My name is Marilyn and I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs. I received a B.S in Biology and a MBA in Business, but after working several years in the brokerage industry, I returned to school where I received a B.A. in Film and Video. While there, I discovered my love for writing. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have written several unproduced shorts and features; as well as edited several shorts and feature films. I am a published poet and have also published two short stories and am currently working on my first manuscript.
Along with writing, I have loved baking since I was a small child. My first experience with baking was a Duncan Hines Brownie mix. My sister sat reading the instructions to me and I remember her saying to “mix by hand.” “With my hands?” I asked. She said yes, so I stuck my hands in the bowl and began to mix the batter together. My sister started yelling at me, “What are you doing!” This, of course, brought my mother running into the room to find out what was going on. This was the first time she had left the baking to us and I was making a mess! I tried to explain that my sister had told me to mix with my hands. After all, I had seen my mother mix meatloaf this way on a number of occasions. Needless to say, I quickly learned what mix by hand meant; however, this fiasco did not deter me from baking.
Every Christmas, my mother would make a list of cookies that we would make year after year, along with a list of new cookie recipes she wanted to try. We would make slice cookies, drop cookies, bar cookies, and no-bake cookies. You name it, we made it. All in all, we would make about twenty different cookies for a family of four! We would be eating these cookies until February.
Also, one of my favorite places to go as a child was Kirschbaum’s Bakery in Western Springs (https://kirschbaumsbakery.com/). I loved the smell of the cookies and freshly baked bread. I thought that this had to be what heaven smelled like. Once a month, we would go on a Saturday morning and buy a coffee cake for my grandmother and a pound box of tea cookies. To this day, when I go back home to Chicago for a visit, I make a point of trying to get out to the suburbs and get a pound or two of tea cookies.
I am by no means a professional baker. I am not a master of decorating, but I am always trying to improve. I am constantly baking and bringing in my efforts to work. My coworkers have accused me of trying to fatten them up, but I find baking relaxing. When I am suffering from writer’s block, I usually end up in the kitchen trying to find a new recipe to try out. So I finally decided to combine my love for writing with my love for baking and start this blog.
On this blog, you will find recipes that I have grown up with, along with recipes I am trying for the first time. Like a lot of bakers, I have dozens of cookbooks that have been collecting dust, because I have a habit of making certain recipes over and over again. So I have decided to make the effort and try to get through each of my cookbooks or recipes I have torn out of magazines.