I’m overjoyed I got to DC’s second food swap. Thank you so much to the organizers, Jess, Tanya and Claire for making room for me! I also wanted to share, that as I restarted this blog, you may have noticed it is no longer strictly vegan. After working at a professional bakery and seeing a very strong woman and her wonderful staff work, I realized something very simple: all food is sacrifice–messy, painful, hard won but full of life and love. That’s part of what I enjoy about the food swaps, that sacrifice means different things to different people. I like that the individual puts up what they are willing to give in exchange for something that they appreciate, whether it be the craftsmanship, the visual appeal, or the risk of trusting the reputation of the person that created it. As I try to explore food more openly as an omnivore, I am very excited to share with you here. Thank you for your continued support, and check out Jess’ blog about the swap’s philosophy on Witchin’ in the Kitchen, I love where her head’s at! If you’re interested in joining, please follow DC Food Swap’s Facebook page or website, I’d love to meet you!
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I hope you’re all safe and warm with your favorite snuggle bunnies! I was just feeling well enough to go back to work after a 4 day flu/head-cold and Halloween party at my house, but now Hurricane Sandy puts us at day 2 working from home!
We’re very happy and thankful for our warmth, safety, and internet connection!
So many occasions to celebrate with good food and good company. The past week produced many delicious adaptations and concoctions including fire roasted pepper and spinach quiche, mini cherpumple (mini pies baked into cupcakes), pumpkin chai rolls, and fresh picks for good ol’ apple pie (see links for original recipes and email me for my specific suggestions).
Don’t worry if you missed the occasions, you can still get yer fall on, homies! I’ve already started to take orders into December! Email me or visit the to order page! And if you’re hoping to catch me running around, I’ll be moon-lighting at Sticky Fingers a shift here or there, and I’ll also be at the next DC Food Swap, November 11th!
Hope to see you all soon!
You may be wondering, “Who died?”
Well, your favorite Katie B. has been going through a bit of a metamorphosis. Nothing gross, I promise. I’ve just changed jobs, zip codes, and I’m generally trying to take better care of myself. I’m living with the happiest bunch of nerds, spending more time with my loved ones, and trying to live a full life. I’m searching for a way to combine my love of people, service, food, and being a helper bee. Pretty much exactly where we left off, but without the perpetual 70-hour work weeks!
If you know me at all, you know I spend my “me-time” best in the kitchen. So I’ll be playing with my groceries and the oven, but meanwhile, it’s time to wake the sleeping beast, “Rise Gimme Dem Cupcakes!” So order up, buttercups! go visit the Gimme Dem menu or request something I’ve never tried before!
If there’s something else you’d like to invite me to join or create for, let’s talk! Maybe we can be uber cool and network?
I’ll try not to get distracted by my hunky bf…
Guess who got (another) job!? That’s right, the haphazard kt machine is gonna try a new combination of crazy starting this weekend as I start baking PT for Sticky Fingers in DC. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up! Learning from pros who totally took em down on Cupcake Wars?! No brainer.
What does that mean for Gimme Dem Cupcakes? GDC will be making it’s last for profit appearance this weekend at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers market in collaboration with V Picnic Club. To prevent a conflict of interest with my Sticky Fingers friends, I will only continue baking cupcakes for current friends and loved ones who already have my contact information. In the future, I still plan to take part in local events like the Capital Area Cake Show as well as collaborate with friends on other ideas, so you’ll still be able to catch some sweets or an empanada here and there. I’ll keep you apprised as the blog is re-purposed into a solely personal outlet.
It always seems like someone is tugging on this sugar mama’s apron strings, but now… Ahh, summer is my season. And considering Virginia lurches almost directly from winter to summer, it is KT time. No more trainings to staff, more daylight, less clothing, more time to listen to records and enjoy a nice porch! Even better, time to plan summer trips and time with friends. Read below for a list of things I’m really looking forward to this summer:
One of my favorite parts of these warmer months is the Farmer’s Markets! Between Lars and I we live next to two of the area’s finest Falls Church Farmers Market and Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market! This summer at Mt. Pleasant, check out my friend Jill’s new vegan food venture V Picnic Club (maybe she’ll team up with me for the next DC Grey Market?)! Last Saturday, Lars and I picked up some of her yums for brunch and I have never been so in love with KALE! Made our brunch! We also got a loaf of Rosemary Italian from Atwaters! With a some fresh asparagus and summer squash, we had a killer scramble going! I love, love, love lazy Saturdays.
Potlucks and picnics! Saturday we also met with friends for a picnic at Merridian Hill Park. Stretched out on blankets, it was a patchwork of paradise with fresh loafs of bread and delicious fruit mingling with the soft smell of an afternoon sprinkle of rain. Perfectly refreshing. Between the TAFT record club and birthdays, my mouth will be watering all summer.
Taking trips! Be advised, GDC will be taking some time off this summer and will not be taking orders on the following dates: July 3-7 I’ll be moving my bff to Laramie, WY (#allamericanmidwestbday) and July 19-24 I’ll be in Asheville, NC with the Gotrich family. Wish me well!
I hope we can make time to spend together with some sweet tea and something fresh from the garden! Who knows what the the summer heat will inspire in the GDC kitchen!
You know we’re always full-tilt boogey over here at GDC and sometimes it seams like I put a lot of work and effort into the littlest of projects, but that’s what makes every thing from our bakery so special. That said, it takes a dedicated team of loved ones to keep me sane.
The DC Grey Market was a definite success! After ordering tons-o-new swag from Moo, baking beau coup cupcakes and salteñas, labelling and planning logistics, coordinating around my defunct car and schlepping–it all came together! Set-up was a breeze and the day went really smoothly. I feel really good about Gimme Dem Cupcakes’ showing at the DC Grey Market, especially as our very first opportunity to sell at a public event! Even though there were so many bakers, I feel really good about the niche our vegan yums held out! It was also great to meet so many other vendors and see what they’re doing to realize their food concepts! We broke even and we got our name out there. More than that, it was really really amazing to see so many of my friends pull together and support me. I really feel kind of overwhelmed when I think about it. I can’t wait for the next one! I couldn’t have done it without a stellar team of volunteers* and Maya, the DC Grey Market organizer!
If any visitors from the market have questions about GDC’s market’s offering or the other items on our menu, please feel free to contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the pictures!
*Volunteers: at GDC HQ-Niva, Asmait, Joy, Anna, Boom, and Lars; at the register: Boom, Joy, Chuck, Dad and Lars; working the crowd: Boom, Dad, Lars, Jasmine; and even more friends that came to support: Patrick, Niva, Alan, Padmini, Braniff, Cynthia, Jill, Cynthia, Scott, Asmait, Adrienne, Sara, Kerrin, Alicia! Thank you all for being!!!
Quick update!!! As I blogged last week, the DC Grey Market is on for May 21st 12-4PM hosted by Local 16! They have registered 25 vendors and are putting them all up on the Grey DC website product page and they are expecting 1000-2000 people to come through the market all day! That said, if any customers want to turn in containers, I love recycling, and I do offer a dollar toward any subsequent GDC order for recycled tins/containers!
As I look at the monster preparation time required, I’m asking if my favorite helpers would like to volunteer and help me prep in the GDC kitchen! If it looks like the weather will hold out, I’m shooting to make as many as 800 minis (Dreamsicle, Chuck Raspberry, AmeriCAN Dream, Bananaramadingdong, and Chocomint) and at least 100 empanadas (both corn and saltenas). Dad will be standing by with me the day of to sell and answer questions! I can’t wait to meet the other vendors and see you all there! It’s going to be amazing!!!
Holy, moly. What an event. And I was only there for Saturday! The National Capital Area Cake Show was AMAZING! I’m so glad my friend Yuli encouraged me to go! After an evening baking with my family Friday, I started my day with an 8 AM class with Norm Davis on how he runs his shop and manages clients for his award winning cake business The Sweet Life. Afterwards, I met up with my friend Morgan and we let the sweet smell of baked goods guide us. There was a lot going on: more classes; vendor expo; entries for the wedding cake, themed, and divisional cake decorating contests; cookies; cupcakes; a live cake challenge with celebrity pastry chefs; free demonstrations and so much philantrhopy! Right up my alley! I was really impressed with the sense of community as well as the professionalism of the bakers, especially amateurs! Next year, I’m definitely taking more classes and loading up on the swag as much as possible. (full photo album of what we saw here.)
But my very favorite part was the Cupcake Cocktail Hour and Cupcake Challenge which Gimme Dem proudly participated in with what my sister like to call the “Plump and Juicy Fuzzy Navel Cupcake.” It was long week with the addition of bar training and spending time tweaking my recipe… but Friday night, with the help of my family, we nailed it. It took a lot of Schnapps and peach puree to get the recipe right, but we finally got a standout peach flavor to pop against the intensity of the orange zest.
I had a great time meeting spectators and sharing with the other bakers. On top of all that, I was shocked and surprised to get an email telling me we won second place in the amateur division! I am not ashamed to quote the email here:
from NCACS Cupcake Challenge <email@example.com> to Katie Beckman <firstname.lastname@example.org> date Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM subject Congratulations! Hi Katie,We are writing to congratulate you on receiving a 2nd Place Award in the 2011 NCACS Cupcake Challenge! The results are posted on the website at www.cupcakechallenge.org . Please send your mailing address and I will mail you the ribbon!
2nd Place, Amateur: Fuzzy Navel Vegan Cupcake, Katie Beckman
Thank you so much for competing and I hope that you will be returning next year to defend your title. The judges noted that not only was your cupcake delicious, but you did it with all vegan ingredients, which shows an added level of skill. They were very impressed! (For your personal bragging rights I will also note that your numerical score tied the winner in the professional category.)
Congrats,Melissa Westervelt & Megan FerreyCupcake Event Coordinatorsalong with the 2011 NCACS Committee
There were probably over a hundred entries and 40 or so bakers professional and amateurs. I got a lot of really great feedback and really feel like I got the opinions of my peers. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have won and I definitely wasn’t even expecting it. Gimme Dem wouldn’t be here without all you and it really shows. That said, I think a Gimme Dem Cupcakes and Empanada party is in order!!! Shooting for April 16th, I’ll confirm and send invitations this week!
So, I’m expanding my skill set. At the restaurant I have started training to be a bartender. Can you see me slinging beers and shaking up martinis?! Banter and booze. Yup, I can see it, too. So far, it’s really fun. I finished the first stage of training, and now I’m in the behind the scenes bar doing drinks for the main dining room every Sunday night until we coordinate a training schedule for the main bar. I haven’t mastered shooters or all the less frequently ordered mixers, but I understand the standard pours and I have all the basics for Artie’s favorites fairly mastered like martinis, cosmos, mojitos, and margaritas. I think I’m at the same stage with Gimme Dem where I’ve established my foundation of strong recipes and my method of service, and now, it’s time to expand!! I want more! I can do large scale production, I can deal with allergies, and I can make you smile. Now it’s time to take it to the next level! And maybe add a shot or two to brighten up our spirits.
About a month and a half ago, I registered for the National Capital Area Cake Show‘s Cupcake Cocktail hour tasting and competition. I’m working on a new Vegan Fuzzy Navel Cupcake (thank you barnivore!) just for the event and I can’t wait to see what else is out there! Orange you glad!?!?! Bwah! I hope you’ll consider coming out to support your favorite vegan cupcakes!!!!
My friends, I’m sorry my blog has been neglected. Please know Gimme Dem Cupcakes has been working and playing hard!
This MLK, Jr. weekend rounds out my holiday season, and I have truly been a very lucky girl. I think about all the people in my life, and I am so thankful. We exchange so many gifts of love. Sometimes in the form of new cooking tools for GDC, gardening gear for Harmony Gardening, goofy socks for my favorite derby girl, or mostly in the occasions to be together sharing food, laughing and learning.
I worked ahead and actually had a whole week off over the holidays to be with my family. Lars and I had a wonderful pre-Christmas with the Gotrich’s in GA, I came back for Christmas weekend lucky to find my mom was able to join us, and then we celebrated with my Grands the following Monday. Quality time was spent baking on my own, making phone calls to friends, late night gaming with my sister, and eating lots of delicious food. All these moments are so precious to me.
While I wish dearly to have a more normal work schedule, for now, I have been enjoying my work even when the hours and days run together; and I am so happy that after working so hard, there really is time to spend with the ones I love. Thank you all for being so patient with me. We all work hard, and I hope you find yourself refreshed by the new year and that you find all the time you need to be with the ones you love doing things that help you grow. Let me know if Gimme Dem can help!