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Vegetarian Fried Chik’n & Waffles

The other night I had an insane craving for chicken and waffles. It’s pretty much one of my favorite indulgence dishes, and the loss of it as I took chicken out of my diet has been a hard one. 

It wasn’t until the other day, when it dawned on me that there are fake chicken strips (or in this case, nuggets) available, that I could in fact recreate this in a cruelty free way. 

This is SO simple and you will thank me later. 

All you need: 

Chik’N strips (Gardein is Vegan I hear) 

Frozen Waffles (there are Vegan options of this as well) 

Olive Oil

Paprika

Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper

Maple Syrup

Hot Sauce

1) Heat olive oil in medium frying pan on medium heat. I used probably about 1/3 a cup, but use your judgement. 

2) In a bowl, toss Chik’N nuggets or strips with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. I didn’t measure it, just give each a couple of shakes to taste and you will be good. 

3) When olive oil is heated, toss in the chik’n. Turn occasionally so you don’t burn either side. 

4) Toast waffles in toaster oven. 

5) When nuggets are soft (push fork on top to see) they are done! Place them on top of the waffle, drizzle with maple syrup and hot sauce, and enjoy!

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An Update…Many Months Later

Hello Everyone, 

It’s been awhile. A really long while in fact. I haven’t been keeping up with this blog at all, and as a lot of people can probably relate to, it just gets hard sometimes. I want to pay more attention to it, but I haven’t for several reasons. The biggest of them being my lack of baking. You see, after my dad passed away (the real reason I started this blog in the first place) I dove head first into my hobby of baking. There was something about creating pretty and delicious treats for my co-workers that just made me incredibly happy. I loved sharing my creations with them. I loved the reaction I got when I’d come up with a unique recipe that made them excited. It was fun. 

Then I left my job to freelance, and had no one to bake for but me and my boyfriend. Unfortunately, with that came the addition of 25lbs and the subtraction of some self esteem. Let’s face it, drowning your sorrows in cupcakes perhaps isn’t the healthiest of ways to deal with something as traumatic as losing a parent. 

Perhaps I will find my way back to baking one day. Maybe the celebration of finding a new full time job will include some freshly baked treats for my new co-workers. Who knows. But for now, you won’t hear much of me on this blog. 

Until next time…

Your friend,

Sasha 

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An Update On The Present & A Time For Reflection

Well. It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve posted. In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve baked.

Let’s catch you up really quickly on the present, and then take a moment to reflect on the past.

A month ago, I resigned from my job. Lot’s of people think I am crazy for having done this, and perhaps part of me is, but another part of me is hoping that you guys will respect a person who is willing to take risks in her life in order to move forward.

I saved money from every pay check I received while employed, and currently I am taking the summer off for the first time in 13 years, while also applying for jobs in hopes of finding my next career home.

If you don’t know, I’ve worked in radio since college. The people I worked with quickly became family, and for four awesome years I did some of the most amazing things any young person out of college could have dreamed of doing.

I coordinated concerts, recorded interviews with amazing artists, planned some incredible prizes that I believe the winners will remember for the rest of their lives. I worked 18 hour days, 80 hour weeks, went back stage and on-stage for some of my favorite bands, collected VIP lanyards for every show I could have ever dreamed of seeing, let alone be in VIP for, and 16 year old Sasha can’t believe that was ever something she got to participate in during her life time, period.

Walking away from that job was (and still is currently) one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And while some days I wonder if it was the right one, I keep moving forward in hopes that I will land somewhere that I can be just as proud of as I was when I was at the peak of my radio career.

So.

Now that you are all caught up on the present, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a time not too long ago where I was going through a ton of changes, like I am right now, where I couldn’t always see a bright future ahead of me but I charged along until I found my way. From that experience came one of the greatest accomplishments of my life: I created an after school art program for a low income school. One that would make such an impact, that art would later be reinstated to the regular curriculum because the principal realized how important it was for her students.

I found the first blog that I wrote about the experience, one of many blogs that unfortunately are lost in the abyss that is the internet, but I wanted to share the one I found.

This is copied straight from my myspace page! ha!

The program started small, but eventually 20 kids joined, and it was amazing.

So here it is:

“One week ago today marked the beginning of the after school art program that I started at a local elementary school here in Orlando. This whole idea came about after meeting my little sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida. The first day we met, we spent the last 1/2 hour of our time together drawing pictures. I was amazed when I saw how talented she was, and was disappointed to hear that the funding for art at her school had been cut because of insufficient funds. I knew that money for the arts was low in a lot of schools, but had no idea the magnitude of this until I started speaking with people for donations.
I met my little sister in Septemeber of 2006. For those of you who know me well, and for those of you who are interested, 2006 was a very tough year for me. I’m not going to go into the depressing details of it all, but I’m happy to leave it in 2006. I signed up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters months prior to actually getting a match. There is a whole process that you have to go through to get cleared, background checks, interviews, reference checks, etc. I signed up when my life was feeling pretty stable, and by the time we were actually matched with a student, things had fallen pretty low. I was incredibly aprehensive about the situation, as my confidence had been shattered for the moment, and I wondered if I really had anything to give to this kid, and my fight or flight mode kicked in.
When anxiety and insecurity mix together, in most cases in my past I chose flight. I know a lot of you can empathize with this, anxiety is not an easy emotion to overcome, and most of us just run and hide until enough time has passed to come back out and look around. I went back and forth between choosing to quit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and just sucking it up and taking a chance.
I am more than happy that I chose to stick it out, because I have now accomplished a goal that has brought a huge light back into my life. So back to the art club….
As soon as I found out that art funding had been cut, a million ideas started running through my mind. I wrote to some friends and family to see if I could raise some money, and one friend told me he would donate a big chunk of cash. That was all I needed to get the confidence that this was something that I was capable of doing. That day I wrote a proposal of supplies that could be purchased, how many kids could be involved, and set an appointment to speak with the people I needed to connect with.
Over the course of the next 4 months I spent time getting things prepared, and I am proud to say that as of last week, the first goal for this project was achieved. The first art class went off without a hitch, and it was more fun than I ever expected it to be. Now keep in mind that my experience with groups of kids at that point was non-existant, no teaching, no camp counseling under my belt. I threw myself into this situation, and did my best to mimick what great teachers I have had in my past did with their students. I also have an art teacher for a mother, so that was helpful as well.
I started the class by presenting the kids with their personal art kits. Each student gets one and that is the one they will have to take good care of because its the only one they get! =)
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The coolest part of that was when they clapped for one another as I called their names to come to the front and get their kit. It made me laugh and laugh, it was just too cool.

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After we made name tags, (which I forgot to get pictures of, sorry) I taught them all about the color wheel. I had them use their water colors to fill in their color wheels, and showed them how to mix primary colors to make secondary, as well as tertiary colors. It was a blast to see how excited they got when they mixed the colors to make new ones!
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We ended the day by making a mural based on things we thought of when we thought of Florida. My favorite answer was “Great Restaurants and awesome shopping!” I have to agree on that one. And my favorite drawing was when one of the kids drew an orange with wings…..its poetic.
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When they finished the mural, I presented them each with a sketch book that was kindly donated by a manager of a great art store in Boca Raton. They were thrilled to have a book of their own, and I cant wait to see what they draw when they are at home.
Today is week two..and we will be making thank you cards for all of the people who donated so far. I have plenty of blank cards, so if you still want to donate you can. *wink*
I will be sure to take more pictures today…stay tuned if you are ineterested.
Lots of love,
Sasha ”

I look back on that and remind myself that for every big change comes something incredible that you will take with you forever.

I have no idea what my future holds, but I know there is a future waiting for me and I look forward to meeting it.

Lots of love to everyone who made it to the end of this post.

Sasha

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Come Here Often?

Hey Guys! So um, yeaaah about me dropping off the face of Baking Therapy last week….let’s talk.

Listen. I don’t want to go into a super long convo with you, ok? I just got a little side tracked, I DID bake, but I didn’t feel like blogging about it.

Originally, this was supposed to be an outlet for me to have fun when I feel like it.

Then, my marketing side took over and was like “I’m going to market this and make it the best blog on the planet!!” And since I am pretttty good at that whole marketing thing, I came up with the Cupcake Request Line, and committed to baking for people once a week, for free, which makes this whole thing less fun and more of a job.

And by golly, I’ve already got one of those them there jobs and having a second one that pays me negative dollars just seems silly.

Now, I have no plan of bailing on my commitments that I’ve already made, because that’s not my style. I just may or may not be doing them every Sunday, etc. The point is, I will get to it, just maybe not as quickly as I originally wanted to.

So, now that I have half-hardheartedly apologized to you, but with solid sincerity (I promise!) let’s get to some baking, shall we?

Last week I baked twice. I made a cookie cake and I made root beer cupcakes.

The cookie cake came about because, again, I was clearly feeling super lazy last week and while I was craving cookies like you wouldn’t understand, I didn’t feel like making tons of batches, individually scooping each cookie on to a sheet pan, and ya know, MAKING COOKIES. So instead, I made THIS cookie batter, and slapped it into some cake pans. Threw them in the oven, and voila! Cookie cake! Cookie cake that I have been eating for breakfast every day since then.

The root beer cupcakes were made for my friend Dennis’ birthday.

Took a white cake mix, added a tablespoon of root beer extract. Made a butter cream, added a table spoon of root beer extract. BOOM. Root beer cupcakes. Again, this was the REALLY lazy way, and next time I will try THIS recipe.

So there you have it folks. I have not quit this space, I just needed some….space.

Happy eating to all of you!

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Baking Fail..Womp Womp Womp!

Hey, ya win some, ya lose some, and last night I was a big big loser.

I attempted to bake Shawn’s cherry coke cupcakes, via the Cupcake Request Line, and I was SURE I had it down pat.

I took cherry diet coke, added that sheeeeeeet to the batter, took some maraschino cherries, drained out the red juice and threw that sheeeeet in too. I was sure this would give me a nice cherry flavor, and some cola would come out too.

Well I was wrong. HEY. LEAVE ME ALONE. I’M NO PRO HERE. 🙂

No but seriously. I tried to make root beer cupcakes once by putting root beer right into the batter and icing and nothing happened.You’d think I’d have learned from this mistake but nah. I like to make the same mistakes over and over (am I crazy? Maybe) before admitting failure.

What is so weird about this failure, is that not only did the cake/frosting lack cherry coke flavor…it lacked ALL flavor. Like, the amount of stuff I put in there should have changed the flavor of the white cake to something other than white cake….but it didn’t. AT ALL. So while I failed at making cherry coke cupcakes…. I succeeded at MAGIC. I AM A MAGICIAN NOW! This blog is now called “Magician Therapy.”

Anyway, I apologize Shawn for failing you so, however, I have learned there is a such thing as cola extract I can purchase…which I just may have to try. Cola extract, cherry extract…I think we’re on to something here Shawn. WE ARE ON TO SOMETHING!

Welp…that’s that. Until next time..

 

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Hello! Nice To Meet You, Other Bloggers Of The World Wide Web!

Yesterday something really amazing happened. My co-worker Nadia showed some serious support of Bake Therapy, and through the powers of the interweb, she introduced me to some of her foodie friends.

Now, showing your blog to your friends and family is exciting and their feedback is always rewarding, but something new happens when people you’ve never met before check it out….and they like it.

This “something new” that happens is called pure joy and excitement, one that leaves you refreshing your twitter feed over and over again wondering if it will happen again.

And then it does.

And then your BRAIN EXPLODES.





I got so confused after the last tweet, that I literally asked her “Wait, you love me or Nadia?” Which she answered so graciously (and without laughing at me over the web) with “YOU!! And Nadia of course!”

This whole blog is already something special, but now that it’s really out there, I am so inspired. I’m inspired to see other people blogging about their lives, and I really am committed to making this space something fun for myself, and for anyone else who wants to join me.

Doodle Bear would be proud of this one.

While your heart goes a flutter for me, please check out some of the new blogs I’ve been introduced to, and if you also have a blog I’ve not seen yet, please leave a link in the comments.

Uncouthed.com

http://vxronica.tumblr.com/

Gluttonous Adventures

Treasure LA

I’M HERE BLOG WORLD. LET’S HAVE A COCKTAIL AND DANCE UNTIL OUR FEET HURT.

Or a cupcake.

Or whatever. I’m just so excited to be here, I’m happy to just sit in a corner and watch all of you. Ok not really. Ok I’m leaving now.

Love you.

Bye.

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Kings Cake “Cupcakes” AKA Cinnamon Bun Bomb Dot Com Cakes

Mardi Gras. Oh how I love thee. Not because I pretended it was mardi gras when I went to cancun in high school but really because I love the tradition of Kings Cake.

Now, I will admit that I never really KNEW what Kings Cake was until a co-worker named Leah Dukes introduced me a couple years back.

You see, when we worked together in the promotions department at the radio station we celebrated Mardi Gras by bringing in food.

Our boss made the bomb ass jambalaya and rice, and we brought in other stuff to celebrate and cover in hot sauce.

She brought in a kings cake and I fell in love.

I also cheated my way into finding the baby hidden in the cake because I am incredibly competitive and I hate losing at anything.

This year I decided to try and make kings cake cupcakes.

I used this recipe, but instead of just putting the glaze on the cakes, I decided to put glaze AND a cinnamon/brown sugar buttercream.  I used this recipe to make the frosting.

Then I attempted to do a swirl of three different colors (instructions here) but kind of failed miserably. But thats ok. I will keep trying.

Also, I’ve decided to add a fun little part of this blog where I tell you what I listened to while baking.

Today it was Robyn. In fact, a lot of the time it’s Robyn. I LOVE HER.

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