Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Well I really want to fall back into bed and cry! Please let this be a Dream and not happening to me! This morning I got up and did the normal family stuff with the little one and them I checked the Facebook to see how the refer a friend game was going, last night it was a three way time and a few other fans away from being a four way tie! So I did my daily post and started invoicing for the Auction last night and there was a question on one of the photos " Are these still available & if so, how much? " Buggy's Bowtique I checked out her page! (what person would not look at there page there a BOWtique shop as well) and what did I find but a picture from my older shop on her page! I just cried! I have contacted facebook and the seller and she wrote me back and said she did not steal the bow and was sorry for the Misunderstanding and then blocked me from her page! I could not even write a reply back! So I posted on facebook on my page so everyone can see the ORG. Pic and the way she changed it! You can see for your self. I just want to remind everyone that there is some really bad people out there and they will steal your photos as well. I hope that you all look at these and then start protecting your items as well! Thanks Heather This is the photo she made
Thursday, August 5, 2010
As, Most of you know I'm a stay at home Mom who has a wonderful little girl name Lilly ( Thats how the bow shop came to be) and a Fab Hubby that works away from home and we are lucky to see a weekend out of a month! I also run and own a domestic Bakery out of my home during the day ! ( where this blog came to be) things in our little life where going along pretty smooth The Cake shop was doing well and the Bow shop took off like fire in a dry field! I was tickled pink! Then one day I got a email from a customer saying that someone was sailing my products! ( I did not offer wholesale at the time) so I tried to go to the link I was sent, whole time thinking there has to be a mistake its not my stuff!Might be kinda like mine! But I could not find the page! So I replyed back to the email saying I can't find the shop and got a email back with her name. ( I know sounds like a lot of trouble, right!z but by then I wanted to see what she was talking about) and when I got to her personal page hoping to find a link to a fan page I was floored! Not only did she state on her personal page info about her shop but there was a photo ( MY CHILD ) saying happy customers! and then the link! I clicked the link and still would not let me see the page! I had been blocked ( and when someone blocks you on facebook you can't even do a search and find it, found that out the hard way)So I did the only thing I could think of and went under my hubby's profile and sure enough the link worked for his account! And what I saw turned my Tummy and I saw RED! Not only did she have some of my bows but personal pics off my personal facebook page of Lilly in Bows that I made! So I wrote her and I will have to be honest it was very nasty letter on my part ( but that was my kid) If you want to whole sale someones items ask don't steal and do it behind there back. NOT only did she get a letter but so did facebook. The message I got from facebook Made me even madder! Because I did not have proof of copyright of the photos there was nothing I can do but request they be removed! I then saw a deeper tone of red and wrote facebook back! I asked Are you telling me that if I take a photo and download it to my computer and then up load it to my page then I don't own the photo!? Well I cried when I found the answer out! If you dont own a copyright to every photo you post then there is nothing you can do but request to have the pic. removed! But if you want to PROTECT your pictures you take them to walmart or walgreens and have them transferred to a cd! Keep the cd and the proof of date ( walgreens is burned on the cd at some stores) that gives you ownership that you can fight with in court!( hope that never happens)Then find a program that you can use and make the Photo have a logo of your choice! ( if you would like a good free one I will be more then happy to share who I use) After I found this all out I wrote her again and this time told her I will stop at nothing to get my photos taken off her page and I wanted rights to post on her page that she was a lier and I made the dress and that was my daughter! I even sent the same request to facebook and all this happened within 2 days! The next morning I got up to check orders and give my morning hello and I could not log in! I thought I needed a cup of coffee so I did that a few other things and then tried again and the same thing! I could not get in my page! So I clicked on the can't remember passcode and answered the question it gave me and it told me it was not right! so I clicked the help (contact Us) button and wrote them and I left my number and email and what was going on. So I was mad and was thinking can my week get any worst and well let me tell ya I tried to go into my email and the same thing! I thought I had a worm or a bug on my computer! So I tried Larry's(the Hubby) and his worked fine. So I send a email from his to yahoo and Facebook and asked all info be sent to his! Yahoo asked me a bunch of questions and I had to answer all of them and I got them wrong!I GOT HACKED omg what do I do. Every question they asked I got wrong! The hacker changed my pass code and ser. questions and even my birthday! and the same with passcodes on face book! I then fought with facebook and yahoo for over 7 weeks trying to get my stuff back! And I posted on my shop under my hubbys name that I was hacked and would be back when I could to bear with me! I even had other Fans post the same but there where a few who did not read there posts and well bought bows and paided for them and never got them! ( They found emails stating I did what you asked and send you money thru paypal but still have not got my bows) I got a text message from a fan that said hey I just got a email sayin you were stuck in wales and was robbed and needed money! She knew me better to believe it and told me to let everyone know! thats when enough is enough I went to the police department and they took my labtop and contacted facebook and yahoo and within a little less then three days I had my shop back, email, persoanl page, and a heap of a mess to clean up! My hacker turned out to be the Bow shop lady Renee Marie Shark.( last name fits her I think) She messed up on a few emails and left her personal email on the messages and that is how they caught my Hacker! She now has no facebook shop or personal page and we go to court on the 20th of this month!
I will not let you in on what I did wrong and how you can help protect your self!
1. I had the same passcode for every account ( so once she found out my pass code it was easy to get into the rest of my stuff) Exp. On my bow shop was my email address so anyone can message me! and so is my daughters name ( which was my passcode so BAM she is in two account instead of one! but it gets better! :( not only were my bow shop and cake shop off my personal page she now had 4 accounts to play with) so do not have the same pass code on every account
2.Don't use stuff that is in your profile like birthday or when you got married or your kids names and mix it up throw some numbers in there too!
3.Change your pass code and ser. questions once every few months and don't save them on your computer write them down!
4.Copyright all photos and put your logo on them! If you have pics someone sent you of there child in your shops stuff them please get there okay 1st to put your logo on them and to post them and print that okay out and keep it on hand!
5.You might be asking how do hackers get into account? I asked the same thing and this was what I was email from yahoo!
You’ve probably heard of worms, viruses and Trojan horse programs that can seriously damage or make your computer vulnerable to remotely controlled exploits.
Hackers like to look for ‘security holes’ through which they can gain entry without much trouble. These holes frequently exist in the programs and plugins that we install on our sites.
Hackers also use programs that are designed to figure out the passwords to your accounts. Typically known as brute force password attacks, these programs run through letter and number combinations until it gets a match and gains access to your account. When your server is being bombarded by one of these attacks, the sites may become interminably slow.
Perhaps the ugliest type of hack is the one to whom you gave your password willingly because he or she is doing some programming work on your site.
6.Keep your computer programs up to date! Hello they work with this day in and day out so they will help protect you the best they can but only if the files of the programs are up to date
7. Use other forms of firewalls or programing if you don't know how to do it your self! and watch for update!
8.Do not leave important emails in your mailbox :
The moment you receive a confirmation letter from a website where you have signed up, print out the information or write it down on a notepad and delete the email immediately. This would ensure that no personal information would be derived directly from your email whether by a hacker or a close friend.
9. FIREFOX WEB BROWSER or Goggle Crome. Security is one of the reasons why these two programs are the best way to surf the internet.The thousands of add-ons which can add almost any functionality you can think of is just a bonus. So if you are not yet using Firefox or Goggle Crome, you may want to consider it now.
10.PROFILE SETTINGS. Although most social networking sites work very hard to keep their sites safe, it is not enough guarantee that your account will never be hacked. Because hackers work hard too! Facebook and MySpace both have Privacy Settings... use it to control what information is visible and who can see the information on your profile. Keep in mind that if you display all information about yourself, someone can use that information to impersonate you. It's called spoofing.
11.APPLICATIONS. One of the reasons why millions of people are enjoying Facebook and MySpace is the applications that are really addictive like Mafia Wars, Farmville, Yoville, and Farm Town to name few. But you should understand that every time you install an application, you allow the creators of the application to access your personal information. I use a different email account and Facebook account to play Mafia Wars so that what ever happens, my personal email and private information are safe. It is actually recommended to use a different email account for your social networking sites. Use a different email for free samples as well!
12.BE VIGILANT. Constantly check your account for any unusual postings, comments, or bulletin posts. If you see something that you do not remember doing, chances are your account got hacked. You should report this to admin immediately.
13.BEWARE OF SITES YOU CLICK. Do not click any link posted in the message, comments, or bulletin because this is one method that hackers use to get information from you. Links from hackers will usually open a window for you that look like Facebook or MySpace asking you to relog-in. If you fall for it, the information you entered will be sent directly to the hackers.
I Really Hope that this helps you all out! I have heard of people getting hacked but never thought I would be one of them! Please protect your self and let others know as well! If I can help anyone in any form please let me know and I will do what I can! Thanks again! Heather!:0)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Invest in good chocolate, fruit fillings, nuts etc. You will taste the difference if you start with the best ingreedients.
Always use fresh eggs. Eggs separate best when cold, but egg whites whip up best at room temperature.
Butter gives the best flavor.A cake is a treat. Live a little!
- Prepare all the necessary ingredients.
- Before mixing the batter, prepare the pans, turn the oven on, and make sure the rack is in the center.
- Have all ingredients at room temperature for best results.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy or as long as the recipe directs.
- Always sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices to avoid lumps.
- To speed up the softening of cold butter, slice and let stand for about 10 minutes.
- Toss nuts, raisins and fruits in the batter last. This will avoid color bleeding.
- Scrape sides and bottom of bowl frequently with a rubber spatula during mixing.
- Spread batter evenly in pans.
- Turn on oven 10-15 minutes before you plan to use it to allow time for it to heat to baking temperature.
- Generously grease inside of pan with solid vegetable shortening. Use pastry brush to spread shortening evenly, making sure all inside surfaces are well covered. Dust with flour, tap out excess. If shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening and flour, or use vegetable pan spray.
- Position pans as near to center of oven as possible. Pans should not touch sides of oven or each other.
- Test your cakes. for doneness while they’re still in the oven. Because of differences in individual oven controls, be sure to test your cake for doneness according to package or recipe directions. Cake is done when the sides shrink slightly away from the pan and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool cake in pan 10 - 15 minutes before loosening the edge and turning it out onto a wired rack to cool.
- To remove cake easily from pan, place double thickness paper towel over wire rack. The towel prevents the wire bars from breaking the crust or leaving imprints on top of cake. A clean oven rack or refrigerator shelf can be used for larger layers. Place covered rack over top of cake. Invert cake and rack at least one hour before decorating. Then brush loose crumbs off cake.
- Chill the cake between the filling and the frosting. The cake will be much easier to work with.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting to the cake then refrigerate until it is set before applying the final, heavier layer of frosting. This will seal in the crumbs, ensuring a clean final appearance.
When good cakes go bad
You thought you had a good cake, but lately he’s been hanging out with the wrong crowd - some tough cookies. Soon he’s staying out late and coming home reeking of alcohol-based vanilla extract. Before you know it your angel ( food) is on a one way street to culinary reform school.
It’s tough when good cakes go bad — and here are some of the most common reasons:
If the cake rose unevenly in the oven:
- The flour was not blended sufficiently into the main mixture.
- The temperature inside the oven was uneven.
- The oven temperature was too high.
- If the batter overflowed the pans:
- Make sure you used the right size pan. The uncooked mixture should fill the pan by no more than two-thirds.
Cakes That Use Separately-beaten Egg Whites And Yolks
If the cake is dense and heavy:
- The eggs were too small. Always use large eggs when baking.
- Insufficient air was whisked into the egg and sugar mixture.
- The flour was not folded in gently. Always mix in the flour at the lowest speed.
- The melted butter was too hot when added, causing it to sink down through the whisked foam.
- The oven temperature was too low.
If the top of the cake dropped:
- The oven temperature was too hot.
- The cake was not cooked long enough.
- The oven door was opened too soon, which created a draft.
Cakes That Use Creamed Butter And Sugar Mixtures
If the batter curdles and separates:
- The ingredients were not at room temperature.
- The butter and sugar were not creamed together well enough before adding the eggs.
- The eggs were added too quickly.
- If the cake’s texture is too heavy:
- The butter, sugar and eggs were not beaten together long enough.
- The flour was beaten at too high a speed.
- Too much flour was added to the creamed mixture.
- The oven temperature was not hot enough.
If the top of the cake peaks and cracks:
- The oven temperature was too hot, causing the outside of the cake to bake and form a crust too quickly. As the mixture in the center of the cake continued to cook and rise, it burst up through the top of the cake.
- The cake wasn’t baked on the center rack of the oven.
- If raisins, dried fruit and nuts sunk to the bottom:
- The pieces of fruit were too large and too heavy.
- The sugary syrup on the outside of the fruit was not washed off- this caused the pieces of fruit to slide through the mixture as it heated.
- The washed and dried fruit was not dusted with flour before being added to the mixture.
- The cake mixture was over beaten or was too wet so it could not hold the fruit in place.
- The oven temperature was too low, causing the mixture to melt before it set to hold the fruit in place.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
C is for cookie… that’s good enough for me. In fact, it’s good enough for most people, but for those who love cupcakes as well, take a look here.
For this post, allow me to lapse in to Cookie Monster speak. Because how many chances do I get to do that?
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2 In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3 Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cool.
Extra Special Buttercream Icing Recipe
- 1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 lbs powdered sugar (8 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder (optional)
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2-1 teaspoon clear butter flavoring
4-6 ounces whipping cream
- Wilton Royal Blue Color (I use Gel Paste)
- Cream butter and shortening until fluffy.
- Add sugar, meringue powder, about half of the cream, and continue creaming until well blended.
- Add salt, flavorings and enough whipping cream to make the consistency you need.
- Beat at medium speed until icing is fluffy.
- You may substitute all shortening for the butter, which will give a pure white icing, but the flavor will not be quite as good.Add Coloring.
- The meringue powder gives the icing a light crust, but it remains soft underneath.
- This is a good icing for beginners, practice or “informal” cakes.
- 6 oz. of semi sweet chocolate chips (about half of a bag)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
3 tbsp. of clear Karo syrup
3 tbsp. water
1 1lb. bag of powdered sugar
gel black food coloring
- Put your marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl, add the water, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir mixture, and microwave for another minute. When marshmallows come out they will be HOT, stir again, scraping the sides with a scraper. Immerdiately add your chocolate chips, and stir until the chips are completely melted. Add your karo syrup and stir again this time with a butter knife, making sure that all of your syrup is incorporated. Add a good amount of black gel food coloring, and stir again with your knife, making sure that you scrape around the edges. Once your mixture is the blackest black that you can get, (I added about 1-2 tsp. of the gel coloring) then add about half of your bag of powdered sugar, and stir until the mixture is thick, with your knife. Grease your hands liberally with Crisco and add the rest of the powdered sugar* to the bowl. Knead your fondant until all of the powdered sugar is gone. Store for up to a month wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a gallon Ziploc, and stored in an airtight container.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Starting from the bottom up: a crisp, crumbly, buttery brownie base, a fluffy, sweet, chocolate mousse filling, a light-as-air, dark chocolate cake, and finally, a dense, rich chocolate ganache frosting. Each bite of this was any chocolate lovers dream. All that’s missing is a sidecar scoop of chocolate ice cream (and a candle stuck in the slice for this momentous occasion–woops!), but hey, maybe another time, right? There definitely will be another time.
- 5/8 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/8 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Chocolate Cake
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1/8 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 7/8 cups sugar
- 7/8 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 Tbsp butter
- Chocolate Mousse
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1 7/8 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 18 oz bittersweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan, fit it with a cut-out round of parchment paper, and grease that as well (this makes removing the brownie in one piece a lot easier later).
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set this aside for now.
In a bowl, microwave the chocolate chunks and butter for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat in 15 second increments until the chocolate is totally melted down.
Then, whisk in the sugar followed by the eggs, one at a time until totally incorporated. Work in the vanilla extract and finally, add the dry flour mixture in two batches, mixing until fully combined.
Pour this batter into the greased pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until a tester in the center comes out fairly clean. Let this cool for a while.
If you have multiple 9 inch cake pans, you could this at the same time as the brownie base. If not (I really ought to buy another one!), just wait until the brownie base is done so you can re-use that pan. Whatever the case, again, the oven ought to be preheated to 325 °F and a 9 inch cake pan should be greased and have a cut out round of parchment paper pressed against the bottom to make for easy cake removal later.
In a double boiler (bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water where the bowl is not making direct physical contact with the water), melt the chocolate chunks, cocoa powder, and hot water, stirring with some regularity to prevent any burning or sticking. Once smooth and totally melted, mix in 1/4 cup of the sugar, stirring until nice and glossy. Remove this from heat and set it aside.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside.
Mix the buttermilk and vanilla extract is yet another bowl. Set this aside as you begin your plans for tricking someone else into cleaning up after you, perhaps by bribing them with cake.
And now we can begin to bring all of these elements together. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk all of the eggs until they begin to lighten in color and then gradually pour in the sugar, mixing on higher speed until fluffed up and well mixed (figure 2-3 minutes whisking). Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle and pour in the chocolate mixture, mixing until totally incorporated.
Add the softened butter, broken up into small chunks and beat them in briefly. Now, work in alternating batches: add a third of the flour mixture, mix until incorporated, add half of the buttermilk mixture, mix, and repeat until you’ve emptied both bowls.
Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake this for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out fairly clean. Let this cool for a bit.
This is probably old hat by now: melt down the chocolate chunks. Whether you’re using the microwave or the double boiler is irrelevant–just melt the chocolate down and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Then, scoop out about a quarter of your whipped cream and mix it into the melted chocolate to lighten that up a bit. Once well mixed, gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the mixture, folding only as much as is necessary to get this fairly homogenous (you don’t want to beat the air and fluffiness out of the whipped cream).
Once totally mixed, set this bowl of mousse aside in the fridge.
Putting it all together
Now that the three major cake components are done, you can start putting things together. Plate the brownie base and spread the mousse evenly over the brownie almost all the way to the edge. Carefully place the cake on top of this and gently press it down. Chill this for an hour to let the cake firm up a bit as one unit.
While the cake is chilling, you need to prepare the last component: the ganache. For some reason, this was the first time I ever prepared a ganache that siezed up on me (where it looks slightly sloshy and oily), so I rescued it by briefly freezing it and stirring it regularly until it firmed up, then transferring it to the fridge (next time, I might opt for a more Familiar Ganache recipe that has never done me wrong) Ideally, you won’t have the same experience. Because of my experience and the fact that I was tired, I didn’t bother reserving any ganache for decorating the cake like the inspiration for this cake (Shawnda did a beautiful job). Anyways, enough babbling about the ganache–you ought to make it now.