I stumbled upon baking in the same way I stumbled upon blogging: An opportunity (or need) presented itself and I took it.

My first blog, Chocolate Soundboard, started as a literal online journal in 2003. I needed a space to write down random thoughts—like one does on a diary—when I was away from my computer at home (i.e. in between writing articles at my work desk in Seventeen). It was quite the private space I’d intended it to be until I accidentally made it show up on Google…quite a happy accident, if I knew back then how important something like that was nowadays.

Baking, on the other hand, was something I did briefly in college. I was living with my cousins and their parents, and my aunt had the Mrs. Fields® Cookie Book. It was a treasure trove of sweet delights and each recipe was surprisingly easy to follow, and not to mention, naturally decadent. At some point, my cousin and I sold white chocolate chip cookies to classmates (for about a week).

Moving houses, even continents, I just completely stopped and moved on to other pursuits both in life and in the kitchen—until recently when I found myself wielding measuring cups and chocolate chips once again. I did make a few batches of brownies and muffins in New York, but for some reason, cookies trigger different memories and touch a special place in my heart.