Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year 2012!!!


I wish everyone a Great New Year 2012!
May you all have Good Luck, Great Health, Happy Families!
Love from Me to You

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Will be taking orders again!

I will be taking orders again, please take the time to seriously think about this, when you order from me, my prices are reflecting the cost of the ingredients in the final product. I've reduced my pricing when I relocated to Iowa from Arkansas since Iowa does not have a food tax and that the prices are somewhat cheaper.


However, when you go to say Hy Vee or say Dahl's Foods Bakery or another majory grocery store chain through out Iowa Fareway Stores their bakery items are sold as a mass production item that keeps the costs down, yet they're more expensive than you really think. They have the additives and preservatives that I do not use.


Many other bakers like myself try to provide a great tasting product without the mass production price. In other words we're doing something that's more personal and fresh for the person(s) who ordered the item. I don't always have a price for every single item I can bake for a person but if special requested I quote on the spot depending on that item for a cost.


I take in consideration I use large eggs in many of my baking items and I use all purpose flour unless it's a special order requiring a cake flour (All purpose flour is the standard flour for home baking, but a glance down a well equipped grocery store baking aisle is enough to tell you that there are many other types of flour available for baking. Cake flour is one of them and, if you like to bake, it should be a staple in your kitchen. Cake flour is a low protein flour that is made from soft winter wheat. It has a protein content of about 8% and is usually bleached, which gives it a very fine texture and a very light color. Because it has such a fine texture, cake flour should be sifted before incorporating it into a recipe to prevent clumping.) Cake flour is more pricey and effective in the recipe that it is called for. 


For every single item in the final product I figure up the total number of cups a bag of flour is at the current price and divide by the number of cups. Example: One cup of flour equals four ounces. With 16 ounces in one pound, you'll have four cups in one pound, or 20 cups in a five-pound bag. That bag of flour is $1.90 or about 10 cents a cup. This is a rough estimate of the cheapest cost of flour. I do this for each item that a recipe calls for, then I figure in my time as if I was working in a bakery, this is how I come up with the final cost. 


So please take it in stride and for what it's worth to you the commercial price and look of what it is that you're wanting or the home baked with personal touch and with you in mind. 






Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My dad

My dad is coming home again from the hospital, so I've made him some cookies....I'll hopefully get back into the swing of baking again...thank you all for your patience!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lauri's Update on Father

I wanted to update everyone on my father's condition. He had his left leg amputated just below the knee, he got through the first 48hrs but he's been dealing with a lot of other related issues...my father is on kidney dialysis for the rest of his life and he's also diabetic, we haven't been given a definite answer as to him having congestive heart failure, but the doctors know what they are doingand we have to trust them and continue praying....In the meantime I've basically have taken some time away from the kitchen of Lauri's Cakes and More, I'll be baking more for family this month (December 2011) and will post pictures when I can....Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding. 


Lauri

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Father

I'm going to take some time off to be with my father and family. My father has some health issues that need some serious attention. I am not sure when I'll be posting again. Thank you for your understanding.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Starting the Holiday Season off!

In the past few days, I've had orders for cupcakes and cinnamon rolls, I've made 2 doz. vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing, and I just finished Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream cheese Icing and candy cane sprinkles!
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream cheese icing and candy cane sprinkles
I'll be making cinnamon rolls later this week, and I know it's going to drive my husband crazy with the smell of cinnamon and raisins! I'm excited that this season is getting off to a good start!
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla icing

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Cookies!

Yes that's right! More cookies! This time I was asked to make another batch of Oatmeal cookies, with walnuts raisins, and chocolate chips. Wow! That's a loaded cookie! Funny thing is off the first pan that cooled, a thief came in and stole 3 off of the cooling rack! I have a feeling there won't be any crumbs left by tomorrow. I'm also making another kind of cookie; Peppermint Sugar cookie.

Sometimes Simple is Better!



I got a call last evening from a Gentleman who had seen my flyer in his building, he asked if I could whip up him some Vanilla Cupcakes, one dozen. I told him that I could and that I would have them ready for him early afternoon. Sometimes it's just so much better to have simple vanilla cupcakes. Nothing too fancy or elaborate. These are the people that I aim to please! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Cookie request: Cranberry Oatmeal


Yep, that's right, this is a picture of Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. After making the apple crisp for my brother, my husband starts getting jealous and goes through all the ingredients that we have, and sees the oatmeal and asks if we have pecans and raisins. Then he spots the can of whole cranberries! Not surprised, he's craving both ingredients, cranberries and oatmeal. If you have never tried this recipe I strongly suggest you do! I found it to be moist and chewy and the flavor of the cranberry wasn't over powering like some might think. 

I didn't have any walnuts on hand but they are still yummy! Let's see what other requests come up in the coming weeks...I do know that I'll be making rosettes! Spritz Cookies, sugar cookies, frosted pumpkin cookies, and the usual chocolate chip, peanut butter and anything else that they (the family vultures :D ) will want to have! I'm excited for the Holiday Season to begin! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn is in the air!



The smell of apples baking in the oven is making us drool! Since it's Autumn, we got in the spirit of the colors changing and the cool winds telling us that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is a welcome break from baking cakes in general, my brother had a special request for; pumpkin pie, apple crisp, cinnamon rolls, and many other delicious treats. He's already devoured four pumpkin cupcakes that I made a week ago, unfortunately hadn't taken a picture of them.


You can see the last post about my last update I used an old picture from another blog. I also had fun baking another treat, a Margarita Cake that I got the recipe from one of my favorite sites, Just a Pinch. Today though was the smell of baked apples and cinnamon the flowed through the house. 


It was like being at Grandma's house during the winter time on snow days from school. Memories like this are so sweet! I enjoy baking for family and friends. I would love to bake for others who would want to order. I'm satisfied to having Autumn in the Air and loving it! I just love the smell of cinnamon at this time of the year. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

US Bank and Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

Today I delivered some really good Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing to the the US Bank here in Spencer. Scott Conrad is a great guy there at the bank, he really came through for me when there were issues concerning my account. He managed to save the day!! So to help spread the word about my small business, I whipped up a batch of cupcakes for him and the crew at the bank.

Scott looked at me with a huge smile and couldn't believe I had "gone to the trouble" of making them. Because he saved the day I wanted to show my appreciation. US Bank really is a good bank!! They are there for you when you need them!

Thank you Scott!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spencer Iowa




Spencer is a city in the state of Iowa, and the county seat of Clay County. It is located at the confluence of the Little Sioux and Ocheyedan Rivers. In 2004, the U.S. federal government placed Spencer's downtown business district on the National Register of Historic Places. Also in 2004, the State Historical Society of Iowa certified the Spencer Downtown Cultural District as one of the initial eight such projects across the state. Spencer's proposal for this designation included remodeling the old Spencer Middle School building into a multi-purpose facility with a senior citizen center, affordable housing units, and a restored facade. Future work on the old Middle School project involves restoration of the historic auditorium. Also part of the State Historical Society designation is the city's renovation of its Grand Avenue bridge to include commissioned stained glass plates in an Art Deco style.


I grew up in Ruthven which is 15 miles east of Spencer. I graduated May 12, 1985, which was Mother's Day that year. My family lives here in Spencer and those that are gone, they're buried in neighboring counties so the drive isn't like traveling from one state to another. Spencer was ranked 10th best place to live in the United States by Relocate-America.com's "America's Top 100 Places to Live for 2007."


In years past I really enjoyed the Clay County Fair, is held every September. It is the largest county fair in the Iowa. It has the second largest agricultural exposition in North America. Bringing in over 310,000 visitors a year, the Clay County Fair is one of the largest county fairs in the United States. 2011 set attendance records of 328,000. Beginning in 1918, the fair has grown considerably over the past near century.




In its first year the Clay County Fair brought in 30,000 guests. In 1936 the fair completed the construction of its second grandstand, able to seat over 7,500 people, which it still uses today. During the 1930s the fair continued construction of agricultural buildings for livestock. The Clay County Fair has firmly planted itself as the largest Midwest county fair.
The fair also hosts a carnival of over 80 rides and attractions. There are also many businesses that have booths all over the fair. It consists of over 35 square city blocks of space, and continues to fill up the space tighter and tighter every year.
Some familiar people/groups who have visited and/or performed at the Clay County Fair are: Former President George W. Bush, Sen. John Kerry, former Vice President Al Gore, Bob Hope, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, LeeAnn Womack, Martina McBride, REO Speedwagon, The Righteous Brothers, Plus One, Clay Aiken, ZZ Top, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley, Lee Greenwood, Bill Cosby, Red Skelton, Jim Nabors, Lonestar, Grand Funk Railroad, Garth Brooks, Survivor, this is just to name a few. 




One of my favorite places to drive by is the Higgins Mansion. Here's a bit of background on this beautiful house; The Mansion, was built in 1884 by J.Q. Adams, a local farmer, banker, and sometime Mayor. The property was sold in 1900 to Amanda Bender, who soon sold it to Mr. and Mrs. William Higgins, newlyweds who had moved to Spencer from Chicago. They contracted architect J. G. Ralston of Waterloo, Iowa to make the home an architectural landmark, beginning in 1910, by adding massive Neo-classical columns, adding a third floor, iron fence surround, and a kidney-shaped fish pond. The building next to the house was originally built as the children's playhouse for the two children adopted off the Orphan Train when it passed through Spencer. For a short period, the playhouse was used as a classroom for children attending a nearby elementary school undergoing repairs. Mrs. Higgins passed away in 1961, and the property was sold at auction in 1962 to Mathilda Delaney. Mrs. Delaney occupied the home until 1983, when the property was sold to Paul and Paula Brenner, who successfully placed the home on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Location!!

After much debate and urging to relocate to a more stable economic area for myself and my husband, we moved from Greenwood, Arkansas to Spencer, Iowa on September 23rd. I will not start accepting any orders until October officially, however if you're in the mood for something small like cookies and cupcakes and just can't wait, well drop me a message and I will see what I can do! I am also excited to also tell you that a friend who owns DAZZLIN-MAGIC-CAKES-CREATIONS her name is Deb Moran. She lives in the NW Iowa area, Graettinger specifically. I am looking forward to servicing your needs and if I can't do it in time, Deb might be able to! She's awesome!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Closing Kitchen Until October 2011

Due to the economic situation in this part of the country, I am closing the kitchen to this "shop" until further notice. I want to thank my customers for their loyalty in my cakes and other baked goods. A new location will be announced in October 2011.

Sincerely

Lauri
Owner of Lauri's Cakes and More

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to School treats for kids

Around here, August 17th, is when school returns to session. So with that little thought in mind, I'm planning on making some different kind of cupcakes. Something that I've done before but doing a little differently, if you've got to my Gallery Page you would have seen my chocolate cupcakes with fudge filling and peanut butter icing with Reese's miniatures.

Well that's the starter only it will be a yellow cake with different chocolate miniatures on top....huummmm can you imagine what they might be? Let's count down the days! In case you don't recall my Chocolate cupcakes here's another peek!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~MnSłRsInC.~ Cake for CES

And the unveiling of the   ~MnSłRsInC.~ Cake!





I had a lot of fun doing this cake! It was hot, the normal daily temperature has been 104* so the icing wasn't working with me no matter what I did, but it's done! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frustration with your computer????



Computer anxiety and withdrawls because of a computer that needed desperate attention??? I certainly know that well! I recently had severe issues with my computer where I took the advice of a friend on Facebook who suggested a friend who does computer repairs, by remote access! I was happy to know that someone who lives not only hours away but could see my computer and the issues it was having. I need my computer to access emails, upload my cake pictures, to do my blogging, and so much more. I was hesitant like you would with any repair technician. He took the time to walk with me through the issues that this old machine had. 

If some of you are like me, depending on the internet for personal or business related reasons, having down computer time means time away from the vital stuff that you want to do on your sites. I blog as often as I can on here and if I can't it's really frustrating!! Trust me! 
 
George Brooks, Owner of George's Computer Repair
 
Computer quotes and assessment done as a free diagnostic to make sure what the problem is and if he's able to get it fixed. If your computer is running slow and you can't connect to the internet, or having issues with viruses, George can let you know what needs to be done at a reasonable rate for you. I know, He's really good at his work in getting computers fixed and running much faster and smoother almost like new!! His rate is well worth the time for him to get your machine up and running!
 
Two ways to reach him:
1 618.969.7301
U.S. and Canadian calls can be made to you if you need him to call you directly. NO International calls please! 
 
You can also reach him on his facebook profile here: Contact Geroge

I'm so happy that I got my "best" friend back!!! Yeah!!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter and Lauri's Cakes and More

Why am I having a project like this? Because the children that come to stay at CES sometimes don't always get these kinds of treats, in their "normal" lives. Who is CES? Children's Emergency Shelter is a shelter for children in all various of situations. I've been a volunteer for them in many events and lately I'm doing something much different, providing goodies to the kids!

The are monthly donations of all kinds, including cakes brought in for children's birthdays, B.A.C.A is also involved and they are active as well. Sometimes the children that are there can't have certain baking items because of allergies that they may have. In that case, I don't do anything. I love baking cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and yes quick breads for the kids that are there. It's pretty cool to know that when they come home from school or other event and they have no idea that there's this "treat" that I made for them to have for their dessert or for what ever reason....it makes my day!

If you live in the River Valley area (Sebastian, Crawford, Scott, etc.) and want to come out and do something for CES here's their next event : CES Events .

I've already got my ideas for September and November! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cakes for Kids Donation Project

Wow!!! 2 Donors that have paid for a cake to be made for the Children's Emergency Shelter, Fort Smith, Arkansas!!  I blogged a week ago that I will be doing a cake for a group of Mafia Wars Players, they are known as ~Monster's Inc.~ they're a fun bunch of people getting together to play a game by Zynga.  I won't give you a peek at the design of the cake...I don't want to give it away! The donors came from as far as Georgia!! Oh yeah that's right!! :) Another donor is from right here in our own backyard of the River Valley!!! Will show you all next week!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Donating a Cake for local Charity

I have it set up now that if you want you can donate towards a cake as a whole group for a local Fort Smith, AR Children's Emergency Shelter, if you and a group of friends want a special cake made for these children to have or even cupcakes just go to my Pay Pal on my contact me page, scroll to the bottom. Here's the link: Contact Me

What I will do is shown on my Gallery page, the character cakes or even one of your choice, if I can't make it I'll give you an idea of what I have available to make. The average cost of a cake to make is:

SHEET         Servings      Price                                                 
9" x 13"            24                $25  (also known as quarter sheet)                          
11" x 15"           35                $40

In a couple of weeks I will be doing a Monster's Inc., cake and the group that is donating this is from Facebook. They are donating the cost of the supplies to make the cake and I will be donating my time to do this cake.... hope that this new charity program that I am doing will help kick off a great summer for the kids!!!  If you live in the area, River Valley, Fort Smith, Arkansas area, and have a charity in mind, especially for the kids, please send me an email at lauriscakes1@gmail.com to pay for the donation, go to Contact Me scroll to the bottom, make sure under the Cake Deposit you click on Donation. If you're wanting to pay for the full donation price of the cake, let me know in the email. All donated baked items will be given credit to the donator.  Since I use Pay Pal, I will send you an invoice via email through their system.  All banking information is confidential. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

10 tips for making a perfect chocolate chip cookie - Food on Shine

10 tips for making a perfect chocolate chip cookie - Food on Shine

Really??? My tips have been, use parchment paper, and watch that oven!

6. Silpat or Parchment?
When baking the cookies, Tina recommends using parchment paper because it allows the cookies to bake better. Swider on the other hand uses a baking spray on the sheet pan so you can literally scoop up the cookies.

SEE, I knew that! The other tips are ok in this article, however if something isn't broken, why try to "fix" it? I've been using my same recipes, even if the baking chips aren't always available that I use. I use my Kitchen Aide stand mixer and as soon as I see no "lumps" I take the batter out of the mixing bowl and put it into another container.

This way if I have to stop baking and this interruption can take longer, I can stick that container easily into my refrigerator. After all check out the "mass" production I had going:

Well it's time to sign out for the day....I will be back! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twitter & the Arkansas summer throw in a bit of Insanity Baking!

Ok I've done it!!! I've finally succumbed to Twitter...Lauri'sCakesandMore
That's the name I've chosen, original huh! LOL yeah I'm sure you're thinking that too! I'm following 23 "Tweets" as they put it, we'll give it a day or two to see how this goes....


It's been so hot lately that can't really do much in the kitchen. We're expecting triple digits later part of this week! I did try to do 6 batches of cookies earlier this week but it was so hot I got sick. Oh well...so much for that effort! I've been trying to "follow" the latest "trend" in caking that I'm not really catching on. I guess that must mean that I should stay within my own comfort zone and stick with what works for me and my little kitchen. This stream of baking for a group of kids is well worth the effort of the heat! Here's what I did:














I grabbed as many containers as I had to get the sugars mixed together so when it was time to add that to the butter for mixing it was ready, I also did the same for the flour mixtures, and the baking chips & nuts mixtures. I only have one functionable cookie sheet that wouldn't totally burn the cookies.


The hotter the kitchen got, the harder it was to regulate the cookie temps in order for proper baking. One sheet set was really underdone, the time I set for the baking was between 9-13 minutes, all but the one pan came out great....that was when I felt that the kitchen (which was by the way 95*) and the outside temperature was 102* it was time to call it a day! I'm glad too, the hotter it was the more I felt zapped. Well I'll get the rest of it baked before it gets hot again....before the triple digits strike! Then we'll see how that goes!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SugarEd Productions's Page - Cakes We Bake Cake Decorating Community

SugarEd Productions's Page - Cakes We Bake Cake Decorating Community

Yes my new favorite Lady is on CAKES WE BAKE!!! I'm so excited! When my vacation time is over with, I'll try to get back into the swing of it all again....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Cake 2011




I just finished this cake today. I tried a new technique that I not done before. Frozen buttercream transfer is a method of transferring your art to your frosted cake. You are making a buttercream "plaque" to apply to your cake. It is similar to the more familiar method of transferring a design to a frosted cake with gel on waxed paper, and filling in the design with a star tip. It is also comparable to run-in sugar design work, and it will make a beautiful reproduction of your art in buttercream on small as well as very large cakes.


I think if I had more practice with it that it would be much better. My friend Kathy Kmonk of both Facebook and an online community; Cakes We Bake did a video: http://www.cakeswebake.com/video/fbct-how-to-do-a-frozen?xg_source=activity  I hope you enjoy it like I have!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another new way of making buttercream icing

I've had issues with making my buttercream icing especially when the weather doesn't want to "co-operate", so I wanted to search for different techniques and I went to my Google search engine and found Sugared Productions http://www.sugaredproductions.com/


They are also located on Facebook SugaredProductions so far what I've seen is truly fantastic!!! I've ordered the buttercream DVD today. I've watched the videos on their site and extremely intrigued! I am also following them on blogger I'm excited to get the video....I want to be more of a professional look with my cakes. One of my favorite shows to watch is TLC's Ultimate Cake Off , here is her bio . I look forward to being able to do more!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

4th of July Cake revised for a Mafia Wars Player

Aside from baking cakes and more, I am a God Mother to a Mafia Wars family called {TUT} Tougher United Together, well the creators of Mafia Wars, Zynga  have a world wide MEETUP on April 8th. Many of us want to get together and actually meet in person, some of us aren't able to. One very good friend of mine, Donna Chouteau of McKinney, Texas wanted my signature cake in the German Chocolate flavor. I went a little further by putting her tag and clan name on the cake!!


This is the cake I made for her and I have this very blanket, so Donna's husband Rene got out his camera and took several pictures of the cake. I've had a lot of wonderful comments about this cake, from everyone on facebook. 

Lauri of Lauri's Cakes and More and Donna Chouteau

Donna and her husband Rene drove all the way from McKinney Texas for this cake!! Now if that's not desiring one of my cakes!! My husband I showed them our little area of Fort Smith, and Greenwood Arkansas. We took them to the old Fort and the Hanging Judge Parker's Museum, http://www.nps.gov/fosm/historyculture/judge-parker.htm   we toured almost all of the Fort Smith area and moved into the Van Buren to see the sights before stopping to get dinner for the four of us. We all have been having a great time!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gallery ~~ Cakes I've done and Cakes that I can do


We provide a wide range of baked Items to suit a variety of budgets and tastes. 
Our most popular baked goods are shown below. Please call or stop by for more
information on a cake, or other baked items you're needing. All baked items are
made from scratch and to suit the occasion. We do not make fondant style cakes, 
we prefer to stick to old traditional style of cakes.


I can make children's cakes like this one.

 I can make a wedding cake like this one.


 I have made this one as a special order cake.


 I can also make a wedding cake like this one.


 I can also make a wedding cake like this one as well.


 I will be making a cake like this one in different colors.



This is a quarter sheet cake for a Girl's Birthday, this 
was made by someone else, again my camera is not working.


I can make this cake as well for a Girl's Birthday.


My wedding cake March 10, 2007. 


Another design that I can make similar to this one. This is made with 
3 in. cake pans.


My citrus cake. 


Another one of my cakes. 

Wedding cupcakes that I can do.






 SPECIAL ORDER ITEMS







Cookies
Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Soft Molasses, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Cream Cheese Spritz










Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing and Reese's miniatures, Or any kind you'd like. I have cupcakes I make for weddings as well.



Strawberry Cake
Specialty Cakes



Special Order Cakes
Joy S. Steelers Cake




Special Order Cakes
Cell Phone Cake for Joanna B.




Holiday Cakes
Butter cream icing with choice of cake flavor




Quick Breads
Carrot-Pineapple with Confectioner's Sugar Topping, Banana Nut Bread with Carmel Drizzle



Other cakes that I can do for Weddings are similar to these: 

This cake as shown is not mine, my camera isn't functioning at the moment, I have the cake supplies to do a cake like this one. I will not copy the design of this cake, can do one close to it.

The following pictures I have done before I was able to create a tag for each one.
My tag is: Lauri’s Cakes and More ©  LLM 2011




 Brownies I can do.








Here's a I cake that I just did recently for the Fort Smith Children's Emergency Shelter.