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Spruce up your stove

notmartha's mirrored stove

Raise your (virtual) hand if you often find yourself wishing your kitchen could look as elegant or as fun as the ones on TV. Who wouldn’t love a state-of-the-art kitchen outfitted with shiny stainless steel, or finished with flush wood panels that hide the appliances with the rest of the cabinets? And whether you like Rachael Ray or not, you have to admit that the ... Read More »

Weirdest kitchen gadgets

The best way to outfit your kitchen is to go for well-made, versatile utensils that will work well in a variety of situations. For instance, you might choose a pair of large kitchen tongs that can be used to turn over a roast, pluck artichokes from a pan of boiling water or to flip meat and veggies over on the grill. But human creativity is ... Read More »

Bittersweet Mexican Chocolate Torte

chocolate torte slice

Sometimes you just need something really chocolaty. Or if you don’t really need it, you might simply want it. This chocolate torte is a good choice for satisfying those chocolate cravings because it is easy to make, versatile and quite decadent. And, of course, it is very chocolaty. One of the signatures of mexican chocolate is that it frequently utilizes spices with a darker/more bitter chocolate, just as ... Read More »

The Essential Baker

the essential baker

While I like single-subject baking books – cupcakes, cookies, breads – for the amount of detail and the number of variations on a theme they inevitably offer, comprehensive/compilation cookbooks are often far more interesting. These cookbooks give you a chance to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, tempting you with a picture or a description of a dish you might not ... Read More »

S’more Cookie Bars

s'more bar cookies

It just wouldn’t be right to celebrate National S’mores Day without making a couple of s’mores – or at least using the concept of the s’more as a jumping off point for something equally delicious. This bar cookie is a variation on the classic s’more. Instead of sandwiching marshmallow and chocolate in between two graham crackers, or even between two cookies, the fillings are baked ... Read More »

National S’mores Day and the history of s’mores

peep s'more, small

August 10th (today!) is National S’mores Day. I’m still not entirely sure who comes up with these days, but I will say that this is one I am more than happy to celebrate. With crispy graham crackers, gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate, what is there not to love about a s’more? S’mores originated around the turn of the 20th century, right arond the time that commercial ... Read More »

Dark Chocolate Pretzel Bites

pretzel bites

As much as I love soft pretzels, their crunchy counterparts are difficult to resist – especially when they’re covered in chocolate. The contrast of the salt topping a pretzel and the sweet bitterness of chocolate (or just sweetness, if you’re indulging in a milk chocolate pretzel) is wonderful. It is also now widely utilized by all kinds of chocolatiers, pastry chefs and home bakers looking ... Read More »

Sandcastle Cakes for summer

mini castles

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the beach and built a sandcastle. I suspect that it has been years. But it’s not due to the fact that I don’t like sandcastles. In fact, sandcastles hold a lot of the same fantasy appeal for adults that they do for kids, which is probably what led to the design of this Sandcastle Cakelet ... Read More »

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