Welcome to yet another web-based baking blog. Except this one you could consider amateur extreme. I’m not trained, not really. I grew up in a taco-night, casserole-loving, steaks cooked in butter, canned veggies household. I discovered my love of what I adoringly refer to as “real food” on weekends spent with my grandmother. She grew up in post WWII France on a tiny piece of land, and let me tell you, those stories well… Anyway I’m getting off track. That exposure to the non-traditional cooking you find in most American homes shaped my palette. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good taco night, and there are times when after driving my kids all around town, dealing with girl-scout meetings, cello practice, art class, and picking up my husband after a late 5 o’clock meeting canned veggies are just the way to go. But as a kid, when I was at home, I yearned for more.
I remember watching my dad try and capture that foodie influence he picked up from his mother. He’d experiment with spices and flavors, and the faces he’d make when my mom came home with yet another box of Hamburger Helper stayed with me. But after watching him serve out plate after plate of charred on the outside, raw in the middle, homemade “curly fries” and steak cooked in so much butter even the plate started to look see-through, I had to take matters into my own hands.
I moved out young, and discovered the food network. Okay yeah, I do know how cheesy that is (haha cheesy–food puns. Ba-dum chhhhh). But I remember watching these TV chefs all like…
And I was all like…
And then I started following recipes. Thai peanut sauce stir-fry, ginger steaks, lemon pepper chicken, cilantro-lime rice. My significant other at the time had no appreciation for it, and would sooner choose twelve cans of Mountain Dew and half a dozen McDonald’s cheeseburgers over my cooking any day. But I didn’t give up. Even with an incredibly picky Autistic son (and his sister who decided that it would also be fun to mimic his eating habits), I forged ahead.
Baking though, was my Achilles heel. My weak spot. The BANE of my existence. I’d try and try and try, but somehow my cookies always came out either tasting like a giant pile of raw flour, or so thin and crispy you could break your teeth. My cakes fell, my brownies were dry, and don’t even get me started on muffins.
So I just sort of… stopped. I raised my kids, made my meals of mac’n’cheese and stuff out of a box, I went to school, followed my other passion– Theology, got my degree, spent my days (and nights) slogging away at a restaurant– cuz seriously what can you do with a theology degree besides dump more money into a higher degree only to get a part-time job teaching US history at a community college and spend the rest of your life drowning in student loans.
Then I met my husband. The first time he cooked for me it was Beef Stroganoff. From a box. With added cream cheese. It was quite possibly the worst thing I’d ever tasted. But I noticed a spark in him, one that said, I love cooking. And together we walked hand in hand into the world of food. Whole food, fresh veggies, fresh meats, fresh ground spices. Organic flours, locally sourced produce and proteins. We invested in some kitchen utensils and recipe books, and spent hours cooking and experimenting. It was at that moment I knew I was going to tackle baking– and win.
I’ve had enough compliments, enough people begging me for recipes and even begging me to ship them goodies that I thought you know what…it’s time. It’s time to document my amateur journey into the world of delicious baked goodness. Here you’ll find baking– Traditional recipes, alternative recipes (dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian), and everything in between. I’ll try to do at least one post weekly, and never hesitate to comment if you try the recipe. Never hesitate to pass along suggestions, too, because I’m always up for trying new things.
I don’t have a super fancy kitchen. I don’t have all the high-tech tools or the rare ingredients. I shop at Cost-co and Fry’s and Sprouts Farmer’s Market. But what I do have is your average shelf and a way to bring baked goods into the homes of people who just want to make themselves a little treat.
Oh, and a love of nerdy gifs, baking puns, and not the cleanest mouth. So enter at your own risk but trust me, you’ll find Wonka-level deliciousness if you’re brave enough to check me out.
Heh. Check me out. Heh.