Friday, January 31, 2014

Olympic Cookie Countdown!

One week from today is the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  I plan an evening with snacks and cuddling on the couch to watch (even though I will be taping it earlier in the day and not watching it live because the actual ceremony takes place at 10am our time).  

Today we are highlighting the sport of luge, which is a small one- or two-person sled on which the athlete lays supine (face up) and feet-first.  Steering is done by flexing of the calves or exerting shoulder pressure.  The luge can reach speeds of 140 km per hour and because the sport is timed to a thousandth of a second, it is one of the most precisely timed sports in the world!

The luge events will be held at the Sliding Center Sanki near Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.  There are four events and they are scheduled for February 8-13.

Kung Hei Fat Choy - Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year - Kung Hei Fat Choy!  2014 is the year of the horse!  I hope it is a wonderful year for all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Olympic Cookie Countdown Continues

Today, with only 9 days until the start of the Olympics, we are celebrating hockey!!  Officially it is called "Ice Hockey", but of course in Canada the "ice" part is a given.  The competitions will be played at two venues located 300 meters from each other in the Olympic Park.  The Bolshoy Ice Dome will resemble a FabergĂ© egg.  The Shayba Arena is a moveable structure that will be used after the Olympics in another Russian city.  Both arenas are international sized as opposed to the North American size used in Vancouver in 2010.  Twelve teams will compete in the men's tournament, eight in the women's.  The Ice Hockey events will begin on February 8th and conclude on the 23rd.  I know most of my Canadian friends will be watching these events - will you?  Go Canada!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

5-Minute Chocolate Craving Cake!

Through some research, I have discovered the original recipe for this 5-minute cake came from the website but by the time I found it through a link on twitter, it had already changed somewhat.  Here is my version, enjoy and try it yourself.  I'd love to know how you make out!

Sweet Handmade's Olympic Cookie Countdown

With only 10 days to go until the start of the Winter Olympics (!) we are celebrating the beautiful sport of figure skating.  The events will be held at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, Russia.  There are the traditional pairs, ice dance, ladies single and mens single events and for the first time a team event in figure skating will be held as well.  In fact, the team event will start a day before the Opening ceremony on February 6th and the figure skating will wrap up on February 22.  This is one sport I love to watch at the Olympics - what about you?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Cookie Countdown to the 2014 Olympics Continues

Today's cookie is dedicated to Half-Pipe Skiing which is making it's official Winter Olympic debut in Sochi!  Competitors perform tricks while riding snow skis on a half-pipe.  A sport considered more dangerous than traditional ski events, helmets are a requirement during competitions and some practice facilities have airbags on the side of the pipe during practice runs.  Look for the half-pipe men's competition on February 18th and the women's on February 20th taking place at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park near Krasnaya Polyana, Russia!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Olympic Cookie Countdown

Just 12 days are remaining until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi!  Today's cookie represents the sport of Bobsleigh.  It has been a part of the Winter Games since 1924, with the exception of the 1960 games in Squaw Valley when the organizing committee decided not to build a track in order to reduce expenses!  The 2014 events will be held at the Sliding Center Sanki near Krasnaya Polyana, Russia from February 16-23 and will include 2-man, 4-man and 2-woman events.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Continuing Countdown to the Olympics in Cookies

Aerials first became an official Olympic event in the 1994 games.  It is one of a number of disciplines of freestyle skiing, including the more traditional events which includes moguls and aerials and the newer branch called "new school" which includes halfpipe, big air, slopestyle and big mountain or free-skiing.

For aerials, the athletes ski off 2-4 meter jumps built out of snow and get propelled up to 6 meters into the air.  Once in the air, they perform multiple somersaults and twists before landing.  Amazing!

Beginning on February 14th, the competition will be held to the West of the Rosa Khutor plateau at "Rosa Khutor" Extreme Park.

And to get you even more excited, just 13 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Olympic Cookie Countdown!

There are multiple events under the category of Cross Country Skiing at the Winter Olympics.  They include the skiathlon, free sprint, 10k & 15k classical, 5k & 10k relays and the 30k & 50k.  The events will be held at the Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex near Krasnaya Polyana in Russia and will begin on February 8th and continue until February 23.

Fifteen days until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The 2014 Winter Olympic Cookie Countdown!

During the 1992 Winter Olympics my husband and I were living in our first apartment.  The TV Guide (a weekly magazine that had the television listings in it) had a feature article on the Olympics and I distinctly remember the cover had pictures of Canadian figure skating pair Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler on it along with other Canadian athletes.  We loved watching the events and when it was all over it was a bit of a let down.  I didn't even want to throw out the "Guide" because it seemed so magical and my husband made a comment about how old we would be during the next Olympics - it was hard to imagine being four years older!

Twenty-two years later (and older), my entire family has enjoyed many winter and summer Olympics together.  We gather to watch the opening ceremonies and our favourite events.  "When do the Olympics start?" is a common refrain in our house.  To help with that, here is the official Sweet Handmade Olympic Cookie Countdown!

Today it is 16 days until the start of the Olympics and today we are celebrating the Olympic sport of curling.  Curling has only been an official Olympic event since 1998 but has been a part of the Canadian sporting culture since as early as 1807!!  The events will be taking place at the "Ice Cube" and the curling will take place from February 10 - 21!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Christening Cookies

Celebrating their beautiful son Nikolas, Jason and Christina wanted some Sweet Handmade cookies to make his Christening celebration even better.  Little 4 month old Nikolas and I go way back - all the way to his baby shower last year!

In addition to a beautiful platter of cookies at the venue, Villa Risi, Christina plans on saving one of each cookie as a keepsake to remember the day.  God Bless you Nikolas!

Lizy B Bakes - thanks for the inspiration!
Here is a more casual picture of the cookies on a platter before dropping them off at the event.  Christina left me a lovely message telling me the cookies were "delicious and a hit" and that all of her guests loved them.  I am so happy to have satisfied customers and look forward to working with Christina soon!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tricks of the Trade

I make a lot of dough each week and use a lot of flour.  Anyone who bakes knows adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients can be a dusty experience!  This is what I do to make to make adding the dry ingredients less messy:  I add all of my dry ingredients to the wet at once and cover my trusty Kitchenaid mixer with a towel.  I turn the mixer on to low and know the dough is fully mixed by the sound the mixer makes.  I used to count to 20 to know the mixing was complete but I am often counting out the next batch of ingredients and would lose track of what I was counting!  The mixer makes a distinctly different sound when the dough is fully mixed.  :)  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Queen's University Hockey Jersey Cookies

Kelly's son, a Queen's University student, hockey player and soon-to-be 21 year old was coming home to celebrate his birthday.  Kelly wanted something special to commemorate this special birthday so these custom hockey jersey cookies in Queen's University colours it was!  Happy 21st birthday, Matt!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Baby Shower Cookies - In the Pink!

Bev is a very lucky lady whose family is in the midst of a baby boom.  There are a number of grandbabies on the way!  Her son and his wife are expecting a little girl and Bev told me for this baby shower all pink would be suitable - so I created this adorable set.  Congratulations to Bev and her entire family!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winnie the Pooh Cookies

After a very long and extended Christmas vacation, my family is finally getting back to routine.  Bad weather cancelled school busses and closed the school for the first two days of this week.  My girls were so ready to head back to class!  Having taken the Christmas holidays off, I stayed out of the Sweet Kitchen an extra two days too (I'll be making up for it later in the week!)  I puttered around doing laundry and cleaning and working on Farmers' Market things...  My girls are now off to school and I am officially back to work too.  I've decided it is just too late to post my Christmas cookies, but I will post some other (non-Christmas styles) that I worked on the last few weeks.

Here are some Winnie the Pooh cookies - simply cute!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Road Bike Cookies

Ann asked me to create cookies for her road cycling group.  Riding together must be therapeutic for them as they jokingly refer to the group as "Cycle Therapy" (say that out loud to get the full effect :) ).