Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just thinking....

You know, it's funny. When I was in high school, my favorite class was creative writing. I use to love coming up with short stories and creative writings in my head that would be put into words on paper. It was fun coming up with the fantasies. I even had a poem published oh so many years ago. Couldn't tell you what it was about but I remember being excited that they chose it. And yet, when I get on here, I'm a jumbled conglomeration of a multitude of ideas (much like those who know my thinking process in real life!) Ahhhh, memories...

It's kind of funny too that it's hard for me to write on paper now. I don't journal, I don't write, I barely read (although I know HOW to). I talk.

Back when I first had children, I was a crafter. Actually, before I was married I was into the whole DIY thing. Well, except for wallpapering and full room painting. (Ask Jeff about the bathroom experiences, lol!!) Albeit basic, I stencilled, sponged and muraled our house's interior. I think that must be where my desire to figure things out on my own came from. Figuring out how to get my ideas to work in the medium I'm working with. I can't draw on paper, but over the years I've been able to get to the point where I can get my ideas across. Stick figures and all!

Fast forward several years and look where my creative outlet lead to...Cakes! Put a piping bag in my hand and it's a whole different story. It all started with a desire to bake for my kids as a stay at home mom. I love to look at them, bake them, decorate them, eat them and share how to make them. I become a different person with cake, and no I'm not talking about the girth I've added because of them, lol. It's my peace. Pardon the pun. It's my solace. It's my happy place. It's also my nemesis, my crutch, my addiction, my life. Anyone who shares the passion of cake decorating understands this good versus evil struggle that sugar artists or really any artist faces every day. You love it, yet you curse it. You think of it all day. You go to the store and see things and say "Oh my, THAT would make a great cake design!" Even during my little hiatus, I think about cake everyday.

I won't be writing about my husband, children or family because I choose that part of my life to be private. You might hear me say something about Jeff because he's my right hand man. My rock. My armature dude.

So, I guess that's it for now. Now you know a little bit more about me and how I got to caking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ultimate Cake Off!

On February 15, at 10pm. on TLC, the team that I was lead assistant for, will be featured on Ultimate Cake Off. John Auburn from JW Desserts on Whidbey Island, WA, was our team leader and when I say team, I mean team.

John treated us all with respect and listened to our ideas. He felt like it wasn't just about him, that it was about the whole team. He treated us as a team, not just as assistants to help him win a title. The communication between John, Martha, Eric, and I was phenomenal. Well over 100 emails and a trip to Seattle lead to our final design. John incorporated ideas from all the teammates which made us much more accountable and excited for the final cake. We all knew what jobs we were responsible for and John made sure that we also knew how to do the jobs of everyone in case of any 'issues' or set backs.

Eric Woller back from a shopping trip. It was an honor to be able to work with the mighty Eric Woller, armature king! The genius that man has in his head is incredible. Not only can he put together the most amazing armatures, he's a sculptor and artist.

John checking on the many things we had to do. Notice the huge pile of modelling chocolate in the corner of the photo.

Martha and her mad skills with a sawzall! Martha's skills as an artist came into play with her work on our project. Can't say just what yet, but her talents were a tremendous asset to our team. She also has great problem solving skills.

The team at breakfast.

I felt like a movie star when I arrived in Los Angeles. I was greeted by Ryan, one of the Production Assistants. He was holding a sign with my name on it! IN TYPED letters! I had to take a picture because I've never even been picked up from an airport by anyone other than my husband or family member. Ryan was so nice and friendly. A chatty guy who let me be a total "dorky" tourist as I took pictures of the Hollywood sign and downtown LA as we drove past.

From the time they said "Your time starts NOW!" to the time they said "STOP" we were a non stop swirl of work. We worked our asses off. There was icing flying, modelling chocolate all over the place and piping gel stuck to our fingers. John made sure to continutally check on everyone's progress and was encouraging throughout the whole competition. We laughed and had fun during the competition and just had a great time, even through the stress of putting together a 7 fooot tall by 9 foot wide cake! We were working like we'd always been working together. And it was the first time we had all been in the same kitchen at the same time.

I have also never laughed as hard as I did on this challenge. We met up on Tuesday and laughed for 5 days straight! By the time it was competition day, my abs hurt so bad that I thought I couldn't take anymore. Of course, by the time the competition was over, my legs hurt so bad I didn't know how I was going to walk the next day! People don't realize the amount of stress these challenges put on a body...especially an out of shape body like mine! LOL

The whole experience was something that I will never forget, nor would I ever want to. I loved meeting George Duran, the new host and seeing Margaret Braun and Leah Grode again. This was my second time doing an Ultimate Cake Off. Even the judges had us laughing. :)

Watch next Monay, February 15 at 10pm on TLC to see how things worked out. Just remember...editing is not always in everyone's favor. It's for the drama of it all...

And a great big THANK YOU to John Auburn for making us all feel like a team!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Strawberry Daiquiri Cookies

On a snowy day like today, I figured it'd be a good day to bake. I went back to our original recipe for the Strawberry Daiquiri Cookies that we developed 2 years ago. Still need to amp up the strawberry flavor because even with 1.5 TBS of strawberry extract, they're still not strong enough. Now, this is a cookie that matures as it sits, but I like a strong flavor in my cookies. We've struggled with these cookies in getting just the right mixture of flavors and we're almost there, just not quite. Some of the other cookies were so easy to get to the final product, but not this one.
The pictures in order are: after mixing, rolling in sugar, ready to bake then finished product.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I guess I should have called my blog "About the Cake and Cookies too..." since right now I'm going to talk about cookies. I'll probably bounce around a lot between cookies and cake, so bear with me. Chances are, you'll see what madness I have in my head and wonder about me, lol.

This year I'm writing a book about cookies. Fabulously unique cookies. I'm writing it because I have some of the most fabulous (well, in my mind) cookie recipes and I feel the need to share them with the world. You'll probably see pictures on here of some of the cookies as we prototype them. We (my sister and I) already have several of the recipes worked out, but there are more that we want to do so we have a completely cohesive book.

I'm also going to need some taste testers. If you're interested, let me know. Can't promise, but I would like to ship them so we can also find out about the shipping quality of them.

So without futher adieu...COOKIES!

The picture at the left is our signature line "Cocktail Cookies" . They include many of the cookies that will be featured in the book. Pina Colada, Fuzzy Navel, Margarita, Nutty Irishman, Alabama Slammers, Kahlua and Cream and Lemon Drops. Tempting, eh?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Introducing myself

This is me. My name is Becky Rink and I'm the owner of About the Cake, Inc. in the Cleveland Ohio area. I love everything about cake from making it to designing it to creating it to eating it. I've been a fan of cake for, let's see, about 40 years. I've only been decorating it for about 10. During that time, I've discovered the unbelievable world of sugar art and all the wonderful and amazing things you can do with sugar.

I'm also the co director of The Art of the Cake, a cool cake show in Cleveland that happens every January.

I'm not really all that philosophical. I'm sarcastic and love humor, but also believe that everything happens for a reason. Karma of sorts.

I've competed on two TLC Ultimate Cake Offs and hope to do more. I've done other competitions too, but they've more local cake show style shows.

If you have any questions about how to do something (cake related!), just ask. I might just have an answer! AND I just might have step by step photos.

The first post

Hi Everyone. Although I'm not one to get sucked into the latest fads, I thought it'd be fun to start a blog. Not sure what all will be on here right now, but maybe this will give me a chance to have another creative outlet, with cakes as the focus of course!

Welcome to the blog!