Below is a guest post from the winner of a private baking lesson with Anne Byrn, Cathy Seiple, who won the trip and tutorial as part of a PARADE magazine sweepstakes.
Click here for even more photos from the trip!
My name is Cathy Seiple and I was the lucky winner of the “Winner Bakes the Cake Sweepstakes” featured in PARADE magazine. As the winner, I chose to take my husband, Bob, with me to Nashville, Tennessee to meet Anne Byrn, the author of the Cake Mix Doctor cookbooks. As we had never been to Tennessee, we were excited about my win.
We arrived at The Viking Store located at The Factory in Franklin, TN on Saturday, July 17, and were warmly greeted by Anne and her assistant, Diane, at the Cooking Studio kitchen. We also met the ever charming Rebecca Carlisle, from the Workman Publishing publicity department.
After introductions were complete, we donned our aprons and got to work. Anne had chosen three yummy cake recipes: (1) a Cinnamon Breakfast Bundt Cake which we drizzled with a simple glaze; (2) a Lemon Lover’s Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting garnished with fresh blueberries and thin lemon slices; and (3) a Chocolate Chip Layer Cake covered with a Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache.
Over the years, I found that baking is a wonderful stress reliever for me. I have now learned that using cake mixes doctored with simple ingredients can be a quicker and less complicated way of achieving an attractive and rather tasty finished product. I was especially thrilled to pick up many simple garnishing ideas from Anne that will prove useful in my future baking projects. Anne is an easy person to work with so preparing and baking the recipes she chose was fun. Making the ganache was simple and I wondered why I had never attempted it before.
The highlight in the kitchen that afternoon was seeing Bob with an apron on, completing tasks that Anne asked him to help with, and enjoying himself. Of course, he could not wait to taste the finished products. He and I both favored the cinnamon cake which would be perfect at any time of day.
Meeting and baking with Anne, being able to benefit from her baking skills, combined with the camaraderie shared by all of us working in the kitchen that afternoon, proved to be a fun time and one that I will remember with fondness. So, a big THANK YOU to everyone involved. I feel fortunate to have won such a great prize.