|I love San Francisco and baking this much!!!|
My name is Kimberly, and I’m a California girl (born and
raised). I currently reside in
Sacramento, CA, where I live with my husband and my wonderful son. I’m a student (at the University of
California, Davis), on the road to graduation (I have less than 2 months
left). I’m majoring in mathematics, with
a minor in education. The road has been
a long one to say the least. I graduated
high school more than 10 years ago, and after some back and forth with what to
major in, and then getting pregnant and married, school took a seat on the back
burner. I went back after a couple years
(and being laid-off from my job), and decided to pursue a degree in education,
because I’m very passionate about teaching.
When I’m not in school, I’m exploring the city (of San Francisco), going
on random drives to nowhere (or the beach.
I love the beach), doing outdoor photography (with my Canon DSLR), or
baking. I love to bake. I’ve been baking for as long as I can
remember. I use to spend a lot of time
with my grandmother (before she passed away), and she taught be a lot about
cooking. I’m still amazed at the fact
that she could put a whole meal together for 10 people in a day without burning
anything (a feat I have yet to accomplish).
Her cooking was southern cooking, rich in butter and fat. And even now that I have replicated some of
her dishes, nothing compares to what she made.
Despite my love for cooking, I’m probably the world’s
pickiest eater. I stick to baking
because I find that I like a better variety of foods in the baking
category. That doesn’t mean I won’t cook
it. I love cooking for others, and so I
will often make things even though I won’t necessarily eat it myself. I want to work on expanding my horizons, but
there are so many rules I make for eating, it’s ridiculous. It’s a new year though, so we’ll see.
So a little background on this blog…
Lets start with the title.
Why cinn (and not cinnamon)?
Well, I like the abbreviation and I hope that one day it will catch
on. But I also like the spice. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and
I often find that I put cinnamon in a lot of the things I make (my pancakes,
waffles, french toast, cinnamon toast….) and it is by far my favorite smelling
spice. The aroma reminds me of Christmas
pinecones, and who doesn’t enjoy holiday reminders? So Cinn and Spice it is.
Where did the idea of blogging come from?
Well, the original motivation is my own, but I hardly ever
do anything by myself. My friend Juanita
and I always talk “baking” together.
Whenever we get together we bake, and we’ve been discussing for a few
years on what we would do if we opened our own bakery. It all started as a dream, but the more you
talk about dreams, the more you want them to come true, and so I hope to achieve
opening a bakery some day with Juanita.
We’re starting off with this blog.
And we’ll see where it takes us.
You’ll get to learn more about Juanita in her post.
Why a baking blog?
Well, there are a million baking blogs out there. I’m almost certain mine won’t differentiate
too much from the rest, but I like to talk, and I like to bake, and so its not
about getting as many followers as possible, but just getting my ideas, and
thoughts and feelings about the kitchen out into the world (wide web) and maybe
teaching a few people in the process.
This blog will in a way hold me accountable for trying to
get into the kitchen more, and motivate me to see my goals become a reality. I can seek help from those who read my blog,
and in return offer advice to those who also may want to open a bakery as well.
I also love to teach. I feel like it’s a calling. And I think I’ve finally got it right. Baking and teaching: all meshed into one. I’ve always been a kind of science nerd, so
experimenting in the kitchen is fun for me.
My successes and failures will be a learning tool for everyone.
But you’re a novice, so why the big ambitions?
Well, I am a novice, but I have enjoyed baking since I was 3 years old. I have lots of memories in the kitchen with my grandmother (who I adored and loved with all my heart). This dream is in part paying homage to her memory and also working on a few goals myself. I struggle with finding what makes me happy. I’m heading into my 30’s and I feel like I’m in high school with no idea what I want to be “when I grow up.” I originally wanted to teach with my degree, and will likely do so, but I find that the stipulations of teaching will bog me down in the classroom. And as a California resident, the school system is pretty bad off anyway. Before teaching I was going into veterinary medicine, but I realized how much I hated biology. And then there was the stint with biotechnology (but that didn’t last that long). My point is, I’ve been all over the place for as long as I can remember, but one thing that I’ve always enjoyed, was cooking. I love experimenting in the kitchen. I loved waking up early with my grandmother on thanksgiving or Christmas day, and making the ham, and the dressing and the sweet potato pie. And after some sole searching, I realized that I needed to work on things that make me happy. School does not make me happy (I’m earning a math degree. Enough said). Working big-box retail does not make me happy (I can’t fake smile it anymore. People are just mean). Being a homebody does not make me happy, unless I’m in the kitchen. So last year I thought to myself, why not work more on baking? Don’t just talk about it, actually do it. Juanita and I go back and forth on baking ideas, and opening a dream bakery. So I started with a couple of cakes. I first made a cake for a friend’s birthday, experimenting with fondant (It was a lot of work, and very time consuming, but I had fun in the process). It looked amateur at best, but my friend enjoyed it, and the compliments I received helped a lot.
(a popcorn bag cake, for my friend who loves movies. The cake was a tiramisu-flavored cake with mascarpone frosting.)
I moved on to make another friends (yes, my 25 year old friend) birthday cake. This time I experimented
with cake carving (and no fondant. Did I
mention that fondant is really hard to work with?). It was a simple cake (that I actually had to
make twice because the first time I messed up (badly) on the piping), but once
again, I enjoyed seeing my ideas become a reality.
My third attempt was a cake for a friend made on a bet. It was my friend’s graduation and birthday party. I wanted to make her a special cake. Our other friend wanted to make her cake pops that she thought would be better than my cake. And so it was on! I spent more than 16 hours making boxed cakes (a total of 18 I think went into the process), buttercream frosting from scratch, fondant rolling, dirty icing, and stencil and piping work (with the help of a dear friend. That cake would not have been finished without her). Unfortunately it was the hottest day of the year (in the California valley), and my buttercream didn’t hold. My cake melted and cracked before it got to the party. On the upside (for at least me), the friend I was competing against had all of her cake pops melt and fall apart too. They were a sidewalk decoration. We called it a draw because she spent just as much time and hers were just as much a disaster as mine (although I do have to confess, they were decorated quite nice).
My last attempt at amateur cake work came when I offered to make my sister-in-laws cake for her baby shower. I had the idea of what I wanted to do in my head, but unfortunately it didn’t quite make it in my cake work. The icing I made melted (It gets pretty hot here in Sacramento) and so when I went to decorate what was supposed to be Simba (with textured fur), turned out to look more like a gremlin.
(Meet Gremlin…I mean Simba. I was so proud of my Rice Krispy molding skills, but frosting the little monster turned out to be failure. The royal icing I used lost its hold before it set.)
(What arrived at the party. Once again, it was hot that day, although not as hot as my last cake fiasco, and so it started to sink a little.)