Foodie Facelift

Oh hey!

Somehow it’s September 20th, I haven’t blogged in months, I’m married and moved cross country. It’s been a pretty awesome ride. I decided that since I have been writing Jessica Nan since 2008, I wanted to keep this little spot on the internet alive. I also decided that since I had been writing here for so long I wanted to keep this spot about me, and to have a separate spot for our life as the Dalys. In the six weeks that we’ve been married I have discovered that I don’t know how to make dinner every single day, or meal plan, or grocery shop without a pep talk from one of my sisters or my mom first.

and I have a degree in food.

and I’m a CEPC for a large company that’s expanding exponentially.

but dinner you guys.


and I would really like to not stink at this whole wife thing.

So I started doing some research on this elusive dinner project, and started combining techniques I use with my commercial kitchens, and from the Dinner Greats. i.e. My Mom and my Sisters.

Then you know, the blog got a foodie facelift.

I imagine it was a pretty gratifying phone call for my Mom when I finally appreciated how stinking hard it is to come up with dinner everyday.

And I’m a good cook, my training is specifically Baking & Pastry but I know my way around the kitchen. My favorite meals are the ones that I can plan each little menu item down to a T. But that isn’t very practical when you have to do it everyday. No one has time to make a 5-course meal on the daily. (Kinda like that one time I made Easter dinner and it included a 30lb ham for the two of us. heh. We’re learning over here.) I plan on taking simple dishes and giving them a gourmet touch while making them my own.

I was given my Grandma McGuire’s recipe box nearly six years ago, and I have been dying to cook my way through it. I’ve wanted to have a recipe/foodie blog for a long time now, and I finally feel like I have enough content and opportunity to make it happen.

So join me in the kitchen won’t you? There’s nobody here, but us servantless American Cooks.

**I will be starting a “Daly News” blog in the next few weeks to start our family journal. (This is where the wedding pictures will be going.) It will be private, so if you want an invite let me know!** 

We interrupt your regular programing…

to blog something!

So Christmas was the best. For the first time in five years I took a week off at Christmas. I’m pretty sure I slept for three days straight. What more do you want for Christmas? All of the family was together, and there was such a sweet spirit in our home. So much love. Chaos, but so much love. and naps. Did I mention naps?

Lets just call it how it is. I’m buying myself a boppy pillow for my birthday. Best sleeping pillow ever. 

So since I don’t have a husband I got to bunk up with Nash & Gray, which I didn’t mind one bit. In the middle of the night Gray Baby started moving and shaking, so I said nah nah nah. Scooped him in right close and snuggled all 35+ pounds of him. Is he not the sweetest? 

So much right in the world. 

Momsie got us the best shirts this year. JT is the best, he’s so tough and we were silly just like old times. Doesn’t matter how many hard things our family survived this year, we still laugh at the same jokes and smile just as big. The only thing that’s different are our hugs are tighter, and our words kinder. 

My sweet family surprised me on Christmas morning with a children’s story book for MY children about how their Mom became a pastry chef. It’s full of pictures and stories of dedication, hard work and bliss. I think in that moment I realized how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished.

Wearing the exhaustion of not sleeping for six weeks, unwashed hair, an oversized sweatshirt, and the tears of knowing it was/is completely worth it. 
Because on the last page of that book it proudly says that I was promoted to the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef of the entire company. (29+ stores.) 
Every heartache and minute of homesick was worth it, learning how to provide for myself was worth it, stretching my body and mind past limits I thought I had, was worth it. I think I always knew it would be, but for the people I love the most knew it was worth it too. They are proud, and so am I. 
So fast forward to January where I started my promotion. This year has already been a whirlwind, but I love it. I can’t believe how much I’m learning and how much I’m using my education, and just how many people depend on me. In January Kneaders launched a line of mini-bundt cakes. 
and guess who developed those recipes?
Every store I go into I check on my “babies”. I can’t believe that something I created is now being produced for the masses. This ad makes me tear up, I mean, how is this my life? I’m only 22 (23 on Saturday!) and things are so beautiful. I am so happy with these, with my job, with my life. Dreaming big has never been so fun! 
Oh, and I forgot to mention. My “babies” were on Studio 5 with Brooke Walker. I can’t wait for you all to try them. Some of my best work. 
and the best part is I get to wake up tomorrow and do it all again. 

Hummingbird Cake!

My heart is celebrating today, as well as the rest of me. Hummingbird cake became my baby a few months ago. I’ve always loved this cake and to get the assignment to make it into a mini bundt cake for Kneaders was a dream come true. I love recipe development. I love getting to think through every last detail, from portion size, to cost control, how long would it take one of my pastry chefs to produce this for the case, or design details like 5 loops or 6? 

I just love this part of my job. I love the perfectionist outlet it gives me. True to form we were not going to stop researching until it was perfect. 5 pans later we’re in business. Thankfully France knows whats up. The difference between pans 4 & 5 is literally 1/64 of an inch, and it was completely worth it. This afternoon I got the final approval, and these will be going company wide soon!