Welcome to my blog!

My story is a bit of a long one so I will try to condense it the best I can.

Yes, like many food bloggers I have a complicated past with food. I have been through all the extremes. But I am constantly seeking to find a balance.

I left high school with an idea of college and when I got there it wasn't quite what I expected. The only thing I knew was that baking and cooking kept me sane, what made me feel alive. So after my freshman year of college I decided to work at a bakery to see if it was truly my calling in life. I worked for 3 months as an apprentice at a bakery in Philadelphia and decided that this well known bakery wasn't exactly what I expected either. They were not putting out a product I was proud of and I couldn't get use to the early morning hours or the work in general. It stressed me out far more than it ever made me happy, so back to college I went.

I traveled abroad to Thailand the summer of 2008 and it changed my life forever. I volunteered at a reserve for abused Asian elephants for 2 weeks and traveled around the country for another 2 weeks with like minded people. I began to realize that what I wanted to do in life was a little bigger, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people globally and domestically. I wanted to do something that did not benefit just myself in the long run but more so benefit those that needed help most in the world.

I came home and started right away. I changed my major, started fundraising for global issues on my campus and decided that working at a non-profit was where I was meant to be. I graduated from James Madison University in December 2009 and after college interned at a non-profit in Washington D.C. called Food & Friends which prepares, packages and delivers nutritionally sound meals to people living with life threatening illnesses in the D.C. metro area. It was the perfect combination of my passion for food and helping those in need. This experience has also showed me the direction I want my life to go in. Food + helping others = my perfect fit.

I am now 24 years old, currently working again for Food & Friends in DC! Just trying to find my place in the district and baking along the way. Baking has kept me sane, calmed my nerves, made me and others around me happy and given me a great outlet. I consider baking to also be a way to reach out to others and to make a difference in a small way. Baking can bring people together, make people happy, ease sorrow, be a way of celebrating, show people you love them without any words at all, and conjure up so many memories.

Bittersweet is about balance. I have had many experiences in 24 years and I hope to have many more. While some experiences have been fulfilling others have not been, and that is okay. Life is about the sweet, wonderful moments and the bitter unsavory moments and all we can ask for is to learn and grow from both.

I hope everyone enjoys the stories and recipes I have to offer. Any questions about my life or recipes can be answered by emailing me at Darlinbn@gmail.com.

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