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I Forgot to Mention

posted Thursday Apr 22, 2010 at 07:50 AM by Anne Yorks — 5 comments

Yesterday, I had a delivery on Penn State's campus at the Hintz Alumni Building. After the delivery, my daughter and I hung out at the little pond outside the building and enjoyed the scene. She loved the fish, the ducks, walking over the bridge, stepping across the rocks, and looking for turtles - although we never actually found a turtle. But, the best part of the trip was watching the ducklings. They looked brand new, so small and fuzzy and so sweet. I love making deliveries, especially to the Alumni Center. 

I know I have been updating my blog a little less frequently, but I just wrapped up a very busy two weeks. Lots of birthday parties, bridal showers, corporate gifts, Administrative Professionals Day, and web orders going on. I felt so excited to be a part of all these events and I have a few great new cookies to post on the blog. I think I'm also going to add a few cookies to the website product line.

But first, I have something to tell you. Nothing 'major big' or earth shattering. But I'm always in such a big rush when blogging that I forget a few of the details. So I decided I'll do one big catch-up on any items that may have been omitted by mistake from previous posts. Bear with me.

First, I forgot I wanted to share this photo on the ladybug post.



This is one tray of the ladies. Looking pretty all in a row. These mini-ladybug cookies are only an inch big. So to get the eyes, smile and dots it took a steady hand and the smallest tip I own, the #1. I have seen a #0 tip, but have not used it. Maybe I should check that out for the next order of mini-ladybugs.



I made 80 of these and I felt blind afterward. But, no pain no gain. And look how cute they are. 

Okay, ladybugs, check them off my list. 

Next up Monster Truck cookies. Do you remember these? I made them for a birthday party a few weeks ago.

Here's a pic of the cookie...



Free-handing circles is not one of my strengths. I have been practicing a lot. But I really wanted these to be consistent, so I decided to cheat a little bit. I wanted to show this during that post, but I focused so much on the luster dust, that I totally forgot this part.

So to get these 'hubcap' circles consistent I used my mini-circle cookie cutter (funnily enough, the same one I used to make the ladybug cookies!). When the cookies came out of the oven, and they were still warm and a little soft, I gently pushed the cookie cutter into the cookie to make a little mark. I didn't push too hard. I didn't want to cut out the center. 



Then I was able to pipe a nice circle around the mark from the cutter. See? So I cheated just a little bit. I know you were losing sleep over this. So I'm glad I could finally put it to rest.

Next up, St. Patrick's Day. Seems like ages ago, right? When I was prepping my orders I decided to make a few changes to the cookie designs. I wanted to post an update right away...but the time just got away from me. Oye.

So here it goes.

I updated my leprechaun. I love Irish eyebrows (weird I know), and I wanted to make them just a little more prominent. I also thought he ought to be wearing a green hat instead of black.

Here's the original and the new one side by side....

   

I also corrected a little mistake on the pot o' gold. Take a look...

    

Do you see the difference? The apostrophe was in the wrong place. I updated the photos with this new corrected cookie.

Here's the St. Patrick's Day Collection with the new leprechaun and the new pot o' gold!



And now, if you stayed with me this long. Here's a little sneak peak on this new stuff I'm trying called Disco Dust. I did do a really great cookie with it, but I was in such a rush to deliver the order that I did not have time for a photo shoot. Disco Dust is edible glitter. I have several colors, silver, rainbow, red and pink. Here's a red example...



This is the top of a Ruby ring. I don't think the picture is all that clear, but I think you can get the idea of the sparkle power of this stuff. It's off the charts! I hope to have a few better examples in the coming weeks. But this was too exciting not to share.

And finally...just for fun...a little family photo shoot. Our family is photo challenged. We took 25 pictures this easter to get just one good one.

The first with my whole family....



That's Toph and I on the left. My sister and mom on the right. And the kids in the middle. We are in our living room. That framed pictured in the back is something I made. Maybe I'll do a separate post on that some day.

Then we wanted a picture with just the three of us...here's where the fun started.

First my eyes were closed...

Then the little one forgot to smile...

Then Daddy said something funny ...  and the little one looked over.

(Did you notice that Nemo, sheep, and kitty cat have now joined the photo? Look close and you'll see them!)


And then my eyes were closed again...    

and again...

Did I mention we were using the camera timer for these photos? Yeah...so each time Toph had to get up and set the timer and then run back to the sofa. It was so fun.

But, finally, we were all looking, smiling and ready for the Easter photo (of course by this point, the Easter baskets were added to the photo)...



And then things just got silly...

 

I guess we all had too much sugar that day!

So that's it! I think you're updated on all the things I forgot to mention. I have a ton of great cookies to share with you over the next few weeks...so stay tuned as I get them up on Tidbits!

Have a sweet day,
Anne




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Handmade with Love

posted Saturday Apr 17, 2010 at 05:14 PM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

Prepare yourself to be amazed.

A month ago, I received a mystery package in the mail from my Aunt Annie. My sweet Aunt Annie. Mother of four. Master of all things creative, crafty, and artsy. She is married to my mom's younger brother, my Uncle Tim. These people are just cool, good people. So when I saw the box, I instantly got excited about what might be inside. 

Topher was not home when the box arrived. And, I had a feeling that I would want to open it with someone, so I decided to wait until he got home later that evening. I wish we had video of my reaction when I saw my special surprise. There was a lot of jumping, ooohhhhhing, and I'll admit it, a little bit of squealing.



My wonderful Aunt Annie made me my very own Flour Box Bakery Apron!!!!

Just look at it! It's amazing, right? I called my Aunt Annie the very next day to share my gratitude and excitement for the gift. After all, this was my first piece of attire with my logo on it ... and it was perfect!

My Aunt Annie explained how she made the logo look so amazing.



This logo is not printed...it was done 100 percent by hand! My cousin Ellen helped my Aunt Annie resize my logo to exactly what she needed for the pocket size and printed it. Then my Aunt Annie cut out each letter and traced it on the apron pocket. Did you hear me? She cut each letter and TRACED it! Look at them. They are perfect looking. 

Then using fabric marker and fabric paint she filled in the big pink flour - oops, I mean flower - and the letters. I really can't get over the perfection of the work. Not a single thing is out of place. Amazing.

Plus, Not sure if you noticed the design of the apron, but for a busy baker, it's just right. Here's why.

1. The size of it is perfect. The length goes just below my knees. That's full coverage and I need it. I can get messy in the kitchen.
2. The neckline is adjustable so that I can wear it forever no matter how I shrink or grow.
3. There are four pockets...one on the chest and three at the bottom. Since my customers call me throughout the day, I can now keep my phone close and safe in my chest pocket at all times. Plus, those lower pockets are great for when taking photos. I can store my camera, batteries and other props in the pockets for when I need to make a trip downstairs to the light tent.
4. I love the material. It's a denim apron and I can already tell it will last my lifetime. The sewing work is impeccable!
5. It's completely washable. I have washed my apron so many times since it arrived and the logo and material look brand new!

I don't know if you own a business, but the first time seeing your logo on anything is quite exciting. To have it on a handmade item is just so touching!

Here's the apron's label:



And here's a picture of me wearing my cute apron while holding a tray of cookies. 



Kind of cool. Things handmade with love (like aprons or cookies) are just a special kind of awesome.

Thank you, Aunt Annie, so much for my amazing gift! I felt so spoiled and special. You're the best!

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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The Bugs!

posted Tuesday Apr 13, 2010 at 08:19 AM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

Maybe it's because it's Spring. Or maybe they are just too cute to resist. But for whatever reason...the ladybugs are very popular at Flour Box Bakery! Which is great, because I love making the ladybugs! I actually just got finished icing another order of them a few minutes ago.

Here are a few recent projects that I did for some ladybug themed birthday parties.


These cookies were for a little girl who loves pink and purple. The customer requested ladybugs and birthday cakes and I suggested we add a little ladybug to the cake. Do you see it walking across the bottom of the cake? Take a closer look. 


Did you know that a ladybug beats its wings 5100 times per minute while flying? It's true...that's 85 pumps per second. Here are the ladybugs a little closer too.

 

Another ladybug request came in for a 1st birthday party. The customer wanted cookies to use on the 'smash cake' and the cupcakes. I made and shipped 80 mini ladybugs. I almost went cross-eyed piping the spots on the cookies. I did a little ladybug research and found out that the spots are not an indicator of a ladybug's age or sex. They only live about a year. The spots and their brightly colored bodies are actually a warning to predators that they taste bad. But not these ladybug cookies...they taste great!



And the smash cake (do you see all the cupcakes in background?)...



Here is the birthday girl munching on one of my cookies. This picture just makes me smile!



There are more than 5000 different ladybug species in the world. I wonder if the Flour Box specie has been documented? 

On another note, have you checked your calendar lately? Administrative Professional's Day is Wednesday, April 21st. That's next week! If you're looking for a way to put a little 'spring' back in your administrative professional's step, consider sending them one of our spring cookie collections...

The Everything's Coming Up Daises Collection (click here for order details):


Or, the Spring Fever Collection (click here for order details)...



Place your order by this Thursday, April 15th to ensure timely delivery!

Have a sweet day!
Anne








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Baker with a Big Heart

posted Friday Apr 09, 2010 at 09:21 AM by Anne Yorks — 3 comments

I've missed writing on Tidbits. But, I had orders that needed attention. And, I had to organize our tax information. Yucky taxes. I promised myself that as soon as I got the tax stuff done, I'd reward myself with a little coffee and blogging time. I feel so happy right now.

I have made a few cool cookie donations over the last few months and I wanted to show you those projects. I was happy to make the cookies and help out a few great organizations. My favorite project is the last one...so read to the end if you want to know the super secret ingredient at the Penn State "Iron Chef" Competition.
 
A few monts ago, I was contacted by a representative from the Ringtown Senior Center. They do a program with their seniors called 'Taste and See'. They invited me in to share cookies with their members and to talk about starting my business. Well, a trip to Ringtown didn't fit into my schedule, but my cookies were happy to make the trip!  I sent them two boxes of my colorful Easter cookies. 

   

Here's the sweet note I received in return...

Hi Anne
J
ust picked up the box of cookies at the post office....I felt like it was Christmas morning....I was just so excited to open the box to see the cookies.  All I can say is Thank You....they are so beautiful....I can't wait to share them.  I never really checked out your total website until now.   Be assured that I will definitely promote your website....I can not believe how great it is.  Keep up the great business.

All my blessings
Sincerely,
Bev

Thanks, Bev. I think you're great, too! Keep up your great volunteering work with those seniors. I'm sure they love you!

Then I got a request from my previous employer, the Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania. I worked as their Executive Officer for almost 5 years and then left to start my family. They were wonderful to me and I made some really great friends through the organization. They host the Children's Building Contest at their Annual Home Show. They needed almost 100 cookies to share with the little kids that would be building projects out of Legos and Lincoln Logs. 

Since the contest was only a few days before the first day of Spring, I donated 96 Spring Chicks in Pink, Blue and Yellow.



Here's what was posted on The Flour Box Bakery facebook page after the contest...

Jessica: 
Had one of your yummy cookies yesterday at the home show. It was so cute, I barely had the heart to bite the head off - but I did!
March 15 at 2:08pm 
Flour Box Bakery
Flour Box Bakery 
So funny! Glad you liked the spring chick! I had fun making those!
March 15 at 3:25pm ยท 
Abbie: 
YES! And then I went to give away an extra cookie to a Little Sister of a Builder and had to tell her to NOT take the cookie with the HEAD bitten off! Hahaha. They were awesome, Anne, thank you so much!

The chicks kept me busy, especially since the donation fell during the same week as St. Patrick's Day orders. I managed fine, of course. But I was up to my ears in cookies that week!

Just last week I donated a gift certificate for a free cookie gift and a 1/2 dozen cookies to A Women's Concern, a State College pregnancy crisis center. The director of AWC is a friend of mine. She was organizing a big dinner for 340 donors and they were also hosting a silent auction with the event. 

I made cute pink and white onesies with the AWC logo on it. Didn't grab a picture, but the onesies looked a lot like this...



This was a recent donation, so I haven't had a chance to chat with my friend about the cookies. I did hear through the grapevine that the entire event was a big success. Great Job, Jenny!

Okay, it's time to reveal the secret ingredient used during the Penn State "Iron Chef" competition. I'm a big fan of the Food Network's Iron Chef program. So when I got this call and found out that the event benefits the State College Food Bank, I was all in!

The secret ingredient was...APPLES!!



I was given the secret ingredient a week before the competition. I had to keep it a secret because the contestants did not find out until a few minutes before the contest started. I was told they would be given a variety of apples...so I decided to make red and golden delicious apples. (in case you were wondering, I believe the apples used during the contest were donated by Way Fruit Farm.)

I wanted to make these cookies super special because they were going to be included in the winner's prize baskets. I decided to make an apple, a bushel of apples, and a chef hat.

The apple was easy. I had made those for Back to School last year and I already had the cookie cutter.



But, the bushel...not so easy. I didn't have a cookie cutter for that and I couldn't find one either. So I looked online and found this image:



So I had to hand-cut ALL the bushel cookies ...



... and I came up with this...

  

I also wanted to make the chef hat and didn't have a cutter for that either.

So I hand-cut more cookies...



And came up with these Chef Hat Cookies. [For any Cake Wrecks readers...I was asked by my Penn State rep to put "Iron Chef" in quotes so that they weren't infringing on the Food Network Iron Chef title. I did as requested.]



Here is one last group photo.


Here is the thank you note I received from the donation..

Hi Anne,
I'm happy to report that we had a successful event, in part, thanks to you! Your cookies were a hit! I can't tell you how many times I walked by the prize table displayed with your cookies and wanted to swipe one! They looked so adorable and smelled so delicious!!! I was super tempted to only award each team 5 cookies each. ( :

Please check out the following links for press coverage. $3429 was raised both from team entry fees and from prize raffles. The Nutrition Graduate Student Association and the State College Area Food Bank thanks you for your support.

http://www.centredaily.com/2010/03/28/1879955/iron-chef-contest-helps-food-bank.html

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2010/03/29/cooking_contest_benefits_food.aspx

Much success to you,

Pao Ying Hsiao

Thanks, Pao. I'm happy to help! I really believe in the Food Bank's mission and I have supported them through personal efforts as well.

I will have more donations coming in the future. I budget for a certain amount each month, and I am already booked through the summer! 

I am just happy that I can say I am changing the world one cookie at a time.

Have a sweet day,
Anne



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My Favorite Scones

posted Tuesday Apr 06, 2010 at 07:35 AM by Anne Yorks — 1 comments

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter (that is, if you celebrate Easter. If not, then Happy Spring to you!) 

My family had an awesome day, mainly because we started the day with a great church service and one of these...



We had lemon scones and cappuccino.This is my favorite scone recipe. I found it in the Family Fun Magazine a few years ago. Click here to view and print the recipe from their site. You won't be disappointed and it's so easy to make! Do you like this picture? Topher took it with his cell phone! Crazy!

Church was great. My daughter was so well-behaved that I got to enjoy the entire service without interruption. Our Pastor is doing a series on the miracles and Sunday's sermon focused on the miracle of the resurrection. You can probably listen to it by clicking here. Our church puts all the sermons on our church site, www.livepraylove.com, as a podcast.

The rest of our Easter day was relaxing, tasty, and so much fun. We had egg hunts, balloon rocket blast offs, and a great brunch. 

***One more thing before I get back to work. 

Do you have any leftover Peeps? Consider toasting them over the fire. We had a little Peep Roast with Topher's parents and it was, as Topher put it, "almost a gourmet experience".

Here's a great picture of my Father-in-Law (aka the nicest guy I know other than Toph) roasting an entire row of Peeps. 



He toasted them to perfection. The outside was a little caramelized and crunchy and the inside was soft, warm and delicious. We enjoyed these after our dinner of bunny-shaped pizza! This was Toph's Mom's creation and my little girl loved decorating the pizza.

Sorry this is a quick post. I have to work on taxes again today. Yucky. I do have tons of cookie pictures and projects to share with you. I can't wait! Coming soon...

Have a sweet day,
Anne

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