Monday, March 12, 2012

Baking Up A Storm

I've always liked to bake. Bake. Not cook. I hate cooking. Now some might ask, why would you like baking and not like cooking? You're basically doing the same things: adding ingredients together and putting it in the oven and then eating it. However, I think baking and cooking are very different. Cooking one does out of necessity. Whether it's tossing something in the microwave or a 5 course meal with the corresponding wine, one has to eat to survive.

But baking....ahhh....baking... It's not a necessity. I mean no one NEEDS Vanilla Almond Cupcakes or Raspberry Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlee. So if you do get to eat either of those delicious's a treat! Pure decadence. Plus I like the fact that desserts usually last a few days. You can make a cake one day, and still be eating it a day or two later. The ratio of effort to enjoyment seems more equal than the effort to enjoyment ratio of a main course, which if you eat like I tend to (*blush*), lasts less than 10 minutes.

I have fond memories of baking with my mom as a child. I got to measure and add the ingredients and my mom was the muscle and she stirred and dealt with the hot oven. I can't wait to introduce Kaia to the wonders of baking. Oh, and just a tip, a bit of baking flour in a plastic tub makes a wonderful toy. I use to drive my little cars and Legos through the 'snow' and it felt lovely to have flour run through my fingers. One of the wonderful delights of my childhood, truly.

Since things have sort of settled into an easier routine with Kaia after those first few sleep deprived months, I've felt as though I've needed a hobby. Something to plan and do during the day. My baking fetish was piqued when I found Pinterest. SO MANY RECIPES! So many lovely pictures of sugary goodness! Let's not kid ourselves. Pictures make all the difference. I don't care if something in a recipe book is called "Best Chocolate Cake in the World", if it doesn't have a mouth watering picture next to it I'm just not going to make it.

Since Christmas time, I've been indulging in my baking hobby. I've made Blueberry Breakfast Cake, Brown Sugar Carrot Bread, Red Velvet Cupcakes (EPIC FAIL...too much food colouring and you could taste it, YUCK!), Honey Cake with Honey Buttercream Icing, Billy's Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes, The Best Vanilla Cupcakes in the World (with cream cheese frosting dyed delphinium blue in honour of my new nephew), Lemon Loaf, Strawberry Lemon Yogurt muffins, Strawberry Banana Loaf (currently defrosting on my counter), and Guinness Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. All were pretty good if I do say so myself...

and fattening. :-(

Bursting my baking bubble, Brian is starting a diet today to lose his 'baby weight' (ie: the stress weight he gained from all the shit we've been through in the last year), so I've been told to quit making things with frosting. He says he can resist the loaves I make, or the muffins...but not the stuff with frosting. Boo. I love making frosting.

Really, it's probably a good idea in the long run. As much as I love baking, I will love fitting into a cute bikini come summer time even better. Pumping breast milk is currently keeping my weight in check, but once that's over I don't think my pants are going to fit if I don't quit it with the cupcakes.

As much as I don't like might be a better hobby for now. And hey, maybe I'll learn to love it as much as I love frosting (HA, fat chance!) Any healthy recipes, or recipe sites anyone can recommend? What's your favourite tasty healthy snack?


  1. I love cooking, baking not so much. But Angus loves to bake! So often when Juliet is napping, we bake. Mostly just banana bran muffins, or something relatively "healthy" so I don't feel bad giving them to him as snacks during the week. His new favourite thing is to lick the bowl and spoon, so I hope I'm creating precious memories for him, just like the ones you have from your childhood.

  2. I love my Williams Sonoma cookbooks. They have tons! I also have a few vegetarian ones that are great- moosewood and the art of veg. cooking.
    And I LOVE frosting.

  3. I don't care much for frosting so that's easy for me to stay away from, but I do like baking also. What I started doing in the past couple of years is little to no butter when I bake. Instead in place of the butter or part of the butter and part of the sugar I use applesauce. I have made many things this way, everything stays really moist, and everyone I have served my goodies thought they tasted great and were surprised when I told them they had little to no butter in them. Just a thought of something to try. Not sure if it works in all recipes but I have done it with carrot cake, brownies, and moster cookies and they were awesome!

  4. My favorite recipe website is epicurious. You can type in what ingredients you have on hand in the search box and recipes pop up. In their advanced search you can also select a lot of options - like which meal (breakfast, etc), any dietary restrictions, etc.

    I too will be in trouble when I stop breastfeeding. I'm eating way too many sweets these days! (It's how I cope with lack of sleep.) My husband reminds me occassionally that I can't eat this much after I stop nursing.

    Hope life without frosting is tolerable!

  5. Ah, Pinterest! It's the devil isn't it? Maybe a nice alternative would be to get crafty for Kaia? I've found lots of do it yourself tutorials for making fabric headbands and flowers and different things like that on Pinterest as well. Plus, no girl can have too many accessories! :)