Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Dancer

I've been working since fourteen years old. That's twenty-six years (for those who are counting) of picking up a very wide variety of skills. People skills, cooking skills, patience, budgeting, cleaning skills, resourcefulness, computer skills, design, how to serve. In my humble opinion, that last one is the most important skill acquired in those twenty-six years.

Some I'll never use again, others I use everyday. I haven't mucked out a stall in several years, scraped the scales off a harvest of catfish or slung drinks to rowdy patrons, but I do appreciate that skills such as those, are the foundation to my 'everything else.'

When I first started my business, Sundog Marketing and Design a few (mere!) months ago, my plan, my goal, was clear. To provide top-notch local SEO and graphic services to small businesses in the state.

That vision is evolving....

I have had the privilege to serve a few women, much like myself, that aspire to something greater...independence. Starting a new business can be downright scary, so it's comforting to have a helping, steady hand and a cheerleader, ('HELL YES, you can do this. Now here's your homework').

I'm not sure what else to call it, so I'll go with 'Start-up Coaching,' is providing an energy that's transcending all of my work. From creating their new logo, building those first business cards to setting up a shiny new Google Plus Local page, as each puzzle piece falls into place, the excitement and worry and 'ohmygodIamreallydoingthis' becomes a sense of accomplishment, pride. I have become an excellent 'happy dancer.'

Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Twinkies

Apparently, Hostess may be closing down. Being a long-time fan of Twinkies made this especially concerning.  A world without Twinkies?? NOOOOOOO!!

Homemade Twinkies
Adapted from Gourmet Cookbook by Joy the Baker
Makes about 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 cup milk

Put a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Create your own Twinkie-like molds by wrapping heavy-duty aluminum foil around a 4-inch-long spice bottle. Leave the top of the mold open so you can pour in the batter. (For a how-to video, click here.)

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute in between each addition.

Beat in vanilla and almond extract. Reduce speed to low, add half of the flour mixture, and beat until incorporated. Add milk and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour, and beat until incorporated.

Spray prepared Twinkie molds with nonstick spray and divide the batter between them. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the cakes are just slightly golden and a pick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling with marshmallow cream.

Marshmallow filling
by Todd Wilbur of Top Secret Recipes

2 teaspoons very hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups (one 7-ounce jar) marshmallow creme
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine salt with hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let cool.

Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat until fluffy, using an electric mixer on high speed.

Add salt water and beat to combine.

When the cakes are cool, use a skewer or a chopstick to make three holes along the bottom, moving the stick around slightly to create space inside the cake. Fit a pastry bag with a small tip and fill it with the marshmallow creme mixture (or scoop it into a resealable bag and snip off a tiny bit of one corner; pipe filling into each cake, using the three holes.