Easter

Spring is in the air! Our Easter menu is now available.

Get Fresh Chef Challenge

Wow, this month was a whirlwind! With Valentine's Day and all of the baking that went along with it, followed by our first ever competitive cooking event, we're just now catching our breath.  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and for a good cause.  For those who may have missed it, here's a quick recap:

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The Gifts in The Moment Foundation launched a new app that's been described as the "Uber for food", connecting those who have food to donate with those who can get the food to people in need. That alone is a good enough reason to get involved, but when our friend Shannon of Independent Heartland signed on as event coordinator, we were definitely on board.  We joined ten other area chefs for  some friendly competition, live music from Nathan Taylor & Friends, and an all around fun evening!

First and foremost, the food was amazing! Everyone worked hard and brought a lot of talent to the table. We decided to make a cookie that was our take on a PBJ sandwich.  We really wanted something to highlight the jam of JamBerry! We substituted the peanut butter for an almond butter cookie, and sandwiched it with our cherry espresso jam and a little almond praline.  One of my favorite parts is presentation and packaging, so we wrapped these little sammies up in parchment like they were headed straight for the lunch box :)

Vince Swanson of Cracked Pepper took the title for the competition, but everyone's a winner when you come together for food recovery.  Congratulations to Shannon as well on the execution of a successful event, and thanks to Jenni Williams of Blissful Images for capturing all of the moments of the night.  Cheers!

V-Day

V-Day

Ah, February. the month of love and chocolate. 

MY FRIEND BETHANY OF PEORIA'S BUSHBABY ASKED ME TO WRITE A GUEST BLOG FOR HER LAST YEAR AROUND THIS TIME. I LOOKED BACK AT IT AND SAW THAT IT MOSTLY STILL RINGS TRUE. HERE IT IS...

Ah, February. The month of love and chocolate. Both things that I can surely get behind, although Valentine's Day always feels a bit contrived and commercial. But I think that's just kind of how holidays go these days. Candy hearts were filling the aisles at the store a few days after Christmas and I just find myself feeling..."holiday'd out." And honestly, I get tired of being marketed and sold to. There's always some occasion for greeting cards and junky candy, and sometimes I wish we could just do the holidays every other year because time moves so fast. I think maybe I'd be more in the spirit if it were spread out a little farther.

But I'm not a total spoil sport; I get it. The need to feel festive and break up these often dull Midwest winters. Plus, I'm kind of in the business of holidays. My husband Eric and I, along with our son Ever, own a small bakery and coffee shop. The holidays are good for business, I can't really complain about that. We are blessed and so honored that people choose us to be part of their celebrations. I love thinking about families coming together over something we've baked, that is certainly made with love. But that's it right there. I'm really not all that interested in marketing or advertising a lot, or being some crazy big operation. I'd just like to bake you something and have you enjoy it with people you love. And yes in return I will need some money, because that's kind of how this ball rolls.

But for us, we're happy mostly that we get to work together and create daily. Money is secondary, and as long as we just have "enough", we're good.

My valentines, Eric and Ever. I'm a super lucky lady to have these two. Eric and I met, clicked, loved, married, started a business, and created the most wonderful little human I've ever known. Ever is a true Gemini, "the twins." He's like two children in one body, and therefore I'm pretty sure he'll be our only one! A tiny blonde tornado who can drive me to the brink and melt my heart into a puddle, all in the span of 45 seconds. He is a bright light and absolutely the reason for everything. Because having a toddler and owning a small business is not always sunshine & roses. The day to day feels more like chaos and diapers, but hey at least we've always got good coffee!

Wearing all of these hats is hard, and sometimes we wonder if it's sustainable.

But then somebody tells us that we make a great pie, or a customer turned friend walks through the door, or Ever plays peek a boo with a table of ladies who delight in how cute he is. And I think yes, somehow this will work. I may cringe a little this month when I feel like everything I bake should be heart shaped, but at the end of the day...love is there. How could it not be, really? It's in my husband's arms, my baby's big eyes, and my bakery's warm oven. So, I wish you a Happy Valentines Day, and I do mean it.

With love,
Erin

AND EVEN THOUGH I SAID I DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO MARKET TO YOU, I'VE INCLUDED OUR VALENTINE'S DAY MENU FOR SOME TEMPTATION...ENJOY!  

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