How does anyone survive these final 3 months of the year? Between costume pulling together, turkey and pie making, holiday shopping, tree trimming, card sending and gift wrapping, there are enough tasks to drive even the most organized among us to the looney bin. Thankfully, we’ve got a few expert tips from Jamie Lothridge of the popular baking blog, My Baking Addiction to let us in on all the secrets to turning the holiday season from busy to blissful. Once you’ve checked out Jamie’s awesome tips, consider your own season of holiday baking officially kicked off with her recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
1. Get Organized. If you haven’t written down what you plan to cook, and put together a list of ingredients you’ll need, now’s the time! “Have a plan of attack and get organized several days prior to starting your baking extravaganza,” says Jaime. That way, you won’t spend precious baking time running to and from the store forgotten items.
2. Gather the Troops. Holiday baking doesn’t neccesarily require you slaving over a hot stove for hours while the rest of the world has fun without you. Turn your holiday bake-o-rama in a yearly tradition that brings family and friends together. Surrounding yourself with a group of helping hands doesn’t just make the day more dun, it makes the baking move a long a lot quicker. Jaime can’t think of a better way to spend time in her kitchen, “Recruit friends and family to assist and make a fun day of it. I promise you are sure to create some amazing and hilarious memories!”
3. Be Prepared. If you plan on baking, you’ll probably be using butter. And sugar. And eggs. In fact, when baking, there are a few essential items that you should have in plentiful supply. “Stock up on essential ingredients such as butter, eggs, sugar, and flour. Nothing is worse than having to leave your house to go to the market because you are out of eggs,” says Jaime. Keeping a good stock of these baking basics on hand makes holiday baking a true success because it allows you to spend your time on putting together the perfect treats, rather than running here and there for needed ingredients.
4. Give Good Gifts. As if sharing a platefull of homemade goodies with your friends and neighbors isn’t enough, Jaime has a surefire way to make your holiday treats sparkle. “Jazz up your packaging by searching for free gift tag and label templates on the internet.” Don’t miss Bake It Pretty’s Sweet Treats Labels, and the stunning assortment of tags from Giver’s Log.
5. Make Room. If you’ve ever hit a holiday, spent the day baking, then discovered a fridge full of stuff, and nowhere to store your homebaked treats, Jaime’s final tip will be something of a revelation. “Clean out your freezer a week or so so before the baking starts, so you will have plenty of storage room.” Yes! Yes! Yes! If you clean the fridge out beforehand, you’ll have plenty of space for your pies, and tarts, and other treats. The perfect way to kick off a session of holiday baking that is sure to be your best ever!
Can’t get enough of Jaime’s clever tips and delicious recipes?
We asked Jaime to spill a few of her best kept baking & blogging secrets, and she delivered big time. Here’s the DL on My Baking Addiction’s passions, food philosophies, and stance on bacon.
Why I Blog…
Cooking and baking is something that has become a part of my soul. No matter what circumstances may arise in my life…I always know that I can cook and bake through it. It’s the calmness of kitchen, the buzzing of my KitchenAid mixer, the cracking of eggs and the aromas of sweet confections that put me at ease. Being in the kitchen is my version of therapy and I hope to pass this sense of
tranquility to my readers while providing them with delicious, seasonal recipes for every occasion.
Food: What I Believe
I believe that recipes should be created from food that is simple, delicious, and made from fresh, readily available ingredients that virtually anyone can duplicate in their own kitchen.
Favorite Fast-Fix Recipe
Although this changes seasonally, currently I am all about, Pam Anderson’s “Perfect One-Dish Dinners” for my quick weeknight dinners when I have limited time to spend in the kitchen. Pam’s book is full of amazingly simple and delicious recipes for the every day.
On Recipe Books
I love them and have too many to count. What makes a good cookbook? In my opinion, they need to be straightforward, user-friendly, and have an abundance of photographs. There are many lazy afternoons when I sit down to read, and grab a cookbook instead of the latest novel
I LOVE bacon. Everything is better with bacon, right?
Jamie Lothridge authors MyBakingAddiction.com, where she blogs about the desserts and dishes she’s making in her kitchen. A middle school teacher by day, Jaime has gained a loyal audience because of her accessible style of baking and writing, combined with mouthwatering photography.