fun with a new cookbook... i may be a baker yet!

     If anyone can inspire me to bake, it's the folks at Back In The Day Bakery. I am by trade, and passion, a cook... not a baker. There is a big difference.
     If you've been living on a desert island or under a rock, you may have missed the launch of the bakery's very first cookbook.
     Cheryl and Griff Day have worked diligently to hone and perfect their craft for ten years, and this is their reward... Or is it our reward? I'm not quite sure.
     When I came home Saturday night with my freshly signed copy, I sat on the couch with a cup of coffee and read my new book cover to cover. I know, I'm weird that way. Cookbooks are like biographies to me. They tell a story of the authors' lives one recipe at a time.
     Yesterday, I pulled it out again and made Ham and Cheese pastries. Whenever we show up for for Cinnamon Bun Saturday, our usual order is one enormous cinnamon bun and a Ham and Cheese pastry to share. They compliment each other so well.
     In my own kitchen, I changed up a few recipe items. I didn't have any sharp cheddar, so I used a lovely, strong Irish Swiss. I didn't have any allspice, so I omitted that from the spice blend.
     When I pulled them out of the oven, all shiny brown and bubbling, my knees went weak. They were SO beautiful, I ran and grabbed my camera.
     It just wouldn't be the same if I couldn't visually share them with all of my dearest friends. I know, you'd rather I shared them physically, wouldn't you? But, hey, if I can make these, you can as well!
     I served them with jam my friend, Susan made from the fruit of her prolific Japanese Plum tree. The super-sweetness of the jam balanced out the salt and spicy notes of the pastries.
     I'll be making these again! My girls and their friends gobbled up all but two of them... I'm going to run and hide them for my hubby;)
     Next, I think I'll whip up the Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes... It's spring strawberry season! Hey, I may be a baker, yet!

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