Baking

Depression and Baking don’t always mix

So, I’ve been fighting an uphill battle with depression and anxiety for the better part of half my life. I have an incredibly hard time coming up with enough energy to last me through the day, let alone having to find the extra energy needed to do my baking projects!

Baking and cooking have always been something I’ve LOVED doing! Tell me you’re throwing a party? Guess who is logging onto Pinterest to find something new to bake! Em’s got a class project, and I want to bake some treats for the kids in her class!

Over the last month or two, I’ve really  gotten into it. I put myself back in the whole a little by purchasing tools/equipment that probably could have waited.

I can blame part of that on my depression, and part of that on not being on my meds for a month thanks to an insurance fuck up. Then again, I’ve always had an issue with spending money I don’t have, and for some reason, it’s always been on things FOOD related!

This month, I decided I was going to do all these new baking projects (I must have been having a “GOOD” day that day!). Here’s how they all went!:

A few days before the end of teacher appreciation week (I did not know this was in may!) I decided I wanted to make iced sugar cookies for Em’s two teachers. Made the cookies one night, but couldn’t muster up the energy to ice them

 The next day, After work, made the icing,  but was too drained from working my 9-5 that I unfortunately said “screw it” and decided I was ok with giving them their cookies the Monday after TAW ended. Well, Saturday or Sunday reared its ugly head around and I still hadn’t done it (Emmas tball and soccer adventures had drained me, and it was about the time I start getting pissy thanks to PMS). I did manage to get SOME of them iced, well… kind of.  Phil was Having a shitty day at work, so I decided I was going to cook him dinner at his house and finish icing them there. That didn’t pan out, and a week later… I still haven’t done anything else with their cookies and they still haven’t been given a gift! (This is how far I got before I decided to “finish them at phils”):

Next project:

Em is learning about bugs this month, so I’ve been back and forth, trying to decide if I want to do cookies or cupcakes. I decided on cookies (as of last week… keep reading), but once more, icing got to be too much work to do the same day as the cookie making, cutting and baking, and I finished the day with this:

 They’re singing the “furry little caterpillar” song, so I thought these were appropriate.

Last week, I was given the task of being SNACK MOM for t-ball (I was given 2 days notice). I hoped on Pinterest, and this was the ONLY THING I didn’t half-ass or fail to complete! I can’t just do fruit snacks and juice, that’s too easy! I ended up going all out as per the usual!:

 I made rice krispy treats, shaped and decorated like baseballs, and then included string cheese, a fruit cup, and a Gatorade. Of course, wouldn’t you know it, chicago decided it would be appropriate to DOWN POUR the day of her game, causing it to get cancelled. All that rushing for nothing!

Back to the bug cookies, I had energy to start icing them, but thanks to depression and my PMS symptoms, I quickly got pissed, agitated and overwhelmed! I have a pretty small kitchen, so it’s hard to make a bunch of colors and decorate at the same time. Needless to say, I quit. And only got this far:

 Now I have 2 Tupperware containers of cookies that seem to taste ok still, but I’m discouraged and don’t want to do them anymore!

This weekend, or next weekend, I’m thinking of making cupcakes with fondant little ladybugs for decoration.

Maybe I’ll get around to the chocolate chip banana bread my sister has been craving too! Who knows! The one and only thing I do know, is I’m not going to let depression take this from me. Baking is the only thing that I find solace in doing/completing, that is for my own gratification and no one else’s.

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Better late than never

Whoops… I flopped HARD. Not only on reviewing this, but the execution in general. 

I decided to make a Shirley Temple bundt cake on Easter. To be honest, I’m pretty disappointed in how it turned out. I expected a kiddie cocktail. I didn’t expect a dry pound cake. Maybe I didn’t poke my holes deep enough? Maybe I mixed things a bit longer than I should have? Hell, maybe it had to do with the fact that it shared an oven with a sirloin roast for 45 of the 90 mins it was in the oven. Who knows! The only 2 things I do know, is it has somewhere around 70g of sugar PER SERVING! 😱😮😱😮😱😮 and my 5 year old LOVED it (but let’s be real, does that HONESTLY surprise ANYONE???). 

Here is where i got this recipe if anyone would like to try it. 

Shirley Temple Cake

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Just call me “Wait till the Last Minute Mom”

Who belongs to a ridiculous amount of baking or food groups on Facebook?? Who is purposely trying to make all of their friends fat by sharing all the deliciousness you find on your news feed?? 🙋🏼🙋🏼🙋🏼

The ONLY baking plans I had for yesterday was to redo my Pecan Crack Toffee for my LOs security officer. Well, thanks to FACEBOOK, I found this extremely cute recipe for baby chick cookies, and decided to add that to my already hectic day and let it pour into my heavily scheduled night. “Why do it tonight?” You ask! “Easter isn’t for another week and a half” you say!… my answer to that is:

My LOs spring break starts tomorrow, and I wanted to bring something for her to share with her class today during their Easter celebration. Yes, I decided this VERY last minute! As per the usual…. 30 mins before I was supposed to leave work to go to school (which I ditched because I was having Zoloft withdrawal brain zaps and I didn’t feel like sitting in class for 3hrs with them). 

GOD I wish I had taken a picture of the war zone that was my kitchen. 2 baking projects, in a small kitchen for 3-4hrs?!?!? What was I thinking??? I mean, At one point, I put my oversized cookie sheet of cooling pecan brittle on an ever so slightly slanted coffee machine, and if I hadn’t been standing where I was, at that exact moment, round 2 would have been on the floor, and round 3 would have ended up happening!!!! 

Here are the pictures from my cookie experiment:

 If you’re interested in trying these, here are the websites i found for the cookies and for the milk free frosting that I used for the legs (I added orange liquid gel food dye to they that color. I think I used 3-4 drops of sunset orange)

Easter Chicks Lemon Cookies
Easy Buttercream Frosting
Each batch produced about 10-11 chicks. 

1st batch, I made it with super moist Betty Crocker lemon cake mix. The 2nd batch I just made it with pillsbury white cake mix. On both batches, I used 2 drops each of Lemon Yellow liquid gel food coloring. 

OMG!!! I forgot to mention! I completely slipped, and forgot not only Emmas lactose free milk at target, but I forgot the shortening I needed for the cookies!! I was so pissed cuz I was NOT about to go out in that rain storm for FAT!!! Thanks to a quick text to the boyfriend, I ended up using butter as a substitute. It made them spread a little more than I wanted it to, but it just made them into cute fat fluffy little chickies!! Haha
Cute idea right?

I told you I do all my best work when it’s last minute and I’m fighting back the 😴😴😴’s
Onto the next baking adventure!!

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Round 2 … PERFECTION

I am so glad I went for round 2! These came out PERFECT!

And for future reference to anyone who wants to try this recipe, or ANY recipe for that matter… I can’t stress it enough. Just because you’ve made something once, does not make you an expert!! Read the directions, or at the very least, the INGREDIENTS!

Remember how I said the first batch wasn’t cracking, and I assumed it was because of the small pan I used, and not letting it get to temp?… nope! Way off!! I got my measurements for the brown sugar and the chocolate chips mixed up. Instead of doing equal parts butter to brown sugar, I ended up with a 1:2 ratio, and only used 1 c. Chocolate chips instead of 2. 

That explains everything!!!!!

If you want to try this recipe for yourself, please check out the website I got it from: 

Spend With Pennies – Pecan Christmas Crack

Enjoy!!

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Round 1 – Lets just call this a trial run!

Ok, the title says it all! Looks like I’ll be working late into the night tomorrow to perfect this. I can’t present these to the LOs security officer Thursday knowing she liked the original batch! 

This batch, didn’t have that CRACK. there was no SNAP when I took it off the parchment paper. After discussing what I did wrong with my boyfriend, the culinary/B&P expert, I should have melted the 2 c. Brown sugar and 1 c. Butter in a larger sauce pan. That’s #1. #2 would have been to let it boil out to ABOUT 300°F instead of the 275°F I had it boiled to. 

I’m so disappointed! Oh well. 

I’m chalking this up to RUSHING and to not being extremely tired/sleep deprived. I do my best work when I’m under the gun, and Sleeping through it! 🤔😉

Check back in tomorrow night. Mayhaps I’ll have a positive review! 

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Peacan Crack – Ritz Cracker Toffee

Ok, how many of you are busy parents who are running around like a chicken with your head cut off at all hours of the day and night??? I can unenthusiastically say “Me!” 

In the 5 years since I had my daughter, I’ve been at the same job, away 11hrs a day with travel. I went back to school, for about a semester before I dropped out again, tried my hand at selling It Works!, and I’m trying to better inform all of my friends and family about Young Living Essential Oils. I never believed in shit like that, but I do now. That’s a topic for another post! 😉 

I started school again in January and it’s almost the end of the semester and I couldn’t be more thankful!! It’s been waaay stressful on me. Why? Because now I’m trying my hand at this home baking thing. I want to do it more frequently so I can get good enough to open my own bakery/restaurant. 

A couple weeks ago, I learned that the security guard at my daughters school asked me to make this Ritz cracker toffee. Back before Christmas break, I made it for my LOs teachers and the security guard, since I see her all the time. My first “gig” and I couldn’t be more excited and terrified at the same time. Do I ask her to pay for the ingredients? For my time? Do I do it for free just for the experience? It’s weird! I’m thrilled though that someone liked something I made so much, that they requested I make it again! Below is the link so you can check it out and try it yourself. I’ll update with pictures of the finished product tomorrow, assuming I get a chance to do them, and I BETTER! these need to be done by Thursday morning, and tomorrow night is the only time I have to do it! With or without a dozen+ yawns! 😴

Pecan Christmas Crack