Monday, September 29, 2008

sayonara

yesterday was my last day at satura cakes. it's a bitter-sweet goodbye. i will surely miss all the wonderful people i worked with there. but i gotta say that i'm not gonna miss the job so much ^_^.

i had the best sleep last night. did some chores as usual. then i did the first thing on my to do list: get a hair cut ^_^.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

looking forward to the future

i visited my school on monday.  it was so nice to see my two favorite teachers again.  

i think i am very lucky to have two very inspiring teachers.  i've gone through many educational stages, and did not meet any teachers who trigger my curiosity to learn and feed me with so much knowledge/information like these two.  even after the program is done, i can still see these two as my mentors.  i'll be their student for life!!! HAHAHA

this week is going to be my last week at the bakery.  i gotta say, i'm actually excited about this.  i think the possibilities are endless.  i'm planning on spending a few weeks/months to do recipe testing.  i have lots of recipes that i've been wanting to try, but didn't have the time to do so.  and as my teacher said, "recipes only worth pennies".  they're just a pile of junk if you don't use 'em.  

not quite sure what to do after that... (i have plans, but not very concrete. mostly just random thoughts and ideas).  hopefully opportunity will knock on my door again. or maybe it's already there, and i just don't see it yet.  but whatever it is, i'm looking forward to the future ^_^.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i did it!

sometimes things don't go exactly as planned.  
sometimes you need to pause and think things through.

i've been pausing and thinking for a while.
i can't make up my mind.  

but then a lightbulb appeared ^_^.  this time it was thanks to my dad and his many wise words. 
 
i finally able to make a decision.  as much as i like working with my co-workers at the bakery, i simply did not fall in love with the job as i thought i would.  and because of that, that job remains a job.  i decide to go into this industry because i want a job that i enjoy doing so much, that it doesn't feel like a job (just like what Confusius said, "Find a job that you enjoy, and never work a day in your life").  i finally gathered all my courage today and gave my resignation/two-week notice.  

for a second after i gave it to the Chef, i started to wonder "did i just do something wrong? am i making the biggest mistake in my life leaving all these wonderful people?"

but later on, i realized that i have made the right decision.  i can't stay there for friendship.  but i can take the friendship with me ^_^.

i did it.  i made a decision.  and it feels great!

two weeks and i'll be off to another adventure.  i don't know what it's going to be yet, but i'm sure it's gonna be exciting ^_^

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

my new toys! ^_^

i just got some neat new toys this past week *giggle*. some are gifts from others; most are just from myself! hehehe

i just can't believe my luck. i went to costco the other day, and decided to stroll along the books section. i don't usually do that cuz i never found anything good. but this time, guess what i found! the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book!!


brand spanking new, just got published in september 08! i felt like i just hit a jackpot or something! i have always wondered if the America's Test Kitchen has a baking book. i've only seen the "family cook book" or "the best of..." wherever i go. altho they all have a section for baking, most of the content is about the savory stuff. and you know that i don't really care for all those savory stuff... hehehehe :-p.

i can't wait to try some of the recipes there. i really like the book, as it contains lots of useful information. like, who knows that adding some cornstarch to whipped cream can help stabilize it?? and who knows that you can revive brown sugar that has hardened by putting it in a ziploc bag with a slice of bread and leave it overnight??

i also got the latest edition of Modern Wedding Cakes and Chocolate Magazine from Australia. isn't that cake in the front cover perrttyyy??


next is a sugarcraft gun (thanks hubby!!). i can't wait to try this one. heard lots of great review from many sugar decorators out there. last but not least, a cookie press/decorating kit (thanks Milly!!).

i got all these stuff just in time for the holiday season! can't wait to try the recipes. can't wait to bake holiday cookies. can't wait to use the sugar gun to decorate more cakes!!!

^_____^

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday!

it was indeed a very happy birthday weekend.

i'm not really a bday-bash type of person. but i have to admit, it was really nice to celebrate it with my dearest family and friends. i wasn't expecting anything but a nice little dinner with hubby to celebrate the 27th year of live. but he had another plan in mind. he had made an excellent arrangement to surprise me on my birthday. he took me back to los altos for a dinner that supposedly had been planned since before i changed my work schedule at satura cakes. he then told me that he ordered a small cake for me from satura and wanted to pick it up before we head to the restaurant. and "SUPRISE!!!". my family and friends have gathered there to celebrate my bday with me!!! ^___^



needless to say, i was very happy! it made me feel so special to be surrounded by my family and friends on my bday. i can't ask for anything more.

and guess what, i actually did decorate my own cake!! my co-worker tricked me by telling me that there was a last minute order for that day. she then asked me to decorate it and write a "happy birthday" message. so, so sneaky of her! :-p



i have to give kudos to everybody, especially my hubby, for doing such a great job surprising me. THANK YOU ALL!



i feel very content with my live this year. i have accomplished so much in pursuing my dream. from attending a culinary school, to graduating, to getting a job at a bakery and to completing my externship.

i spent the day before my bday creating a cute little something for my cute little niece, Sydney. Sydney was celebrating her first birthday on saturday.



this cake is truly a sydney's cake. her parents gave me some ideas of sydney's favorite things for me to incorporate into this cake. from her favorite sock monkey, to the pink xbox controller.



i had fun making the little figurine. it took me three tries to get the baby face that i like. i wasn't satisfied with my first two tries, because i didn't feel like i've captured the cuteness of sydney.

the first one is just "eh...".



the second one is too dopey.



i finally got the perfect smile, along with her four little teeth on my third try ^_^.



as usual, i've learned a lot when i made this cake. for the first time, i actually made the entire design of the cake by myself. previously, i always take pieces from other people's cakes that i like, and incorporate them into one piece. but i can finally call this one my own ^_^.



the bottom tier and the little cake were decorated to match sydney's cheongsam (traditional chinese dress). i painted silver to create an illusion of branches on the background. i really like the way it turned out. i think the next thing i'm gonna invest in would be a set of metal flower cutters. i've been using the plastic wilton flower cutters and i'm not too happy with the result. they just doesn't give me nice clean cut on the edges. maybe it's also because i've used the cutters so many times that i've worn them out already! he he he

hubby also contributed to this cake. he made the chinese writing on the scroll on the side of the cake. it is sydney's name in chinese. i tried it a couple time and just couldn't get the strokes right.. hehehe he did a great job, i really like the way it turned out.

i think everybody at the party loved the cake. it made it well worth the effort when i hear the nice things people say about my cake. my favorite comment was, "please tell me that you do this professionally!" ^_^

i wonder what i will be making next.......... ^_^

Monday, September 1, 2008

compromising

i finally got a day off on labor day yesterday after a personal record breaking of 47-non-stop-work-days.  i know 47 days don't sound like much, but believe me, my body was definitely feeling it.  going through one-and-a-half-month without a break was definitely tiring.  i have to say i respect my parents, especially my dad, even more now.  he's been working tirelessly, 7 days a week, for his whole life.  i think that's very amazing.  when i asked him, "how do you do it?". he said that it's not the same because his work is not as labor intensive/physical as mine.  but honestly, it's not just the physical work that's burning me out.  it's the fact that i don't get any break... no day off, no unwinding, no relaxation. and that really was the worst thing out of this whole experience.  

so what's the verdict? did i quit? or did i decide to keep going?

well, i guess i decided to "compromise". 

i realized that i can't make a very good decision being that tired and sleep-deprived.  so when the chef asked me "what days are you available to work next week?" (he was updating his employees' schedule sheet), i immediately replied: "about that... can i change my schedule to part time?".  my original request was to work there wednesday, thursday, and friday. that way i can still get saturday and sundays off just like other normal people.  but he declined that and gave a counter-offer of friday, saturday, sunday.  i hesitated at first, but in the end decided to take that offer anyway to give myself some more time. if in the end i decided that i'm not getting any benefits from working there, then i can quit. 

but for now, i will continue working there three days a week.  so my new schedule will be: friday, saturday, sunday at satura cakes, and tuesday, wednesday at the UC. another reason why i okay-ed this arrangement is because my hours on saturday and sunday are early enough that i will still be able to spend the rest of the day with my hubby, family and friends.

we'll see how long this'll last ^_^.

meanwhile, i'm starting to work on another cake project.  this time, it's a birthday cake for my baby niece's first birthday.  after all the interesting comments i've got from my friends when i put up an update on facebook stating that i was "building a family" when i made kyle's cake,  i was sooooo tempted to put up another update that says "making a baby".  but i decided not too...altho i can imagine that the feedback i get will be very interesting.  he he he

anyway, i have less than two weeks to work on this cake.  i better get cracking....