Just to set the records straight as to who I am and why I cook and how I learned.
At the ripe old age (laugh) of 7 I baked my first loaves of cinnamon swirl bread for my grandfather. This was the time I forgot the eggs, and we kneaded them in later. That bread was heavenly.
Around the age of 12 I began baking cakes, decorating them and selling a few. So began my fascination with cake decorating.
When I was 15 our family lived in Europe for one year and because my Mom had serious back problems I was deemed "head cook" being the oldest child. It was then I learned how to cook- and when my brothers complained at my endeavors I told them they could cook for themselves.
The years after I was 12 I continued to grow in my cake decorating skills and had sold many cakes by the time I entered college.
Back in American and in college, I was hired as the baker when I had free time. Everyone grew to know my baking and thought if any baked item was delicious I made it. But during this time I lost my desire for working in this sort of establishment because of the mixes and frozen ingredients. I preferred the real and the simple to create my masterpieces.
While in college I made my first wedding cake. One of my dreams had come to pass.
After college I began my own little bakery by joining forces with a local coffee shop. I learned a lot here about what I did and didn't want to do in the realm of baking. #1 I didn't want to rise with the birds and baking cinnamon rolls for year after year. #2-Everyone has a fascination with cooking. #3- The way to a man's heart really is through his stomach.
After several more wedding cakes, working as an assistant cook in a Cajun restaurant,  and a broken heart I headed back to Europe on my own. By this time my reputation spread around me in and amongst my friends that I was a good cook and made great cakes and delectable goodies.
In Latvia my talents were immediately put to work making wedding cakes and other items for friends. However, new obstacles now faced me and those were,  #1 -the inability to get the quality of ingredients I was familiar with (XX Powdered sugar- the powdered sugar here was grainy in comparison). #2-Latvians do not like the American style cakes.
Thus began my quest to make a new type of cake that would appeal to the Latvian palate and hold up to the rigors required in constructing large cakes. It wasn't long until I was receiving orders for American style wedding cake and through trial and error and nearly every cake being different that I have made my niche in my community of friends and acquaintances.
I also had the pleasure of working  in a small, wonderful, local bakery which grew my skills in a new dimension and showed me what Latvians do and do not buy from the American kitchen. Time moves on and now I am on my own again- baking wedding cakes to order and even getting the chance to compete in some cake contests.
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Join your cultures, recipes and experiences and let the senses come alive in this bite of life.
With spice, 

The Cook

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