Baking & Blogging

Over the past couple of weeks, I feel like I have been blogging a lot more, and the more time I spend in the blogging world, the more I realize just how many fantastic blogs there are out there. A few of my co-workers have recently started blogs of their own, and so we’ve been having all sorts of conversations about design and purpose for a blog. I feel like you can do a blog one of three ways–either you can have it be based around a particular subject such as cooking or fitness and not include personal information, or you can have it be more like an online journal where you share updates about your personal life. Or you can have it be a combination of the two, which is what I’m trying to do with my blog. I have been toying with the idea of changing direction with this blog, or making a new blog all together, and just specifically focus on cooking and baking. I’m very passionate about food, and I’ve been discovering lots of amazing food blogs lately, so I was thinking maybe that’s the direction I should head. However for now, I don’t think I’m fully ready to do a blog 100% dedicated to food because I’ve realized that I’m far to random to stick to just one topic! However, I’m definitely going to keep posting my adventures in cooking and baking here (as well as where I find my recipes!) Many of the food blogs I read feature new recipes, but I’m really not someone who likes to just make up their own concoctions, I very much prefer following the recipe. This is why I really prefer baking to cooking; cooking is much more about improvisation, where as with baking, it’s much more systematic, which I find very relaxing!

This week I baked a loaf of bread, and according to Cam, it was one of the best things I’ve ever made! I consider that high praise as I’ve made a lot of baked goods…But this bread was fantastic, but what I loved most about it was how simple and easy it was to make. I found the recipe for Beer Bread on one of my favorite food blogs, The Well-Fed Newlyweds (such a clever name, I wish I would have come up with it!). All you do is just mix together your dry ingredients, and then add a bottle of beer. The yeast from the beer makes the bread rise, and adds a lot of flavor to the bread. To quote Ina Garten, how easy is that! What makes the bread especially yummy is that you take melted butter and put it in the pan, add the dough, and then put more melted butter on top, giving the crust great color and flavor (because honestly, when doesn’t butter make things better…). I used a bottle of Bell’s Amber Ale (we were able to get Bell’s all the way in SC!), but I think that you could influence the flavor of the bread depending on which kind of beer you choose. This is the perfect bread to have with a bowl of hearty soup, but it’s also great by itself!

The same night I made the bread, I decided I also wanted to make cookies, but we were out of chocolate chips (idk how this happened because they are one pantry staple I usually ALWAYS have on hand) so per Cam’s request, I made his mom’s nutmeg cookies, which turned out pretty well.

 I’ve also been continuing my slow-cooker obsession. I love using it because it’s so convenient for me to throw something in when I come home at lunch to walk Lola, and then it’s great to have dinner ready when we get home from work. I think I also like the slow cooker because it’s more like baking then cooking…Anyway, there are some great slow-cooker recipes in the March issue of Real Simple, a favorite magazine of mine! So far I’ve made the spinach lasagna (great!), the chipotle beef tacos (pretty good, but not my fav), and the white bean and andouille sausage with collard greens (delicious!)…Happy cooking and baking everyone! 🙂