Archive for April, 2009

We Make Fools Of Ourselves For Fun

April 30, 2009
photo courtesy of Eric Michael

photo courtesy of Eric Michael

Here’s a mock up of one of the photos taken during the recent Harvard Sailing Team photo shoot! We had such a blast. I promise to post more photos soon. They look reeeal sharp.

If you wanna catch us live tonight, we’re performing A-Side/B-Side at UCB. Show starts at 9:30. We’ll be donning our Spring time best, of course – polos, jeans, and converse.

**Also, if you come to the show, my little brother will be in the audience. He just got back into town last night at midnight. If you wanna say hi, he looks and sounds exactly like me. That’s how you’ll know it’s him.

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Sweets For Brunchin’

April 29, 2009
photo courtesy of Jaclyn Backhaus

photo courtesy of Jaclyn Backhaus

Fanny & Jane made a brunch appearance this past weekend. We, the ladies behind Fanny & Jane, weren’t actually there, but we sent our best representative: red velvet cake and cake bites.

Our friend, Jaclyn, ordered a Fanny & Jane custom cake for her friend’s b-day brunch (happy belated, Laura!) I just love the feeling this photo evokes. It’s just so BRUNCH! Citrus-y mimosas and decadent red velvet cake? Hello, my dream Sunday afternoon.

I don’t think Jen nor I imagined that our initial F & J vision of comfort sweets – variations on cookies and brownies – would foray us into the wondrous world of cakes. But now that it has, there’s no turning back. My growing desire to put frosting on everything has been very nurtured since we started making cakes. This was actually the first Fanny & Jane cake I made all by myself (Jen, was in Chicago setting up trays of our sweets for her Aunt’s surprise birthday party!), and I learned a great deal about myself while Jen was gone. For example, my all too frequent tendency to talk to myself triples when I’m baking alone. I also learned that I enjoy baking that much more when coupled with the perfect playlist (my choice on Friday and Saturday was the Ben Folds Five station on Pandora). And the last thing I learned is to allow myself twice as much time as I think it will take me to bake something.  Naively, I thought that if I started my baking at 11ish, I would be able to meet my friends in Prospect Park for a sunny picnic by 1 in the afternoon.   Ha!  Several hours later, I finally showed up to the picnic…but I brought some extra cake bites, so my tardiness was quickly forgiven and forgotten.

Let’s Spend The Day Together

April 27, 2009

 

Time Out New York just voted The General Greene: best new neighborhood joint in brooklyn

Time Out New York just voted The General Greene: best new neighborhood joint in brooklyn

 

 

iced coffee please

iced coffee please

 

fellow brunchers

fellow brunchers

 

shoulder town

shoulder town

a succulent in a nut can

a succulent in a nut can

"park that bike by the coffee station!"

"park that bike by the coffee station!"

I'm already planning my next trip here

I'm already planning my next trip here

love these colors

love these colors

lazing in the grass at fort greene park

lazing in the grass at fort greene park

we all scream for ice cream! Blue Marble on Atlantic Avenue

we all scream for ice cream at Blue Marble on Atlantic Avenue

 

oh the flavors!

oh the flavors!

his marble of choice: dulce de leche

his marble of choice: dulce de leche

her marble of choice: mint chip

her marble of choice: mint chip

the sunset from my roof

the sunset from my roof

cherry tomato and asparagus pesto pasta for dinner

cherry tomato and asparagus pesto pasta for dinner

More often than not, my boyfriend and my schedules pull us in opposite directions.  Most evenings before bed we ask each other, “What are you up to tomorrow?” and the response is usually a laundry list of errands to run and rehearsals to attend and work shifts to go to and baking schedules to adhere to.  However, when this question was posed this past Saturday night, you could imagine how surprised we were when both of our answers were “I actually don’t have any plans tomorrow.”

!!!  

We seized the opportunity and took the whole sunny day to venture around Fort Greene together, an area of Brooklyn that both of us had been wanting to explore.  We didn’t leave the borough once yesterday, and we appropriately fulfilled our role as “that young Brooklyn couple” – we brunched, sat in the park, got ice cream, went to a movie at BAM Rose Cinemas, did a quick shopping stop at Target, and made dinner at home.  The day was made even more wonderful by the fact that it was so spontaneous.  If I had known a week ago that we both had Sunday free, I’m sure I would have tried to schedule a million things (“we’ll wake up early, go to the gym, then we’ll get coffee at Joyce Bakeshop, and then we can take a picnic to the Cloisters, and then we’ll try to rush the matinee of Exit The King, and then for the late afternoon and early evening portion of our day…”), and my tendency to micro-manage and plan everything out in advance would surely have ruined the specialness and spur of the moment plans of yesterday.  It was a really perfect day, one that made me incredibly happy to relax and be okay with the fact that I wasn’t necessarily being productive.  Dobby, thanks for sharing the springsummeralldayfortgreenebrooklynbonanza day with me.   

Since the weather has been on our side here in New York the past few days (sunny as heck and in the 80s!), I have been slapping on the spf 35 and frolicking around as much and as early as possible and haven’t had much sit-down-at-the-computer-to-blog-and-look-out-the-window-wishing-the-weather-was-warmer time.  But despite the lack o blogging of late, I have much exciting Fanny & Jane updates and promise to fill you in soon!  

For now, I’m slapping on the spf 35 and donning my blue and orange and getting ready to head out to a Mets game at the new Citi Field – Shake Shack and fly balls, here I come!

The Real Deal

April 23, 2009

It’s gettin’ real. These past few days, Jen and I have really been working around the clock leading our triple lives. And boy, is it exhausting. I fantasize about the day when I don’t need the money from “survival jobs” to support my true passions. As it is now, I work 3-4 days a week at a desk as an office administrator for a tote bag and accessories company, I butler hours d’oeuvres and drinks as a part-time caterer for fancy pantsy parties, I rehearse and perform weekly with sketch comedy team Harvard Sailing Team, and Jen and I are working in our (plethora of) free time to get this baked goods business off the ground.

I. Am. Zonked. Out.

What initially began as a new and fun side project, has now truly blossomed into a full-on budding sweets business…complete with a logo!

This logo was the cause of many gasps and giggles for me and Jen. My generous and uber talented friend, Julien Fyhrie, designed it for us. The process was exhilarating – it was such a joy to share with him our visions for the company (visions as abstract as “pink”, “girls”, and “Brooklyn”), and then for him to come back at us with REAL designs. It was the best! You know how fun it is to play the “What Are You Gonna Name Your Kids” game? (Bella and Lukas). I felt the same combination of thrill and agita from naming the company and choosing the logo: Fanny & Jane – Baked In Brooklyn.

While Jen and I are going head-on into running this baked goods business together, I can’t help but feel a little bit like we’re little girls curiously clip-clopping around in our moms’ high heels. Like we’re playing the role of “business owners” or something. I’ve never owned or started something quite like this before, and the feeling is foreign and intoxicating. From the creative process of choosing a logo to the fun task of naming the products, it’s a wonder to me why everyone doesn’t start their own business! Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that Quickbooks and quote unquote taxes aren’t going to enter into the picture at some point, but until then, I’m quite content in brainstorming taglines and testing out brownie recipes. : )

As I stare down the long nose of today (pretty sure I just made up that weird metaphor), I feel exhausted just thinking about all the tasks that are ahead of me. Today Jen leaves for a vacation with her boyfriend, and I will stay in New York, and we will be running the business apart for the first time. She has orders to deliver (!!!) and business stuff to attend to while she’s away, while I have another custom birthday cake order (!!!) to fill for Friday. Suddenly, our hands are full with an adorable pink logo, and flour, and frosting, and Fanny & Jane hasn’t even officially launched yet! But before either of us can even begin to think about recipes and kitchen prep, we have to get through our day jobs. In my case, today I am working in my office and then running uptown to cater a party at the Met Museum. After I change from my tuxedo pants back into my jeans, I’ll head back down to Brooklyn to buy some last ingredients and start prepping for Friday’s cake.

Foof!

Coffee in hand, ready to start the day.

(But seriously – how cute is our logo??!!)

There Was An Old Man Of The Isles

April 22, 2009
yesterday's colorful assortment of macaroons at madeleine patisserie in nyc

yesterday's colorful assortment of macaroons at madeleine patisserie in nyc

Blogarick #4

I craved a sweet treat that was nifty

However, was feeling quite thrifty.

Just a french macaroon*

‘s what my heart was set on

But the thing set me back two bucks fifty!

*different from the traditional passover dessert, coconut macaroons (yuck!), the french version is actually pronounced maca-rohn (yum!). Just wanted to clear that up, in the name of rhyming.

You can find those sweet little treats pictured above at Madeleine Patisserie on 23rd St. in Manhattan. They are my favorite macaroons in the city. Like a raccoon attracted to shiny things, I get hypnotized by their vivid bright colors! And their flavors are so creative and delicious. I’ve tried their strawberry, champagne, and pear brandy flavors. Mmmm! The bakery is right by my office and (un)fortunately for my wallet and waistline, I just might have to stop by to try a new one today.

it's like the american apparel of the cookie world

it's like the american apparel of the cookie world

Why, Rain? Why?

April 21, 2009

 

shawna on da roof

shawna on da roof

friday night's sunset from my brooklyn rooftop

friday night's sunset from my brooklyn rooftop

 

...again

...again

Here’s photographic proof that the weather didn’t suck this past weekend.  I just needed a quick reminder, because yesterday and today are gloomy woomy.

Click. Drool. Repeat.

April 20, 2009
B.L.A.T. (photo courtesy of Pinch My Salt)

B.L.A.T. (photo courtesy of Pinch My Salt)

I was recently turned on to a website called Food Porn Daily.  It is exactly what it sounds like.

The above food photo of a B.L.A.T. (Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato) is from a great website, Pinch My Salt – it’s all about cooking, complete with fun recipes and yummy photos.

Ice Cream and Magnolias

April 19, 2009
me (the chocolate cone) & my boyfriend (the lemonade)

my boyfriend (the lemonade) & me (the chocolate cone)

I am sure that the blogosphere is all abuzz lately about the weather in New York…add me to the list.

Can you believe this weather we’re having??  Friday was pure sunny bliss.  Yesterday I felt like I was swimming in a warm bath.  Absolute heaven.  

On Friday, I was working at my desk job, and looking out the window at all the people below in their bermuda shorts and big sunglasses was torturous.  So I told my co-workers I was just going to run down (for 20 minutes) to grab an iced coffee, and out the door I was.  Since my window of time was brief, I strategically planned it so that my boyfriend would be in the area and we could enjoy our 20 minutes in the sun together (it sounds so awful that we have to plan things out like this, but when you work in an office and your boyfriend is constantly running from one rehearsal to the next, you take what you can get!).  So we did, and it was wonderful.  We went to Madison Square Park and sat on the sunniest bench we could find.  We were in good company with all the other desperate-for-warmth-New-Yorkers (one couple even laid out a picnic blanket and was having a picnic on the concrete because the grass was being re-seeded!)  The line at Shake Shack was appropriately long – an hour and a half wait for a burger and shake!  However, as I was writing this blog, I discovered that Shake Shack has a “Shack Cam” where they encourage you to “Watch the screen.  Plan accordingly.”  so you can monitor how long the line is 24 hours a day.  Genius!  Big Brother is watching, burger-lovers.  So, my boyfriend and I opted for the B-Line, which is a shorter line but a limited menu.  Happily we ordered a large lemonade and a single scoop chocolate cone – my first ice cream of the season!

Yesterday, Jen and I had to meet to discuss some next steps with our baking biz.  In addition to sharing a love of sweets, we also share a love being out in the sun (though you would probably never guess it based on our fare skin – she gets freckly and I get burnt!).  So we decided to make the most of the meeting and the day, and we had an outdoor brunch meeting.  Jen, her boyfriend, and I met at Cafe Enduro, a favorite local Brooklyn brunch spot, for breakfast quesadillas.  One of the joys of starting your own business is that you get to make decisions like, “Let’s have a meeting.  Meet at that tree over there in half an hour.  Bring a picnic blanket, beverage of choice, and notebook.”  That’s how it is for now anyway.  : )

After our meeting, I walked through Prospect Park to meet my best friend and recent California-to-New-York transplant, Shawna.  We sat on a hill under a magnolia tree and watched the frisbee-throwers, dogs, and babies.  

Today, Jen and I are meeting in the city to go shopping for packaging supplies so we can play with some ideas we have for wrapping our little brownies and cake bites.  I’m sure we’ll find some time for a “sit in the park with an iced coffee” meeting.

Let Them Eat…

April 17, 2009
happy birthday, jonathan!

happy birthday, jonathan!

Happy Friday!  Wanna see more pictures of cake?  Jen blogged about our first order on her blog.

Our First Order!

April 16, 2009
our first cake: red velvet

our first cake: red velvet

A gift basket here and a birthday cake there, and just like that Jen and I are already starting to fill orders!  Even though we’re not technically open for business yet, we have received orders from our very supportive and sweet-toothed friends and family.  It’s all feeling very real.

We baked and frosted our very first cake for our friend, Jonathan.  His girlfriend commissioned us to make  a birthday cake for him and she generously gave us carte blanch to do whatever we wanted – however, she excitedly requested that we top the cake with our cake bites (GREAT idea, Chloe!).  Jen and I had a great time figuring out the process of making and frosting a triple layer red velvet cake, which turns out is a whole different beast than making cookies and cake bites.  Here are some pictures of the process (sans cake bites on top…those were still cooling while these photos were taken).  Also, you can click here to see our friend Marina’s photo of the birthday cake and little blurb from the party last night!

layers two of three

layers two of three

a dollop of cream cheese frosting on the third and final layer.  mmm frosting.

a dollop of cream cheese frosting on the third and final layer. mmm frosting.