Hi, I’m Deana!
(It’s pronounced “Dean-uh,” as in my dad’s name is Dean.)
I’ve been baking my entire life.
My earliest memories all seem to center on my grandma’s kitchen. Watching her bake an apple pie. Her troubleshooting my very first buttercream icing that I thought was a fail. Dipping my finger into the magical meringue that didn’t taste at all the way I’d expected. The blackberry pie she baked for me when I was sick. She was a night owl, and when I stayed over, if I got up around midnight complaining I couldn’t sleep, she’d make me something sweet.
I was also lucky to have women in my life who could make chocolate candy. My Aunt Rosie would make buckeyes every year for Christmas and I’d gobble them with abandon. A close family friend, Linda, used to teach me to make truffles and other chocolates when she babysat me.
I started making chocolate chip cookies once a week when I was in high school. I’d make them on Sunday evenings as a way to relax before the stress of a new week. High school was also when I began making cheesecakes regularly.
As an adult, I became known for my Christmas cookies, which I’d spend the entire month of December baking. Each year there were three or four standard favorites and ten or twelve experiments.
When I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012, my health improved but my baking ground to a halt. My early attempts were dry and gritty and such a disappointment. Luckily gluten free flour has come a long way and I now have years of gluten free baking experience under my belt. Today I’m baking more than ever, and even though my mom is the only other person in my life with celiac disease, everyone I know devours my baked goods and asks when I’m going to make more.
Although I love to travel and get inspiration from a variety of sources, my baking is firmly rooted in the heritage of my German, Dutch and English ancestors who settled in Ohio and the West Virginia panhandle. I inherited my grandmother’s cookbook and that started my love affair with vintage recipes, which I update to reflect modern tastes.
I hope you enjoy my recipes as much as I enjoy baking them!