Posts made in July, 2012

Featured In Wedding Bells Magazine’s Blog!

Posted by on Jul 21, 2012 in Press | 0 comments

Shakar Bakery’s chocolate covered strawberries were featured on a Wedding Bells Blog!! We are so excited with this find, and are super grateful to Wedding Bells for sharing our work with their readers! Follow them on Facebook for updates! Click herefor the link, or see below for a pasted version: Wedding Bells Blog Previous Post planning 15 Ways To Incorporate Fruit Into Your Sweet Table Posted January 23rd, 2012 | 10:32 am ‹‹ Back to Post Image 15 of 15 ‹‹ Previous Chocolate Covered Strawberries How do you make fruit even more delicious than it already is? Dress it up in a tuxedo made of chocolate of course! Photo courtesy Shakar Bakery. Read more in planning Posted January 23rd, 2012 | 10:32 am Previous Post Start your wedding registry now! Connect with bridal registries across Canada. On Newsstands Now! Fall & Winter 2012More dream dresses, real weddings, beauty inspiration and honeymoon ideas from our Fall & Winter 2012 issue. Buy This Issue! Categories advice beauty DIY wedding ideas engagement fashion fun home & registry inspiration planning real weddings travel Recent Posts Chocolate Wedding Favours Your Guests Will Love Posted 07.20.12 A Charming Camp Wedding In Golden Lake, Ontario Posted 07.20.12 Wedding Style Inspiration: Moonrise Kingdom Posted 07.20.12 A Dreamy Nature-Inspired Wedding In Toronto Posted 07.20.12 20 Ways To Make Your Save-the-Dates Awesome Posted 07.19.12 Quick Links Privacy Policy Contact Us Masthead Terms of Use Advertise with us Submit your Real Wedding © 2012 St. Joseph Media. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part strictly prohibited. Weddingbells is a registered trademark of St. Joseph Media Inc....

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A Baker’s Quest to Lose Her Belly

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

People have always said – never trust a skinny chef. I’d like to turn that around and say “never trust a chubby chef.” Why? I’ll tell you- when you are working in the kitchen, either as a chef or a baker, you inadvertantly must taste your work. Both chefs will probably do the same amount of tasting – yet one stays fat, and the other skinny. This isn’t a gene factor. There is only one secret: the skinny chef actually cooks..wait for it…healthy! Either that or they have super active lifestyles, but I’d like to make the assumption that they just use healthier ingredients. Now enter the baker. It is very difficult to use 100% healthy ingredients in any cake we bake, and any frosting we make. Why? We ultimately must use sugar and butter somewhere in the ingredients! Sure, we can substitute full butter with an oil-based alternative, but then you sacrifice some of the flavor. Substituting sugars changes the chemistry of your cake, which could lead to a lot of frustrating hours in the kitchen cleaning up after your mess. As for frosting, it unfortunately relies a lot on powdered sugar, as well as butter (for the most part). Needless to say, I gained a solid 5 pounds since starting my business before I settled on my top flavors and no longer had to do any tastings. I still sample a toothpick size of my frosting to make sure it’s up to par, but the fat days were over…but my belly was not. As many of you know, I work as an engineer during the day, and work on cakes in the evenings when I have orders. I recently admitted to myself that my gym days were over and I canceled my membership in an attempt to be more financially savvy. Prior to my baking days, I used to work out 3-4 days a week, lifting weights and running a mile or two each time I went. I was a fairly active person, and still am to a certain degree – I take the stairs instead of elevators, I park my car furthest from any entrance, I like to hike, ride my bike and I snack a LOT (snacking is an important part of being healthy 🙂 ). But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to lamenting about my canceled gym membership. What the heck was I going to do now without the gym? (ok, I was still in denial that I hadn’t gone in months). Two weeks ago, I sat at my desk at work, chugging down a liter of water, and trying to come up with a way to incorporate exercise into my day-to-day event without making it a drag. As I got up to go use the restroom for the nth time that day, it hit me. JUMPING JACKS! Why the urge to urinate would lead to the concept of jumping jacks is beyond me as well as you! But in that moment, I remembered that in my kickboxing class, jumping jacks would always leave me a little breathless. So I decided this was to be my plan: Every time I got up to go pee, I would do 50 jumping jacks after I washed my hands (please note that I do this AFTER I WASH MY HANDS. thanks 🙂 ) The first day I did about 450 (I drink about 1 gallon of water a day, don’t judge me), and I was pretty sore the next morning. But I continued on, and within 3 days the 50 jumping jacks were a piece of cake! I decided to increase to 60 jumping jacks, and since I did them so frequently, I did variations. Long jumps, wide jumps, short jumps, mini lunges, whatever creativity I came up with. I started to wonder if my boss was going to start questioning me as to why I always came back from the bathroom with rosy cheeks… In any case, here is proof that it’s working!! This morning I took a picture while getting dressed for work, and voila! My pants don’t...

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Posted by on Jul 16, 2012 in Press | 0 comments

Have you ever had a day where everything started on the wrong foot from the very beginning? Today was one of those days for me- it all started when my iPhone failed me and didn’t set my alarm clock off at the proper time. As a result, I overslept 1.5 hours, got stuck in an hour of traffic to get to my engineering job, and then an avalanche of catastrophes occurred throughout the day. In between all of this, the editor of The Armenian Weekly, Khatchig Mouradian, sends me a message to let me know that he will be in Burbank, California for Chris Bohjalian‘s book launch of The Sandcastle Girls. A few weeks ago, The Armenian Weekly wrote a wonderful article about my bakery! I was introduced to Chris Bohjalian after he tweeted the article on twitter. He joked around that he would love to taste some of my goodies the next time he was in Los Angeles! Needless to say, regardless of my bad day, I had to go out and meet these two wonderful men! As a thank you to both, I prepared a half dozen of my chocolate Oreo cookies (which might I add, are one of my biggest hits), and went to the book launch! Chris is a very powerful and eloquent speaker, and a great seller of his own work 🙂 I had planned on buying the book in a supportive effort, but had I not planned on it, his speech would’ve compelled me to go out and buy it! The way he lovingly spoke of his characters, and the raw emotion he poured into his words really made one want to read this story that took him 18 months to piece together! Needless to say, I bought the book, and stood in a very, very long line to get it signed by him. When his assistant approached me, she asked how I wanted him to sign my book. I said “Shakar Bakery.” She then saw me holding his cookies and said “this is a very nice gift for him.” Khatchig was socializing in the distance, and I noticed he was down to 2 Oreo cookies by this point (which was maybe 10 minutes after I handed him his bag). When I finally got to Chris, Khatchig told me he wanted to introduce me. He told Chris “do you remember when I wrote the article in the Armenian Weekly about Shakar Bakery?” At this point, Chris hadn’t noticed me, but I did notice his eyes light up before responding “yes, yes of course!” Khatchig then turned to me and said “This is Shantal, the owner of Shakar Bakery.” Chris was still seated at this point, and I dangled the bag of chocolate oreos in front of him and said ” I remembered you would be here, and I brought you a gift!” He jumped out of his seat, like a child would jump out of bed Christmas morning, reached across the table,gave me a huge hug and said “thank you, thank you!” I then told him “you can’t wait to eat my cookies, I can’t wait to read your book!” His reply was “I got the better end of the bargain!” His reaction made my night! Best part was that people were staring at me thinking “who is this girl?” Mind you, Chris is a N.Y Best Selling Author!! A couple of them actually approached me to ask more about my bakery. One girl asked “why are so many people walking around with cookies?” I said, “No, not so many people- these were only for Khatchig and Chris because they’re wonderful!” It’s the little things in life that make me...

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