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Back to Baking

<alt img="I Used to Bake"/>

Another year has nearly gone since my last post. Each time I promise to write more often, everything else seems to be more important. Of course, cooking the easiest meals possible and baking nothing in months is an even better reason considering the main reason for this site is food.

In a recent jaywalk, I happened onto an announcement that the Daring Bakers had decided to call it quits. Although the website is still up and running, there will be no more challenges. My nostalgia has been strong enough to get me thinking about baking regularly again. Once a month certainly isn’t enough to keep me from anything I’m currently involved in (read supposed to be doing), and at this point in time, I believe I need and will benefit from the pleasant diversion baking provides. There is something about planning, gathering ingredients, and staying on a set course step by step to its conclusion. I miss it.

I also miss the camaraderie that comes  when a community engages in the same task at the same time. I know Facebook isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it has allowed me to stay in touch with so many of the Daring Baker members I met ten years ago.

That said, I have an announcement!

I’ve decided to start a baking group for anyone interested. Everyone is invited to participate each month as personal tastes and calendars allow. The guidelines will be simple and as flexible as someone chooses to make them, experimentation will be encouraged, and hopefully, we’ll have fun while we learn something new.

If you’re interested, then head on over to read about the details on Baking on the 15th.

Our first recipe (should we choose to accept the challenge!) is Strawberry Choux Cake. Think giant cream puff and you might be close.

I guess this means I’ll be more diligent about writing here at least once a month.

 

Easy Mixed Fruit Tarts: San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale 2012

It’s the first day of spring and perfectly clear outside, the sun making its appearance after a much needed rainy weekend.  I’m feeling the urge to get out on my patio to start clearing away the damp leaves in my planters, trim the new growth from the vines we cut back last year, and get ready to plant the tomato seedlings I bought Sunday, but the air is more chilly than I’d like right now.  Too chilly to be outside digging in wet soil on the shady side of the house this morning.  Not too chilly to be out in the glorious sunshine enjoying a long walk, yet here I sit sifting through old photos and thinking I should get some writing done.  The words in my head aren’t ready to be put down yet, so much wanting to be said all at once crowding my thoughts and making it impossible to begin in any kind of a sensible way.  It’s annoying.

I try to get things going by dawdling around in the kitchen shining counters and finishing dishes that won’t quite fit in the dishwasher.  Making sure I have what I need to make dinner tonight so a last minute trip to the market can be avoided.  Deciding once again to put off the pantry overhaul I’ve been promising myself I’ll do.  But this morning, nothing has worked so now here I am instead, thinking about fresh fruit tarts I made several times last spring when I was trying to decide what I might make for the first ever San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale.

The event was so successful, that this year we will be holding it again with Marie of Meandering Eats at the helm and are fortunate enough to be hosted by my favorite cookware store, Great News! in Pacific Beach on April 28th from 10-2.  If you’re not familiar with the event, you can read all about it at What’s Gaby Cooking.  Last year, $25,000 was raised nationally and this year, the goal is to reach $50,ooo to help feed hungry kids in America.  We’re hoping to double the amount we raised locally last year as well.

There are lots of ways to get involved even if you’re not a food blogger.  We have nearly 40 San Diego bakers signed up to participate this year, so the easiest thing to do is mark your calendar and plan on a visit to our sale making sure to save some time to shop at Great News! like I do whenever I have the opportunity.  Or you could make a donation which will be credited to San Diego Food Bloggers’ efforts by visiting our bake sale blog and clicking that DONATE button.  We’d like that.  Every little bit counts!  Or you can make a donation on my behalf which will also be credited to the San Diego Food Bloggers’ team efforts.

Now, what to make this year?  I made three different types of tarts last year and although I sold them all, it was a bit of a mad production the day before.  Perhaps if I cut it down to one type of tart but filled them differently.  I’ll have to think about it.  In the meantime, here is one type I baked for last year’s sale.  I’d made them for Mother’s Day and they were a big hit so I knew I could count on them again.

Fresh fruit, an unstructured crust.

So simple and satisfying!

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