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Category: Baking

Brunch with Friends – What a Weekend

This was a crazy busy weekend. We had a birthday dinner to attend with some great friends on Saturday evening and then Gary & I hosted a brunch with two other couples that turned into an all-day affair on Sunday. I am not sure how I was able to accomplish that given that the Saturday birthday was still going strong when we left at 1:30 am (home at 2:00 am). At which point I had to clean the kitchen from doing brunch prep work until 20 minutes before the earlier departure time and make the custard for the breakfast casserole so it…

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Hand Pies & Date Paste

This post was planned way before I got hooked on the Great British Baking Show. So I need to come clean right away. I did not make my crust; I bought it at Whole Foods back in December. But I did make the fillings for these hand pies, and I am quite pleased with the result. But before we get to the hand pies, we have to talk about the date paste because that is what started this entire post.   What to do with all these Dates A while back I bought a huge bag of dates at Costco.…

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Applesauce & Almond Bundt Cake

I am craving fall flavors like apple and pumpkin pie spice. Something sweet but not too sweet. I know that I do not bake much at all, but I knew I could put this cake together.  This cake is dense, moist, and flavorful. So a little goes a long way to satiate my cravings, and it lasted close to a week without drying out thanks to the applesauce and the buttermilk. Applesauce & Almond Bundt Cake Ingredients 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or 4 teaspoons)…

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Dinner for Six Part One: First Course

This past weekend Gary and I had two couples over for dinner. I had several recipes I wanted to try and needed a few guinea pigs. Enter Bryan & Craig and Shawn & Michael. For me, this was an all-day affair as I just decided what yo make on Friday morning and I needed to get to the store asap. But my Friday was a hot mess with a wine delivery by UPS that I had to sign for so I could not leave the house until it arrived. And that was at 4:30p and I had to pick Gary up at…

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Crispy, Crunchy, Easy, …, Swiss Fondue Bites

If you have been following me for very long you have quickly learned that I love cheese and bread. I can never get enough of either. And they both are perfect with wine. While I do not eat it often the epitome of this pair is fondue. But I never eat fondue because it is a big pain in the butt and can be very messy. Decades ago at a party, had an appetizer that was a baked cheddar bread bite that was amazing and I have never forgotten it. I never was able to find a recipe so it…

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Potato Stackers * Easy & Delish

Birthday Brunch We had a birthday brunch for my sister this past weekend and it was super fun. While all of the items were homemade, I am highlighting the Potato Stackers because I was shocked at how simple it was to make and how this makes such a great side dish that can really elevate your plate. It was a small family affair with great food, conversation, and wine. After brunch, we headed to the movie theater to see The Post. It is based on the actual events and government deceit at the time of the Vietnam War and how the…

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Pumpkin Pie Bread Pudding

During my childhood, we ate pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I love love, love pumpkin pie and I can never get enough of it. I also love croissants and bread pudding too. So this year I had the hair-brained idea to make a bread pudding using croissants and pumpkin pie filling. To make the custard I slightly modified the recipe for the pumpkin pie custard by adding more liquid and eggs and adjusting the spices. This dessert has a milder flavor than pumpkin pie but still enough to satiate my cravings. My turkey may be the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, but to…

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Biscuit Bites: Pizza or Gruyere – Caramelized Onion

Last Sunday, we got together for Happy Hour with our fave neighbors Michelle and Natalie. Michelle hosted at her house which was perfect because both families of kids could all play together in another room and toys were aplenty to keep them occupied. I volunteered an appetizer to help out. I have been daydreaming about making a gruyere and caramelized onion tart, but I was too exhausted from Saturday’s wedding to deal with and make a crust so I decided that Bisquick biscuit bites would be the way to go. For some reason using Bisquick for a drop biscuit is acceptable in my brain…

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Apple Crumble and Sunday’s Tasting at EOX

It is autumn, so my cravings for apple desserts has been building. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a crumble, a crisp, a cobbler, a buckle, a Brown Betty, a grunt or a slump. Confused? A crumble has an oat-based streusel topping. A crisp has a streusel topping sans oats. A cobbler is topped with individually-dropped biscuits. A buckle uses a cakey batter underneath the fruit and as the fruit sinks to the bottom the cake “buckles” over the edges of the fruit. A grunt and a slump is the same thing; it just depends on where you live. They are both cobblers that…

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Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples

Yesterday morning I woke up with a plan. I was making a Dutch Baby with Spiced Apples. Decades ago, there was a restaurant in Skokie, IL that served something like this and I have always wanted to make it. As always I had researched several different recipes (it is also called a German Apple Pancake or a Baked Apple Pancake, Dutch Baby and several other names) and then recreated it with my own twist. Full transparency -> A Kitchen Confession: Before I get to the recipe, I need to confess that the morning started with a bit of excitement. I…

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