When I graduated college, suddenly I felt there was something missing in my life—and that something was not the thrill of late-night beer runs (I’ve been teased on numerous occasions for ordering hot tea at a bar) or business school academia. That nagging voice, which during school resided comfortably in the void I’m describing, belonged, terrifyingly enough, to homework. As someone who balanced a full academic schedule with a part-time job, I was pretty used to filling spare time with case studies and balance sheets.
I started right into a full-time job after graduation and would return home most days feeling completely overwhelmed and anxious. “What am I forgetting to do?!” Nothing, there was nothing I was forgetting. I, all of the sudden, had after-work time for activities I like! What do I like, I wondered?
So, my Kindle and I became very close and my house had never been so clean. My greatest friend, though, became my Kitchen Aid Mixer. The attraction I felt toward baking was no surprise as I had spent about five years working at the counter of an amazing bakery, which I missed dearly after starting my desk job. Growing up, I also loved to bake and equally loved consuming what I baked, and getting back into it was just like riding a bike.
I worried, though, if I kept eating large amounts of butter, sugar, and white flour, I’d need a much larger seat for riding that bike. I’m a 5’2” bird-boned individual, so putting on five-to-ten pounds from cookie dough could invite whispers of “Wow, Molly, really let herself go”.
It came to me I had to get clever about making these treats healthy, so I could have my cake and eat it (the whole piece) too. My first ally in healthy baking became brown rice flour, which I subbed for all-purpose white flour. This simple swap for healthier flour truly excited me, so then came maple syrup for white sugar and other healthy substitutions and additions. Black beans in brownies—you can’t even taste them!
My boyfriend, Jake, has diagnosed me as a “furvert” (defined in our house as “an individual who becomes so overwhelmed by cute animals that he/she wants to squeeze them”). My two cats, Poppy and Herbie, are fully intact and very loved. They are also tremendous helps in the kitchen, in that they just about trip me every time the can opener comes out (in their minds, can opener=canned tuna) and like to organize (i.e., knock around) pots and pans for me. They are awfully photogenic, so there are, of course, pictures of them on hearts and flours.
Jake, for some strange and unnatural reason, doesn’t really like sweets. He has the gall to take a bite of chocolate as say “yeah, I could live without ever tasting this again.” ?!?! So, naturally, Jake does not have a blog about baking, but you will see that he makes contributions to the food and restaurants sections because those are among the interests we have in common.