free beige cupcake wrappers filled with deep chocolate brown calories.

Perhaps it is the dreary weather; the rush of thick humid air absent from my evenings.

Perhaps I am not sleeping enough, and I am sure I hear everyone shout an "Amen."

I can say that I am feeling very deep, slightly anti-social, politically irritated, and not really wanting to share anything with anyone.

Well, sort of.

Anyway, I have been a bit obsessed with an Etsy store which sells coiled rose-studded headbands and clips.  This girl appears to have made thousands of these things, so by the power of reasoning I figured that it really couldn't be that difficult.

And I was right.  I made three of these little beauties, and the process took nearly 15 minutes apiece.

Oh, well... I forgot about the button.  Maybe 20 minutes.  But really, not very long at all.

Typical "Rachel Style," skinny jeans, embellished shirt, and dumb ol' shoes.  I have had these since 2001.  And they smell like it.

Even Langston came in to play.

Here is one of the others...

Ok.  I really need to put the nose ring back in.

Aren't they cute?

Doesn't reading the word, "cute" make you feel better about my mental state??



;) and a wink for good measure.

I plan to show a tutorial on how to make one of these next week, but I could also send you one if you want.  Email at, and I'll make it happen.

Have a great weekend!

Rachel Bee

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Caramel nut cupcakes

Happy Tuesday- I hope you are having one.

I plan to have a good one, and given my day- it is possible, but it is also possible for it to go tragically wrong.  But isn't that any day, really?

I have done my praying, and I have also done hours of practical research and planning.  In my freezer are 3 cakes, all dressed up and ready for shipping halfway across the country.  And I am mortified.

What?  Wouldn't you be?

I stress enough about taking a sharp left-hand turn when I have a cold cake sitting securely in the floor of my car for 20 minutes.  The UPS delivery person I am certain will not take such care.  I am certain that no matter how I dress up these cake boxes, they will be tossed around like they are full of tube socks or bow-tie pasta.

Perhaps I should write more than "this way up."  Perhaps I should write something like...

"Cursed be the man who doesn't handle this care."

Or, "Do you have any idea how much these people are paying for these cakes?"

Or "Deliver me first, I am cake, after all!"

The reality is that come 10AM, it will be out of my hands, and I am quite certain I will think of nothing else until I know my precious little cakes are safe in someone's belly.

In the meantime, lets look at some other cakes- cupcakes, really.

These are Caramel Nut Cupcakes, and they are entirely too amazing.

I made these first in the end of July for a women's event at my church.  I only made about 20 of them, as I knew that there would be a ton of delicious food there made by others.  As I sat with my plate full of broccoli salad and 4 different chip-and-dip combinations, I watched as the girls at my table threw down forks, and some of them running to grab one of these little guys before they were reduced to crumbs.

Oh, my ego.

Just kidding.

I have a girlfriend who loved caramel sundaes from McDonalds almost as much as I did, and we were both mortified when the company discontinued this sweet and salty treat.  Ever since this event, I have had a desire to make my own caramel- but I am a bit terrified of hot sugar.

I am way too clumsy.

I searched for recipes, and after much deliberation, I found this one.  I started with my sugar in a dry pot as directed, and I sat and stared.  Nothing.  Nothing.  And nothing.  I watched the edges very closely, gently swishing the top of the sugar back ad forth with my spatula.  After what seemed like an eternity, my husband asked me if he could jump in the shower.  "Sure.  I think I am going to still be here staring at this pot when you get out.

The door closed to the bathroom, and I looked down at my pot and noticed what appeared to be a bubble in the middle of the white granulated sugar.  I pressed my spatula into the middle of it, and out oozed a deep amber goo.  What the?  Crap.  I tried to gently fold the white sugar into the melted sugar, but it really never came together, and the caramel was getting darker and darker.

The heck with it.  I added the heavy cream, and once incorporated I poured the chunky mess through a sieve.  True, half of the caramel went into the garbage, but the other half was a perfect amount for these cupcakes.

And they were delicious, and so reminiscent of my glorious McDonalds sundae.

Caramel Nut Cupcakes
One batch caramel.  I omitted the vanilla bean, but added a teaspoon of vanilla.

1 cup toasted nuts of choice.

1 batch vanilla cupcakes (the link is for vanilla cake.  Pour batter into lined cupcake tins until 2/3 full, and bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes)

1 batch Caramel Frosting

Fluffy Caramel Frosting
3 sticks of butter, softened but still cool
1/4 C Caramel
3 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 t vanilla
1/4 t kosher salt

Cream the 3 sticks of butter together for about 3 minutes.  Add the caramel and beat for an additional minute.  Add the sugar and salt, and cream for 5 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla until incorporated.  Use immediately.

Assembly:  With a small offset spatula, spread frosting onto the cupcakes.  You are looking for @1" of frosting on top, but nearly flat on the tops and sides.  Place a teaspoon of caramel in the center of each cupcake (yes, right on top of the frosting).  With a skewer, swirl it through and around the frosting, until you are satisfied with your swirl pattern.  Repeat until finished.

Place the cupcakes in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  Put the chopped toasted nuts in a shallow dish.  Either roll the sides of the cupcakes in the nuts, or place some nuts in the palm of your hands, and gently swipe them across the sides of the cupcakes.  I prefer the second method, especially if your frosting is a bit loose.

Eat, and forget about everything that could go wrong with your day (Prov. 3:5-6)

Rachel Bee

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mascara= the dead giveaway.

"Are you planning on crying today?" I asked.

"Um... not really?" she replied.

"So regular mascara is OK?" I grinned.

The above is my signature joke when I apply makeup.  It isn't very funny, but it always eases a girl's nerves as my quivering hands angle a long, pointed wand toward her cornea.

I love mascara, and I would say that it is without a doubt my favorite item in my makeup bag.  Although there are so many colors and varieties, I stick with the blackest black voluminizing types.  The ultimate in accomplishing big, beautiful lashes without flaking or clumping that I have found is Lancome Hypnose Drama.  It runs about $25 per tube, which although is sort of pricey for the average girl, does exactly what it claims to do.  Curl your lashes and apply Lancome Cils Booster XL beforehand, and they will be the envy of all of your girlfriends, guaranteed.

I love mascara.

But lets say a girl walks out of the house with 2 pounds of black shellac on her eyes, and something happens.  Although this world can be beautiful, sometimes tears unexpectantly find us, especially when we are Kleenex-less, hankie-less, and of course now covered in water-soluble black sludge.  And looking in the mirror afterward, one might say "I hate mascara."

Mascara= the dead giveaway.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you have figured out that I am a lover of my Bible, and a lover of the God it so beautifully portrays.  1 John 4:10 says that love is not that I love God, but that He first loved me; and the Bible is full of gorgeous examples of this love.  Strength, encouragement, power, endurance, and always comfort- the Bible paints the most beautiful landscape of our love story.  And in despair, when a flood of tears have completely wrecked my flawless made-up face, I think of Psalm 56:8, when the writer paints a picture of God catching our tears in a bottle.  Or perhaps I think of Psalm 139:13-14, when the writer reveals that our God thinks of us on more occasions than there are grains of sand.

How beautiful.  What a God I serve!

It is all so infinitely hard to understand- that there are so many humans on the earth- and God can keep up with us all so intimately.  But if God was a being I could wrap my mind around- if He was in anyway quantifiable, would I count Him as God?  My father said yesterday, "Well, you know what they say?  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and in the end man returned the favor."

We have all tried to create a picture of God in our brains.  He is male, he is female, he cares about our favorite sports teams, he doesn't care at all, he wants us to do good, he wants us to have money, he wants us to be poor, he accepts us just the way we are, he doesn't accept us at all- we have all given him traits to help our finite brains understand who He could be.  I study the Bible, which portrays him as infinite.  He is infinitely powerful, and also infinitely able to care about me enough to number my hairs (Luke 12:7).

And I am his poem (Ephesians 2:10).

And he is the lifter of my head (Ps. 3:3)

And he catches those tears that have wrecked my makeup.

And I love him.  But only because he loved me first.

Rachel Bee