Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Questions



I have really been at a cross roads in my life lately. I know that food is my passion and that I'm more or less discontent with my current work situation. But I also feel stuck, almost immobile about the idea of changing it. There are so many things to consider in a drastic life change like what I am thinking about and I don't even know where to start. So I'm starting here. I think I could use some help from the blogging community. If you have started your own business or changed your career to work with food what was the lightbulb moment? What about money, security, stability? I guess with the way the economy is they are much harder questions to answer than it was before. I have the confidence about my food and the drive to make it but I don't know where to start. It was just my Dad's 60th birthday and I guess I'm just wondering what I want to do with my life for the next 35 years. There is this big idea that money equals success and I don't think that is necessarily the case but money does make life easier at times. Why does everything have to be a double edged sword?


Back to my Dad's Birthday, ever since I made him the lemon cookies last year I haven't heard the end of it. When am I going to make them again and he really likes them etc. Plus some not so nice comments about how the girl scout cookies have changed. So this year I made them for him and decided to change up some of them.

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of AP Flour
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of a mixer beat butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and salt until combined and smooth. Place the mixer on low and slowly add the flour the dough will be very stiff. Do not over mix the dough stop mixing when just combined and finish mixing by hand.
Turn the dough out onto plastic wrap and form into a disk, wrap and chill until firm at least 1 hour but up to 3 days. Once chilled unwrap the dough and place on lightly floured piece of parchment paper and roll out with a floured rolling pin until about 1/8 of an inch thick. If the dough cracks let it warm up. If you chill it longer than a few hours you will probably have to let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes or more.
Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2 inch round cutter, and only re roll the scraps once. Place an inch apart on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until they barely start to brown. The original recipe says 15-20 minutes but mine only took 12 minutes. Once baked transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.

Creamy Lemon Filling

Ingredients
4oz of softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 - 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese and the lemon zest until smooth then gradually add the sugar until it forms the consistency you are looking for and whisk until smooth.


To make the raspberry lemon filling I added 3 tablespoons of melted good quality seedless raspberry preserves and mixed that into half of the filling.


To make the sandwiches put about 1 teaspoon of filling between 2 cookies.

17 comments:

  1. I can't offer any advice on opening a business, but I can say that judging from all the yummy treats you post on your blog, any baking/food business you had would surely be over-the-top successful! Take these lemon cookies, for example, awesome enough to have your Dad raving about them for a year. And you've got me hungry!

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  2. Those look delicious! I've never had a major career change, but why not try both ? I love your site & you recipes are fantastic. Have you considered baking as a side job? You could bake from home, post your treats on an online shop & see how well you do. If it takes off & it's better than your day job, then great. If it doesn't, then no harm no foul. That seems like the safest route to me. one of my favorite sites is etsy.com and a lot of crafty bakers sell their items through that site. You could establish your own shop there, put a link to it up on this blog. I'd buy your treats for sure! here's a link: http://www.etsy.com/category_top.php?top_tag=plants_and_edibles

    good luck to you!

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  3. These cookies look delicious! I just got some lemons from a friends lemon tree and they are crazy good. Must try these :-) As for the career, I've done exactly what you are thinking of - just tossed the old career aside and started a business. Something for you to consider though...if your business truly takes off, and you're working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week - will you still enjoy it? Will you still be passionate about it? Starting a business takes a lot of time, and a lot of work. I've never worked so hard in my life as I did my first 3 years in business. I think the Etsy site is a great idea, or starting slow to see how you like it. Just make sure you go into it being prepared for the worst case scenario and you'll be fine. It's a tough road, but definitely fun and rewarding too :-) Hope that helps! Good luck!!

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  4. This could have been me posting this. I am 27, don't enjoy my job and have a BS in Communications that I am wasting. I also have the fact that I am the primary supporter for our family, my husband is a PhD student. I know my passion is cooking but then I think about the realities of opening my own business and get scared. I made a cake recently for a work friend but was so nervous about pricing it so I totally under charged her. I have another friend that is having me make cookies for her neice's birthday and I just went to the local "nicer" grocery store and saw what they charged for a dozen well decorated cookies. Now I just need to stick to that price when I talk to her about it!

    But it is scary. I will be checking back to see if anyone else has anything great to say.

    I actually blog two places, my personal blog, hotfromthefurnace.blogspot.com and my food blog, eatsandtreats.wordpress.com.

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  5. I wish I could help - but Im in the same place myself! I am interested in hearing what others have to say. :)

    Your cookies are beautiful! Love the lemon raspberry combo!

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  6. i'm afraid i have no epiphanies to share with you--i'm pretty much in the same place. i hope you get some good advice.
    here's my advice--eat a cookie. :)

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  7. I have been in your shoes before and in some ways I still am. All I can say to you is sometimes we just have to step out on faith and follow your heart. Life is too short to be unhappy and yeah times are hard but they don't seem so bad when you're doing something you love even if it means you struggle a little bit. I am a culinary school grad that let many opportunities pass me by because of fear and just being young and stupid. Now I'm married with two small children and can't get those opportunities back. I do a little food writing now but I would give anything to really be able to immerse myself in the world of food again. Remember you want no regrets, so do what makes you happy.

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  8. I've actually made the major career-change a few times now (from music ed to librarian; from librarian to psychologist; and now from psychology phd student to self-employed baker).

    On the life change part, all I can say is that sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump into the deep end. This time around I had a financial cushion (I'd just gotten the worker's comp payout for my work-related disability, and my husband has a well-paying, stable job), but other times I've jumped it's been a shot in the dark. It all depends on your circumstances - are you willing or able to give up the things your current job allows you to have? etc.

    As far as starting a business - expect it to take much more time and money and energy than anticipated. I'm actually still on track - my goal is to break even by the end of the first year, and I now have a regular client, so that's a plus. But I'm still in the red, for sure. Finding a place to bake was a real challenge, and what I have is not ideal. I am falling behind on my record-keeping and taxes and crap, and boy do I hate that stuff. ugh. But I'm still happier doing this than I was doing grad school, so it must be a good idea. :)

    Best of luck to you!

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  9. Lemon cookies are the best. I've never tried making them with the filling you used but I will. They sound so good.

    Follow your heart where making changes in your life are concerned. Yes, making money is important, but it's not everything. But if you can do it following your passion, it makes all the trials and tribulations worth while. My best wishes to you.

    (How about writing a cookbook?)

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  10. First, these cookies look delicious. Second, I worked in non-profit accounting for 10 years and burned out. Then I went to a career center and took those tests. They said I should be an farmer, military officer, or actuary. Luckily, librarian was on the list too. I picked librarian and went back to grad school. I was able to do so because I sold my appreciated condo and moved back with my parents (so I was really lucky in that sense!) But perhaps you could meet with a career counselor for guidance and it might give you some leads!!

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  11. I have had thoughts of career change myself (a few times but haven't taken the leap yet). So I don't really have advice but I do sympathize. Do you want your job to be baking? Do you want to have a store-front or just do catering-type jobs? Or do you want to write cookbooks or make blogging into your "real gig"? These are only a few of the things I've been asking myself. What other questions have been on your mind?

    Thanks for sharing this (and the lemon cookies!)... I'm looking forward to reading more responses.

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  12. The big job change I had was working 40 hours a week at a high paying job that sucked every bit of soul out of me to being a stay at home mom and working a bit for my husbands company. yes I did loose a bit of self identity. But the money was not worth me going crazy. I say follow you heart, it is usually right!

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  13. Katie, I would SO buy some of your yummi foods if you ever opened up shop! I agree with most of the comments here...follow your heart life is too short to live it wondering "what if"...you've got amazing delish talent and it seems its your passion, success is where the passion is. You also take good pictures of food, ever thought of being a photographer for a food magazine? Writing a recipes book? Might wanna think about putting advertisements on your blog?

    LOVE you blog though, I just wish I had a kitchen I could experiment all your delish dishes in!

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  14. Thank you all for all of your comments. They have given me a lot to think about. I promise to keep you all posted. Who knew one simple question would give me so many possible avenues to go in.

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  15. I was actually going to do this with your recipe, but you beat me to it :)

    Good luck on starting a business. The best I can offer is that if it's something you feel very very strongly about, and are able to do it, then maybe you need to take the risk. Just make sure you don't stick your neck out where you can't take it back. There are risks, and then there is stupidity. Just be careful, look at every angle, ask lots of questions, and you should be good.

    Good luck!

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  16. I seem to be having a bit of trouble with the recipe, both times I made it the dough seems really dry.

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    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

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