Total Randomness #1: Baking

Now that warmer weather is approaching, I'm starting to get that itch to be outside more. My husband and I have been in the process of starting a garden--more on that later--and I think because of this it's put me in a mood to start making more "home-made" items. I will be the first to admit that I am not a patient person, so store bought items are my go-to for everything. But there's something satisfying about making your own stuff and this post is dedicated to my latest obsession: baking.

Let me start off my saying that I do not consider my self a great chef or baker. It's a hobby and it's fun (when everything comes out the way it's supposed to--ha ha). I've attempted to make things from scratch in the past and they just never, ever turn out the way they are supposed to. My impatience and lack of proper ingredients is most likely the cause for that. That is also why I have never attempted to make bread--even though I LOVE bread. Too much resting time, and kneading, and more resting time. To quote Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that!". But I decided that enough was enough and I was going to make time to bake some bread.

First on the list: find a recipe. I didn't do too much searching to find a bread recipe (add that to the list of impatience). I went to Google, typed in "Artisan Bread Recipes", looked at a few, and settled on this one:

Seemed easy enough, so I got to it. I went to my pantry and--surprise, surprise!--I actually had all of the ingredients! I did substitute unbleached all-purpose flour for bread flour, but that was the only thing I changed. How'd I do? I'll let you be the judge :)

After all that resting time we're ready to bake!

 And the finished product! Not bad for someone who once burned box macaroni and cheese :)

Day 2 of my baking craze was spent making more bread and one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures--chocolate chip cookies. Yum! I'm really particular about my chocolate chip cookies. They have to be a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. We have a local bakery/restaurant that makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies ever and--lucky for me--she shared her recipe for these delicious treats on her blog. Here's the recipe:

It was really hard not to eat all of the dough before baking... You know you do it too :) I mean--come on!-- that's the best part! 

And the final product. They turned out sooooo yummy and are now my go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. My husband even said they were the best batch I've ever made. Score one for me :) 

I feel a lot more confident with my baking skills now and I see more baking from scratch in my future.

What are some of your favorite goodies to make from scratch?