Thanks for coming! Would you like some cake?
My mother tells me I was asking this question to all guests who came before I was old enough to walk. While she’s always sweet to exaggerate in the way only mothers can, I honestly believe that I have always been connected to food. My love for cooking and baking and lugging back spatulas in 6 different colors from wherever I go was born out of sheer necessity. I *love* to eat. At some point, I figured if I love to eat maybe I should learn to cook. That way, I didn’t have to bribe my mother to constantly make me something “fancy”.
I started off simple – a few classes here and there and before I knew it I was finding ways to constantly trek back to the kitchen, with a book in hand. My first ever cookbook was Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I remember reading it cover to cover, every night before I went to bed. I was 13 years old then. After that, life changed a little. I moved from Dubai to a boarding school in India. Now, I know what you think buuut my school was heaven on earth. It was a really beautiful campus, best ever people and really, really good grilled cheese toast. Incomparable, really. So you see, I wasn’t really far away from good food. After that, I moved to Bombay for my undergrad degree and that is when things got really crazy. I absolutely fell madly in love with the city (so cliched but I did). I’ve never felt quite at home as I do now. I love to eat out or stay in and cook. The city makes both equally possible. Stuff of dreams, really.
There have been many bizarre coincidences in my life. Finding Purple Foodie’s blog has been a totally life altering one. One random Google search later, I was hooked. Again, I read her blog, post after post. I was also immensely lucky to meet her and contribute to her blog in a small way. I could say that I was blogging to document my kitchen experiences but really, I was so inspired! Shaheen, if you’re reading this, thank you! I hope I can repay in kind and cookies. Over time, I continue to be inspired by all of my other favorite blogs. See the list of them here. I also love to read, so there’s always a dog eared cookbook recipe to try. Of course, I have list of my favorite books here. Pinterest is also another excellent, equally addictive source. Besides this, I have no formal training. I took a course at IHM during the summer and while that was err an experience, I really continue to learn more through my blogs, books and doing.
I’ve played with many different blog formats but after Shaheen’s advice, I’ve switched to WordPress. It took some getting used to but I’m really loving it so far. There’s a lot more to play around with, although I’m still learning. I’m also trying to take more pictures with the “good” camera – a Nikon DLSR. Then, after some transferring, I edit them on my iPhone, probably share them on Instagram and Twitter and put them back here. Phew. For recipes, I always credit the source. If you feel inspired enough to try a recipe or two, link back here and we will compare notes.
The Catering Service:
The Vanilla Bean Bakery is a small catering service from my domestic kitchen. It’s my newest baby and I love making things for you all! If you email me at least 2 days prior to your event, I can rustle up something for you, as per your tastes. I haven’t ventured into sugarcraft cakes because I believe in the natural looking, frosting slathered cakes but there is a lot for you to choose from. I’ll be uploading a menu soon! Besides that, I also conduct occasional workshops where we can chat butter, sugar and sprinkles. If you email me (on firstname.lastname@example.org), I can set up something for you and 4 of your friends. Besides that, I regularly post updates on my Facebook page so if you’d like for your timeline to be flooded with cake sometimes, like it!
FAQs and this and that:
Thank you people! I love that you write in. All questions are important and I love to answer every one. I’m working on an FAQ page that will hopefully encompass some of the questions. As always, feel free to write in. I love to find cake crazy people.