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Blueberries are not the most popular pie fruit out there. Fresh, ripe berries are so sweet and juicy on their own that they can be difficult to contain with a pie crust. Sugar and Spice did a lovely job with a lattice crust on a Fresh Blueberry Pie. She managed to thicken the juice of the berries just perfectly so that the pie sliced with ... Read More »

Trader Joe’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups, reviewed

Trader Joe's Mini Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate chips are a staple in my kitchen, as they are in almost any kitchen that is equipped with a functional oven. I keep a wide assortment of other types of chips and chocolate chunks, as well. These always include dark chocolate, milk chocolate (as opposed to the semisweet chocolate of “standard” chips) peanut butter, white chocolate and butterscotch, though I often will try out ... Read More »

Nonstick Oven Spill Catcher

My oven has heating elements in both the top and the bottom, so traditional oven liners – many of which are designed to sit on the bottom of an oven – don’t work for me. Oven liners are designed to catch accidental overflow from things like pies, casseroles and other bubbly/gooey dishes. This is a Nonstick Oven Spill Catcher and it does the same job ... Read More »

Sweet and Nutty Tea Bread

Sweet and Nutty Tea Bread

Generally, it’s not too much of a problem for me to come up with names for dishes. Oatmeal Raisin Carrot Cookies and Double Chocolate Pistachio Brownies, for instance, are simply named after the components in the recipes – fairly concise and very self-explanatory. This quick bread posed something of a challenge because it has a lot packed into it. It has sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, ... Read More »

Leslie Mackie’s Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook

If you live in the Seattle area, this book probably needs no introduction. If you don’t, however, the name of the popular Macrina Bakery probably doesn’t ring a bell – yet. The bakery is known well for its top-quality baked goods and breads, the kind that make even chefs go out of their way to stop in when they’re in the area. The bakery emphasizes ... Read More »

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes, full-size

“Maybe we could sleep in; I’ll make you banana pancakes; Pretend like it’s the weekend now. We could pretend it all the time.” –Jack Johnson, Banana Pancakes It never hurts to have a little inspiration for a recipe and the Jack Johnson song “Banana Pancakes” is what prompted me to make a batch of pancakes for myself. It’s a cute song and, if you listen ... Read More »

Amaretto Shortbread Cookies

Amaretto Shortbread Cookies

Yesterday, I kicked off a two-part series on the potential first ladies’ favorite cookie recipes with Cindy McCain’s Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies. The recipes are part of a Good Housekeeping tradition that asks readers to vote for their favorite cookie recipe every election year. With McCain’s cookies out of the way, it’s time to take a look at Michelle Obama’s recipe: Amaretto Shortbread Cookies. These shortbread ... Read More »

4th of July Food Ideas

Red, White and Blue Cupcake

The 4th of July falls on a Friday this year, which means that there is a whole, long weekend to celebrate both summer and Independence Day. I tend to envision picnics and barbecues for the 4th because they’ve always been a bit of a tradition for me. It’s a great way to hang out with friends, enjoy some (hopefully!) good weather and have a good ... Read More »

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