Self-Care Sunday: Baking Has Become My Favorite Stress Reliever
I come from a family of great cooks, and have always wanted to find my niche in the kitchen. Back in March, when everyone I know started making banana bread, I thought I'd give it a shot. My mom has the best recipe, and there was something seriously satisfying about the whole experience. When my dad asked for pecans in the next loaf, I was so excited to get to bake again, and I haven't stopped since. Since the shelter-in-place order was issued, I have made banana bread, carrot cake, oatmeal raisin cookies, flourless chocolate cake, pineapple upside-down cake, and too many more to name.
The methodical approach to baking has been an incredible stress reliever. I don't quite understand it, but measuring out the ingredients, following the directions, and having the end product be something delicious is almost unbelievably satisfying. Also, when I'm making my dough, I'm so focused on my dessert that I don't think about anything else, and the mental break has been really amazing during the day. If you need an hour or so of peace and quiet, I highly recommend baking. Plus, the end result is always worth it.
Sweet Laurel: Recipes For Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts
This Sweet Laurel: Recipes For Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts ($20) cookbook is a great option for people with dietary restrictions. This is a new cookbook for me, but The Chocolate Cake That Changed Everything is really a game changer. At the top of my list to try next are the cinnamon rolls, the pistachio rose cake, the Hello Dolly layer bars, and the s'mores pie. It's all grain-free and dairy-free, and I am in love.
Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again
You can't go wrong with any of the recipes in this Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again ($20) cookbook. Some of my favorite recipes are the peach and blueberry crumble, the coconut cake, and the mixed berry pavlova.
AmazonBasics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mats
If you're baking cookies, these AmazonBasics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mats ($15 for a set of three) are a game changer. They make cleanup so easy, and after I've baked, the last thing I want to do is clean. Cookies slide right off these mats.
Müeller Austria Ultra-Stick Multi-Purpose Hand Blender
If you need an easy, inexpensive mixer, try this Müeller Austria Ultra-Stick Multi-Purpose Hand Blender ($35). Yes, you can whisk by hand, but wrist cramps aren't fun, so avoid them with this.