Jul 15, 2010

Back to the Basics: Baking

By: Amy Atlas, in Behind The Scenes

Many people get confused about whether I’m a caterer/baker or a stylist/event planner. I’m really a home baker, but a stylist for my event business. When I first started creating my dessert tables as a hobby at my own parties, I was baking, crafting, sourcing the props, and putting it all together the day of. My friends out there reading this will remember it well because I’d ask them to help out. Well, maybe I didn’t ask…it was more like me dragging them out of their houses and forcing them to help! We’d be baking my then-famous (at least amongst my family and friends) cookie pops and cupcakes until the wee hours of the night. At the time, the concept of a stylized dessert table was novel and friends at my parties would flip over every detail. It was so fun working on every detail of the party. As my hobby grew into a business, I knew that in order to do it right, I couldn’t do it all and I decided to source the desserts for my tables. The truth is, I really do miss the baking. Yes, I bake a lot with my boys because they have inherited the Atlas sweet tooth, but with my busy schedule I haven’t been able to bake for one of my tables. This week, we’re going back to the basics because we’re doing a shoot where everything has to be baked by a home baker. It feels just like the good ‘ole days. In our kitchen, Lisa, Rachael and I have been baking simple, homemade goodies all week. We’ve had flour fights {picture flour smothered all over us}, fondue tastings {dipping pumpkin banana bread in melted valrhona – yes, it’s as good as it sounds!}, and we’ve rolled more cookie dough than Mr. Pillsbury himself {all while listening to great old school tunes in the background}. It’s been a nostalgic week and I’m happy that we had a chance to get back to the basics of baking this week.┬á What have you wanted to do, but couldn’t because of the hectic schedule of everyday life? We’d love to know!

In the meantime, here are some behind-the-scenes pictures of us in action….Have a sweet day!

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  • Your pretzel rods have inspired me to make them for my house warming party which I have dubbed as a dessert party ­čÖé Thanks, Amy! Always an inspiration!

  • Thanks for clearing that up, and keeping it real about how much work it is do put together something as beautiful as you do. To keep costs down, I am the party planner, baker, cook, shopper, decorator, graphic designer, photographer, etc. for my childrens’ parties. It always seems doable in the planning stages, but in the end, there are always a few parts of my vision that I just run out of time to fulfill, or other things don’t quite go as planned. In the end, they are always thrilled, even if I haven’t been able to execute every detail the way I had hoped.

    Thanks for all of your gorgeous inspiration, and reminding us that it takes a team to pull it all together, sometimes!

  • Fun! I love making dipped pretzels!

  • This post is soooo speaking to me right now! I am a home baker who made treats for everyone as a hobby…now it has turned into utter craziness with order after order – and that’s just from friends and family. I’ve been thinking about starting a business but just don’t know where to start – it’s so overwhelming! Hopefully in one of your next posts I’ll find some more inspiration!

  • Jacquie

    This post made me smile and just feel good so thank you. I love to bake and often do for my friends and family after stints in the industry. However, I have event planning experience in terms of internships, but finding a job to combine the two is tough right now and this post just made me think about what I truly love to do and figure out how I’m going to do that ­čÖé

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Thomas McBride

    I love baking…and people who can combine talent and business prowess like you do…amazing!!!

  • Renea

    I would love to bake a rich, decadent torte, or maybe one of those fancy tiered cakes. DH’s birthday is coming up, so I’m just going to have to find the time to do it…somehow!

  • Bethany

    In reply to your question, I wish I had more time to write letters! I love stationary. I love the feeling of receiving a letter in the mail that was personally, hand-written for me. We have lost that art. I want to be more intentional about sending my loved ones letters. I am a healthcare professional and am not in the event industry. However, I love well thought out events and mementos and your site is full of them. Keep it up!

  • Loved reading this post and seeing your behind the scenese baking pictures! You are such an inspiration in the creativity, color, style, design and uniqueness you bring to your dessert tables! I am an at home baker and absolutely love it. I’m slowly trying to turn my true passion for baking and creativity into a career. Your website and blog is filled with so many amazing tips, tricks and inspiring party themes! I am truly overwhelemed each time I visit your sites, and hope to some day be able to pull off a dessert table half as good as yours are!

  • I know exactly what you mean, Amy. I love baking and creating really unique desserts and was originally going to do so for my event business as well…but since I’m not a licensed baker, don’t have a commercial kitchen (etc.) and, simply, no time as my business also does wedding/event planning, I have decided to outsource the baked goods. Luckily the vendors I’ve sourced are very comfortable with me designing the sweets, but it would be so nice to make things on my own too! I love that you went through the same thing, haha! Thanks so much for doing these “behind the scenes” and personal posts; they are so enjoyable, especially for someone that is just building a business.

  • This is inspiring me so much, I love baking and my first paid venture was teaching cupcake decorating classes from home but now want to branch out into having a go at dessert tables. I love these pictures, thanks Amy for being so generous with your behind the scenes pictures, video and advice. I love your new website!!!!

  • do you have any sources for appealing vegan baked goods? My kids have dairy & egg allergies & I have the hardest time making things vegann baked goods which taste good & look good too! Thanks, Carli

  • This post makes me want to head down into the kitchen and whip something up. . . like a summer salad because it’s sooo hot here. I envy your emphasis on fall (pumpkin? sounds great) because I’m already wishing it were here. Great post–and I liked your vlog too. Because of your influence, I’m trying to get my friend at church to do a dessert-style table instead of the same old cake for our fall event. I’ll keep working on her!

  • Lea

    what about posting some recipes ?

  • Ooo home baking, I love it! I am currently where you were at many years ago, I do everything myself, from the paper goods to the baking to the sewing and craftwork. Its not a business, just a hobby which I love. I used to paint, but these days with 4 girls to look after, baking and sewing I haven’t been able to pick up a paint brush quite as often as I used to. I am constantly AMAZED at how much you do and still finding time to post here and on FB, you are super woman!

  • So FUN! I can’t wait to see the final table. Your work is always so beautiful, I usually look at your pictures with my chin on the desk in awe. Tonight this story inspired me, I am at the do it all myself home baker starting a business and there are days when you wonder where it will lead. Thank you for sharing, it is truly inspirational.

  • I wanna know how you stay soooo skinny being around all those treats all the time!!!???
    I wanna be you when I grow up (I’m gonna be 47 in 2 weeks) working on my passion for Event Design. You are a wonderful mentor to me thru your blog!
    Besides your incredible talent-you funloving and kind spirit shines thru too!

  • Amy, you can’t show us chocolate chips, sprinkles, batter and not give us recipes!!! I too have inherited the Atlas sweet tooth!!

    Pleeeeeeease, don’t make a girl beg (more than is dignified..)!! ­čśÇ

  • Sara R.

    Right now it’s baking for me too. So much going on and with the heat of summer I don’t want to make the house any hotter by turning on the oven. But I really miss baking.

  • Baking is my absolute favorite thing in the world – those dipped pretzels look amazing

  • I love everything to do with partie (well at least the prep part – not the mingling) and I’ve managed to make a business of my cookies – but I’m dying to do wedding cakes as well but there is just no time – so for now I just dream of them. your parties are absolutely awesome – would be so cool to collaborate one day.

  • Great post. Oh what fun to be back in the kitchen – can’t wait to see what an Amy Atlas `home-baked’spread will look like! Imperfectly perfect for sure. I am desperately trying to find the time to start a quilt. We grew up surrounded by them with a clever quilting Mum and since having my last baby, I am overcome with the desire to fill my home with all sorts of homemade quilt-y goodness. Time is as elusive as ever!!

  • Bookmarked, I love your blog!