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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Strawberry Pina Colada Cupcakes

February 13th, 2009
Strawberry Pina Colada Cupcakes

Strawberry Pina Colada Cupcakes

Dear Fellow Cupcake Lovers,

Sometimes it can be a good thing when a recipe fails. Last night I made the worst strawberry cupcakes from scratch. They were soggy, flat, rubbery, and the bottom of the cupcake liners had burned. The sight of them sitting on my counter was frustrating.  I immediately discarded them like they were a bad omen and they spent the rest of the night cooling in the trash.

Short on time and not really in the mood to research recipes and begin again, I decided to cheat. For the sake of convenience, Duncan Hines became my partner in crime.  After a full hour spent carefully measuring and weighing ingredients, recklessly ripping the top off that bright red box of Pineapple Supreme Cake Mix was a bit of a rush. I followed the directions on the box explicitly with the exception of adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla and replacing the 1 1/3 cups of water with 1/3 a cup of Coconut Rum and 1 cup of pineapple juice. It was easy, the process was painless and I mourned my fallen strawberry cupcakes by toasting them with a good shot of rum. Read more…

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Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

February 11th, 2009
Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars

In the month of February the days begin to get a little bit longer and it is a thrill to wake up to a sunny bedroom in the morning. It may still be blustery cold outside, but I can not help but dream of warmer days that will be spent in my garden, at the local farm markets, and at an assortment of pick your own farms.

I long for the days when I can leave the house early in the day with great big empty baskets and not return until they are full of the season’s treasures. As the sun sets, I will sit on my patio with a glass of wine and a good book while our dinner cooks on the grill. Late into the evening when the weather has cooled and a slight breeze billows through my windows, I will begin the process of canning the brilliant flavors of spring and summer.

On wintry grey days like today in Ohio, I will go down to the basement and pull out a jar of food that was preserved during my favorite time of year. I smile every time I hear that Ball Jar lid pop open and I am reminded to hold on just a little bit longer, that nothing lasts forever, and this season too will pass.

Today as I popped open a gorgeous, jar of my homemade Raspberry Jam the deep red color reminded me of sunnier times. It was an absolute pleasure to use it to make Homemade Raspberry Jam Bars. After mimimal effort, my home was filled with the exquisite fragrance of raspberries, butter, and sugar. Because they are blissfully decadent, but easy to make, these cookies and this recipe will always hold a special place in my heart. So, for Valentine’s Day I am choosing  to share a taste of my home and a cookie that we love with you. Try them with your favorite jam, preserves, or marmalade and I bet you will love them too.

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Vanilla Souffle

February 9th, 2009
Vanilla Souffle     Vanilla Souffle

Whenever I set a souffle on the dining room table, the room gets quiet, guests hold their breath, and for a brief moment there is complete silence. Secretly, this always amuses me, because there have been many things that I have completely annilated in the kitchen, but knock on wood, a souffle is not one of them. At least not yet…

Now yes, I will admit that once upon a time, anytime I saw a souffle recipe in a magazine or cookbook, I would quickly flip the page. I had absolutely no intention of making one in this lifetime and suffering through the humiliation of serving something that resembled a flat soggy pancake in a souffle dish. However, a few years ago, I discovered that souffles were very simple to make, using ingredients that I almost always have on hand. A basic souffle does not cost a fortune to make, require you to slave in the kitchen for hours, or disastrously explode without warning. Instead it can be the most inexpensive, yet most impressive desserts you have ever made.

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Snowflake Cookies

January 29th, 2009

 

Snowflake Cookies

Snowflake Cookies

I believe that cold snowy days are perfect for baking something decadent. The winter storm that hit Ohio encased us in ice and blanketed us with snow. The roads were a mess, so we were glad when most things were closed and we were granted a snow day. Indulging in the occasion, I pulled out my favorite sugar cookie recipes and made a batch of Snowflake Cookies. The entire morning went by in a blur of snowflakes both outside my window and inside my kitchen. The fragrance of butter, sugar, and vanilla that filled our home was decadent. We ate these pretty little cookies throughout the day and I am convinced that there is no better way to warm up your home during a blustery winter storm.

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