About the Baker

dough ball

Contact me via this handy form.

This is a blog about healthy baking, with occasional dips into decadence. Hi — I’m Laurie.

I started this blog when I realized I was actually baking 5-6 times a week. A whim had turned into an obsession, although it’s kinder to think of it as a hobby. Isn’t it?

My misson: to  lighten things up and bake healthier, since I’m making most of this stuff to eat for my own breakfast. I use yogurt a lot and it actually makes baked goods fluffier and better. It also makes it less of a crisis when I can’t keep my paws off my own creations.

I make a lot of mistakes, and quite a few spills, and even when something tastes good, it usually looks funny. But I scour Pinterest and food sites & blogs looking for recipes to play with, and then I chronicle my adventures here as I adapt them. You can learn from my mistakes as well as my triumphs. I’m clumsy, and I post my disasters too.

I don’t know why I’m obsessed with baking. I have a career I enjoy, I have two kids, I have a fairly busy life and I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who does all the cooking. But come evening, or a slow-ish sort of weekend afternoon, there I am in the kitchen with mixing bowls, whisks, and measuring cups, and my flour-covered apron.

Sadly, I’m a complete amateur when it comes to photography. I bought myself a Canon Rebel, and I finally took a photography class, but I’m still struggling with bad lighting and clunky set-ups. (I also do most of my baking at night.) I’ll get better, though. My new tripod is helping a lot and so is the Photoshop tutorial my friend Martin gave me.

Just to give it a touch of the crazy — in case baking 5-6 times a week doesn’t cover it — I’m on Weight Watchers. I’ve dropped the weight I needed to, but I don’t want to gain it back, so I focus most of my efforts on nutritious, low fat, healthy fare.  I also stay away from mixes full of preservatives as well as desserts that involve stuffing chocolate bars into cookies and then into cakes. One dessert at a time is fine by me.

Although I adore food, I’ve been a fussy eater my whole life, so it’s a gift to be able to make decisions about what should go into recipes and what should be left out. Food without fear! It’s a wonderful thing.  I like to think I’m getting braver with my choices as well.

And for fun (and a bit of cash to offset ingredient costs), I now have a twice-monthly recipe column in our local paper, alongside fun headlines like “Local Teachers Welcomed Back To School With Brass Band” and “Clock Tower Shrubbery Pruned”.

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I store all my recipes there, whether it’s things I’ve made, things I want to try, or things I want my husband to cook. (Visit my Pinterest boards.) I also visit foodgawker daily.


FOOD BLOGS
AND SITES

There are so many great food blogs out there, I have tried recipes from all over the web. Here are a few of my favorites:

Cookin’ Canuck

David Lebovitz

Joy the Baker

Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Southern In-Law

Brown Eyed Baker

Sally’s Baking Addiction

two peas and their pod

Brownie Bites

Lauren’s Latest

Yammie’s Noshery

Tutti Dolci

Pastry Affair

Will Cook For Smiles

Pinch of Yum

Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Dianne Jacob, Will Write For Food

And some of the more non-bloggy sites I enjoy:

The Food Network

The Chef’s Connection

King Arthur Flour

Foodgawker

Pinterest

FoodEpix

The Cooking Channel

Epicurious

Delish

Cooking Light

My Recipes

Taste of Home

Serious Eats

BOOKS

In addition to baking constantly, I’m also reading constantly. You can see what I’m up to on Goodreads. I mostly read fiction, but I also like memoirs and biographies. Here are some of the food-related books I’ve particularly enjoyed:

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo

A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

Yes Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoirs, and More by Dianne Jacob

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

TV

And I am obsessed with tv. I’ve worked in the industry for a long time, but well before that I was devouring it with great gusto. I’m known for being a very nerdy Star Trek fan as well as a diehard Mary Tyler Moore Show viewer, but in terms of current shows, I like to watch:

Downton Abbey
Parenthood (I’m in denial that it ended)
Criminal Minds
The Mindy Project
Worst Cooks In America
Next Food Network Star
Louie
Homeland
Tyrant
Orange Is The New Black
The Great British Bake-Off (known here as The Great British Baking Show)
Chopped
Falling Skies
Master of None
Grace and Frankie
Master Chef Junior
America’s Next Top Model (guilty pleasure, and sadly seems to get less fun with each new season)
Phineas and Ferb (I do have kids, you know)

MUSIC

Like everyone on the planet who has a soul, I love music. Some of my favorites:

Paul Simon
Elvis Costello
Dave Matthews Band
The Beatles (and John solo, some Paul solo)
Crowded House (and Neil Finn solo)
Death Cab For Cutie
The Rolling Stones
Lyle Lovett (with or without his Large Band)
Cyndi Lauper (so much more there than 80s stuff)
Aretha Franklin
Jazz greats like John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, and more

Comments

  1. Laurie,

    I received your delicious cookies in the mail and I wanted to thank you so very much! They are wonderful and my roommates and I have already eaten almost all of them (oops!).

    Beautiful work, and thank you again!

    Happiest of holidays to you!

  2. Hi Laurie,

    Find your writing so fresh, unpretentious and helpful. I too like to swap out ingredients. Just baked banana oatmeal muffins yesterday and swapped the sugar for molasses since it has nutritional value. Also added ground hemp–a new find and rich in omega threes. My picky “no nuts in anything” teenager didn’t notice at all!

    Thank you for all the great info. Can’t wait to try the chocolate zucchini muffins.

    • Thank you so much, Suzanne! I have never tried swapping sugar for molasses and I’d love to see your recipe. I tried hemp once but it smelled like dirt and had the same effect on the flavor. How much did you use? You’ll love the chocolate zucchini muffins.

  3. Hello, really would love to follow you’re blog–but, I can’t find the email feed. Do you have one? Thank you very much! Mary Beth

  4. Thank you for the delicious #fbcookieswap cookies!

  5. Hello!! I just wanted to thank you for sending me some yummy cookies.
    Happy Holidays

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