Buttermilk Biscuits with Berry Compote

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Blackberries and blueberries are two of my favorite berries to incorporate into my cooking – blackberries in particular because they can be harvested just steps away from our front door.

We love to walk the dogs in the field just behind our house, and in the summer, along the path we take, are rows of blackberry bushes.  Usually around July, those berries transform from red to black, and it’s time to harvest.  My dogs love the berries, too.  They will saunter up to the bushes and just pluck them right from the grasping tendrils after they have shed their red hue.

I’m always sure to get plenty of the berries for myself before the dogs devour them all.  In the spring, I begin plotting all the delicious recipes I want to create with them, and I always bake at least one blueberry-blackberry pie.  And most importantly, I freeze an ample amount of the spoils of our walk so that I can enjoy them all year round.Read More »

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Dark Chocolate Brownies

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When deciding which cookbooks of 2013 would rank as my favorites, one was an easy pick: Sweet by Valerie Gordon.  This cookbook debuted in September 2013 alongside many other great recipe-filled texts, but it stands alone as what I consider to be 2013’s greatest text for sweet recipes.

Gordon’s recipes are sophisticated yet approachable.  This isn’t another cookbook with recipes too intricate and foreign for the home cook.  This book combines old favorites with inventive twists, along with recipes that will expand your dessert making bounds.  I learned about new ingredients in this cookbook – such as vanilla paste, used in this recipe.

And, of course, there’s the photography.  It is rich, bold, and stunning.  The food is captured with such lucidity and intricate detail that I resisted the urge to lick pages displaying flowing chocolate sauce or caramel pudding.Read More »

Cream Cheese Crepes with Raspberry Compote

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I don’t tend to be a “breakfast person.”  Eggs, in any form, are not something I eat.  Pork breakfast sausage won’t bring me to the table.  I only began eating cereal as a 20-something in college.  Breakfast typically involves a cappuccino and some fruit, or perhaps a dollop of Greek yogurt with some berries.

However, one morning not long ago, I woke up and immediately said, “I want some crepes.”  Crepes.  Crepes.  Crepes.  I needed them.  I wanted them.  And for brunch, we went to a much enjoyed restaurant and regular spot, RA Bistro, where they served an appetizer-size plate of crepes with a fluffy cream cheese filling and a raspberry syrup.

As I wolfed down this sweet confection, I looked up at my fiancé and said, “I love this.  And I can replicate this, with the raspberries amped up.”  So, I pulled on my apron strings, pulled out my flour, raspberries, butter, and sugar, and set to work.

So, while I’m no great fan of breakfast, I always order dessert.  Breakfast meets dessert?  I can do that.Read More »

Ella’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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Pound cake is the king of cake.  Not light, not velvety.  This cake packs a wallop.  It’s thick, dense, and immensely flavorful.

Pound cake is, hands down, my favorite cake variety and my guilty pleasure.  My fiancé adores it, too.  It’s a win-win baking adventure.  But what I didn’t realize before starting down the road of devising this vanilla and cream cheese laced cake is that Ella yearns to become a pound cake connoisseur as well.Read More »

Carrot and Oat Muffins with Dried Fruit

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Happy 2014!  A new year is upon us, filled with boundless possibility!

When a new year approaches, I find myself thinking about what I want to accomplish, conquer, do in the upcoming year.  I’m not a resolutions person.  I just take time to reflect on how I want to enhance the upcoming year, make it better than the one that came before.

A new year shouldn’t be about making promises to yourself that you know you won’t keep.  It should begin with a simple question: “What can I do to make this year the best one yet?”Read More »