Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sarcasm! Wow, That's ORIGINAL!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

John (that's my husband, for you newbies) is an absolute master of sarcasm. This is not a good thing. Half the time even *I* can't tell if he's being sarcastic or not, which has led to more than one tiff around bathing suit season. ("Wow, your butt looks fantastic in that. No, really.")

I think the problem is he's too subtle. If you're going to be sarcastic, and you actually want people to know it, you have to give them some clue. You know, like this:

Is this person really glad you're "here"? No, of course not. Just look at the signs!

1) It's misspelled, thereby signifying "your" not worthy of spell check.

2) There is no exclamation point, since that might betray some small enthusiasm over the prospect of your presence. Can't have that, now, can we?

3) The gratuitous quotation marks positively reek of passive aggression. Visions of jilted dates and stranded little leaguers spring to mind.

All that, with only three little words! This baker is superb.

So, how can you, the consumer, incorporate a little sarcasm into your own cake orders? Here are a few handy tips:

1. Add quotation marks to everything you don't really mean.

"Quotation marks: allowing you to tell lies with a clear conscience since 1945."

2. Omit enthusiastic punctuation.

Just try to read this cake without sounding sarcastic. Yeah. Exactly.

3. Misspell their name. (Especially effective when combined with tip #1 or #2.)

Now this is what I like to call a "sarcasm score!" Present this at the after-game dinner and just watch all those mopey, dejected faces turn into bright red, angry ones in no time at all!

Mary Anne E., Angela M., Sarah C., & Janet R., you guys are absolutely "awesome."

- Related Wreckage: Say What?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

San Francisco Summary

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We had two great events in the Bay area. At Copperfield's in Petaluma, Amy of Carbolicious provided these gorgeous (not to mention delicious) cake truffles:

And we also had Beth of Out to Lunch Catering provide a yummy chocolate sheet cake. The Copperfield's staff was particularly sweet to us, too. Thanks, guys!

Here are our Wreckplica contest winners:

The Wreckage is strong in these ones.

And their entries:

This one gets an honorable mention, too, because Sandra made it entirely of Twinkies:

Talk about an inside joke! [buh dum bump!]

In San Francisco we visited Book Passage, a tiny store with a big heart. Y'all packed it out, though, and John and I really enjoyed the more intimate setting. Here are our three Wreckplica winners:

And their entries:

(This belly cake really gets around!)

The goodies here were in the form of mini cupcakes, and were provided by Michelle of Teeny Cake and Lena of Sweetface Bakery. Thanks, ladies!

To see all of the Wreckplica entries for these two events, check out the CW Facebook album here.

NOTE: Would the sweet young lady in Petaluma who communicated with me via a hand-written message please e-mail me? Thanks!

I Call Fowl

I dunno, would you say some hen-pecked Wreckerator just winged this one?

I mean, I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but this isn't exactly poultry in motion.

Now this, on the other hand...

Yep, that's a dead ringer.

Hey Dana S. & Elin A., you know the expression "running around like a chicken with its head cut off"? Well, apparently, if they keep their heads, they just lay there niiiice and still-like.

- Related Wreckage: Creations That Might Possibly Be Representations of Turkeys

Monday, September 28, 2009

'Twas a Sweet & Starry Night in the Jet City

Monday, September 28, 2009

I've been looking forward to posting this since Saturday. [rubbing hands together gleefully] So let's get to it!

The setup: What do you think would happen if two bakeries received the exact same phone order, but interpreted in two very different ways? That was the inspiration Paul of Jet City Cakes had when he and Matt from Starry Nights Catering got together to provide the cakey goodness for our signing at Third Place Books in Seattle.

First, here's Matt's order form:

And his gorgeous cake:

(It tasted heavenly, too. Raspberry cream - yum!)

Next, here's Paul's order form. Do you see the tiny difference?

No? Well, maybe you will when you see his creation:

Wait for it, waaaiit for it...

(Four "tears", purple iris, and fancy piping: Check, check, and check!)

Here Matt and Paul ponder their order forms:

And then size up each other's creations:

(I love this photo.)

The fabulous thing about this collaboration is that it allowed Paul and Matt to work to their strengths. As you can see, Starry Nights does more elegant, traditional work, whereas Jet City really shines with the crazy, sculpted designs.

By the way, both of these guys are up for The Best of Western Washington awards in the Evening Magazine. Click here to vote for Jet City, which is up for best cake shop, and click here to vote for Starry Nights, which is up for best caterer (login required).

[announcer voice] But wait, there's MORE!! How about some cupcake Wreckplicas?

Our grand prize winner:

(Her lap, her lap, her lap is on FI-YUR!)

And our other top two "winners":

(It's a Dalek. Obviously.)
Plus a few more of my favs:

You can view all of the entries on the CW Facebook page here.

Thanks to all of you who came out, the Third Place Books staff, our fantastic driver William, and of course Paul and Matt! John and I had a fantastic time in Seattle thanks to all of you!

You Can't Get There from He-ah

Hi, Guys! Anne-Marie here. I live waaaay up north, in the beautiful state of Maine (State motto: "Crap, it's cold!").

In case you were wondering:

1. No, we do NOT all own snowshoes and snowmobiles.

2. Yes, we CAN make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night without the use of a jacket or a flashlight.

3. Yes, we actually DO use the word 'wicked' in everyday conversation, and not just for the entertainment of you tourists.

Next, a few more Maine factoids:

State flower: The Pine Cone. Sure it smells like sap and dirt, but when your nose is frostbitten, everything pretty much smells the same anyway.

State pet: Moose. (Granted, this isn't terribly realistic. I mean, that grass is green.)

State Bug: The Lobster. Break out the butter, folks!

(Little known fact: When you drop a lobster from approximately three feet, it almost always lands on its shell.)

So there you have it: A summary of all things Maine. Next time you're up here, make sure you try the bug. It's only two bucks a pound, ayuh!

Thanks to Allie M, Samantha P. and An O. Nymous, who are obviously wikkid smaht.

Powell's Portland Pastry Party

For our first "world" tour event away from home, John and I boarded a plane the morning of the 25th, flew for eight hours, and then were taken straight to Powell's from the airport. (There's nothing quite like entering one of the world's largest book stores rolling all of your luggage behind you, btw.) We were astounded to learn that some of you had already been waiting there for hours. Wow. I would make a crack here about Portland needing better entertainment, but frankly I'm just too darn flattered. Y'all rock.

I was immediately ensconced in a back room where, single-handedly, I signed 350 books in just one hour. As super powers go I realize that's not terribly impressive, but I take what I can get. :) (The folks at Powell's are awesome, too. Thanks, guys!)

Then John and I got to do the fun stuff: our slide show presentation and talk with the crowd. For those of you who weren't able to be there, Becky B. was kind enough to send in some audience perspective pics:

Er. It was a bit crowded.

But enough of that. Wanna see the CAKES?

Of course you do. Here ya go:

Angel & Robin of The Dessert Tray had the audacity to bring an airbrushed CCC. Rest assured that I gave them the ol' stink eye for it, too.

I couldn't be too upset, though, because they also brought this:

See if you can't count all the Wrecky homages in this thing.

(Sperm balloons! Yay!)


The Western Culinary Institute students provided this:

And this:

"Book Singing" Heheh.

I *think* that's a mouse and a baby pacifier on top. I, uh, didn't ask.

And finally, Jessica from Black Sheep Bakery provided the vegan chocolate cake, which I think was one of the first to go:

Yep, I'm pretty sure everyone got cake.

Next: the cupcake Wreck-plicas! Here's our grand prize winner, made by Elizabeth:

Our other top three "winners":

And a few more of my favorites:

You can see all of the great entries in the CW FaceBook album here.

I'll be posting pics from Third Place Books in Seattle very soon. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to Elizabeth of Artisan Cake Company, our grand prize winner, for allowing me to use her Wreckplica photos. (John and I were so frazzled that we neglected to take our own. Oops!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Sweets: Tour De Force, Pt 1

Sunday, September 27, 2009

John and I are having a fantastic time meeting so many of you on the "world" tour, and we're also having lots of fun seeing what the fabulous bakers who volunteered their services at each event are bringing to feed you guys. We'll be posting more pics of those cakes as the tour progresses, but for today I thought it'd be fun to troll through these bakers' sites and show you some of my favorites.

First we have Johnnie of Something Sweet Cake Studio. I've already posted the great Wreck Tribute cake she made for Orlando, so here are a few of my favs from her site:

This is competing with the Darth Vader cake to be my all-time favorite baby shower cake. C'mon, a snorkeling/scuba-diving baby? What's not to love here?

And on the more elegant side:

Gorgeous flowers, and I like how Johnnie hand paints so many of her cakes.

For Portland we had three separate people/bakeries providing goodies: Sadie Damon and her pastry class students from Western Culinary Institute, Jessica Hill of Black Sheep Bakery (who provided a yummy chocolate vegan cake), and Angel & Robin of The Dessert Tray. Since Angel & Robin are the only ones with a site for me to lurk on, here's one of their oh-so-lovely designs:

Note how they were able to make cherry blossom branches withOUT making them look like poo logs. See? It CAN be done!

For last night's event in Seattle, we had Paul of Jet City Cakes and Matt of Starry Nights Catering collaborate on a cake project that will absolutely knock your socks off when you see it. But that will be another post, so you'll have to stay tuned. [evil snicker]

Paul and his wife Liz specialize in sculpted cakes, like so:

(Look at the detail on the screen! Suh-weet!)
And so:

(Why yes, that IS an Alien wedding cake. Why do you ask?)

Matt and his wife Denise (and helper Heather), however, specialize in more traditional designs:

Those are hand-painted chocolate shells. Gorgeous.

Like I said, stay tuned for lots more pics of the "World" tour events. John and I are scrambling to get our photos in order and post-able while traveling like mad every day, so just bear with us a little bit longer.

Thanks again to all of today's bakers. You guys have made each stop so much sweeter (pun intended) and it's been fantastic meeting you all!

- Similar Sweets: Cake Nouveau