I’m Laura, a lifelong baker located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. And I’m here to make a statement:

Food is Love.

I grew up, as everyone does, with food. I come from a family of people who love to make and eat food: my dad is a self-taught cook who loves to experiment with flavor, while my mom learned to cook from her mom, who learned from hers, in a long line of talented Dominican women who love to eat and cook. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the kitchen counter watching my parents cook and “helping” them by eating salt and (according to my dad) sneaking chunks of butter.

Basically, I’m a fat kid in a not-quite-fat kid’s body. No shame.

One of my favorite books to flip through as a kid was my mom’s Pillsbury baking book and pick out stuff that my mom might make, or that I wish she would make (chocolate chip cookies every day, anyone?). It came as no surprise, then, that my independent baking started with that book when I was in high school: I experimented with some dessert or baked good every few weeks or so. Some were bangers: Mint Chocolate Cheesecake, Raspberry White Chocolate Almond Bars, Pound Cake. Others were iffy, at best: I distinctly remember the Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting being disappointingly squishy and not at all like cookies, but tasting pretty good.

I cooked more and more in undergrad, especially when I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment, new cookbook in hand full of good, general recipes and techniques. Creamy Mushroom Chicken? Oh yeah. Fettuccine with scallops with dill and capers? Considering that I didn’t know what “reduction” meant then, it was more like scallop soup with noodles, so not so “oh yeah.”  And did I fail to allow butter to soften properly before I made my first cake from scratch? Oh yeah. I’ve collected a bookshelf full of cookbooks since then, and amassed an impressive Pinterest library of recipes meticulously categorized by dish type. (Did I mention I’m Type A?)

All of that practice and all of that experimentation led to cooking and baking well today, and to building my confidence as a cook. I know what works and what doesn’t because I’ve made dishes that work, dishes that taste TERRIBLE, dishes that were amazingly awesomely tasty and complicated, dishes that were super easy and still delicious, and everything in between. I discovered that good ingredients make good food, that all food comes with a price (monetary or otherwise), and that I could make a statement, political and social, with the food I chose to cook, cook with, eat, and share with others.

And guess what? So can you.

Consider this: you eat three times a day (more if you include snacks. And I do). You spend a ton of money and time on food. You need food to survive, sure, but you also need it as social currency, as mood enhancer, as comfort. Why not nourish yourself with something delicious and good, and share it with others?

The Crunchy Baker was born for that purpose: to spread the word and love of food, and love through food and choices. Love to self, love to the environment, and love to others.

At The Crunchy Baker, you can order baked goods that promise that love, as well as read about our homesteading journey, our ups and downs with building items of self-sufficiency (e.g. garden beds, clotheslines, etc.), and even get tasty recipes for all sorts of occasions (like Christmas) and not-so-occasions (like Tuesday lunch).

Welcome to The Crunchy Baker! Come for the food; stay for the love.