Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Guest Post: When I'm Not Writing by Sheenah Freitas

I have one too many hobbies that keep me busy when I’m not writing. I enjoy hiking, sewing, drawing, and reading. But my favorite hobby (besides reading) is one that everyone enjoys and that is baking.
Christmases came and went and we usually got our share of holiday cookies courtesy of my grandmother. And then the dreaded year came when neither Grandma nor Mom were in the mood to bake cookies. I was mortified. How could the holiday season feel merry when the smell of baking cookies didn’t saturate the air and one of us didn’t burn our tongues by eating a cookie the moment it came out of the oven? So I looked for some cookie recipes to try and self-taught myself how to bake.
That Christmas gave us chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, chocolate Yule logs, and for the first time ever: an army of gingerbread men. Being a stickler for truly homemade cookies everything was made with as much organic/all natural products I could find and completely from scratch, including the icing. It wasn’t long before people began to put in requests and for a short time, it felt like I was doing more baking than writing.
My chocolate chip cookies quickly became a family favorite. I’ve made Orange Dreams which are two soft cookies embedded with a zest of orange sandwiched between homemade icing and topped with homemade orange frosting. And thanks to Food Network Challenge, I finally created my very own chocolate chocolate chip cookie recipe that I call the Jaded Chocolate Chip. The challenge was simple: create a chocolate chip cookie using the assortment of ingredients they provided. I eyed the ginger and green tea and demanded to see someone create one from that, but none of the chefs did (they pretended they couldn’t hear me through the TV, the nerve!) so I did it myself and that’s become the new family favorite.
Baking is a great way for me to relax and it gives me a time to step away from my world when I’m stuck. Chances are after I’m finished I’ve figured out what the problem is and have some cookies to eat if there are any left. I’m always looking for a new recipe to try and have begun to try my hand at pies. It’s been an interesting adventure, but I still prefer baking cookies over all else.

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