BAKER BABES PART VII: LAUREN!


 Confession: I've been hoarding interviews from kick ass women in my inbox for MONTHS. All in an evil plan to enjoy their recipes first, so I can taste the joy long before you. Mwahahahah. I'm such a bitch.

I'm feeling generous today, so I thought I would introduce you to the new love of my life: Lauren.
My boyfriend is a little jealous, as I'm sure her husband is also. *Shrug*. 

Lauren is from Illinois, but lives in Scotland studying photography and she has stand-up promise in a huge way. This girl is FUNNY. Read her interview, make her quiche, write her a letter telling her she's awesome. Just don't tell her you love her more than me, because that's impossible. She blogs here.
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Name: Lauren Hunter
Occupation: Visual art student, dog cuddler, and zinester
Dream occupation: I'd like to open some kind of art collective/community outreach center for young people to learn new skills, show their work to the public, and stay out of trouble. I'd also like to teach art at the university level.
Age: 26

What was your earliest memory about baking? My mom made a lot of oatmeal raisin cookies. She baked a lot of things, but I most remember her for her cookie prowess. She always asked me to help her, and not just in the way you ask kids to stir something. She let me crack eggs and everything. True responsibility. She had this amazing blue KitchenAid mixer, it was so dreamy.


Howd’ja get started baking? I learned a lot from my mom, and also from my brother who's a chef, but what got me baking for myself and really learning and teaching myself was when I was vegan for a few years. I lived in a small town and I couldn't just go to the local vegan bakery if I wanted a cupcake. I started buying Isa Chandra Moskowitz's books and started baking cupcakes. Then came cakes, brownies, pies, and cookies. When I started introducing dairy and eggs into my diet a few years later, I started experimenting with custards, souffles, quiches, what have you. It was a whole new experience.

When you picture “a baker” what do you see? I see someone with flour handprints all over their apron, sugar spilled on the floor, icing in their hair. Baking isn't supposed to be squeaky clean, and I think when I imagine baking being enjoyable, I imagine baking being messy.


What qualities or skills does it take to be a baker? I think the desire to learn, the desire to adapt, and the love of food are essential. You don't have to be able to make the world's greatest creme brulee the minute you take up baking to be a good baker. You don't have to know the name for everything, or what every single technique is called. You just need to love it. You know how professional athletes always talk about the love for the game? That's how I feel about food, and I play for keeps, y'all.

What was the biggest baking FAIL you ever had?
I saw an awesome cake on Pinterest, which should have immediately been a giant red flag. I should have taken pause and proceeded with caution. But instead I decided to bake it for a dinner party. SO SMART, right? It was this...banana upside down cake thing, and it had a caramel sauce and coconut, and whatever, it looked amazing. I'd never made an upside down cake before, and I kept worrying that it wasn't going to come out of the cake pan upside down, that it was going to stick. It didn't stick, but instead it slid out, and it was a giant cake battery mess. The caramel sauce had sort of prevented it from cooking evenly, and the entire middle was cake soup. I spooned it into ramekins and baked them individually, which ended up saving it, but I knew in my heart I was a failure.

How do you feel about Martha Stewart? I love her. I totally grew up watching her on television, including when she cooked with the Muppets. Could a human being even get any cooler? Any time I have an ingredient I don't know how to use, I consult Martha. When I'm helping throw a bridal shower, I consult Martha. When I want to attempt to make those tissue paper flower pom pom things, freak out because they're not as easy as she makes it look, and end up ripping tissue paper into a million pieces, I consult Martha.

Tell me something random that most people don't know: Sometimes when I'm making an important decision, my inner monologue sounds eerily like President Josiah Bartlet. It can't be helped, he's my voice of reason.

If you had to be an ingredient in a recipe, what would you be? I think I'd be matzo because I'm Jewish, a little bit boring, and people never really know what to do with me. (Editors note: HAHA!)

Will you share your all time favorite recipe with us?
Nah, I was thinking we'd just get to this part and I could reveal that this was an elaborate hoax and that I don't even know how to bake. But then I realized that's not funny at all. And neither is telling you about it...  

I am here to share with you my quiche recipe that landed me this sweet spot in this feature in the first place. It's easy, it's tasty, and telling people casually that you just baked a quiche makes you sound super fancy and everyone will want to be your friend. don't you like friendship? 

The crust recipe I use for quiche is holy crap easy. That is to say, once you make it, you may actually exclaim, 'Holy crap, that was so easy.' It is as follows:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup ice water
[I just use super cold tap water, it's cool]

Whisk together the flour and salt, set aside.
Whisk together the water and oil until it thickens a bit, add to the dry mixture, and knead it into a dough. This takes something like 30 seconds. I'm not even kidding.
I don't have a rolling pin, so I kind of beat up my dough until it's super thin and then put it in my pie tin. It's pretty uneven looking, so I just call it 'rustic' instead.

The quiche filling I love the most is:
3 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
[or you can use regular milk if that's your thing]
One small zucchini, chopped into small pieces
Sundried tomato
Marinated artichoke hearts
Grated parmesan
Salt & pepper

Whisk eggs and milk together, i do so until they have changed in color a bit and are lighter and creamy looking.  Chop up desired amount of the artichokes, zucchini, parmesan, and tomatoes, add them to the egg mixture. I don't have exact measurements for this, since it really depends on how much you want each of these things in your quiche. Stir it all together and pour it into the pie crust. I know, this is pretty riveting stuff. I sprinkled a bit of extra parmesan on the top because cheese on top of things is a simple pleasure. 
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Thanks Lauren:) Lets write snail mail love notes from here on out.
xoxoxo Jes

4 comments

  1. Loving the baker babes feature! As someone who spends way too much time in the kitchen, I find it really fun and inspiring! Definitely will give Lauren's quiche recipe a try; sounds delish! :)

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  2. My inability to read words early in the morning made me misread that Lauren is "studying stand-up" (I'm a winner). But I loved this interview! And that quiche recipe? Sun-dried tomatoes in a quiche sounds like the greatest idea ever!

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  3. good gravy, that looks tasty!

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  4. Mm, this quiche sounds great! Artichoke hearts always make meals feel really luxurious to me. Since quiche is such a good dish to wake up to and enjoy in the morning, this would be such a treat!

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