Sunday, April 27, 2014

Breaking in a Kitchen

A move does a busy Gingerbuilder make!

This Gingerbuilder sold her house in December and closed and moved to a new (and beautiful!) home in February.  Think back to the many snowy, icy weekends from this hard Ohio winter.  Yep, that's when we moved.

and it sleeted.

but the other Gingerbuilders came and helped!  and we had wine.

Erin's caption: Who moves in an ICE STORM?!

So I hope they forgive me.

Anyway, needless to say, moving everything we owned takes some time to unpack and organize...(still not completely there...)

I'm sorry to say this took away from our gingerbread time.  Although we still found time to decorate an Easter House, so we are now back on track!

I did keep my baking tools in use by helping a friend decorate cupcakes for her daughter's birthday party.

I also broke in my oven making 2 cakes for friends.

Actually, I broke in my oven by baking brownies...I had to learn the hot spots after all!  My husband and I ate those.  (the sacrifices we make...)

THEN I made some cakes!

First, a Tommy Bahama Pina Colada Cake for a surprise birthday gift!

Then, a TARDIS cake for a birthday!!

I have a Nursing School graduation cake to make in May, as well as treats for a college graduation and bridal shower.  Be sure to stay tuned!

AND I have a gingerbread surprise in the works!  Planning! Planning!

Summer is just around the corner.  You can be sure that our kitchen will get lots of use!

and not just from me!  Gingerbuilder husbands too :-D

These pictures and more can be viewed on our Instagram account.  Follow Gingerbuilders!  

Please be sure to leave comments of encouragement or questions.  We are excited to talk to you!

and contact us for any dessert designs you desire!  (I love alliteration.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Bunny's House

Gingerbread day! It’s basically a holiday that we celebrate multiple times a year.  A lot of planning and forethought goes into the day. Like any holiday, you make grocery lists, shop, make to-do lists, prepare and anticipate. And like other holidays, you do all this in the midst of other life events, work, social engagements, family obligations, etc.  As the day approaches, and the real work starts, you look forward to spending time with your family (my gingerbread family).  What is unique about our team, or family if you’d rather, is the assignment of roles.  With most holidays, as the years pass, certain people get assigned certain roles (the cranberry sauce, the green bean casserole, the pumpkin pie). That’s not really how we work. Sure, Stephanie stores the bulk of our supplies and tools (she has the most room).  But, we try to take turns designing and baking and hosting.  (I get out of hosting mostly because my apartment is small, unorganized and not child friendly).  This time, I suggested we do the Easter Bunny’s house as our spring house.  Erin offered to host and bake the house. She wanted to calculate the PPH (Price Per House). I had found these adorable Linzer cookie cutters,
so I offered to make little gingerbread decorations for the “yard.” Stephanie, who moved recently, was on snacks (probably the most important job).

Fast forward to the night before Gingerbread day (and the end of Family Conference week at work  for me): I’m exhausted from the work week and REALLY don’t want to make an entire batch of gingerbread dough. I don’t have any shortening and I’m way too lazy to go the store a whole 2 miles away. I start thinking of ways around it, even texting Erin to see if she’ll have some extra dough (Ha! actual dough, not money). I’m sitting on my loveseat, making my list for Gingerbread day when the idea hits me. What if I make actual Linzer cookies!? But I can make them with gingerbread spices instead of boring regular butter cookies (actually, the original is delicious, too).  Energized by this amazing idea, I get to work creating spicy Linzer cookie dough. I sub out some sugar for molasses to give it extra gingerbread flavor. I’m careful to record my actual measurements, instead of cooking with reckless abandon like I normally do. The result is mouthwatering and melts in your mouth good.  It also spurned an addition to my old saying. Necessity is the mother of invention, but laziness is its cousin.

Begin gingerbread day at Erin’s: she “effortlessly” assembles the house, minus the roof, before I even get there. Steph had class in the morning, so she joined us a little later (with cheeses!).  My morning got a slow start due the lovely Ohio springtime pollen count.  The cookies are quickly approved by Erin and our official taste testers, George and Victoria.  I fell in love with these pearls and sixlets,  and I knew we had to use them on the house. Erin  
applied the icing to the roof while I dotted it with the pearls. We stood back for a second to admire our brilliance (one of these days, I’ll get the hang of modesty). We mixed up some spring green icing and added grass to our landscape. Erin designed a lovely path across the lawn.
What about the wine? Isn’t here usually wine at these things? Not to worry. Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to the Gingerbread Boy: Take as much or as little coffee as you want, add a good amount of milk (or creamer) and add at least a shot of Gingerbread Kaluah. Serve hot or over ice. Yum! 

I put on some gloves to dye gum paste for the carrots. I figured the Easter Bunny had to have carrots. George asked why I was wearing gloves. When I explained that I had to wear the gloves to work with the food coloring, he decided to put on gloves himself so he could “touch things.” Stephanie arrived 
and we took a cheese and cookie break. Getting back to work, we created a mail box for the Easter bunny and started decorating the Easter egg shaped cookies. Funnily enough, we had no plan for the eggs. Sure, they were cute and delicious, and George got to help, but where are they going to go? Then I had another “Aha!”moment. What if Easter eggs are actually grown in a garden in the Easter Bunny’s back yard? Boom! We love it. We had a little problem with a melting egg (patience is a virtue), but I think it’s safe to say that the Easter egg garden is adorable.
I hope you agree! Remember to subscribe to our blog for more delicious tales and updates.

Much Love and Happy Easter! ~Megan