One of the best things about our new house is my studio. I don’t have an orange room anymore, but our house has a full 1-bedroom mother-in-law apartment in the basement, and I’ve taken it over as my office and studio. It’s mostly set up now, but I’m still getting used to it and tweaking things.  And I am so lucky to have this space–it has its own laundry room that I use for work and for my quilts, its own bathroom, but best of all it has its own kitchen. I’ve turned my studio kitchen into Baking Central, and also the home of all messy projects that the kiddo might want to do.

I’ve gone from bright orange to deep navy in my space, which makes this room pretty dark most of the time, but also a great gallery canvas for art and quilts we make and hang. My plan is to eventually cover the walls in art. But for now, it’s a dark blue space, and those kitchen cabinets are full of baking supplies and cake decorating stuff. I made all the Christmas cookies in here last month, and I made whoopie pies for H’s Christmas Day dessert.

Whoopie pies, we’ve learned, just aren’t really a thing in Washington. And they’re H’s favorite treat, and something she’s been missing from NJ (Whole Foods made really good ones back east, but all the baked goods at Whole Foods here in WA are too…healthy). So, I’ve started making them. The Christmas batch was such a hit that she wanted to help me make some more this past weekend. Sunday night while my beef roast cooked we made them for dessert.

I used two recipes for them. Most whoopie pie recipes use marshmallow fluff or full-on buttercream for the filling, but I didn’t have any fluff, and I honestly didn’t want to make buttercream with this one until we’d had some more practice in my studio. I still find that I need equipment and ingredients as I go…I’ve gotten second sets of measuring cups and spoons, I’ve moved all the big containers of flour and sugar down here, and I’ve got a healthy stash of baking chocolate, but I still run into things that I don’t have. I wanted easy recipes for these, so I used the NY Times Cooking recipe for the cakes and the simple vanilla frosting from Little Sweet Baker’s whoopie pie recipe, and these were just about perfect. I usually post the recipes themselves here because too many blog recipes I’ve tried over the years have vanished as the blogs disappear, and I like to keep everything in one place for myself. But, the last couple of years I’ve been sharing recipes less and less, and I’d rather just point you to other great resources to read and check out.

H had a great time making these.

She also had a great time licking the frosting off the spoon.

More and more we’re settling into our life out here in the woods, and it’s been pretty great. I’ll take some more pictures of my studio space when it isn’t night time, which helps nothing in my cave (seriously the navy was a risk for lighting, but I love it so).

And here’s one more for good measure, she’s getting so grown up.