A Baker’s Day Off

Working while trying to pursue your dreams can be quite difficult. Even if you work at a job you really love, it can be hard to balance a work life & social life along side pursuing your passion.

Last Thursday was my first real day off since November. Now, in saying that, I do always have Sundays off – but Sundays are my dedicated day of rest so I try not to do anything but read or spend time with my family and close friends. However Thursday was a true day to spend any way I wanted it. Consequently then, I spent my day in the kitchen with my apron on and a spoon in hand!

I kinda went a little crazy and made a ton! I made two different kinds of scones, mini muffins, a loaf, small snack pastries and a pan of brownies. I ended up giving most of the scones away to my other job, stopping by the coffee stands to say hi and take a break a from baking for a bit. On top of all that, a friend of mine came over and we had our first creative session together! We are partnering, using our creativity to help build our small businesses! She’s a photographer, taking photos of my pastries for my website and Instagram – we are both stoked to be working together! It was such a fun time!

As a result of baking all day, I tried out some old and new recipes that I wanted to share with you all! Here you go!

 

Rosemary Orange Scones

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5 cups flour
10 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks of butter
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 Orange, zested
3 tablespoons rosemary
1 cup chocolate chips

Scones can be tricky. For this recipe, I add all the dry ingredients first. Then chop up your butter into cubes and mix with the dry ingredients by hand. Add the milk and eggs with the orange zest and rosemary. When a dough begins to form add the chocolate chips.

Flour your surface before rolling out the dough. If you are making large scones, divided the dough into 2 balls, 4 balls if making minis. Roll each ball into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut each circle into 8 triangles. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.

I decorate the scones with a simple powdered sugar and water glaze! Simply delicious, all you need is a cup of tea to go with these scones!

 

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Chocolate Turtle Apple Slices

2 very large granny smith apples
3 1/2 cups melting chocolate
1 cup caramels, melted
Chopped pecans

Super Easy Recipe! Just slice up your apples, melt the chocolate and dip the apples in the chocolate. Before they dry completely, sprinkle the caramel drizzle and chopped pecans on the apples.

 

 

27603960_1465409560247922_87430799_oBanana Bread Muffins

2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
5 eggs
2 cups flour
6 tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups ripe bananas
1 cup nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

All I did for these is put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mixed them together until combined. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes if making a loaf, about 35 minutes for mini muffins! Quick and easy.

 

 

 That’s all for now! Remember not too work yourself too hard and take a day to rest and do something you love. I’ll post more recipes soon, have a wonderful day!

With love,

Brooke Elizabeth

A Baker’s Journey

R A W  &  R E A L

As I begin my journey into the baking industry, I don’t want to forget where I’ve come from and the journey I have taken to get to where I am today. I refer to my previous blog post where I told you my story and start of becoming a baker. I’m grateful for where I’ve come from. It has taken me a while to be thankful for my past and come to peace with it. But it doesn’t just end there.

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Baking involves using raw ingredients that can be overall bad for your body if consumed. You don’t eat raw eggs or squirt vanilla extract straight into your mouth. Ew. No, you see, in baking you take those raw ingredients and combine them together to make a finished product. Without the raw ingredients, you couldn’t have made a real product.

As I think of this analogy, I see how this relates to my life.
How can someone be truly real without working through the rawness of themselves? 

What I mean is this: We all have a past. A good one. A bad one. Or even just an average one. Without acknowledging where we’ve come from and how we’ve gotten to be where we are today, how are we going to grow? We have to sift through the hardships of our past to truly live in the present and for the future. But we shouldn’t be stuck in the raw past – though I do love eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough from time to time. We should be moving towards the goal and ultimate end of our lives – a warm, delicious cookie with a cold glass of milk.

Now I know that our ultimate end is not to be a chocolate chip cookie. Duh. But the point I’m working towards is this: the past is a lesson for our future. In baking, if I mess up a recipe I can remake it again. I’ll lose valuable time having to make it again but I learned a lesson to make the recipe right and maybe even better! In life, we don’t have the remake option. We are stuck with the decisions we make but we can learn from those decisions. So why not be real with ourselves now, looking at our rawness and embracing it?  Kneading it together and turning it into something real for ourselves and others to enjoy?

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This isn’t something that is easy. This isn’t something that happens overnight. Things take work and time. But I’m just going to tell you now, it’s totally worth the work you put into it.

Even if you have to wait a while to try the finished product.

With love,
Brooke Elizabeth

 

A Baker’s Beginning

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What is a passion?

A passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable desire towards something. This word is mainly used when directed towards someone – like a stronger word for like or love.  But a passion can also be a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for or about doing something.

So I ask you, what is your passion?

For me, my passion is Baking.

Growing up in Colorado Springs, I remember going over to my aunts house to decorate birthday cakes or watching my mom in the kitchen baking her grandmother’s cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.  I honestly can’t remember the exact moment when watching became helping which eventually became being the designated person at every party to bring a sweet dish.

But what I do remember is the  l o v e  my mom had for making something for others.

You’ve probably heard the saying  “The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home” or “Happiness is Homemade.” Though these quotes seem very clique – there is truth to them:

IMG_0006Memories are made in the kitchen – think back on some of yours. Do you remember during Christmas when you used to decorate cookies with your family? OR remember the time when you went to your friends BBQ on the 4th of July just to get your friend’s Dad’s famous smoked ribs? Our lives revolve around the kitchen and the people in it. Why? Because it’s a place of love.

Additionally, food always tastes better when it’s made by someone else – and I’m speaking from experience. I can make the same recipe my mom makes and hers will always taste better! It is all because my mom has made it with love.

Her love for baking inspired me. Both my parents saw the God given talent in me and decided to put me in small classes growing up as an elective for my homeschooling. Taking these classes with friends and family made them so much more than they were meant to be. It built upon the community that evolves around food, that it’s not just about who can make something the best but about sharing and being encouraging towards one another.

Fast forward to high school is when I began to make cakes for people. This was and still is my favorite thing to bake. There is such an art to decorating a cake, especially when you are allowed to be creative! Cakes are just a canvas waiting to be painted – at least that’s how I picture them. I would also always view it as an experiment, expressing great gratitude to my friends and family for letting me use them as my testers when trying out a new recipe – some of which did not turn out!

As every high schooler struggles with, I really didn’t know what to do for college. So when it came time to graduate, I decided to turn one of my hobbies into my work – because why not do something you love for a living? As a result, I enrolled at Pikes Peak Community College in the Culinary Arts: Baking and Pastry Arts program!

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Due to the wisdom and hearts of the Chefs who continue to teach at this school, baking grew from just a hobby of mine to a passion and love. The chefs showed their love for what they had been doing for over 30 years and shared that with every class they taught. I took classes from decorating wedding cakes to making mini desserts for fancy events in the Springs. We even made giant gingerbread houses for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and many more! I learned so much, but one of the many lessons that I remember and am still trying to apply to my life is that whether we bake or cook – we are doing it for the customer. It’s not about us, but it’s about making someones day.
We share our love for what we do with others to bless others.

Yet again, it all goes back to  l o v e.

After college until now, Just BE’s Pastries & More has grown from an un-forseen childhood dream into a reality. This dream could not have come this far if it wasn’t for   the time I spent after college working for a local coffee shop as their baker. This place gave me the space to grow and create new recipes in their small, yet beautiful kitchen. They hired me because they needed me and honestly I needed them too. They had a passion for coffee, and I for baking. We paired our passions together and it was wonderful! Not only this, but they introduced me to a community full of people with many other passions – which we all got to share with one another in full.

 

Concluding then, this is just a simple bakers beginning. Starting from a small dream to making it into a reality. I write to inspire you and encourage you. If you have something you are passionate about, then go for it! I’m not saying there won’t be trials along the way, but never loose sight of why you do what you love to do.  Yes, I love to bake. But ultimately I do it because I want to make someone’s day better. Whether that be a small plate of cookies for some friends or a wedding cake on a bride & groom’s special day.
It’s never been about me, but it’ll always be about the people and community I love and want to give back to.

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With love,

Brooke Elizabeth