Why I Bake

by jenna on September 21, 2010

I bake because I love to feel flour on my palms and don’t mind getting dough underneath my fingernails.

I bake because the scent of lemon bars in the oven takes me right back home. Every time.

I bake because when it seems like absolutely nothing is going right, I know that if I follow the recipe instructions, I can have warm chocolate cake in exactly forty five minutes.

I bake because there is nothing so perfect as Italian buttercream.

I bake because I love the way soft butter combines with sugar, forming creamy peaks and grains of sweetness.

I bake because I love the way meringue crackles on my tongue before melting away completely.

I bake because it’s part of who I am and because I’m never so at home as when I’m in my tiny kitchen, covered with flour, with my hands sunk deep in dough.

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

brianna September 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

love this! also…..will you be bringing back culinary school chronicles?;)

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Jessica @ How Sweet September 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

I bake for many of these reason too – I love the feeling of kneading dough with my hands.

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pol September 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

LOVE. :D

I don’t cook at ALL. Nope. Does scrambled eggs count?

I only BAKE. :)

Love you little sis! XOXO

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Heather (Heather's Dish) September 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

i bake because it makes me feel so alive and happy – it’s an art!

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Jasmine @ Eat Move Write September 21, 2010 at 8:06 am

It’s important to know what takes you back home and makes you feel like yourself. That’s writing for me. Making a life out of something you love like that is really special. It’s very cool you get to do that (as do I). Have a great day, you!

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Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf September 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

I don’t normally like getting my hands dirty, but baking to me is like sculpture. It’s one of my exceptions to that rule. Feeling the dough is like feeling the clay. You put yourself into it, form it and shape it, and place it in a hot oven to cure (cook). I feel more a part of it.

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Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin September 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

Very cute post! I wish I was as good at baking as you are!

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Maria September 21, 2010 at 8:09 am

What a lovely post :)

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Kelly September 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

Something I think would be awesome for you to do is to post a kind of tutorial on how you ice your cupcakes. Yours always look so beautiful and I am so envious! I guess that would be hard to do in pictures? Anyway, just a thought!

I love to bake because it is therapeutic. :)

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VeggieGirl September 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

I love that you bake. I haven’t baked in over a year, can you believe it?!

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Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

I bake so I can eat delicious desserts :) and all of the above. Beautifully written, Jenna.

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Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies September 21, 2010 at 8:16 am

I absolutely adore this post. Baking… I seriously just get lost in the motions.

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Jessie September 21, 2010 at 8:19 am

That is exactly how I feel about baking but I don’t think I could have ever said it so beautifully.

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Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) September 21, 2010 at 8:20 am

I agree! I love baking, it’s my favorite – I just wish everything didn’t have to be so unhealthy! haha

I love baking because it’s pretty exact – follow a recipe, make perfect measurements, and then you get something wonderful!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

I love to bake bread
It’s beautiful, delicious, healthy, and wholesome.

It’s fun to bake and I don’t feel bad eating it.

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Kristina @ spabettie September 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

well said… I feel exactly the same way – I LOVE to knead dough and having flour all over me and dough under my fingernails is natural to me, and how I often look…

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Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes September 21, 2010 at 8:26 am

You should open up a bakery (home-based for now?) and send us your cookies – those cookies look so tremazingly delicious. : )

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Laughter-Loving Stacy September 21, 2010 at 8:26 am

Nice. I love baking. I would bake all day all of the time if I didn’t have to go to school. Plus I would just eat it all (very little self-control, unfortunately). :(

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Shannon, Tropical Eats September 21, 2010 at 8:26 am

nothing beats the smell of something warm and doughy baking in the oven :) mmm

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Lauren at KeepItSweet September 21, 2010 at 8:27 am

totally agree with so much of this!

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Nora@LiveLifeEatRight September 21, 2010 at 8:28 am

I love how food can evoke such emotions :) Baking nurtures the body, mind and soul. It always take me back home and provides comfort. I love that I can channel my grandma through a chocolate cream pie or my mom through thumbprint cookies.

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Camille September 21, 2010 at 8:30 am

This is beautiful. Thank you for putting words to how I feel in the kitchen :)

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Michele September 21, 2010 at 8:32 am

This is a truly lovely post. It sounds like you’re in a very peaceful, tranquil place right now.

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Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary September 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

You bake therefore you are ! Loved this post Jenna. I still think you should frame some of your photography… Oh I dunno, maybe all the above pictures framed in your kitchen ?! Come on, you know you wanna ;)

I still want/ NEED to make your blondes. Was describing to Brian what a blondie is (I didn’t know either before Veggie Girl) and he said he was down to try them.

Have you started your ‘fill in above the couch’ project? Can we see progress pictures? Purdy please.

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jenna September 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

I haven’t done anything yet but when I do, there will definitely be photos!

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Suzanne de Cornelia September 21, 2010 at 8:38 am

I used to love to bake fruit pies, carrot cake, certain cookies, etc, for many of the reasons you cite, really loved it. These days it’s rare–& I wind up giving to someone so it stays at their home & I just get a nibble. It is good therapy. :)

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

Why I don’t bake: Because no baked goods last more than two days in my house.

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Nicole@TheSaltedKitchen September 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

I love to bake way too much! I could do it everyday, but its only me and my small apartment kitchen. I need to start handing out more baked goods to family, friends and coworkers!

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Ashley September 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

I have this intense desire to go bake now. ;) Thanks for sharing!

ashleyanderic.blogspot.com

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Lisa A. A. September 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

Yes, yes and yes!! Baking is always a comfort for me. Always!!

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PhillyGirlRuns September 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

not gonna lie, I bake because I get to eat raw cookie dough while I’m doing it.

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eatmovelove September 21, 2010 at 8:55 am

Okay – Look – if your going to keep showing pictures of those cookies – then your going to just have to send me a batch already!

:)

I bake. And then I eat.

I wish I could do it full-time…Bake that is. I already Eat full-time.

And, no, I’m not a “real” baker, like you.

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Julie @SavvyEats September 21, 2010 at 8:58 am

Beautiful, beautiful post. Makes me want to run into the kitchen and bake. Now.

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Estela @ Weekly Bite September 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

Baking is one of my favorite things to do!!! Its scientific and expressive all at once :)

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Tabitha (From Single to Married) September 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

I bake because it brings joy to my husband and because it gives us yummy things to eat. :)

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LC September 21, 2010 at 9:14 am

I’m probably the only one here who actually misses the old Eat Live Run. I thought the new direction this blog was going to take would be great, but to me it seems very self-important, and that makes me sad. I mean, I guess all blogs are self-important to an extent, but Jenna’s old style had a refreshing humility to it that I really respected. Now it’s just “look at how fabulous I am.” I know you’re living your dream and are proud of what you’ve accomplished, but lately it seems like you are a little too proud…at least that’s how it comes off in your posts. Just some honest criticism from a long-time reader.

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Tina September 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

What a fabulous post!!! So simple but just shows who you are so much too. :)

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Casey @ Foodie In Motion September 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

Cute post! Yummy photos. Lemon bars are divine!

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Rachel September 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

I’m such a girl, I teared up.

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

I love how baking is so predictable. Even if the rest of your life isn’t.

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

mmm all your baked goods look awesome! I love baking too – my kitchen is NOT my kitchen unless there is flour on something!

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tina September 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

is there anything better then the smell of chocolate chip cookies in the oven???? or them melting into your hand???? yum!

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Lisa September 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

Baking is something I LOVE. And it’s something I’m good at. I stopped baking for a long time while I was losing my 100 pounds. I didn’t trust myself NOT to sample the goods, or to overindulge after they were baked. I want to get back to my roots and bake more now.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

I never knew the joys of cooking and baking til I realized I had about 17 food allergies and that I better start making 99% of every single item I ingest from scratch and in a GF, dairy free, soy light, vegan kinda way. Ive had to re-learn every thing I thought I knew the past 5-6 years or so, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, ok, there is nothing like cooking with real butter but I do my best :)

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Jean September 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

I have to say, I agree with LC on the self-importance factor of this blog. I LOVED the old Eat Live Run, and read it every single day. These days, however, it seems like every post is about how to make THE BEST cupcakes, cookies, butter cream etc, and it’s getting a little old. I feel like you are trying to impersonate the Pioneer Woman, and frankly, the style just doesn’t suit you. Stop with the little witty jokes, and please go back to the old eat live run style!
-a devoted reader

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Maggie September 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

Last night I baked chocolate chip cookies after a long day at work and a very busy dinner time with my little ones! I baked because it makes them happy and I love seeing their little smiles covered in chocolate!

Great post thanks!

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Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) September 21, 2010 at 10:34 am

I loved this post. so simple and endearing. One reason I bakes is because I love the smell of freshly baked banana bread filling the house.

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Angharad September 21, 2010 at 11:02 am

YES. I got home saturday afternoon completely frazzled from an unproductive day of errands and literally the first thing I did when I walked in the door was start baking cookies. Something about knowing how easy it would be to make them and that they would (probably, hopefully!) turn out just right gave me a lot of comfort.

Eating some of them certainly helped too…

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Sarah (Oc2Seattle) September 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

So may truisms in that post. There is nothing more relaxing than baking (ok, except a 90 minute massage, followed by a facial, and mani-pedi). And no matter how crazy your life is, it’s one thing you can generally control.

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Alison September 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

Ditto.

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Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) September 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

I actually don’t bake at all, but reading your post is kind of inspiring. :)

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Daniella September 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

great post! I will definitely be making the blondie recipe you posted this week (maybe tonight??)

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Amber K September 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Ahhh, I can smell it all now!

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sarahMTSBB September 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

aww! i rarely bake anymore since my dad’s heart attack/diabetes/diagnosis/open heart surgery but i miss it! it is therapeutic for me, too, even if most of my family’s tried and true recipes are definitely not healthy! tonight i am baking your blondies in my quest to sweeten my/my pregnant friend&coworker’s mood at work. the lab may be full of incompetence/laziness/impatience/poor management BUT come break time there can be fabulous baked goods and beach tunes. :) hopefully the daily walks in the park with my golden counteract the calories!

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Jess @ NZ Girl Runs September 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

I bake for a lot of those reasons too. Baking is comforting. I learned to bake with my mum when I was little. Because of her I can bake anything (or so I like to think!) I also like that baking is reliable. I can cream butter and sugar, add flour, baking powder, cocoa and an egg and have a chocolate cake that needs no frosting, a sprinkle or icing sugar is all you need!

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Natalia - a side of simple September 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

This makes me so happy. I feel like I’m home or on the frontier whenever I read your posts.

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

This post makes me wish I baked more!

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sarah k. @ the pajama chef September 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm

well said! now i want to bake. but i must do homework.

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Lauren @ Health on the Run September 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I love this! Beautifully said. There is something about baking that can be so therapeutic. It’s the joy of creation. I’m not an inherently artistic person, but I feel like baking allows me to express some sort of art. I love that about it.

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hilray September 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm

LOVE THIS. I’ve been inspired to actually start looking into pastry school a lot more seriously than ever. Thank you!

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Sarah September 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Love this! Can you share your recipe for the chocolate chip cookies pictured??

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Mastering Public Health (@MasPublicHealth) September 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Amen.

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MoniMeals September 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Yes! I bake bake bake my brains out and then cook just a lil bit. :) Great post!

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Chase (TheChaseProject) September 22, 2010 at 4:43 am

I love to bake. I don’t do it very often because my boyfriend doesn’t care for sweets, so then I end up with a lot of baked goods for just myself! I need to find someone that I can bake for =)

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Michele @ Healthy Cultivations September 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

I love your step by step posts. I may make these rolls sometime soon. Thanks for making what seems a daunting task into something accessible for anyone… whether experienced in the kitchen or not.

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cathy b. @ brightbakes.com September 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

perfectly said! :)
cathy B.

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Angie September 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

Okay, so far I’ve impressed my boyfriend with your chocolate chip cookies, and your sugar cookies, but I attempted the buttercream and it was a huge fail. I think in your recipe it says vanilla and salt, but you didn’t put when it goes in. Help!

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Katie September 24, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Oh my gosh, I was just introduced to your blog and I am so in love with it! Absolute yum!

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Cathy September 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Perfect! I baked an apple pie this weekend and it brought me back to memories of my Mom baking pies when I was growing up.

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