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Homemade vanilla extract

TL's homemade vanilla

Vanilla extract is an absolute staple for a baker. It is one of the few flavorings that works in just about everything (everything sweet, anyway) and, while cookies and cakes can be made without it, it really helps to round out the overall flavor of a baked good even when it is not the dominant flavor. As such, I put vanilla in lots of stuff. ... Read More »

Pumpkin pans for fall

pumpkincheesecakepan

I have a soft spot for themed foods and, as much as I love to eat pumpkin and pumpkin-related desserts, I am also a huge fan of some of the neat pumpkin-shaped pans out there that have been released for the fall holiday season. The pumpkin cheesecake pan(pictured) has straight-sided cavities to mold perfectly shaped mini pumpkins. The pan has a removable bottom, which makes it ... Read More »

PB & J Muffins

PB & J Muffin

I love it when a recipe is versatile and can be easily altered for a whole new flavor combination. It gives you a lot more baking options when you don’t constantly have to grope around for a new recipe, but can just make a change or two to a tried-and-true favorite and come out with something completely different. The easiest and most straighforward way to ... Read More »

The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts

The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts

When I think of diabetic desserts, not very many things come to mind. Most homemade treats are either not an option or can only be eaten on a restricted basis. Most storebought desserts are poor substitutes for the “real” thing. But when I first came across The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts, I was impressed and as I read through it, I liked the book ... Read More »

Apple Crisp

nic's apple crisp

I always looked forward to eating apple crisp when I was little. Not only is it a tasty dessert, but it was a dessert that only my grandparents made, so I only got to have some when they came to dinner and brought a fresh batch with them. My strategy was to eat one serving when everyone else did, then snag any leftovers for myself later.  ... Read More »

Can a mixing bowl be too large?

mixing bowls

Most mixing bowls that are marketed at home cooks are sold in relatively standard sets of three with a small, medium and large bowl. Recipes, in an attempt to help non-pro bakers get the best results possible, often indicate whether a large, medium or small bowl is called for in a given step. The reason for this is that some home cooks will try and work ... Read More »

Halloween cupcake wrappers

Halloween cupcake wrappers

 I don’t necessarily go for lots of seasonal baking tools, changing up the color of my mixing bowls and whatnot to suit the current season or holiday. I probably would if I could, but I would need a much bigger kitchen (with a whole lot more storage space) before I could even consider starting up such a collection. There are, however, a few seasonal baking items ... Read More »

Make your own apple and pumpkin pie spice mixes

Apple and Pumpkin Pie Spices

Two of the most common spice mixes are apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice. The combination of spices that make up each blend is so commonly used (because they are complimentary) when baking with apples and pumpkin that the blends are packaged and sold alongside “regular” spices in the baking aisle of the supermarket. They are frequently called for in recipes without much explaination of what ... Read More »

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