Okay, lemme tell you right now that I am happier than a baby with an ice cream cone to have you here on my little bit o’ internet. I am also going to tell you that I am not too great about talking about myself, but I’m going to do my best because there is nothing worse than reading something on a blog and have no idea who is talking to you or who they are talking about or what their creds are and whatnot.
Firstly, my name’s Amanda. Never call me Mandy. If we become friends, you might be able to get away with calling me Manders. I am 20-something years old (who keeps track of that stuff anymore?) and I am a single mom to the most adorable little girl with a huge personality and an even bigger stomach. Seriously, what is up with kids and their ability to go from practically living off air to eating literally everything in sight? I wish I had the metabolism to catch up with her appetite some days.
I went to university in London, UK (I studied Corporate Communications with minors in Marketing; and Art, Design, and Media which allowed me to take several photography courses while in school. My favorite was film photography and photojournalism) and lived there for about 6 years. It was the best time of my life and is where I get a lot of my food inspiration. It wasn’t until college that I really became interested in cooking, and especially baking. I remember spending hours in the kitchen trying to perfect my cherry pie and lattice design. I didn’t understand much about baking and there were more fails than successes, but I never gave up. My mom hates the kitchen and never really cooked when I was younger and we lived mostly off fast food, so I kept myself in the kitchen because I knew one day I wanted to have kids and I wanted to be the kind of mom that had home cooked meals on the table regularly.
I was also able to travel and discover new foods and new ways to eat food. Most importantly, I was able to learn that intense connection people have with their food and how it relates to their culture. I went to an international university, where there were few Americans and very few British. Many of the people I met were from African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana and Arabic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. Not only has this experience obviously open my eyes to international relations and politics, but how everyone, everyone, has a deep connection and relationship with food. A lot of my influences and memories of food begin at college, so compared to many other bloggers, I feel as though I have a lot of catching up to do as a “late-bloomer foodie”.
On my dad’s side of the family, there is a rich background in cooking. My great-grandmother was a great cook, and worked as a chef in her day. My grandfather was also a chef and many other relatives were well-known for their skills in the kitchen. I am guessing that is where I got my passion for the kitchen.
Although I never went to culinary school (and sometimes I think I should go), I did a lot of studying on my own and years of trial and error. It is from my time studying and cooking and baking that I realized I had a penchant toward desserts and baking over cooking. I’ve always loved science and I love that baking is very science-based. The formulas and ratios create a wonderful basis to experiment with flavors and textures. I feel like being self-taught really shaped a unique perspective on baking and I hope that comes across in my recipes!
I am crazy about the environment and believe in doing everything you can to save our earth. I love gardening, composting, and recycling whatever I can. I used cloth diapers on my daughter and even made a lot of her clothes when she was younger. (Now that she is older, she’s formed quite the fashion sense that I unfortunately cannot keep up with using my limited skills) I love making everything from scratch and using premade products sometimes feels like cheating to me. I also try to steer clear or food coloring as much as possible.
On the blog you will find a mix of delicious seasonal treats and over the top decadent bits of food porn. Sprinkled in will be basic recipes for bread (my favorite food group!), simple things like how to make your own yogurt, and the occasional savory dish. While I don’t really share many cocktails, a lot of my recipes are boozy, or encourage a boozy accompaniment!
How I came up with the name A Cookie Named Desire
Are you a fan of Marlon Brando? I have a huuuuuge crush on young Brando and my favorite movie he is in has to be A Streetcar Named Desire. I also spent a lot of time in the theatre and worked on a few off-Broadway plays inspired by the original play. I wanted to incorporate that side of me with my love of sweets…. A Cupcake Named Desire…. A Cake Named Desire…. A Sweetcar Named Desire… none of them seemed to roll off the tongue quite like A Cookie Named Desire… and my most popular recipe on the blog happens to be this amazing cookie recipe.
What This Blog Is About
I created this blog as a way to share my love of food, especially baking. I believe baking is a fun and rewarding activity that anyone can do with the right recipes and a bit of practice. Most of the recipes are suitable for beginners and are very easy to follow, but every so often, I will post a recipe that is more involved or complicated. This is because it is good to challenge yourself and test your skills. Even if you do not get it right the first time, it is important to try. Trust me, I don’t get every recipe right the first time!
While I love searching for unique and unusual ingredients, you will rarely find that here. I try to use ingredients that you may be able to find in your local stores or farmer’s market. It is only on a special occasion that I may use an ingredient you can only find online or through specialty shops. When that happens, I will note it. Some of the ingredients I use are also seasonal and/or regional and I will do my best to note alternative places you may be able to find these ingredients or substitutes. If I miss an ingredient that you cannot find near you, let me know!
If you have any questions about a recipe, leave a comment on that recipe because someone else might have the same question as you! If you want to just chit chat over our mutual love of food and baking, hit my up on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) or email me at [email protected]