I have another blog that I have been faithfully writing in every single day for 10 months. Check it out: http://melissaslife42.blogspot.com/. If you follow that blog, you can get an idea of why maybe this baking blog wasn't a high priority. But, with my weight loss and health in a good spot, I'm finding I'm finding my passion for baking and cooking again.
A big motivation for that has been my kids. I have one son who is a super skinny teenager who loves food but is a food snob. He likes good food, but, if food to his liking is not around, he'll eat junk. On top of that, he takes a drug for ADHD and that suppresses his appetite, so really, food has to be appealing for him to want to eat, but he needs to eat because he's slightly underweight. Pressure on mom to make sure he eats and eats well.
Then I have my 1st grader son who has Asperger's/high functioning autism and along with it, strong food issues. We're working on incorporating new foods to his diet, but it's slow and he still needs to eat a balanced diet.
Their needs are very different and their demands on me to "make it work" are kind of huge. Add in my husband and mother in law who lives with us who are wanting to eat a whole grain/whole foods diet, but more pickiness. I can't complain about my husband. He'll eat about anything I make. He's just not a burger and fries and mac and cheese kind of guy. My mother in law likes continental food - European continental and some fresh fish - Dalmatian style. Basically, food she ate growing up and not much else. She's not a big fan of pizza or pasta. My older son isn't fond of potatoes and my youngest son will only eat plain white rice of the starch family or white bread.
So... it's complicated. And now I throw in the complication of eating lower carb which means I've eliminated breads and starches and I only eat cake stuff on rare occasions - yet I'm a cake decorator and baker.
But, I'm finding ways to make it work. First, with eating a lower carb diet, I'm not craving carbs. I love working with bread dough and I love creating. While I'm not an artist, I feel like I get to create in an artsy way with food. Not in how it looks, but in how it tastes. While, yes, I want food to look appealing, I don't need to make it look like a piece of art to make it look delectable. And breads are just a huge part of our diet - for good or bad. When I started to eat lower carb I really began to realize how many carbs there are all around us - from the buns at fast food restaurants to the breakfast cereals, sandwich breads and cakes and so on that are around us every day. With my family's demands, breads and foods with breads were going to remain a mainstay.
So, I make two types of bread at least once a week. One large whole grain one and two small white ones. That way everyone is happy. Then, I have started to make mini pies and desserts because they fit in lunch boxes so well. Tomorrow I will go into my lunch box solutions for kids and school. I have to say though, money well spent in that regard. The kids are eating all their lunches and they are eating better lunches and cheaper lunches.
Of course, the bottom line is part of me baking too. We love good food. Artisan breads. Gourmet cakes/desserts. And those are pricey. A good loaf of bread is $5 to $8. I can make it at home for 50 cents to a dollar - including electricity costs.
And our homemade stuff has expanded too. We now make our own yogurt (we? How about I!). Costs 50% less to make it ourselves. And if I wanted to make Greek yogurt - again, 50% less to make it ourselves. And soon I'll be making our own peanut butter to cut costs.
But having the right tools helps a lot. They aren't a necessity, but they save me time and trouble by having the right stuff. I'll go into that in future posts too.
All in all I'm saying - I'm back and never really left. I've been baking all along, just had other priorities, but now I'm ready to share with you all again.