grandma jules

About Me??

How do I write this “about me”? I used to have a better handle on writing a bio for myself. When writing a bio as a corporate professional, and then as a health blogger, my resume defined me. What do my resume and a timeline of my career have to do with my love of baking? Not much. Why I bake is more relevant.

Through my long career in the software industry, I had the honor of traveling the nation training customers in classes and one-on-one. There was tremendous satisfaction knowing that I made someone’s job easier and their business more profitable.

I get that same satisfaction when I cook or bake for family and friends and sharing with them ways that they can also create tasty meals and desserts.

The Baking Mom

When my daughter was growing up, I would cook and bake for her group of friends. I put on a sort of impromptu cooking class. Whether the kids gave my baking their undivided attention or not made little difference. I loved standing there in my kitchen explaining the best practices of measuring ingredients, melting chocolate, or adequately flouring a bundt pan.

Frosting a chocolate espresso cake before it was cooled stands out in my memory. The top layer kept sliding off of the cake as the frosting melted. Eating the cake one layer at a time was good for these kids. Remember, “all good things in all good time” is a good motto.

It’s A Process

handwritten recipeWhen we bake we are doing more than serving up a finished product. Baking is also about the process. The process is reading your recipe, measuring your ingredients, and learning skills like creaming butter or sifting flour. The product will be some version of success. With a properly penned recipe, anyone who can read and has essential kitchen equipment can bake. I truly believe this.

With the best recipe will I always turn out a perfectly ‘gramable dessert? No. It is not realistic to think that everything we bake will earn hundreds of Instagram likes. My goal is to bake something my family will love.

Baking Is Love

In my experience, baking is love. An example of this experience happened when I baked my mother-in-law a birthday cake. We bridged the gap of our often fraught relationship over a birthday cake. From that time on, she looked forward to my desserts, and I looked forward to the cookbooks, serving dishes, and baking tools she gifted me with on her visits. Baking speaks to others in a language that goes beyond words. The smells evoke memories, the mouthfeel of a perfectly baked dessert is like a hug from Grandma.

As a daughter, mom, sister, and now a grandma, I have a lot of love to share. Giving someone a cookie for each hand is one way I can say, “I love you.”

I hope you enjoy these recipes and the stories I share here at whatthejules. Please share your stories of baking and how you spread joy with bread, desserts, cookies, and pies.

julianna shapiro



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