Breakfast/ Exercise/ Fitness/ Lunch

Is It The Weekend Yet?!

Well, last night was MUCH better than the previous one!!! We didn’t get out early…but we did get out on time at 11:30, which is much better than 12:30 I suppose! I really really enjoyed cake decorating though. I’ve never done it before and I think that I liked this better than anything else I have done so far at school. It’s meditative really—you focus on your task at hand (duh, your cake) and it’s more of an art form than anything else. Of course, I’m really not good at it yet…but it’s one of those things that you just have to keep practicing. It was fun to break out the set of pastry pipes that I had in my chef kit and had never opened. I have about every tip you could ever imagine and now I sort of know how to work with them!

Last night was very very basic. We used the chocolate genoise cake for a Black Forest Cake and the plain genoise for a Yellow Raspberry Buttercream Cake. The Black Forest Cake was fun. First, I trimmed the top of the cake off, then cut it into three even layers (MUCH harder than it seems to get it even!!!) and soaked each layer with a kirsch flavored simple syrup, kirsch flavored chantilly cream and cherries. More chantilly cream (whipped cream) on top and finished off with dark chocolate curls, rosettes made with chantilly cream and more cherries. I gave this cake to my friend in another class and she LOVED it! She was so thankful! I’m going to have to find ways to get these off my hands because I will be coming home with 4 cakes a week. And these aren’t mini cakes either! They are each 8″ tall! For the Yellow Raspberry Buttercream Cake I did the same trimming/slicing procedure and soaked each layer in simple syrup, spread raspberry jam in a thin layer and put swiss buttercream on each cake layer. Finished off with more swiss buttercream and simple piping on the sides. This was difficult. I couldn’t get the icing smooth and pretty like my chef instructor!! I guess it just takes practice…I’m bringing this cake with me to work today.



I woke up early this morning, ate half a banana with almond butter, and hit the gym for an upper body workout. I did triceps, pushups, lat pull downs, chest press, fly machine, abs and warmed up with a couple minutes running on the treadmill. When I got back, I toasted up the last 2 of my HempPlus Lifestream waffles and ate them with maple syrup, walnuts and tons of fresh fruit! Yum! I also had coffee…my eyes are sort of sinking in my head because I didn’t sleep that well last night. I slept fine until 5, but then I tossed and turned and yelled at Dexter that was making noise and jumping around. Finally just got up and hit the gym at 7.

For lunch today I packed an almond butter/jelly pita with an apple and a soy yogurt for a snack. This pita seems MUCH messier than the previous almond butter pita I made a couple weeks ago. I don’t know how I will pull this off by eating it, answering the phone and typing on the computer at the same time but we will see I guess…



Enjoy your humpday!

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  • NJ
    April 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Um… I’ll take a cake. 🙂

    They look really beautiful. You have much more willpower than I!

  • kootz
    April 30, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    is the vanilla silk yogurt good? i almost bought some last night but got scared it would taste disgusting…. i recently went dairy free and just tried my first soy yogurt the other day (rasperry O’soy)

  • jenna
    April 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm


    I like Silk the best out of all the soy yogurt brands. I’ve tasted them all and this one wins by a long run!

  • Kath
    April 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    OH my……drooooooooooool over icing!!!

  • arimcg
    April 30, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    mmm…chocolate shavings. Most of those would have ended up in my mouth for sure.

  • kristin point
    April 30, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Kootz- I love vanilla silk yogurt, its yummy and deff worth a try!

    Jenna- you don’t get a break to eat your lunch? That stinks! Your cakes are beautiful!!

  • Becca
    April 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    You did a great job for your first try at cake decorating!

  • Romina
    April 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Just those descriptions are enough to make me drool!! Beautiful work. =)

  • Kristin
    April 30, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Those cakes look fabulous. You’re making me have chocolate cravings at 9:30 in the morning!!
    Keep up the great work =)

  • Rebecca
    April 30, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    I remember a while ago someone mentioning a yoga studio at Syracuse University, I was wondering the name of the studio. I don’t go to school there, but may take a summer course there.

    Did you find that yoga shapes your body- I have such a hard time believing Madonna’s body is really from yoga. I like it for the stress relief but don’t have time to do more than 3 days a week of exercise, so I am afraid yoga would not be a wise choice of my time. Thanks!

  • Rebecca
    April 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Nicole R,

    I would love to also hear your thoughts on yoga in terms of shaping your body. The few classes I have gone to don’t seem to hold poses long enough to actually tone your body.

  • Rebecca
    April 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I went to a baptiste studio. (sorry for all the comments, I wish you could edit your comments, so I could have added this on! opps)

  • Betsy in Pittsburgh
    April 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Buttercream… my downfall. Those cakes are too much for my 9:30 am eyes 🙂

  • Vegan_Noodle
    April 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Isn’t cake decorating so much fun? Do you get to make any vegan cakes?

  • Cara
    April 30, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Wow those cakes are gorgeous! Good job!

  • Tina
    April 30, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Beautiful cakes! You’re so talented! 🙂

  • Dorothy
    April 30, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Could you find a local coffee shop or something and sell your cakes?

  • VeggieGirl
    April 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Jenna!!! Those cakes!!! Perfection!!! Well done, girl – and I’m glad that you got out of class earlier than 12:30am!!! :0)

    Mmm, looks like you started your day with a FABULOUS waffle breakfast – yum!

  • nicole r
    April 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Rebecca–

    I think yoga definitely does shape your body, but not like Madonna’s. Yoga will give you a longer line to your muscles, rather than identifiable and bulky definition. To me, Madonna looks like a man, and thankfully yoga will never do that to you. Her arms kind of make me ill, women are not supposed to be that jacked. I love Baptiste yoga—kind of a fusion of vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram, and power—love that. There’s not really any other type of bodywork that uses your muscles how yoga does—you’re strengthening and stretching simultaneously, and this is why you don’t get the bulk you will from weights. Also, because you work so many muscle groups concurrently in all the poses, its more of a well-balanced routine, in my opinion. I would say most of the “definition” I have is from the core work I do, while probably a great deal of my strength is derived from yoga. If you want to get more of a vigorous workout from your yoga, just make sure to take some faster paced or heated classes. Baptiste is a great option for that. Any kind of flow yoga. Stay away from Hatha, Anusara, or Iyengar. Vinyasa, anything with the word “power” (which is much less like classical yoga, but still really fun and great), ashtanga, or bikram are all good choices. Bikram is slow with longer holds, but the heat definitely taxes your heart.

    Hope that helped 🙂

  • Teddy
    April 30, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    WOW THAT is your first try at cake decorating?? you’re definitely in the right field lol 🙂
    and i agree it’s WAY harder than it seems to cut a cake so it’s level


  • Andrea
    April 30, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    if thats your FIRST time i can’t wait to see what they’ll look like after practicing! you are so incredibly talented!!!

  • ibex hk
    April 30, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    wow, you’re amazing at decorating cakes and it’s just your first week!! They look so pretty, but oddly enough, I hate cake..I know, weird! Glad you’re enjoying the class, have a great humpday!

  • becky
    April 30, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    how awesome do those look? can you auction off the extras on this site? 🙂

  • G
    April 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    First time posting! To tag along on this yoga talk, I have a question: I’ve only ever done simple yoga DVDs but want to try this 90 hot yoga class tomorrow. Does anyone with experience think this might be too intense for beginner like myself? I just don’t want to show up and not be able to do anything!

  • sarah
    April 30, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Oh my! I want those cakes!!!!!!!! YUMMY!

  • Betsy
    April 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    omg….those cakes look soooo amazing! i would have dived in, head first.

  • Chelibelly
    April 30, 2008 at 6:32 pm


    I tried my hand at cake decorating a little while ago, and found a recipe for swiss buttercream, and found it very difficult to work with (too soft, almost like whipped cream). Any suggestions? And, what’s the difference between swiss and regular buttercream?

  • babycakes
    April 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I know this post is mostly about the cakes (which look beautiful by the way!) but my eyes are focused on the fruit! It’s my very favorite food and all your fresh fruit this morning looks so good. Your apple pictures always look so good too. I am pretty much in love with apple so every time anyone posts pictures I get excited. I’m such a dork, I know!

    Anyway, so glad you’re enjoying this cake class Jenna. It sounds like a lot of fun.

    Hope you’re having a great afternoon 🙂

  • Exa
    April 30, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Your cakes are amazing. I am a horrible cake decorator. A few weeks ago I made my boyfriend a carrot cake and tried to cut it in half to make layers. Disaster. It still tasted great though.
    Which reminds me–I have a great lower-fat carrot cake thing to share. I usually like to bake things from scratch, but my boyfriend is very partial to his mother’s carrot cake, which I also love. I asked her for the recipe and she told me her secret: a box of mix and a can of pumpkin. That’s it! No oil, eggs, or anything. It makes a very gooey and rich cake, which I love.
    I wish I could frost it like you can 😉

  • jenna
    April 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    Vegan Noodle,

    That question made me laugh!! I wish! We do everything the very traditional, French way. It’s just part of the curriculum at the school I’m at (Cordon Bleu) and they can’t really veer off the course because its the same stuff taught at every le cordon bleu school. LOTS of butter! yuck!


    Swiss buttercream is based on a hot sugar syrup that is made from boiling together egg whites and sugar to a certain temp and then beating until it becomes a meringue and then slowly slowly slowly adding piece by piece the butter. the process takes about an hour! Your buttercream probably didn’t have enough stuff to make it sturdy, like egg whites. I would research it if you want to go further, but traditional icing uses egg whites to keep its shape. it works well!

  • Ashley H
    April 30, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Jenna you have to at least try the cakes or whats the point of making them!!
    Oh I also wanted to add that when I make PB&J pitas I cut it open halfway and put inside. I have found this works much better and doesnt drip out it is also very effective if you want to put bananas in it! Give it a try!!

  • Katie
    May 1, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I greatly admire your philosophy of food and your cooking skills. But I do find myself wondering, why are you at a French cooking school if you don’t like the foods you are making? After all, someone is going to eat the cakes you make, meaning someone is going to eat a lot of butter!
    I’m not trying to be critical, just curious how you balance this education at this heavily non-vegan school with your personal eating philosophy. Hopefully that makes sense.
    Again, love your meals and the beautiful cakes and pastries you post. Keep up the great blog.

  • jenna
    May 1, 2008 at 3:09 am


    I’m not a vegan, first of all :). I just don’t consume dairy or meat. I still eat seafood. I’m at this school because its the best in the world and baking is my passion. Why not go for the best? Pastry is an art form to me. NO ONE in my classes stuffs their face. trust me! When you spend 3 hours intricately decorating a cake or a petit four, the last thing you want to do is eat it. Everyone brings cameras and notes and then most people give everything away to culinary students at the end of the night. I’m at culinary school to learn every single thing I can about the craft that I am passionate about so, in the future, when I have my own business and write my own books, I will have the credibility behind my name. “Jenna, who has a BA in writing as well as a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu” sounds a heck of a ton better than just “Jenna who has a degree in writing from college of charleston”. you make a TON more money and can advance much much MUCH faster in the career of your choice if you have been to culinary school. Again, pastry is an art form to me, not a reason to stuff your face. My great grandmother owned a successful cake decorating shop in Minnesota during WW1 and I inherited all her tools….I guess that was the biggest motivating factor in what I should do. I guess it’s just in my blood.

  • Jenna 2
    May 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    thank you so much for that comment!!! it was really great to see just how passionate you are about it. I wish you luck in everything you do.

  • Katie
    May 1, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks for responding so thoughtfully! I appreciate it. That makes a lot of sense, and I wish you the best.

  • happy herbivore
    May 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    those cakes are awesome!!!