Hi, and thank you for "Baking With Zoha" (aka me!).
I am a 28-year old passionate home-baker living in California. Food is my love language, especially if it is sweet. 😉 I love creating new recipes and sharing the joy of baking with people around the world, and am so happy you're here.
My love for baking
I was introduced to baking as a child and have always had a sweet tooth. I used to bake so much cake that my grandfather lovingly dubbed me the "egg-waster" and my classmates knew my brownies better than they knew me. More than I loved the process of baking, though, I loved the ability to express love through it.
As I grew older, baking took a backseat to other life priorities. Thanks to a pandemic-induced existential crisis, though, I rediscovered my love for it in 2022, when I started baking my own recipes and letting my creativity take over in the kitchen. I made my Instagram and TikTok accounts, @bakewithzoha, to share my recipes and joy of baking with others. I never expected it to turn into what it is today. Not only has the response been incredible, it has brought tremendous passion and reward to me personally. It has allowed me to tap into my creative side, connect with thousands of wonderful people across the world, and finally feel like I have found my calling in life (Alhamdulillah).
I am so grateful for this space and have exciting plans for future! I hope you find some baking inspiration here and stick around for the ride. 🙂
A little more about me
I grew up in a small city in Pakistan called Wah Cantt. My parents instilled in me the importance of education from a young age so I became the studious, nerdy middle child who never wanted to score less than 100% in any test (only book-smart, though, not street-smart 😛 ).
I always had a burning desire to travel and see the world - and when it came time for college, I headed to Vanderbilt University in the US (shout out to my parents for never holding me back from my dreams just because I was a girl). I studied too much in college, but also made time for travel and had the fortune of traveling in Europe during a semester abroad in Spain. I received my Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering in 2017, and subsequently joined McKinsey & Company as a management consultant.
I met my husband, Shahzeb, in tenth grade (I know, wild). After a long and difficult journey (remind me to tell you guys some day how I had to claw my way out of the friend zone), we got married in 2019. Since then, we have built a cozy and comfortable life in California, and have the cutest Scottish Fold cat named Thor. He's the light of our lives (Masha'Allah). We have always wanted to travel and finally had the opportunity to do so in 2022, when we took 3 months off work to visit Pakistan and 20+ cities in Europe. It was an amazing experience and we can't wait to travel again.
Some fun facts
- When I was in third grade, I wrote my mom a letter crying about my horrible score in a science test because I couldn't bear to face her after disappointing her so badly. My score? 27/30. My mom loves to tell this story
- My husband and I have been together since high school and survived 4 years of long distance (Pakistan-America long) (say Masha'Allah)
- I received a world distinction (i.e., the highest marks in the world) in O'Levels Biology and graduated summa cum laude from college (#nerdalert)
- I'm a die hard Potterhead. I reread the books in 2022 and it was the best time ever
- I can't swim and am deathly afraid of large water bodies. I mean, how and why do people choose to enter the ocean?
- I have the worst hand-eye coordination of anyone I know. If I've ever caught something, it has been pure luck
- I also have the worst singing voice of anyone I know. I am so tone deaf my husband literally begs me not to sing if I ever try
- I don't really listen to music. I used to when I was in college, but started to appreciate quiet time more after graduating. Now, I mostly listen to podcasts!
- I don't love ice cream. Shocking, I know, as someone with a sweet tooth as big as mine! It's just something I've never really had a craving for
- I'm a massive procrastinator and thrive under last-minute-crunch pressure. No one is as productive as Zoha trying to meet a deadline
P.S. Here are some of my favorite pics from our Europe trip! 🙂