Category Archives: Bakery

Montage of My Year

Dear reader,

Here’s what I’m going to do. Instead of apologizing for my lack of posts these past fifteen months, I’m just going to provide an overview of what I’ve been up to all this time. You see, I never felt all that guilty about neglecting this blog because I was enjoying being busy, working, baking, eating, and having a grand old time. However, now that Scafuri Bakery is closer than ever to opening, (Finally? Hopefully? Why am I even tempting fate by saying so?), I’ve left my previous bakery jobs and have been focused on doing everything possible to prepare for opening day. But until then I’ve got a bit more time on my hands. So I’ve returned here to catch the blog up on my adventures this past year. So without further ado…

My Year in Pictures

Let’s back up to last October. One of my best friends got married and I had the double honor of bridesmaid and cake maker. Hence, the curlers.

I also fostered this cutie for six months — Moose! I miss that little bugger.

I organized my spice cabinet.

I discovered canning, pickling, jamming, and cheese making.

And continued to try my hand at growing things.

I learned archery and took up swing dancing.

Oh, and of course, not only have I been making bread…

But also beer…

I hosted a roaring 20’s murder mystery dinner party, with great success.

Besides these fun hobbies I also worked, a lot.  At the first bakery, I earned a ton of burn scars from the ovens and made a bunch of these:

At the second bakery, where I worked for most of this past year, I made some great friends and a LOT of cakes.

And somewhere beyond the early mornings and long hours I found time to make cakes of my own.

I also made several cupcake bouquets, which will probably get their own post.

It’s been a good year.

I ran around the woods of Wisconsin.

In Flagstaff, AZ, I skied on a mountain for the first time in my life.  Suffice it to say, it did not go quite as well as I would have hoped. Then again, all of the easy hills were closed that day.

And in southern Utah I struggled to remember everything I ever learned and apparently forgot from my geology class in college.  It was still amazing.

So there you have it.  I don’t really know what else to say, other than I hope that my year continues with more adventures, that the bakery will open soon, and that it won’t take me fifteen months to post again.




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Filed under Bakery, Beer and Vino, Cake, DIY, Travel

Scenes from Taylor Street Festa Italiana

This past weekend has been quite a whirlwind. Our family bakery participated in the street festival in Little Italy, where we will be opening this fall. My cousin Gio helped me bake, package, carry and sell over 4,000 cookies over the course of the week. Throughout the weekend family and friends would stop by to help, which was always fun. It was an exhausting and exhilarating week. The best part of every day was the stories. People who grew up in the neighborhood would talk about their favorite memories of Annette and the bakery. Everyone who’d ever eaten there had a favorite bakery item…and it was usually the pizza, the donuts, the turnovers and strudel. For the first time, I am assured we will not lack for business, though I have begun to feel the weight of everyone’s expectations. It will certainly add to the challenge.

Thank you to everyone who came out this past weekend. It was so great to see and meet everyone, I can’t wait to open our doors to you!


Filed under Bakery, Italian

Scafuri Bakery: Under construction

It has been a while since I wrote an update on the status of the bakery, so here are some pictures I took a short while ago. We’ve cleared everything out, tagged what we wanted to save, and let the construction magic continue.

Keep reading…

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Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Hello there, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I was so much better at updating this when I spent a large amount of my time sitting at home baking. I’m still baking at home whenever I get a chance, but between packing to move, working on my final project for school, my new job/stage at a restaurant in the city, and planning a dessert table menu for a charity event, my free time seems to be evaporating quickly.

And I love it. I haven’t been this busy in a long time, or as happy. I feel like I’m finally a contributing member of society again!

The most exciting thing happening is this new restaurant job, (unpaid, unfortunately, but expected). So as I recount my first real-world kitchen experience, I will share some pictures of things I’ve made in class and at home these past two weeks.

Keep reading…


Filed under Bakery, Bread, Italian, Restaurants

Pine nuts, cannoli, and figs, oh my!

A couple weeks ago, I held a taste testing party for my cousin and some of his friends. I made Italian cookies to practice and test out recipes for the bakery, and they ate said cookies and provided feedback. Wine was also part of the deal, naturally.

But first, let’s rewind to 48 hours earlier when I began this adventure in the kitchen. It started at my favorite grocery store which has almost any ingredient I could ever need, Italian or otherwise, and so inexpensive! It is a horrible enabler to my grocery shopping addiction.

In any case, I made my mother’s almond biscotti recipe, which I cannot seem to make without getting extremely frustrated. I cannot begin to fathom why this recipe just doesn’t cooperate with me. It’s not that anything goes wrong either, they just aren’t perfect. Grr. The pine nut cookies on the other hand, those were fun, if not very, very sticky. The cookies themselves are a chewy macaroon made with almond paste. Delicious. I skimped a little on the pine nuts, but those little buggers are expensive!

And oh the fig cookies.

These were big winners.

Then of course, there were cannoli. You can buy pre-made shells if you’re short on time, and then you just mix ricotta and powdered sugar until creamy, then add in your flavor, in my case, orange and cinnamon. Easy peasy.

Of course, even with all this baking I had three pounds of leftover ricotta cheese. So later that week I made ricotta and polenta cake full of honey and ricotta muffins, which were barely sweet but fascinatingly good. I think I was photographed out by this point because I documented neither item. However, ricotta is such a wonderously versatile cheese that I have a long list of ricotta desserts to try out, so this will not be the last you hear of it.

Of all the treats I made for the evening, I was most proud of my rosemary bread. It turned out better than ever before.

It was just divine. Most especially with butter. (Obviously). Unfortunately, I have since let my rosemary plant die. Oops! I don’t know how I will ever start and keep a garden.


Filed under Bakery, Beer and Vino, Bread, Cookies, Fruit, Italian, Pastries

Old men and the bakery

I visited my new neighborhood again. Usually when I come to Taylor Street it’s just to check on the building, meet with an oven or insurance guy, or eat somewhere nearby to size up the competition. Since I haven’t moved in yet, I don’t quite feel like I’m part of the neighborhood, more like a lurking tourist or something. This day wasn’t supposed to be any different. I was there picking up the mail and checking out our new paint job.

We’re really excited about this since it’s our first notice to the public that Scafuri Bakery will indeed be returning. So after marveling and snapping some photos, I made my way down the block to the hardware store for a couple things. While the kind old man helped me find what I needed and made copies of my keys, I noticed a sign above the window that read “Wine Making Supplies”. I knew I was in the right place.

Keep reading…

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Filed under Bakery, Beer and Vino, Italian

Mocha Walnut Bundt with a side of rambling

This was a particularly long week, no? I found myself on Friday evening completely exhausted and in need of a break. So I grabbed a beer and made a cake.

Ok, probably not what most people would consider relaxing. But we all take care of ourselves in different ways. Some people might get a massage or manicure to pamper themselves. I give myself a cake.

Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without these three things. Chocolate, coffee, and butter. They complete me. And by adding in a little sugar, eggs, flour and walnuts to that mix, well, then we’ve got ourselves a pretty fantastic dessert.

Keep reading…

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Filed under Bakery, Bread, Cake, Recipe