Welcome to Tasty Pastry Kitchen

I'm Adriana, the brains and tastebuds behind this little project. I built this site to share two of my passions with you:

♥️ baking 👩🏻‍🍳 + coding 👩🏻‍💻 ♥️

Originally from Virginia, I now live in the beautiful bay area of California with my husband, children, and Kitchenaid mixers.

I'm a self-taught home baker.

It's pretty common that bakers start by answering the "how did I start baking?" now. Yes, a large portion of us learned from our grandmother and/or mothers, me included.

You've probably heard the story before so I'll save you time and show you this instead:

I think the more interesting question to answer is why you bake.We spend all that time and effort in the kitchen for a reason, right?

It's fun to look back and think about all the times you baked. I've always used baking as an outlet for boredom, stress, lonliness, love, or curiosity. It's not always apparent immediately, like when you wander into the kitchen and just start making something, but it's clear to me afterwards if I think about it.

Reasons vary and evolve with the different chapters of my life and, when I look back, there are a few baking episodes that stand out:

  1. When I was in second grade, I remember baking a huge cake in the shape of a cat, by myself for a classmate who broke his arm. (I'm pretty sure the cat part was for me; I was obsessed with cats when I was young.)
  2. When I was in high school, we had to make a model of an eukaryotic cell for biology. I made one out of cake. Because they have so much in common, right?
  3. College was a baking-free period, save for the key lime pie for my Dad's birthday. Always key limes, always graham cracker crust, always on December 30th.
  4. When I met my boyfriend, I wanted to impress him so badly with my talents that I made him a pan of heart-shaped cinnamon rolls. He claimed that they were great but having never baked cinnamon rolls ever before that time, I'm pretty sure they tasted like cardboard. I guess that didn't matter, cuz now he's my huzzzzband 😏
  5. In graduate school, in the off-hours I perfected two things: running for more than an hour, and all-butter pie crust.
  6. And just recently, I taught my daughter how to roll out cookie dough. She has since been promoted to my Sprinkle Consultant, and has told me that her approval is required for all forthcoming sprinkle related activities.

So that's the baking side of things, which is only half the pie...

I 💖 programming.

This part of my story is perhaps a little less common, but it's a huge reason why I wanted to build this site. I've always wanted to learn how to code. I was bored during maternity leave and so decided to take on programming for fun. I just wanted to build something to store the recipes I'd been collecting from all my baking.

Now it's kind of taken a life of its own. Building this site is about 40% baking and 60% coding. Everything you see here is built from scratch. (Well, not *completely* because I use libraries...) But most blogs are built on Wordpress, which is awesome BTW if you want to get your thoughts out there.

For my purposes, I need complete control over the functionality of the site, which hopefully will make sense in a bit. The blogging is just a part of this whole project becuase I'm hoping to build a functional application on here soon.

It helps that I'm a certified nerd.

My background spans many disciplines (microbiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, bioengineering) so I use that knowledge and delve into the science of baking in my spare time. My nightstand is full of baking texts that I read for fun.

Ok, I realize that sounds, umm probably too nerdy, but I love it! Often if you know the purpose of every ingredient and process, you can troubleshoot your way out of anything. And seriously, the way to become great at something, is definitely not when everything is going perfect. It's the ability to find your way out of problems that come up.

I have made hundreds of pies, pastries, and tarts at home.

One time I baked over 300 mini-pies and tarts for my brother-in-law's wedding. It was the logistical challenge of my pastry-dreams: the pie components had to be premade in my home in California and shipped on dry ice to the Colorado wedding venue. There, I mass-assembled and baked each and every one.

And I loved every second of it.

I 💖 volunteer baking.

I'm an avid baker for the community and local schools. Count me in for carnivals, bake sales, and fundraisers. If it has to do with kids, I'm there 100%.

One organization that I am passionate about working with is Cake4Kids. Cake4Kids provides birthday cakes for children who are homeless, living in foster homes, or otherwise underserved. The child makes a birthday cake request through the organization and the volunteer bakers fulfill that wish, and deliver the cakes on their birthday.

I put my heart into every cake that I make. And in turn, I have received notes from the recipients that put tears in my eyes. There is no better feeling as a baker to know that your treats are going to make a child happy on their birthday. Here are some cakes that I've made:

Anything new going on with the site?

Well, this site kinda works like this: when I'm frustrated with my coding, I bake; when I'm stagnant with my baking, I code. This is all in between taking care of everything else in life, which at this point includes my babies, home, and job.

Right now I am coding an application that creates custom cake recipes, and should have a beta up soon.It's what I call the Cake Cycle: I write the code ----> produces a cake recipe ----> a baked cake that I make -----> that I eat, while coding the cake app. I should get awards on my efficiency!

Ok, I need to go for a run to burn off all this cake.🤤

Meanwhile you can check out my recipes here.

🥧 🍩 Happy baking, friends! 🍪 🍰

About

Welcome! I'm the Adriana, the nerdy baker and developer of this site. Learn more about me here.

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