KT dreamt of long hours baking instead of long hours in a cubicle. Luckily, with help from her husband Sam’s business-savvy brain and her own uncanny sweet tooth, they established KT’s Kitchen in June 2008. She and Sam were met with open arms at local events where they began selling yummy sweets. Soon after, KT heard Ana Pascal in Stranger than Fiction say, “I figured if I was going to make the world a better place I would do it with cookies.” This phrase stuck with her and was ultimately the catalyst for a change she needed. She decided to take a huge risk. In June of 2009 she quit her job in social services to bake full time. One year later, they created Bombshell Bake Shop as a new identity to better achieve their future plans for world cookie domination! In the meantime, they are busy providing delicious treats to local cafés and health food stores. She only uses quality ingredients, such as organic flours and sugars. All sweets are vegan, which means they are free of egg, dairy, or any animal derived ingredient; including honey. Since they use no animal products or hydrogenated oils the sweets are always naturally cholesterol free!
What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Oh, this is easy…SUGAR! I love sugar in all forms- cane sugar, sucanat, muscovado brown sugar, turbinado, molasses, brown sugar and the list goes on! In my world there is nothing better than sugar. I know a lot of people think sugar is “bad” but I think anything in moderation is alright.
As far as baking/cooking there are a million things you can do with sugar. You can turn sugar into just about any consistency and make things edible you would not necessarily think are edible! When the purple violets started to bloom in the spring my mom and I would go pick a bunch to candy. We used to make them using egg whites but it is just as good to use water/sugar. They are super pretty as decoration but I used to like to just eat them!
What ingredient do you dread?
I don’t necessarily dread anything in particular just for being an ingredient, but there are some ingredients I dread cleaning up after using! When there is even the slightest bit of static while I carve up a big block of chocolate you better believe those little chocolate shaving go ALL over the place like the iron shards in a Wooly Willy magnetic face. I also despise washing bowls after making frosting. I try to pawn that job off on my husband Sam as much as possible!
What’s your favorite dish to make?
I love to make and decorate cupcakes. After a lot of decorating practice and ugly mishaps, I put a significant amount of time into making each one look and taste like a little piece of delicious art. I get bored easily, but there are so many possibilities and new ways to challenge myself with cupcakes.
As far as cooking is concerned I love this dish my Aunt Nancy taught me how to make when I was a teenager. We call it goddess tofu because it is made with Annie’s Goddess Dressing. This recipe has made many a tofu-haters change their tune.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut the tofu into thin slices and squeeze as much water out of each piece as possible with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. (The key to good tofu texture is squeezing all the water out.)
Dip each slice in tamari or lite soy sauce.
Dredge the slice through nutritional yeast.
Do that with every piece and place on a non-stick foil lined, baking sheet.
Smear about 1-2 Tablespoons of Annie’s Goddess Dressing or Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing (they are basically the same) onto each slice.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the slices start to look browned.
Flip over each slice and smear with more Goddess Dressing.
Bake for another 15 or so minutes or until the slices are browned and almost crispy.
Serve with basmati rice or I really like Trader Joe’s brown jasmine rice.
What’s your favorite pig out food?
Salty, crispy french fries and chocolate ice cream. Yes, I like them together. Don’t judge me. J
What restaurant, other than your own do you like to dine at in the Miami Valley?
This is a tough question, Sam and I love to eat out and we love to pretend we are food critics! We started an “eating out” budget when we were married almost 7 years ago and every month without fail we go over budget. Currently, we have been pretty obsessed with Siam Pad Thai on Wilmington- we have yet to be disappointed by anything there and we have ordered pretty much everything! Pasha at the Greene has some amazing hummus and I love Tank’s for a good “My Way” grilled cheese.
What’s your best advice for home bakers?
Play music while you bake. Crank it up, maybe even dance a little.
Preheat your oven then wait at least 10 minutes before putting anything in it.
Don’t be afraid to mess up, you will. You will also get over it.
Get an oven thermometer and pay attention to it.
Use fresh ingredients. Don’t ever bake with baking powder that belonged to your grandmother. My dad has a tin can of McCormick nutmeg from the 1970’s. Unless you are saving it for nostalgic reasons it is time to throw that bad boy away.
If you could invite any 4 guests to a dinner party who would they be and why?
I think most people would take this opportunity to choose guests who may dazzle a reader with their desire for stimulating, intellectual conversation. Or choose pertinent historical figures that changed the world as we know it. I, on the other hand, am not going to do this.
Tina Fey– she cracks me up.
Zooey Deschanel– Not only is she a vegan foodie but I have a major girl crush on her. I would ask her to serenade us after dinner.
Isa Moskowitz of the post punk kitchen- To have the chance to cook/bake for her would make my heart a flutter.
Burt Reynolds– there is no other reason than my love for Burt Reynolds is true and as deep as the ocean.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
I worked with youth in various social services settings for about 8 years before I quit my job to finish my master’s degree and bake full time. Awhile back I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to figure out a way to start a bakery where I could implement the “counselor” part of me. Low and behold Elin Ross from my hometown of Frederick, MD starts this non-profit bakery called Cakes for Cause www.cakesforcause.org. She has a ton of experience in social services and she is a pastry chef. I have been following her and her business closely. I think she is a pretty cool lady, baker, youth-advocate and business woman. I admire her on many levels. I would love to start something like this in Dayton, but only time will tell.
I also adore and admire Natalie Slater of Bake and Destroy. She describes her blog as a “food blog equivalent to a punch in the throat” and I concur. She encourages me to be more creative, take risks, challenge myself and bake on my own terms.
What do you do in the Dayton region on a day off?
On a nice day off, I love to play outside! There are so many awesome outdoor activities to get into in Dayton. I LOVE going to the metro parks. Sam and I try our best to find dog friendly activities so our dog, Lola, can join us. Sam plays volleyball at Setters and Kettering Rec. I just watch him play because I am awful at competitive sports. If I feel like being pampered I get my hair done at Cherry Lee’s and get a massage from Stephanie Suriano at Touch of Gratitude. When the weather outside is frightful we go out to eat!
Share a kitchen disaster, lucky break or other interesting story:
I am a klutz to say the least. I drop and spill things constantly. I have dropped an entire bowl of frosting on the floor, knocked over a table full of cookies, spilled a bag of powdered sugar and most recently I broke a fluorescent light bulb over a bowl of cookie dough. Don’t worry I did not try to salvage any of these major blunders!
An interesting story: In June 2008 we did our first event at the Yellow Springs Street Fair. We had no clue what we were doing. It was a well orchestrated disaster to say the least. Our main goal was to use this venue to see what people thought about our treats. Friends and family told me my baked goods were great but I needed strangers to give me an idea of whether I should pursue this further. We were there for 2 hours before anyone bought anything. I decided to put out a few samples of energy bars. A lady grabbed one and said “it needs more sugar.” For a moment I was heartbroken. Then I realized she thought it was a cookie and in that case, of course it needed to be sweeter! The main lesson I learned from that was everyone has different tastes when it comes to baked goods and food in general. I cannot please everybody. There will be plenty of people who try our treats and won’t like them. That is ok with me. It is not because they are crap. It is because everybody has their own idea of what is good. I will admit some of the stuff we made for that first street fair was awful. I have grown as a baker since then and I never want to stop growing. The day you stop challenging yourself, trying new things, and taking risks in the kitchen is the day you should just stop.
Bonus Question: Tell us about Bombshell’s commitment to the community:
Every month we donate 10% of our sales to a cause we support. When we decided to do this, we made a list of local causes and this month its AIDS Resource Center Ohio. For almost 6 years I did groups on STD/STI and HIV/AIDS prevention. The first couple years I had people from ARC as guest speakers. The youth and I always enjoyed their presentations. I believe ARC does amazing work in the community. This is just a small way of saying thank you.
Where to find Bombshell Baked Goods:
Where to Buy Locally
8258 North Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45415
2235 N Fairfield Rd
Dayton, OH 45431
The Ohio Coffee Company
46 W. Fifth Street at Ludlow
Dayton, OH 45406
The Sidebar (formerly Pacchia)
410 E. 5th Street
Dayton, OH 45402