Growing up, my Mom was an accomplished cook, baker, gardener, seamstress and more. She tried to teach me what she knew, showing me step by step, and patiently explaining processes and reasoning to me. If only I’d listened. And if only I’d known how much I would wish I had been more willing to learn.

Despite my frustration and lack of self patience for learning these new skills in the beginning, I must have retained something… it was some time during my college years when I began to feel more of an interest in cooking for myself; I felt like I was an adult taking care of myself while away from my family. The interest grew more into baking when I would visit my older brother. Because he had bad allergies, whipping up batches of his own homemade cookies, or pies or other treats meant he knew the exact contents, and could even adjust amounts or make substitutions as necessary. I still remember one of the first times I was over at his house and he knew the recipe of our Mom’s famous cookies bars by heart! I couldn’t believe how he could know the recipe so well – the ingredients and even the measurements. He said he made them often.

This is one of the first recipes I began baking repeatedly. And surely enough, I began memorizing the ingredients and methods myself as well. I even recalled tips here and there that my Mom had tried to teach me, as well as lessons my brother would give me. I enjoyed not only baking the treats, tasting them, and sharing them, but I found great enjoyment artfully photographing them. I even looked into food styling as a career path at one point (If I got the Food Network channel on my TV, it would surely be on 24/7).  I soon branched out into other types of cookies, and got excited looking at cook books, knowing I could probably make my way through it to create yet another irresistible sweet treat…

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