Keep calm and bake on

I know I’m terrible at keeping up with this blog. Even though I don’t have a full-time job, I never seem to have the time to sit down and update. I can’t say that I’ve been cooking as much lately. One of the main reasons I’m not in the kitchen is that I’ve run out of ideas! Despite my shelf of cooking books and my emails from various cooking websites, I just haven’t found something I want to cook; however, the fact that the holidays are here has inspired more baking. Something about the colder weather and the warmth of the season has left me wanting to bake cookies, cupcakes, and more! I wish I could tell you that because I wanted to bake things have been going well, but I’ve definitely had my share of mishaps in the kitchen.

The other day I made my first attempt at baking snicker doodle cookies. I got all the way to the end of the recipe and misread the directions. In all fairness, the steps weren’t that clear; however, had I have read on I would have caught my mistake. As a result, I had to throw the batch out. As for my cupcakes, they’ve been turning out better than the cookies, but they still aren’t as moist as I would like them to be. Despite the fact my eggnog cupcakes had eggnog and oil in the batter, they came out dry. The same thing happened to my chocolate peppermint and banoffee pie cupcakes. Each batch still tasted good, and they certainly disappeared quickly, but they just weren’t up to the standards I’ve set myself. It’s frustrating to work hard on a project and not get the results you wanted. Those who have been around me while I’ve baked have seen the frequent kitchen meltdowns. I love baking, but I’m a perfectionist, and I get disappointed when I can’t perfect a recipe.

Now I’m trying a new approach to cooking/baking – the keep calm and bake on approach. I have to remind myself that Paula Dean and Gordon Ramsey didn’t become superstars overnight. Cooking and baking is a matter of experimenting, and while I’ve been lucky with a few of my early attempts, new recipes require tweaking. It’s difficult because I am such a perfectionist, and when that first batch comes out wrong, I want to fix it right away. Yet, I have to remember how much I love the process and that all of this is for fun.

Here’s what inspired that new mentality:

I am hoping that whenever I get stressed, looking down at this apron will keep me going strong.  How do you inspire yourself to keep baking/cooking when things go wrong?

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