Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baking = Love

Miss E trying to figure out if she will take on the challenge of an almond-oatmeal bath or not.
Oatmeal bath mix (recipe from ECOBEAUTY) ready for use! Smells DELISH!
Miss E's new apron.
Miss E admiring the heart she cut out.
First attempt at whole wheat sugar cookies with homemade icing.

Cheesecake---my latest obsession. The crust is a mix of vanilla and chocolate organic sandwich cookies. Yum!

Background cookies: Almond Spice (love them!). The front: Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies.
Our favorite cookies: Double Chocolate! (Recipe link below).

We love love love to bake around here. Pretty much every other day, we are making a cheesecake, some cookies, brownies, etc. And if we aren't baking a dessert, we are making up a new beauty product from a yummy, eco-friendly recipe, like the ones found in ECOBEAUTY by Janice and Lauren Fox.

Baking is an excellent activity for young kids for many reasons.
  • Baking teaches direction following.
  • Baking teaches math: measurements, volume, etc.

  • Baking can teach colors and textures and temperatures.

  • Baking helps create bonding moments and memories.

  • Baking teaches patience.

  • Baking allows for lots of creativity.

  • Baking is an art project.

  • Baking allows for indoor fun on bad-weather days.

  • Baking teaches tradition (bake an old family recipe).
  • Baking can be sharing (take your baked goods to someone to brighten his/her day).

I started baking a lot in college when I was drowning in grad school under stacks of books and student essays. If I needed some stress relief, I whipped up a tried-and-true batch of chocolate chip cookies (and then took them to my peers or students).

Happy Baking Tips:

  • Find a go-to recipe, like our family's favorite cookie, but don't be afraid to try new recipes often. I have a folder that I keep in my kitchen where I place recipes to try that I find in magazines, online, or gather from friends.

  • Learn how to bake healthfully for your family. Experiment with whole wheat flour, nuts and flaxseed, dark chocolate, organic dairy like eggs and cream cheese, agave nectar etc. (Another major benefit to baking is that you control the ingredients unlike store-bought goods). Because of my diabetes, it's important to me to know what I'm putting into my body. (Note: I do not believe in using fake sugars or fat free products. Real food in moderation is best!)

  • Always keep baking ingredients on hand. You never know when your two-year-old will ask to bake cookies. How can you say no? :)

  • Invest in some kid-friendly baking gear---bigger bowls (to allow for stirring messes), fun aprons (we have many!), etc.

  • Utilize your freezer. We may bake a lot, but we don't eat cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We freeze our baked goods and keep a lovely variety around at all time for when the cookie-mood strikes us. And we, of course, give away lots of baked goods, too!
  • Read about the fun of baking! My daughter's favorite book is Mr. Cookie Baker, and I enjoy reading Sugar Cookies to her.

I hope you create a happy kitchen by baking and cultivate traditions and memories that will pleasure your family for years.


  1. Did I just gain weight by reading your blog post?! Nah, but sugary sweet dreams are sure to be mine tonight!

  2. Oh, you are so right and my girls so love to do it. The sad part is I just hate to be in the kitchen. I am, because I don't want my family eating a bunch of processed store-bought stuff, but I don't love it. I cook/bake because it's a conviction, not a joy. Since I dislike being in the kitchen so much, I am a very efficient cook!

    But I have been trying to force myself, for their sakes, to work with them. They have so much fun and I do love to see their smiling faces. Sigh. I'll try a little harder!


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