We’re Two Chicks from the Sticks and on a mission to get families back together in the kitchen to create delicious desserts and lasting memories!
We started a baking blog in 2010 and published our first book, Two Chicks from the Sticks – Back Home Baking, this year. The book pays homage to our baking heritage and features many of our favorite recipes, useful tips, and fun “Chicks’ Rules”. In addition to our book, we have two fabulous baking themed t-shirts available for sale at our online store. “Bake it, don’t fake it” in light blue and “That’s how we roll.” in chocolate brown share our philosophy with the world. Both the book and the shirts make great gifts for your favorite baker or soon-to-be baker.
Take the journey with us back into the kitchen and reconnect with your family while disconnecting from your cell phone. Whether you’re new to baking or a seasoned pro, you’ll find our style of baking fun and refreshing. After several years in the baking and appliance industry, we’ve seen it all, including a few oven fires. Join us in the kitchen as we bake everyone’s favorite dessert from the past and bring your family together to create unforgettable memories.
♥ Jill and Jamie
Jamie majored in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, a degree that led her to—can you say French Silk Pie? Baker’s Square Restaurants. Soon, she turned her attention to a new position with a Lettuce Entertain You concept called Corner Bakery Café. That position took her to Atlanta, where she resides with her husband Andrew. When Jamie had the opportunity to work for the world-famous sourdough bakery, Boudin Bakery she started commuting between Atlanta and San Francisco. She took the reins as Director of Operations for Boudin’s new on-site bakery concept, Boudin SF as well as Director of Catering Operations. Once Jamie grew weary of cross-country commuting, she returned to Atlanta, where her daughter Finley was born.
Jill chose a degree in Food Science that paved her way to Chicago, where, as a food scientist for Keebler, she helped develop the first potato chips that were baked instead of fried. Soon after her stint in Chicago, she landed at Iowa-based appliance manufacturer Maytag, where her responsibilities included developing and testing new kitchen appliances, including new technology ovens, writing proprietary cookbooks, publishing consumer information and conducting sales training sessions. During this time, Jill became the Queen of Ovens. She baked enormous quantities of pies, cakes, cookies and breads every day, not only comparing and documenting how her company’s ovens performed in comparison to competitors’ ovens, but also applying her baking expertise to the development of new ovens—ones that baked as well as she did. While at Maytag, she and her husband Kent started a family and brought their sons Jacob and Ben into the world. Currently, Jill manages an international kitchen appliance account for a Des Moines advertising agency.
A little more about us:
We grew up in a rural southern Iowa community where family, friends and farm meant everything. Our families’ farms were a stone’s throw apart. Throughout those early years we did absolutely everything together – our daily chores, attended grade school and high school, and baked in each other’s kitchens. We even had the same first jobs in high school, as waitresses and cooks at the local truck stop called The Fee Bunk.
While most kids would dread doing their chores, we actually enjoyed ours, at least most of them. Once we got past feeding the animals and cleaning the pig pens, we got to do what gave us the greatest pleasure – baking and gardening. We loved our summer chores – planting the garden, weeding, picking fresh fruit and preparing the evening’s dessert. The garden work was very rewarding — sowing seeds, the shaky garden tiller through the garden rows connected us deeply with the sun, soil and the good things they provide. But what we enjoyed most was working side by side with our parents, and learning first hand that labor brings reward.
With our parents as teachers, we became part of an unbroken legacy of farm tradition, learning from our parents what they learned from their own parents—how to grow, harvest and prepare food for our own tables. And that food for the table was delicious. The tiny seeds we sowed, the garden rows we hoed and the thirsty plants we watered gave us— among other delights— zucchini bread, strawberry shortcake, and rhubarb pie. One of our greatest blessings was having mothers who were wonderful bakers. These hard-working women truly enjoyed baking, and each of them baked breads, cakes and cookies nearly every day. Often, when our older brothers and sisters were outside working on the farm, the two of us hunkered down in the kitchen, learning the ABC’s of scratch baking from our mothers.
The highlight each summer was the chance to show off our baking skills at the county fair fair. We both stirred an enormous amount of effort into our baking entries, because if these sweet treats were good enough they may make it all the way to the big time – the Iowa State Fair. One year apart, but still very together—we headed up the road to attend Iowa State University. Because of our farm-to-table background and passion for baking we both chose food-related fields of study.