For the average college student, the kitchen oven is a cold and lonely place—and without mom and dad around, ramen and fast food reign supreme. But for Nicole Weston, the oven-obsessed blogger of Baking Bites, it was this desolate valley of tasteless collegiate cuisine that inspired her to put on her mitts and get busy.
“I was unwilling to eat the ultra-greasy hot dogs of uncertain origin that my friends ate,” she says of her time at USC Berkeley, “I thought to myself, ‘I can find better food out there’…I wasn’t going to settle.” In 2004, with an interest in baking to spur her on, Weston decided to open the oven on a regular basis and keep herself accountable with a blog.
In the beginning she felt no one—not even her friends—would take notice of her sugary musings. But Nicole’s sweet personality, easily replicated recipes and prolific postings soon attracted the attention of thousands. For Nicole it’s about educating people – whether it be on the latest cooking gadgets or easy baking techniques. “I want people to make what I post, so I rarely post on incredibly complicated recipes,” she tells us, “I want to see people baking rather than settling for grocery store cupcakes.”
Just because Nicole’s posts are accessible, doesn’t mean they are ordinary. “In the kitchen I have no rules – anything goes,” she says with confidence. And she really does mean anything – this summer she used her overheated car as an oven to bake a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. She also experiments with all types of ingredients to make creative desserts such as Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies and Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cupcakes.
This determination to have fun and to never take herself too seriously is why we love Baking Bites. Because at the end of the day her message is an incredibly simple one, “bake more and try more.”
—By Emily Arno