Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baking Tips!

Many people ask me where I learned to bake. Yes, I watch cooking shows and I read cookbooks, but more than anything, I learned from my Mom.
When I was growing up, I used to come home from school, and more times than not, my Mom would be baking a cake. Half of the cake would be dessert after that night's dinner, and the other half would be sliced up and we'd each get a piece of cake in our lunch box for school the next day. It was a lot more economical to bake a cake for our school lunches than buying snack cakes for everyone. And since Mom had 11 of us to take care of, more economical was the way to go. Funny story...the other kids in school were always jealous that we had home made cake in our lunches and my brother Michael used to sell his. True story! Anyway....
Now that I'm an adult, I bake all the time, probably as much as Mom did. Not only do I love the yummy final product, but I also find it to be extremely therapeutic. There's just something wonderful about starting with an empty bowl, and ending with something warm and comforting. I guess that's why it always boggles my mind when I hear someone say "I love to cook, but I don't bake." I always want to say to them "Why not?". Yes, I know baking is a science, but it's no more difficult than cooking a stew or a casserole. As far as I'm concerned, there's only one thing that separates baking from cooking, and that's measuring your ingredients.
When you cook a stew or a casserole, you throw in a little of this and a little of that. With baking, you can't do that. You have to follow a recipe and measure everything as the recipe dictates. It's my guess that the only reason a good cook doesn't bake is because he or she doesn't know how to measure things properly. So, this is the reason I wanted to do this video. Not only will you see how easy it is to measure your ingredients, but you'll also see how to prepare your baking pans, and remove the cake from the pan. Mom always told me "When you bake something, follow the recipe." Hopefully this video will help you to do that. If you think about it, baking is easier than cooking, because all you have to do is what the recipe tells you. There's no guess work involved! Am I right? So, give it a shot! It's easy enough for anyone to learn and it's a great thing to share with your kids. It's one of the greatest gifts my Mom ever gave me. Thanx Mom.

So, always remember, it's better when YOU make it!

Just ask the kids in Michael's class who bought cake from him!

Big HUGE thanx to Katie and also to Anthony for helping me with the video!

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