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Chocolate Bundt and Valentine’s!

Gooooood day everyone!

This week my Instagram has been flooded with heart cookies, pink colored frosting and a bunch of lovey-dovey stuff. Kyle and I are not too into Valentine’s day, so I tried my best to crank out at least one bake that was Valentine’s “themed”.

I decided to make a chocolate sour cream bundt cake from America’s Test Kitchen! The chocolate cake is a representation of the depth of our love, tangy raspberries for the brightness his presence brings me…. Just kidding! But for real, the whipped cream represents the literal fluff we have accumulated in our mid-sections since I started baking more often.

We really enjoyed the sharpness that the raspberries brought to this dessert, it combined perfectly with the rich chocolate flavor of the cake. In looking towards the future and trying out new things… I am thinking that a caramel buttercream or just straight up caramel drizzle (or drenching) would be another great way to serve this cake.

Question, have you ever made fresh whipped cream? Well, let me tell you that it is a game-changer. My family has always made fresh whipped cream for the really special desserts we eat around the holidays because it makes a BIG difference. We would always have a can of the quick stuff on hand for sundaes and what-not, but we would always go the extra mile for those special occasions.

To make your own whipped cream you will need heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and a hand-held mixer or stand mixer (or really fast stirring skills?). It is not an exact science in our household because how wrong can you go with heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla? The answer is not wrong at all.

  1. Dump 1 pint of heavy whipping cream into a bowl or the bowl of the stand mixer.
  2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup white sugar in there.
  3. Add 1 tsp or a dash of vanilla.
  4. Whisk on high for around 2 minutes and voilá!

You will know it is done when the consistency changes from a liquid to clouds of puffy white goodness that you can dredge up with your finger… Which I don’t do…

If you have any desire to learn cooking or baking I highly recommend taking a look at America’s Test Kitchen. They have quick 20-minute videos that include a recipe or two, a gadget review and a blind taste test. I have rolled through ALOT of these videos while eating breakfast and have learned a ton, from the science of food to kitchen hacks. The website requires you to have a subscription, but you can easily watch over 200 clips on YouTube!

Stay tuned for my version of Banana Bread coming this weekend!

Week Recap – Rain!

Oh Hiiiiii!

This week has been rainy, and we never get rain here in Southern California, so we celebrate. We celebrate by bundling up, sippin’ on a hot beverage and pretending it is winter.

Finally finished a book this week… Anyone ever read a book for like 3 months, when you realistically could finish it in a few days? Well that was me. I rent from the library. #1: Because I don’t understand buying books and then just having them on the shelf in your house. #2: I am broke and can’t afford to buy $15 books every few weeks. Well this week the library really got me all riled up….. So I get it, I took way too long to read this book. I renewed it twice and still hadn’t finished it. After the second due date I started receiving calls multiple times a day from the library like someone was THERE at the library waiting for me to come and return this book?!?! Well it kind of worked and I felt pressured to finish the book, thank the heavens. I finished reading “The Good Daughter” by Karin Slaughter. It was a psychological thriller that was supposed to keep me interested from the first page… Needless to say it took me about 2 months and I would give it a 3/5, just meh. And I still don’t know who the good daughter is…

Baking!

I have an order for some decorated sugar cookies for a baby shower. I started following a lot of sugar cookie decorators on Instagram to get ideas and tips but now I have all of these expectations of myself and am hyper critical of anything I do… Which has proven to be quite aggravating. I made sugar cookies, which I know how to do and am confident with the taste and look of them, so check that off. But the royal icing is a real bitch. First….. first… Let me just say that if I spend more time decorating a dessert than actually making the baked item it should not be eaten and should be considered a work of art. I do not understand how people just savagely bite into cookies like that! Second, for the amount of time that goes into these cookies they should be 20$ a pop hahah and I think anyone who has made these would agree.flooding

I also made some salted caramel brownies from Now, Forager. WOW. This was a new bake for me, and it did not disappoint. I have never made caramel from scratch before and was a bit intimidated just from seeing the bakers on Great British Baking Show struggle hardcore with it. But the caramel was so easy to make, and it was arguably the most amazing thing I have ever eaten. I will be making the caramel again to put on ice-cream, cookies, toast… literally anything. The brownies were moist and just chocolaty enough. 5/5 would recommend to anyone!

salted caramel brownies

Until next week my friends!

xo Tasman

And so it begins…

Hello fellow humans!

To start this off I just wanted to introduce myself and let people know a little bit about me and why I am starting this journey.

The inspiration for this blog and website is actually a cookbook from back when I was in elementary school. The school sent out letters to the families to submit their favorite recipe and compiled them all into one cookbook that was then given to each student at the school.

I always looked at the cookbook and thought about the families, their traditions and what led them to submit that specific recipe. It almost told a story to me in a sense… Was it a special cake that had been passed down for generations? Was it a celebratory meal that families looked forward to all year long? Or a weekly staple that brought people together? Whatever it was, it had a story. I really believe that food brings people together. And certain foods mean different things to different people.

My hopes in starting this blog is to create a space where people can tell their stories and traditions through cooking and baking. I am looking forward to enjoying the company of others, learning and listening to their stories and eating A TON!

A few things about me…

I love baking and cooking. And eating it all. While growing up my family and I have ALWAYS sat down at the dinner table to eat dinner. Sitting around the table every night created a space where we could all check in with each other. Some days the meals lasted 20 minutes while some others lasted more than an hour! I owe my love for cooking, baking and eating to my family.

I love learning and pushing myself. I went to school for a really long time. I enjoyed the structure, the rules, character building, meeting friends and working hard… If I could go to school for my full-time job I would. Except no homework…

I love listening. I pride myself on being able to give someone my full attention and making them feel heard, if that makes sense. All everyone really wants is to be understood. My mom and dad have taught me this from a young age. Side story! Mom has always asked 1.3 million questions to anyone that she interacts with. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but growing up I was mortified when she would ask my friends about their families, specifics about their classes, the list could go on and on. Once I got past the constantly embarrassed stage of being a middle schooler I realized that what she was doing was actually the most amazing thing. She was making someone feel important and interesting. They truly wanted to learn about them as people and how their lives were going. The best conversations were around our dinner table and it is all because mom and dad took a profound interest in learning about others.

And of course, my love. Kyle. He is a constant inspiration to me in all that I do. He is what I look forward to every day. He helps with motivating me, my baking breakdowns and is my constant sous chef 🙂