Monday, January 17, 2011


Hello there. My name is Carla and I am living in Auckland, New Zealand with my husband Matt, who got a job here as an animator.  We moved here in October, and since we got here, I havent been doing a whole lot with my time. I havent gotten a job yet (I was enjoying the vacation for a while), but I am now in the process of applying for some jobs, and for the most part, I just have a LOT of free time.

So how did I decide to do a blog about this? Well, since I was a freshman in high school, I have thought that I wanted to be a physical therapist (I know what does this have to do with cooking?), well I went through high school and college thinking that that is what I wanted to do, but in the back of my mind, I always had the thought that I would LOVE to one day own my own bakery, but that it was just a silly dream that couldnt happen, because that would just be too much fun! So this is what Im thinking all through high school and college, and I even graduate with a degree in Health Science. Then I get married and my sweet husband takes me 7,000 miles away from my home (much to the dismay of my parents - but dont worry, they still love him), and I am sitting here wondering what to do with my time. I start to make cookies because I just want something to do, and of course my husband loves them. So I make them, and Ill explain the challenges of that in itself in a bit, and I make so many of them that I take them to Matt's work to share with his coworkers. They all fall in love with them, and some of them say that I should think about becoming a baker. I know, I know, just because you can make some good cookies, doesnt mean that you can be a baker, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to pursue it. So I decided, that since we are here for a year, and so far, I really dont have a whole lot else to do, then why not?

One of our friends over here also suggested that I watch Julie & Julia. If I really loved it, that this movie would really be an inspiration. So I watched it, and I watched it again, and again, and again! I loved the movie! I have even watched it twice in one day - BACK TO BACK! What a great movie! Even if you dont care about cooking, it is just a cute and funny story! This movie is also what gave me and my husband the idea to do a blog (with the help of my father-in-law for the title), just like Julie Powell does in the movie. But anyway, so I have decided that this is the time to discover my passion, when I have so much time on my side. So that is what this blog will be about - me cooking in my place, which if you have read the title :), isnt much of a place at all! Let me explain all the challenges of cooking here.

Ok, well first of all, I am baking without a kitchen, not cooking, but cooking just sounds better. :) But challenge number one, is that you have seen the picture, that is all there is for my kitchen. It is TINY! Everything is tiny here, which is a challenge in itself. Next challenge, because the kitchen is so small, I dont have the room to store a electric mixer, or even an electric hand mixer, so right now anyway, it is ALL by hand! Also, the apartment that we are renting does not have an oven (not always like that in NZ, we just got unlucky), so ALL of my baking is done in a toaster oven that we bought at a store similar to Walmart here. Is that all the challenges? Oh no, there are many more, one including the fact that the recipe book I am working out of is in New Zealand measurements, which of course is the metric system, and the measuring cups I have are in cups, and tsp and Tbsp, so I am having a lot of fun doing the conversions before even getting tot the baking part! Apparently all the science I took in college didnt help with my conversions! The one part I was always bad at! But that's ok! Im having fun with that too! So, that is an overview of all the challenges, but I will continue to share the other challenges I am having as we go along.

The cookbook I am going out of is called The Big Book of Baking: Your complete guide to perfect baking every time. There are over 140 recipes in this book, but I am starting out with 55 of them that I picked out for this challenge. I will do more if I complete the 55, but that is what I am starting with. I have to complete at least the 55 in the year that we are here (we are leaving in October of this year, unless Matt gets an extension on his contract of course).

So thank you for following along with me on this journey! It will be fun and stressful, and most of all eventful! So thanks!



  1. Hi Carla.
    I am so proud of you and all that you have done. Isn't it amazing what happens when we pray, adapt and overcome.

    you and Matt both look great and happy and we can't wait to see you both in person. What in the world are you going to do once you get a real range with an oven. Holy cow. I better start losing weight now.

    Have a great day and keep on baking.

  2. YAY! I am so excited :) You are such a wonderful woman and i am so excited you have this opportunity to follow a passion... :)