I always cringe when people ask me, “what do you like to cook?” Because I don’t like to cook, but I love to bake. For me, there’s a huge difference between cooking and baking. Granted I’m dang good with the wok and can make a mean pork roast but it’s really not my favorite thing to do and I’ll probably grumble about it from start to finish. But give me a stick of butter… no, four sticks of butter… flour, yeast, and sea salt and I’ll whip you up something mighty tasty and still be in a pleasant mood when I’m finished.
So even though I love to bake and I have a pretty awesome collection of cake and buttercream recipes that I’ve created from-scratch, the number of times I’ve gotten to knead any dough or even use my mixer since moving to Arkansas eight months ago, is pretty dismal. I may have hinted lately at how stressed I am (for examples see here, here, here, here, and here). Wedding planning is the main culprit but there are a couple other, massive events in the works which are contributing to my frazzled thoughts. Soon, so very soon, I will be able to reveal one of these massive developments (eek!).
Earlier this week I made a Caramelized Apple Tarte Fine from the Chocolate & Zucchini blog. It’s buttery, flaky, and soo good. If you’ve never made a pasty before, don’t let this intimidate you. I promise it’s not as hard as you think and I double-promise that it’ll be delicious and you’ll love being able to take your stress out on folding and kneading the dough. You can get the recipe here.
Oh, and fun fact about this tarte – I bought vanilla ice cream to have on the side and didn’t realize until five hours after getting home from the store, that I had forgotten to put the ice cream in the freezer! Yep, I had ice cream soup sitting on my kitchen table. Has this ever happened to you? Probably not, because you’re probably more organized than I am right now. But if so, I found a genius solution that made the ice cream even fluffier – I just dumped my ice cream soup into the ice cream mixer and after 12 minutes, had perfectly fluffy ice cream! Let’s just pretend I left the ice cream sitting out all afternoon on purpose, mmmkay?
Do you like to bake or cook when you’re stressed? What recipe helps you slow down and take a deep breath?