Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013 Roundup





Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here!   It has been a really busy couple of months, and while I keep my Facebook page updated, I just haven't made the time to keep the blog up to date as well.  New Years resolution number 1 for 2014:  to do better with that!   Over the next few days, I'll catch up with my busy November and December cookies!

First up:  Christmas cookies - LOTS of them!  This was my first Christmas "officially" in business, and thanks to a lot of great customers, it was a great success.

The "gingerbread man" sugar cookies shown above were my first order of the holiday season 2013.    A local photographer, Catherine from CLC Snapshots, asked me to make them for a "cookies with Santa" photo shoot.   The photos turned out just adorable . . . . I love seeing kids enjoying my cookies, especially in such a cute setting!   I also found out that Catherine is a neighbor who lives just down the street . . . I hope we can collaborate again soon!  Look below for an example of her work, and make sure to check out her Facebook page for lots more!




 
For the third year in a row, I had the honor of making lots of gingerbread people for my neighborhood's Winter Wonderland holiday kickoff!  It really is a great event -  here's my long post on it last year - and I love making lots of gingerbread people for it.  Many friends and neighbors have told me they look forward to my cookies as part of the event's growing traditions!  Thank you for asking me to do it again Tracy! 


 Next, a really special cookie exchange.  I am a member of an online group of wonderful cookiers who chat online and share lots of cookie ideas, techniques and support.   One of them organized a fun online gift exchange.   The cookies above are the ones I made for my recipient, along with a box of cookie cutters, a dish towel, and some other goodies.  I mailed it off to her  . . . and the USPS lost it!  After a week of waiting and watching the tracking number, I called the post office in her town in Georgia.  They claimed it had been delivered correctly, but she never got it.  So upsetting!    Through a weird series of events, the package turned up across town at an acquaintance of her husband's, and she finally ended up getting it! 


I made this set of cookies for a company holiday luncheon.  It was fun to make festive cookies incorporating their wolf paw logo and non-traditional Christmas colors.   It's hard to tell from the photos, but I used lots of disco dust glitter and silver airbrushing.   The employees' children got individual personalized cookies too.  Thank you for this order, Bambi, it was a lot of fun!
  

 Here was another set of sparkly cookies I made for a friend's annual Christmas party.  She asked for a candy-cane themed platter and I put this one together.  Thank you Melissa!




 
I love reading magazines, especially holiday issues!  When I spotted the December issue of Good Housekeeping on the newstand, I LOVED the cookie tree on the cover.  I bought it and put it aside, hoping to have the opportunity to make them.  I ended up making 8 dozen assorted trees - some for an order (thank you Kathy!), some for a neighbor's cookie exchange (thank you Janet!) and some to take to my parents' house for Christmas day.  On a whim, I took a picture of them next to the GH cover and posted it on their Facebook page.  I was so excited when they shared them a short time later!
 


I was so excited by the success of my Thanksgiving placecard cookies, I decided to offer some for Christmas as well.    I ended up making well over 100 of these for a number of orders.  Thank you to everyone who ordered them, they were a lot of fun to make!

 
Last but not least, these three pictures show the cookies I took to share with my family at Grandma's house on Christmas day.  Chocolate cakeballs, oreo snowmen, more trees, and of course the placecards!  My mom added these cute candy pops along with them for a very festive table.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recent birthdays

It's been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of birthdays lately!  Here's a roundup of birthday cookies I have made recently.

 
This was a "favorite things" platter for a 13 year old girl who loves dolphins and One Direction!

 
 
Birthday favors for a little girl to hand out to friends at school.
 

 
This family headed to Disneyworld to celebrate Grandma's birthday . . . with cookies in tow!


Cookies to celebrate a 13 year old aspiring model's birthday.   She loves fashion, makeup and modeling!


Cookies to celebrate a teenage football player's birthday.

 
Favors for a Minnie Mouse birthday party.


Cookies for a little boy who is obsessed with the garbage trucks that pick up his family's trash.   The company's log was a star made of "R's" . . . perfect since that's his initial!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thanksgiving cookies

Click on the photo to enlarge

I have been neglecting this blog a bit lately . . . I've been so busy with cookies!   If you want more frequent updates, please make sure to like my Facebook page  - I post all of my cookies there!  (you do not have to be on Facebook to click the link . . . the page is public so anyone can see it!)

Speaking of Facebook, I posted my first "Special" there this week, with the flyer shown above, and have been overwhelmed with the response!  I have a few slots left for Thanksgiving placecard cookies.   Email me at bakedbyrachel@gmail.com if you are interested.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Another batch of recent cookies

Once again, time has gotten away from me and I haven't posted pictures in a while.  Here's a roundup of some of the cookie orders I have done over the past few weeks.
 
Luau Minnie Mouse for Zoeyann's fifth birthday.  I LOVED doing these!   

A birthday platter for a Danish exchange student.

A small birthday platter for a couple to take to a local winery that encourages picnicking with  your dog!  We love this place!

 
Some cookies for my friend Stehanie's Origami Owl table at our neighborhood vendor fair.

Favors for a christening of twin girls.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

three orders, one set of icing colors!

I overbooked myself a little bit this week, with three orders, totalling 7 dozen cookies altogether, due on the same day (I try not to do that to myself, but sometimes it happens!)   The saving grace here was I was able to use the same six colors for all three orders.   

 
These are cookies for a youth hockey team. The rectangles are a representation of their light blue jerseys.  I used light blue, dark blue, and white for these.  Thank you Dina!
 
 
Birthday cookies for my friend Sara's son Jack, featuring logos from his youth lacrosse team, the Tampa Tarpons.  I really liked the abstract-ish lacrosse stick from their jerseys!  Their colors are red, white and blue and I added the grey for some interest.   A whole box of these is in transit to Tampa right now for Jack!
 
We got together with Jack and his family while we were in Florida on summer vacation.   While there, he gave me his "vision" for his birthday cookies - basically he wanted large cookies for himself and tiny ones to share (such a 14 year old boy!)  We had lots of fun talking about how to make them. I even suggested making them say "Jack licked this cookie" to deter others from eating them.  While he loved that idea, I couldn't actually bring myself to do it - the bite marks were a compromise.  Hope he likes them - thanks for the order, Sara!
 
 
Finally, I had an order for a birthday platter to celebrate Trey's 13th birthday.  I had made cookies for his sister a few months back, so his mom wanted to surprise him with his own "favorite things" platter.   She told me he likes baseball, the Beatles and skateboarding, but otherwise left it up to me.   I came up with this combo, and used all of the colors from the other two orders.  I think it worked well!  Thank you Angel!
 
 
 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Some Recent Cookies

I have been very busy with cookies lately, and haven't been good about blogging them.  This post will be a hodge-podge of some recent cookies that I haven't posted!



Bridal shower cookies for an upcoming art-deco style wedding in Miami. 


I made this platter for my little friend Tyler's 3rd birthday.  He loves all sports, but especially lacrosse (his brother and sister play), soccer (his brother plays) and football (his sister is a cheerleader).  Happy Birthday Tyler!


I donated a couple hundred cookies for Grizzly Day - the annual pep rally for the Grizzly football organization.  The cheerleaders sold them to raise money for Susan G Komen.  Go Grizzlies!




I have enjoyed making care packages for college students!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

an exciting announcement!

As many of you know, the reason I started this baking page was to help raise funds for Susan G Komen as part of my participation in and fundraising commitment to the 3 Day for the Cure walk.   This year, my fourth year walking, I have raised over $5,000 for this worthy cause, almost entirely by baking cookies!  I offer my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who has bought cookies from me to help me reach this goal!   
 
Many people have told me that I should do this as a business, not just as a fundraiser . . . and that time has come!   I am very pleased to announce that I have been approved as a Home Baker by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Safety!  I have also filed all of my business paperwork with the County and the State, and I'm now ready to go . . . Baked By Rachel is officially in business!
 
While I am of course looking forward to making a little money on this hobby (finally supporting my cookie cutter and sprinkle addiction!), I also plan to continue baking cookies for charity purposes - Susan G. Komen and other breast cancer organizations of course, but also things like the Go Bo! Foundation, my children's schools, and other causes that are important to me.
 
I will be working on this blog to turn it more into a business website over the next few weeks, with ordering information, etc.  In the meantime, please feel free to e-mail me at bakedbyrachel@gmail.com or contact me through my facebook page to place an order inquiry!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Go Bo! Bake Sale




I am so honored to be taking part in the 2nd annual Go Bo! Bake Sale!  

Bo Johnson was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia, EM/AML, at the age of 12. He battled the disease for a year, and lost his life on Sept. 28, 2012.   The Go Bo Foundation was formed to help other children with life-threatening medical conditions by funding research, supporting treatment, and helping their families during times of financial need. 

According to the website for the Go Bo Foundation:
 
The GO BO Foundation is Bo's gift to us.  It's a way for each of us to give back.  The GO BO Foundation isn't an individual person or a single family, it's a community of people gathering together because Bo reminded us what true courage really is.   One boy has inspired a multitude with nothing more than a smile and a dream to help others. We hope you'll join us.
 


And this is where the cookies come in.    Jill Wettstein, an amazing cookie artist I have been following online for some time now, has done an amazing job pulling together cookie artists from all 50 states and 8 countries to contribute cookies for a bake sale like no other.     The 2nd Annual Go Bo Foundation Bake Sale will take place over two weekends in October in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.    Visit the Facebook page or search #gobobakesale and so the amazing creations my fellow cookie artists have donated.  

Cookies for the bake sale are to be Fall- or Halloween-themed.   I decided to send a little Virginia greeting to Wisconsin with some "Happy Fall, Y'All" cookies!  Thanks so much to Kellie at Nest of Posies for kindly allowing me to use her artwork as inspiration for these cookies!



Bo's favorite color was orange, and the Go Bo Foundation uses orange ribbons to symbolize their efforts.  I'm glad to be a part of this effort to turn the map orange and raise funds for such an important cause. 


Check it out!  If you can't get to Wisconsin to buy cookies, consider making an online donation to the  Go Bo Foundation.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Club cookies

 

An old family friend asked me to make cookies and cakeballs for her book club meeting . . . I made these for her last year and she knew her friends would be asking for more!     She asked me to include the book club's name  - "Cover to Cover" - but otherwise left it up to me.  I thought this was an excellent time to make the bookworm cookies I made a few months ago.  I added some sprinkly squares with the name and some flowery circles and came up with this colorful platter!

 
I also made a little platter of carrot cake and raspberry chocolate cake balls!
 
Hope the book club enjoys them!  Thank you Nickie!

A triple celebration!




A few weeks ago, I made a 50th anniversary platter for the parents of an old high school friend.   They were so excited about the cookies, they asked me to make cookies to help them celebrate again, this time with two other couples who were also hitting the golden anniversary milestone!   There are all part a group of friends who get together to play cards, and Cherry & Bill wanted to surpise them with cookies. 
 
One 50th anniversary is special . . . but three??  What an occasion!  I really enjoyed planning this platter.  I wanted to make it very special to celebrate three long marriages.   I think they really enjoyed it - check out this lovely e-mail I got from Cherry the next day:
 
The cookies were a tremendous hit and I gave out all of your cards and have others who are getting the info from me. Everyone was amazed that they not only looked good but tasted good too.

Thank you Cherry!  So glad to help you and your friends celebrate such a special occasion!
 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Favorite Things" platter for a 40th birthday


"Favorite Things" platters are just such a fun way to celebrate a birthday!  I love working with the person ordering the platter to pinpoint a couple of things that help express the special person's personality and interests.

Jill ordered this platter to help celebrate her husband's 40th birthday.  She told me he loves basketball - especially Michigan Wolverines basketball, golf, and coaching.   He also has the fantastic nickname of "Captain Awesome".   With those things I mind, I put together this platter!  I love how, by using a similar color palette, a seemingly random assortment of things actually looks good together!

Hope it was a great party - Thanks Jill!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Mackenzie!




When a friend asked me to make cookies for her sweet girl's first birthday, I jumped at the chance.  I made her baby shower cookies last year, so I loved the opportunity to continue a tradition for her!  She sent me the cute invitation she used, and a couple of ideas she found online, and I went for it.  I love the pink and orange color combination . . .


the invitation (I blanked out the personal stuff!)
 
party favors

 
all wrapped up and ready to go!
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mustache and Lips bridal shower


Made this platter for a bridal shower this weekend . . . it matches their cute save the date cards!    What a fun theme!  Thank you, Alicia!  Hope your sister enjoyed her shower!