Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hoo Hoo wants baby owl cake pops?

I thought today that maybe I should change my blog to "The Naughty Blogger" instead of "The Sassy Lamb". It's been hard keeping up with hoo, right? I do a lot of blogging in my head, like 'ooh, this will make a good blog'. I write it all out in my head, take pictures in my head, imagine the comments people will make and the enjoyment that will ensue but then I never login and make it happen like I intend. I do it on facebook too! Anyone else write their FB status in their head but then never type it out for everyone to read?? I know I'm not the only one!

Anywho, today I am blogging and that is better then going one more day with no blog, right?

I recently made the cutest little owls pops for one of my favourite clients, Genya Fox. She runs her own jewellry company called GFox Gems and her work is beautiful. I am going to buy a pendant from her. Maybe as a "present to the boss" this Christmas.

I thought I had met Genya and her partner Milli through a mutual friend but I recently found out that Genya found me all on her own "because she loves cupcakes" as she put it. These kind of serendipitous meetings and discoveries have been happening to me a lot lately. I take it as a sign that I am in just the place I should be right now....spreading baby snowy owl cake pop happiness!

Every time I make a new pop design I of course have to make plenty of extras so as to get the design and recipe just right. Speaking of recipes, these were my first gluten-free pops and they were SO. DAMN. TASTY. So I had a nice selection of leftovers to share with my girlfriends last Friday night. It's hard to take first bite of the teeny owl noggin when he's looking at you with those wide owl eyes....

Sometimes it's nessacary to kiss your pop goodbye before you bite his cute little head off. But, after the first bite it gets easier, trust me.

I'm excited for all the Christmas pops that are stored up in my head. And now all you gluten-free pop lovers can dry your tears and lick your lips cause these pops are now yours for the eating!

The Sassy Lamb

Sunday, September 26, 2010

reindeer? more like skeindeer

With all this cupcake talk you might have thought that the only thing this Sassy Lamb has time for is baking. But you would be mistaken. In fact, as soon as the September breeze rolled into town I have been getting the itch. The itch that can only be scratched with a trip to Romni for some chunky wooly delights. That's right, I knit, obsessively.

I'm like a kid in a candy store when I visit the wool store. Row after row of colourful yarns filling little cubbies and overflowing in baskets, each one whispering "oooh look at me, I'm 20% camel hair" or "pick me I'm chunky and hand dyed". If The Sassy Lamb headquarters didn't already look like a wool store itself, I would have no reason to not spend every penny I have on wool. But it does, so I'm forced to choose only the ones I need for the projects at hand.

And there are quite a few projects currently at hand. The Christmas orders are rolling into my inbox and I'm busy rolling skeins into wool and knitting up test gauges. And I still have time to take more orders, so send me an email if you've got something in mind. Or have a look through the site for inspiration.

Here's a few fun Christmas ideas.

For the text addict...

For the tea addict...

For the zen addict...

For the kibble addict...

For the fashion addict...

WELL, see ya later!

The Sassy Lamb

Monday, August 30, 2010

Muskoka Beer Festival - Success!

I just got back from the 2nd annual Muskoka Beer Festival and boy was it a fun time. I sold hundreds of cupcakes, tasted a few hoppy ales and baked myself in the sun. It's amazing when you believe in what you're doing how anything you saw as a negative before, suddenly becomes positive and anything that seemed like work before, seems so easy now and a thrill and a privilege. I couldn't have been happier wandering the grounds with a tray of beer cakes offering treats to one and all. When I was working as an event photographer, I cringed at the thought of barging into conversations to take photos and I dreaded that time of night when everyone passed tipsy and moved on to down right drunk. But I seemed to thrive in the same situation when it was my cupcakes I was selling! Hurray!

I was also selling these Sassy Lamb trucker hats at the event and I can't say how exciting it was to look up and see random people wearing my hats! They were for sale at the gate so it was a nice little surprise when someone showed up at my booth wearing one. Here is a little papparazzi shot I snapped of one random purchaser. I think the text she is sending went something like this:

"you have got to get down to Muskoka Beerfest, I found this totally rad hat and they are selling these cupcakes for only $1 - they will change your life!"

I also met this cute little couple. He bought her a whole tray of vegan cuppies at the end of the day. She told me he does stuff like that for her all the time. I liked them so much I gave them my tray! Ha! Note to self: purchase some take away boxes for those wanting large quantities!

And sweeter then every cupcake I sold on Saturday is my boyfriend's mom, Nancy Robinson. She offered to walk around in the insane heat selling cupcakes for me. I popped a Sassy hat on her head and she was off! She sold 2 whole trays in no time! What a star!

Thanks to everyone that helped me out this weekend, especially Marta who I could not even have fathomed doing any of this without. And if all goes as planned I will be doing another festival in North Bay in the next couple months. I will keep you posted!

~ The Sassy Lamb

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weiner Pops & Vag Cakes

So I warned that my next blog post should be viewed with caution...and I reiterate:

***If you are easily offended by food resembling sexual organs, you may want to close this particular post and check back in a week or so for less x-rated material.***

And speaking of checking back for the next post, I have been a naughty little blogger. I have not blogged for over a month! That kind of behavior deserves a spanking! Sorry, just preparing for the photos to come.

I crafted these little weiners for my friend's bachelorette party a few weeks ago. We tried to be classy. We started at the spa at Blue Mountain moving from hot tub to steam room to cool pool to hammock and repeat. But alas, the first word I'd use to describe this group would not be classy. And when we got back to the house, we filled up the party pump with Sangria, loaded up the stereo with some retro ridiculousness and took a series of photos with these penis pops that we all vowed would never see the light of day.

Here are the ones that I CAN show you...

And here's a shot of the cute little bride to be enjoying a tiny dick on a stick...yes we came up with far too many names for them.

You'd think that would be enough for one weekend...but NO, not the Sassy Lamb. Why stop with penis pops when there are vag-cakes to be made?

These were for the previous night at my friend's cottage...we had a good giggle while chowing down on them...

So if you have a bachelorette party coming up and you think your friends would enjoy an x-rated treat, then put in an order and feel free to send this on to your friends.

Till next time!
The Sassy Lamb

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beer and Cupcakes in the Rain

SO! The last few weeks have been insane! The Toronto Session Craft Beer Festival was this past weekend and it was The Sassy Lamb's first time participating in a festival. The lead up to all this was pretty intense. Besides the literal THOUSANDS of cupcakes I had to bake, there was also icing, equipment, signage, staff, uniforms, transportation, the list goes on. But I somehow managed to get it all together with the help of SO many people. So first off, thank you all so much, my friends, family, the Griffin staff. You all supported me in big and little ways and I love you all for it!

Not only did I have the festival on Saturday, but I also had a friend's wedding on Friday night. So i found myself on a beach in Elmvale many miles from Toronto (on the G20 weekend) the night before one of the biggest nights in my career so when I did get home, I stayed up into the wee hours putting the final touches on the uniforms I had designed for my staff. And I have to toot my own horn a little, because my girls looked so darn cute! Here we are after setting up in the rain (grrrr). Nevertheless, spirits were high, how could they not be with Julia and Susie by my side!

We had 3 special cuppies on the menu at the beer festival and they were all paired with different beer. Blondes, Porters, Wheats, Nut Browns, Auburn Ales....mmmmmm.

Whoa, getting off track. So here's the menu! I think the beer cakes were the biggest hit, no surprise, it was a beer festival after all. But the other 2 got pretty good attention too, particularly the vegan one. I swear, if crack didn't exist, there would be people doing tricks in the street for peanut butter sandwiches. No matter the audience I just can't go wrong with peanut butter icing.

Oh also, thanks to Mill Street for supplying the beer for the beer cakes! I am a Mill St. Superfan!

We sort of turned into weird cupcake voyeurs throughout the course of the festival. We just loved watching people have that first taste of each of the cupcakes. And it was great to watch them come back for seconds and thirds and even 7ths! Here's a shot of my best customers.

Unfortunately, the attendance was a bit lower then expected due to the rain and the lighting on fire of Yonge street and all so I have JUST a FEW cupcakes stored up in my freezer :)

But such a fun time and I can't wait until August to do it all over again at the Muskoka Beer Festival. Get your tickets!!!

Few more photos from the event are here.

Till next time!

PS - my next entry might be x-rated (that's what he said), so if you're easily offended, you might want to skip over the next blog.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Angels, Devils and Asses

I just came back from an impromptu family reunion at my mom's beautiful new house in Sunny Sundridge. The whole visit sprouted from the rumour that my cousin Shaun would be visiting from England and suddenly my Aunt Dawn was travelling from Huntsville, my cousin Kristi came from Sudbury with sweet little Hannah, Poppa popped over more then once and AJ and Uncle Mur came too! Ironically, we never heard a peep from Shaun! But what a super visit with everyone else. The weather didn't cooperate, but that made plenty of time for baking with mom's new Kitchenaid stand up mixer...even the shnauzers wanted a taste of these puppies...i mean cuppies ;)

And speaking of puppies, we had a lot of good old Schnauzer cuddle pile ups this weekend. Ever feel sad? Cuddle a shnauzer. You will be cured of all sadness.

There was also lots of time for Hannah my cousin's daughter who I adore. We took a trip out to Uncle Mur's farm to see the lambs. Hannah was sure we could catch them if we "hurry auntie jaime, hurry!" So we ran through the field chasing a herd of lambs hand in hand. Pure joy. We never caught a lamb but I did scam some raw, freshly sheared (and very stinky) wool that I am going to wash, card? spin and eventually knit up just like Hannah's Great Nanny used to do.

We also got a visit in with Jack (or Jacque according to Hannah) the resident Donkey. For the first time ever, I heard a donkey HEEHAW and it was horridly hilarious. Here's Jacque looking like an ass.

And here's Hannah looking as sweet as ever. How can one girl look so angelic and like such a little devil. These photos were taken only a split second apart. We all have an angel and a devil inside us...such is "the sassy lamb".

And on a business note, I dropped off this striped little number for Kristi's sister in law, Sharon. Her little man Logan is going to be "as snug as a bug in a rug" as my grandma used to say.

And now, after much fun in the lack of sun, it is time for me to get back to work!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Love...not just for brides and grooms

So my good friend Sheila called me this week for gift ideas for her friend Lisa who is getting married this Summer. Sheila is Lisa's maid of honour which has been hard on Sheila since she's in Halifax this year going to school. Sheila's missing a lot of events around Lisa's wedding, namely this bridal shower. So we brainstormed some whacky ideas like a singing cowboy or a stripping telegram but with time NOT on our side we decided I would whip up a batch of cupcake pops with a bridal theme.

I researched it for a while and came up with these darling little dears. These grooms are so cute, I just want to marry them!! I know, lame joke. But I am queen of lame jokes and corny puns! Take me or leave me!

The delivery of these happy little couples was fun. I rented a zipcar and zipped out to Pickering. And zip I did!! I got a silver Toyota Matrix and boy was it quick! I was deeking in and out all over the place, gave a few slow pokes the iron fist and cranked up some MJ, that is until I reached the DVP and was forced to a halt. Is it just me or was that highway very badly planned? Anywho, it didn't dampen my spirits and the newlyweds made it to their destination in good order. I just hope the bride-to-be opened them quick and didn't leave the poor buggers in the sun. And I hope somebody makes good use of the coupons I left inside!

So, anyway! This all leads me to conclude that it's hard to away from the ones you love. I miss my little half midget kitten as I like to call her...that's a long story.... And I miss my Britty. She's moved even further east to Korea to be with her lover and it's separated our little pack of chiquititas which leaves a little hole in my heart. I even miss Jenn who lives only 10 minutes east of my house but has been working her hot little ass off to write the LSAT on Monday. I know there are 4 million other girls out there that compare themselves to the Sex and the City foursome....well dammit! Count us as 4 million and four!

And remember, you don't need a cute little groom to be in love!

Big said it best: "You're the loves of her life, and a guy would be lucky to come in fourth."

Here's a pic of the four of us modeling our bags that our dear friend Alison made for us. We'll all be together again soon ladies!! xo xo xo xo - a hug and a kiss for each of you.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whoa, that's a lot of cupcakes!

In three weeks I will hopefully have baked 3,000 mini cupcakes (WHAT??) for the first annual Toronto Craft Beer Festival. The event is being held at Sunnyside Pavilion on the west end of the lakeshore and there will be 22 craft breweries in attendance. It's being hosted by a great little pub in my hometown of Bracebridge (Muskoka for all those tourists) called The Griffin Gastropub.

The Sassy Lamb will be the only dessert vendor at the festival so I'm preparing 3 different cupcakes. The first will be the cupcake I entered in the Iron Cupcake competition in March that's made with Mill St. Brewery's Coffee Porter. And Mill St. has offered to donate the beer!! Thank you, thank you thank you!!

Here is a photo from the Iron Cupcake to jog your memory...

The second will be a gluten free vanilla cupcake with a possible cream cheese icing...still deciding on that. And they will look something like this...but unlikely I will be able to afford a whiskey soaked cherry to top each one :(

And the third will be a chocolate vegan cupcake which I hope to top with the crowd favourite, peanut butter icing. They will look something like this.

I'm really excited about being at this event. I also have regular mini-heart attacks to accompany my mini cupcakes when I think of the sheer volume of ingredients, space and sanity that I'm going to need to pull the whole thing off. Thank god my two great friends, Julia and Susie, have volunteered their day to help me sell cupcakes. I think it's gonna be a super fun day.

And of course, we'll be needing some cute and sassy uniforms for the occasion! I picked up some fabric the other day on Queen West and my mind is swirling with designs for our aprons. These colours are perfect! They are a perfect mix of my website and my twitter site! Mmmmm, branding...feels almost as good as a cupcake in your tummy.

And it's gonna be a hot sunny day, fingers crossed, so we'll also be needing to protect our little noggins. No, they won't be knit, You'll just have to come to the festival to see us all decked out sassy lamb style!

So if you love beer, live music, sun and cupcakes, then get yourself to Toronto on June 26th. You can buy tickets here. Heck, you better buy one for 10 of your closest friends while you're at it!

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fire Trucks and Butterflies

This weekend was a busy one at The Sassy Lamb, I had a fire truck cake to deliver on Friday and my first wedding cupcakes on Saturday. I had it all scheduled out but of course ran into troubles late Thursday night when I couldn't get my icing to turn red. It just kept going bright pink which simply would not do for a fire engine cake. The cake was for this girl's dad who is the fire chief and who turned 60 on the weekend. So I trucked myself out to McCalls, which is NOWHERE near Sassy Lamb Headquarters, for the ingredients I would need. Things did not go as planned there either but I managed to finally get a fire truck cake that was bright fire engine red and I'm pretty happy with it. Hopefully my client was too!

So I really didn't get started the wedding cupcakes until 9pm which resulted in my being up until 5am decorating! You would think that I might be crying on the kitchen floor, or smashing and burning my kitchen up but somehow I got into a groove and had some fun with it...or maybe i just lost me mind!

Me and this guy became pretty good friends...

I call him Sir Greeny Fondant.

So before I show you the pictures of these cuppies, I should start by explaining the theme of their wedding a little. It was for my friends Jon and Anna who are simply the sweetest and "most meant to be together" couple. Apparently they are super nerds for this violent video game called BioShock. Careful, the video is violent, you've been warned. So they wanted their cuppies to fit into that theme somehow while still being classy. So we went the art deco route, as that is when the game takes place and did a black and white checkerboard floor in fondant...hence Sir Greeny Fondant who would later darken to be Sir Blacky Fondant. And because Jon and Anna have been vegans for the last 4 years, I whipped up what have to be the best chocolate cupcakes (vegan or non-vegan) I have ever tasted...sorry to toot my own horn. Topped them with a simple vanilla icing and tada!

But wait, there's more! Apparently, the morpho butterfly plays a big part in the BioShock game and it also was a big reminder of Jon and Anna's trip to Costa Rica recently so they asked if I could top each cuppie with a butterfly somehow..I considered gum paste, fondant and finally settled on rice paper (thanks Martha Stewart!)

When in doubt, I always ask Martha.

So I set to work hand drawing (well tracing) 60 rice paper butterflies, then painting each one with turquoise luster dust and raspberry vodka and then cutting each one out and sticking them into tiny fondant butterfly torsos. Phew!

and here are the butterflies in stage one.

this is the staging area...where they go from cupcakes to stars!!

and here they are all ready for the spotlight!

So that was my weekend. Spent the rest of it enjoying the insanely beautiful weather. It was mine and Kevy's anniversary so we dined at Table 17 in Leslieville. Sunday nights they do a fixed menu and holy cow! YUM!

Kevy is still drooling over his chorizo pasta and I am still dreaming of duck confit lentil salad...

Go there and eat, we recommend it. But maybe make a reservation, I think we might have been lucky to get in without one. Oh and the playlist (not sure if it was a one time thing) was great. Not sure how Madonna and Prince are still somehow classy and romantic, but it was.

Happy baking!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Welcome to The Sassy Lamb's Blog!

So, I thought it was about time I bit the bullet and started a blog.

I've been wanting to for ages and have had all the same fears that I assume most beginner bloggers have (do I have anything to say? does anyone want to hear it? what if I'm boring?!) but here I am, blogging. Funny how you can worry so much about doing something and plan and procrastinate and make excuses and if you put that much energy into just doing the thing you're afraid of, you could be really great.

Anyway, for those of you that don't know the Sassy Lamb, that is me, Jaime Dobbs. I started this business after quitting my graphic design job in the travel industry. The business is basically a smorgasbord of my creative outlets, including, but not limited to my baking and knitting.

The real catalyst for finally buckling down on the blog was today's adventure at the Iron Cupcake Toronto. This month's secret ingredient was flowers and I spent a good chunk of time researching edible flowers and their many tastes and debating what to make. I finally settled on Lilac and Lavender. Good, decision made, now I was on the hunt for Lilacs, especially after my good friend Coriander Girl told me lilac is super expensive. So I got out my snippers and prowled the neighbourhood, I even went as far as jumping of the street car mid-trip when I saw Trinity Bellwoods was overflowing with gorgeous lilacs in both dark and light shades. Point is, I stole a lot of lilac. I whipped up a test batch and after many soy milk infusions of lavender and lilac, I was happy with the flavour. I took that test batch to a friend's party and the reviews were great.

Here comes the "fun" part. I may or many not have had a few too many drinks at said party. I probably should've gone home much earlier and avoided finishing that french rabbit that I love so much. But alas, I did not. I woke up Saturday morning, downed tylenol, had a very late breakfast with friends and set to baking. I had just purchased the cutest new apron, so I was dancing around the kitchen to dirty dancing, measuring, whisking, preheating the oven.

Now here comes the dumb part. I regularly store my frying pan in the oven. When I am not hungover, I remember to take the pan out of the oven before preheating, but alas, I did not. Not to worry, I slipped on my cute pink oven mitts and set the pan on top of the stove to cool and continued pouring, mixing, etc Not sure what my intention was, but I needed to move the frying pan and my wine-soaked little brain had a momentary lapse. I grabbed a hold of that searing pan with my bare hand. I'm not sure if it happened in slow motion or if even my nerves were drunk and taking a long time to deliver pain messages to my brain but I feel like I held on to that sucker for way too long. The result was and is a nasty burn on my right palm.

Now here comes the pathetic part. I am now mixing batter, separating eggs whites, filling cupcakes liners and removing things from the oven with my left hand. My right hand is permanently stuck to an ice pack. Things are going slow but they are going. I'm not sure what happened next, I know i needed a new bowl, i know I was careful, but next thing I knew my giant salad bowl is smashed in a trillion pieces on my kitchen floor. You'd think this would be sad, and I almost did cry (not for the bowl, i hated that bowl anyway), but for a moment I almost thought, this is like a movie, it's funny. Don't cry. And look on the bright side, thank god you're wearing shoes! So I take a step towards the closet for the broom and pain shoots through my foot. Amazing, a piece of smashed bowl has landed somehow, between my toes. I hobbled upstairs in hyperventilating tears, rinsed out my toe and stuffed it with toilet paper, hobbled back downstairs and proceeded to sweep with my left hand (note to left hand: you suck, stop relying so much on ole righty, start pulling your weight!) Sweeping took forever!

Not bad for all left handed eh?

And here comes the tasty part. I headed to bed soon after all these shenanigans and woke feeling much better. Gathered up everything I needed and headed down to Liberty Village. I was almost in the clear but managed to stall Ross' truck in an intersection. Luckily Susie's window was down and she was able to simply tell the motorbike dude flying toward us to "please not hit us, we've just stalled". Don't want to imagine what "women driver" thoughts must've been going through his head. But we made it, set up, tasted many yummy cuppies but did not win. But I say this story is worth more then any prize being awarded.

Wow, long story. Here is a picture of me with my lady cakes for your viewing pleasure...that's right, it was also nude iron cupcake apparently...

And here's one of my seester tasting a cuppie...

Thanks for reading! More adventures coming soon...

Jaime (The Sassy Lamb)