Hi. My name is Leah and I own The Olive Branch bakery and café in downtown Waco, TX. The Olive Branch is a quiet little place that specializes in fresh food, home-baked desserts and specialty coffees. Most importantly for me, it is an outlet for my culinary creativity. While we have a set menu everyday, there is nothing I like more than a couple of free hours in my commercial kitchen to “just play,” experimenting for my staff and friends. It often ends up being a mini version of “Chopped,” the show on Food Network, since I tend to have a pantry limited to the ingredients in our everyday menu. The running joke is that I am finding 101 uses for balsamic vinegar, which might be the most exotic ingredient in my humble, café-style kitchen.
This blog is going to be a journey of my experiments and an outlet for sharing the tips and tools I have learned along the way. I am not a trained chef. This means I have learned many things the hard way – doing them over and over and over again! If I can save any of you just one trial in your own culinary and entertaining experiments, I will consider this a success! Please feel free to ask questions or to make comments. I believe that food should be an experience; one made better when shared with friends. Entertaining should be easy and effortless, along with impressive. The culinary experience should be one to enjoy, to share, and, of course, to taste!
Check back soon for:
- The new Olive Branch dinner menu (that starts Monday!)
- Super easy summer salad
- A recap of the last six years – Happy Birthday Olive Branch!
- Leftovers – How to recreate with a little pizazz and the age old question of “Is this safe?”