Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday to you… Well, you know how it goes. Today marks the first anniversary of this little ol’ blog. So in honor of this first birthday, I have for you an incredible celebration cake. It’s not mine at all. It comes from Rosie of Sweetapolita, one of my very favorite baking blogs. She is all that I aspire to be some day. She bakes such pretty and decadent sweets. I changed nothing. It is perfection from start to finish and needs no additions.
This is a deeply rich, moist chocolate cake with swiss meringue buttercream. I assure you, it’s to die for! I’ve never made a cake like this before and that was my challenge to myself for this anniversary post. Sure, I’ve made cakes from scratch before but always the standard 2-layer, 9″ cake with some Betty Crocker spread over it using a kitchen knife that as some point I probably also used as a screwdriver. This cake takes it all to a whole new level. This is a 3 layer cake that I split into thinner layers cause come on… more layers mean more frosting! So we have a 6 layer cake with a silky smooth buttercream that is fabulously not sugary sweet. As soon as I saw her cake I knew I wanted to give it a go… Beautiful, girlie ruffles all over! My version certainly isn’t perfection but I must say, I’m giving myself a pretty hardy pat on the back for rockin’ my first attempt at cake decorating. Now that I’ve made your mouth water a bit… Let’s talk about Food Babbles.
One year ago I was still adjusting to quitting my full-time job to become a mostly stay-at-home-mom. I went from working usually 50-60 hour work weeks to working for about 12 hours, if that. This was a gigantic change for me. Especially because despite long shifts and lots of them, I truly love being a paramedic.
But my love of Madelyn trumps the excitement and love of medicine by far. Now with the arrival of Molly Cate, I want to be home even more. When HB was young, I didn’t have the advantage of being able to be home with her. When Maddy came along, it was of the utmost importance that I be able to stay home with her as much as possible. The small amount of time that I do work these days isn’t out of necessity. It’s more about getting that little dose of the career I love so much. Besides, Daddy and the girls need their days together one-on-one as well and those times are special to Mike. But back to Babbles…
During that adjustment period I found myself having so much time to cook and especially bake. I’ve always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen trying new things but I’d never had that much time to do it. Mike kept saying “You really should do ‘something’ with your cooking.” I didn’t really know what “something” was but he suggested a recipe website. I kind of blew that idea off actually. But he kept mentioning it. One day he said “What do you think of ‘Food Babbles?’” What did I think of it? I didn’t really think anything of it at all. I told him I thought that was cute since my Twitter handle was @KDBabbles because of my ability to babble… a lot! When I asked him what this talk about “Food Babbles” was, he responded that he was buying me a domain name. At the time, I didn’t have any clue what I would do with a food website. I didn’t think anything would come of it nor did I think anyone beyond my family would read it. Let’s flash forward…
If it hadn’t been for Mike’s encouragement and persistence this blog wouldn’t even exist. I don’t think it’s something I would have even thought to have started. I’m so glad that I did though. When I first started Food Babbles, I didn’t really have a direction. I would just slap a recipe up, take a couple of really bad pictures of my dish with the flash on and call it a post. I’ve since learned to never ever use my flash when taking pictures!! In fact, that was an unexpected plus of starting this blog. I learned that I love to take pictures of food! I also learned that with a little practice I’m not too shabby at it either. I’ve still got a TON to learn but I’m really enjoying the photography aspect of writing a food blog. I hope that I continue to get better over time but as you see below, I’m getting there… A picture from my very first post.
Over the last year I’ve met so many incredible people. I’ve forged friendships with people online as well as in real life through Twitter and this blog. I’ve learned that the food community is an incredible thing to be a part of. Food people are like long-lost friends. They’re warm and welcome you with open arms like they’ve known you forever. No one is catty or competitive. Everyone is so encouraging and really supportive of one another’s creativity and talents. Food people are always supporting one another through both their projects as well as personal challenges. People you’ve never met will step up with a kind word or compliment on a job well done. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be able to say that I’m a part of that.
This blog has taught me to challenge myself in the kitchen. I no longer make the same old stuff, following the recipe. Now I almost always put my own spin on things. Not only that, I try new things and I’m constantly learning. That’s one of the very best things. Being able to learn skills that I never would have thought I could do otherwise.
Through Food Babbles I’ve gotten involved with Daring Bakers’ and that alone has challenged me beyond belief. Not only that but I’ve become involved with two baking groups (#baketogether and Muffin Mondays) which has exposed me to so many other wonderful bloggers as well as challenged me to get creative with my versions of the assignments. Just recently I got involved with The Secret Recipe Club which is sure to be a ton of fun and I can’t wait to discover other great blogs there as well. Then there’s Carrie. Together, we created First on the First and we both get to try something together that we’ve never done before. She and I have never met since she lives in Connecticut and I live in New Jersey yet I feel like we’ve become friends through our conversations. Hopefully sometime in the near future we’ll get to meet in person.
In the coming year I hope that Food Babbles continues to grow and reach new people. I hope that I continue to grow as a writer, as a photographer and as a baker. Those are my goals and I hope that you all continue to read and enjoy what I have to offer here. Without readers, Food Babbles is nothing so a gigantic thanks to you all! I appreciate all the support you give me and all the lovely comments that you leave for me. I love that interaction and hearing what you think. I hope that I continue to write and post things that you truly enjoy!