Tag Archives: chantelle’s cookies & cakes

Ready, Steady, Bake! My Life 22 MAY 2013

Right. So what was formerly my braai and gaming room already features no television and no couch, three table surfaces and no chairs, two fridges, two chest freezers, wall shelving and a big storage cupboard, meaning that the only thing left on the list in order to transform it proper into a super home baking environment was a big oven.

Well not anymore my friend, not anymore.

defy 831 multi-function thermofan oven 2

Last week I extended my investment into Chantelle’s booming Cookies & Cakes venture by heading out to Tafelberg Furnishers in Somerset West and purchasing for her a nice and big, Defy 831 Multi-function Thermofan oven (R8,000), a major step up from the little Defy kitchen oven that she currently has to make do with!

Having done the measurements and planning up front, basically what this means is that she can immediately jump from baking 24 cupcakes in twenty minutes right up to 72 per twenty minutes by running both ovens simultaneously, with that number potentially increasing by another 24 should we be able to source a third rack for the new oven. So a massive increase in production then which in turn should help her churn out her existing orders in record time, never mind the fact that we now have the extra capacity to go out and pick up some additional supply work as well.

Her dad Monty (who has probably worked with electricity for more years than what I’ve been alive) and I installed the oven on Saturday afternoon, setting up the oven and isolation switch directly under the distribution board (which happens to sit in the braai room – mainly because in the blueprints the space was originally the garage), thus making the job a lot easier than what it could perhaps have been, and I have to say, the whole operation was a lot smoother and simpler than what I had anticipated anyway – plus I learned a great deal in the process! :)

Anyway, the oven is awesome, Chantelle is happy, and I can finally stop worrying about what would happen to Chantelle if her one and only oven had packed up in the middle of a big order.

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And the first thing Chantelle baked in it? A big batch of tasty macaroons of course! :)

defy 831 multi-function thermofan oven 5

Related Link: http://www.defy.co.za/product.asp?pageId=1&cateId=1&subcateId=53&prodId=14

A Market, a Walk, and Magic Mike My Life 09 OCT 2012

Another weekend past, another market stall manned. As per usual Friday evening was all but wiped out by the frantic market prep, with Chantelle massively behind thanks to her big 80 cupcake order which she needed to deliver in Bellville on Friday afternoon. In an effort to make things a little easier, Jessica slept over at the Montgomery pad, but even this wasn’t enough to prevent Chantelle from only getting a handful of hours of sleep!

(That said, Andy probably didn’t get all that much sleep either – she gave birth to a beautiful little boy in the evening, welcoming little Aaron into the Snyman family! And on the topic of babies, my sister Claire is due next Friday as well, which needless to say is pretty exciting for the whole Lotter clan!)

In any event, I opted to setup and man the stall myself on Saturday morning, giving Chantelle a chance to try and grab a little sleep before driving through to join me later in the day. This plan went smoothly enough, though unfortunately the Willowbridge Slow Market organisers again chose to put us on the opposite side of the market between the Dog Food and Tupperware stalls, meaning our visibility was pretty low and we lost out big time on what should have been a very good market thanks to the weather and the time of the month. Oh well, we are evaluating a few new options in terms of markets, so we’ll see for just how long we’ll stick around with Willowbridge then.

After a little bit of a disappointing market, Chantelle and I next spent some time with Jessica and Cheryl at the Montgomery pad, with me spending a lot of time trying to get Jessica to stand up unaided. (And much to my surprise, she managed this feat a few times, standing for a good 10 to 20 seconds before realizing what she was doing and grabbing the nearest ledge).

Following that, I convinced Chantelle and Cheryl to join Jessie and myself for a trip to Door de Kraal recreational dam, where we made the most of a pretty dusk and loads of bird life for Jess to take in as we strolled around the dam (well, only about half the dam before turning back. Which if you think about it is almost the whole dam then).

Anyway, eventually bed time rolled around for young Jess Jess, and Chantelle and I opted to head out for a supper together, the first time we’ve gone out on a little evening ‘date’ in a very long time. Panarottis ended up being our dining spot of choice for the evening, and we enjoyed a delicious and leisurely supper in each other’s company.

Dropping her back at her folk’s place at 22:00, I then made the short trip through to Ryan’s pad, where I met up with him to battle it out over the XBOX 360 controller and his new copy of FIFA 13, a game which I must say is pretty damn awesome – the guys at EA seem to have got this one very, very right!

Midnight saw my return to the house, where I slunk into bed for a very good night’s rest. (Thanks Jessica for playing along!)

Sunday morning was up and early, and while playing with Jessica in the lounge something very special occurred – she took her first steps! And seeing as everyone was there to witness it, we pretty much had her walking up and down for at least the next 30 minutes! Tears of joy from Mommy and Ouma, and of course plenty of video snippets, which I’ll post up tomorrow for everyone to see.

Of course, this momentous occasion needed to be celebrated, so we all went out for breakfast, the initial plan being to take advantage of Spur’s cheap breakfast but in the end being won over by Panarottis brilliant breakfast pizza (seriously, Panarottis two days in a row!).

With breakfast done, we split up, Chantelle, Jessie and I first heading out to Discem to pick up some baby supplies, before popping in for a quick visit with Mom and Dad before they headed out in the afternoon for the Church’s fundraiser tea at the Durbanville Rose Garden.

Back at the Montgomery pad in the afternoon, Jessica and I went for a lekker afternoon nap, while Chantelle made her way back to Gordon’s Bay to kick off the epic clean that was needed to transform the hurricane hit kitchen and braai room back to their sparkly clean selves!

Evening eventually arrived and with Jessica safely tucked in bed and a pretty knackered Chantelle, the two of us clambered onto the braai room couch and proceeded to chow McDonald’s while watching the male stripper movie Magic Mike – which is seriously, seriously a bad movie. Bad acting, bad dialogue, a plodding plot and just a going nowhere story, not even Tatum Channing’s abs and dancing could save this one (according to Chantelle which makes it more legit).

Right. And that was the end of yet another market, but more importantly, Jessie milestone weekend.

A Weekend of Market, Pizza and Hillcrest My Life 29 AUG 2012

It was Chantelle’s off weekend last weekend, not that it changed our Friday evening much, seeing as she and I spent the whole evening doing market preparation for Saturday morning’s Willowbridge market. However, leading up to all that work in the evening, I must say that I enjoyed a fairly laid back end to the working day, where we had earlier capped the afternoon off with a treat and drinks laden farewell function for Simon who has now departed from Touchwork, followed by a rather epic table tennis doubles match with the boys to properly close off Friday.

Saturday saw Chantelle and myself run a rather successful Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes market while Cheryl and Monty looked after a rather bubbly Jessica. After packing up, dropping off everything at home and then counting all our money, Chantelle and I borrowed Jessie and took her over to Mom and Dad’s pad for a pleasant catch up visit, during which Dad and I successfully managed to completely tire poor little Jess out by chasing with her all over the house!

Jessica messily enjoying her very first cake pop!

Of course there was plenty of Saturday afternoon/evening rugby on as well, but unfortunately the Western Province and Springbok games were of a rather disappointing calibre, so much so that I missed a fair chunk of the late South Africa versus Argentina game by falling asleep on the couch! The highlight of the evening however had to be the delicious home-made pizzas that Chantelle and Robert whipped up to feed us, churning out four (way too much!) delectable masterpieces in the process.

Sunday was a fairly early start as we wanted to quickly check out the plastics shop in Northumberland Street, before shooting off towards Banhoek Valley near Stellenbosch in order to meet up with the friends at the always delightful Hillcrest Berry Orchard restaurant for some scones and cream, something Chantelle had been craving for quite some time now! We enjoyed a great afternoon out with Michelle and little Logan, Karl and Trish, Evan, Natasha and little Evalynne, and despite one or two mini tantrums which I quickly sorted out by first buying some colorful meringues and later a box to put them in for young Jess, I reckon the get together was a great success. The only regret is that the gloomy weather forced us to sit inside instead of outside with the usually stunning view, but I guess that simply means we need to do this again when the weather is a little better!

Chantelle and Jessica enjoying the Hillcrest Berry Orchard restaurant

From there Chantelle and Jessica drove on home to Gordon’s Bay, stopping first at the mall to purchase some new grippy shoes for Jessica at Woolworths, shoes that have turned out to be quite the hit with our little cutie pie. I on the other hand caught a lift back to Bellville with Evan and Natasha, where I picked up our second car (which had been left behind at the Montgomery pad) loaded with all the crates and leftovers from the market, before heading home myself.

The rest of the afternoon saw Chantelle and myself doing the big clean up operation, before we capped Sunday off with an awesome braai while watching the classic Oh Schuks its Schuster comedy airing on DSTV. Silly for sure, but oh so much fun!

So yeah, that was our weekend then, and looking back at it, I can’t say that it was a bad one at all! :)

A Successful Slow Market Stall My Life 12 MAR 2012

So Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes first ever market appearance was undeniably a roaring success!

And because I ghost write for wifey’s site most of the time, I don’t have the energy to type up a second post about the day, meaning that I’m just going to do a straight up copy and paste job off her site for here. Sorry about that.

So from Chantelle’s perspective:

Having roped my mother Cheryl into manning the stall with me, the Montgomery Clan helped set up the Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes stall in the early morning hours of Saturday 10 March, easily making the set cut-off time, meaning that come 09:00 when the first footsteps dropped, we were all suited up and ready to sell!

We were pleasantly surprised by the foot traffic numbers, with the amount of people streaming past our stall pretty much staying constant throughout the selling period, which basically runs from 09:00 in the morning until 14:00 in the afternoon.

Interesting note. The rules require that you man your stall for this period without exception, meaning that if you make a mistake in guessing your stock numbers beforehand, you’re pretty much stuck there for the day, even if you have sold out by 10:00 in the morning! (As it turned out, we were pretty much spot on with our numbers, a huge relief when you consider that this was our first market experience and that we were going in pretty much blind!)

Each exhibitor received a spot under a fantastic red shade netting, meaning that despite the lovely warm Summer’s day we were experiencing, we were sufficiently protected from the sun and the heat, meaning that melting chocolate didn’t become a headache as we feared it might.

The stall itself came out exactly as what I had hoped for, with a classy feel and a well-stocked look which brought with it a lot of positive feedback from our customers and even the organiser herself! We invested in some beautiful display cases and jars, not to mention decent sized tasters, complemented by a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a home-made blackboard to round everything off.

In terms of what we had on offer, Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes brought to the table the famous Super Moist Dark Chocolate Box Cake (by the piece), Caramel Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Chocolate-dipped Turkish Delight, Chocolate Brownies, Shortbread, and of course our famous Dark Chocolate Truffles!

Professional, but also warm and approachable, we did brisk business, selling far more than what we thought we would and at the end of the day, stepped back, breathed out a big sigh of relief, and then patted ourselves on the back for a job well done!

We even made provision for a luck draw, providing a spot for everyone purchasing treats of R30 or more on our lucky draw list, the prize of which was a Super Moist Chocolate Box Cake, worth R160 and to be delivered on a day of the winner’s choosing! (Lucky Leon ended up being the winner in case you were wondering.)

So definitely a huge success then and certainly a market we will be returning to.

Actually, scratch that. You may as well book the date in your calendar already – if you want to catch Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes in action and come and taste our delicious, decadent treats for yourself, Saturday 24th of March 2012 will be when we make our next appearance at the awesome Willowbridge Slow Market!

Looking forward to seeing you there! ;)

(For more pictures, check out the gallery here)