Hello Bake Austin family,
Thank you so much to everyone that responded to my last email. If I have not gotten back to you yet, I promise I will! I received a lot of responses and I want to take time to write to everyone individually.
So much to take in, one thing I have noticed is that the people that want to continue with the online summer camps also would like to have options to do single days instead of the whole week. I am working on that option and I am trying to find a way to make it really easy to enroll.
Some of you have asked me for in-person classes. Though I am available and open for personal classes in-person they would have to happen at your locations. Due to the whole pandemic, I had to rent out my space and I am not in the position to rent large kitchen space at this time.
I am listening to your suggestions and I will take them all to heart.
Thank you again.
Here is a super easy Valentine's cookie recipe:
Just a quick reminder that our summer camp prices are going up on February 2nd.
If you are at all interested in virtual kid's summer camps, get these prices while you can.
Remember kids can take these classes together on one device.
So a couple of friends or siblings: one price.
Siblings want to take turns cooking dinner: one price.
If you are worried about someone getting sick or travel plans, you can purchase a camp now and then transfer the $ to another camp at a different time.
Early bird pricing ends February 2nd
Follow along with the video and for even more recipes!
A love letter from Sara:
Are you ready for Valentine's Day?
I remember the joy of receiving those decorated little pieces of folded paper, secured closed with a sticker, that had my name on it as if all of my classmates were vying for my love and attention.
Even though I too had just written all 26 names of my fellow classmates on my own cards to pass out at the end of the day, it felt wonderful to get home and spill the pile of admiration on my bedroom floor and carefully open each one. I was, of course, seeking out the hidden jolly rancher or lifesavers candy, but I do remember taking extra note of the kids who shared full-on lollipops and stickers.
With the disconnect of this day and age, it must feel even more amazing to receive something that was handmade with care and intention as opposed to store-bought.
Homemade Valentine's Day cookies are an excellent way for your intentional and kind child to show all of their friends and classmates that the days of celebrating togetherness are not gone, they have simply evolved into a new way to show up in each other's lives.
Instead of hugs this year, imagine the experience of your child handing a cellophane bag with a beautifully, homemade cookie inside.
I bet the kid receiving that cookie will feel like a million bucks!
With love, Sara
I appreciate the inclusion into the Bake Austin community and am really quite excited to share a little about my recent journey through the pandemic and how I can best serve this extended family of aspiring chefs, intentional parents, and fellow human beings.
For my household, the only constant over the past two years has been our continued presence in each other's lives. During brief moments, we have fallen into a rhythm only to be pulled back out and expected to (once again) adjust to a new normal.
If you are anything like me, the adjustment takes priority over connection with my son and husband. Trying to keep a routine around dinner time has become even more important as the days turn into weeks and (unimaginably) into years. I will try to share with you the ways that I have found success through visual tools and silly routines that root us in the now.
Below is the first of this offering (some "cool tools" if you will) and I hope that you will let me know if this serves you, so that I can continue to support you and your family today and into the future!
(Photo credit: Lacey Lomeli)
Inspiration from our kitchen to yours!
Meal planning is always a lofty goal, but setting the intention is a great first step! Sara made the above planning board for weekly family meals and uses index cards to help keep a running list of family-approved dinner options.
Every once in a while a new recipe will make it into the queue, but we typically rotate through the same 40-50 recipes. We use a card box to separate the recipes into categories, such as Mexican, Italian, Breakfast, and Homemade Favorites. On Sunday, my son, my husband, and I all choose a few recipes each and then the rest of the week is sorted out for us. I have found that "knowing" is half the battle and once we have a plan, the ease comes while working toward our shared goal... making a delicious meal to enjoy together!
With the cold winter weather blowing through Austin, homemade soup is on the rise and our kid's classes are here to help! Take a Saturday night off from cooking dinner and relax as your young chef makes a hearty and heartwarming batch of Beef Stew & Crusty Bread Rolls for the whole family to enjoy. Yum!!! Sign up for all kids cooking classes, kids baking classes, and even adult baking classes, on the website now!
Welcome to 2022!
Happy New Year to my wonderful community! I hope that everyone is safe and hanging in there during these crazy times.
This year has started out with quite a bang and while the coronavirus is still a daily part of our collective experience, I am looking forward to new virtual class offerings, hosting a monthly free community class, revamping the website, and introducing a new member of the Bake Austin team!
I hope that you enjoy the free recipe and video for Apple Roses below!
Meet Sara Ronder!
I have known Sara for nearing 30 years and am excited to introduce her to you all. Sara and her family have been involved in quintessential Austin experiences her whole life. Along with her son, husband, and two dogs, Sara understands the challenges of staying connected, enjoying healthful meals, and doing your best to persevere through adversity.
Whether it is volunteering with the Austin Optimist Club Christmas Tree lot, working alongside her husband at Home Slice Pizza for over a decade, or finding creative ways to enjoy her hometown, Sara has a steadfast wealth of knowledge and encouragement to share with the families that make our Bake Austin community so wonderful.
Together, we are going to support, inspire, and empower families across the globe to prosper through this difficult time.
Please allow me to introduce myself, Chef Pascal, to all of the new Bake Austin followers!
Bake Austin was started in 2012 in my home at the dining room table, with one stand mixer and twelve children. I went to culinary school and have a Pastry Culinary Arts degree. Becoming a single mom, I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and would support my livelihood while showing my children how to strive for the things one desires in life.
Baking, education, children, instilling values and resilience in young minds, as well as creating a schedule that allowed me time to be with my children, were the passions that led me to create Bake Austin.
My favorite part of in-person teaching was being able to joke around with the kids and do some silly stuff, like making ads and video skits. I enjoyed being able to physically help them, but also allowing them to struggle in a safe space. I loved the hugs at the end of class, of course! The ability to check in with parents at drop-off was really connecting and nice, as well.
For virtual learning, I’m noticing that kids learn a lot more and a lot faster because they are doing it in their own kitchen with their own tools, though I am there on the screen. They learn how to troubleshoot, how to communicate by asking me questions. They learn how to follow instructions, how to understand the structure of recipes, and ultimately how to become more confident and independent. And they don’t have to share a table or equipment with anybody. They have their own space.
Never forget, I always have the kids clean up so that they learn responsibility and I hope this translates into help for the parents. As a parent, I have observed that instructions are received in a different, more willing way if someone else tells my children something than if it is just coming from me. There is less of a struggle and more willingness to listen and take action.
What do I think about virtual learning? I love it! I’m really excited about the abilities and reach of virtual/online learning because of the accessibility for students, no matter where they are in the world. It broadens the experience and students from different cultures get to interact in real-time. Though online learning may not translate well for every subject, for baking/cooking it translates beautifully to give them valuable life skills!
(Photo credit: Alina Prax)
Our Gift to You - Free Recipe: Apple Roses
Apple Roses are a wonderfully creative and tasty activity to do with your little ones. I love how pretty they become and how they look like they took a long time to make. Apple Roses are relatively healthy and not too sweet. If you are feeling adventurous, try using peaches, strawberries, or plums.
If you want to try to make a savory version, zucchini and yellow squash are delicious options. Sprinkle the tops with some parmesan or pecorino romano and voila... anything goes when you try your best!
Click here for the downloadable recipe and when you are ready, follow along from your home kitchen by watching Bake Austin Makes Apple Roses.
Before founding Bake Austin, Pascal Simon earned her degree as a Pastry Chef from the prestigious Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. A mother of two, Pascal is passionate about cultivating the next generation of bakers and welcomes children from all schooling backgrounds, whether public, private or homeschooled.