The Baking Bug is Taking a Vacation

It shouldn’t be a major surprise to long-time blog readers that it’s been a while since I’ve baked.

The month of March was filled with crafting adventures. But I’m also starting to spend less time at home. I have been given the opportunity to get back into community theater this spring. I’ll be stage managing a play that consists of a small cast of 8 actors. It’s a really funny play and I can’t wait to jump on board.

What does this mean for the blog?

It means I’ll be posting more infrequently. Most of my free time will be devoted to theater and then resting and seeing friends. But, I do plan to bake this Friday!

So I’ll be posting about that next week, even if it isn’t a recipe out of the MB cookbook.

Until then, friends….

What I Cooked Last Weekend

If you happened to see my post from Saturday, you’ll know that my area of the country was hit by our first major winter-storm of the season. In fact, it was the first really major storm in the last couple of years. Parts of the state I live in experienced blizzard conditions. Though we had a lot of snow at my house, we didn’t lose power, have the blizzard conditions (according to meteorologists) and overall fared pretty well. The fact that it fell on a Saturday was also nice. In the end, it basically meant I was snowed in on Saturday which gave me plenty of time to hang out in the kitchen.

I did bake, though not from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. I also tried my hand at some more vegan recipes. Here a rundown of my time in the kitchen last week.

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Magnolia Bakery #19 – Blueberry Crumb Pie

Being good on my goal to start the pie chapter of the MB cookbook this year, I decided my first bake out of the book for the year would be a recipe from that chapter. Blueberries were on sale last week at the grocery store, so I decided to make the Blueberry Crumb Pie. “It’ll be easy!” I said to myself. “Really, how difficult could pie crust be?”

Well, it turned out to not be as easy, or as exciting as I thought.

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First Bake of 2022!

Now that the whirlwind of the holidays has ended, I am able to focus on blogging and baking once again. As the first bake of the new year, I decided to make something out of an Ina Garten cookbook. After looking over her recipe index, I decided that a fall/winter fruit dessert would be the perfect choice. So, Pear, Apple, and Cranberry Crisp!

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2021 Year in Review and 2022 Plans

2021 was a great year for me — and for the blog! This year, the blog reached over 230 posts and it received over 5000 views! I can’t thank my readers enough for supporting me and stopping by. When I started blogging I heard that it does take time for you to gain your footing and find your place online. It wasn’t until recently that I started feeling like my blog was starting to take off.

As the first full year of my blogging journey comes to a close, I thought we could look back on things over the last twelve months.

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What a Weekend!

As I alluded to last week, I spent a good portion of my weekend in NYC. Our first stop was Brooklyn where we spent the afternoon with two other couples playing board games, consuming yummy brunch bites, and the cookies I made for the occasion.

After that, my boyfriend and I made the trek up to the Bronx so we could see the NY Botanical Gardens Train Show and NYBG GLOW event. This is something that I never knew I wanted to do…in fact, I didn’t even know the Train Show was a thing. I’ve heard about the Gardens before, but never went. Come to find out, the Train Show is kind of a big draw for New Yorkers and those of us in the suburbs alike.

Sunday was movie day. We met up with yet another couple to watch the new West Side Story movie and I highly recommend it. The movie blew me away and I have no complaints. Afterwards, the four of us went to dinner at a restaurant near the movie theater. The food was mediocre, but the company was wonderful.

While I was driving home from the dinner, it hit me. This was the first time in nearly two years where my weekend was this busy. Everyone I had socialized with was vaccinated and boosted so we all decided we would be as safe as we could be. It was definitely nice to relive the “old times” before the modern plague. Hopefully one day, we can get back to doing this more regularly.


This week my workplace is having its annual Holiday Party. We are fortunate enough to have it catered but some of us are still bringing desserts or appetizers. Obviously, I am bringing a dessert. I decided on the original Banana Pudding recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Handbook. I realized that I haven’t made the basic version yet, just some variations on the original. Plus, this dessert is somewhat easy to make and it looks stunning when done!

Though the banana pudding does not require any true “baking,” this weekend I’ll be making and decorating sugar cookies. Pics to come!

A Break from Baking

Over the weekend, there was not much baking going on. In fact, I didn’t bake anything. However, on Sunday evening I decided to use up the egg yolks I had leftover from the failed Caramel Meringue Buttercream recipe to make lemon curd. I haven’t done anything with the curd yet. To be honest, I didn’t even taste it after it chilled.

This weekend, I will be visiting NYC with my partner. We’re stopping Brooklyn to visit some of his friends before we make the trek up to the Bronx to see the Botanical Gardens’ train show. We will be having brunch and I’ve been asked to bring some cookies for us to share. So, I’m combing through recipes on Sally’s Baking Addiction to decide what I’ll bring.

Stay tuned next week for how the weekend turned out and what cookies I decided to make!

Friday Night Cooking Plans

To be honest, I can’t even remember the last time I cooked for my family on a Friday night and blogged about it. During the colder months, I was doing it pretty consistently. There was good reason: I was (slowly) making my way through Ina Garten’s recipes. As life started to return to “normal” when the warm weather came, I started doing more and was spending less time at home, thus I was cooking less.

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Kitchen Experiments: Making Vanilla Extract

A couple of weekends ago, my partner and I finally put an idea of ours into action. We would try our hand at making our own vanilla extract. This is something both of us wanted to do for a while, but life always caused delays to it actually happening.

We were first inspired to do this separately, getting the idea from different chefs. He is a fan of Claire Saffitz’s YouTube channel and I became obsessed with a TV chef on Discovery+ who also uses her own vanilla extract. Additionally, I first stumbled on this idea from one of Ina Garten cookbooks where she details the steps to making one’s own bottle of vanilla.

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A Plan for the Future

This month has been a weird one for me, blogging-wise. Shortly after beginning my foray into cooking all Ree Drummond’s recipes, I started to lose interest for some reason. I can’t really put my finger on why it happened. But, I just accepted it and kind of went with the feeling, hoping for the interest to return one day.

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