Cook of the Week: No cutting corners on baked goods for busy mom

 
By Sally Eyre
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 4/4/2018 4:10 PM
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  • Cook of the Week Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg shows off her vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

      Cook of the Week Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg shows off her vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • From-scratch buttercream frosting is a must when Kimberly Heyne makes a special treat for her family.

      From-scratch buttercream frosting is a must when Kimberly Heyne makes a special treat for her family. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg holds up her vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

      Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg holds up her vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg is the Cook of the Week.

      Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg is the Cook of the Week. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Cook of the Week Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg.

      Cook of the Week Kimberly Heyne of Schaumburg. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Kim Heyne, our Cook of the week from Schaumburg, was emptying the dishwasher and helping her daughter find her lost toy dog when I caught up with her for our interview. For Kim, who works full time as a marketing specialist while raising two small children with her husband, multi-tasking is a way of life.

As she moved on to preparing dinner for the family, we spoke about the secret to managing her schedule.

"I don't have a secret!" she laughs. "It works nicely now that I get off work at 3:30 so that I can go to the grocery store before picking the kids up. I like to only go to the store once a week, so I try to plan for the whole week." Kim also doubles a dish and then freezes extras in batches for later meals. She makes use of a slow cooker and loves cooking Mexican dishes.

"There are so many different ways to make tacos. You can have them every week -- just mix it up, so they are never the same." She shares her recipe for super-easy slow cooker chicken tacos.

You would think, as busy as she is, Kim would cut corners when it comes to parties and celebrations, but that is one area that she loves to do herself.

"I like to bake, and I particularly love to decorate cakes, cupcakes and cookies." Because she loves art, baking and crafting, Kim decided to take a Wilton cake decorating class. She enjoyed it so much that she signed up for more classes and eventually took every class they offer.

"Now I really like it because I'm able to do the [treats] for my kid's parties."

Initially, when the kids were little, Kim chose the party themes -- like the "little man" party for her son when he turned one, (mustaches were involved.) As the kids' have grown older, however, they choose the themes and Kim creates her desserts around the theme. This year, when her daughter turned 3, she asked for a Winnie-the-Pooh party. Kim made 'Piglet cake pops,' 'honey cakes' and 'Tigger tails,' all of which were a hit with both kids and adults."

While Kim says, she often uses a boxed mix for her cupcakes, she always makes the frosting by hand, and she shares some of her favorite frostings to use for decorating with us.

"It's important to make buttercream frosting from scratch. I think if a cupcake is decorated nicely, it tastes better!"

Kim always makes cookies for parties as well, and Christmas cookie cutouts, during the holidays, are a given.

"It's funny, I want the kids to help me -- but I also want the cookies to look good, so I have to make twice as many, and I decorate most of them."

Kim is that person who is always asked to bring the cake for the wedding or baby shower or the 30th birthday party. She gets lots of ideas from Pinterest. Every once in a while, however, she will go all out and do everything from scratch.

"I made my husband a carrot cake for his birthday. It had cream cheese frosting, and I actually grated the carrots. I don't do that for the kid's parties."

With dinner prepared, it was time to let Kim go. The night was still young and who knows what else she could accomplish.

• To suggest someone to be profiled here, send the cook's name, address and phone number to food@dailyherald.com.

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