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Hello, Cupcake!

Hello, Cupcake!

Sometimes, cookbooks just don’t have enough pictures. Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make is one cookbook that does not have this problem. The book is all about creative and impressive ways to decorate cupcakes, from making werewolves from cookies and frosting to painting a sugary reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The book is broken up into chapters by theme, so it’s easy ... Read More »

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Ice cream cakes are one of the best summertime desserts out there. While a cold mousse or a simple strawberry tart might make the covers of food magazines, nothing lights up a gathering of hot, hungry people like a gorgeous ice cream cake – especially if there are kids involved. And, of course, I feel that a homemade cake is always better than an store ... Read More »

Browned butter vs. clarified butter

melting butter

Last week I talked about how to make browned butter, butter that is cooked until the milk solids in it become brown and toasty, giving the butter a warm brown color and a wonderfully rich flavor. It is not the same as clarified butter. Clarified butter is also used in a liquid state, but is made in a different way. It starts with regular unsalted ... Read More »

How to make an ice cream cake

Ice cream cake, freshly sliced

Ice cream cakes, like graham crackers and puff pastry, are not something that most people thing about making. They’re something that most people think about buying, and when they do run down to the local ice cream shop (whether it’s a chain, a grocery store or a familly-owned place), they’re buying the cakes for the look of the overall dessert and the taste of the ... Read More »

Things Cooks Love

Food and kitchen catalogs are just as much fun to get in the mail as the latest issue of a favorite food magazine. From stores like, Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, it’s always interesting to see what new products are out and how they can be used. Even better is that now many stores are including recipes alongside related products in the catalogs and ... Read More »

Baked Egg Cups

Baked eggs were something that did not appeal to me for a long time – not because I don’t like eggs, but because the cooking method seemed somewhat unnecessary to me. It only takes a few minutes to scramble or fry some eggs; oven cooking takes longer and you need to allow for the oven to preheat, as well. Poached eggs take about the same ... Read More »

Bites from other Blogs

Macadamia nuts are very rich on their own and make a great addition to baked goods because they have a unique butteriness in addition to the expected crunch of a nut. They’re most often found in combination with white chocolate. Visions of Sugar Plum used this combination in a whole new way in Macadamia Nut Ale Brownies with White Chocolate-Toffee Ganache. The name says it ... Read More »

Ice cream stacks, not scoops

Ice cream stack

Some readers out here on the west coast – even moreso if you’re in Southern California – probably remember eating Thrifty Ice Cream at some point or another. The award winning ice cream was sold at Thrifty Drug Stores before the chain was bought out by Rite-Aid and it was incredibly inexpensive for the quality. I clearly remember getting scoops for 25 or 50 cents ... Read More »

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