#BikersandBabesBirthday + Birthday Haul

These past couple weeks have been nothing but crazy, in the best of ways. I turned 23 on May 2nd and decided to have a Bikers and Babes Birthday! Everyone who attended was required to dress up in their grungiest, most bad-ass clothing and we’d get all revved up together (get it? Revved up? HA).

313 The party was a success! We hung an American flag in our window and had a bunch of temporary tattoos to put on. I ended up having a quarter sleeve and a neck tattoo by the end of the night! My roommates were great as well- one of them made our mirror in the bathroom the designated “selfie” mirror with #bikersandbabes and we also used two disposable cameras throughout the night so WHO KNOWS what’s on those…

I ended up wearing black pants with a wife beater and a black vest that I found at The Garment District and of course, tied a red bandana around my arm. The outfit was complete with my bad-ass black lace up boots too. We provided some version of Biker Juice aka Gasoline aka Jungle Juice for our friends but most everyone brought their own! I was Pong house champions with my roommate Allie all night and we just kept sinking cups like no other. We finally went out to TITS but then ended up at White Horse for the rest of the night.

314On our way home while waiting for the bus, I was sitting next to this kid who was eating these disgusting lemon chile Dorito things (why I remember that, I don’t know) and we started a conversation with him. While he was kind of pretentious (and also drunk), he had said some sort of off-handed comment about my quarter sleeve of fake tattoos and related it to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to which I immediately replied (being an asshole),

I KNOW HIM. WE WRITE LETTERS TO EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME

WHAT. WHY DID I EVEN SAY THAT!? I mean, of course I’m pen pals with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Isn’t everyone? I can’t even say that I’ve met him in person but RATHER I write LETTERS to him? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME. It really was quite funny- especially the next day when I was reminded that I spent a ton of time convincing him that I knew The Rock. Reeeeeeeaaaaal casual, Abby.

Breakfast consisted of leftover pizza from the night previous, two boxes of Allie’s Donuts from one of my best friends, M&M pancakes, bacon and hasbrowns. Really healthy, I know, but the perfect hangover food! I had such a great birthday; I’m so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life. On top of that, I got so many awesome presents in the mail from my friends and family that I wanted to share!

356I’m super stoked that I got the ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid! You have to freeze the bowl overnight for best results (and I’d make the base the day before too!) but then it only takes 20 to 30 minutes to churn a 2 qt batch! As soon as I’m able to use it, I’ll post a review and a recipe!

355In school, we also used something called a siphon. It’s essentially that tool they use at Starbucks to make whipped cream. You have to buy compressed CO2 chargers that go inside the head and then you shake the cannister with the liquid inside. Once you press the handle, you can make foams, mousses or even something called siphon cake out of it! I’m looking forward to practicing some techniques this summer with this!

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I also got the Flavor Bible and the Bouchon Bakery cookbook for my birthday. The Flavor Bible is excellent for both sweet and savory cooking. You want to know what spices go with asparagus? Or maybe what other flavors pair well with guavas? Look it up! There’s a TON of suggestions for anything you can think of. And the Bouchon book is a BEAUTIFUL cookbook. I can’t wait to try it out!

353I also got a cute pair of TOMS from my sister, Target and Amazon gift cards, and a cute picture frame and journal from my roommate! I’m so spoiled!

Check back next week for another crazy update about online dating! Have a great weekend!

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Michelle Scurio- Cake Monstah

So as I mentioned when I relaunched my blog, I have some incredibly talented friends, most of whom I met in culinary school. Most of my friends and I have graduated with the same degree- a B.S in Baking & Pastry and Food Service Management, yet all of our jobs are so different from one another. Food service such a vast field; not everyone who goes to school for pastry works in a bakery like me! So therefore, I wanted to take a moment and brag about how great my friends are, okay?

So Michelle and I met my freshman year in college and were fast friends who lived down the hall from one another. Michelle’s a Boston native with a Boston attitude! She’s always down to have a good time whether it was having a night on the town or just playing Nancy Drew computer games in the dorm for a night. We spent a year living together and even traveled abroad with one another where we studied pastry at a French school called E’cole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie (ENSP).

Even when we met, Michelle talked about having her own business called Cake Monstah. It was something she started in high school, doing business with her friends and family in the local community. It has blossomed into something much more after the years Michelle spent marketing herself. She has now been featured on The Knot which is basically the ultimate wedding website across the US with a magazine publication that debuts twice a year. With all of this attention, I had a ton of questions for Michelle!

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A: So tell me about Cake Monstah! How’d you come up with that name?

M: I started Cake Monstah 6 years ago in high school making cakes for all occasions for my friends and family. All of the people in my family are interested in art in some way and cake became my medium. I wanted to have a name for my business that reflected my Boston attitude- nothing cutesy but something unique. Overall, it’s gotten a good amount of positive feedback!

A: So you’ve been featured in The Knot and you have a decent following on your Facebook page for Cake Monstah… That’s gotta feel pretty great! How has that changed how you do business? 

M: I’ve used The Knot to try and gain new clientele and expand my business. I also worked really hard to find my way into bridal shows and expos to set up a table and showcase my work to the guests. I’ve been lucky enough to get a lot of new contacts and now I’m asked to work and fill in at all sorts of different shows when I have time. Having a certified wedding website like The Knot drummed up new and trusting clients. I’m booking up for dates quickly. I only focus on one wedding per day so each client knows that I’m working 100% to make their day special. My work is personalized and I think that’s why I have to turn people away. It also helps that people are filling out yelp reviews and reviews on wedding websites to get my name out there.

230A: I know your Mom plays a huge part in your business; what kinds of things does she help you out with?

M: My mom is my business partner. She helped me a lot when I was in college to fill orders on the weekends and she’s also a graphic designer which is great since we’re working on re-branding this year. My mom gave me $200 to start the business when I was in high school which was a huge boost in the beginning. Now I teach her how to bake off cakes and do some more of the intricate fondant work for fun. We conceptualize ideas together and then my mom helps put paper to the computer!

A: Was going to Johnson & Wales University a good experience for you? How has it helped your career?

M: While I feel like I probably paid too much for school, JWU’s name brand has really boosted my business and made me more marketable in the industry. It’s really hard to get accredited without having a degree these days so I knew I wanted to get my Bachelor’s in Baking and Pastry. Now that I’m a graduate, I can charge more for my cakes since my skill level has changed.

229A: So all in all, why do you do this? Why work in the food service industry?

M: First and foremost, I know I’ll always have a job and that the business is never ending. There’s always going to be someone who’s getting married that needs bridal shower cakes, grooms cakes, wedding cakes, etc. Then those people have kids and that generates a whole new set of business. Cake decorating is also my passion, my art form. I practically had a midlife crisis at the age of 17. I was going to go to Quinnepiac University for business but changed degrees and schools 2 months before going to college. I knew I wouldn’t be as happy doing something that would perhaps be more lucrative but rather I knew I had to follow my passion!

If you want to see more of Michelle’s work, click on the highlighted link here: Cake Monstah!

Like I said, I’m proud to have such talented friends and wanted to take some time to brag about them! The food service industry is filled with all sorts of different facets which is why I find it so interesting. Check back on Tuesday for another post about my post grad life!