Leaning In To The Authentic Me

Planning Ahead: Lessons Learned from a Cake


I have pretty good self confidence, but there have always been things about me that have caused me to feel self conscious - I'm too annoying, I'm too loud, I take too many photos, etc. Lately I have been trying to lean in to who I am. By this I mean be okay and happy with what these so called negative or weird aspects of me are. 
I might think I'm annoying by planning a family reunion two years in advance, sending out "save the dates" 18 months in advance, and booking the accommodations 13 months out, but if these things didn't get done, we might miss out on the perfect spot for our family reunion. Rather than view this as annoying, I decided to lean into it and go ahead and create a family reunion website that will have all of our information on it, plan what the welcome baskets will look like, and create games that we will all be able to enjoy in 2024. 


Cake in freezer

Do I take too many photos? Absolutely! My husband always rolls his eyes and when I want nice family photos I literally set a timer for the agreed upon number of minutes. But you know what? My sister in law's grandfather recently passed away and she shared with me that she made a slideshow for his funeral and the last image was a perfect capture of her grandfather's personality. Her uncle captured that photo because he had his camera with him and took lots of photos himself. 

So now I have a goal to lean into that part of myself and take even more photos, even if I feel a little obnoxious. There are positives aspects of these qualities that are me. 

raspberry with sieve
So what does this have to do with a raspberry frosted cake? Well, the reason I decided to make this cake this week comes back to me leaning into the planning part of my personality. I decided that I wanted to do a berry theme for my daughter Nellie's 2nd birthday party that we will be having in April, but I didn't know if I could frost a cake decently enough to look presentable for her party. 

Kitchenaid and raspberry buttercream


Last year I made a cake but I out candy daisies all over it so I didn't need to make the frosting look nice. So rather than worry about it for months, I decided to just go ahead and make my cake! Last year's cake had gross frosting that tasted like butter so this year I decided to experiment with raspberry buttercream. I bought frozen raspberries, defrosted them, and stuck them in a sieve to get the raspberry puree.
I started with the Silikomart cake molds that worked so well for me last year. Immediately after coming out of the oven, I covered them in plastic wrap and stuck them in the freezer. The next day I easily peeled the molds off and tried my best to cut the bottom layer to make it level.
Frozen cake and cake mold
Cake and mold
Then I just went for it - I added the frosting and simply used a knife to spread it around! I topped it with some fresh berries and overall I was pretty proud of it! I mean it's no wedding cake, but I think it is presentable enough for a two year old's birthday party!! 
Now I can feel confident in my choice to make my own cake and I can focus on the fun parts of planning the rest of the party. Do I plan ridiculously far in advance? Of course I do, but that is who I am! I'm leaning in to me! Am I still a little embarrassed about it? I mean I'm just human. But I am allowing myself to be me despite the embarrassment. 
cake with frosting being added
cake frosted
putting berries on the cake
Taryn with cake
finished cake
Taryn with finished cake
cake cut up
Nellie looking at cut up cake in freezer
nellie smiling next to frozen cake pieces
What aspects of your personality do you want to lean into? What do you want to allow yourself to be? It is actually freeing in a way! I had a fun time making this cake, photographing it, and of course now I'm going to enjoy eating it once piece at a time after lunch or dinner as my dessert!! 
Our goal here at Gourmet Kitchenworks is to help you spend less time in the kitchen (or less time cooking alone), and more time with your family doing the things that you love to do, all while getting healthier. I hope you can find things that make you happy and that our products can help you do just that!!
Taryn Pratt, MPH 
P.S. Have any questions?? The quickest way to get an answer is to DM me on our instagram @GourmetKitchenworks 

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