I’m a little behind in my posting schedule, but what can you expect when you’re getting ready to move across the world in
18, 17, 16 days! See what I mean…
Last Friday I accomplished one of my blogging goals for 2014, and learned about a fantastic Orlando organization in the process.
When Robin from Simply Southern Baking posted about a luncheon at All Things Sweet in the Central Florida Lady Bloggers group I knew this was an event I had to attend, and I was not disappointed!
All Things Sweet is a culinary program and mobile dessert company run by the Orlando Union Rescue Mission (O.U.R. Mission.)
O.U.R. Mission is one of Central Florida’s oldest and largest homeless service providers. Not only do they provide food, clothing, and shelter for the communities homeless, but they also offer programs that are designed to lead the homeless to independence and a self-sufficient life ranging from computer classes to running a bargain store and boutique downtown. All Things Sweet is the culinary training program they offer as well as a mobile specialty dessert catering company.
When I arrived at the luncheon Friday at Moody Chapel in Orlando, I was greeted by Robin and sat with a great group of women bloggers from around Central Florida. It was so nice to see the diversity in the group, from food bloggers to fashion blogger, local bloggers, mommy bloggers, and fitness blogger, we were a diverse group with a love of blogging and baked goods. Our tables were decorated with beautiful Valentines treats for us to try: Sweet Rose Cupcakes, Cookies, Whoopie Pies, and Minty Cupcakes.
After going around the room and introducing ourselves and our blogs to each other, Lanette Jarvis, Manager of Social Enterprise for All Things Sweet and O.U.R. Mission took the floor to tell us all about the culinary program and the great women who are involved.
The culinary program focuses on a range of baking techniques and ingredients, as well as the operation of large and small equipment used in typical bake shops. Each student is taught how to identify ingredients, learn proper mixing method, baking techniques, and how to decorate treats to a professional standard. They even complete a two-week externship at local bakeries and restaurants before the conclusion of this four month program.
There are currently seven women in the program, which started last November, and are led by two trained chefs, Angela Marie Buckland and Terah Barrios.
Chef Angela holds degrees in both Culinary Arts as well as Bakery and Pastry Management, and is Wilton Certified. She is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has served as a children’s pastor for twenty years, talk about multi talented!
Chef Terah holds a degree in Baking and Pastry Management as well, and has spent time interning as well as working at a French bakery in Windermere, Florida. She is a member of the International Cake Exploration Society, American Culinary Federation, and is Wilton Certified.
As Lanette taught us about the program we were served lunch: a vegetable quiche, salad with homemade dressing, and roasted asparagus.
Let me tell you about this quiche… it was AMAZING. The crust on it was perfect: thin, flakey, and buttery. And who doesn’t love a little egg and cheese with their butter? It was so good some of the ladies were asking for the recipe, which our chefs kindly declined giving out. They are planning to open up their catering business to corporate breakfasts and these mini quiches will be apart of the menu.
After lunch we tried the desserts that had been taunting us for the hour.
I started with the sugar cookies before trying the Red Velvet Cupcake. I have never had a red velvet cake that knocked my socks off (actually, I never understood the red velvet hype) until this cupcake! It was so moist and delicious. I could eat these red velvet cupcakes every day!
After eating those cupcakes I wondered how red velvet could get any better… and then I ate my first Whoopie Pie. That’s right. Last Friday I had my first whoopie pie, ever! There is just something about them that throws me off, I think it’s the marshmallow-y center. These however, were red velvet with a brown sugar filling and powdered sugar heart. HOLY COW they were GOOD!! The cake was just as moist as the cupcakes, and the center tasted like a brown sugar/cheesecake mixture. I loved them so much that I ate two!
As we were finishing up lunch, Lanette brought us yummy Toffee Cookies to try. She asked for our opinion on them as they are planning on starting a Cookie for Change program locally. They will fill up a mason jar of mini toffee cookies for companies and offices, and collect the jar full of change. I am looking forward to seeing this in action!
Although their Valentine’s orders have ended, these are the typical price points for their baked goods.
Sweet Rose Cupcakes: $26.82 per dozen
Sweet Rose Cookies: $26.82 per dozen
Sweet Rose Bouquet: $40.00 per dozen
There are also other options available, (like those whoopie pies!)
**26.82 is the cost of giving a hot meal and a day of care for one homeless man, woman, or child in Central Florida. I love that their costs remind you of how you are helping and giving hope to someone in need with each dozen you order.
All Things Sweet would love to cater your office events, birthday parties, or just satisfy your sweet tooth by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 407-472-0633. They also have a mobile food truck available for private parties, corporate events, fairs, and festivals.
To see where the big pink food truck will head next check them out and “like” them on Facebook!
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from my first blogging group lunch, and I was not disappointed in the slightest! I couldn’t help but call my mom on the way back to work to gab about the event, whoopie pies, and ladies I met that day.
I have another restaurant review with the Lady Bloggers at Se7en Bites Bakery in the Milk District on Wednesday am so excited! Their breakfast and baked goods look delicious; and after sharing their Facebook photos with my mom she decided that I must take her there before I move out of Orlando. So plan on a review of them next week, or as soon as I am done packing, and after I have visited Se7en Bites… twice!