About Me

Hello and welcome! I am Valerie and baking is a true passion of mine. This blog contains the collection of recipes from Anna Olson’s Back to Baking cookbook, which I am striving to complete in their entirety.

    I am Valerie and I am a food lover at heart. Baking is my passion and I have always been interested in it. I remember using my Easy Bake oven when I was a young girl and making little cakes for my family. It was epic. I enjoy baking not only for the meditating quality of the action or the delicious outcome that can be shared, but for the creativity that I develop while decorating these desserts and for the joy they provide.

  Over the years I have been truly inspired by Anna Olson, a talented pastry chef that has her own show on the Food Network. She is the host of “Bake with Anna Olson”, a show that I watch with complete earnestness whenever I can. Not only is she evidently very skillful, but she also brings out one delicious-looking dessert after another every time. We also eat with our eyes, after all. Perhaps this is why my favorite part of baking is the decorating.

   Several years ago my parents got me her cookbook Back to Baking for my birthday. As I was excitedly flipping through it and looked in delight at the sophisticated and seemingly delectable desserts, one thought came to mind: I must try every single recipe of this wonderful cookbook. Such a thought inspired me to make a blog about my efforts to repeat the 200 recipes found in this cookbook. I started this blog in 2012 and have been slowly working on doing all the recipes as I am continuing my studies full time. This blog is solely for personal use and acts more as a record of my efforts and progress for myself, and to take notes of the numerous recipes that I will no doubt want to repeat.

A bit more about me...

  I am a scientist and currently doing my postdoctoral studies in microbiology and immunobiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. As a scientist, baking makes complete sense as it is essentially an experiment that requires following a detailed protocol that in the end should give the expected product. When I am not baking and bringing desserts at work to share, I enjoy walking around and discovering my new city, taking photographs, enjoying nature and reading.

13 replies to About Me
  1. What a fabulous idea….wishing you the best of luck. Anna is a great chef and I think a wonderful person that I also follow her recipes…just not in the depth or manner that you are.

  2. Hey Valarie,
    Anna Olson Fan here. I was wondering if it would be okay if you would help spread the word about a petition I created that I hope will reach far and wide. If it gets enough signatures, I want to send it to Food Network to show them that there is great interest in another season of Bake! 🙂 The URL is http://bit.ly/moreanna

  3. Hi! I can totally relate to you! I am a pediatrician from México and also a devoted fan of Anna Olson! The thing about her recipes is that anyone can reproduce them, and they will yield excellent results! I love desserts because they put smiles on peoples faces and you can aleáis share and bring every one together! Congratulations Val! Best of luck on your baking adventures!

    1. Hi María, Would you mind adding your name to the petition for the production of more episodes of Bake? The petition has been up for a couple of months now, and only has 9 signatures with a goal of 100, so any sharing would be appreciated, and of course, we could all benefit! The URL is http://bit.ly/moreanna

      Thanks Valarie for adding your name! ❤

    2. Hi Maria,
      Thank you so much for your kind comments! 🙂 That is exactly why I love Anna Olson so much! Not only is she an excellent baker, but her recipes are feasible and always delicious. Likewise!

  4. We miss you, hope everything is fine, good luck with your final exams! Love from México.

    1. That is so sweet of you Maria! I have indeed been quite absent from my blog lately as I am very busy with my PhD and comprehensive exams. 😦 However, I will post a recipe quite soon!

      Thank you very much for your kind message,

  5. Hi Valerie,
    My name is Sophia and I’m from Australia. I was searching for blueberry muffins and of course Anna Olson is always my first search so we have that in common. I also name across your website and was intrigued because this recipe does not appear anywhere on Anna’s websites . My first question is about your baking measurements, are they Canadian like Anna or is it US because in Australia, most of our recipe conversi0n are in grams. Secondly, is your baking powder single or double acting. In Australia double acting it is not common and hard to find (but I have found “Clabber girl” here) but i just need to ask which to use. The size of the eggs differ, what size eggs with shells are used? No baking soda ? interesting, I ask because I’m after fluffy soft muffins and I thought because you also have yoghurt, you only used baking powder, why is that? Lastly, Is the flour ratio correct, as I really want soft muffins and tops?
    I actually experimented last month with a muffin recipe whereby I used cake flour (and I know you have a DIY tip) on your website. but I also separated the egg whites and whipped them and folded them gently at the end and the result was great, unexpected really.
    Really hope to back from you Valerie and regards from down under

    1. Hi Sophia! hihi yes we have that in common! Canadian and US measurements are similar I believe. The measurements for Anna’s recipes are not in grams but in cups and teaspoons, etc.

      Regarding the baking powder that we use, I am not 100% sure but I do believe that ours is double-acting. I’m not sure if it would make a big difference to use single-acting baking powder for the muffins, but perhaps it’s worth a try!

      The eggs are large. Always large. 🙂 No baking soda since the baking powder is (probably) double-acting. I haven’t done these muffins in a long time but I do remember them being very fluffy! The yogourt helps with this. I’m not sure what the science behind this combination is, I just followed Anna’s recipe and it worked very well. Yes the flour ratio is correct.

      Thank you for writing to me. I hope my answers will help you make the tastiest fluffiest muffins. Please let me know how they turn out!


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