Hi! My name is Leslie and I’m a stress baker. My life has always been relatively high-stress, and one day I realized that baking really helped soothed that anxiety-filled beast inside of me. The vigorous whipping of frosting, crushing of peppermint, and the oh-so-delicate placement of cupcake toppings all help me channel my anxiety into a constructive (and delicious) place.
I’m self-taught, and seek inspiration in my daily life. I see a pretty drink at a restaurant and immediately start brainstorming ways to turn that into a baked good. Sometimes it works wonderfully, and sometimes it fails miserably. I won’t hesitate to show you when I create an epic fail, because that’s reality. My life isn’t Pinterest-perfect, and that shouldn’t be the goal. An overflowing bowl of batter that drips on a dog’s head because I added baking powder and forgot I’d just poured in some vinegar… that crap is funny.
Like it or not, I’m a very blunt and sarcastic person, and I try to use that to my advantage when I’m developing recipes for my readers. I try to make my posts fun to read by injecting some humor – life can be overwhelming, but baking sweet treats for friends and family (that includes your dog) shouldn’t be. I am not going to hesitate to tell you if a certain process is a complete pain in the ass and that using a box mix is going to make it easier – because I don’t want you to waste your time! Why make things more difficult that they have to be?
I grew up outside of Chicago, but always had a longing for the East Coast. Now I live in coastal Massachusetts, which is wonderful 60% of the year and terrifying 40% of the year. Perhaps you’ve seen this viral video of a t-rex trying to go shovel in a blizzard? Yep, that’s me. Winters on the New England coast can be harrowing, but it makes for some good stories and fabulous “snow days” filled with whipping up sweet treats in a hot oven (that doubles as a built-in space heater – just look at that efficiency).
Sideways-blowing wind and sunny days alike, I share our historic seaside farmhouse with a critical part of the Stress Baking team, The Official Stress Baking Taste Tester and Frequent Hand Model (aka: my husband, Bill).
We also share the house with two cats, Padfoot and Puck. They make appearances on the blog from time to time, usually because they seem to believe they’re excellent food stylists.
I have a deep love for Deadpool, dinosaurs, and all things nautical (including, but not limited to lighthouses and lobsters). I’m 75% convinced that I’ve chosen to live in New England as an excuse to indulge in seafood as often as possible. One of my favorite things to do in the warmer months is sit on the porch in a rocking chair with a lobster roll and a glass of wine as the sun sets.
I also love to take time away from the shore to visit the mountains. Something about the majesty of such huge natural entities like a mountain range gives me a sense of calm. My favorite season is the fall, and there’s absolutely nothing like autumn in New England: Vibrant colors, a crisp breeze and (frequent) apple picking. Those apple strudels aren’t going to make themselves!
About Stress Baking
I want to provide easy to follow homemade recipes that anyone can make – not just Martha Stewart. I tend to lean toward sweet over savory, so for the most part you’re going to find this blog full of cakes, cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, truffles… the list goes on and on! I mean, honestly – the amount of powdered sugar and mascarpone cheese I purchase on a regular basis should be criminal. That’s not to say that you won’t find the occasional seafood, meat or pasta recipes around these parts. In fact, my second most popular recipe is a pasta dish! I’m always looking for new recipe ideas and inspiration, so please send me your ideas! I’d love to make your ideas come to life.
In 2015, a few of my favorite recipes were published in the Fall edition of Esperanza Magazine along with a brief interview about how I use baking and blogging as an outlet for my stress and anxiety. If you’ve never checked out their site at www.hopetocope.com, you should – it’s a wonderful publication.
Keep in Touch
I know people say this and don’t mean it, but I totally do (way more than that one guy who wrote “KIT” in your high school yearbook).
Snail Mail: Stress Baking | PO Box 254 | Hull, Massachusetts 02045
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Thank you so much for stopping by Stress Baking – I hope you find some recipes you enjoy, and I hope to hear from you soon!