Life is an adventure and you learn as you go…

I love to create things with my hands and this is the story about how I learned to make bread, croissants and danishes from Chad Robertson and his wife Elisabeth Prueitt.

Last July I moved to Nashville, TN and when I got here my cross-country coaching job fell through. Being so close to the start of the school year in the south, all other positions within the school districts had been filled. Needing to pay my bills, I took a job selling health and life insurance.

I sat in class for weeks that summer and spent many a friday evening at Starbucks studying all of the state and nation wide laws in relation to insurance. September came, and I passed my tests for certification.

I never dreamed that I’d be an insurance agent, but those bills don’t pay themselves. So, there I was in the world of pin striped suits, high heels and leather brief cases chatting with co-workers at the office who read the Wall Street Journal every morning with their grande skinny lattes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for any excuse to go to J.Crew for a nice outfit. And if you happened to look in my closet you would find many a pair of high heels, but I’m more of a Cappuccino girl myself. I don’t do well with all those skinny, no whip, no sugar drinks. I say, if you’re going to have Starbucks, then have Starbucks.

As the months passed I realized that I couldn’t consciously stay with the company. I had inquired about baking jobs all over Nashville, but couldn’t even get an interview because I had no professional culinary experience. Simply put, I’m a fighter. Sometimes it gets me into trouble, other times it’s a good trait.

One Friday night I came home from meeting with clients all day and was really distraught. This job just wasn’t me and I wanted to do something I loved. Didn’t have culinary experience, I thought to myself. Okay, maybe that’s true, but they had never even tried my food. I was determined not to wallow, so I took off my heels and came up with a game plan. I made a list of all the desserts and breakfast foods that people had told me they really enjoyed. The plan was as follows, go to the store and buy ingredients, stay up until 5 am to bake, sleep until 7 am, add the finishing touches on all the baked goods until 10 am, package and load everything into my car and then go around Nashville to all of the places I wanted to work and give each manager a sampling of my food.

Although I knew this was going to be an extreme challenge to accomplish all that I had planned with one oven and no mixer, this plan really excited me. So with some good music playing, thanks to Pandora, I began. Everything was out of the oven by 5:30 am and I slept until 7 am. My roommates were fairly used to my “adventures” and woke up to an array of baked goods on our kitchen table and counters.

I added the finishing touches, such as ganache, icing, coconut and dustings of confectioner sugar and headed out to deliver my goods with hand-made business cards. It was a huge success and later that week got several job offers. Stay tuned for recipes I learned from Chad and Elisabeth.

Meg Murray

If you live in Nashville, TN it is not uncommon to see famous movie stars and country singers around town. Keith Urban goes to my Church. Jake Gyllenhaal has eaten my muffins and Mumford & Sons and Taylor Swift have frequently visited the bakery. Fido has often times had to dodge phone calls from People Magazine to not disclose the whereabouts of certain stars. Can you imagine having a reporter call a local coffee shop  to ask what you ordered, what you were wearing and whose hand you were holding?

Well, let me let you in on a little secret. The coolest part about living in Nashville is witnessing your friends turn their dreams into realities. Meg Murray is one of those people who really inspire me.

Originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, Meg moved to Nashville, TN to attend Vanderbilt University. Since graduating with a degree in Human and Organizational Development, Meg worked at Lululemon Athletica while pursuing her career in music. Meg recorded and released an EP in the spring of 2011 and since then her endeavors are truly beginning to produce tremendous success. This summer Meg is leading worship music at Camp Greystone.

Meg has a song called Porcelain that I wanted to share with you today. When I first heard the song I really identified with it. I am an exceedingly sensitive person, and I use to really dislike that about myself. Over time I have come to not just accept, but love this trait about myself. Why? Because that is the way God made me.

Someone once told me that my sensitivity is a gift. At first I didn’t understand how something I didn’t like could be a gift, but it really is. Sensitive people see, feel and experience things differently thea others. And discovering your God given personality is a wonderful thing, as you learn and discover who you are and how you can best serve others.

Here is the song: 01 Porcelain

Check out Meg’s website: www.megmurraymusic.com

Go to Joseph

Today after Mass I read one of the most beautiful and inspiring readings from In Conversation with God. There is a plethora to glean from Saint Joseph’s virtuous character. He was chosen by God to be the earthly father of Jesus and protector of the Holy Family. He faced trials ad sufferings with tremendous strength and courage. God bestowed great grace on Saint Joseph and he responded to this grace with love. He was strong, yet gentle. Uncertain in his own power, yet unshaken in his trust in the Lord to lead the Holy Family to safety in threating times. Saints and good Christians of all centuries have had recourse to him. Saint Teresa of Avila tells of the great devotion she had to Saint Joseph, and of her own experiences of his patronage.

The reading is as follows:

I do not remember even now that I have ever asked of anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which he has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succour us in some of our necessities, but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succours us in them all, and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth, (for being his guardian and being called his father, he could command him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks…

I only beg, for the love of God, that anyone who does not believe me will put what I have to say to the test, and he will see by experience what great advantages come from his commending himself to this glorious patriarch and having devotion to him. Those who practice prayer should have a special affection for him always. I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels, during the time she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the way he helped them. – St. Teresa, Life, 6

Wednesday’s Inspiration

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross