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Friday, January 30, 2015

Local Home Bakers Take Pride In Their Goods

Jasmine Necker

I always knew that good food starts at home. When you grow up in a family that worships food more than religion you got to figure they know a thing or two about cooking. Not everyone can or wants to be an accomplished Chef but I’ll bet there are some pretty darn good ones out there.

For example, being the foodie I am I needed to be connected to resources that talk, show, teach, and review food. That’s where Facebook comes in. Where else can you see something and almost make an instant connection? Being locally-minded I’m in a bunch of “food” groups and I like to monitor all the home cooks and bakers making things in their kitchens. And sometimes commenting about how good something looks.

After seeing some of the same people making goodies and selling them to locals I began to wonder just how good some of these things really are. People were writing in saying how good their salsa was or empanadas. Then there were tamales or even perogies. Then the sweet stuff. OMG! Cakes, breads, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake, flan and fudge. I had to try everything. But wait, I’m a diabetic and sugar is my enemy. Well maybe I’ll try just a little.

Then I saw one baker who was looking to give (as in free) a tray of cinnamon rolls or banana bread to some needy families during the holidays and that got my attention. I asked if I could sponsor 1 or 2 of those gifts to random people in our community. So I arranged to give them by way of this woman. And by the way I’ll take a banana nut bread for myself. I have made banana bread all

different ways for years but this took the cake. I’ll never have to make one myself again as long as she continues to make them. Sooo incredibly good. Rich, moist banana flavor with walnuts. You can tell she took no shortcuts with the ingredients. Honestly, probably the best I’ve had. I sure hope she is still making them. And I never got to try her cinnamon rolls or bread she also makes.

If you want to treat yourself look up Jasmine Necker at https://www.facebook.com/JazzysBakeShop

Liz Tileston Cuillard

At the same time I discovered Jasmine another home baker was active on Facebook. She made similar baked goods yet different. I think they’re even friends. When she saw Jasmine was making things for me to give away she offered to do the same thing and also offered me some of her goodies.

There are no words to describe how delicious her stuff is. First there were (and I mean past tense) cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip rolls in the same pan. Look at the picture. How can that not be good?

When they’re fresh and moist you can’t stop eating them. Next day pop it in the wave for just 10-12 seconds and they’re fresh as new.

And let’s not forget the cheesy jalapeno bread. Beautiful and her creations are excellent. Rivals any of the best bakeries.

What’s her secret? “I love to bake, and bread is one of my favorite things on this planet”. Back in California, her best friend Carla and she took an old family dough recipe and tweaked and twisted it until it was their own. When they tried braiding it and added chocolate chips, ta da! A star was born. Chocolate chip bread was their first creation, and is still her favorite to this day.

“Now Carla bakes out of her home in Las Vegas, and I bake out of my home here. We still share recipes and baking tips. When we moved to Queen Creek, I saw the desire for homemade food. It was huge! This is a hungry community. As a stay at home Mom I was looking to make a little extra money doing something that allowed me to be home with my two young children. And no one was making any kind of bread. After developing a few new flavors (which my neighbors were glad to taste test) I took orders for my braided bread and the rest is history. I’ve met some amazing people on this journey and hope to keep it going for many years to come.”

“I make everything from scratch the day the item is picked up and only use fresh ingredients (no preservatives or artificial flavors or colorings). I have my food handler’s card, am registered with the Arizona health department and adhere to the cottage law guidelines of food that can be sold out of a private home.”

To see everything Liz is making go to https://www.facebook.com/braidedwithluv

If you're cooking or baking from home, whatever you do please follow strict food safety guidelines and follow all applicable local ordinances. FOOD SAFETY FIRST!

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