Social Baking: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes and Heart-Shaped Donuts

vanilla-cupcakeI have been cooking up a storm for social events lately!  A lot of experimentation led me to discover some new techniques along the way.  I worked with vanilla beans for the first time ever by baking Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream for a work shower.  Isn’t “Vanilla Bean Buttercream” so fun to say?  Even more fun to eat!  Later, I made donuts, also for the first time – Heart-Shaped Cake Donuts to be exact – for a bake sale.  Let’s dive in first with the real stunner ingredient here:  the peachy-keen vanilla bean… Continue reading

“Variety is the Spice of Life”

Butterfly Close-UpThroughout my life, I have had this image of the type of person I wanted to be one day. I am happily working toward those goals, but a significant aspect of that image relates to being diverse in my hobbies and interests. I would wonder, how do some people do so many things and know so much about so many topics?!

A lot of it seems to just come with the passage of time. In the past, I pretty much just played video games as a hobby, and only a few at that. Sure, I was really good at that one thing, but I made the conscious decision that I wanted to do more. Continue reading

Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Alton Chewy Cookie MainThe perfect chocolate chip cookie is different for everyone. Crispy, thin, chewy, fluffy, cakey – baked with browned butter or sprinkled with sea salt. . . so many possibilities! As for me, I have tried so many different recipes over the years that I am bound to accidentally repeat one eventually. They always fall short of my definition of perfection, so I never seem to bake the same one twice (intentionally anyway).

I finally got around to making Alton Brown’s famous cookie, “The Chewy.” Continue reading