Guess I better get baking!
Maybe a little history is in order. My mom is one of those people gifted with the ability to throw stuff together and make it taste great. I am a decent cook but typically rely on my recipes to be good to begin with. I am however, a good baker. Probably doesn't hurt that I have had a serious sweet tooth since childhood.
I started 4-H cooking sometime in grade school. But where other kids were doing honey muffins, I was putting together almond danish. I usually ended up with blue or purple ribbons. (I do admit to doing a Wacky cake demonstration sometime early on.) And I suppose it didn't hurt that the yogurt poppyseed cake was still warm when I brought it to the judge for evaluation. ;) I can usually try a new baking recipe and have it work out fairly well to perfect the first time around. It wasn't much of a surprise that I chose Food Science as my college major. I love the subject and the ever changing industry. Food trends change faster than fashion and are so much more enjoyable. I even get excited about innovations in packaging. Despite the work, it was a really great choice to study. I ended up running the quality assurance laboratory for a family run dairy facility in Seattle. I really miss that. They were just a couple years ahead of the curve on the natural and organic bandwagon and ended up getting pushed out of the way by large corporations like Fred Meyer. But the timing turned out just as well since we got pregnant with our first child a couple months after the company closed. It had been my plan to be a stay at home mom anyway once the opportunity arose. So there you go.
A few years ago I went on a high fructose corn syrup boycott and started baking all the bread we eat. I love baking bread and have recently tried some artisan breads that were absolutely sublime. It turns out to have been a good decision since we found out that corn is one of my daughter's biggest allergies. Also one of the most difficult to avoid because it is hidden everywhere. Darn corn industry with their fingers in everything... At any rate, it is good that I love to bake because sometimes it takes some experimenting and searching for special ingredients when corn, soy, eggs, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, and baker's yeast are things that must be avoided.
Recently, for my own health and well being, I have started trying to find good low carb recipes fit for beginning and intermediate phases of low carb diets. I whole heartedly endorse the Metabolism Miracle. http://www.themetabolismmiracle.com/ In four months I have lost over 30 pounds, 21 inches and two pants sizes more easily than anything I have ever tried before. I'm almost ready to go down another size. And that is including loosening up for the holidays. If weight loss has been a lifelong or snowballing frustration for you, go take a look at Diane Kress's website to see if you might be Metabolism B.
Now I will be looking at white sugar alternatives with family members' health in mind. First stop, date sugar. Wish me luck!