Crust and Crumb

It sounds weird to me to recommend you read an entire cook book (who does that?) but that is actually what I’m saying. Not just any cook book though, this cook book: Crust and Crumb: Master formulas for serious bread bakers

I read this book while work-awaying at an EcoResort in Malaysia, we were between guests and as such the owner/manager and most of the rest of the staff had left us on the island to enjoy the forest and paddle board to our hearts content. I had burned through all the Dan Brown I’d brought, and cleaned the entire Club House top to bottom. The boss had left it for me because when I had said I could cook, the assumption was made that I could Bake. From scratch. Needless to say, this was not the case. Did I mention no internet? 

That’s where this book comes in. Sure, I could have use it like a regular cook book but the author clearly addresses in the beginning, all of the recipes provided are FORMULAS to teach you how the bread works. The chemistry is lightly touched on, but not boring. The history of each is touched on, and recipe variations are recommended based on what you’ve learned and what is common. 

Basically, this is not another cook book, it’s a lesson in bread, and who doesn’t love bread?

5 stars, or in this case, 5 rolls, delicious delicious rolls. 


Other fun tid-bids about the story above, the pictures (not the book cover) are things I made in Malaysia, Challah bread, and what I called "Baby-Jesus Rolls". The oven was gas and had no temperature gauge. Basically, here's praying that these christmas rolls turn out (the fruit pieces inside are meant to be "swaddled" in the dough...) you can fill in the rest of the rolls' history when you read the book!



Why you should never hire me for food service.

Dear Future Employer,

Please don't let my love of food fool you. I can make some incredible meals, and I do enjoy cooking for people whose day I would like to brighten. Every meal I make is like an art piece with a little bit of me in it (not literally of course, that would contradict my overly clean nature). 
I am however, still an introvert. I have zero desire to share my little pieces of art with everyone waving money at the counter. I put too much work into everything I do and honestly, I just don't like the average person that much. 

Don't get me wrong, I make it a point to try and see the best in every person and truly appreciate their stories and the value that their experiences bring. But Every person? If you ask me to do that at work every day, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week I will be drained within 3 months. 

"Drained? Oh no, another entitled millennial", you say. But you would be wrong. What does it mean for Me to be drained? It means I will still be there on time every day, you will still see a consistently quality product, and you will still probably be giving me raises for exceptional performance. But I'll go home everyday trying to forget about work to the extreme. I wont be strategizing new methods of improving our processes, I wont be dreaming up new ideas for the menu, or the coffee bar, or even the signage. I'll be done at the end of every day, and miserable for it. So please, hire me for a position that is constantly providing new challenges, new opportunities, and only a moderate amount of redundancy. You will quickly find that I am more enthusiastic, more adept at problem solving, and better with following through on long term projects than most of the people you've ever met. 

Allow me to express my creativity and there is no limit to the time and energy I will expend developing insightful solutions to your business problems. 



Why you should Never hire me for customer service.


Dear Future Employer, 

    Please don’t let my composed and bubbly exterior fool you, I am an extremely perceptive individual who can gussy up to make a good impression whenever I need to. I am however, an introvert. 

    I have no trouble talking to anyone, making friends with anyone for that matter, even charming large groups when I have to, but under no circumstances do I want to talk with every person that comes through the front door. 

    I have a constant narrative running through my head, analyzing my surroundings, weighing various factors, and braiding endless daisy chains of conclusions about people, their behavior, and particularly their buying habits. 

    Advertising is my passion, art is my love, and making things is my nature. While I am constantly devising logical and unbiased solutions to problems of every sort, I am absent minded. That is to say, I am incapable of caring about things that do not pertain to the task at hand. Focused to a fault, you might say. And while I am extremely thorough, it is new and exciting challenges that keep me motivated. The consistency and predictability of serving customers drains me more quickly than a 5k, or a 150 mile hike for that matter. 

    I am infatuated with patterns and spotting discrepancies, I thrive in environments the encourage me to find new connections and relate the unrelated. Coworkers who don’t mind being a sounding board are immeasurably valuable as well. The excitement of an engaging discussion will often overwhelm my learned ability to articulate step by step thought processes, but conclusions are always based on logic and facts.

    Finally, no one you can hire will be more enthusiastic about problem solving, more capable of spotting problems, or drilling through the endless factors required to developed viable solutions. When expressing creativity, there is no limit to the time and energy I will expend developing insightful and unbiased resolutions. However, if you have shelves for me to fill, or a list of five things you want done everyday, I will probably lose steam more quickly than either of us would prefer. 

    Thank you for your time, and please, don’t hire me for customer service. 


Tracy Kasiah Sword



Finding the right words

I've been working on my background and bio, below is the latest draft. What do you think? Too wordy? Too pretentious? Too many 'p's? 


    I am an intensely curious person who needs to make things. There’s nothing I enjoy more than coming home after a long day a the office and being mentally exhausted from having worked my mind to it's full capacity. Solving puzzles is something I have always done for fun, similarly, people watching is one of my favorite hobbies as every person is a puzzle to be solved. This Inherent understanding of people and their behavior is what lead me to advertising.
I can play well on almost any team, but I thrive when communication and new ideas are not only encouraged, but cornerstones. My propensity for practical problem solving has often landed me in positions of leadership, particularly within institutions that value the mind. 
 If I’m not abroad, hiking the back woods with my dog, or whitewater rafting, you can usually find me exploring the many culinary charms of the Twin Cities. I love to share stories almost as much as I love sharing a meal, and boy, has my experience given me some stories to tell. 



Why it's great to have problem solving friends.

One of my best friends was recently married here in Minnesota and happened to mention before hand that as the Groom's family hails from all over, she felt bad that they might not All make it to the wedding- causing attendance to appear a bit lopsided. My problem solving brain went to work, and my wandering feet helped find a canvas, or in this case, mirror. 




Experiences? Like what?

Remember that time a monkey broke into the kitchen?  

How about when the high ropes course collapsed from underneath us? 

Meeting a real life bobcat?

No? How about listening to The Killers at 17,000 feet? 

Everyone has their own stories, here are a few snapshots of mine...



What I've been up to

Since my last update I have moved, had a long time friend come to visit, and- in true hobbit fashion- enjoyed many tasty treats. While the next few posts will probably be catching up all the documentation of projects I've completed recently, here are a few teasers to get your mouth watering. 



Throw back Thursday- My first ever How-To

How to make an Omelette.

This original post can be seen in my first ever food blog Ez Food. (<-link)


Whisk together cream cheese, butter, and eggs.

In a separate pan cook protein and veggies on high heat. 

Pour eggs onto low heat pan. No stirring! sprinkle cheese when almost finished.

Add remaining veggies and cook off any excess water in high heat pan. 

Combine over eggs.

Loosen edges.


Plan your attack.

Use spatula to close omelette. 

Place upside-down plate in pan, flip onto plate to avoid breakage or loss of contents. 

Garnish. If it doesn't look good, it doesn't taste good.



My life as a Hobbit.

Why Hobbit Food? 

Well, aside from the furry feet and leathery soles, I fancy myself to have always shown unparalleled skill, courage, and endurance in times of resistance, danger and terror. (CITATION)

I also love food. 



Lucky Button Earrings


    As someone who has always been a lover of sculpture and making art with found objects, the idea of recycling old buttons to create a something beautiful was intriguing. 

    While this idea occurred to me a few years ago, having found an adorable set of vintage buttons while thrift shopping in Virginia, it wasn’t until a conversation with the head of a local Minneapolis Art Cooperative that the idea of selling earrings really came to fruition.
    I’d worn a pair of my black “Lucky Button Earrings” to the meeting to discuss possibly selling of some of my paintings or prints. As had happened many times- in job interviews or grocery store check out lines- my button earrings had caught some attention, warranting a comment along the lines of

“Now those would sell!” 



    So, like a student setting home from class with my assignment, I began brainstorming all the ways that button earrings could go beyond the basic studs I had previously concocted. A trip to one of the many local antique malls yielded exactly the kind of vintage buttons I needed. Some clasps and a few jump rings and I was off to a good start. 

    Several messes and many tired fingers later, my button earrings have been given the go ahead, packaging specifics, and the next step is labels! While the dangly earrings are really the selling pieces, the studs will also be for sale as the simpler alternatives. 


We are proud to announce that Tracy's Lucky Button Earrings will be for sale at The Art Shoppe in Midtown Global Market this spring!

In the meantime, please check them out on Etsy!



DIY Pirate Treasure Map

**Not responsible for loss or damages caused while follow these instructions. Please be aware that other pirates may be searching for this treasure also. 

Happy mapping!