Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bakerella and The Sweet Tooth Therapist

So I met her - the queen of pop. Okay, the queen of cake pop. I like to call her the next Martha Stewart. There we were, in a sea of what had to be a thousand (well, 200) women, me and my mini-me, and her buddy Curious George. We waited in line for what seemed like 2 and a half hours... actually it WAS 2 and a half hours, to have our Cake Pop book signed by Angie Dudley, Bakerella herself. Now I don't usually get hyped up about people, just food. But someone who can do such creative things with food, that kind of person always peaks my interest. Can I just be the black Bakerella? Pleeeze? A book deal??? For cake??? OMG, this woman is living my dream.

Everybody was so happy that day. And why? Because we were a group of like-minded cake-loving, craft-doing women getting answers to our questions about cake pops, blogging, and have-you-quit-your-day-job (to which she surprisingly answered "no"). I remember looking piercingly into Angie's eyes as she answered my questions. The plan was for her to recall my brown face and curly 'fro when someone within her publishing company asks "can you make some soulful southern treats for your next book? We'd like to appeal to the African American consumer." And then she would reply "no, but I know someone who can." We'd collaborate and call the book "Bakerella and the Sweet Tooth Therapist" and I would live happily ever after.

After awakening from my daydream, I left Williams Sonoma fully inspired and ready to make cake pops. I immediately purchased all the supplies needed as well as a second copy of her book - the signed copy goes into the closet along with the unopened limited edition Barbie collection (my other love).

Angie is the first person to inspire me to actually show up for a book signing and stand in line, and I'm glad she did. It was a pleasure to meet her and learn from her. I'd like to think that aside from making a nice chunk of change from the book deal, Angie is experiencing the joy that comes from knowing you've inspired and impacted others in a positive way. That kind of joy is priceless. That kind of joy is what sweet tooth therapy is all about.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Living the Sweet Life

Wow, I've come a long way - from absolutely hating to make cupcakes to making it my daily passion. That just goes to show what maturity can do for you. A year ago when my business mentor said "you should do cupcakes - they're all the rage now" all I said was NO. Layer cakes and I had such a history, such a love affair. I thought cupcakes were just too messy, too much trouble (translation - didn't want to learn a new skill, and certainly didn't want those pastry bags to clean up). But then it hit me - 6 pounds, that is. Six pounds of chocolate layer cake weight gain. I mean what else are you supposed to do when somebody gives you a whole cake (and then you practice and practice duplicating it)? After that, I wouldn't bake a cake for months for fear of turning on my voracious sweet tooth.

When I finally recovered from my fear-of-weight-gain-from-cake-aholicism, my baking passion was revived by the cupcake. There really is something magical about those little cakes. They're cute, satisfying, and somehow I can eat just 3... well it's better than a whole 8 inch 3 layer cake.

After months of agonizing over a name, the business is called, of course, Sweet Tooth Therapy - and the website is coming soon, like in a few days soon. The focus has changed from southern cakes and cupcakes to a focus on the fact that sweets really are therapeutic. Yes I am still a dietitian, but one who has chosen to embrace her deepest passions - baking and eating. :) Life really is sweet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sweet Tooth Therapy is Good for the Soul

Well I know it's been a while since I've posted anything here so please forgive me. No really good excuse, just blog neglect.

Anyway, I've recently had a sort of revelation. As a dietitian it's my duty to promote a healthy lifestyle. I think I had been going overboard though, in an effort to control my love for sweets. But now I realize that the love of sweets and being healthy is much easier when you embrace the cupcake. So that's what I've done, so much so that I'm opening a cupcake biz. I did a quick bio yesterday for the cupcake website and wanted to get your opinion on what I've jotted down so far. Here it is...

My earliest memory of baking was when I was 3, making AND tasting mud pies in the backyard in Texas, working hard to get the right consistency and shape. I eventually graduated to being the official mixer-holder for my Arkansas mom's many orders for cakes and pies. Not seeing my love of baking as a career option, I ended up moving to Atlanta and getting a degree in psychology, and then nutrition. As a registered dietitian I declared there was no way I would contribute to the obesity epidemic by being a baker, despite the fact that my love of baking was growing weary of being suppressed.

Well, I've finally given in, thanks to the cupcake boom. At last there's a way to combine my loves of baking, psychology, and a well balanced diet. There is nothing more therapeutic than savoring the flavors of your childhood. I once had a customer take one look at one of my cakes and burst into tears. He said he hadn't seen a German Chocolate cake that looked like that since his southern grandmother passed away. And the cupcake, well that's the ultimate weight watcher's joy. Life can't be all salad and green beans, and a cupcake gives just the right portion for a little sweet tooth therapy.

I don't know if it's moving from Atlanta to the Bay Area that has made me miss the flavors of the south so much, but I've discovered that I'm not alone. When I just say the words red velvet or banana pudding, I don't care where I am, the room lights up with joy. And if I can bring that kind of joy to others by doing something I love, then y'all better know I'm gonna do it, and do it well.