So it has been a while...I know. But a lot has happen...after 8 1/2 years in D.C. my husband and I made the decision to move to Richmond for his job! Which for me means...trying out this whole working from home thing (I am still up in the air on how I feel about it.); a much larger kitchen (OMG I finally have natural light streaming in through huge windows); and we are still working out how we feel about Richmond, but we are truly loving exploring it! For now though, the baking continues, and I head to Alexandria every two weeks for sometime in the office. Which means sometimes, like Monday, I end up with about three dozen cupcakes traveling via a two hour train ride. Change is good though right? In all seriousness though, I was very excited for our new adventure. I had been praying for direction and change, and clearly it was the right time. Plus, the new adventure has provided a little inspiration I have been missing here. I honestly had just gotten tired of baking and blogging in my old kitchen it was tiny, (see below) and I was just over it. Don't get me wrong, I was still baking but not inspired to put anything down here.
Old Kitchen vs.
New Kitchen here...can you see why I am happy?
So now with a new kitchen filled with light, a reason to bake and a little inspiration I broke in the oven with two new cakes and one old cake. You may ask, why so many cakes at once, well it was for a wedding cake tasting...I didn't just need three cakes in the house for me to eat while I am at home all day working. That would just be dangerous.
Hey guys and gals...it's been a while again...I know. You see the thing about this year as I have been trying to figure some stuff out, trying to get a business off the ground, and still trying to concentrate on my family, though small it may be. I have been feeling a bit lost recently, which leaves me with out words to write here too. I think I am ready for some sort of change, even if its just buying a new sofa and keeping the house cleaner. You see the thing about having a tiny kitchen and needing to bake or cook, is well...after cooking in it for three years, I am a little over it. I just want a kitchen with a window that is bigger than the 10 feet it takes up currently. But cook I still do, and I was so ready after being in California and Phoenix for two and half weeks between October and November, to embrace fall. This soup was me trying to do just that. I know, I know this is a baking blog...but hey this soup is mostly about what goes on in the oven, and less about what happens on the stove top.
This soup is simple, delicious and healthy. It really is only roasted butternut squash, onions, apples and carrots, with curry powder, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pepper...plus some turkey stock. It is a soup you can make in advance and freeze, or one you can make the night of and serve immediately. It is creamy while having no cream in it and loaded with vitamin C! Give it a try, it will not disappoint. Enjoy!
Okay you guys, I underestimated the amount of time in life that real work, and a side business would take. Life has gotten real this year you guys...there was a 5 week stint where I was gone 3 out of 5 of them, and in 5 cities over those 5 weeks. There has been a marathon, a half marathon, a 56 mile bike ride and a 67.5 mile bike ride. I did get to take a couple of days off and hangout with some good friends in Key West in spring, and a fantastic summer vacation with my best friends in Seattle. What more can I ask for?!? Oh and I turned 30! So to get back into this lets just start with a few photos of adventures and all of the food I have been baking since well you know March when I last posted. Oops my bad! Life just got in the way and lots of really yummy food.
One of the few springs when I was actually in DC to see the Cherry Blossoms blooming.
And for the first year at one of my favorite events of the year, my wedding planning company was able to help out with Taste of the Nation, by donating the Chef bags!
So this past weekend kicked my butt...both mentally and physically. Anyone who has ever run a race with any great distance...10+ miles will understand. Over the course of what would ultimately be 26.86 miles, not just 26.2 because you always end up running more than the actual race distance, I wanted to quit at least 5 times. I first wanted to quit because I knew I could just stop at the half marathon distance and I would have been happy with my time. I wanted to quit because I was bored with running by miles 15, but I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I quit at something I knew I could complete. I wanted to stop and walk when there were hills between miles 22 and 24, and by then there weren't people cheering you on anymore. Do you ever feel that way, like you just want to not do something anymore even though you know you totally can? Like I know I could do "xyz", but it is going to take a lot of time and I just don't feel like putting in that time and energy right now. Sometimes I feel that way about baking. Like I don't really want to make a cake right now, not because I don't want cake and couldn't make it, but because I don't want to have to then clean up the kitchen and wash all of the dishes. My kitchen is small and sometimes I don't get excited to bake in it simply because of that.
But the other weekend I was very excited to get to bake for my DC Taste of the Nation silent auction friends. We were meeting on a Saturday, and I really wanted to bake them something, since I don't get the opportunity to very often. When I found some really nice looking blueberries at the store, I new immediately what I wanted to try out...Lemon Blueberries and Creme Scones. They have just the slightest hint of lemon to add a light brightness for spring with the plump juicy blueberries. Plus, these are the easiest from scratch scones you will ever make. They come out light and fluffy for scones and are super moist from the cream. You should definitely give these a try this spring, and Enjoy!
I won't put my after picture up, here because no one looks great after running for 4+ hours (and it's on instagram let's be real), and I keep saying I won't do another one...but talk to me a year from now. I couldn't do it without my friends and family who came out to cheer me on though.
On to the seriously delicious scones...these are so easy and I can't wait to make them again.
So last weekend I got lost. I was running along, only planning on running 8 miles Sunday morning in Charlotte when I got lost. I was trying to follow map my run, and the route they picked out, but clearly I wasn't doing it properly. Clearly I am now so dependent on someone literally telling me where to go at an exact moment that I had lost those map reading skills. What do kids growing up now do? Like what happens if they are in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal, and have never needed to read a map before. I mean do they even have a map in their car? Of course, what do I do but, plug in their address and started once again listening to an electronic voice tell me where to go. But then I had a moment of panic, and used a few harsh words, as my phone crashed as it was giving me directions to my brother and sister-in-laws house. A) I still didn't know if I was heading in the right direction and B) I couldn't even order an Uber to get me to their neighborhood and I had no cash on me. It is amazing how dependent we can become on technology. It also made me think about how important it is to just set the phone down sometimes, stick it in a draw and actually enjoy your life, not living vicariously through others. Thankfully my phone came back up, I stopped listening to music and just listened to the occasional direction I was given. I paid a more attention to what was going on around me, and all of the RIDICULOUSLY large houses I was running by and not even really noticing before.
But before last weekend, and actually the weekend before...what can I say I am a little behind...I made these s'mores shortbread for my office. Sometimes everyone needs a little treat on Monday! The best part about these was toasting the marshmallow just before the shortbread was going to be eaten so it was super warm and toasty. Using a torch to do this even caused the chocolate to be somewhat melty just making these little shortbread even better.
I am a little behind here on the blog, and I should come up with excuses, but I have been baking.
Like on the same day I made these shortbread, I also made chocolate dipped Hazelnut shortbread for Charles' office.
Do you ever feel like waiting patiently is the hardest part? Waiting for a cake to bake and then cool? Waiting for pie crust to spend a little time in the refrigerator? Or for butter to soften?...but then in the end the time spent waiting patiently is worth it. Sometimes we are just waiting anxiously to get a text back from a friend. Or I remember the days...several years ago now when I would wait, what felt like hours in college, for a phone call from Charles. Or right out of college just hoping and waiting to get an email back from and of the what felt like 100s of companies I had applied for jobs with. Ultimately though the wait tends to be worth, the right person, thing, job comes along or the cake that took hours turns out just the way it is supposed to...almost as if it were fate.