Saturday, May 26, 2012

Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation

I would like to introduce to the readers of my blog and my recurring visitors of this non profit company. A brief summary of who they are;

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (formerly the Great Lakes Corridor of Opportunity) was organized in 1992 to foster encourage, promote, assist or otherwise aid economic growth and development in the Iowa counties of Clay and Dickinson. In late 2005, Emmet County became a part of the region and in January 2006, Buena Vista County joined the region.

The organization is a 501(c)6, non-profit organization in the State of Iowa. The Iowa Lakes Corridor is governed by a 12-member board of directors who set policy and direction for the organization. The board of directors is responsible for the hire of the President and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor. The Corridor currently receives funding from the public and private sector. The total annual budget is approximately $600,000. The Iowa Lakes Corridor has three full-time and three part-time, professional staff members with a central office located on the Iowa Lakes Community College campus in Spencer.

What they do for the area is more than just help those who want to start a business, they have partners for job seekers.

FastTrac NewVenture course for entrepreneurs
Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture logo
The Corridor will be hosting a Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture course for entrepreneurs looking to start a business. 

This program is best-suited for entrepreneurs in their early stages of business development. It provides the tools necessary to develop a business concept, determine the viability of the business concept, and outline the critical steps to a successful business launch.

Kauffman FastTrac®, an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, is a practical, hands-on business development program designed to help entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to create, manage and grow successful businesses. Kauffman FastTrac® participants don't just learn about the business, they live it. They work on their own business ideas or ventures throughout the program - moving their ventures to reality or to new levels of growth. Kauffman FastTrac® programs were created by entrepreneurs and are facilitated by entrepreneurs.

The FastTrac course will begin Tuesday, February 21. Sessions will be held every Tuesday for 10 weeks from 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the Iowa Lakes Corridor office in Spencer. 

Contact Brian at the Corridor office for more information at 712-264-3474, or send him an email.

What I bake

  • Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Bread (quick)
  • Cookies (Holiday cookies and everyday cookies)
  • Apple Crisp
  • Blueberry Buckle
  • Bars
  • Muffins
  • Cinnamon rolls (keep in mind that Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls are unique and a trade mark that can't be done exactly like theirs. Mine are more unique to how I make them.)
Any dessert that we bake that requires fruit the charge for off season depends on the fruit; i.e. blueberries, if Blueberry Buckle is made for someone when it's off season the blueberries are purchases frozen, The blueberry harvest in North America varies. It can start as early as May and usually ends in late summer. So depending on the fruit the cost will vary from season to off season. 

All pricing reflects to the current price of the item(s) that I purchase either locally or online. If it is an ingredient that is fresh or frozen ( won't buy canned fruit) I charge for that price. 

Graduation Cakes and cupcakes 2012

 Purple Velvet cupcakes

Cupcakes became chocolate raspberry filled with a raspberry buttercream

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Easter 2012

As Easter approaches I'll be baking up carrot cakes and carrot cupcakes, if your birthday is April 7th and falls on the holiday weekend and really do not want to do much of the baking or cooking, just let me know! Let me take the stress out of making a dessert for you!

Easter is a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and renew our faith with his Word. Easter is also for time for Families to come together and be happy in living a daily life to it's fullest. For me, having someone that I love close to me at every holiday is a time to celebrate. It's how you spend the time now to be with family not just celebrating the Holiday itself.

Easter is celebrated by hiding colored eggs for the little ones, and eating that succulent ham that your Mom or wife graciously cooks for the family. Spending time is more important now than ever!

The Passion we have for each other comes from our Lord, so this Easter please remember it's not about the food or the little furry rabbit or the colored eggs, it's about being together.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Humble humble and more humble

Wow! I really haven't got a thing to say other than HUMBLE!!! I have been taking a class at the Iowa Lakes Corridor for small business and well part of my learning things is about Market, Research and Development so last week took a poll on flavor of cakes, and I asked Brian Dalziel to send me a logo so that I could do the buttercream transfer technique and well here it is; 

With what information I had I made a chocolate caramel cake then I decided to make a caramel icing....well wouldn't ya know, Iowa weather struck! Trust me when I say that I was more than having a hot flash and not liking it one bit!! I made 3 batches of caramel icing and it was a lot thicker than I wanted it to be on the cake. The other participants in the class actually loved my cake! I didn't ask for any kind of payment because I felt that this cake should have been much better if I had co-operation from the caramel....yes you read that right!

The caramel wouldn't work for me, it wouldn't stick to the cake, and wouldn't smooth out or even spread like it's supposed to. However, the other participants of the class felt differently and asked me how much would I have charged for this cake....I told them the truth. I would charge $20 for the cake. Two of the participants felt that I undercharged and would have paid $35-$40 for the cake!!!

Wow!!! I'm extremely humble and proud of the quality of the cake in spite of my icing issues. I love baking, it gives me a sense of peace and well I am happy to make someone else's day! Thank you Iowa Lakes Corridor!!

If you've eaten my baked goods and want to make a donation, please go to my PayPal page and feel free to donate!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Goals for Lauri's Cakes and More

Since coming back to my home area of NW Iowa on September 21st, 2011 I took some time off from my baking business to get things in order with the family. Now things are at a even Steven kind of level and I'm taking classes to make sure my baking business is where I need it to be.

When we first knew we were coming to Spencer last September we took the ONLY place left to rent here in Spencer, it's not what I want to operate life and my baking so one of my goals this year is to find a real house, one that doesn't move when the wind kicks up into high gear. Or when it snowing outside that it doesn't snow inside. It's a home but not a house.

I'm working with a non profit organization called Iowa Lakes Corridor in which the Senior Vice President Brian Dalziel is the person who's been conducting the entrepreneurial training and the training program is the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac® program. I've also been doing some research on my business not for competitive reasons but to make sure that I'm doing what I should be doing. 

I've never bought a house before, so I'm going to see if there's a way to do so. In these days and times of riskiness, buying a house is one of them, just like having a small business. I sure do wished I had that "rich uncle" that I could just call up and tell them what my goals are and ask for him. Unfortunately that's not going to happen. 

Recap; getting my business back off the ground doing what ever is possible to get going again, and hopefully being able to buy a house and hopefully get my on demand baking in full swing! Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Policy on taking orders

I had a "bad" experience yesterday, I accepted a call from a woman who lives about 15 minutes from me for a cake that was to be delivered today. She wanted a 12in heart cake like the double heart cake only a single cake and single layer. I was able to get her telephone number, although it showed up on my caller ID as unavailable.

After getting the batter ready (other than the color~~she wanted Red Velvet) she called back and changed her mind, so I put the batter in the fridge (no there's nothing wrong with that) and I waited. I was right. She called back then asked about white velvet. So that's what I was going to do.

I was excited about having my order for a Valentine's Day cake that I failed myself and my responsibility of keeping a level head. I should have gotten her mailing address. She's wasn't anyone I knew, she got my card from a dental office and thought that she would be able to help my business by getting the word out on how well I did for her.

That was a bust! So from this day forward I will require a deposit on all orders no matter how big or small they are. I need to protect myself from having to loose out on the cost of the ingredients and my time involved. Unless a prior arrangement has been made this is the new policy. I appreciate your assistance in this new policy.

Lauri Myers
Lauri's Cakes and More

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Goodies

I'll be making cupcakes and cookies for Valentine's Day....let me know what you want, 4 Cupcakes for $4.00 and depending on the cookie it will be $0.85 a piece. The Cookies will be 6ct for $5.00, they are a soft sugar cookie with a decoration....the cupcakes are Chocolate, Pink Velvet or Red Velvet flavor.

Call by Friday, February 10th to place your order!!

Lauri's Cakes and More
Spencer, Iowa

Brimming with Roses Cake by Wilton

If you want this for your sweetie, just let me know!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sugar 'n' Crumbs!

Sugar n Crumbs is a home based business solely owned and operated by Nabia Mehmud, Islamabad's first sugar artist to create edible masterpieces based on imagination and themes. On completing my MBA,I quit my job to start Sugar 'n' Crumbs, and well what can I say? I love my job! now ♥

Events like birthdays and weddings are one of the sweetest moments in one's life, and to compliment the great occasion, it is only natural to serve sweets.

Cakes, like sweets, are an integral part of a Western wedding but now majorly adopted in Pakistan. and we have here is a cakes galore! =D Designer cakes customized as per occasions and personalities. with fondant accents and buttercream piping!

The flavours currently offered are;
Red Velvet, French Vanilla, Chocolate Dream, Strawberry Fantasy, Angel Cake, Rainbow Burst ♥


We're a new kind of online cakery business;
Sugar 'n' Crumbs was born out of a love of beautiful, high-quality and customized Couture Cakes.

Caking has been around for centuries, and we're certainly not the first one on the web. But, whilst many other cake decorators have chosen to use new technologies to simply reduce the costs (and often the quality), we strive to make Cakes not only high quality but better than ever before.

We help our customers design products like Cakes, Cookies and Cupcakes, making it easy for them to share their love with their loved ones.

We want to set a new standard for sumptuous new products that bring great design and uncompromising, high standards to the web. We're only young, but when we grow up we want to be the best Sugar Artists on the internet.

Cakes can be simple or embellished, either way, We love making and decorating them.

We believe in the power of great design
Design is key to everything 'Sugar n Crumbs' does.

Design helps us stand out: from the clothes we wear, to the homes we live in, to the cars we use. Design tells a story about us and what we stand for.

But professional-quality designs have traditionally been out of reach; we want to change this. We're passionate about helping people of all abilities design the best looking and highest quality products: products that will help them express their emotions pure and simple and look great while making the statement.

Our company vision is simple but ambitious: "great design for everyone"

Founded in Aug 2010, Sugar 'n' Crumbs aims to disrupt the global Cake industry by combining the values of professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web.

we also have a LIKE PAGE: 

Basic Information

Aug 2010
Mon:12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri:12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Sat - Sun:12:00 pm-3:30 pm
Islamabad is in for a treat, Spoil yourself with our CUSTOMIZED cakes, cookies and Cupcakes. wow! thats a lot of Cs. :)  twitter: @sugarncrumbs Email:

listed on the site.

General Information
Sugar n Crumbs is a home based business solely owned and operated by Nabia Mehmud, Islamabad's first sugar artist to create edible masterpieces based on imagination and themes. On completing my MBA from FAST NU, I quit my job to start Sugar 'n' Crumbs in Aug 2010 and well what can I say? I love my job! now ♥

We are a Cake Studio, not your average bakery, we strongly believe that 'Design is the Ke...See More
Price Range
$$$ (30-50)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Poor Man's Mimosa Cupcakes

I wanted to try something different, so I thought what do I have in the cupboard to make a cupcake that I've not done before? I had Ginger Ale, orange juice, an orange and the usual cake ingredients. I was watching a romantic drama movie on TV and the woman was drinking a Mimosa. Then I thought; can't ginger ale replace a champagne? Sort of....this is where I got the idea to make these cupcakes. 

So I went looking for a recipe for Mimosa cupcakes, and I found several that looked good, just couldn't decide which one to use. So with all the ingredients I had, I put them all together to make my Poor Man's Mimosa Cupcakes. 
Poor Man's Mimosa Cupcakes
Not as good as a good recipe for Mimosa Cupcakes, but it would do. My husband "ordered" these cupcakes to be delivered at his employer and for Design Masters Salon & Spa here in Spencer. I got great reviews! I am surprised but happy! Next time I'll make them with champagne! Why am I calling them Poor Man's Mimosa Cupcakes? No real champagne in them makes it a poor man's dessert! 

I went to the store today to get some milk and a few other items and I found some champagne was on sale! So I will be making them this week!! Maybe even tomorrow! I know my husband loved them, so when I use the real champagne we'll see what he thinks then! 

Husband's bite! 
The best recipe that I've come across for the Mimosa cupcakes is from several sites, they're all the same recipe by different authors. I am not even sure who the originator author is or if they are the ones that created this exact recipe. Normally I don't "publish" my recipes, this one isn't mine per say so I think I can at least share part of the recipe;

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup champagne
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup plain yogurt
zest from 2 oranges

1. Preheat oven to 350, prepare cupcake pan with liners. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl.
3. Add orange zest, orange juice and champagne. Then add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.
4. Fill liner 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

For the Icing;

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups cream cheese, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons orange juice
2 tablespoons champagne
pinch of orange zest

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until combined and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to taste.
2. Add orange juice, zest and champagne. Mix until combined. Ice the cooled cupcakes!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

NW IA Bridal & Prom Extravaganza

NW IA Bridal & Prom Extravaganza 
Sunday, January 08, 2012
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sponsored by Lite 104.9
Prom Style Show @ 2 pm
Bridal Style Show @ 3:45 pm

Come check out the exhibits, style shows, Dollar Dance, decorations, and more!

For vendor information, please contact Lite 104.9 at 712- 262-1240.

I plan on attending since I've relocated back to NW Iowa, I'd like to see who the other vendors are. I hope my readers in the area can come to this event! For more details please visit Clay County Regional Events Center