Bonjour!

I made an important decision today.

I decided to start a blog.

Hi, nice to meet you.

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I’m sorry, I’m shy.

Actually, I’m a little less shy on the Internet than I am in normal human social situations.

Let’s forget about my social anxieties for a minute and get down to business.

To defeat the huns? No. (Well, we can move onto that once you’ve finished reading this post)

I’m Caty. That up there is a picture of my face, or at least most of it. I’m  a poor college student with a passion for music, reading, cats, and food. Once upon a time, my family instilled within me a love of food – all kinds of food. Only I didn’t embrace it at the time because I was still stuck in my “picky eater” stage (although I willingly drank grape fruit juice and ate garlic by the clove). At some point or another, when I realized I either had to eat whatever was in front of me or go to bed hungry, I (sort of) truly began to appreciate food.

You know what I specifically appreciated? Baked goods.

cake

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I mean, I’ve always appreciated them. What kid doesn’t love risking salmonella and sneaking cookie dough behind their mom’s back, or smelling a freshly opened bag of milk chocolate chips, or parking themselves in front of the oven and watching as a cake slowly but surely rises? My favorite dessert as a child were Monster Cookies – oatmeal, peanut butter, M&Ms, chocolate chips, even a little (gasp!) food dye. Mmmmm. Going to the mall was always something exciting – enough persuasion would earn me a hot M&M cookie from Mrs. Field’s. Back then, I didn’t care about the calories or chemicals lurking within the soft dough – all I cared about was the sweetness, the warmth of the crumbs on my tongue, the tantalizing scent that remained on my fingers long after the cookie had disappeared into my digestive system (seriously, though, why has no one made cookie-dough scented perfume yet?).

Then, one day, my mother decided to “retire” from being queen of the kitchen (at least, when it comes to sugary sweets) and set me in charge.

For a while, I was content with box mixes. Easy, simple, delicious – open the box, aim the mixture into a large bowl, add oil, make sure you don’t get any egg shells in the batter, mix it all up for a few minutes, throw it in a pan…and, 35 minutes later, you have pure bliss. Or the “break ‘n’ bake” cookie dough cubes. And store-bought cookies? Nothing beats finding out how many Chips Ahoy! you can fit in your mouth.

Then, a few summers ago, I realized that homemade baked goods completely from scratch not only taste better, they are better. Not only are you liberated from unknown (and unnecessary) ingredients, you get to tweak. You get to experiment, take chances, be a little (or a lot) risky and creative. You are given liberty to completely screw up a dish because you deviated slightly from the recipe even though it sounded incredible in your mind and then have a mental breakdown over the apocalyptic catastrophe, just as long as you collect yourself before you start swearing you’ll never bake again. Yes, you’ll invest more time – but you’ll also invest more love.

Go scratch or go home.

Ok, so I still make exceptions.

angel food

That, my friends, is an exception.

But usually?

I’m a scratch kinda girl.

This blog was inspired by Joy the Baker, who is, in my mind, the queen of clever, relatable, delicious food blogging. In addition, this is a tribute to my grandmother, who, unfortunately, I never knew very well. But we have many things in common – including the preference of red lipstick to any other color, a tendency to laugh very loudly, and a love of baking.

So, this is Cakey Bakes. Because I bake, and sometimes cook (hopefully, this is the beginning of broadening culinary horizons), and want to share it, even if I am an amateur. This is an experiment. This is an endeavor. This is an adventure to embrace mistakes, embrace learning, embrace experience. For the first time in my life, I know I’m ready for this.

I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.

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