Archive for the ‘Sweet Cheek Gals’ Category

The Cats Meow! 9 Years, 9 Lives + Some Crazy Cat Ladies

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Sweet Cheeks’ Birthday parties are well known for FUN, YUM, and a little bit o’ CRAZY!  This year, as we celebrated 9 years in business, we chose the “9 Lives” theme of…yup, CATS.

About 350 people showed up – some in ears & tails, others with their own stuffed animals, most just to have a great time & taste AMAZING DESSERTS in cat-inspired style!  From kitty litter cakes to Grumpy Cat Cake, cakes to make the Cake Boss sigh… Gluten Free Desserts to funny edible cat hair balls (coconut, that is)…people were stealing the to-go boxes once again!!!

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.'s "Team Cheeks!"

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.’s “Team Cheeks!”

Black & White Beauties of Sweet Cheeks

Black & White Beauties of Sweet Cheeks

Delish sliders by Personal Touch Dining

Delish sliders by Personal Touch Dining

overflow party outside

The party continues outside every year…

mini cat ear cupcakes

mini cat ear cupcakes

Elvis & Mikey's favorite PB & G

Elvis & Mikey’s favorite PB & G

Elyse & Kelsey Rae

Elyse & Kelsey Rae

Family support!

Family support!

The men of JOTN

The men of JOTN

Dana never misses a party

Dana never misses a party

Fresh from the hood

Fresh from the hood

Team Kemal

Team Kemal

The Blonde Contingent

The Blonde Contingent

Gorgeous ladies

Gorgeous ladies

Meow

Meow

HUGE THANKS go out to friends who help with their talents, time, and donations:

:: CATERING: Personal Touch Dining     :: ESPRESSO CATERING: Joes on the Nose

:: PHOTOGRAPHY:  Emilio Azevedo Photography     :: DJ/MUSIC: ProMotion Entertainment

:: FLOWER CENTERPIECES:  Adorations Botanical Artistry

:: ENTRY BEVERAGES & FLORAL ARCH: Embellishmint Floral & Event Design Studio

:: INCREDIBLE DESSERT DISPLAY BY:  Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. team!

Behind the Scenes Look into Our Bakery

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Making Caramel

Donna, always stirring the pot…

Cake is Tough Work… Team Cheeks is here!

All those home bakers out there who think baking & decorating cakes is (pardon the pun) “a piece of cake” have it wrong.  Serious cake decorating is tough work and requires many hours of training, patience, practice, and attention to detail!

In the Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. kitchen, while our baking team creates amazing cakes to EAT, the decorating team enhances them in STYLE and CREATIVITY.  Here’s a little “behind the scenes of the bakery” to show how focused and exact our world is:

It’s all in the DETAILS… and it takes a crew of dedicated people to create the perfect polished cake, dessert buffet, or goody bag!  Whew!  Now that’s what I call TEAM CHEEKS AT WORK!

(Is it time for a celebratory cocktail???)

 

Italian Pastry Inspiration! Desserts & Wine of La Dolce Vita..

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

“La Dolce Vita,” we all dream of the SWEET LIFE – here at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co., we LIVE IT daily!  Woo hoo!

Our Classic Sicilian Cannoli from Grandma Palminteri's recipe vault...

Our Classic Sicilian Cannoli from Grandma Palminteri’s recipe vault… photo by TRUE Photography

Fortunately, we have an incredible team who can cover each other’s positions when we need a break… so when 3 of us decided, all in 2015, that we were going to Italy, we had to figure it out. Donna’s 40th birthday, my 10 year wedding anniversary, and Krista’s HONEYMOON – what a whirlwind of shared Italian fun, romance, history, wine, & pastry!

So honestly… who WOULDN’T be inspired by this grandeur???

Cinque Terre Vetua Vineyard grapes(59)

Many people know that I teach wine classes – Donna & I have taught wine + dessert classes at Disneyland’s Food & Wine Festivals, here in San Diego at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, at the Prado Food & Wine School, of course in our Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. kitchen, and for years I’ve taught to restaurants as well as private individuals.  So i would be remiss not to give you some tips and “How to Pair wine with Dessert” ideas from Italy…

An oldie of us after teaching our Disneyland class

An oldie of us after teaching our Disneyland class

Here are some of my TOP SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING DESSERTS:

:: Shortbread cookies – lemon shortbread with Silver Tequila; almond with Amaretto; Bergamot with St. Germain

:: Biscotti – classically with Vin Santo of Tuscany, they are also delizioso with Banfi’s “Florus” Moscadello di Montalcino!

:: Presidential Pecan Diamonds (from Sweet Cheeks) – insanely good with Bourbon or Rye drinks

:: Flourless Chocolate Cake or other dark chocolate treats with little to no icing – Ruby Port or Dessert Reds

:: Coconut Cake (unsweetened coconut is ideal) – Rum mixed with yummy coconut milk

OOOH, talking about all that was indeed something shiny!

Anyway, back to glorious Italia, my husband & I rented a cool little apartment in Cinque Terre, selected in part (via Trip Advisor) because the owner also owns a vineyard & winery, called Vetua and makes fantastic white Cinque Terre & Sciacchetra wines!  Incredibly, they dry grapes for the Sciacchetra dessert wines right in the MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOMS, closets, kitchens, wherever they can find space to let these grapes dry with the right climate…fantastic!!!

Beautiful grapes drying for $$$ Sciacchetra wine

Beautiful grapes drying for $$$ Sciacchetra wine

 

Grapes drying in the middle of the house

Grapes drying in the middle of the house

So speaking of DESSERT WINE, let’s discuss what we’d pair, along with cheese and cigars, with such luxurious delights:  traditional Italian biscotti, (or, as we call them, cookies) and my favorites, the “Brutti ma Buoni” (ugly but good – oh come on, names don’t get any better than that!) are some of the most PERFECT PAIRINGS with white dessert wines.

Brutti ma Buoni cookie photo courtesy of https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/

Brutti ma Buoni cookie photo courtesy of https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/

“Yes, please, I’ll take one of everything in this case!”

Classic & divine pastries at Linari Pasticceria in old Testaccio neighborhood, Roma

Classic & divine pastries at Linari Pasticceria in old Testaccio neighborhood, Roma

What fun Donna, Krista, & I had sharing our best Italian spots:

:: restaurants (Ristorante Sor’Eva in Trastevere — home to our wonderful new Italian friends Vincenzo & Paolo, and  Imago at the Hassler Roma Hotel, owned & operated by the dashing Dott. Roberto Wirth)

:: Vespa Tours (grazie to the amazing team, Michele & Valerio at Dearoma Tours)

:: delicious pastries (check out old Testaccio neighborhood in Roma for Linari Pasticceria!)

:: best Gelato combinations (Miele & Pistachio at Berlin Gelato in Vernazza; ahh, the famous Giolitti and crazy-enormous selection at MIRKO!)

:: glorious Italian beauty – Tuscan countrysides, Lake Garda mountains, Venice’s secret alleyways, and Rome’s art history

Flaming custard, Italian style for Donna

Flaming custard, Italian style for Donna

Ice-cream, Ice-cream, everywhere!!!  Italians are famous for their delicious GELATO, and nearly every street corner in the cities houses a “gelateria,” so you can’t miss ’em.

Giolitti Gelato, Rome pics (45)

Many hands scooping at the famous Giolitti

 

A toast to the Italian countryside!

Mirko, since 1988, serves nearly 100 flavors daily in Sirmione!

Mirko, since 1988, serves nearly 100 flavors daily in Sirmione!

 

silly honeymooners love gelato

silly honeymooners love gelato

Inspiration abounds in Europe, especially in Italianate design – ceilings, arches, paintings, statues, masks, and rolling olive groves, all give us grace and show us incredible opportunity for creating our own cake & pastry art…here’s the stunning carved ceiling in the Hotel Danieli’s lobby in Venice!

Inspiration for cake design!

Inspiration for cake design!

Even the Venetian animal masks are ready for a snack (see the hidden sign)

Even the Venetian animal masks are ready for a snack (see the hidden sign)

Venice is a treasure trove of cookies, gelato, pastries, coffee, and of course PROSECCO!!!  Cafes on Saint Mark’s Square offer free orchestras, jazz musicians, and performers to entice the tourists.

Cafes attract Prosecco + pastry-loving tourists

Cafes attract Prosecco + pastry-loving tourists

An after dinner drink, or “digestivo” (“to digest;” vs. the more common term “aperitivo” which “opens” the meal) are delicious with a classic treat of Tiramisu, especially when the amazing restaurant Sor’ Eva sends it out ON THE HOUSE – woo hoo!!! Grazie!

Tiramisu at Sor'Eva Restaurant, our favorite local spot in Rome.

Tiramisu at Sor’Eva Restaurant, our favorite local spot in Rome.

Honeymooners, birthday celebrants, and anniversary lovers alike will all love a dessert journey through Italy!  Thoughtful and romantic, those Italians sure know how to steal our hearts…

An anniversary pastry heart from the kitchen at Sor'Eva!

An anniversary pastry heart from the kitchen at Sor’Eva!

Make it happen, take the time, relish life:

Krista & Mike's morning caffe with heart-shaped donuts...are you kidding? Amazing Italians!

Krista & Mike’s morning caffe with heart-shaped donuts…are you kidding? Amazing Italians!

Our very own Sugar Shaker…Engaged!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Our darling Krista is not only a beautiful, sexy woman but is also our Official Sugar Shaker, winner of Food Network “Cupcake Wars!” and the first person ever hired at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. – the original TEAM CHEEKS member!   Krista LOVES games, is incredibly fit, and is the ultimate challenger… so it’s not surprising that when Mike got down on one knee in Jackson Hole, WY, it was during a ski vacation that Krista WON while competing on “WHEEL OF FORTUNE”…woo hoo!!!

Here they reveal an intimate look into their home life downtown with these incredibly special engagement photos by LOVERS OF LOVE

An intimate moment at home

An intimate moment at home

Perfectly styled by the talented & insanely lovely Carmin, their shoot captures moments most reminiscent of these two darlings – the perfect combination of FUN, warmth, talent, COMFORT, coyness, strength, and LOVE!

cookies & milk, yum!

cookies & milk, yum!

Sea Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies...delish

Sea Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies…delish

Let’s see Krista show Mike how to frost a cupcake, shall we??? (just check out the challenger…she still thinks she’s on Cupcake Wars!!!)

Oh, it's so easy, huh???

Oh, it’s so easy, huh???

Krista, just show him how it’s done

Wait! That’s almost perfect, Honey…!

 

TRUE LOVE means you each get one

TRUE LOVE means you each get one

Relaxing with your love is important after a big day of selling sweets

Relaxing with your love is important after a big day of selling sweets

Krista worked her way from being completely untrained and youthfully “green” at Sweet Cheeks thru the ranks of baking like a crazy person to learning how to frost perfectly to taking the reigns of selling wholesale.  She has since wowed us all with her sales ability and has thus made some close buddies with most of San Diego top chefs – from private clubs to hotels to coffee houses and the Del Mar Racetrack!  She’s learned some great tips in tossing pizzas…!

Rolling the dough, a la "Ghost"

Rolling the dough, a la “Ghost”

Learned that at the famous family Salzzone's...

Learned that at the famous family Salzzone’s…

Saucy Sweethearts

Saucy Sweethearts

In their spare time, Krista & Mike are dedicated to staying in shape and both show it!  They practice Pilates avidly and eat incredibly strict diets – you know, salads, quinoa, veggies, and lots of cake. 🙂

A little snacker of Coconut Cake filled with Fresh Guava Curd for the photographers...

A little snacker of Coconut Cake filled with Fresh Guava Curd for the photographers…

Sweetness

Sweetness

Cozying up with tea (never coffee!)

Cozying up with tea (never coffee!)

Genuine joy makes us all so excited for them!

Genuine joy makes us all so excited for them!

As we help Krista & Mike in any way we can to plan their upcoming wedding, we wish them all of the greatest love & treasures that life brings!  Thank you, Krista, for all that you have done and continue to do to help make Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. such a great place to be!!!Much love from Elaine & DonnaKrista’s hair, styled by Torri at DK Hair Salon , looked perfect (as always 😉  Photos by LOVERS OF LOVE , and the Sweets… by Sweet Cheeks, of course

Keep that man, he's a good one!

Keep that man, he’s a good one!

 

Guest Chefs in the Kitchen!

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

What amazing friends we have in this industry! We do whatever we can for them, especially our chef buddies …and no better way for them to show their appreciation of SWEET CHEEKS than to cook for US! Woo hoo!!!!

One blessed morning, in came Chefs Mark & Justin from Loew’s Coronado Resort to create some outstanding morning fare for our team. We probably did not deserve this, but they even catered to EACH of our insane dietary restrictions – can you say “High Maintenance?”

Chef Mark Ching was recently hired as the new Executive Chef at the Loew’s Hollywood Hotel (go Markie!), so we miss him & our beloved Laurel (AKA “Red Velvet Baby”)terribly. Chef Justin still helps to man the fort here in San Diego at the beautiful Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort, one of our awesome clients who represent Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. desserts both on the ROOM SERVICE MENU and in the hotel Café!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (24) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (26) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (27) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (28) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (29) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (32) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (33) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (10) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (11) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (13) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (17) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (18) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (19) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (20) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (2) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (3) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (5) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (6) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (8) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (9) (800x531)

Omelette breakfast, Loewe's chefs cook for us (7) (800x531)

Laurel & Mark, we miss you guys very much here. You will always be such inspiring friends; thank you so much again for all that you have done and all that you do for us!

Q + A – Insight into how a baker prepares for her own wedding!

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

We connect with most of our brides, but when we have an extra-special connection with one, well, it is pretty exciting!  This is the case for one of our special Sweet Cheeks bakers, Katrina!  Katrina recently got married to Sam, and as a wedding baker insider, we thought it would be interesting to hear from Katrina how it was planning her own wedding, specifically her wedding cake 🙂  Read on for details and for pics courtesy of E3 Photography….

San Diego Wedding

1) How long have you worked with Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.?

In early 2010, I did an internship at Sweet Cheeks Baking (SCBC) while I was attending the Art Institute of SD.  Upon graduation (months later), I got hired!  It has been almost 4 years & I can honestly say I get up every day & am excited to start my day!

2) As an insider to wedding cakes/baking, how was it planning your wedding desserts/cake?

Planning the dessert bar/cake was actually VERY difficult for us!!  Having worked around these delicious sweets for almost 4 years & always testing out new flavors, I had an overabundance of flavors that I wanted to incorporate into our cake.  I had endless options because I’ve SEEN & helped create them all.  Honestly, I truly think it would have been easier if I wasn’t an insider.  In some ways, I wish I had someone in the industry to lean on and give me advice as to what are a few exceptional flavor combos — this way I could have been done with it!  Too many flavor choices seem to confuse people more. Either way it was a BLAST taste testing!

Wedding Cake + Desserts

3) You probably see a lot of requests and notice the trends with wedding cakes, so what did you want for your own?

I’m not going to lie… I like to keep up with trends!!  To me–things wouldn’t be trendy if they weren’t worth it. I was very much into the tiny ruffled ombre cake (faded yellow to white), which I had seen more & more of coming out of the bakery.  I also had a second cake (because who wants just ONE?!).  It was a very simple 3-tier cake in white, with gray & yellow chevron on the bottom tier.  It also had a tiny cluster of succulents towards the top of the cake.

4) Did you have any part in making your cake? Or did you let the others have at it?

I had much to do with how delicious the cake turned out… but had absolutely nothing to do with how aesthetically BEAUTIFUL the cake came out!!!!!  I’m a baker, not a decorator (huge difference).  I make the cake taste decadent & sweet, while our decor teams make the vision come to LIFE.

5) Any surprises from your coworkers?

My coworkers followed my “vision” to an absolute “T” (no surprises).  While there were no surprises for my wedding…. I can’t say the same for my sister’s wedding, which took place a couple years ago.  My big sister got married on my birthday & my Sweet Cheeks co-workers knew that.  So, waiting inside my hotel room, during my sister’s wedding, was a beautiful, little birthday cake ALL FOR ME 🙂 My coworkers had been planning that ever since they found out what day my sister’s wedding landed on!  So it ended up still being both our days!!

6) How did you meet your fiancé?

Sam & I knew each other for almost 4 years before we even started dating. He was my big bro’s friend 😉  They were not best friends, but they definitely hung around the same crowd.  We always saw each other at various get togethers, halloweens, birthday parties etc.  We talked at EVERY single event, & EVERY single time we made a “date” to hang out afterwards.  This girl right here (ME), cancelled every single time.  It wasn’t until one certain birthday party for my big bro that everything changed.  I saw Sam standing across the room & I looked at my mom and told her that I needed to be with him.  He captivated me — I was mesmerized.  I was afraid to walk up to the man that I had shamelessly turned down for the past 4 years.  Yet, I did, & he was just as sweet as the first time we’d talked.  At the end of the night I was sure he was going to ask me to hang out again… I was so ready this time…but as the night went on, he didn’t!!   I finally mustered up the courage to make the move & just ask him.  His response was, “are you ACTUALLY going to hang out with me this time?”  My face turned beet red — but as it turned out… we’ve been hanging out every day since!!

real wedding san diego

7) How did you pay for the wedding?

I was so very, very fortunate to have help from my father to pay for the wedding. “Help” is an understatement. He paid for the wedding — I helped, haha. My dad & I sat down, talked budget, & then I did some serious research. I made sure to fit his budget that he so generously allowed me. I did my very best & by golly, we were pretty darn close!! I think anyone can have a beautiful wedding on a budget if you just take the time to do the research & include some DIY projects! We would not have had the perfect wedding if it wasn’t for him–we are indebted! What he gave Sam & I will never be forgotten or taken for granted. The things I took care of were the centerpieces, all wedding decor, favors, frames, guestbooks, etc.

-The Yonedas

Weddings in Temecula

For more amazing photos of Katrina + Sam’s wedding, visit E3 Photography’s Facebook page!

 

Vendors Involved:

Wedding Photography: Eddie Garcia – E3 Photography

Wedding Venue: Temecula Creek Inn

Wedding Coordinator, Designer & Florist: Carmin Cermak – Carmin Design

SD Wine + Food Festival

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

We have been fortunate to be involved in the San Diego Bay Food + Wine Classic since its first year!  Originally, we started off helping some of the planners, and we also, as a Certified Sommeliers, taught wine classes.

In Sweet Cheeks’s first year of business, Donna & I won “Best Dessert,” entering their ‘Chef of the Fest’ contest, and as a result of the festival, the company was discovered by the FOOD NETWORK!  Since then, we won “Best Dessert Category” every year thru 2011.

Well, in 2013, we participated in the festival in a different way.  We joined in on the the classic’s startup event, the “Fit Foodie.”   As part of the event, we did a VEGAN CAKE demo on a stage at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.  Then, we got to ENJOY the amazing Grand Tasting event in Embarcadero Park.  Holy cow. We may never work again.  It was just TOO MUCH FUN!!!

The weekend was absolutely incredible, filled with wine and food for all of the Sweet Cheeks gals.  The delicious dinner concluding the weekend (at the Marina Kitchen in the Marriott Marquis) was the perfect ending to a amazing few days.

Many Congratulations to Ken Loyst & Michelle Metter on so much success in their 10th year of one of the best Wine & Food Festivals in the US!

Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Finding good employees is difficult for any small business, and for Sweet Cheeks, although we create delicious and make happy memories all day, every day, we too have difficulty.  So, when we find an amazing employee that works as hard as ever for the business, well that person deserves recognition!

Krista Lautenbach was our first hire.  She has been with us for five years, our longest-tenured employee.  When she started, we all enjoyed days of leisure lunches and a workflow we could handle!  With her relentless help, though, Sweet Cheeks has gone from two (2) of us in a tiny space to twelve (12) of us in our very own kitchen!

She began her career with us as a part- time/temporary employee, working as a baker’s helper, otherwise known as a “cake slave.” Yet with the passing of years, Krista evolved into Sweet Cheeks‘s Lead Baker (A.K.A. “Master Sugar Shaker”).  She helped Sweet Cheeks Baking win the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars!

Besides her talent in the kitchen, Krista received yet another promotion, and currently, she manages our Sales department.  As the Sales Manager, she hunts down many local chefs and charms them with her wiles and good looks.  As a result, she has added numerous San Diego-based businesses to our extensive list of new wholesale accounts.  Our clients, which include a few fabulous kitchens, are: Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort, Del Mar Fairgrounds, SD Convention Center, Estancia Hotel, L’Auberge Del Mar, Omni Hotel Downtown, Marriott Marquis, Manchester Grand Hyatt, and many more.

We celebrated her 5 year anniversary with a little cake, made in her favorite current flavor of Champagne Butter Cream (of course her “favorite” changes weekly)!  We also treated her to a spa package, thanks to the amazing team at La Costa Resort, with her new, personalized hoodie robe.

San Diego Baking

We are so honored to have Krista as a member of our team, and our tokens of appreciation are only a small reflection of the respect we have for her, both as a person and an employee.  Our business grew because of Krista, and if it wasn’t for her help, we would not have survived the onslaught of craziness when we suddenly found ourselves getting multiple orders without multiple hands to help make & deliver them.

Ode to Krista

Some of the photos above are courtesy of  Heather Elise Photography.  They capture a special Sweet Cheeks Anniversary day at Sycuan Resort, inspired by Krista, where she envisioned a perfect world of “Champagne Buttercream Madness.”   With careful planning and an open mind, we created one of the world’s greatest inflatable fun days – “The Buttercream SLIP-N-SLIDE!”  Lathered up in buttercream and racing down at top speed, we all dove into the inflatable slide, make our way down the river of water, only to end up in a pool of watery icing! Amazing.

  Life sure is sweeter (+ more fun) having Krista around! 🙂  Thank you, Krista, for 5 great years of service, coyness, and fun!

Pairing Wine with Dessert…Daily Fun for the Sweet Cheeks Team

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

As lovers of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, each year we participate in multiple ways. This year we certainly enjoyed our annual madness at the enormously popular Grand Tasting on Saturday, Nov. 17 and wowed the elegant, high-profile clientele at Friday night’s Reserve Tasting at the newly renovated Mariott Marquis. But starting the festival by enchanting students with a seminar of our own is always the best. We were excited to meet Morning Show personalities Nolan & Kim of Walrus 105.7 FM Radio before the event for a quick interview, but we were REALLY FLATTERED that they stayed for the whole class!
Here are some highlights and the line up of Dessert paired with fortified wines* that we selected:

Our “Port-Paired Decadence” Dessert Class, held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center, was a blast! Donna taught the steps to creating 4 delicious desserts, and Elaine explained their pairings with a beautiful array of donated Ports & Madeira by the Premium Port Company. See below for the line up of Sweet Cheeks Baking Co’s desserts with the Port & Madeira that Paul Mugnier of Premium Port provided for our class:
:: Flourless Chocolate Cake drizzled with Grand Marnier – Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port
:: Marzipan-Italian Cherry Pop Tarts – Cockburn’s “Special Reserve” Port
:: Presidential Pecan Diamonds – Graham’s 10 Year Tawny Port
:: Champagne Tosca Cake with Fresh Raspberries & Macadamia Nut Cream – Blandy’s 5-Year “Alvada” Madeira

*Fortified Wines are basically made when brandy or distilled grape spirit is added to fermenting wine in order to kill the yeast and stop its eating of the grape sugars. This results in a sweet, high alcohol wine. Examples include many, such as: Port, Madeira, Sherry, Muscat de Beaumes-des-Venise, etc.

**Homemade Pop Tarts, a neat new use of extra chilled pie dough and super fun for kids!
Cut equal size squares out of the chilled pie dough (aerate if you own a dough aerater).
Egg wash the bottom piece of poptart, place a popscicle stick in middle of dough.
Choose your favorite jam or mini chocolate chips and place in middle of rectangle ( keep the edges clean)
place the top piece of poptart on top and pinch the egdes together, make sure of no gaps.
Egg wash the top of the poptart, chill in frig for 20 minutes.
Then bake at 375* for 10 minutes or until poptarts are golden.
If the jam seeps out remove carefully from pastry with butter knife, Don’t touch jam gets very hot!
Once poptarts cool dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon or cocoa depending on the filling.
For classic Pop Tart design, drizzle with Royal Icing and press into rainbow nonpareils. FUN!!!

Pop Tarts…Eat ’em up!

Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. Turns 5!

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Sweet Cheeks - it's all business....

Slippin’ & Slidin’ in Butter Cream Madness with Augie!!!

Special thanks to our families, friends, and especially our husbands, Michael Ardizzone & Nick Cellere for making our lives better, our business busier, and our butter cream tastier!  CHEERS to all of you for all that you do for us!

 

Celebrating 5 years of baking, decorating, entertaining, enlightening, sharing, playing, meeting, greeting, and of course EATING, Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. rallied over 150 friends and family (including the often-missed Nick Cellere!) to gather at the beautiful grounds of Sycuan Golf Resort for a party not to be forgotten!

Led by the amazingly organized Liz of Liz Beck Events and motivated with the help of Merrylin & Bob Brichmann of Artistic Productions, the party antics jumped into high gear with no holds barred.  Heather Elise Photography, creating history with her moments on film, captured some of the finest images we’ve seen to date
of industry friends!

The 35’ inflatable Slip n’ Slide (complete with spritzing palm trees and finishing pool) rented from Bounce Time Jumps was ICING ON THE CAKE beyond all expectations. The Italian Butter Cream “option” was a dream of
Master Sugar Shaker Krista Lautenbach, Sweet Cheeks’ first ever employee 4 years ago.  Well done, Krista, in
inspiring the joy for all of us!  First to don his sliding suit and rally the troops, DJ Bob!  Not to let a comrade slide alone, one of our fearless leaders, Elaine Ardizzone, joined him in what spring-boarded an
amazing array of costumed partiers…donning costumes and minimal gear to soak up the fun:  ketchup bottles, inflated (if a bit water-logged) ostrich riders, snakes, sharks, pirates, SCUBA men, and of course…the PINK GORILLA!  Sweet Cheeks Yoga Pants were garment of the hour, many of which had a serious rinsing after that day!

Kids, parents, coordinators, photographers, and others grabbed the sticks to beat up the 2 Pinatas, spilling out candy (and a surprise of 10x sugar spray!) for gobbling up.

Tim Altbaum (of Tim Altbaum Productions) beat out Michael Ardizzone in a very tight race to the finish in Round 1 of the Cupcake Wars!  Hands were tied behind backs, full size cupcakes WITH PAPER were ready for eating, and the war was on…  Round 2 of Cupcake Wars found the graceful Kecia Kelly of L’Auberge Del Mar killing off the competition (even our newest cake decorator Rebecca) in a fabulous feeding frenzy.

Throughout the day, guests enjoyed a fabulous outdoor BBQ spread prepared by Chef Augie Saucedo & his Sycuan Golf Resort cooking team and sipped Guava Martinis and iced tea when they weren’t relishing in the ever-delicious Joes on the Nose Coffee.  Barista James truly outdid himself with the crema!

Never to be outdone by anyone else’s goodies, the Sweet Cheeks Baking Team created not only a gorgeous, memory-laden sculpted #5 cake (Vanilla Bean Cake with Pear Butter Cream) in honor of Elaine & Donna’s crazy experiences but also endless goodies like NEW MINI POP TARTS, classic oatmeal raisin cookies, and Smashing Pumpkin Gluten Free Cupcakes!  Display was, as so often is our fortunate case, provided by friends Valerie & Joe at Enticing Tables.

Woohoo! Heather Elise Photography