16 FebHearts, Hearts, Hearts

This year, I still see many lingering symbols of Valentine’s … mostly I see hearts – pink hearts, red hearts, fancy hearts – hearts, hearts, hearts.

This year too, I have been thinking about hearts. Shown above are some heart cookies  I made to celebrate the day. More than making cookies, however, I have given extensive thought to the real heart – the oxygen, blood pumping organ that keeps us all alive. As my husband recently suffered a major heart attack, our lives have suddenly started revolving around his heart –  checking his heart rate and blood pressure, monitoring his weight for potential fluid buildup, preparing healthier meals, reading food labels, reducing sodium, cheering on his progress at cardiac rehab, learning about his new meds, hoping and praying some of the heart damage can be minimized and/or reversed.  Oh, and did I mention the follow up appointments with the physicians. So much of what we do is now about his heart.

After a major life-threatening event, we all tend to become ultra-focused on prevention. With time, our concern sometimes fades. I am hoping when I see these heart symbols out there, they keep reminding me to help my husband stay on top of his new regimen. So, hearts – red, pink and fancy – keep ‘em coming! Oh, and about the cookies I made, he was allowed a few – unfrosted of course.

20 JulKari’s Cakes Samples

I’ve had many requests to see samples of my cakes and cupcakes. At this point, I do not have a website, so I thought I would post a few photos on this blog. Please let me know if you see something you like, or if I can create something special for you.

Thank you


18 JulFrom “Twin” kies to Cupcakes to Canons

When I was trying to figure out what to write about and what to title this first blog, I considered some events from last week’s busy schedule. How do these tie into food adventures you may wonder? Well, almost everything has a tie to food, and life really is one big adventure.

My husband often refers to the Minnesota Twins as the Twinkies. We had a wonderful family outing and enjoyed watching a great Twins game on Monday. And, of course, everyone also enjoyed the food at the game: the gynormous nachos in a plastic baseball helmet, the Schweigert Dugout Dog and I heard, “Pass the peanuts,” several times as we shared bags of salted peanuts in the shell.  I admired the wild rice soup from afar; maybe I’ll try this next time.  As I have a mobile food unit, I love seeing the variety of foods served at events. I feel like a voyeur, observing how the food is prepared, noting the equipment they use and mentally critiquing the service. The food and the new stadium exceeded my expectations.

After returning from the game, I quickly became consumed with cupcakes. A local church was celebrating their 125th anniversary, and they needed a full sheet cake and six dozen cupcakes.  I love making cakes, so I was excited and honored to create these for the church’s special event. Generally, I like to work ahead on things, but with our staycation in the Twin Cities, this was not the case.  So, it was off to the races or roses in my case. I wanted to put roses on the sheet cake and a matching rose in the center of each cupcake.  I have been practicing making buttercream roses and found this video helpful: www.bing.com/videos/search?q=piping+buttercream+roses&view=detail&mid=EB20DA9DBB4E86C0B7ADEB20DA9DBB4E86C0B7AD&first=0

My son told me my practice roses were beautiful, and I hoped he was right. It was crunch time. After baking and cooling and applying the base layer of frosting, it was time to make some roses. I love the decorating part of cake making, and the first dozen roses went well.  The frosting was the right consistency, the roses were well shaped, and I added some pretty edible pearls. The cupcakes looked good. As the clock ticked and the frosting softened, I knew I was going to have a long night ahead. I became like the Little Engine that could – just telling myself, do another dozen then one more dozen, then the trim on the sheet cake, then another dozen, then the lettering on the sheet cake, then another dozen –I think I can, I think I can — add some pearls, line them up in the containers for transfer, the last dozen — I think I can, I think I can.  Somewhere during the night, when you do projects like this, it becomes a surreal experience and then sometimes you reach a point where you become counterproductive. Many of you may have experienced this counterproductive phenomena:  it’s the point where you walk to the refrigerator, open the door and forget what you are looking for, or you go and grab a pen and paper but forget what you are going to write. I was fortunate that I finished everything while it was still surreal and only slightly counterproductive. The next morning, I delivered the cake and cupcakes on schedule, and the reviews were good!

125th Anniversary Sheet Cake

Cupcakes, lined up and waiting!

You may be wondering, how does Canons, the last word of the title, relate to my week of food adventures? Well, I wanted to end the blog with a bang and share a food story from the Little Diner, the mobile food unit my mother and I own and operate. Last Saturday, we were invited to an event that was part of a city celebration where they too were celebrating 125 years. The event was called Arts in the Park – the park was scenic, the weather was beautiful and there were many talented and creative vendors. It was pretty relaxing.  We served some cheese curds and tacos-in-a-bag, and lemonade was a big seller. All of a sudden there was an earthshaking boom. My mom and I and a customer at the window all jumped about six inches of the ground. Part of the day’s celebration included firing a canon at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm. We really never know what to expect at a new event – this time it was canon fire.  We attend many fun and interesting events in the region. If you are looking for something to do this summer, Explore Minnesota is a great resource for events across the state: http://www.exploreminnesota.com/events/index.aspx.

That wraps up the week’s Food Adventures. We’ll see what next week brings …