Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

As 2010 winds down many people are dutifully making their resolutions lists.  I don't do resolutions.  I am the type of personality who consistently reflects on how such and such could have been done better or how I could react differently.  2011 is already showing a lot of changes for me.  Some good, some not so good, and some of the "have to wait and see".  Those are the ones I really don't like.  So I have decided to control the ones that I can and try not to control the ones that I can't.

In 2011 my main goal is to do a little soul searching and find what it is that REALLY makes me happy.  The world has worn down my weary soul and I plan to claim it as my own once again.  Then of course I have the "lose those last 30lbs" dedication that has become a life long goal I believe.  At this point I am sure that I came out of the womb proclaiming that "I WILL LOSE THE LAST 30LBS!"  but to untrained ears it just sounded like a lot of crying.

I have a confession to make... For a while I stopped baking all together.  Someone told me my work sucked and it knocked me down hard.  Others started making cookies and I thought, "Well if I suck they can have it all."  I just recently started baking again and today I finished my first batch of decorated cookies in 4 months.  The ideas just stopped coming and the desire was gone.  I stopped doing a lot of things.

Baking is my refuge from the uncontrollable things going on in my life right now.    I may not be able to control what's going on in my world but I can damn sure control what goes on in my kitchen.  Will this lead to something grande and wonderful?  Only time will tell until then I offer this...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So this is Christmas...

The presents have been opened, the leftovers are being eaten.  Thank goodness for leftovers because I am exhausted!  This year we stayed home and celebrated Christmas, just the 4 of us.  On Christmas Day we stayed in our pjs most of the day and ate dinner around 7.  It may have been the longest day ever, mainly because the kids woke up at 4:30 am!

Since we weren't going to be with other family I decided to try some candy recipes.  Years ago my Grangie gave me her recipes for candy and honestly I have not had the guts to try it.  She is a hard act to follow.  I did make candy this year, I just didn't make her candy.  Chicken?  Yes.  Maybe next year.  Maybe.

My main "TA-DA!" was Oreo Truffles.  It was relatively easy to do and it all started with a package of semi sweet baking chocolate, oreos and cream cheese.
Roll the oreo and cream cheese into 1 inch balls (or 2 inch :o)) and place them on parchment paper. Refrigerate for about an hour. 

Take the balls and dip them into melted semi sweet chocolate.  I couldn't get the balls to stay on the skewers to dip so I used a 2 spoon method.  I placed one ball in one spoon, scooped up the chocolate in the other and worked the ball back and forth between the spoons.  Amateur but hey it worked! Place the balls back into the fridge and chill for another hour.

I am in the middle of moving and started packing up about a month ago, leaving only the things I use everyday out.  So naturally, the slow cooker has been packed away.  I needed to melt the chocolate and didn't want to take the chance of burning it on the stove top.  I was faced with 2 choices: Dig through mountains of boxes or buy another one.  So off I went to the store.  On the way there I knew that I didn't want to buy another big slow cooker.  I picked this little darling up for $10 and I must say it was a truly genius moment!  It worked perfectly for melting the chocolate and I know it will work great for cake balls!  PLUS, $10?!  That's fabulous!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Bearded Lady and Whoop Yer Mouth Choc

Whoopie pies have infiltrated Funky Munky!
 DEELISH little treat has been dubbed "The Bearded Lady".  It is a vanilla cake with a hazlenut and peanut butter filling.  It reminded me of a trip to the circus.  I couldn't think of a catchy name for it so I recruited the help of my sister.  Thus we have dun dun daaa "THE BEARDED LADY"!!!!!

These lil darlings are chocolate chip cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting.  My son came up to me with chocolate all over his mouth and said, "Mom those are good but in order for it to whoop my mouth I believe I need another."  and my nephew used to call chocolate, choc... So.... these have been dubbed "Whoop Yer Mouth Choc"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

S'more for me!

Inspired by trip down memory lane thanks to "old skool" Pepsi (see prior post), this little darling is perfect for that sugar fanatic.  What's better than sitting around a campfire, hopefully with water near by, toasting marshmallows and smushing them between graham crackers and chocolate?!  

I am a "feelings" kind of person so now the task was laid before me to transform that feeling into a cupcake.  There are 100 to 1 s'more cupcake recipes out there and after searching for one I liked I soon found myself swimming in graham cracker, ganache, and marshmallow creme goodness.  Have you ever actually looked for a s'more recipe?  If you decide to take on this task I suggest you block out at least 2 hours. Seriously.

Back to the cupcake... I wanted a true graham cracker taste in the cupcake and decided to do a flourless cake, using the graham cracker as the "flour".  In theory this was an excellent idea but in reality I was disappointed.  The cupcake had an "eggy" taste to it and the consistency was "ew" at best.  For the chocolate I made a chocolate ganache and the frosting was marshmallow and cream cheese.  My taste testers (AKA the fam) gobbled them up as soon as I gave them the go ahead but this one isn't a winner for me.  Back to the drawing board I suppose...

It may have not tasted like I had hoped but it was a very photogenic little fella.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oh the memories...

As I was walking down the aisle of the supermarket, lost in the sea of labels swearing that their product has the lowest calories, carbs, cholesterol, blah blah blah.  Torn between a bag of apples and that box of pop tarts claiming that it's made of whole grains, I caught a glimpse of red, white, and blue.  Since this is not July my interest was peaked and I slowly meandered in that general direction, careful not to show to much excitement.  Lord have mercy what did I see but a glorious "old school" can of Pepsi looking back at me!

Immediately I am taken back to me sitting in the floor of my room, my 8 track blaring Bad Company, walls covered with poster of hair bands, mementos of crazy times stuck in precarious places, a cherry mash and a nice cool Pepsi.  It was during these times that I was sure of what I was, where I was going, and how I was going to get there.

As the feeling of nostalgia wears away and I find myself standing  in the aisle with teary eyes I thought to myself, "To hell with eating healthy I am going to bake cupcakes that take me back to that."  So in true rebellious fashion I grab that 12 pack and dare someone to say a word about it.

On the way home I decided to make a chocolate cupcake with Pepsi incorporated into the batter and for that cherry mash deliciousness I stuck a maraschino cherry in the center.  Once the cupcakes cooled I mixed up a Pepsi and powdered sugar glaze and poured it on top.  For more cherry flavor I made a cherry cream cheese frosting and topped it with a cherry.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Twilight Funky Munky Style

The "tween craze" Twilight meandered into my kitchen on one warm summer morning last month.  The client of the twin tweens gave me these ideas: zebra print, hot pink, Twilight, and cupcakes.  Commence the brewing of the ideas!

 I have seen sooo many Team Edward and Team Jacob cookies that I just couldn't bring myself to do it that way.  So after bouncing some ideas off my fellow cookie connoisseur here is the result.  The cupcake is a devilish devil's food with cinnamon and nutmeg.  It is topped with a cream cheese frosting and pink sanding sugars.  Now for the Edward vs Jacob national crisis...

The lips are made of fondant and royal icing.  They were inspired by the Rolling Stones (What's up mic?) and True Blood.  Ok, vampire done now what in the world am I to do for the werewolf?  This one stumped me for a while.  I thought of doing a paw (to kidlike), a werewolf head (a little gross for tweens), and so on and so forth.  After days of contemplating what I was going to do with the werewolf cupcakes an idea sprang up like a careless weed after a summer rain.  What about a medallion with the marking of a werewolf?!  I swear sometimes I am so dern clever I surprise myself.  
I have to say that I was really happy with these little darlings.  Score 1 for funky Munky!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fearless Funky Munky

I am a special education teacher who has a dream and Funky Munky was started to support my teaching habit. (o:  I have never been to culinary school nor have I taken a cooking class.  My experience comes from trial and error, honest taste testers, my mom, and my grangie.  I really don’t know what brioche is and I am intimidated by a culinary blowtorch. (Images of my hair on fire spring to mind)  I may not be all of those things but let me tell you what I am.
I am a Texas gal who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge.  I am a wife, mother, sister, and daughter.  I am fearless in my flavor combinations and have the courage to say “Ew! That’s disgusting!” , trash the whole thing and start over.  (baking soda in salmon patties, not a good combination)  I am the girl who started a baking company without thinking twice about it.  I am the girl who will bring the party to your mouth. (keep the thoughts clean please) 
My mom taught me to make something out of nothing and my grangie taught me how to get around in the kitchen.  It is because of these two women that I will mix cayenne and beer with chocolate.  I am artistic by nature and have converted that to baking.  I refuse to do something that has been done, so all of my works have my own little spin on them.  I am quirky and funky, I have a hard time staying in the lines when I color, and if you tell me that I can’t I will show you that I can.
You may think, “Why Funky Munky Cookies”?  Well let me tell you why.  In my family all of the kids are referred to as monkeys.  My son looked exactly like the drunken spider monkey on Dr. Doolittle, no joke.  I found the stamp of the two monkeys and saw my son and daughter.  The funky comes from me cause that’s just what I am.  You may be wondering what my goal is with this?  Of course it’s to make Funky Munky Cookies a household name, to carve out my spot in the culinary world.  Culinary expert, no way, but I know food and I know people.  I am an expert on what makes people happy and that’s what is going to make Funky Munky Cookies explode! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July Funky Munky Style

Here is my lil guy again.  I made these cookies for a beauty pageant at a park celebration.  I just know that one day my cookie orders will outweigh my freebies...

50th Birthday

These were for a avid hunter/fisherman's surprise 50th birthday party.

Here you go Mr. Man!

These were for my husband on Father's Day.  They represent all of the things he really likes.  The hamburger helper hand and number 33 represents his favorite Nascar driver Clint Bowyer.  The Old No 7 is his favorite whiskey and that crazy looking thing is suppose to be a wild boar.  Of course the golf represents golf.  My favorites out of this set are the hamburger helper hand and golf cookies.  
It is quite funny that his driver is sponsored by Hamburger Helper.  I bet you are thinking why.  Well let me tell you!  When we were first married, almost 19 years ago, all I knew how to make was Hamburger Helper.  I was very proud of myself.  I was 17 and making dinner for my husband every night.  I mean we were eating gourmet meals! :o)
My wonderful husband put up with it for about 3 years and then stood up and proclaimed, "NO MORE HAMBURGER HELPER!  I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!"  To this day he refuses to eat it.  I was so hurt when he did this.  However, due to this I was forced to move out of my comfort zone.  Now I am a bonafide advanced foodie!  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nothing KIDDIE!

This was for a “tweenager” birthday.  She didn’t want anything “KIDDIE”!  I gave the cake some texture by playing with the frosting.  The more I played with it the more I liked the look.  It has a bit of a rock-n-roll sophisticate look.  Yeah, I just coined that term    ;o)
She wanted to give chocolate lollipops to everyone in her grade.  There were 70 something made.  To be so simple these were very time consuming.  I am waiting for someone to ask for brownie pops, now those are going to be fun!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gage’s Monsters

These little monsters are entirely a creation stemmed from my mind.  The orders for the cookies were, “Just Happy Birthday Gage is fine.”  I thought, “Oh no.  That just won’t do.”  SO I asked the customer for permission to do something fun.  The cookies were for 2 grandmas who were driving 3 hrs away in order to surprise their grandson.  His mom had a conference up north and he thought he wasn’t going to get a classroom birthday party.  I was told that the cookies stole the show and made them look REALLY good!  This is why I do it.  I am a small part of a special event in someone’s life.  My goodies make people smile and that is awesome!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Inspiration comes in many disguises…

Inspiration comes in many disguises…
When I draw or sketch up my ideas for orders I feel very capable of handling my pencil or pencils.  In my head I say, “Amy you can SO do this and it will be awesome!”  However, the closer it gets to the time to begin working I start stressing NOT SCREWING IT UP!  Normally I consider myself pretty talented and artistic, a “free spirit”. (Nearly, I do like to shower and shave…)  Anyway back to my stressing, I start doubting what I can do and sometimes I even start formulating excuses to give the customer as to why I can’t do it.  (The excuse that I spotted Bigfoot in my backyard is totally buyable.) 

Ok back to the blog.  I am stressing and plotting my escape route when it dawns on me, “HEY what about a glass of wine!”  Of course I fall to the peer pressure because my inner dialogue is so charming and convincing. 

Drinking the wine while I decorate does help to ease the stress.  It allows me to relax and “become 1 with the pastry bag”.  Now I just have to figure out how to justify waking up with the pastry bag in my bed… Dedication maybe?  

Time goes by so fast

Time goes by so fast….
My husband and I were married for 8 years before we were able to get pregnant.  Every month my heart was ripped wide open when the monthly reminder reared it’s ugly head.  We decided to adopt and started the lengthy process of open adoption.  We had to create a photo album depicting our life and attend countless workshops.  Our albums were then given to the birthmothers and we waited and waited and waited.

All of a sudden Joe got very ill.  He was sick to his stomach and feverish. It took his illness to make me realize that my period was late.  I took 2 home pg tests and went to the health center to have a blood test.  The result was the same.  I WAS PREGNANT!

My children are so precious to me.  Sometimes life gets in the way and I start to feel like I am not being the mom I should.  Or I have a hard day at work and am grumpy towards them.  I am trying to really pay attention to this.  My babies are a gift from God and I cherish them so.  I am not the loving gushy type but I do show my kids that I love them.  I don’t coordinate their clothes and most of the time I let them dress them selves.  Martha Stewart I am not. I just keep reminding myself that God knows my personality and He gave me these babies.   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Funky Munky Cookies & Cakes moves on up!
I catered my first event!  Well it wasn’t really a full-blown catering event but it was super cool!  I prepared pumpkin kiss muffins, traditional French muffins, cranberry orange scones, and chocolate chunk scones for the Chamber of Commerce members here in town.  Later that afternoon I delivered devils food cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to a Chamber dinner in a neighboring town.  I hope that this summer I will be able to really get my name out there and bust my business off.  I have a birthday cake to prepare for and I am very nervous about that.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is the most sinful chocolate dessert I have made in a long long long long, well you get the picture.  It is a dark chocolate and caramel pudding with shortbread layers.  I was not able to get a pic of the layers because my family practically inhaled this dessert.  I purposefully added small bits of chocolate into the pudding right before I plated it.  It was a pleasant surprise to have the contrasts of the smooth pudding, shortbread, and chocolate bits.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's all research


As you can see our family history is a history filled with outlaws. It is eery how comfortable my husband and son look behind bars.
     This was a trip to Boothill, Dodge City, Kansas.  It is one of the original jail cells that is left standing.  These cells held many infamous outlaws in their day.  My husband claims that he was Billy the Kid in a former life and as we walked around he would reminisce about the good ole days.  He tells these stories very convincingly and our son was buying it hook, line, and sinker.  
     Outside of the fort there is an old steam engine and train depot.  The kids climbed all over that thing.  They could not believe that people used to travel in it.  You can still catch the train in Dodge city and travel to Dallas, TX or up in Missouri.  They even have sleeper cars.  
     Now as we were touring Boothill my son asked us if we had to use the bathroom in an outhouse, if we had electricity when we were little, and if we had to ride horses everywhere.  I just thought to myself, it's official I am now an old parent, next stop the tween years.  The difference between now and the tween years is that right now I am smart.  Wow, this is going to be fun. 
     Of course we had to stop in the saloon.  We missed the cancan girls but were just in time for some ice cold sasparilla (rootbeer).  The kids thought that this was the most awesome part of the trip.  I just love this picture, she looks like she is having a cold one after a long hard day.  I do believe she has seen this pose before. LOL!    
     I didn't realize that Kansas had such a rich history.  Yes I am from Texas and am a bit of a snob but I am learning to appreciate other states.  SSH, don't tell my fellow Texans.  I have to research in top secret.  They must never know....

Mama Duck without her ducklings

The picture above was found on urbanfamily's flickr photostream.  

     I am feeling very melancholy tonight.  You see my kids have gone to stay with their grandparents for a couple of days in Texas.  A few years ago my husband was transferred to Kansas and we left our home in Texas.  Up until that point my kids had the wonderful privilege of living a few minutes from both sets of grandparents, their aunt, their uncle, and 5 cousins.  For the last two years I have not been home without my kids, well wait Christmas 2008 they were gone a week but I was heavily sedated due to a serious surgery.  So technically I don't remember them being gone.  
    We left home this morning and headed for Oklahoma City.  My daughter complained of a tummy ache but ate breakfast so I didn't think anything of it.  An hour and half down the road she stopped talking and just laid her head back in her seat.  Though I thought this to be abnormal I thought that maybe due to the time change and early hour she was tired.  She told Dad that she needed to throw up.  This is not good.  This kid can projectile like no other.  We stop at a station and she is shaking like a leaf on a tree.  I do the mother fever test and yep, it's positive.    We decided to go ahead and meet the inlaws in OK City and bring my daughter back with us.  We stop to eat and she only wants water.  Not good.  She sleeps on and off but wakes and complains of a sore throat.  Not getting better.  
     We arrive at the top secret meeting point AKA Burger King and her mood brightens some.  We go in and she orders mac and cheese.  Things are looking up.  She takes 2 bites and says she is done.  Now she IS a bit of a drama queen so I watch her when she isn't looking.  She coughs and winces, holding her throat.  Now I ask my husband for advice and I get the standard, "It's up to you.  Your the mom."  Lord bless him.  As I am deliberating inwardly my daughter looks up at me and says, "Mom, all I have to do is get through 4 days."  My 4 year old daughter is saying this.  I am still in shock.  She pretends to put on a happy face because she really wants to go to Ma and Poppy's.  
     Well Ma and I head to Walmart to get Ma up to speed on what little kids take these days.  Thermometer, Tylenol Cold, Ibuprofen, directions on how much and how often to take it, and sore throat spray in hand Ma gets in her car and speeds away with my babies.  Ok maybe it wasn't that dramatic but hey this is my blog.  As a normal person I know that my mother in law will take very good care of my daughter.  As a mother, that is another story.  I mean as we drove away I couldn't help but think, "You are a terrible mother!  You just sent your sick daughter away to get better without her mom.  What kind of mother are you?!"  Yes my inner dialogue can be quiet harsh.  
     Needless to say, everyone arrived safely to their destinations.  My daughter said that her throat still hurt and I immediately think "Meningitis!"  and my dear sweet husband says, "Amy, it is probably how she held her head in the car as she slept."  Yes he tends to be the rational one.  My son said, "Mom she started talking, ALOT,  so I think she feels better."  
     *SIGH*  Three days and counting.....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Love is in the air!
I am pretty proud of these cookies.  I wanted to try out my flower cookie cutter and I was bound and determined to use it!  SO I set about trying to come up with a design that would let me achieve this.  I knew that I wanted to use black, white, and red because those 3 colors are amazing together.  I was a bit concerned because black is such a hard color to get right for me.  The design that I sketched, that only one other person knows about and she ain't talking, just would not work out.  I am going to have to keep working on that one.  Stay tuned!  
So after the 3rd try at the other design I knew I had to come up with something else fast.  I got to thinking about the client the cookies were for and decided polka dots were fitting.  Presto!  Here they are.
The cookie is a cinnamon allspice cookie and the icing is royal icing.  I rolled the cookies a little thicker because they felt like they needed the weight.
I am pretty happy with these lil darlings!    

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You never bake for us anymore!
My family is always complaining that they feel left out and neglected because I don't make them goodies anymore.  Which in all honesty they are right.  I mean who has time to bake for your family when you are trying to get a business up and going?!  Well this last weekend we had a snow day on Friday and the roads were terrible!  So with the extra day I was actually caught up on everything that I have to do on the weekends.  I decided to treat my wonderful husband and kids to a chocolatety cupcake surprise!  
These wonderful little concoctions are cayenne pepper and cinnamon cupcakes with a chocolate ganache filling.  They are frosted with a dark and semisweet chocolate frosting infused with cayenne pepper.  The cayenne leaves almost a hot cinnamon feeling in your mouth.  It hits all areas of the tongue and it really wonderful!
Not long after my husband had eaten his 3rd cupcake he made the statement that it would be nice to have a wife that ironed his pants.  I simply stated, "It would be, maybe you should go find you one."  After a moments pause he said, "But I bet she wouldn't make delicious cupcakes."  He is such a terd. ;o)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Letting what happens, happen...
I had a customer order some cookies for a jewelry party.  This is what she told me, "It's for my sister in laws jewelry party and there will be a lot of older women there.  I am not sure what they like."  So, I started looking around on Flickr at my fav cookie artists there.  I attempted to do a few intricate lacework patterns but that did not work out at all.  I said a few words that would make my Grangie blush, took a deep breath and let it flow.  These are the result.  I started working with cookies in October and I must say that I have greatly improved.  I can see the mistakes on them but overall I am pleased with them.  Let's just hope the customer is too!