Sunday, March 25, 2012

Love What You Do

 The beginning of this month marked the second year I've been with Enjoy Cupcakes. I was hired as baking assistant with no previous knowledge of baking. Well, except for the experiments I created in my own kitchen. Always having a love for sweets and a passion for food I knew this was going to be a fun job. I was absolutely right about that. It never really feels like work to me. Don't get me wrong, we are not dancing around in the kitchen like sugar plum fairies. It's without a doubt hard work. Especially trying to finish on time during our busy mornings. I enjoy it so much it never bothers me. Amber is the most amazing boss I have ever worked for. She is so warm and kind and such a fun person to work with. Assisting her for the past two years has been an amazing experience. I've learned so much from watching her work as well as all the little things she's taught me. I'm so thankful she gave me this opportunity. 

Along with working beside Amber in the kitchen I've babysat her sweet little daughter Opal. We watch princess videos on my phone and love talking about Disneyland. I've also worked with Amber's husband Kevin, with his team building events. If anyone reading this has been into the shop and met the cupcake "muffin man" himself, they know what an awesome guy he is. This family is truly special and I'm so happy to have them in my life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Salted Cashew Cranberry Ginger Bark

 Who doesn't love chocolate? Well, some people don't but there are many that do. Especially women and especially around that time of the month. Chocolate is rich in magnesium and can also boost levels of serotonin which are often times lowered in women during pms and menstruation. Instead of just eating a piece of chocolate, I thought I'd add some health promoting foods to make it even better.

I love ginger. It's a great warming herb as well as a digestive aid. It has antiviral properties and is also said to reduce inflammation in the body.

Cashews are full of healthy fats along with being a rich source of copper and magnesium.

Cranberries provide antioxidant protection. They are a great source of vitamin C.


Salted Cashew Cranberry Ginger Bark

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted cashews plus some for topping
1/4 cup fruit juice sweetened dried cranberries plus more for topping
1 teaspoon grated ginger plus more for topping
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
Generous pinch of salt

Using a double boiler or a makeshift one (small pot with a metal bowl placed on top) melt down the chocolate. When it's about halfway melted, add the grated ginger. Once all the chocolate has melted add the chopped cashews and cranberries. Mix well to combine. Transfer mixture to a wax paper or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread the mixture out evenly and top with remaining cashews, cranberries and grated ginger. I mixed the grated ginger with a little coconut sugar for texture. I like the way it came out. Lastly, top the bark with a generous pinch of kosher salt sprinkled over evenly. Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the bark has hardened.