Originally I started blogging as a means to have an excuse to bake. Baking has always been my “safe” place. When life got hard or overwhelming, I could run to the kitchen, lose myself in the hypnotic whir of the mixer, the meditative collecting and measuring of ingredients and focus on creating something I knew would give pleasure and enjoyment to others. This honest act of domesticity, working in a cozy kitchen, focusing on the simplicity of the moment drew me in time and again. I never tire of this.
I began my love affair with baking around the age of 10. Right about this time my mother went back to work part time and I would find myself coming home from school to an empty house and a little at loose ends. The idea of letting my sons when they were 10, be alone in the kitchen, to me now is terrifying, but to my mother’s credit she allowed me free reign. I never really remember her complaining about the mess I made or even her worrying too much about letting me operate the oven. There was one scary episode with boiling sugar when I began my adventure in candy making and later we wisely agreed that I wouldn’t go that route again unless she was there to supervise.
Boiling candy disasters aside, I never really felt like I could fail in the kitchen. I’m sure I did, but it never bothered me. I chalked it up to learning what not to do and then moved on. A perfect metaphor for life really. I was happy to create in the kitchen whenever it suited me, no pressure, deadlines, self imposed guilt or expectations.
A dear friend and accomplished chef,Karista Bennett encouraged me to to enter into the blogging world in 2011 and after a little thought, I did. Having no idea of where I’d go with it, where it would take me I jumped in, knowing nothing. For the first year and a half I bumped along, posting sporadically, learning by trial and error and always wondering if I was going to make it. Make it where, I had no idea and if I’m honest I still don’t.
I learn best usually by trial and error, I am a hands on kind of girl so my stumbling journey here suits my temperament and learning style best. In January I decided it was time to up my game. Recalling the quote, “Fortune favors the bold”, it was time for me to learn how to use my beautiful camera, post more than once or twice a month and challenge myself to create a blog that people would actually want to visit.
I am a child of the 70′s and as such learned to type on typewriters in keyboarding class in high school. I was still typing my college papers on a typewriter in the late 80′s and my first introduction to computers didn’t come until 1991. Creating a blog, learning about code and SEO has been all new and somewhat daunting territory for me. There are many bloggers out there, much younger than I, much more talented than I who were born knowing what I have just only learned or in many cases am still learning.
Sometimes I wonder what the heck I’m doing, other times I need to remind myself that those early kitchen lessons while learned in childhood still apply today. I have learned so much, grown so much, challenged myself in new ways, I can’t fail. I’ve just learned what works and what doesn’t. It’s the journey, the steps, putting one foot in front of the other that matter.
Like most things in life I’ve recently come to realize that balance, that magical elusive idea is really the secret to being a happy, inspired blogger. I don’t want to crank out recipes and posts just to please others, well, yes I do, but I also want, need to please myself. It’s tempting to push too hard, to panic about what to do next, how I’m coming up short, etc. etc. Then I am reminded, I can’t fail I’m just learning what works and what doesn’t.
A note on the recipes:
The Raspberry Friands are found here at What Katie Ate and are her recipe entirely without adaption so I will link you directly there. If you haven’t had a friand before be prepared for luscious almond flavors and buttery, buttery crumb.. Dying..
The Cardamom Buns are a slap dash nothing special but oh so delicious recipe that even beginner bakers can accomplish. Enjoy!
Cardamom Sugar Buns
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 C. sugar
3 T. melted butter
1 T. coarsely ground cardamom
2 T. melted butter
6 tsp. sugar divided
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
Roll out the puff pastry on a slightly floured to an approximate 9×11 inch rectangle. Brush the melted 3 T. of butter on the dough, leaving a small edge on the short sides. Sprinkle the sugar and cardamom evenly over the surface, and roll up on the short side. Trim the longer ends, then cut evenly into 6 pieces.
Brush the indentations of a muffin tin with the 2 T. melted butter and sprinkle 1 tsp of the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in each well. You can sprinkle in a bit more crushed cardamom of you’d like as well.
Freeze the dough for 15 minutes, then immediately place in the over for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden. If the buns bake too quickly on the outside, reduce the heat to 400.
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Tip the pan over on to a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with additional sugar.