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In lieu of any words that could potentially be encouraging, inspiring, or just thought-provoking, I’d like to share some things that I’m particularly enamoured with lately.

Music:
Brave at Sea – Some people I went to summer camp with. Sort of old-timey, soulful, beautiful harmonies. Can. not. stop. listening.
Einsley – I just found out about these guys (thanks Cool Fam!). A family band of sorts, with interesting and catchy tunes!
Joni Mitchell (as always) – Uh, duh. She is amazing. Forever. The end.

Books:
Dori Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours” – Great cookbook.
Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” – Really enjoying reading this so far. I feel myself sighing in agreement a lot as I read, but I haven’t finished it yet and refuse to form an opinion until I do.
Sundry other cookbooks such as Baking Illustrated and the Bon Appetit Desserts book that came out last fall. I’m a little obsessed.

So that’s a fairly small list. I’ve pretty much been spending every spare minute in my kitchen baking fiendishly, hence all the cookbooks on my book-list. How very practical of me.

I feel vastly uninteresting. Every time I sit down to type it’s like every interesting thought gets zapped out of my head. I’ll have to try a little harder going forward. Sleep tight, friends.

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…ok, so maybe my wedding will win out over this one, but it was pretty damn fun spending all day cooking and baking and serving our friends what my accomplice and I were sure was a splendid meal. We were supposed to go to Toronto to see U2 this weekend, but with Bono out with a bum back, we made the best of it state-side.

The menu was:
Appetizer – Bacon-Wrapped Brussel Sprouts with pistachios and sage, Zucchini Latkes with sour cream and smoked trout, and Endive Salad with gorgonzola and maple vinaigrette
Soup – Vichyssoise with baguette croutons
Entrée – Shrimp Étouffée with wild rice and italian bread
Cheese course – Delicious cheese chosen by Tyler
Desserts –  Espresso Chiffon Cake with fudge buttercream, “Trifecta of Tartlets” (honey-cinnamon with apples, vanilla bean mousseline with fresh berries, lemon mousse)

I don’t mean to toot my own horn but uh….yeah, it was pretty good.

We even borrowed a fancy-pants camera to indulge ourselves a little further by taking photos of all the food we were so proud of. A slideshow for your viewing pleasure:

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Aren’t those some purdy photographs? We’re hoping to hold dinners like these roughly once a quarter until we can someday go live with our real restaurant. Stay tuned!

I am weeping in happiness watching this movie.

With a cranberry crumb cake in the oven, the warm buttery smell filling my kitchen, I cannot keep my eyes dry watching two women strive to learn everything they can about the thing they love, cooking, and in turn, learn something very true about themselves and the things that matter in life. It’s a beautiful thing.

Did you know Julia Child didn’t start really cooking until well after she was 40? I certainly don’t mean to say that 40 is “old”, but, well, I’m only 23. It’s not too late. I can hope. I can do this. I can do this. I have to. I love it.

I’ve been here all along. It’s been a hell of a few months, I’ll say that much. The new job is well, not so new anymore, and it’s again left me pining for something that feels more fulfilling. I’ve been writing a lot in my head lately, which is what made me think that perhaps I needed to do some actual writing, a little Nickel Creek in the background.

Lately I’ve been pretty wrapped up in wedding plans, the crazy traveling schedule that Elliot and I set up for ourselves, and diving head-first into my newly rediscovered love for baking. What could possibly be more simultaneously exciting and soothing than flour and sugar and butter?

After all this time trying to figure out what it is I want to do…dare I say this might be it? I can say with confidence that I never wanted to spend hours pouring over music history textbooks or even practicing in college, and now it seems I cannot get enough reading into one day. Recipes, techniques…is it because there are pictures? It helps.

Dear Lord, let this be it. First it was seminary, and then motherhood (which I’m still quite stuck on–no worries there!), but…baking. Baking…if I say it, will it be true?

I want to bake. Forever. And hopefully someday for my job.

There is so much to learn–that is one thing I am sorely aware of–but thankfully I have many guinea pig-friends who eagerly and honestly taste my convections.

*le sigh*

How can a girl be this lucky? In love with a beautiful man and feeling so blissed out in her kitchen. It feels right and lovely.