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What is Irish soda bread?

Irish soda bread – or just soda bread, if you prefer – is a type of quick bread that uses baking soda as a leavener. While this may not seem like much of a revelation these days due to the prevalence of baking soda in all kinds of recipes, it was a boon to bakers in Ireland in the mid 1800s. At that time, Ireland ... Read More »

Lower Fat Carrot Sheet Cake

Lower Fat Carrot Sheet Cake

I don’t cook much from food magazines, and when I do, it’s usually from an older issue that I found behind the bookcase and flipped through, rather than one that just arrived in the mail. My thought process tends to be along the lines of “oh, that looks good. I’ll have to remember that and try it later.” For once, however, a dish I intended ... Read More »

Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie

Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie

Even though some might consider a cookbook about pie to be a single-subject cookbook, I can’t put it in that category. Like cakes and cookies, pies are incredibly versatile are really could be considered a mainstay of baking – rather than a sidebar that doesn’t necessarily get that much focus (real single-subject cookbooks tend to highlight these out-of-the-spotlight dishes/ingredients, like S’mores). Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes ... Read More »

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins

Banana bread is a classic that I will always keep coming back to. It’s easy, it uses up those pesky overripe bananas, and it can be made in any number of variations. This is something of a variation on it, although I opted for a muffin form rather than a bread. These Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins were inspired by a description of some muffins ... Read More »

Kuhn Rikon Squeezable Decorating Kit

Kuhn Rikon Squeezable Decorating Kit

Kuhn Rikon’s new Squeezable Decorating Kit looks very cute at first glance. It consists of two tall decorating bottles, three short decorating bottles, five steel decorating tips (round, ribbon, leaf, star and basketweave) and a frosting spatula. It’s a great looking package and most of the equipment really will be useful in the kitchen. While I prefer to use a pastry bag (or a plastic ... Read More »

Can I refresh stale cookies?

Cookies re-baking

When it comes to cookies, the hard part about eating them is usually that you want to eat too many at a time. This is especially true of when the cookies are fresh from the oven, with soft, chewy centers and crisp edges. Add in some chocolate to those fresh from-the-oven-cookies and they are virtually irresistible. But most of the time, we manage to pace ... Read More »

Cook’s Country rates pie plates

My pyrex pie plate

There is more to producing a perfect pie than good recipes for crust and filling. The pie plate itself is actually crucial to success of a pie. Some brown better than others, others promise to produce a crisper crust. The ideal pie plate will cook a crust evenly and produce a good crispness – or, at least, not leave the pie crust a soggy stick-to-the-pan ... Read More »

Peppers and Cheese Focaccia

Pepper and Cheese Focaccia, slices

Focaccia, like pizza, is a bread that has almost and unlimited number of topping possibilities. In it’s most basic form, the flatbread can be topped with just olive oil, salt and herbs. If you want to move away from the very traditional type, it’s easy to dress it up with any kind of vegetable or cheese, and you can even use fruit if you want ... Read More »

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