Saturday, August 23, 2014

Banana Walnut Muffins

I've had a revelation.
This isn't my first ever revelation but I will say, this is quite a profound one. Are you ready for it?
I have decided to embrace the limitations of MS.
Now, before you judge that statement too quickly or assume that I am "giving up" the fight, hear me out. There is an explanation to my revelation, or shall I say, a method to my madness.
Let's go back to this morning. I woke up with the left side of my body in a terribly flared state. I could see the pulsing vein bulging in my stickily arms and legs. The pain was acute, as if someone were tugging on my muscles just for kicks. I always flare on the left side and every time the pain is the same. The only difference is the varying strength of the pull. Some days it is as if there are three strong men pulling on the muscle and other days I'm down to just one. Today I was somewhere in-between. Let's say, two strong men yanking on the muscles in my left side. Needless to say, an unpleasant sensation.
My day didn't improve much from there. My emotions were on edge along with my muscles and nerves. I hit a wall, a breakdown, a complete and utter meltdown. Living in this body with all of its flares, pains, lack of weight and unpredictable twists and turns got the better of me. Not knowing what each day will bring or what limitations will be put on me next brought me to my emotional knees.
I stayed there for a good hour getting more frustrated. I must confess I was downright angry with God for not touching my body with miraculous healing.
Finally a jackhammer outside got me out of the condo and on a bike ride. I simply couldn't take the noise a moment longer (my noise sensitivity is a relativity new and rather severe symptom that is enough to drive a girl absolutely mad). It wasn't until I started peddling on that bike that I hit upon my revelation.
Yes, MS is most certainly limiting my life but it is not ending it. There are still things I can do. God hasn't chosen to heal me. But He didn't choose to heal Paul either yet Paul had a purpose and God enabled Him to do plenty (more than plenty) to further the Kingdom of God and bring glory to God. Paul asked three times to be healed. God didn't give Him healing but He did give Him a mission and a purpose even without providing healing.
I have asked God well over three times to be healed and He has not worked that miracle in my body. Now I must accept that He wants to use me with my limitations. I have to learn to live fully in the ways I can and stop fighting, lamenting and wishing away my frailties and weaknesses. I have to accept my limitations and embrace wholeheartedly what it is I am capable of.
Like baking.
I can bake and I love to bake. It is where I sense purpose and fulfillment. I am able to bless people by baking. I have never experienced a flared muscle while baking. So baking is what I will do because baking is what I am fully capable of doing.
To embrace this new way of living and new revelation I am going to a cooking store and getting a stand up mixer. This is a splurge but it is a splurge in the name of embarking on a new way of living. I am no longer going to be defined by what I can't do, I am going to be known for what I can do. And what I can bake!

It only seems fitting that today I bake something with nuts and some bananas because my day was a little nutty but in the end it turned out to be divinely sweet and scrumptious.
Today's culinary creation features Banana Walnut Muffins. The recipe I used came from the book "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg. Her recipe is for a loaf bread but I didn't have a loaf pan on hand so I improvised, halved the recipe and made muffins instead.

Here's the original recipe:
6 TBSP unsalted butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I didn't use, swapped walnuts instead)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (didn't have any so omitted)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan (or muffins if you are taking the Fritz approach). Melt the butter and set aside. Mix in a large bowl the flour, sugar, soda and salt. Add chocolate and ginger (if using) and mix well.
In a medium bowl beat the egg and then add banana, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Pour banana mixture into the flour mixture and using a rubber spatula, mix until combined but not too much. You don't want to over mix. The batter will be a bit lumpy but if the flour is all incorporated then it is mixed enough.
Fill the pan and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (or 20 for muffins). The top should start to brown and a toothpick come out clean.
Let cool then remove from pan, slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe from "A Homemade Life" by Molly Wizenberg

Friday, August 22, 2014

PB&J Thumbprint Cookies

"I need a new beach cover up."
About two seconds after that sentence left my mouth I knew it had been a ridiculous statement. Who needs a beach cover up? Answer: no one.
On one side of my brain I am well aware that a beach cover up is a completely unnecessary item, especially when you already have a beach cover up from a few seasons back that still does the job of covering up on the way to the beach. Yet, despite my brain's understanding of need versus want I still find myself falling into the trap of overconsumption. I see something that looks pretty and I think, "I'd like to have that. I shall have that!" And before you know it my debit card is sliding through the little machine, I'm punching four numbers onto a little electronic pad and my desired item is in a bag on its way to becoming another member of my closet's wardrobe family.
That scenario is a sure thing if I act simply off of impulse and the emotional reaction that speaks to me and says, "If you like it, get it." It is only when I stop, ponder and think that I can reason through what is a reasonable indulgence and what is just plain silly.

The statement, "I need a new beach cover up" was completely silly. I did not and do not need a new beach cover up. Would I like a new beach cover up? Yes. Do I need one? Absolutely not. In fact, if I got a new beach cover up I would have to sit on my suitcase to close it to fit all of my current apparel and new purchases into the same bag. I'm barely zipping that enormous bag(s) as it is.
The first time that sentence left my mouth I couldn't help but laugh a little at the sheer absurdity of my thoughts. What a land of abundance I live in! I am overwhelmingly blessed to be surrounded by beautiful things, beautiful sights and all the creature comforts a person could ever want. Not only am I well stocked with everything I need but I am overflowing with things that I simply want and certainly don't need.

Over the next few days following my silly "need" statement I found myself thinking about wants versus needs as I passed beach cover ups in the store. I combed through the hangers considering what could be bought if I so desired and what could be had if I left empty handed.
In the end I left empty handed. And here's why: I decided that leaving without a new beach cover up gave me the pleasure of being satisfied and content with what I have right now, today, in this moment. I didn't need to buy anything new with fresh tags and a new style. Instead I choose to be satisfied with what I have instead of finding satisfaction in buying the perfect "thing" for that moment. It may not be a monumental decision but for me it was a symbolic action to show to myself that I don't need anything more than what I have right now to be happy and fulfilled.
With that satisfied and contentment front and center in my thoughts I let that principle influence today's baking adventure. Instead of hitting the grocery store for an array of new ingredients I opened the pantry and let the bounty in my cupboards give life to another delicious dessert.
Enter: PB&J Cookies.
There is nothing more comforting and classic then the combination of peanut butter and jelly, both of which are in my cabinet just waiting to be baked into a sugary treat.
With crunchy PB in one hand and blackberry jelly in the other I got to work on my cookies. A little flour, sugar, vanilla, butter, baking soda, salt and one egg yolk later my dough was ready to be rolled in sugar and baked at 350 for ten minutes.
At first I was a bit concerned about how this recipe would turn out. The instructions said to put the jelly in after the cookies baked. I'd never made thumbprint cookies this way but trusted the expert (Dessert for Two blogger) and baked the cookies jelly free.
The blogger didn't steer me wrong. The cookies were a hit, yet another small batch recipe success! To try baking up your own comforting classic PB&J cookies head over to Dessert for Two at

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Honey Roasted Peaches with Yogurt & Granola

Stuffed food is fun. How's that for deep and philosophical? It may be a simple, rather elementary statement, but let's face it, it's true! Who doesn't love food stuffed in another type of food? Stuffed peppers, stuffed cupcakes, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed sandwiches! In America we enjoy our food stuffed. I've even seen people stuff raspberries. Friends, that is not for the faint of heart. Raspberries are fragile and I can't imagine that stuffing them is an easy task. I have yet to take on such a feat and tonight I'm not about to try.
I am, on the other hand, going to do some stuffing of my own this evening. For me I'm choosing a larger stuffing vessel to give my two diners a more abundant filling. Dainty eaters can stick to their raspberries but in my kitchen tonight we're going big and we're going peachy!
You may be sick of peaches by now but it's summer peach season and I'm making hay while the sun shines….or baking peaches while they're in season. You get the point.
The idea for stuffed peaches came from something deeper than an affinity for stuffed food. Sure stuffed food is eye catching and almost entertaining but when I thought about what to bake tonight I started thinking on a different kind of filling and a different kind of vessel. My thoughts wandered to what I stuff myself with - and I'm not talking food. What am I really filling myself with? Am I loading on good, positive and beneficial influences? Or am I focusing on destructive fillings that cast a dark shadow on my mood and outlook on life?
Everyone is stuffed with something - be it good or bad, positive or negative. Our stuffing is bound to seep out of us and affect and influence our lives and the people in it. So we must choose our stuffing wisely. If we fill up on the destructive it only makes sense that negativity and destruction will flow from us. But if we stuff ourselves with good things, Godly things, we will shine a light that reflects Christ.
I want my peaches stuffed with oats, pecans, cinnamon and honey and I want my life stuffed with scripture, truth, joy and peace. Thankfully I get to choose what I bake in the kitchen and what I bake up in my life. I get to choose the stuffing and tonight I'm choosing to fill my life to the overflowing with all things sweet, beautiful and absolutely wonderful!

To make your own stuffed peaches is really quite simple. Here's what I did:
1. Make a batch of granola. For mine I used a cup of rolled oats, about a 1/3 cup pecans, 2 T butter (melted), 2 T honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste. I tossed that altogether to coat and then spread it out on a baking sheet and baked it for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees, tossing and moving around every 10 minutes or so. I find making granola works best if it is not at all crowded on the sheet. Oats like their personal space. When the granola is turning golden remove it from the oven and let it cool (it will continue to brown on the sheet).
2. Now to the peaches. Preheat the oven to 350 and get to slicing your peach(s). Put the peaches skin sound down in a pan conducive to roasting. In the cavity of the peach put in a tab of putter and a bit of honey (the amount you use will depend on how sweet you want your peach). Pop your peaches in the oven and bake until bubbly but not burnt (about 25 minutes).
3. Remove peaches and let cool a few minutes before topping with vanilla yogurt, a dash of cinnamon and a couple TB of the granola.
4. Serve to hungry guests!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bananas Foster Baby (Toddler) Cakes

Baking for two is a challenge. Good thing I like challenges.
Baking typically yields large quantities. Cookies are baked up in the dozens. Cupcake recipes make at last twelve to fifteen cute little treats. An average sized cake feeds way more than two people. But this week I'm baking for just two so my goal is to not only create tantalizing treats but to do it without creating a lot of waste and leftover sugary confections.
Searching for help to successfully overcome this challenge I stumbled across a blog called "Desserts for Two." Can you say perfect? The recipes are all geared towards the baker who wants to bake for a small crowd, usually a crowd of two. The best part is that almost all of her recipes are from scratch. For me from scratch is a must. I am bucking the Betty Crocker. I am denying the convenience of boxes and mixes. Even canned caramel is off limits.
Desserts for Two guided my baking experiment tonight. I asked my Mom to give me two ingredients to include in the dessert (a not-so-intimidating version of Chopped) and she came up with sour cream and pecans. After searching for a dessert including those two "mystery" ingredients that would be fit for two I came across Bananas Foster Baby Cakes. The name alone was enough to make me want to bake it. The pictures just sealed the deal.
I made some fundamental changes to the recipe. Number one I didn't use any rum. I subbed vanilla extract instead. Secondly I didn't bake them in mini muffin tin. I didn't have one on hand. All I had was a regular muffin tin so I made my "baby cakes" into "toddler cakes." Third, I used half greek yogurt and half sour cream (I had to include that mystery ingredient) to the cake itself. Lastly, I don't know how long I baked them. I believe it was more like fifteen minutes rather than the instructed ten. Since my baby cakes were bigger than babies they required a bit more baking then their smaller cake counterparts.
These Banana Foster Cakes were a big hit. Both Mom and Dad love them and raved about their moist, light texture. I do believe the words, "melt in your mouth" were used. If you want to make two dessert lovers speechless I suggest trying out this recipe. They'll be a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds!

Recipe adapted from

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blueberry Bread Pudding (Dad's Bread Pudding)

One of my Dad's favorite desserts is bread pudding. It goes back to his days as a child growing up on a family farm. His Aunt was the cook in the family and bread pudding was one of her signature dishes.
This week of vacation has had me thinking about how hard my Dad works to provide for our family. He is the hardest worker I know and an extremely generous Father. As a thank you to my Dad I decided to bake something in his honor. Enter: bread pudding. To top off the luscious treat I decided to add blueberries, my Dad's favorite fruit. This dessert creation truly earns the name, "Dad's Bread Pudding."

For the recipe I turned again to the Bing machine which led me to Allrecipes and Bread Pudding II ( 
Here's what I did with the recipe:
First of all I cut the recipe in half. At least I'm trying to work on portion control for my parental diners!
Secondly, I didn't have day old bread so I went to the store and bought cinnamon swirl bread (definitely would recommend for this recipe). I then removed five pieces (more than half but these pieces were small!), placed them on a cookie sheet and heated them for about five minus at 350 to remove some of the moisture from the bread. This is a good little trick if you need stale bread but don't have any on hand. 
The third change I made was the raisins. I didn't use them. Instead I used blueberries as I mentioned earlier. 
My last change was the amount of sugar used. I used about a 1/4 cup. When I cut the recipe in half it called for a big more sugar but it felt like overkill so I just stuck with the 1/4 cup. 
The result of my blueberry, cinnamon, bread creation with my slight alternations was a treat for the noise as well as the taste buds. The whole condo smelled like a cinnamon bun. The top bubbled and caramelized to a perfect golden brown. 
The picture below does not do this dessert justice. The dessert was impressive. This picture is anything but. You'll just have to take my word for it, bake this bread pudding and your guests (parents, friends, hungry neighbors) will love it. If they're anything like my two diners this evening, they'll have no trouble cleaning their plates. They might even ask for seconds!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars (or a cheesecake fit for two)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…or get really creative, pick some raspberries, soften some cream cheese and make Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars.

Multiple Sclerosis and all of its challenges have given me an abundance of opportunities to make lemonade, metaphorically speaking. With MS there are so many unknowns and unpredictable circumstances. Life can be going along one way and then in the blink of an eye a nerve can flare, a muscle can spasm and life can be thrown into a state of complete fritz. For the sake of sticking with our fruity metaphor I'll call those all-to frequent instances "lemons".
The question then becomes what will the fritzy, ailing body do with their lemons?

In my years with a chronic, ongoing, unpredictable illness I've had my share of opportunities to do some lemon experimentation. Sometimes I've gotten mad at my lemons. I've thrown my lemons, smashed my lemons and yelled at my lemons. I've come to find that this is a ridiculous response. First of all it is a waste of perfectly good lemons. Secondly they never, ever respond to my harassment. In the end this tactic only leaves me horse and frustrated.
I've also tried the ignorance is bliss response to my lemons. On the face of it this seems like a logical response. Just ignore the lemons. How can a person be upset about lemons if they aren't even acknowledging their existence? Well, lemon deniers let me tell you a little secret - lemons go bad. They get moldy spots. They rot. If you ignore your lemons you will pay. Trust me, I have.

Let me assure you it didn't happen over night (sadly it took far too long) but I have in time learned that there is a better way to deal with the lemons of life. Are you ready for my bombshell of a revelation? Make the lemons work for you. 
It's true that this isn't a revolutionary concept. Back in the early 1900's a man named Elbert Hubbard penned a famous obituary in which he gave voice to the lesson I've learned. He wrote of his friend who had passed away, "He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand."
Well, I don't believe in "fate." I believe in God. Never the less, the point that Elbert hit on back in the 1900's is still applicable to me today. When you find that you have been given a basket full of lemons you have a choice to make. You can start a fit or you can start a stand.

God doesn't always hand you and I the lemonade ready to drink and enjoy. It seems that more often than not He gives us the lemons (sometimes a lot of lemons) and instructs us to make something wonderful with them. God gives us hard, sour fruit with no odor until cut and once cut a vicious pain if met with a cut finger (for example), and wants us to trust Him that something beautiful can come from that abundant, cheap little fruit.
Just today I was handed another bucket full of lemons. This one came in the form of a flare up that left me indoors, off the beach and out of the pool as I vacation on an island. This isn't exactly what I had expected when I packed my bags.
Once again I've had to ask myself the question, what will you do with these lemons?
This time around the answer has come easily and simply: I'm going to bake with them.

The treat d'jour is a Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bar. The hot temperatures of Hilton Head Island have called out to my inner baker and asked to provide a dessert that is light and refreshing. With my bucket full of lemons in hand I have just the treat to satisfy the hot, humid and hungry! 

I found this recipe at Handle the Heat - quite an appropriate name given today's temperature of 92 degrees, don't you agree? 
The idea behind the recipe is to create cheesecake inspired bars with a raspberry swirl. With a lack of kitchen equipment on hand (no mixer, no food processor, very few baking dishes), my dessert ended up  in a round pan that created a cheesecake fit for two. This actually turned out to be an accidentally genius baking decision. I was only baking for two tonight and the presentation of a miniature cheesecake was more appealing than a few bars cut up on a plate. 
So you see, when you have lemons but no dish, don't fret. All you have to do is get creative, take a stand, and keep on baking. 

Recipe adapted from

Friday, August 15, 2014

To the beach we go

If my hotel room had an oven I'd be baking. But, alas, my standard room only provides a small microwave and mini-fridge. I don't even have silverware let alone a mixing bowl.
Due to my lack of equipment and ingredients I have not baked today or yesterday and chances are I won't be baking again tomorrow! It may sound odd but I am legitimately sad about this lull in my baking life. Since I've been out of town and out of the kitchen I've realized that I don't just enjoy baking, I love baking. Baking is my perfect therapy. I feel at home in the kitchen wearing an apron and working with doughs, sugars and hot temperatures. Let's just say I not only handle the heat, I thrive in the heat of the kitchen! Give me any other kind of heat and my leg goes on the fritz but kitchen heat suits me quite nicely.

I wanted to give whoever might be out there reading this blog a heads up, I'm away from my kitchen but I will be back. (I did not just say that in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice). This temporary lull in recipe reviews and experiments isn't due to a fading interest in baking or a shortage of flour in the Northern Pennsylvania area. I'm simply away from my kitchen, traveling to one of my favorite places - the beach.
But don't fret, I won't be gone too long. In fact when I make it to the beach one of the first plans on my agenda is to make a trip to the grocery store and buy the basic baking provisions: flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract just to name a few. Trust me, I'll be making time to bake even on vacation. Baking on this beach vacation actually sounds quite relaxing. Who knows maybe I'll make sand dollar sugar cookies to celebrate my new location.
I guess you'll just have to keep following this blog to find out!
Happy baking!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Certain foods and the scents they produce can be real life time machines. Take, for example, white cake with chocolate frosting. When I smell a simple white cake baking in the oven coupled with the sweet aroma of whipped butter, cream cheese and chocolate I am taken back to my childhood grade school days.
Some days I would come home from school and, for no particular reason, my Mom would have a yellow cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting warm out of the oven (she never could wait for the cake to cool entirely before frosting). Mom didn't need a birthday or a big celebration to bake a cake.
Today in Northern Pennsylvania the air had a crisp chill and a breeze that seemed to whisper, "fall is coming." I could practically smell freshly sharpened pencils and hear school buses picking up loads of children weighed down with ridiculously heavy backpacks. The school year is about to come and the weather is preparing children and parents for the coming change in daily routine.
It only seemed fitting that I follow the lead of God's changing seasons and bake the treat that takes me back to my own school experience. I tweaked the memory just slightly. Instead of a two layer cake I baked cupcakes. Still the scent was just the same as I remember. When I opened the oven I was transported back to elementary school. I remembered how the best part of my days as a school girl was always walking back through my front door into the safety, security and comfort of home. Home truly has always been sweet. Sometimes it was extra sweet because of the cake in the oven but it didn't need dessert to be the place that warmed my heart. Home has always sweet because of the love shared within its walls.
So here's to home, freshly baked cake and sweet memories.
Childhood passes but the memories don't need to fade. All you have to do is bake up a cake or a cookie or whatever treat takes you back to days gone by. By simply stepping back into the kitchen, putting on an apron and baking up something sweet you, too, can go on a journey in your own personal time machine. Who knew so much could be experienced while simply baking a batch of basic vanilla cupcakes?

To try out a vanilla cupcake recipe with chocolate cream cheese frosting visit Glorious Treats at

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Crisps and Cookies

With each new day and each new recipe I'm all the more convinced that baking is the perfect way to bless other people. Baking is a way to serve. Baking is a way to show love, care and compassion.
For the past four years I've been asking God to use me. I've felt so useless just stuck at home, trapped in an unpredictable body with unpredictable nerves. I've wanted to be a giver, doing for others and serving people in a way that would show the love of Christ. I've cried out to God and begged Him to make me useful for Him.
At first I thought He wasn't listening or didn't hear me because my health just worsened and my life became more limited. The ways I used to serve and give can't be part of my life in my physical state. As I've watched my life become reduced in so many ways I've faced moments and seasons of frustration, feeling that God was leaving me out to dry.
But then something happened. I found that God could use me right here at home, in my own kitchen. All I had to do was bake and I could start sharing blessings.
Isn't it amazing how God is working even when we feel like He's gone silent? For years I wondered what God was doing with my life and how He would ever make anything out of it given my physical condition. But He doesn't need me to be in perfect health to be busy in the kitchen. He just needs me to have a willing spirit.

Today my spirit has been very willing. So willing in fact that I baked up two different desserts for two different crowds.
First off was a Blueberry Peach Crumble (or Crisp). These seasonal treats were for some of my favorite church ladies who came over for a luncheon. I baked up my crumbles/crisps in individual ramekins and topped them with vanilla ice cream. I love individual sized desserts, they are special and, of course, cute! The golden brown, bubbling crumbles topped with a heaping scoop of refreshing ice cream were truly the perfect dessert for an August afternoon.
The days second adventure in the kitchen was for my all my nieces and nephews. Those kiddos are growing quite accustomed to my daily dessert delivery. But seriously, what kid wouldn't like a new dessert delivered every afternoon to their doorstep? Especially when it comes hot out of the oven and contains chocolate chips.
The recipe I used for my cookies is the infamous Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. To be honest I'm not sure if the recipe I used is the legitimate "top secret original recipe." I saw some conflicting opinions on what goes into the famed cookie but, either way, these cookies were a big hit. I choose a recipe that didn't use oatmeal (a controversy in the blogging world) and went for a recipe that used instant coffee powder. I baked them at 300 degrees for about fifteen minutes. At first I was reluctant to bake them at such a low temperature for so long but reviewers all over the internet swear by this method so I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did! The cookies were moist, a little puffy and slightly crispy. They turned golden but not burnt. The cookies looked like little balls of baked doughy perfection and everyone who tasted them agreed.
Let's just say that the Neiman Marcus cookie is famous for a reason. I think they just became by go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. Way to go Neiman….or Marcus. You came up with one seriously scrumptious cookie.

For today's recipes check out these sites...
For the crumble/ crisp:
I followed this recipe almost precisely except that I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the fruit base. I'm a cinnamon lover. The scent… the taste… I just can't get enough cinnamon in my life.
For the cookies:
Didn't change a thing! Absolute perfection.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls (with yeast)

Fear: false evidence appearing real.
Boy did I need that definition this morning. For some reason that I still can't determine, I awoke this morning in an intense state of fear over the future of my health. Multiple Sclerosis carries with it so many unknowns. There is no "cure" to speak of and the best anyone can offer is management and the hope of remission. Still, the threat of relapse remains. MS sufferers never know if and when their symptoms will suddenly set in and reek havoc on their bodies.
That reality landed on me this morning with all the force of a crushing weight. What if I'm one of those sufferers who continues to relapse? What if I get more symptoms that are more intense and more debilitating? The "what ifs" that filled my mind were downright frightful.
I'm thankful to report that I didn't allow that fear to paralyze me (as you can tell since I'm writing this post). I swallowed my fear, got out of bed and determined to face my fears head on. The "what ifs" might never happen and if they do I'm going to trust that God will equip me to overcome them. He will never give me more than I can handle.
As a step of faith over fear I decided to face another fear head on this morning: yeast.
Don't snicker. Yeast is scary. Rising dough, kneading…the whole ordeal just sounds daunting! But today I was in the fear crushing mode and so I set out to conquer my fear of yeast by making cinnamon rolls.
I found a recipe and pulled out my ingredients - including yeast. Two hours later I opened my oven to find perfectly risen, golden brown cinnamon rolls spreading a rich, sugary scent all through the house.
The rolls rose. They expanded. They browned. They were perfection!
I can't believe it took me so long to discover the wonders of yeast! All this time I had been afraid of the complexity of rising bread and expanding dough. I was worried I would waste perfectly good ingredients in a doughy catastrophe. But, alas, my worst fears didn't turn into my reality. My first attempt at baking with yeast was a resounding success.
To all my fellow bakers out there (who may or may not be afraid of yeast) I encourage you to face your fears in and out of the kitchen. Open that packet of yeast. Face your fears head on. Chances are your worst nightmare won't come to pass. In fact, you just may be pleasantly surprised to find a tantalizing smell in your kitchen and a life more beautiful than you ever imagined!

If you happen to be facing a fear of yeast I recommend this recipe for cinnamon rolls from Sally's Baking Addiction, Follow the recipe step by step to officially crush your fear of yeast. Plus as an added bonus, you'll have some amazingly delicious smelling, looking and tasting cinnamon rolls!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mini Brownie Ice Cream Cupcakes!

Girls just wanna have fun. Cyndi Lauper had it right back in the 1980's. Well, she had some things right. Not her hair style but that's a whole other story.
But back to the fun.
In that fun-filled spirit today I baked up little mini brownie crusts for little mini ice cream cakes. This dessert is seriously fun! Exactly what I want. I would like to tell you that I played Cyndi Lauper's #1 billboard hit while I baked these little mini brownies but I would be fibbing and I'm not into that. I believe honesty is the best policy. But I can honestly say that these little treats are enjoyable to create even without a soundtrack of feminism in the background. Feminism is another thing I'm not into. But again, that's another story.
So, the mini ice cream cakes. You might be wondering what recipe I used, where I came up with the genius idea and how they turned out. First of all, I did not dream up this tantalizing treat without the assistance of Pinterest, my favorite place to scour for clever ideas. Joy the Baker provided inspiration for my little cupcake, brownie, ice cream cake delicacies. You can find her blog and this particular recipe at
For my own personal miniature cupcake, brownie, ice cream cakes I used a different brownie recipe. That can be found here: These brownies are highly recommended with over five thousand reviewers putting in a good word for the little cocoa bars. I felt quite safe using the recipe and was not disappointed. They turned out perfectly. I baked them in my lined muffin tin at 350 for about eight minutes. They were perfectly cooked through without being too dry or too moist. The perfect base for the rest of my cake treat!
After allowing the brownies to cool I scooped out ice cream onto the tops of my partially filled cups. I chose mint chocolate chip, peanut butter cup and chocolate chip cookie dough as my ice creams. I filled six different cups with each ice cream making a grand total of eighteen cakes. I refroze the cakes while I made the chocolate topping Joy recommended. After putting on my chocolate top (working quickly so the ice cream didn't melt, just as Joy advised) I put the treats back in the freezer until serving time. Then, last but not least, I cheated and used a prepared whipped topping. No whip cream from scratch tonight. I guess you could say that purchasing the whip topping was more fun!

Today my tasters were a house full of kids and adults with seriously intense sweet teeth! The personal sized ice cream cakes were a hit with young and old.
Here's a heads up to any parent who might feed this treat to their child, have them eat it outside! These decedent desserts are seriously messy. I recommend a plate underneath and a handful of napkins (or Viva paper towels) at the ready.

Today I learned that sometimes it's just fun to prepare a cute, miniature, special treat for sugar loving loved ones. And girls just want to have fun. So my advice for the day is, ladies, scoot on into the kitchen and bake up something adorable and definitely something fun! Oh, and turn on some Cyndi Lauper while you're at it!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Let's take a culinary adventure to a B&B. No, not the bed and breakfast variety. I'm talking blueberry and bundt.
Bundt cakes have been popular in Europe for as long as sugar has been desired by the human race. So pretty much, forever. Our European bakers call these cakes "Gugelhupf." Not exactly the yummiest sounding name but never the less the fruit cake has been a staple in European bakeries for centuries. In America the rise of the Gugelhupf is thanks to a couple of manufacturers who saw a way to score big on kitchen cookware. Enter: the bundt pan. 
In the 1950's the bundt pan hit the shelves and soon the ovens of bakers across America. The rest is history. Bundt cakes were born and dessert lovers have never turned back. 
Bundt cakes can be any flavor. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, orange, peanut butter, carmel, swirled or marbled. They can be made with buttermilk or sour cream, sugar or applesauce… consider the bundt pan your culinary oyster.  
My first foray into the world of the bundt pan was of the buttermilk, fruit variety. I'm sticking to the historical roots of the bundt and bringing blueberries into the batter. After sixty minutes at 350, my baking creation was complete and smelling berry divine!
The recipe I used was from the Brown Eyed Baker. I'm partial to her recipes simply because she has brown eyes, just like me. There is an innate sisterhood among brown eyed bakers. Her recipe didn't disappoint. The cake was thoroughly enjoyed. It elicited responses such as scrumptious and divine.  
To my great delight the cake didn't stick to the pan! Here's my bundt cake baking tip: grease the pan with ridiculous amounts Crisco and flour. Overdo it. Be liberal with your greasing ingredients. If you do so you will be rewarded with a bundt that slides out of the pan with ease, creating a perfectly shaped and rounded bundt. 
To find the recipe I used you can visit my fellow Brown Eyed Baker at

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sugar Cookies

Christmas time isn't the only occasion for a crisp, light, frosted sugar cookie. Turn that cut-out Santa into an ice cream cone and you have the perfect summer time cookie treat.
Today's fun in the kitchen goes back to the basics and what could be more basic than a sugar cookie? The ingredients are simple but the result, when done correctly, is perfection. The wrong kind of sugar can create a dense, heavy cookie. Too much flour and the cookies won't crisp. And if the icing is too thick or too sweet the cookies will leave the taster with a mouth full of sticky sugar. One cookie will be one too much.
But when the classic cut-out sugar cookie is baked to a golden brown with a slight crisp along the edges and then topped with the perfectly sweet and light icing, cookie perfection is attained. That classic, unadorned cookie can't be beat.

My Mom has always instructed me to find one particular kind of sugar cookie recipe. She doesn't have a go-to recipe to hand down on a worn and tattered index card but she still manages to direct my sugar cookie recipe selection. Go for the confectioner's sugar. With that advice as my guide I bring you this cookie recipe from AllRecipes ( I followed it precisely, chilling the dough for about two hours. The dough was easy to work with, didn't crumble and didn't feel overly sticky.
After about seven minutes in the oven at convect 350 my cookies were a perfect golden brown - crisp edges and not too puffy. I topped them with a simple icing of about two cups confectioners sugar with two tablespoons milk and one teaspoon vanilla. Those measurements are just an estimate. I didn't measure. I used the instincts of my inner baker to guide my icing preparation.
Of course, the best part of baking sugar cookies is the fun of decorating them with assorted colors and little sprinkles. Mom and I used our not-so-professional tools of toothpicks and small butter knives to put the finishing touches on my crispy treats.
The exciting verdict is that these cookies turned out tasting as good as they look. So that makes them cute and delicious, the perfect cookie combination!
Today's baking foray was a success and a great reminder of not only a basic cookie recipe, but a basic principle in life: Mom knows best. Whether it is choosing a recipe in the kitchen or putting together the recipe of life, my Mom is my most trusted guide and constant voice of wisdom. Where would my baking be without her?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Peanut Butter Pie

Today I fell into a trap I like to call self-pity.
I can't speak for every chronic illness sufferer, but I know that for me the trap of becoming overly self-involved is as dangerous as quicksand. When my body is suffering all of my thoughts and attention focuses in on me, what I'm feeling and how utterly miserable I am.
I sound like a joy, don't I?
MS has set this trap for me and I've walked right into it, as if unaware. I use the excuse of my pain as justification. I rationalize being consumed with myself because I've been dealt a difficult hand.The truth is, no matter how severely my nerves may be on the fritz or how lousy I may be feeling I never have a  "Be Self-involved For Free" card.
Thankfully, baking provides the perfect outlet to get outside of myself and start thinking about someone else - their needs, wants and desires. Baking takes my eyes off me and puts them on the people around me. How can I bless them? What is their favorite treat? Can I perk up someone's day with a sweet goodie baked up especially for them?

Today that is my mission: bake up a blessing.
My baking experiment today is an ode to my sister-in-law, Kim. She is the full time mother of eight. That fact alone makes her deserving of a bakery full of all things chocolate. But Kim isn't just a mother, she's a great mother and a great friend and a great sister.
When I was considering what to bake today I didn't even know where to begin. Cookies were definitely out (just read yesterday's post). There were no peaches calling my name from the kitchen counter and cake just didn't sound quite right. It wasn't until I heard about Kim's stressful day ahead that the perfect baked good dawned on me. Peanut Butter Pie, Kim's favorite.
Today I was tempted to think of only myself and the physical suffering MS has been throwing my way. The trap of self-involvement was large and I was well on my way to being locked in its grasp…until I got back to baking.
When my hands are in a bowl of heavy cream, peanut butter and sugar I'm not thinking about me. I'm thinking about the goodness of a dessert delight that can brighten the life of someone I love. Baking is the perfect way to banish self-involvement and get back to blessing others.

Today's recipe comes from AllRecipes. I tweaked it just slightly. I upped the amount of Oreo cookies in the crust by about a 1/3 cup. I also decreased the amount of sugar in the filling by about a 1/4 cup. For garnish I used whipped cream along the edges with sprinkled chopped Reese's cups on top. Finally, a drizzle of chocolate syrup was the finishing touch!
All in all I would call this pie a success - and not just because of the taste or texture. It was a success because it was about more than ingredients or a perfect indulgence after dinner. This pie was about showing love and baking a blessing.

If you'd like the recipe so you, too, can bake up a Peanut Butter Pie blessing you can find the recipe I used at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Failed: White Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

Today's recipe comes to you with lackluster enthusiasm. I hit the ground this morning low on spunk and pep. I attribute my low energy to the LDN - low dose naltrexone. Last night was my first night taking medication for MS. There are few side effects with this particular medication. Unfortunately there is one sacrifice that must be made during the first week on the meds: vivid, frequent, crazy dreams. I can attest to the severity of this side effect. It feels like I was running in circles all last night, not getting my beauty sleep.
It is only to be expected that my sleeplessness took its toll on my baking adventure of the day. It was a half-hearted effort that resulted in a decent, edible but far from exciting cookie.
The recipe, "White Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies" sounded divine. Cheesecake itself sounds luscious and the simplicity of a cookie can't be beat - especially when baking on empty. The pictures showed a soft, pillowy cookie with a light crumb and golden hue. With high hopes, I set out my butter and cream cheese to get them softened and ready for baking.
After mixing all of my ingredients and refrigerating my dough for the recommended two hours, I popped my little balls of dough in the oven on a parchment lined baking sheet. Convect 350 instead of bake at 375. Ten minutes later and my cookies were looking good. A golden brown crisp was forming on the edges and the tops were almost precisely like the picture. I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and then transferred them to a sheet of foil.
From my vantage point the cookies looked perfect but from the mouth of my official taste tester came a different story. Her face said it all: these cookies were not a home-run, smash-hit goodie.
I left the next few batches in the oven for a few minutes longer at the directive of my taste tester but still the cookies never met the high expectations I had set for them. With every bite the cookies just simply fell flat….

As you know I usually post a photo and link to a particular recipe at the end of each baking experiment recap. Not so today. The recipe was a failure. The pictures were just so-so. My recommendation for today is this, don't get discouraged when your cookies fail and your tasters give your creation two thumbs down. Just bake again tomorrow. Which is precisely what I'm going to do.
Every day won't be the greatest day of your life and every cookie won't be "the best ever." Simply get up and give it another go. Learn from the failure and use a different recipe the next time around.
As for me, I won't be baking up another batch of White Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies again any time soon. I'm moving on to another recipe, another dessert type and another day of baking.
But first, some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chocolate Layer Cake

The Lord said, "Let them eat cake."
Okay, so maybe that was Queen Marie Antoinette. The Lord didn't use that precise confectionary terminology but it isn't too far fetched, is it? The Lord tells us to rejoice, praise and worship! In America most celebratory activities are usually accompanied by balloons, streamers, and most importantly, cake. So it would follow that God is practically commanding His children to eat cake. Or at least bake it!
Today, in this celebratory spirit of rejoicing in the goodness of day given by God, I am baking a classic chocolate cake with two layers and chocolate buttercream frosting.

While researching chocolate cake recipes I vacillated between all-purpose flour and cake flour. My gut instinct was to go for the cake flour, after all it has cake in the very name. But I couldn't find a recipe with good reviews that used cake flour. Every "best-ever" recipe used all-purpose flour and expresso powder. I must admit, this confuses me. I thought cake flour would be a given in cake?
Part of me wanted to scrap the reviewers advice and swap out the all-purpose flour for the cake flour but the more I read the more unsure of myself I became. Recipe developers and baking bloggers swear by recipes that use all-purpose flour. I am far from either of the above so who am I to question their tried and tested instructions?
So all-purpose flour it is.
The recipe I used has been deemed "the best chocolate cake recipe ever." Sounds like a sure thing, doesn't it?
Dear chocolate cake lover, I am pleased to tell you that this cake turned out! I don't know if I should deem it a "sure thing" or just beginners luck but my cake didn't split or crumble. It rose just the way the pictures and reviewers said it would. The texture was moist and the scent undeniably chocolatey!
The icing I am not so pleased to say was not such a resounding success. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible and it was certainly edible but my tasters (my Mom along with a house full of kids and chocolate-loving sister-in-law) weren't loving it as much as they were loving the cake itself.

Both cake and icing come from yet another baking blogger. You can find the recipe here, I would highly recommend using the cake recipe but finding a different buttercream frosting recipe. Maybe your grandmother's secret recipe instead? I don't have a grandmother with a secret recipe so I will use that as an excuse for less-than perfect cake frosting.
No matter whose recipe you use for frosting, enjoy your cake and, if you like sugar, eat it too because today is a day worth celebrating with a big fat piece of chocolate cake. It is worthy of a party simply because God created it and blessed you and I with it. So dig in to today and to your cake, too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Peaches n' Cream Bars

If this post had a subtitle it would be, "The story of the bars that almost weren't"….or something to that effect. I'd come up with something catchier. But you get the gist.
These Peaches n' Cream Bars almost didn't make it to my oven or the mouths of my beloved tasters. It wasn't a shortage of peaches or a lack of flour that almost doomed today's baking experiment, it was my nerves, my MS and my attitude.
Some days with MS are tougher than others. Some days I appear just fine, feel great and have no complaints. And then other days it is just the opposite. Today is one of those days. My digestion has been on edge since six this morning and the fatigue has been extreme. To make matters worse my attitude was anything but peachy. I was in a funk and a depressive state. Needless to say, I wasn't the most jolly of gals to be around.
After lunch I sunk even further. I sat in a chair and mentally lamented my lot in life. The muscle in my leg was having spastic fits and my head was aching. I literally put my head on the counter and just mopped.
Then, all of a sudden, I thought of another batch of peaches on the counter and my head popped up. Bake. Get up and bake!
I almost jumped out of my chair and hurried back into the middle of the kitchen. I grabbed a glass 8x8 pan, aluminum foil and cooking spray. I hit bake, 350 and start on the oven. I was off and running!
Within five minutes my hands were in a bowl cutting up cold butter to make a crumbly topping and my oven was beeping that it was ready to receive my doughy creation. As I mixed ingredients, measured spices and chopped peaches my funk fled. The cloud that MS had placed over my head was pushed out of sight and all I was thinking about was my Peaches n' Cream Bars and the luscious smell they would soon be producing in my kitchen.
Sure enough, forty-five minutes later the scent of cinnamon and sugar was in the air and there was a bubbling of peach and juices in the oven.
The sudden revelation to get back to baking didn't change the status of my muscle. As of the penning of this post my leg is still very much flared but my attitude toward my leg, my muscles and my nerves has done a complete one-eighty. I'm no longer trapped in the gloom and doom of a physical condition. I am rising up and over MS, baking till I'm better and determining to be an overcomer, not a succumb-er.
Who knew there could be so much victory in a simple pan of peaches, oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon?

You may be wondering how my Peaches n' Cream bars turned out. Were they a success? The verdict is in and the bars have been taste tested - they are a winner.
The recipe comes courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction. You can access it here:
I followed it almost precisely except for a few minor adjustments. I added an extra peach to the filling and an extra teaspoon of heavy cream to the glaze. Let's just say I was feeling extra peachy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Today's confectionary creation is Peach Upside-Down Cake. This cake has dual inspiration. First of all it starts with the peaches. That inspiration came courtesy of the bag of quickly ripening peaches sitting on my kitchen counter. It is as if the perfectly soft (soon to be too-soft) fruits have been calling out, "Bake me before I go bad!" Today I am heeding their call.
Secondly, the inspiration for this cake has come from the name itself, "Upside-Down." Here's the thing about upside-down cake, when you put all of the ingredients in the baking dish the blob of dough doesn't look appealing. To look at the dish on its face it looks well, sort of bland and "blah." There are no sprinkles, chips, or deep brown chocolatey hues promising a rich treat to be enjoyed in the near future. The cake just looks like a pale, unadorned combination of flour, eggs and sugars.
Forty-five minutes later the story isn't much different. The cake might smell half way decent but there isn't anything to catch the eye and tantalize the taste buds - until you flip it over. Then the surprise is revealed! The fruit is on full display in all of its caramelized goodness!
Thinking on the principle of the upside-down cake got me thinking about the journey of my mystery illness leading to a diagnosis. For years my life was nothing more than an array of symptoms and ailments that had no clear explanation or rationale. I couldn't understand why I was suffering and I certainly didn't always believe there was much of a purpose for my physical trials.
And then a diagnosis was given, an explanation was provided. Suddenly the last four years came into clear focus and I could see the divine hand God had in my whole journey. As my life baked for four years looking like nothing but a bland (and troubling) set of circumstances, God was getting ready to reveal to me what was underneath: nerves on the fritz!
Okay so you're probably thinking that the diagnosis of MS has nothing in common with the revealing of a delicious, perfectly baked Peach Upside-Down Cake. But the way I see it is there is a blessing in a diagnosis and a privilege in a challenge. God has given me a burden to carry and a mountain to climb so that in overcoming the trials I can glorify His name. That is the caramelized topping on this baked up life. By overcoming multiple sclerosis I can show how powerful the Almighty God is! If you ask me, there is no amount of brown sugar and perfectly timed baking that could ever compare to that blessing.

Whether you are enjoying an upside-down cake or the revelation of an upside-down life turned right-side up, have a blessed Sunday! God has big things in store for you and surprises more tantalizing then your greatest culinary creation. Be patient, dear baker, give your cake and your life the time it needs to bake to a moist, golden brown . The big reveal is sure to be worth every second of the wait - just like a perfectly baked Peach Upside-Down Cake.

Tonight's recipe comes from Midwest Living ( I followed the recipe precisely except for the fact that I used cake flour instead of all purpose flour. This means that I used about 1 - 1/2 cup flour instead of 1 - 1/4. Cake flour stays moist even when baking for forty five minutes. This was my first foray into cake flour and I will definitely be back again for more! This cake was a hit and definite keeper.
I will admit that a sizable chunk of cake fell off when I flipped my cake so I apologize for the less-than perfect presentation photos. Trust my taste-testers, this cake looks (and tastes and smells) better in person. Promise!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Let's start with a classic. I don't know if I would call Peanut Butter Blossoms the "very beginning" but they are certainly a classic cookie. Chocolate Chip probably trumps them in "classic-ness" (yes, there is such a classification and yes, that is a made-up word). Today I wasn't feeling like baking with little chips of anything. I was feeling big kisses. So Peanut Butter Blossoms it is.
There is something inherently homey about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. The two go together like a good thunderstorm and a front porch swing. The creamy, smooth texture of peanut butter paired with the sweet richness of chocolate wrap their arms of deliciousness around the taster as if embracing them with a hug. This is the delight of a Peanut Butter Blossom that I hope to share with those who will eat these little classic delicacies!

My recipe today is not my own. I didn't even tweak it in the least. I first looked at the bag of Hershey kisses for recipe guidance but was leery of following the steps without some feedback on how the cookies would turn out. So to Bing I went and came up with a slightly adapted recipe from All Recipes. I'm a sucker for All Recipes because I can read other bakers feedback, comments and suggestions. Since I don't do my own taste testing I rely on the feedback of previous bakers for guidance on what recipes will be home runs.
**A side note, I never ever eat what I bake. I don't eat sweets. I don't even nibble. I make frostings and doughs by looking at them, smelling and having my Mom as my official taste tester.
Back to Peanut Butter Blossoms.
I picked the highest rated recipe on All Recipes and went to town.
The result?
The cookies turned out but my advice to all those who might try this recipe is I suggest upping the amount of peanut butter by at least a 1/4 cup. This recommendation comes on account of my own desire for a stronger peanut butter scent and my Mom's desire for a stronger peanut butter taste. I was hoping for my house to smell like a tub of peanut butter but upon baking the cookies I found that I only got a slight whiff of the creamy goodness I was anticipating. Same went for my official taste tester. So a word to the wise, up the peanut butter.
Other than the less than overwhelming peanut butter flavor the cookies were a success. I followed the recipe almost precisely besides the fact that I convected them at 350 instead of just simply baking at 375. This helps retain moisture (so I've read). I also didn't time my cookies. I never time anything. This results in some cookies baking for ten minutes and other for twelve and maybe even a tray or two for fourteen. This isn't a precise science on my part, more of a forgetfulness about the cookies being in the oven. I try to eye them up for the perfect golden brown top with a slight crisp around the edges. That to me is the perfect looking cookie!
Here's the recipe I used for any Peanut Butter Blossom lover (or Peanut Butter Blossom baker who doesn't eat sugar but loves the scent of peanut butter). Enjoy!

Peanut Blossom Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy
kisses, unwrapped
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.

** Courtesy of


Welcome to Baking on the Fritz.
Please forgive the lack of sparkle and pizazz of my blog's design. I'm not too slick with the html, blogosphere lingo. I stick to English and sometimes even that eludes me.
But you must understand, I'm on the fritz. Allow me to explain.
It all started over four years ago with rapid weight loss, digestive trouble and strange muscle spasms. Then it suddenly seemed to all disappear…for a little while.
But then it came back with a vengeance. This time the fatigue was worse, the weight loss was more extreme, the muscle spasms became painful and severe and my vision started to go blurry and twitchy. To sum it up, I went on the fritz - big time. You can read more about that whole long saga of a journey on my blog Pippy Love ( I chronicle the ups and downs on the road to an explanation to my litany of strange symptoms.
Finally after four years, a bunch of blood work, a neurological exam and an MRI the cause of the fritz was discovered: multiple sclerosis.

This blog is about my journey after the diagnosis. It's about living on the fritz and particularly baking on the fritz.
Nearing the end of my search for a diagnosis I began baking. I found that being in the kitchen, whipping up cookies and cakes provided me an outlet for my anxiety and a way to bless people without ever having to leave the house. What I discovered is that I love baking. I love putting ingredients together and getting a result. Sometimes the result is good (like Salted Caramel Cupcakes) and sometimes it's not so good (like Baked Vanilla Brown Sugar Donuts).
In the end there is always something learned from time spent in the kitchen. I've learned to let eggs come to room temperature before baking a cake. I've learned that homemade caramel requires a lot of stirring and no more than three minutes of bubbling on the stovetop. I've learned that muffins that don't smell like anything but paste don't taste like much either. And I've learned that if you drop a big glass bowl full of dough you can clean it up and make rice-krispie treats instead.
So, come with me on this journey post-diagnosis. We'll learn how to live with multiple sclerosis and bake in the kitchen together, one recipe at a time, one day at a time. I can't promise that what comes out of the oven will always smell divine or even be edible but I can promise that it will be an adventure while we're baking on the fritz.