Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weight Stigma's Effects on Body Dissatisfaction

In July, I discovered the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival and pledged to post three times over three months to do my part in raising awareness about weight stigma.

Maybe it's because I'd been working out ideas for my monthly post for the Weight Stigma Blog Carnival, or maybe it was that headlines about health, and dieting, and weight loss were seriously everywhere while I traveled from airport to airport to airport last Thursday, but suddenly I could not escape the effects of weight stigma.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lessons in the Kitchen and One Really Good Key Lime Curd

Since I started this blog, I’ve been proud of myself many times. I’ve been a proud baker following a delicious experiment with my Banana Oreo Muffins, and the successful execution of an intimidating dessert with the Goat Cheese Souffles.

I’ve been a proud blogger as well, every time someone comments who isn’t biologically related to me. No offense Mom and Aunts, but knowing that there are people out there who read my blog and have never even met me is very humbling. Hitting 1,000 views was pretty exciting as well. 

I’ve also experienced a few disappointments, usually looked at through rose-colored glasses. The ice cream I attempted to make for the cupcake and ice cream contest turned out like slush, but the cupcakes were delicious and the Almond Buttercream Frosting was good enough to eat with a spoon. The watermelon cupcakes lacked watermelon flavor, but they looked pretty and I made a great Mojito out of the watermelon mint syrup.

Most recently, I made a dessert I was really looking forward to, only to end up with lackluster results. At least in this case, I’m fairly certain I can attribute part of the failure to the ingredients and not the baker.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Paula Dean's Peach Cobbler

I went into making Paula Dean's recipe for Peach Cobbler determined to achieve two goals. The first: Use the peaches I purchased to bake with BEFORE they go bad. Remember the mold fiasco with my peaches when I wanted to make Peach Tea Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting also from Paula Dean?

The second goal: Improve my food photography.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Black Forest (-esque) Cupcakes

When I arrived home earlier this week, I was greeted with mixed messages:
  • We're so happy to have you back, and we're never letting you go again. Now you better get a job and move out soon.
  • I know you like to bake and will have a lot of free time to do so, but if you make me fat I'll be furious. Now make something with those cherries because they're going bad.

I was happy enough to oblige with the request to bake something with cherries, and respectfully reminded my mom that I would never force her to eat anything I'd baked. I'm simply here to create and offer delicious goodies. The effects of consuming such treats — well, that's on the consumer.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Serviceberry Cupcakes from the Street (An economical alternative to store-bought berries)

Back in Orlando, I'm still thinking of the summer in Ann Arbor and missing my friends. Months ago, I concocted a cupcake recipe and matching frosting made from berries I found growing on a tree next to a bank. The story is as follows:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out with a Cupcake - Bye Michigan

This post is bittersweet, and that's not just a reference to the Chocolate Ganache or Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting I used to top these Peanut Butter Cupcakes.

Today marks the day I move out of my college house in Michigan and back into my parents' house in Florida until I take a job elsewhere, preferably in a big city.

These past few weeks have been emotionally charged and incredibly strange. I've said, "goodbye" to many of my best friends, finished working at each of my jobs, packed up and shipped home all the things I'm keeping, and thrown out or donated the rest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Goat Cheese Souffles for Two

One of the first recipes I bookmarked this year was one I found for goat cheese souffles. Souffles have both awed and intrigued me ever since I ordered my first one at a fancy restaurant. It was chocolate heaven!

These goat cheese souffles caught my attention immediately. However, I was so intimidated by the idea of making (and the fear of ruining) my own souffles that I kept putting it off. I also learned that even though I imagined goat cheese souffles would be delicious and fabulous, others found the concept to be a little weird. Therefore I had to wait for a time when I could make these to share with someone who would savor and enjoy them as I knew I would.

This past Thursday, because my sister was visiting and because it was my last Thursday in my beloved college home, I faced my fear and baked little ramekins of goat cheese heaven for the two of us.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Confession Hour: I'm cheating on my Blogger blog with Tumblr.

This blog continues as it has been - lovely written blogs about food, nonprofit organizations, and whatever else I decide is appropriate for this Young Idealistic Baker.

The Tumblr will link to this blog whenever there is a new post, but will also link to other websites and blogs related to nonprofit organizations or baking recipes. It will also feature pictures that didn't make it to the full blog, but that I think are worth sharing, food fun facts, and whatever else comes to mind. A post a day! I'm in the process of filling in all of the recipes here, but have already added some pictures and links that you'll only find on the Tumblr.

Check it out, but keep coming back here for full posts and recipes.

By the way, today is National S'Mores Day!

Happy baking! And, more importantly, happy eating s'mores!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

Always on the hunt for grab-and-go breakfast ideas, I started to research breakfast bars made with oatmeal and banana. The first banana oatmeal bars I considered making called for an entire cup of butter. That’s two sticks! That’s more butter than I’ve ever used to make a cake… A CAKE!

Therefore, I continued searching until I found this recipe that contained no butter, only 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and most importantly added peanut butter to the concept.

When I was a kid, my favorite thing to have for lunch was a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It was great on regular bread, and especially delicious on challah!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars? Cha-ching! Sign me up. I quickly pulled two bananas out of my freezer to defrost and use.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherry Crumb Muffins

I woke up yesterday to a text from my mom telling me to check out Google. Anyone else see it? The home page had a little tribute to Lucille Ball in honor of her would-be 100th birthday. Now, I have been a long time fan of "I Love Lucy," and suddenly felt inspired to bake. 

I've had this snap shot from the show on display in my college room for the last four years.

To properly honor the brilliant comedian, I decided to bake something containing the three ingredients of Vitameatavegamin: 

Vitamins, Meat, and Vegetables...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Birthday Bloggin'

TODAY, for my birthday, I will be making my way around Ann Arbor for some of its finest desserts and collecting all the birthday specials I can. Here are some cake truffles my sweet roommate bought for me along with the adorable cupcake card in the back. Thanks A!

(Clockwise from left: key lime, chocolate peanut butter, caramel apple cider, and vanilla birthday cake)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes for Two

After a long day of working, packing, and errand running, I was sitting back in my living room when my sweet tooth and my baking bug partnered up and hit me full force. I needed some dessert. I needed it bad.

I pulled up my computer and did a scan of all the recipes I've book-marked in recent months. Every recipe that called for ingredients I lacked or that made some 20 + servings got scratched. I wanted a bite of something sweet, not an armload, and I was not about to go grocery shopping.

After just a moment I hit the jackpot. Individual Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes... For Two!