Cooking My Stress Away

Strawberry cream cheese shortcake recipe inside!

Time. Sometimes minutes feel like seconds. Sometimes a minute feels like a minute. Then there’s those times that every second feels like an entire minute…

A few weeks ago, I was in Washington, D.C. for the Brooke Owens Fellowship Summit. Time sure flew by for that week. Upon returning back to Mojave, time started to slow to a crawl. It’s partially my fault, I listen to my classic country playlist on repeat throughout the day. I spend my days day dreaming about what comes next for my future. It’s hard to focus at a job where everyone is frantically trying to accomplish 101 tasks, and I have been given one where I ram my head into a wall constantly, and I’m too scared to ask questions. It sounds silly to be scared to ask questions. When I was doing structure analysis work, I asked a million questions. I knew I’d get a good answer, and I knew they’d be happy to answer. Not every situation is like that though. Sometimes it’s not always a safe zone to ask questions. This means about 75% of my day is pondering how to ask a specific question and when to ask that specific question to a specific person, in the perfect manner, just so I can minimize the demeaning manner I know I’ll be receiving. 6 out of my 9 hour work days is spent just formulating courage…

Imagine if flowers did this in the spring time… They’d never get around to blooming, let alone even breaking the soil.

At first I would dwell until tears welled up in my eyes. Now after being a bit inured from the situation, I just sit and observe what everyone else is doing. I try to imagine myself as the technician working with composites, or the engineer across from me working on a power system issue, or the cleaning lady taking my trash away for me. I then feel a bit envious of everyone else. Everyone else has a job to do. They have something that makes them important… needed.

I did this exercise the other day from a book I am reading. It’s to help you understand what you need. It’s like finding the thesis for your life’s work. Let’s walk though it.

Think of a time when you were truly happy…

O.K. easy when I took on cooking Thanksgiving dinner at the young age of 16.

What was it about that time that made you happy? We’re looking for a vocation word…

I had been given a task that is daunting for an experienced cook to take on, and I was going to put my best foot forward. I had to be BRAVE to take on this challenge. I want to be brave.

What are some professions that require you to do this?

Firefighter, police officer, president of the United States, being a mom and wife… an astronaut…

Now analyze it.

Any of these I think I would love to do. Right now though, I am needed to be brave at work, and I go into work every day frightened, and I let fear win. What gives? I need to be needed… If I am needed, it gives me the strength to be brave, and that’s when I really conquer.

So I need a career or job that requires me to be needed and brave. This all makes sense now.

I thought for sure my first project at Scaled Composites would go horrible. I knew very little about structures. The engineers were speaking a foreign language when they were telling me how to do it. At first I was scared, but then I saw how important the project was, and how important my job was in the success of meeting the deadline. All of a sudden I was more than willing to work 11 hour days to keep learning, working, and making progress. It doesn’t matter what I am doing so much as it does that I am needed.

Jake, my other half, is coming to visit me this weekend. I think he needs me to bake him something yummy… 😉 I have strawberries, Bisquick, and cream cheese on hand. Let’s get creative and let some stress factors go!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Short Cake 


  • 2 cups of chopped strawberries (frozen that has been thawed, or fresh with ¼ c. water)
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. powder stevia
  • 1 HEAPING T. flour
  • butter (1 stick is plenty)
  • 1 block of cream cheese (any kind)
  • 1 T. powder stevia
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 small can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 c. regular milk (any kind is fine, almond, dairy, etc.)
  • bisquick


Instructions : preheat over to 410

  1. In a 5×7 deep pan, mix together the first 4 ingredients (berries, sugars, flour)
  2. dot the top of this with butter, and set aside
  3. In a medium sized bowl nuke cream cheese for 45 second, just until softened slightly.
  4. Mix one egg and 1 T. powdered stevia in WITH the cream cheese.
  5. In another large bowl, prepare the biquick recipe for shortcake as instructed on the box. *** I subbed the required milk with 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup almond milk. Set this aside.
  6. drizzle half of cream cheese mixture over strawberries in baking dish.
  7. put most of or all of the shortcake batter over the top of that.
  8. drizzle and swirl in the rest of the cheese cake mixture on top.
  9. put in the over, and immediately turn temp bake to 375. Bake for 45-50 min. If doing this in a larger, but more shallow pan, reduce cook time by 30-50%

***I mixed a cup of whipping cream with the rest of my sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can) with a blender and served it for people to drizzle over top of their dessert. Delish!!!

This is step 1 with mixing the berries together into your deep baking dish.

strawberry cream cheese shortcake3










This is step 8 where you drizzle the last bit of cream cheese and swirl into shortcake.

strawberry cream cheese shortcake2











This is how it should look coming out of oven.strawberry cream cheese shortcake1




Who can be stressed when you have something as delicious as a strawberry cream cheese shortcake to eat!? I highly recommend drizzling sweetened condensed milk mixed with whipping cream over it. It is absolutely delicious. Serve warm! Cold is just as good too though.


strawberry cream cheese shortcake



ENJOY and let me know how you liked this recipe. It fared excellent with Jake too by the way. We are fat and happy now 🙂



Author: Courtney Simpson

I am a Purdue University Mechatronics Major, currently in my Senior year. HOORAY! I am also proudly a Brooke Owens Fellow. I am a woman in aerospace and I have a family of 80 women just as passionate as I am about all things in the sky. I have worked closely with other Engineering students on some really amazing projects, and have big ideas I hope to implement some day in the tech world! If I'm not at school being an engineer, I am either at the gym lifting heavy objects, or I'm in my art room or kitchen letting my creativity run loose. My passions are not so technical. They're deep and sporadic in nature. Welcome to not so technical blog where we put science into life, and emotion into living!

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