And so we move on……

Greetings! Long time no see! Not sure if anyone still checks this site, but JUST in case there are a few stragglers out there, I thought it’d be polite to update you on my whereabouts. As you may or may not know, about half a year ago I decided to go back to school. Applied and enrolled in the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) to obtain a Master in Public Administration. Contrary to what the program title might imply, the focus of the program is to provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge in international affairs, particularly in the field of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and SCOs (social change organizations). Back in May/June, I went to check out one of their “Visit Monterey” days and was immediately sold by the program. Now 5 months later, I am swamped with projects, readings, assignments, papers, etc etc etc….but I am loving it ūüėÄ Everyday I am impressed (and overwhelmed) by the amount of experience and knowledge my classmates possess. And while classwork is very challenging for the most part, within the 2 months I’ve been here, I feel like I’ve already taken in a breadth of curricula (e.g. systems thinking, bridging & bonding social capital, Capacity 2.0…). Already my world view (or¬†Weltanschauung) has evolved. And continues to…

Anyhoo, I’ve put Baked. aside and am now focusing on my ultimate aspiration which is to pursue a career in international humanitarian work. I still do orders for family and friends now and then, but it is no longer a priority, unfortunately…..It’s been a lot of fun and a challenging process to get to where I am now. Thank you to everyone who’s supported me along the way and a special thanks to those who still do!!!

Some pics from the last few months:

Peggy’s Wedding – May 30, 2010

Gay Pride Parade – June 26-27, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click pic to support Gavin Newsom!

 

Owl Cake – Sometime During the Summer (w/ the help of Iris Lu ūüôā )

Deborah’s Birthday Cake – September 19, 2010 (credit goes to Iris Lu & Yours Truly ūüôā )


If You’re Hungry, Do Not Scroll Down…

I’m gonna say it for the record: I am terrible at updating this site. It’s hard to find the motivation to sit myself down and spend some time to put together an intelligible post. I envy those bloggers who always ¬†have interesting material. So, I’m gonna stop right here and just put up pictures of what’s been happening here at Baked. Brace yourselves, it’s a large post!

Dessert Oasis

Hi all! Just a quick¬†announcement that I’ll be out of town from today, Wednesday,¬†through Sunday (March 3 – 7). How does this relate to Baked.? Ummm………I’ll be “researching”¬†the cornucopia of diverse foods offered¬†at extravagant buffets…?… . . .¬†¬† .¬†¬†¬† .Yes.

Inspiration

As I stay up to¬†work on a¬†decadent¬†dark chocolate fudge and¬†marzipan¬†cake and fret about another huge order for tomorrow¬†I have yet to start¬†at this ungodly hour of¬†4:00 am, the strange, hazy¬†time in the middle of the night¬†when you feel like¬†a zombie¬†on the cusp of severely¬†crashing and I¬†ask myself why the hell I put myself through this, losing sight of purpose,¬†my¬†iPod fills my ears with Michael Jackson and this¬†indescribable energy brings me back to life. It’s like the magic of MJ has¬†charged¬†my blood to gush through my veins; I literally feel like¬†I’m floating on the love that MJ¬†had for everyone and everything in the universe.¬†And I felt the impulse to blog about this because with all the ugliness that surrounded MJ throughout his life, people forget all about his greatness¬†as a humanitarian, an entertainer, an artist, a fighter and most importantly, a believer in the power of love.

I know¬†this¬†seems like a¬†random¬†entry considering this site is about detailing and promoting¬†my Baked. endeavor, but music is one of¬†the driving forces behind everything I do,¬†a lifelong partner that is always there¬†whenever you need it. And after watching This Is It¬†twice over the weekend,¬†MJ’s unwavering determination to his cause – to bring people of all¬†colors and creeds¬†to places they’ve never been – reminded¬†me to march on and pursue¬†my passions no matter how challenging things can get.¬†¬†So, I sit here¬†updating¬†the music section while waiting for the cake to cool off, fatigued but not unmotivated, and¬†there’s no question the new playlist¬†is all about Michael Jackson. And I hope it motivates you as well to reach greater heights because ultimately, my cause is to make the world a better place by expanding¬†minds and bringing¬†a little¬†happiness to people’s lives.

Cheesy? Probably, but, frankly, I don’t care. The world could always use a little¬†more positivity and¬†this entry is really a shout out to Michael and¬†how he’s changed the world for the better. And if¬†you don’t¬†believe me and¬†your¬†image of Michael is still¬†marred by all the¬†rumors,¬†I urge, no, I challenge you to watch This Is It¬†(and everything else he was involved in, for that matter) and¬†not feel inspired and¬†taken aback¬†by the magnificence of the King of Pop.

To Michael: You are sorely missed and I regret we never got a chance to see the finished product of your final concert but you continue to live in the hearts of those who believe in life and love. Thank you, Michael. May you rest in peace.

And now,¬†I must go back to bake and “daaance the night awaaaaaay….” ūüôā

Experiments & Things

It’s been busy busy busy the past few weeks filled with orders, experiments, and eating…..mostly eating ūüôā ūüôā¬†Most notable was the VERY successful¬†CACSF Date Auction of 2010! The wonderful ladies behind the organization were able to raise $11k¬†for the UCSF Cancer Fund which provides monetary assistance to under-insured and uninsured cancer patients. Baked. is so proud to have been a part of the event and only hopes it made the night that much sweeter ūüėČ Letsee what else….oh, I think I should just let the following photos speak for themselves. Voil√†, des photos de ces derni√®res semaines….. . .¬† .¬†¬†¬† .¬†¬†¬†¬† .¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† . (don’t mind me, I’m a glossophile)

EXPERIMENT I: Nancy Silverton’s Graham Crackers¬†(soooooo delicious…..)

EXPERIMENT II: Bakerella’s S’more Cupcakes (very moist, flavors melt together well,¬†could use a bit¬†more marshmallow though. will tweak…s’more)

EXPERIMENT III: Macarons!! (not to be confused with American macaroons which pale in comparison to¬†these French confections. can’t wait to make more!)

 

(credit goes to Iris for baking w/ me ūüôā )

DATE AUCTION (made mini choco chip cookies & assorted truffles)

 

BIRTHDAY CAKES:

Cupcake Cravings

 

I need to remember to glue my camera to my hip so I don’t forget to take pics of my cooking creations. Going through all the finalists in this year’s Bloggies has definitely inspired me to change my approach to this site (i.e. not be a lazy arse). Every food site/blog is always more enticing when it provides a plethora of photos to bring out “ooooohs”, “aaaaahs” and “mmmMMmms” from the reader who’ll in turn stick around more. ¬†And since I’m not brilliant enough to write anything original and quippy, hopefully photos will make up for the lack of witty and interesting dialogue. Anyway….onwards we go!

I’ve been having cupcake cravings lately and not just any cupcakes, COCONUT cupcakes. ¬†And I used to hate coconut when I was younger, probably mainly because the only form I had of it was flakes. Bleh. Like chewing on perfumed paper. And that sound it makes in your head. UNLESS it’s freshly toasted. YUM. I’m starting to fall in love w/ coconut though. So good in curries, refreshing to drink fresh out of the shell, and delicious in my recent endeavor: cupcakes! A good friend of mine (thanks, Huei!) sent me a recipe for coconut vanilla bean cupcakes that I tried out a few months ago and they were perdy damn good. So I made them over the weekend. Problem solved. Just look at them…

AAAnnnd today, I received a custom order from my mom’s friend, a really good family friend whom I work for part-time actually (if you’re looking to purchase, refinance, or sell a home, she’s your¬†woman), who wanted to bring cupcakes to visiting Buddhist monks so she requested that they be made eggless. ¬†I tweaked around a good vegan recipe (thanks to the hilarious vegan foodie Isa Chandra Moskowitz)¬†and made eggless lemon cupcakes with whipped lemon-almond frosting. They turned out quite good. Only frosted 1/2 of ’em because we weren’t sure if all the monks would want frosting. After all, monks aren’t known for decadence. Hope they enjoy it! I smile as I mentally picture the wise old monks mindfully taking modest bites of these cupcakes….heeheehee.

This weekend I’m gonna be experimenting with more flavors and things so tune in next week for the report!

Won’t You Benign? – The Sequel

Combat for Cancer is having their 2nd annual Date Auction and Baked. is uber excited to announce it will be catering desserts again!  Their first date auction was such a blast and more importantly, not only did they raise awareness about their cause, they were able to raise an impressive amount of money to support cancer patients in need. Proceeds benefit the Cancer Care Services Fund of UCSF. Deets:

What: 2nd Annual C.A.C Date Auction ‚Äď tickets are $25.00
When:¬† Saturday, February 6th, 2010, 6pm ‚Äď 9pm
Where: Harlot ‚Äď 46 Minna Street, San Francisco CA

Please come out to spread the love and support a great cause! Hope to see you there ūüėČ