Nothing gets me going like a good recipe and a new dish to bake. The planning, the excitement when the dish looks like its working out, the joy of seeing my family and friends gobble it up and eagerly looking forward to what I can bake next, everything about baking makes me happy (the messy kitchen counter top aside :p) Here's a peek into my kitchen, my cooking, my wonderland.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Flea market adventures

Our table at the flea market
As part of our launch, we participated in our first flea market - The Kitsch Mandi in the first week of February. It was a whirlwind of chaos, confusion, excitement, nervous fits and what not. What to make, how much to make, how to package, how will lil me handle it all? Aaargh.. I must have pulled out my hair umpteen number of times in all the craziness. 

Customers at the flea market
Thankfully, I had a great support team in the form of friends and family - Candice, Ambika, Arjun, Shubham and my ever loving hubby who was my driver, printer, cashier and what not. He was my rock and another solid rock - my mom who came down from my hometown just to help her little girl launch her business officially. Yes, I have the best mom in the world, period....
Our character bookmarks cum visiting cards

 Our menu was simple - red velvet/death by chocolate smash cakes in a jar, Stu the starfish, Bella the naughty nymph, Boo meringues with choice of lemon curd and chocolate ganache to dip and munch, (refer to the previous post for details on them), sticky chewy cocoa melts, Cinnamon lip 'stick' cookies, and hangover on a stick. 

Sticky chewy coco melts
We set up our table and then started the crazy crowds. The atmosphere was electric and we had a ball. People started trickling in in huge numbers and thus began our journey into our first flea market. 

With butterflies in our stomach, we waited to see who would buy what, would they like what we had to offer, and of course crazy fears like will anyone buy anything? What if they hate my stuff and what not :p

 My mind's a whirlwind on most days and this day, there were a dozen whirlwinds rushing through my brain. I kept my crazy fears aside and put on a big smile and waited for the day to unfold. It was truly magical, with the response that took my breath away. Happiness unlimited was my state of mind, whirlwinds clearly pushed away. 

Sticky chewy cocoa melts was the sleeper hit of the day. We saw people walk with it and send their friends to pick up a few as well. No points for guessing they got sold out first. 

The second favourite was the red velvet/ chocolate smash cakes. Proof was that we managed to sneak out one jar and gobbled it in seconds, licking our spoons, wishing we could grab a few more. But we resisted and kept them for our eager customers. Everyone oohed and aahed over our designer cookies and many took our cards for future orders. Happy days :)

The happy troopers sat and laughed with all our cheerful customers. Towards the end of the day, many came for seconds of our Hangover on a Stick (rum and raisin skewers) which were very potent (hic)!. 

Giggly girls loved the cinnamon lip sticks, in their vibrant red hues. 
Cinnamon Lip cookies

We gorged on all the yummy stuff on display on the other stalls and got a bit of shopping done as well. All in all, a great beginning. Our tired happy feet dragged us back home and we slept in contentment on a day well spent. For those wanting to tred on similar paths, here are a few tips on your first flea market, from someone who is only 3 markets old :p but has important flea market lessons to give - 

Me holding up my Boo Meringues

  • Pack everything to go as much as possible and have suitable covers for everything. We were all covered in a thick layer of dust owing to the open area. A neighboring stall was selling cheesecakes by the slice and it was open all day. I can't stomach the fact of how much dust buyers got in each bite. Eww.
  • Ensure a good display. Your creations might be the best but if they aren't displayed attractively, people won't notice in the manic rush.
  • Smile, it makes a difference. You might be fighting world war 3 in your head owing to lack of sleep, aching feet and crankiness, but if you are approachable, people will linger on around your stall, leading to potential customers.
  • Keep a lot of business cards handy. A lot of people don't remember your brand name as much as you'd like to think they would. A business card ensures they have a name and number to contact when they remember your yummy creations, days later.
  • Stay hydrated, you don't want to faint and miss out on your first flea market.
  • Get friends to help. No you aren't superwoman/superman. You need a dedicated cashier along with yourself handing out the goodies. 
  • Keep visible price tags for everything along with names of dishes. People like to see information on display instead of playing 20 questions with the stall owners.
  • Keep enough stocks handy and plan on how much to bring according to the crowd.
  • Always check out previous flea markets of the organizers  This one time, we went to a new group's flea market and came back with boxes as the crowd turnout was pathetic. All the stall owners sat with woeful expressions and were swatting flies in boredom (just kidding about the flies bit :))
  • Lastly, have fun, don't stress yourself out. It is tough, it is hard work, but at the end of the day, it's all worth it...

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Dessert Island

The new year whizzed past me and how. My first post for the year and it's 3 months overdue. A big apology to my readers. However, I have some fantastic news to share which I probably hope will make you'll less mad. I launched my home-based dessert outfit in February 2013 and I am officially a home baker who sells her yum bakes to customers. The Dessert Island is alive..  Yayyy :) 

Join us on Facebook by clicking here. Go click it NOW... You can find all sorts of pics and updates and much more..  Now a lil something about my venture for those who don't wanna head over to FB to find out more - 

The Dessert Island is a place where desserts come to life. We don't just make desserts, we create characters that you would love to take home. The population of this island grows ever so often, with new characters coming to life in this magical place. Drop in, take a tour, pick a character to take home with you. If you'd like a new character, give us a holler and we shall create one just for you. Who knows, he/she might be an inhabitant of the island one day. 

We have four characters as of now. First I'd like to introduce Fae:

Fae the fairy princess

Fae the fairy princess:

A magical island needs a magical fairy and that's where Fae comes in. 

She loved desserts so much that when she was asked what she would like to be marooned with on a deserted island, she chose a whole island with desserts. 

If that wasn't enough, she brought them all to life so that they could all live happily ever after. 

Fae can be seen on the winter solstice night, waving her wand and conjuring up new and yummy creations to join her family at The Dessert Island

Next on the list is the ever loving Stu - 
Stu the starfish

Stu the starfish: 

Stu was a humble starfish who lived in the ocean. The eternal bachelor boy that he was, he longed for some excitement. Sure, the corals were good for a few occasional laughs, but young Stu kept looking for a place where he could feel like home. That one day arrived when he heard sounds of laughter from an island as he was swimming along the sea. Always one for adventure, he hopped on to the nearest tortie (tortoise) and off he went to explore. Next thing he knew, he was on an island where the party never stopped. Fairies, owls and other magical creatures sang, danced and lived happily on this magical island. Each one of them were desserts that had come to life and partied all year round in their magical abode. They greeted him with open arms and next thing he knew, he was living in the island, which he now calls home. As is the custom, he got turned into a yummy dessert to be part of the island. He got to become a buttery vanilla bean cookie with his goofy smile making everyone smile around him. If you wanna meet Stu and his friends, head over to The DessertIsland, take a bite or two.. We promise, you wouldn't wanna leave...

Bella the naughty nymph

Next up, Bella - 

Bella the naughty nymph: 

Bella was the average teenage drama queen who got shipwrecked and was washed ashore The Dessert Island. The magical island took her in and the creatures looked after her like she were their own. At first she couldn't believe her eyes. Talking starfish, blue candy owls, a friendly ghost who was perfect for her as she could eat him and still fit into her gorgeous bikinis as he was a diet friendly dessert. Soon, she was up on her feet, matching steps with Stu and Boo, the friendly ghost who soon became her best buddy. As tradition states, she had to be immortalised into a dessert to be part of The Dessert Island and she was done so in her favourite avatar - an itsy bitsy vanilla bean bikini cookie, soaking up the sun. If you come to the island, you can probably spot her surfing, with a Appletini in one hand. She is most sought after at bachelor parties at nearby islands to add her naughty charm to the do.

Last but not the least, the cutie pie Boo
Gossipy Boo

Gossipy Boo:

Boo is a friendly ghost who loves to chat, so much that his nickname is gossipy boo. He floats around the island gathering all the gossip. He is a favourite with the ladies, not just because he is irresistibly charming, but because he is a dieter's delight. He is truly light as a feather and women chomp him up with no guilt thereafter. One can spot him by the shore of the island, taking long gossipy walks with his best friend Bella, the naughty cookie. Want to know what the island folk are up to? Boo’s the guy to meet.

So there you have it, my baby venture. Do like us on Facebook and join us at the island. Your support means the world to me and will help me take my baby steps with more confidence...