Major girl crush going on here. Seriously, who doesn't have one for this kick-ass lady?

Rachele blogs at The Nearsighted Owl (cute name, right?) and is a trailblazer for female empowerment which I can't thank her enough for. She posts about daily life, thrift finds, craft fairs, cats, and body acceptance. My favorite and most recent was the "I'm Proud of My Size" link-up she hosted that I was allllllllll over like twilight fans on Robert Pattinson. I don't know what I'm even talking about. Soooooooooooo anyways, check out this hot babe, and maybe even make her summer-perfect strawberry tarts. Just make them... it's totally gonna be worth it.

Name: Rachele from The Nearsighted Owl
Occupation: Blogger, Artist and Caseworker
Dream occupation: Cupcake Tester
Age: 29

What was your earliest memory about baking?
Oh boy, let's get started into this therapy session right away! Hold on, you might need to hypnotize me. I lack the ability to recall memories. As far back as my early Alzheimer's brain will go, I remember being 5 or 6 and baking with my mom. My sister and I would stand on a painted white stool, standing more above the avocado green counter than we ever had. We could easily stir bowls of batter and sift flour and baking powder. My mom always told us how she didn't know how to cook when she got married and didn't want us to suffer the same fate. So as much as possible, she had us stand on those stools and help. I liked the sifting the best. I still use the same sifter that was passed on to me by my mother. As I got older, when I was allowed to use the oven by myself, I would bake brownies and apple crisps.

Howd’ja get started baking? I really remember always baking! I bake for myself and my family, and I let my taste buds lead the way. When I was craving red velvet cupcakes, I taught myself how to bake them. If I need to make homemade Christmas gifts, I bake cookies or make chocolate covered pretzels. When we had a cake decorating contest at the family reunion, I learned how to bake and frost a layered cake. You would be surprised how many opportunities there are in life to bake! I started with an old Better Homes Cookbook with a red and white gingham cover. I was later gifted a more recent version, but still with the classic red and white gingham. The baking section is the dirtiest, littered with melted butter and splashes of vanilla. The dirtiest page contains my favorite crepes recipe. Nowadays, I Google recipes or bookmark them in my Pinterest.

When you picture “a baker” what do you see? Hmmm, I think the image that first pops into my mind is a the stereotypical 50's housewife with pinup curls, flowery dress and cute little apron. Kind of like Alice from "United States of Tara" or Margaret from "Father Knows Best". But I really see anyone being a baker! Not just the ladies or housewives. I make a point of teaching my husband how to bake things. He doesn't need to stand on a stool though ;)

What qualities or skills does it take to be a baker? Patience and a love of baking! Sometimes things don't come out right and you have to patiently measure and recheck that you didn't miss any ingredients or steps. But if you love baking and food, then you will enjoy the challenge and be ready to learn. Most of what you need to know can be read in a recipe. For the trickier tasks, you can watch a YouTube video for more guidance. My husband actually taught himself how to make a good pizza dough by watching videos online. The first few weren't exactly right but he persevered on! Now he can make a magnificent homemade pizza pie.

What was the biggest baking FAIL you ever had? I bought a chocolate cake mix from Trader Joe's once and burned the hell out of it. It was probably the baking Gods way of punishing me for buying a boxed mix. I didn't use the correct size of pan and didn't realize that It was burning when I was trying to cook it all the way through. It didn't look that burnt because it was a chocolate cake but I could tell after the first bite. And I never got the middle cooked. So I tried scraping off the burnt parts and invented uncooked-cake-in-a-bowl dessert. Not my biggest hit.

How do you feel about Martha Stewart?
I think she is an icon! The queen of crafting, baking, party organizing and pumpkin carving. I think she is has a good sense of humor (SNL, Snoop Dogg, etc) and is often misunderstood or demonized. I wonder if she gets a bad rap because she is a woman. If a man yells at his employees, he is a good boss. But when a woman does it, she is a bitch. Well I think the bitch has talent and I admire her! I always flip through her magazine at the in-laws and am still trying to find someone that I can steal their subscription number from so I can read it on my iPad.

Tell me something random that most people don't know:
I have a dark and deep secret to tell you. Sometimes I don't measure when I bake. That's right. I just dump shit in there. A lot of things do not have be exact. Things like vanilla, salt, butter, etc. With a little experience you can learn to eyeball it. My grandmother was notorious for it. I don't think she owned any measuring cups or spoons. We tried writing down some of her recipes for a family cookbook once. We were a little befuddled on how to translate pinch, scoop and handful into measurable quantities. We ended up having to watch her make it to learn! So, I probably got it from her to not measure.

If you had to be an ingredient in a recipe, what would you be?
Cream. Thick, decadent and so fattening that only Paula Deen or the Two Fat Ladies can truly appreciate me. I love a good recipe with cream or buttermilk, like biscuits, grits or cupcakes. Cream makes everything better!

Will you share your all time favorite recipe with us?
Yes, of course! Right now it is my easy peasy Strawberry Tart Recipe. I plan on re-using it a lot this summer with whatever berry or fruit is in season. It is perfect for a lazy person like me. No food processor or dough chilling needed! Plus the crunchy sugar glaze and custardy dough makes them delicious. Equally good cold and warm!

You will need:
1 cup flour
2-3 tablespoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
Chopped fresh strawberries
Whip Cream
Tart Pan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and butter in a bowl. You can also use Earth Balance or Smart Balance instead. Stir with a fork until blended. Crack your egg and toss the yolk back and forth over a separate bowl, saving the egg white for a later step. Add egg yolk to the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Work dough into a smooth ball.

Take about a heaping tablespoon, depending on your tart pan, of dough. Lightly round into a ball and flatten in your hand so that it is bigger than the diameter of an individual tart well (Is that what it's called? I dont know!). Press in the dough to a greased tart pan, squishing the edges so that it overflows a little. It's okay if it looks a little rustic! Try not to leave any areas too thin though so the tart doesn't fall apart.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and fill each tart with your chopped fresh strawberries. Press them in a little to fill up the tarts.  Brush each tart, strawberries and crust, with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Put back in the oven for 10-20 minutes or until browned. Let cool.

Pop out tarts from the pan and top with whip cream. Enjoy!

Rachele, thank you so much! I laughed out loud several times throughout your interview, and as long as we're confessing I skip out on measuring quite a bit too. Much to the frustration of the ladies I'm training;)

Read more of her and fall in love!



  1. YES i love this girl! so glad she was a featured bake babe. so delightful, everyone should be reading this blog.

  2. The same thing happened to me with cake mix in a box. Goo inside, black outside, cake-in-a-bowl wasn't too bad xD An awesome series and so great to see Rachele!

  3. I'm adoring all of these baker babes. I really want some baked goods at the moment. Maybe those scones you just posted recently ;D


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