I've edged my way across the country and back in my lifetime, born in Riverside, CA, lived in Fayetteville, AR from age 6 to 10, then in Carrollton, Snellville, and Atlanta, GA from 10 to 38, then came back westward to Moab, UT from 38 to present. Moab is the stunning county seat of Grand County, which is where my blog gets its name. I haven't been here long, and so am not completely Grand, I'm Just A Little Grand, and that's okay with me!
Living here has motivated me to learn many techniques in pastry making that I never needed to learn living in the Atlanta area. There in Atlanta, are some superb bakeries (viz Highland Bakery, Alon's Bakery & Market, Revolution Doughnuts), patisseries (viz Saint Garmain Bakery, Amelie's), chocolatiers (viz Chocolate South - which is closed, and I did shed actual tears when I found out they had closed for good), and specialty pizza makers (viz Antico - who fly in their spring water from Milan, Italy so that their dough tastes just right)...
...sadly there are only a few, very few, places here in beautiful, out-doorsy Moab, that make baked goods other than whoopie pies or scones (imagine my sad face right now), but I will name the ones that are good, in my opinionated opinion. The Love Muffin actually sells baked goods besides scones! and of course, they have muffins, and Eklecticafe makes quiche!, and La Sal House, though ever changing based on the owner's interests (which fact I love and admire), has a very nice desert menu (as well as cocktail menu and dinner menu.)
However, no croissants?, no danishes?, no raspberry mousse encased in sponge cake with jam? no apple pie to be ordered ahead of time for your Thanksgiving feast? No problem, there's butter and flour and cream and cheese and berries and apples cinnamon and angostura bitters at City Market. I'll step in here.
My main influences are The Joy of Cooking, The Plant Paradox, Eating Right For Your Bloodtype, The Amamzing Liver and Gallbladder Flush (oddly enough, it's a fascinating, informative read), Beard on Bread, Beard on Pasta, The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts, How Baking Works (And What To Do When It Doesn't), Mary Berry's Baking Bible, and websites/blogs such as Helen S. Fletcher's pastrieslikeapro.com. Whenever I google any food or cooking question, I use the above listed as my litmus test for whether it makes sense and is worth my time and my money, and whether I think it will bring me joy or tears in the kitchen. Here's hoping I can help you too to navigate all the "stuff" that's out there, and make everyday just a little grand.
And while that is so very, very true, there is SO MUCH under the sun out there! I love all of the access we have to recipes and tips and tricks today. While I aim mainly to post all of my own recipes, that's just not possible to stop there. There are so many great resources and influences to my cooking and so many sources for my ideas and techniques and combinations, it's rare that there isn't at least a handful of people I've read, watched, googled and of course, down-right copied. If there is a technique that has greatly influenced me, or if I use someone else's recipe in my creations, I'll definitely site those people and the source where I first encountered them. It's a major part of the journey of cooking, and it's a continual rearranging of all things under the sun, but I always love giving credit where credit is due.
Coming soon is a Youtube channel that will have two prongs: one, a peak into my kitchen to see what I'm cooking for dinner. These will be real food items that my family actually eats, on any ordinary day. The second prong will be step-by-step demonstrations of some of the trickier things I've seen posted online, and wondered... "Does it really work like that at home with the stuff I have?" Stay tuned for the channel!
You can send me a message or ask me a general question using this form.
I will do my best to get back to you soon!