berry streusel pie with graham crust

Oh, springtime… or as we know it here in Arizona, the not-so-hot time of year before our endless summer. We’re blessed with some truly gorgeous days this time of year,  where the sun is warm but the air is still cool — It’s a great time to throw together a berry pie! In my experience, even the best pie crust lacks in flavor. Sure, they taste … Continue reading berry streusel pie with graham crust

chocolate-strawberry brioche ice cream sandwiches

Hello, dear readers! You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet around here. My life has been extra busy lately, which has resulted in me neglecting to post much in the past few weeks. Can I say I’m sorry with an ice cream sandwich? How about one on a soft chocolate chip brioche roll, stuffed with sweet strawberry ice cream and dipped … Continue reading chocolate-strawberry brioche ice cream sandwiches

11 recipes for your super bowl party!

The Super Bowl is probably the only time I actually sit down and watch football (especially this year, it’s here in my home state of Arizona!). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy football, it’s just not something I regularly watch. One thing I can definitely get behind, though, is the Super Bowl party. Loads of delicious food — usually bite-sized,  hand-held awesomeness — drinks galore, and … Continue reading 11 recipes for your super bowl party!

salted milk chocolate chip cookies

How long do you generally leave your Christmas decorations up? Me, I usually take them down the first weekend of January. That means my house is now comparatively drab without the sparkly silver garland, the glow of Christmas lights around every window, my little decked-out artificial tree, and the pretty ceramic angel figurine my mom gave me that she’s had literally for decades. This is usually my least favorite … Continue reading salted milk chocolate chip cookies

last-minute christmas treats!

Christmas is just a few days away! Are you ready?

There are some people who finish their holiday shopping by August. They’re the super planners, the people who make copious to-do lists, whose vocabulary doesn’t include the word “procrastinate”.

Then there’s another sort of person. One of those people who waits til Christmas Eve to finish their shopping. Someone who ends up rushing around at the eleventh hour in search of the perfect gift, only to be met with empty shelves at the store. Yep, I’m talking to you! What if you could quickly create the perfect gift that your friends and loved ones would absolutely adore? Good news! I’m here to save the day.

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dark chocolate cordial cherries

When I was a kid, my grandma lived right next door to us. Some memories of visiting my grandma include playing games of rummy at her kitchen table, watching The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, her two snorty little Pekingese dogs, classical music forever playing on the stereo, and leafing through her old copy of the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. When Christmas would come around, it meant sitting on her love seat next to the artificial Christmas tree while gazing at the Swiss Colony catalog that came in the mail every December.

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Do you remember that catalog? It seems to magically appear in mailboxes every Christmas season, without fail. That catalog was seriously the best thing ever as an 8 year old. It was the closest thing to taking a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory that I’d ever have. The giant boxes filled with rows upon rows of chocolate truffles! All those cute petit fours! Super fancy cakes! Those almond-crusted cheese logs (for those weirdos without a sweet tooth)! There’s nothing like that catalog, man.

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marzipan stollen buns with crunchy sugar glaze

Well, Thanksgiving is over! Time for ornaments, twinkly lights, Bing Crosby Christmas music, and piles of baked goods. Why not start with this one, perfect for wintry morning breakfasts?

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I don’t remember the first time I had stollen, but I think it might have come from Trader Joe’s, of all places. I was hooked immediately! Traditionally made into larger loaf shapes, these little fruit-packed German stollen buns are like a more refined version of fruitcake. All the familiar flavors are there, but instead of a sugar soaked “cake”, the fruits are jammed into soft, lightly sweet buns, sharing space with a sweet center of almond marzipan. Doesn’t that sound good to you? It sure does to me.

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thanksgiving pie tutorial!

Pie is the unanimously expected Thanksgiving dessert. The meal just doesn’t feel complete without a slice of pie at the end! I’m sure most people would argue that pumpkin is the best pie to serve at Thanksgiving, while others might think of pecan or maybe apple. In my eyes, my favorite Thanksgiving pie is mince — meat-free, please!

I have fond memories of waking up the day after Thanksgiving to grab a leftover slice of cold mince pie for breakfast. My mom never made it from scratch, it was always Sara Lee out of a box, but it was delicious to me!

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Do you err on the side of safety (and your sanity) and go the frozen/store-bought pie route during the holidays? Do you consider your pie crust efforts to be a surefire recipe for disaster? If so, I’m here to help! Pull on your aprons and turn on those ovens because it’s time to make some delicious, gorgeous, impressive pies of your very own! I’ll show you how to make an ultra buttery and flaky pie crust, a sweetly spiced homemade mince pie filling, and three different finishing options — a full top crust, a lattice crust, and a pecan streusel crumb topping! Let’s get started, huh?

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pumpkin-gingersnap s’mores

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Happy belated Halloween! I hope you all had a fun, safe time filled with piles of candy!

The days after Halloween always usher in sort of a strange time. Now that trick-or-treating and ghosts are out of the way, it’s time for Christmas, right? Nope. There’s still a while yet. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here.

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pumpkin spiced jack-o-lantern macarons

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Going out trick-or-treating for Halloween candy was something I looked forward to every year as a kid. I always hoped to get lots of fun size Snickers bars, and always scoffed at the ever-present rolls of Smarties candies that would accumulate in my pumpkin shaped pail. Come on, those things were barely even candy!

These days, living the life of a gal who’s pushing 31, my trick-or-treating days are long behind me. That doesn’t stop me from still carving jack-o-lanterns to set out in my front yard, watching John Carpenter’s Halloween every year (and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — it’s a classic!), and occasionally buying a mixed bag of Halloween candy to snack on hand out to potential trick-or-treaters.

The older I get, the more I embrace those nostalgic Halloween traditions. Living life as an adult, I get the added perk of making my own classier, grown up-friendly Halloween treats, like these adorable pumpkin spiced macarons! Yes, pumpkin spice is everywhere, but I promise you, these actually taste like real pumpkin and spices!

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