Let’s get the formal introductions out of the way.
I’m Megan. I was born and raised in Kansas. Most people conjure up images of cows grazing on acres and acres of land. Hate to destroy that fallacy, but I grew up in a suburban town forty minutes outside of Kansas City. The closest I came to a cow was with my Cheerios.
The baking bug bit me my junior year in high school when I worked at bakery.
Here are a few tricks of the trade I learned those two years:
- Coolness is key. When making cookies, keep the batter and cookie sheets cool. It truly is the difference between soft, fluffy cookies and crackle crackle crunch cookies.
- Unsweetened applesauce is your friend. Who knew unsweetened applesauce could be substituted for oils? I sure didn’t. With certain cake recipes, especially spice ones like carrot cake, you won’t even taste the difference. It’s an amazing fat saving tip.
- Weight is the difference maker. Some of you guys may not be baking connoisseurs, but if you want to be precise with your measurements, measuring spoons are merely suggestions. The weight of the dry ingredients is where the real chemistry of cooking lies.
- Oven thermometer – get one. Most of the time, that little digital reading on your oven is a tad off. Again, this one isn’t entirely necessary for a home baker. But, hey, if you want to open your own bakery, there’s that little nugget of information.
As riveting as I sold Kansas to be, a month ago I opted to move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Let me tell you, I absolutely love it.
The only thing I don’t love so much: A lack of kitchen. These dorm rooms need to start thinking of us bakers. It’s really rather rude. Until I get my hands on one, I shall sit in my tiny corner they dub a room, silently weeping whilst scrolling through fellow baking blogs.
Whew. That is enough about me. Let’s get to the real crux of life: Food.
I love food. Not only do I love food, I love cooking food. I love the smells wafting through the house. I love how a hot mess of ingredients turns into a decedent treat.
And I love to eat.
I like to think of myself as a non-judgmental eater. Cookies? Mmmhmmm. Cake? My favorite’s chocolate. Doughnuts? Shut. It. Down.
Ahhhhhh, yes. Food. The reason we are all here. You eat it. You relish it. You hopefully will learn to enjoy making it.
Have you ever made a hit dish at a party? People frantically write down your e-mail address, so you can send them the recipe “the moment you get home. THE MOMENT.” You feel like everyone’s best friend. Don’t delude yourself. They just want your secrets. That feeling is the satisfaction of knowing you made a savory, perfect treat. It is what will fuel you to make cupcake after pancake after chocolate cake.
You may be asking where I find all my recipes.
Well, for one my family. My mom isn’t much of a baker. By “isn’t much of a baker”, I mean if it doesn’t come out of box, no chance she’s even attempting it. However, she did have a few little treasures in her recipe box (like “crack in a bowl”, but more on that later) I managed to snag.
The rest all comes from online or cookbooks. Pinterest has slowly become my best friend. I troll baking blogs like it’s my job.
Some of my favorites include:
- Brown Eyed Baker – Fellow Pittsburgher (that’s right, I’ve lived here a month, and I already feel a connection with Pittsburghers), her recipes are always on the convenient side, a definite must in my book.
- Two Peas and Their Pod – First of all, they love Nutella. I immediately am transfixed and salivating when I see Nutella. Pavlov’s response. Second, they dabble in the cooking world. I guess eating dinner before dessert is recommended?
- Chef in Training – Her pictures are heavenly. I get a tinge of photograph envy when I see them. She also does a lot of lists. For a linear, type-A personality, lists are the fastest way to my heart.
That’s about all, in a nutshell.
Just bare in mind, I am still a rookie and learning things as I go. I am always open for suggestions. And I will go on a baking binge the second I get my grubby little fingers on a kitchen. Believe you me.
Please drop any recipe ideas or suggestions in the comment section!