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Favorite Bakeries

Favorite Bakeries, Featured, Food, Inspiration

The List – Southern Bakery Tour 2024

In the spirit of resolutions in the new year, I have set my sights on a list of bakeries that I wish to visit in 2024. Think of it as a reverse resolution to…eat more? This past year has been one of research and full immersion in all things baking-related, for me. I am coming up on one year since reestablishing this website, and throughout 2023, I poured myself in to learning and cultivating skills related to the art of baking at a very steady pace. My appetite has been voracious, and can only be attributed to pure passion.

I am what you might refer to as a “Bake-a-Saurus Rex.” Ok, maybe that is only how I refer to myself. My fella will enter the kitchen in the morning to find every inch of the countertops covered in baking ingredients and parchment lined baking pans as far as the eye can see. I am somewhere lurching in the distance in my apron, dusted in flour and furiously thumbing through the pages of one cookbook or another. He will pause and cautiously say…”Hmmm. What are we making today?!” God love him and his patience for my predilection towards all things baking.

I can’t tell you what has driven it, but I have grown to simply LOVE the act of baking. I wake up thinking about what I want to make each day, and I fall asleep scanning recipes online. I read cookbooks, I scour Instagram, I watch tutorial videos galore, and I have been experimenting in the kitchen more than ever. I am a woman possessed. And with all of the inevitable trials and errors that come from learning to bake (believe me there is a LOT to learn) I find myself having an incredibly healthy appreciation for the pros that do this day in and day out, churning out ungodly amounts of pastries for the masses.

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Favorite Bakeries, Favorite Recipes, Recipes

Honey Oat Cookies

There are many bakeries that are on my list to try in 2024, and Back in the Day Bakery is at the very top. Over Christmas, a good friend gifted me their lovely cookbook, which is chock full of the most delicious baking recipes, both sweet and savory. I love to sit down with a cup of tea and peruse my cookbooks. It is one of my very favorite past times. This book already has recipe after recipe earmarked to add to the 2024 baking roster for my very own little test kitchen, right here in Bluffton, SC.

I have to give kudos to my friend Savannah in giving me this cookbook. Not only is it completely up my alley, but I honestly (and I’m not sure how) had never caught wind of this landmark bakery that exists right here in my own back yard!! It is a stone’s throw from my home, located in the beautifully eclectic downtown Savannah, GA. I will be publishing a list of bakeries that I wish to visit in 2024 for inspiration, to hold myself accountable for a few road trips this year, but this one will easily be added to the top.

When I cracked open this cookbook, I was impressed with how organized the chapters are laid out and assembled, by category and flavor. It appeals to my categorical Virgo nature. There are many intriguing options within this book, but this recipe for Honey Oat Cookies grabbed me as the first to try for a few reasons.

First, I absolutely LOVE the combo of oats, honey and chocolate. It is a such a hearty and delicious combo, especially with the hint of cinnamon, crunch of coconut and tinge of sea salt added in. Even if you aren’t a big coconut fan, as I know many are averse to the consistency, these have just the right amount to add flavor without overwhelming the cookie. Second, it is the beginning of the year, and with all of the oats involved in this recipe, it is practically health food, am I right?!

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Favorite Bakeries, Food, Inspiration

Kouign Amann – The Queen of Pastries

I have been taking a deep dive into baking and pastry making lately. As I have mentioned before, I consider myself to be somewhat of a novice when it comes to baking, thought I am slowly getting more skilled with lots of practice.

I grew up in a very accomplished baking family, but shockingly, I never took an interest or considered myself to have any talent in this department. I wasn’t super into sweets growing up, and all of my attempts to bake were half-hearted and lackluster, particularly in comparison to that of my more talented family members.

Skip to the current moment. I couldn’t tell you what changed, but I have what could be described as an insatiable appetite for all things baking. As soon as I begin to research one recipe, I fall into a rabbit hole of 10 more, along with the techniques that accompany them, and before you know it hours have passed. I find this whole new world of baking to be so incredibly interesting and it satisfies my thirst for continual growth and knowledge. I am teaching myself the ropes, one recipe and technique at a time.

I think we all have the ability to psych ourselves out and let fear get the best of us, particularly as we get older. We may convince ourselves that once we have defined ourselves as unskilled at something, we can never change it, particularly as we grow in age. I say bullocks to that. If there is something that you want to do, move past the fears and try it.

This has been my goal with baking. To stop telling myself I can’t, because I am finding as I go and have the courage to try, that I really CAN bake, and bake pretty darned well! It also brings me immense joy, so here I am doing the work and sharing in the hopes of inspiring others to reach their goals of baking too.

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Favorite Bakeries, Food

Odd Birds Cafe: Good Vibes & Fresh Eats

Have you ever walked into a place that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling that you can’t quite place? There are a few places around Hilton Head Island that give me this vibe, and Odd Birds is one of them.

I have been to Odd Birds on more than one occasion, and every time I have been, I am always struck by how comfortable it feels. Everyone seems happy and at ease, from the regular patrons to the baristas and bakers. I always love to find a place that gives you that at home neighborhood feel, especially as the Island continues to expand and take on more corporate operations. Odd Birds is as down home as they come.

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