Author Image

Ofelia Gomez

My name is Ofelia and I’m 23 years old. I’m in my senior year of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. I was born and raised on the border of Mexico, and most of my family and friends are from over there as well. I came to the US for college and I’ve been here ever since. I spend most of my time at school, working on my senior design project, or doing my never ending homework. But when I have free time, I like to spend time with my siblings or my friends or watching movies/shows. Lately, I’ve been trying to get back to reading but it has been hard as I spend too much time on tiktok or insta. I just quit tik tok and I’m trying to slowly get rid of insta, but it feels impossible being in such a connected community and because I know most of my friends have it and I don’t want to feel left out. I also like spending time outside when I can, I like to go to the park near my house that has a lake and just watch the sunset with my parents when they visit or my siblings, when they want to come with me. A big part of my life has recently become being the president of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), as I’ve made some good friends there, but also because it has made me get involved in different events at my school and I feel more tuned in with my goals and my community. It has also made me find sort of a purpose for why I chose engineering and why I think I can make a difference, even if it’s a very small one. I’m in engineering, so I like challenge, and solving problems (or running away from them), but having such a troubled schedule with my senior design project, doing research, working at the learning center, attending events/meetings for SWE, applying for jobs, or finding time to meet with my friends and family, has made it hard to find something that clears my mind a little. So recently, I reconnected with one of my childhood hobbies (baking), and it has been a very pleasing activity. To find time to do something that I love, even if having a thousand things to do or think about, has been a form of self-care that I didn’t think about before. Mostly because I tend to obsess or overthink about my classes or projects or any current events happening in my life, and I become anxious about the future and forget to enjoy my present a little. Baking has been a grounding and unwindinding activity, and being someone that doesn’t just “chill” or “go with the flow”, it has been extremely helpful. It’s interesting to think that we can have just eggs and flour, and make something as beautiful as a cake, or bread, or a cookie. I think that just like cookie dough, we all go through a process of change in our lives, we just have to find the right way of mixing our ingredients, the right environment, and make a great cookie out of our lives.

About this blog

Chipz Bakery Logo

Cooking, especially baking, has been one of my favorite hobbies since I have a memory. In a Mexican household, my mom and grandmas tried to teach me how to cook from an early age. Even though I was never forced to, I really enjoyed cooking for myself or my family. My grandma from my dad’s side induced me to baking, especially cookies. This was a special time for me and her as we communicated throughout the year via phone calls mostly. I was born in Chihuahua but moved to Tamaulipas with my parents and siblings a few years after I was born, so we only saw my family on holidays. During these phone calls, she gave me different recipes that she’s tried and perfected along the years. I sat and listened carefully as I scrabbled on my little recipe notebook with the specific steps on how to make cheesecake, polvorones de naranja, cupcakes, or really any other recipe that she craved that I tried that week. When we met in person, usually on Christmas Eve, we rushed to the kitchen as soon as my family and I arrived at her house and made any type of dessert she had in mind for this special night. And I loved these moments.

Over the years, I became busier with school and my free time was more limited. I didn’t have time to make complex recipes anymore. I still made desserts here and there, but it wasn’t with the same attention and detail anymore. When I started college, the pandemic hit and I had a lot of free time again. I spent my time in my hometown with all my family, and started baking again. I researched for hours on tik tok on how to make different recipes, and I found my favorite dessert in the world: Cookies. I posted a lot on insta back then (I still do sometimes), and my friends started asking me about these delicious cookies that I shared all the time and when they could try them. So, I started selling them and named my little business “Chipz Bakery” on insta. My friends told their friends and their friends told their friends, and suddenly I was making 15-20 orders per week. Although I liked having a little extra money (I didn’t have my college job back then), I did it more because I loved it, and I loved hearing people say that they were the best cookies they tried. I also enjoyed attending these little pop-up events we had in my hometown back when people were starting to get little by little back to normal from the pandemic, and meeting other small businesses that were just emerging like mine.

As I advanced in my major, my classes became more time consuming and tiring and I wasn’t able to continue selling cookies anymore. I just made them for my friends (and special friends), or my family. But recently, I decided to sell them again. I’m not able to do it full-time, not even part-time as I did before, but it has been something very rewarding for me. When I started English 2 this semester (yes, I left that class for the very end because I completely forgot to take it tbh), they asked us a set of questions to find out what our blog topic for our semester project should be. “What is one hobby or activity you used to love doing, but for some reason gave it up?”, “ What is one topic that if you no longer do/learn about you would no longer be your true self?”. I instantly thought about Chipz. And that is the reason for this blog.

As a mechanical engineering student, I can get very stressed and overwhelmed sometimes, especially in my last semesters. Also, having all my days look like numbers, equations and lots of assignments (although I love my major), can be monotonous. I find myself looking at people on social media that express their thoughts and feelings via poems, water-coloring, dancing, or just any other type of self-expression. My artistic side does not come as easy (I went to engineering for a reason, right?), but baking has been an escape, a way to de-stress. And even though I’m definitely NOT a professional baker, and sometimes (very often) I mess up a recipe (the butter is too hot or I completely forget if I already put in a cup or a cup and a half in the dough), I find it very fun. And all of us engineers like systematic activities, or experimenting with changing the variables in a system and analyzing the output of a test, so baking has been something very aligned to my normal activities.

The purpose of this blog is to share my sort of perfected recipes with students like me that are wanting to have a little escape from school work, especially if you’re in engineering. I can’t promise that this will be a peaceful or relaxing experience, as (if you’re a little obsessive like me) you’ll find yourself looking for reasons why your cookies aren’t looking like the picture, or getting annoyed by the mess you make, or the dishes you’ll need to wash after making the recipes (not a lot but I just hate washing them). But I can promise you’ll like the outcome. In the end, they’re just cookies and they don’t need to look like a masterpiece if they disappear in two minutes after being ready (especially if you live with your four siblings). So, challenge yourself, make one of my recipes and share them with your stressed engineering major buddies, or your crush (and maybe get them to try a recipe with you in the future?).

Disclaimer: These recipes have gluten, sugar, and all those unhealthy (but delicious) things, so eat them with measure :)