Saturday, May 23, 2009

Escapades in Baking

Well, first of all let me say that I am a much better cook than I am baker. I can make a mean hopin' john and some pretty wicked tamale pie (or Mexican lasagna... whatever you wanna call it). I have always LOVED to cook but my insatiable creative urges lead me to experimentation and making a recipe "mine". I used to not understand the art of flavor combining and balancing sweet with spicy or savory, or tangy and so on, and so I used similar spices in mostly everything (garlic, onion powder & basil).

Since the days of ignorant bliss, I have learned the joy of simplicity in cooking and highlighting certain flavors while not overpowering the wonderful tastes th
at the fruits or vegetables I use deliver. Less is definitely more, in a lot of instances!
But, I am still learning mind you.... and great cooking certainly comes with experience. I will not give up though. I love being creative and spending time in the kitchen and I will master my flaws. Thank goodness though, the people who eat my food the most seem to really like it. And it's almost always healthy!! I am having a whole lot of fun w/ granola lately! Once I nail a great recipe, maybe I'll post it.

Now,... the baking. Have I mentioned that we are sort of health nuts? We don't like white flour, sugar or fatty lards, etc... We eat pretty healthy, nutrition filled vegetarian (mostly) meals and so I absolutely cannot bring myself to follow a recipe to the T if it calls for some of these unhealthy ingredients. I also love to sneak in milled flax or wheat bran or even shredded carrot, to my recipes for the nutritious value it adds. This is what leads to my less than par baking. BUT, I am a determined lady, I tell ya. I am on a mission to figure out healthy baking! And I would love it even more if I could master lower GI (glucose index) baking that is healthy, delicious and satisfyingly sweet (but not too sweet!!)

Yes, we are also guilty of having a sweet tooth... that we usually curb w/ a piece of dark chocolate... but gosh I do love muffins and cookies, etc..
In fact, I made some lower GI blueberry muffins today w/ a touch of crushed pineapple and coconut. My 3 yr old won't leave them alone! Maybe I'm getting closer to being a satisfactory baker than I think.... but I don't know. Some of my cookies turn out pretty, uh, cakey!
I think mastering my desires in baking will simply take practice. Practice makes perfect, right? Lets hope!