Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cookie Decorating Classes are Here!

Edge Desserts is offering a Valentine Cookie Decorating Class in the Austin area.  Learn to make these beautiful cookies and have fun while doing it.  Cost is $45 per person.  Class is  approximately 3 hours and each student will leave with 6 decorated cookies.

What's Included

  • Recipe for a delicious and simple sugar cookie that tastes great and holds its shape too
  • Demonstration in mixing the dough; rolling and cutting out the cookies
  • Tips for baking the cookies
  • Recipe for royal icing
  • Demonstration in mixing, tinting and storing the icing
  • Instruction and demonstration for different icing consistencies for various techniques
  • Instruction and assistance  for a variety of cookie decorating techniques
  • Each student will leave with 6 cookies they decorated themselves. 
  • This is a hands-on class. Space is limited.
Call, email or send us a message on FB to book your spot.

Happy Baking!


Edge Desserts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sweetheart Cakes Are Back!

 Order Your Valentine Treats Today

Back by popular demand, Edge Desserts is offering our Sweetheart Cakes once again.

What better way to show that special someone just how special they are.
These personal sized heart shaped cuties are perfect to share with that 
certain someone.  Three decadent flavors to choose from and
each only $25….

  • Carmel-Pecan Chocolate Decadence: Rich, chocolate cake filled with caramel sauce and toasted pecans.  Topped with caramel Swiss buttercream…. Creamy, rich and decadent.

  • Magnolia Strawberries & Cream:  Magnolia vanilla cake filled with strawberry Swiss buttercream and iced with our special buttercream blend.  It’s like strawberry shortcake elevated to a whole new level.

  • Chocolate Ganache & Raspberry Indulgence:  Rich, chocolate cake filled with raspberry filling, topped with a semi-sweet ganache and finished with a single rose made from our blended buttercream.  Perfect indulgence for the ultimate chocolate lover.

Each cake is wrapped with a bow and a special message  you can customize to your valentine...

 But Wait!  There's More... 

For the die-hard chocolate lover... you can't go wrong with these.  Triple Chocolate Espresso Walnut Cookies - heart shaped for Valentines Day Only...  $20/dozen or $10/half-dozen.... 

It's not really fair to call this a "cookie"... decadently rich and chocolaty with toasted walnuts and a hint of espresso... topped with a dark chocolate covered espresso bean.... oh my....

Ordering is simple!  Just call or email and 
reserve your cake today:)       512-565-4965
(Austin & surrounding areas only)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Random Things From My Dad - and when did my parents get old?

This will be short... I think... Haven't posted anything in a while, and I have been crazy busy.  This holiday season has been the most stressful I can recall in a number of years.  I'm stretched just as thin as I think I possibly can be... physically, financially, and even spiritually.  I am worn and tired... It is December 20th and I have not purchased a single Christmas gift... Bills are piling up and my energy and determination are waning... I did manage to get a few bucks to put in the bank so tomorrow bills will be paid... still have to work out Christmas gifts for the kids though.

On top of all of this, my parents have been driving me crazy about Christmas... when are we coming over?... when are we going to do "our" Christmas?... my mom has called me countless times pushing the issue and just about driving me to my breaking point.  All I can think about is what I absolutely HAVE to do... TODAY!  I can't possibly wrap my head around tomorrow, much less next week.  Why on earth does she keep calling and pushing for the details of a Christmas I've done basically nothing, thus far, to prepare for?

The requests and demands have been overwhelming and I feel like I'm going to explode... or implode... something has got to give.  My dad even asked me if I could sign a Christmas card for him with sign language... he literally wanted me to draw  the hand signs for sign language for the signature on his card.  I did not even know how to respond... he's asked about it more than one.  I don't know how to make it more clear that I do not possess the artistic skills it would take to accurately, and intricately, draw tiny pictures of hands in various and contorted positions.  And, once again, I feel like I've let him down.

To add to the crazy request of drawing sign language, and my mom's incessant inquiries about "our" Christmas, she even had the nerve to suggest that we have "our" Christmas on Monday... that's two days early and I haven't purchased or wrapped a single gift!  What on earth is going through her mind.  She calls frequently and chatters about this and that while  I'm trying my best to trudge through the absolute, "must do" items on my never ending "to do list".

Then she said something odd... she said "I know I've added to your stress about Christmas and I'm sorry.  I will make you this promise... I promise I won't do it next year".....

I left those words sink in... "I promise I won't do it next year"........

My parents are 79 and 80 years old... it dawned on me, rather suddenly, that there is the real possibility one or both of them could not be here for Christmas next year.  So many of my friends on Facebook have posted lately about missing their parents this holiday season... their parents who have either  recently, or not so recently, passed away.

I don't know when, exactly, my parents got old.  But they did... they shuffle slowly from room to room... repeat things (again and again)... argue about the mundane, unnecessary things.  They call me, often, with conversations that begin with "I know you're really busy, but....."  I am asked to come over at the drop of a hat to fix their DVR, change a light bulb or battery, or move the refrigerator away from the wall so they can unplug it (don't ask)....

I get frustrated and annoyed... but today, it occurred to me that while I'm just now catching on to the fact that they are in their twilight years, they've been aware of it for some time...  Is it lonely or scary to be at that point in your life?  I don't know.  I don't know what they reflect on, what they regret, or what they wouldn't change for anything.  I do know that they are reaching out... in the ways they know how... for contact... for interaction with me and with my kids...

I'm still stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted.  That hasn't changed.  But I sincerely hope and pray that I will find the patience and understanding to be there for them with a joyful heart and gratitude simply for them... they are here today.  That is all we are guaranteed.  Tomorrow is anybody's guess.

So while I'm weary, sleep deprived, and emotionally bare... I am going to bed.  I am going to sleep now.  I hope, and I pray that I wake tomorrow with a new found appreciation and abundant gratitude for my mom and dad.    I don't know if we will have Christmas with them next year, so I am going to do all that I can to enjoy this Christmas with them...

I would encourage you all to reflect on the things you may be taking for granted... even the things that are currently driving you mad....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Random Things From My Dad - HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY DADDY!

This post is a little late in coming, but then again, so are most things in my life right now.  I haven't written anything in a while, as I find myself slowing rising from a self-induced hibernation of sorts.  It's hard to articulate exactly, but I think I'll refer to it as "PTDD" - Post Traumatic Divorce Disorder.  That's probably a separate blog in itself, so I will just leave it as... "I'm Back!!!!!"

So what better way to celebrate my return to blogging than a new "Random" post about my dad.  Although this one isn't so much about what he's done for us (which is a lot).  Instead, it's about something we did for him.

 August 31st was my dad's 80th birthday.  That's a pretty big milestone and it made me ponder and reflect a little more deeply about the imperfect, flawed and yet tender relationship I have with my dad.  He yells... a lot... but he's also generous to a fault.  He really would do anything for his kids and family that he is capable of doing...

I find myself thinking about my grandfather a lot - my father's father.  He died when he was 81... I was 24 and my dad was 56.  He passed away Christmas morning of 1989.  It was by far the most bittersweet Christmas ever... even now.

So now my dad is 80 and I'm 47.  How much time do we really have left together?  No one knows, but our time is definitely limited.  He is still active and goes somewhere almost everyday.  He shops a lot (as evidenced by these posts!).... and he tinkers in his garden and with the yard.  But the years are showing... he stands a little less tall than he did last year, as his shoulders being their downward slope... his steps are more like shuffles as he makes his way from room to room.  He fell a few months ago in a neighbor's yard because he just lost his footing.  Just a few scrapes and bruises, but an ominous reminder none-the-less that he's not getting any younger.

So as I pondered all of these things as his 80th birthday drew near, I felt like we needed to do something special.  Only I had no idea what that might be.  We don't have a lot of money to buy anything extravagant.  Truth be told, however, even if we did have a lot of money I don't think there's anything we could have gotten him that he would have really wanted.  I thought, and thought, and thought... and then we came up with something special... something from me and the kids.

We put together a stack of note cards that listed 80 things we loved about "Papa".... Coming up with 80 things was pretty challenging, and some of them were a little silly, but we did it!  The kids decorated each card with markers and then we taped them all together to make a chain.  We put together a video and showed him the video as we presented the cards.  B E S T  B I R T H D A Y  G I F T  I D E A  E V E R.....  Here's the video:

I think my favorites are "most stylish" and "best stocked snack pantry".... but there are a lot of good ones in there...  It was fun to put together and a really good exercise for my kids to really thing about, and appreciate, everything that Papa does for us.  I have to remind them sometimes, that he loves us every bit as loud as he yells... and he truly does.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

See the People

Okay... so here's another post that has nothing to do with cake, or cookies, or sugar, or anything edible for that matter.  It also has nothing to do with my dad.  It's just something that has been on my mind for some time and that is the issue of gun control... but really, it's not about gun control at all.

The Democrats vs. the Republicans.... Liberals vs. Conservatives... who's right?  In my opinion, Nobody has it right.  We are so focused on guns... who has them, who can get them, what kind they have, how many guns they have, how many rounds they will fire, etc.  Do I think we should do background checks on anyone purchasing a gun?  Absolutely... I think it's a good idea to know who owns what.  It seems logical.

Will background checks and further restrictions on guns affect random shootings and mass murders?  Would it have prevented the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook?  I seriously doubt it.

Everyone is so focused on the guns... the weapons... how easily they are purchased.  But what I don't understand is why no one talking about WHY these shootings are occurring?  I have a theory about that... but I'm not sure I have a solution.  At least not one that can be legislated.

Basically, I think our society is screwed up, backwards, and places emphasis and the spotlight on all the wrong things.  We put such a premium on celebrity, beauty, fame and fortune.  If you're beautiful and on television, you are revered and idolized in our society.  The same goes for professional athletes.

And all of these horrific acts of violence?  They get the attention of the media... the perpetrators are "glorified" on television and on the internet.  Everyone has an opinion and everyone talks about them.  They are famous.... they are celebrities.

In our society of beauty, perfection, notoriety, and celebrity, it seems that THAT is what everyone strives for and measures their own personal worth by.  Of course, everyone can't be famous, but do we all want to be perfectly beautiful? (which, by the way, I think most of us are... but not in the way the media and social networking defines it).

I think all any of us want is to be seen and heard.  To feel like we matter... like we make a difference in someone's life.  How many of these violent offenders were invisible to us?  To their classmates, co-workers, family and friends?  Did they go through everyday feeling like they didn't matter... like they were somehow flawed and not good enough for, I don't know... anything or anyone?

I don't know.  I'm certainly not trying to say that we should have empathy or sympathy for them after the selfish, destructive, and altogether horrific acts they committed.  But what about before that?  Did anyone see them?  Did anyone interact with them?  Did anyone look them in the eye and ask "how are you?" and really want to hear their answer?

We live in a fast paced, superficial and shallow world, for the most part.  Most of us are lucky enough to have family and friends who see us and acknowledge us.  Some, however, aren't so lucky.  How easy is it to feel completely invisible and insignificant in today's society?  I work from home... if I didn't have kids in school, I'm not sure how much interaction I would have with people on a regular basis.  I need that interaction... that acknowledgement... that realization that people know I am here... that I count... that I matter.  We all need that.

We try not to look at the people on the corner with their signs asking for help or food.  We tell ourselves they are lazy or just con-men.  That could never be us.  But could it?  If I didn't have family and friends, how easily could that be me?  I don't know... I don't want to know.  I'm grateful that it's not a fate that seems one stroke of bad luck away.

What about the kid in school who's awkward... who doesn't quite fit in?  Who doesn't have the social skill set to maintain friendships or maybe even conversations for that matter.  How do we perceive and treat them?  How we feel about ourselves largely depends on how we view others.  No one wants to be that person ignored, whispered about or made fun of.  I think those misfits and outcasts scare us... they scare us because we desperately fear being one of them.  Anything to feel superior and rationalize why that would never be us.

We are all born with infinite possibilities.  But genetic limitations and life situations slowly, one by one, take away options for success... options to thrive.  Without parents to encourage us... financial opportunity to take advantage of sports or the arts... without teachers invested in us as individuals.  Where we live, who the people are that surround us in life, opportunities, or lack thereof, all shape who we become.

Hurtful words, neglect or abuse of our physical body or, even worse, neglect or abuse of our soul and spirit, all shape who we become.  The kind of person we will ultimately grow into being.

Are we so concerned with ourselves that we fail to see those around us?  Those in need of acknowledgement, understanding and acceptance?  I think we all fail to recognize the power and value of kindness... be it in act or words... a little kindness goes a long way.  Unfortunately, I think a small amount of hurtful words or actions can go even farther.

So while you're out and about today... living your everyday, vanilla, "normal" life... take a look around you and "see" the people you encounter.  You have no idea who is struggling with what... how deep their pain or scars might run... you don't know if just a kind word or gesture from you might just turn their day around.... it might open a window into the possibility that they are not alone... that they matter... that they are seen.

I try to see the world, and people, through my daughter's beautiful eyes :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Story Behind the Cake - Jimbo

Every cake has a story, really.  I mean, it was someone's birthday... they really, really like chocolate, or she loves anything pink and girly.... There's a reason... a story... about why a cake was made and why it looks and tastes the way it does.

But some cakes have a bigger story.... an amazing story... a story that needs to be shared much more  than the cake.  This is one of those stories.

Brenda and Jimbo... friends of mine for years from karaoke (yes... karaoke ;).... a table I always felt welcome to join anytime I ventured out into the world of karaoke at local venues here in Austin, TX.  There is a small group of people I know from this particular niche.  And each one of them is very special to me, and each for different reasons.

Brenda and Jimbo are that couple that is always smiling... always enjoying their surroundings, each other, and just life in general.  They are people that instantly bring a smile to your face when you run into them.  Always positive, kind, and kind of kooky fun. the story... Back in March of 2008, Jim went on a routine business trip to China.  The trip was supposed to last 7 days.  While there, he became ill.... gravely ill.  Apparently he had a blood clot in his legs that traveled to his lungs.  The situation went from bad to worse very quickly.  He was put into a drug induced coma and given less than a 50% chance of recovering enough to even make the  trip back home.  Originally, he was in Shanghai and was later transported by air to Hong Kong.  He was on a ventilator, had a tracheotomy, and was unconscious for most  of his ordeal.  His 7 day business trip turned into a 7 WEEK nightmare.

Can you Imagine Going Through This in a Foreign Country?

Prayers for Jimbo Were Being Lifted Up like Nobody's Business

Brenda would give us updates online as to his condition.  Many of his friends, myself included, added them to our prayer lists at church.  Each time Brenda posted, I was so afraid I was going to read "he's gone..."  I prayed really hard for them both and very honestly, often my prayer was just that he be able to travel home with her.  Recovery seemed like such a long shot.  I just wanted him to make it home and be allowed to pass here with family and friends.   I could not bear the thought of Brenda traveling back from China escorting a coffin.  And the outlook was so bleak, I was terrified this was going to be the case.

Initially, the reports and updates went from bad to worse to nearly impossible to imagine.  The odds of a recovery seemed about as possible as my becoming a prima ballerina... each time I saw an update about Jim, my breath would catch just a bit, wondering if this was the day.... the day the battle was over.

Amazingly... A M A Z I N G L Y, Jim slowly started to improve.  He was awake... he was off the ventilator... he was sitting up... he was eating... communicating... talking....

I was amazed at God's grace in this entire situation.  The strength of Jim and Brenda... the overwhelming support from family and friends... the incredible and wonderful prayers that lifted them both up everyday.   7 weeks and 2 days after their ordeal began, Jim was headed home... alive and definitely on the road to recovery.

Just a few short weeks later, Jim was to celebrate his 50th birthday.  Brenda asked me to make the cake.... I was thrilled to be tasked with such an honor.  The photo on the cake is Jim on a snow covered mountain top after a tremendous hike.  What a fitting image to celebrate the birthday and life of a man who had overcome mountains just to survive....

I am so blessed, to this day, to call Jim and Brenda my friends.  I am honored to have had the privilege of making this cake to celebrate Jim's life.... they are amazing and wonderful people, with beautiful souls and generous hearts.  Jim continues to deal with issues related to this event.  But both he and Brenda face it head on, with a positive attitude and gratitude for each day they are given.

Thank you, Jim and Brenda!  Thank you for your most inspiring story... thank you for your gift of friendship.... thank you for being you....


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Random Things From My Dad - #13

Lots of catch up on the "Random Things" posts!  While I've been busy with life and such, my dad has not slowed down in his random gift giving....

Last week I had the pleasure (?) of going on an overnight camping trip with 40 plus 5th graders (yikes!).  Picture a camp sight straight out of the 1950's and that's where we were.

I think we should call it "flashback camp".... how many memories does this conjure for you?

With the cinder block cabins, an activity center with ping pong and Foosball tables, a cafeteria and a lake (well... I think it was really a pond, but they called it a lake)... it was "camp" in all it's glorious mayhem.  The weather was not terribly cooperative either (below 50 and raining!), so the outdoor activities were wrought with mismatched layering of an odd assortment of clothes, rain ponchos and plenty of coffee (adults only, of course).  Anyhow, I digress.  This is not about the camping trip, but about my dad, right?

We left on Thursday morning and came back Friday afternoon.  Not only did I have to make arrangements for my 7 year old son for Thursday afternoon and evening, I had to do something with my dogs.  In steps my mom and dad.  Our dog Lucky is quite the escape artist, so we triple checked the yard this time and made sure to block any possible "exits".   The second dog, Coco, is much more manageable as she has learned that "home" is really the best place to be and she's not all that interested in venturing off.  Even if a gate is left open, she will remain in her yard.  She KNOWS who feeds her :)  But again, I digress.

Lucky is a Lhaso Apso and needs regular grooming.  I'm ashamed to admit that I let a bit too much time go by between groomings and he was sorely in need of one at the time of this camp out.  I tried to get him into our regular groomer, but they were booked into the next week.  I hated to bring this overgrown, shaggy dog to my parents' house, but I really didn't have a choice.

Okay... it's not the best photo, but who really wants to take a picture of their dog that desperately needs to be groomed?  Anyhow, this is Lucky... yes... that blond pile of hair on the bed is actually a dog.  The black nose gives him away.

A face only a mother could love?  I don't think so... even with all his glorious shagginess, how can you not love that face?  Kind of reminds me of Chewbacca from Star Wars!

So... our overnight camping trip came to an end (I know it was just one night, but I swear all the moms were packing their stuff up, lightening speed and loading those cars faster than anything I've seen in a while!  It may have been one night, but I swear time slowed to a crawl and it seemed like about 5 days).

We drove the hour and half or so back to school just in time for school to let out.  We picked up my son and headed home.  The kids were really anxious to see the dogs, so we went and picked up the dogs from my parents' first thing.  And what did we find when we got there?  A new dog??? No... but it sure seemed like it!

My dad actually found a place that could groom Lucky that same day and had him bathed, groomed, and looking quite handsome upon our return. 

Let me just add that my dogs aren't the greatest on a leash... we have a really large backyard, so actually "walking" them really isn't necessary.  I shudder to think of the chaos that ensued when my dad, first put the leash on Lucky (he gets so excited he's hard to contain), loaded him in the car.... drove with this hyper, crazy whining dog in the car to the dog groomers (which he had never been to and I'm sure he had to get very specific directions to)... got him out of the car and into the groomers.  And THEN he had to do it all over again on the return trip.  I never, ever, ever would have asked my dad to take my dog to the groomers.  It never occurred to me that he would take it upon himself to do it.

So there you have it... another unique, yet random, gift from my dad.