Q: Do you have a bakery?
A: No. I just bake for my friends and family in my own little kitchen at home. If I can clone myself a few times, maybe I'll consider opening up a bakery... and that's a big maybe.
Q: Do you have any formal training?
A: Yes. I received my baking and pastry training from San Diego Culinary Institute. While attending pastry school, I did an internship at Opera Patisserie. But my most important training came from my grandmother and mother. They both love to cook and bake so I learned from them at a very young age.
Q: Your cakes are so beautiful! They're like works of art. Did you study art?
A: I took one art class when I was in junior high and that was it. But I do come from a family of very creative people so I grew up around art. My dad loves to draw and paint. My brothers and sister all have careers in fine arts, photography and fashion design. I also learned how to decorate cakes from reading cake decorating books and watching a lot of Food Network shows.
Q: Why is baking your passion?
A: Other than the fact that I have a terrible sweet tooth, I love baking because it's science and art. I have to think like a scientist when I'm experimenting with a new recipe. I need to know what each ingredient does and how much to use. I actually love the challenge of a failed recipe. It doesn't discourage me, it just makes me what to think harder and figure out how to make it work. And when I have a successful recipe, that's where the artistic part comes in. I love that I get to be creative and come up with different designs for cakes and cupcakes. And the best part is you get to share your creations with friends and family...and everybody gets to eat them :-)
Q: What advice/tips would you give to an aspiring baker or pastry chef?
A: Follow your passion and success will follow you.
Don't be discouraged by your failures; learn from them.
Get a good pair of shoes; your feet (and back) will thank you.
Have fun in the kitchen :-)
Q: Where do you find inspiration for all your recipes?
A: I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes I reminisce about a dessert I loved as a child. Or I could be eating at a restaurant and I'm blown away by a dessert so I go home and try to recreate it. I could even be at a grocery store and find a new ingredient that I've never used before. I start to ask myself, "How can I use this in a dessert?" I also watch a lot of Food Network and read food blogs so they inspire me too :-)
Q: What's your favorite recipe(s)?
A: Definitely all the allergy-friendly desserts I created for my kids.
Q: How do you get your cupcake frosting to look so perfect? What's your technique?
A: Practice, practice, practice. You also have to learn how to use the right amount of pressure when piping out the frosting. I use a star pastry tip. I start from center then curve outward towards the edge and around, Then I start piping inward till I reach the center then release the pressure from the piping bag and turn my wrist and let the frosting taper off.
A: I use a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi with standard zoom lens.
Q: Wow! Your photographs look great! How do you get your pictures to look so professional.
A: Dumb luck. Just kidding. But honestly, I only know the basics. I don't even know what all the buttons on my camera are for. I only know how to focus the camera and take the picture. I use a program called Picnik to edit my pictures and that's pretty much it.
Q: Can I link to you?
A: Yes. Of course.
Q: Can I use one of your photos?
A: Yes and no. Yes, you can use my photos as long as you're talking about my blog and you include a photo credit or link to my site. No, it's not okay to use any of my photos for commercial use (i.e. to promote or sell your own products) without permission. Please read my Photography page for more info on licensing my images.
Q: Can I send you a product to try so you can write about it or mention it in your blog?
A: The products I mention in my blog are items that I purchased myself and I personally recommend. If you want to let me know about a product that I might be interested in, please feel free to send information about it and where I can buy it.