Thursday, June 30, 2011

One plus one can equal five if you sneak some on the side and other basic things you need to know about life.

So. Baking life. Fun? Yes.  For example today I made 250 cookies, 5 test recipes of bread pudding to have a bake off with myself and pick an official recipe, and made corn bread.  Lately I have been getting into the fancy. The same-old same-old basic recipes don't cut it.
Example A:

Treaty Tuesday this week was a margarita cheesecake with honey-lime soaked strawberries on top accessorized by sugar cookies shaped like limes.

Example B:

Chip and dip cookies went with our nacho bar lunch today.

So, here is why this is important to know.  Yesterday? I made Rice Krispie Treats for dessert.  Rice. Krispie. Treats.   It was a long day and after so many different baking endeavors, I wanted simple, basic.  Yesterday in many areas, my desire to impress whacked me in the face like a pie full of whipped cream, except maybe it was actually more like a shaving cream pie, because it did not leave any deliciousness afterwards to lick off.  Reality?  Sometimes we live to impress, whether it is gourmet desserts instead of the old faithfuls, or with our actions.  A strong character, drive and passion can be subdued in the attempt to impress people with your mad skills and abilities to make one plus one equal a number other than two.  There is no need to over think the basic, try to make complex out of the basic because sometimes the basic is fitting and beautiful just as it is.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sprinkles and Jesus

Baking is a joy.  Recycled baking is a double joy.  You should know that one of my least favorite things about working in the kitchen is throwing away food at the end of a meal that we can't keep.  This is especially true for my baked goods.  I cry a little bit for each slice of cake or each cookie crumble that falls into that trash can. Sooooo... I have begun to recycle the cake into cake pops!  This makes me love life a lot.  So, today in my cake making adventures, I was dipping my little cake pops in the melted candy and you would get those little imperfections, because mine just don't seem to look as asthetically pleasing as a machine can do them at Starbucks *sigh*.  My response however is sprinkles.  Today I sprinkled cute little stars all over each little imperfection.  Result? Restoration.  They were beautiful and delish. (Not that I actually know... I am on a ten pound challenge with a friend and an invitation to Qdoba awaits me if I beat him sooooo you know I am not gonna back down!...)  Regardless, today I am indebted to sprinkles.  Sprinkles were the grace of today's imperfection.

I think Jesus is better than sprinkles and his grace can do a heck of a lot more than some multicolored star sprinkles, even if they are full of color and joy.  Praising the Lord for grace today!  I think he restores a bit better too! Mannnnnn, GOD IS GOOD!  And so is this song:

Sprinkles and Grace today baby! Get some!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sliced fingers are not finger food.

Once upon a time,deep in the mountainous forest lived a baker.  This baker liked to bake at her plains home but an evil villain had kidnapped her desiring homemade breads and baked goods of his very own (Sorry Stu, its for the story's sake).  He would make her bake and bake and bake all day and then lock her up each night in the dungeon below with the guise of an unfinished portion of the retreat center.  So she rose each morning as the last and baked all day, exploring the art of high altitude baking and trying to bake her best.  One flat cake or thin cookie meant 20 minutes in the lair of Stumpy, the camp's old ghost.   O.K., so that adventure is completely made up.... but I really do bake a lot and high altitude baking is an adventure that should have its own story, so I wrote one. I have loved being a baker!  Its like my own personal playground.  Tomorrow, I am making German Chocolate cake for the first time.  The anticipation is overwhelming! (although I am sure that anticipation really stems from something else that is happening tomorrow...).  Making this cake will be an excellent distraction at least!  I will document.  Also, for the record, you should know that I am slowly succeeding in chocolate-cake .  Not quite redeemed, but getting there.

In other news, and the reason for the title, I sliced my finger yesterday.  When you slice your finger in the kitchen world, it means these wicked little finger gloves you have to wear.  Also, I was bleeding for like 2 hours.  Lame. Near death? Probably not.  Was I dramatic? Probably. But you will be happy to know that I made it down to a band-aid and my dear little finger is healing quite nicely. Oh the adventures of kitchen life...

One thing is for sure, as a result of being team kitchen, I have had hospitality on the brain.  I love the ability to serve others.  Hebrews 13:2 says "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."  In a fast pace, independent-minded nation, it is so easy to overlook hospitality, our service to others.  No, we might not all be gourmet chefs but we are all called to love and serve, even if its a bag of chips and jar of salsa shared with a co-worker.  As I have been in the kitchen this summer, I have been a lot more mindful of how I am serving others and worshiping God through that service, with my attitude, with my actions and my words.  I am writing this I guess to encourage y'all to do the same.  Share something this week.  Lets go kindergarten style and practice sharing, entertaining strangers, maybe angels unaware?

Sharing is caring!

Peace, love and SERVE, y'all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Took a wrong turn at the metric system and ended up at the super-sized pans

This baker has been playing up in the kitchen in the mountains.  It has been an experience because everything I know about cooking, I have learned from Google and the Food Network resulting in a lot of self-taught methods that work for my kitchenito at my casita but are not quite as functional nor efficient for feeding the masses. Also, my measurements of cups and teaspoons have been replaced by ounces, pounds, and gallons.  Daunting would be the perfect word to describe the task.  Successes? Pizza dough.  Reasons: It was delish.  It is also most excellent  way to have awesomely toned arms.  I think this summer is gonna get me some guns.  Failures? I threw away a cake batch, TWICE! The perfectionist in me died a little bit inside. (I am grateful p.s. for math skills or I would be drowning.  The Justin Bieber simple math "me plus you" is just not adequate unless he starts singing in fractions like "you have half my hearrrrrrt" then we might be in business again). We had ice cream that night for dinner instead. Making super sized recipes is an adventure to say the least.  Today is take two of me vs. cake.  Banana cake.  I will make it look adorable and my inner-baker will be once again at peace with the world. *sigh*  So let the adventures begin!

Baking is about to begin so more blogging and photo documentation to follow but until then:
Peace, Love and Bake!