Monthly Archives: December 2015

Alexa Largoza -Ania: How to Decorate Cakes with Fondant

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Alexa Largoza – Ania enjoys baking and cake decorating.

One of the things Largoza makes often are cakes. If you love to bake cakes, you may be wondering how to get your cake designs both smooth and neat. Fondant is the answer, and you can easily make your own fondant at home, and decorate your cakes like a professional. Here is one of her favorite recipes:
Recipe
2 lbs. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup glucose (found in cake decorating stores) or white corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons glycerin (found in cake decorating stores)

Directions
In a large bowl (do not use metal), sift the sugar and make a well in the center. In a small saucepan, add the water and sprinkle the gelatin on top to soften for about 5 minutes. Begin to heat the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved and clear. Do not boil. Turn off the heat and add the glucose and glycerin, stirring until well blended. Add the flavoring. Pour into the well of sugar, and mix until all of the sugar is blended. Use hands to knead icing until it becomes stiff. Add small amounts of confectioner’s sugar if the mixture is sticky.

Form the mixture into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in an airtight container. The icing works best if allowed to rest at room temperature for about eight hours before using, particularly if the weather is humid. Do not refrigerate.

To cover a cake with fondant: Dust a clean pastry cloth, or a smooth, clean surface, with cornstarch, and roll the fondant with a rolling pin until it is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Make sure that the fondant is large enough to fit over the top and sides of the cake. Slide both hands under the fondant and carefully center it on top of a cake that has been freshly iced with buttercream. (The icing makes the fondant adhere to the cake.)
Dust your hands with cornstarch and smooth the fondant, starting at the top and working down the sides until the entire surface is even and flat. Cut off the excess icing around the bottom of the cake with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Decorate the cake with buttercream or royal icing. This fondant keeps a cake fresh for two days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate a cake with fondant icing.

1 teaspoon desired flavoring (vanilla will give the fondant an off-white color)

The key to perfect fondant decorations is its freshness.  Fresh fondant allows you to bend, color, mold and design cake toppers as well as accents that you would like to decorate your cake with. Ready made fondant that are store bought usually tends to be hard and makes it difficult to work with.

Tools
You will need to use a variety of tools to make sure your fondant accents look as if they were done by a professional.  Fondant cutters, molds and press are available in many local craft stores. You will need tools to roll it out, trim it, stretch it and color it as desired. You may be able to use many of the utensils you already have in your own kitchen or you may want to buy a fondant tool kit.

Cookie Cutters
Cookie cutters can come in handy if you want to cut shapes or letters out of the fondant. You can find them at most craft and baking supply stores. You can also find fondant cutters which are similar to cookie cutters but come in smaller sizes and are better at cutting fondant.

If you are like Alexa Largoza – Ania, and enjoy baking and decorating cakes, you will need to know how to decorate with fondant.  If you don’t want to make your own fondant, go to your local bakery and ask if they can make some for you to purchase, it is important to keep in mind that fresh fondant is easier to work with and above all, it tastes much better than the ones sitting on a shelf for months.

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A History of Paddle Boarding

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Historically paddle boarding can be referenced as far back as Polynesian, African, and pre-Peruvian/Columbian cultures. The riding of waves has likely existed since humans begin swimming in the ocean. The idea of surfing is more recently developed by the Polynesian culture. Surfing was a central part of the Polynesian culture and predates any contact by foreign or European establishments. Evidence suggests that the Totora reed boats used in Northern Peru may represent a kind of Proto-surfboard, as it was used to ride waves in a manner that is similar to tomorrow’s sport of surfing. This method was usually the case of the local fisherman and tradesmen rushing back onto shore as quickly as possible. It’s hard to say if it was ever done leisurely, but I can only imagine it was enjoyable.

The origins of paddle boarding can go as far back as the origins of surfing. Standup paddle-boarding originated in Hawaii as an offshoot to surfing. This creative form of surfing allows the paddler to go further into the ocean than the typical surfer. However, paddlers can race on lakes, large rivers, Canals and right breaking waves with the ability to glides over long distances along seacoast often using tailwinds to eight to their trip.

Paddle boarding is not classified as an official sport as it has no competitive mark to be classified. However, the sport is gaining momentum and popularity in extremist communities and beach cultures. Currently, stand up paddling is listed as one of the most popular outdoor activities amongst first-time participants. The average age is 28, and the split between male and female participants is quite even.

During the short, beautiful summer months in the Hamptons,Alexa Largoza – Ania could always be found at a nearby bay, paddle boarding with friends. They all prefer the bay due to it’s calmness which enables them to enjoy as well as to perfect their paddle boarding skills. It is only recent that Alexa discovered her love of paddle boarding.

Advocate for Global Good Partners

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If you have a philanthropic heart and you enjoyed donating your time, money and your heart to the service of others in need then you should look no further than Global Goods Partners. There will always be the enormous demands on your resources for everyday necessities and meaningful causes alike. By supporting the work of Global Goods Partners, you can confidently know that all funds are fully optimized and directed towards advancing sustainable incomes for women and artisans while creating positive change for their families and their communities.

If you want to help women who struggle to live a fulfilling life then consider advocacy to build a brighter future. Buying fair trade products can make a huge difference in an economy and the lifestyle of women in need. You can start in your neighborhood by promoting fair trade products among your local retailers. By visiting local community stores such as coffee houses, Boutiques and small shops you open the door to the discussion of the benefits and growing demand for fair trade products. Other ways to participate as by writing the letter to the editor of your local paper. Newspaper can have an incredibly effective influence on the local community, especially when it comes to fair trade. If you have a flair for the political arena, you can start by contacting your local elected representatives of your state and county offices. Choosing to be an advocate means you are the voice of fair trade.

Alexa Largoza – Ania is an advocate for fair trade products because she believes they can make a huge difference in the global economy and benefit the lifestyle of people in need. She, along with Lilian Vianna- Benarroach applies the Fair Trade principles when sourcing and purchasing for their company, Hamptons Box.