Creamy Chicken & Leek Soup

Things My Belly Likes

Poor Dog. He had a hard week this week for the following reasons:

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bread and butter pickle recipe


Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles

This is the second bread and butter pickle recipe that I’ve shared with you. Last year’s was a purebred Maritime country kitchen pickle. This year, I’ve jazzed it up by changing the spices and adding red chili flakes. Of all the “pickle” hostess gifts I give throughout the winter, my bread and butter pickles are the most popular. I loved this rendition’s flavour but the juries out. I’ll let you know how my friends like them, next summer…


Being so high up on a hill makes you feel like your in the eye of the hurricane during a storm. The upside, however, is the spectacular rainbows that extend from pasture to pasture.

pot of gold

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a rainbow touch the earth. Ralph said, “we don’t have to go looking for the pot of gold. We’re living on it.” He loves our farm. I love him…

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Spelt Multi-grain Walnut Sourdough Bread



GroupFinal I wanted to make a fairly uncomplicated bread with a good portion of spelt flour and while I was at it I decided to add some walnuts since I love nuts and my new apprentice Max is quite the nut as well.

My wife picked up some chocolate infused olive oil on close-out at William Sonoma so I figured that along with some chocolate vinegar would be a good compliment to the mix of nutty flours along with the walnuts.  I’m not sure you really end up tasting too much chocolate flavor but it did add some nice chocolate undertones to the final bread.

I let the flours autolyse with the water overnight for around 12 hours before mixing in the other ingredients and let it bulk ferment for another 12 plus hours before baking it off.

The final bread was a nice nutty, chewy bread perfect for some…

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Summer Spaghetti

Words and Herbs

When I turned over the page of my kitchen calendar for August I immediately knew I must try this recipe! It uses herbs I have in my garden, especially basil, which I posted about here recently.



After tracking down some Ricotta (I live in an uncivilized part of the world where people don’t seem to stock it!), I was hoping to take a lovely photo of it in the Sunday summer sun… then we had a major storm and had to turn all the lights on mid-afternoon!

Summer storm

A good excuse to make it again very soon – just for the photo of course! 😉

(Another trip to the big supermarket later…)

Summer Spaghetti


(Slightly adapted from the original calendar recipe, to serve 2-3 hungry people!)

  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) spaghetti
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 200g (7 oz) ricotta (or 200g vegan sour…

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Almond Joy Bars

In search of flavor

Looks messy, is messy but oh will your belly do a happy dance with one bite of these bars.  Use the ingredients to make either drop cookies or a bar like I made.  If making a bar, coat the top with the extra chocolate and coconut !!!
  • ½ c. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ¾ c. Almond Butter
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • ½ c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ½ c. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
  • ½ c. Whole Almonds, ground ( I ground coconut flavor almonds)
  • 2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cream butter, almond butter, and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well-incorporated. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed butters and sugars and mix on a low speed until just combined. Stir in…

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Multi-grain Sourdough Date Bread

OH I miss my BREAD 🙂


Final   This bread was inspired by my friend I met on The Fresh Loaf website, Khalid.   His beautiful bread was a 100% whole wheat version using yeast while for my version I chose to convert the recipe to sourdough and used three different whole grain flours instead of one.

I decided to use my trusty Krups coffee grinder to make fresh ground flour for the entire recipe and I was quite happy with the results.

I used a 2 step build for the starter mixing Einkorn Ancient Whole Wheat with a Hard White Whole Wheat.

For the main dough I used one of my favorite flours Kamut which is similar to Durum but more wholesome with a stronger wheat flavor.  I also used more of the Hard White Whole Wheat.

The dates are simmered in part of the water used for the main dough and I then chopped them up in the…

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Wow! What a Difference!


Rantings of an Amateur Chef

I mentioned in a previous post that the good folks at Chobani sent me a selection of their Greek yogurt to cook with. One of the most natural places to use Greek yogurt is in place of cream cheese in a recipe. This recipe uses four ounces of cream cheese. By substituting Chobani Plain Low Fat Greek Yogurt in its place, here is the effect (compared to Giant Eagle brand Cream Cheese I had in my fridge):

  • Calories: Cream Cheese – 400. Greek Yogurt – 85. DIFFERENCE: 315 fewer calories
  • Fat: Cream Cheese – 36g. Greek Yogurt – 3g. DIFFERENCE: 31 fewer grams of FAT
  • Cholesterol: Cream Cheese – 120mg. Greek Yogurt – 8mg. DIFFERENCE: 112mg cholesterol
  • Sodium: Cream Cheese – 320mg. Greek Yogurt – 53mg. DIFFERENCE: 267mg sodium
  • Carbohydrates: Cream Cheese – 8g. Greek Yogurt – 4.5g. DIFFERENCE: 3.5 grams of carbs

There is one area where Chobani is MUCH higher….

  • Protein: Cream Cheese: 4g. Greek Yogurt – 11g. DIFFERENCE: 5…

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Honey Maurice Salad


Romancing the Bee

It’s too hot to cook and almost too hot to eat. This salad is the exception.

Beautiful photo courtesy of Silver Sage. Check  her post for an interesting story behind the basic recipe!!



2t white vinegar
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 1/2 t onion juice. ( or juice from 1 small onion)
1 1/2 t honey
1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t dry mustard
1 Cup Hellman’s Mayonaise
2 Tbs Chopped parsley
1 hard cooked egg, diced
salt to taste

Salad Ingredients:

14 Oz ham, cut into strips
14 oz turkey, cut into strips
14 oz swiss cheese, cut into strips
1/2 Cup slivered sweet gherkin pickles
1 Head iceberg lettuce lettuce-shredded


Combine the 6 dressing ingredients and stir to dissolve the hoeny.
Add remaining dressing ingredients and mix well.
Chill dressing.
Combine the ham, turkey, chesse and pickles together in large bowl.

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10 ways to use tomatoes from the garden

Eat and Sip in the City

It’s tomato season! The bf’s garden is packed with over 30 different tomato plants (see below for a peek) and I have a little tomato plant of my own on my fire escape in the city. So it is time to start enjoying all the delicious, juicy tomatoes. These 10 ideas are just a few ways I am loving!



Spinach, Tomato, and Pepper Goat Cheese Omelet

Baked tomatoes featuring eggs and cheese



Caprese salad

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes


Pasta Pomodoro


Roasted tomatoes 

Fresh Plum Tomato Sauce

Pizza at home! Be inspired by Sterlng’s restaurant in Boston, MA

Flatbread Pizza

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No-bake breakfast bar


FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports

[ooyala code=”lyYzJ1ZDrH02nar7d8jbaLXogMaSron7″ player_id=”99b31ca60977447aac65383d61b8503b”]

Here are the ingredients you need to make the University of Missouri Extension’s ‘No-Bake Breakfast Bar’:

1 cup of peanut butter

½ cup of non-fat dry milk

¼ cup of honey or maple syrup

3 large shredded wheat biscuits or 1-2 cups of any other cereal

½ cup of chopped nuts or raisins

(Note: ½ cup of dried cranberries were also featured for the TV segment but are not required)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour all ingredients into an 8×8 glass pan and pack the ingredients together for a yield of 12 bars.

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Artichoke & Spinach Pesto


As summer is starting to wind down, we all need some great recipes to use up our basil plants and while a plain basil pesto is a great option, this recipe is even better! Packed with bold flavors from spinach, basil, artichoke hearts & walnut it’s a healthy and unique version of a classic. We kept this dish vegan by tossing it with gluten-free pasta and not only was it was crazy good, it was really filling too! The original recipe called for making a roux with soy milk, vegan margarine and flour but since we only had vanilla soy milk in the fridge I skipped this step. I would imagine it just serves to thin the pesto out a bit but I liked how thick ours was.

Recipe adapted from The Part-Time Vegan cookbook.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1 cup…

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Gooseberry & Elderflower Mess

Jono & Jules do food & wine

For the past few weeks we have been walking past a basket of perfect looking gooseberries at our grocer and saying we need to make something with these. A version of the classic Eton Mess the tart gooseberries balance the sweetness to make this light and sunny, just like the weather.

Gooseberry & Elderflower Mess – serves 6

  • 300g gooseberries, tops pinched off
  • 50g golden caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 600ml whipping cream
  • about 100g of meringue nests, roughly crumbled

Put the gooseberries, 2 tbsp water, and 25g of sugar in a small saucepan. Cook gently until the gooseberries start to soften and break down. Taste and add as much of the remaining 25g as you need, then cool.

Put the 2tbsp sugar, the cordial and the cream into a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form, then cover and chill.

Just before serving, roughly…

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How to make creamy homemade ricotta.

writes4food | recipes and wisdom from a Midwestern kitchen

I realize I’m a little late to the homemade ricotta game. Other food bloggers have already posted about this amazingly simple homemade cheese. And I’ve made it myself, quite often. But I’ve never been quite satisfied with the results.

Only during our recent food-focused travel to Tuscany did I realize why: I love the soft, tender, creamy Italian version of ricotta cheese. My previous experiments turned out cheese with large, dry curds and a firm texture. Delicious, but not the sensory experience I was after.

So I scouted around to find different recipes and techniques for making homemade ricotta. Some called for adding buttermilk or yogurt, which added a tang I didn’t love. Others called for stirring the milk mixture, which created larger, clumpier curds than I had in mind, or straining the ricotta for an hour or more, which created a firmer texture.

The proportion of ingredients for this…

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Green Tomato and Fig Cakes- Taking Chances In The Kitchen


Vanilla Lemonade

I saw these a few weeks ago and they have not left my head, my curiosity was peaked, I had to know.  The flavor combination in a dessert  was too strange to let go, but after thinking about it I realized green tomatoes don’t have a ton of flavor and would likely pick up the flavor you pair with it.  I was right.


Not a lot of tomato flavor, but still super tasty, they had a comparable flavor to carrot cake, but less sweet, without as much sugar.  The petite cakes are moist even a few days later.  Overall I give them an A (skipping the plus as I really wanted to taste the tomato more) but certainly good enough to eat for breakfast, which is of course the international sign of good desserts.


Modified from Cooking Light 2013


  • 8 ounces green tomato, cored and quartered 
  • 7.6 ounces cake…

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Italian Week – Linguine alla Cecca

Romancing the Bee

This is one of my favorite recipes. I’ve made it for years and years.

It’s from Nora Ephron‘s wonderful novel Heartburn, which is a fictional account of her marriage to Carl Bernstein of All The President”s Men fame.

She is a wonderful cook, and the book contains a number of fantastic recipes. I consider it one of my cookbooks!

Linguine alla Cecca is a simple recipe, but oh, so satisfying!  It’s perfect for summer suppers with a loaf of crusty bread. This is my comfort food.

Drop 5 large tomatoes into boiling water for one full minute.  Peel and seed and chop.

Put chopped tomatoes into a large bowl with ½ cup of olive oil, a garlic clove sliced in two  (more garlic is okay. Actually, preferable!) , 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, salt and hot red pepper flakes.

Let sit for a couple of hours. Remove…

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Swedish Visiting Cake for Mother’s Day

Words and Herbs



This for you Mum! 😀


A shame my Mum won’t get a slice of this. I just hope it’s a sunny day for her instead. 😀


When this cake came out of the oven it looked flat. Oh. Then the middle sank a little and it looked even flatter… Oh dear. Did I forget the baking powder? No! This is how it’s meant to be: no raising agents are used! And despite my initial doubts, after the first bite I was so glad I tried it. The consistency is dense, a little like a brownie, with that almost chewy texture. Its delicious almond and vanilla aroma fills the house with cosiness, and I admit that I rather fell for this little cake.

My recipe is an adapted version of the one I found on this website:

The original recipe included almond extract, which I’m…

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Shrimp Primavera

Charles and Kimberly's Recipes

I had a craving for a Shrimp Primavera today.  I went with a simple pepper, mushroom and onion combination. Super tasty; I perhaps could have seasoned it a bit more but the flavors of each ingredient came through nicely as I made it.

DSCN4321 (800x600)

  • 1/2 pound angel hair or desired pasta cooked according to package directions (reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 8 o.z. mushrooms
  • 12 o.z. shrimp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh tomato – cut into wedges
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil
  • parmesan cheese

In skillet heat about 1 Tbs olive oil. Cut pepper, onion, jalapeno and mushrooms into chunks.  Saute about 5 minutes until desired tenderness.  Remove from skillet and set aside.  In same skillet heat a little more olive oil.  Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper and cook until shrimp is…

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A Simple Basil Pesto

Two Loves Studio


It has been nearly two weeks since I have been on a new eating plan to get on top of a few food intolerances and already I am feeling more energetic! Matt and I have been making everything from scratch and making foods that are wheat, yeast, sugar and preservative free. It is a bit of a challenge at first, but it has actually been quite fun.
I have been photographing a lot of the meals that we have been eating in a bid to practice my photography more. I realised during the week that I make a big production of taking photos so only tend to do it on weekends when I have more time. The reason for this was that I don’t like to not get things perfect first time around. And really not nailing it the first time is a good thing. It means that I set the standards high…

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Fig and Olive Oil Cake

Kitchen Adventures with Lucy

I truly believe that there are few things in the world that a cup of tea and piece of cake cannot fix. Bad day at work, cup of tea and cake make it better. Kids channelling the devil, tea and cake to the rescue. I’m quite sure many of the world’s conflict could be chatted out over a cup of team and a piece of cake.

I was recently given a bag of figs. These figs were bordering on over ripe and were sweet and soft. I felt rather lucky as they are so expensive at the shops and never as nice as home gown as they are so fragile. Given they were pretty ripe I set to working out what I could do with them. Of course being the baking addict I am I was like let’s make a cake with them. Out came the recipe books and internet…

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Cookie Contest to Start This Week!

LIKE COOKIES here is one from a friend BAKE AND SHOW 🙂 I will just LOOK and DROOL

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast

We are getting close to March 1st and you know what that means!

Cookie Contest Opens!

So get your recipes and your best photo ready to send us!

In the meantime, here is another cookie recipe we received and wanted to share!

This recipe comes from fellow blogger

This recipe comes to us all the way from British Columbia, Canada!

Arnhemse Meisjes, or Arnhem Girls, OR Arnhem Sugar Cookies

    “A Delisciously Dutch, Sugar Coated, Pastry Like Cookie”

       *Fun Facts: this cookie was made famous my Roald Dahl (author

of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), after he tasted them when he

was in Holland for a book signing tour. These cookies are best eaten

the first day, but are wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee.*

The Recipe:

   Recipe makes 16 cookies, best of made the night before, or at least

4 hours prior to baking…

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My Suppers



OK sorry to all of you who BLOG food photos I swore I never wood but this was looking as pretty as my whole day did.


I can have a bowl for supper or a cup with lunches

you see it is “0” points on my new way of life 🙂

I add things I have on hand too you can’t have too many veggies.


Organic Fat Free/ Salt Free Chicken broth

Tomato paste







Chick Peas

Italian  Seasoning


or anything like this you want to throw into a pot!


So pretty cooking so tasty when done!


My Posts

Lobster Pot Pie….so good!

Lulu's Musings

Chicken pot pie and lobster, two of my favorite foods, so why not merge the two and make something special like a lobster pot pie?  My friend Pam makes the best chicken pot pie ever, and I am lucky enough to have her recipe, so that seems a good place to start.  In looking over the ingredients, all will work, but I am going to change the vegetables, eliminating celery and carrots and including corn and potatoes since they traditionally accompany steamed lobster.  Hmmm, maybe add a little dry sherry for extra pizzazz.

Pam’s recipe called for double pie crust which I didn’t have this day and rather than make my own I used puff pastry which happened to be in the freezer.  Since I am a weaver, I couldn’t resist the temptation to cut the pastry sheets into strips and do a simple plain weave top. (Please ignore my mistake if…

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My Posts

Banana-Strawberry Chocolate Granola


The combo of fresh strawberry and banana, with the food from the heavens, chocolate, makes this granola irresistible. My recipe for granola is good, and good for you. Little do people know that the 15-year-old author of is a granola maestro. This is only one of my many killer recipes for granola, which is a food I eat daily, and make every week.

I am a firm believer that dark chocolate is practically a panacea, and probably the best ingredient for desserts. You cover chocolate in something and it will automatically taste good. Even a fish head covered in chocolate may not be so bad.

This granola is best with a really dark chocolate. I suggest at least 70% cocoa. I am a dark, dark chocolate lover, so I go for about

85%. The banana creates beautiful bunches that are slightly soft. The strawberry flavor is unfortunately rather unnoticeable…

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Guest Post: Christmas Feasting in France

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

I love to travel and find it interesting how the same holiday is celebrated around the world. Leah Larkin from Tales and Travel  shows us how Christmas is celebrated in France. Check it out and take a look at Tales and Travel  while you are at it…

The French are obsessed with food – or so it seems.  Restaurants, recipes, dinner menus – all are frequent topics of conversation.  At this of year, the focus is on the most important feast of the year, the Réveillon or Christmas Eve dinner.

I moved to France eight years ago and have been invited to share this occasion at the home of French friends, and I’ve invited them for the meal at our home.  The name of this dinner comes from the word réveil (meaning “waking”) because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond. At friend Veronique’s one year, dinner was interrupted at…

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December 22 – National Date Nut Bread Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays


National Date Nut Bread Day

Five Food Finds about Nuts

  • Nuts are defined as a simple, dry fruit with one seed (very occasionally two) in which the seed case wall becomes very hard at maturity.
  • True nuts include pecan, sweet chestnut, beech, acorns, hazel, hornbeam and alder.
  • Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, horse chestnuts and pine nuts are not nuts.  So the health warning on a packet of peanuts (“may contain nuts”) is, strictly speaking, untrue.
  • Peanuts are actually a type of legume.
  • Most forms of nuts will preserve for several years.  Signs they are going bad are obvious.


Today’s Food History

1884 John Simpson Chisum died. An American cattle rancher, in 1867 he blazed the Chisum Trail from Paris, Texas to New Mexico. He developed the largest cattle herd in the United States.

1885 La Marcus Thompson of Coney Island, New York was issued a second patent for a gravity…

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Porcini Mushroom Stroganoff Strudels

food to glow

porcini mushroom stroganoff strudel
I realise that you were not waiting with bated breath for this recipe. Not even my Dad will be doing that. But I did say on Wednesday that I would be back yesterday, Friday, and I hate not to be a woman of my word. I plead extenuating circumstances which I won’t go into but does involve me being an unexpected and unlicensed taxi on more than one occasion, dodging an almost certain migraine in a store with poor lighting, and meeting a hastily imposed deadline. All not on the cards when I wrote on Wednesday. The day did end well though with the best staff party I can rememberporcini mushroom stroganoff strudel

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My Posts

lobster chowder for a holiday treat


lobster chowder

You’d be hard pressed to knock on any door in the Maritimes and not find a recipe for lobster chowder. It would be even harder to find two the same! The magic in this particular chowder is the addition of old cheddar cheese and frozen peas. Cheddar cheese is gorgeous with lobster anything. Adding it in addition to the whipping cream takes an already rich soup to the sublime. The peas just add fun and a little color.

lobster chowder

Lobster Chowder

Serves 4 Maritimers or 6 from everywhere else…

2 – 14 ounce tins frozen lobster meat, thawed – drain and reserve the water

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup butter

2 cups whipping cream

2 cups shredded old cheddar

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Over medium heat, melt butter…

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Warm Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen

I know, I know. Those of you who bake are focused on Christmas cookies and whatnot. I get it, having already made a batch of dark chocolate biscotti myself for a cookie swap. Regardless, winter squash still abounds here in New England and Cucurbitaceae remain a regular dinner component. (And not just for me, either: check out the fabulous meals my students made this week.) So I don’t care if it’s December or not: pumpkin bread pudding is a to-die-for dessert that is truly divine, and I simply must tell you more about it.

Oh, and I couldn’t decide on the right plating, so I’m also including two other options for your viewing pleasure, as it’s really a matter of style. Here’s the second.

This glorious recipe is from Bon Appétit via Epicurious. I already used the phrase “to-die-for”—what else is there to say? Well, let’s just put it this…

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Holiday Butter Cookies Three Ways

The Hungry Artist

stack 2

Every year I make a ton of holiday cookies to pass out to friends and family.  I have been collecting recipes since 2000.  Here are some of the every year standards:

Hidden Surprise Snowball Cookies


Turtle Browniesturtle

Chocolate Crinkles


Brown Sugar Ginger Crisps


Pistachio Orange Lace Cookies

Stained Glass Trees



Favorites tend to appear over and over because people request them, but I also try to test a couple of news ones every season as well.

Jamie has been imploring me to bake cookies for a special “snack” for his class, so I decided to try out three variations on a theme in one pop!

This basic cookie dough recipe is from an old 2003 issue of Gourmet (he wasn’t even born yet!)  that I’ve used for cut-out cookie holiday cookies, which we then frost.  The cookie dough is versatile, and you can add different flavors to it, creating…

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Cooking With Honey Has Been Published!

BUY IT!!!!

Romancing the Bee

It’s official!

Cooking With Honey is available through its web site as well as Barnes & Noble and Amazon!  It’s also available on its web site as an e-book.

Now is the time to order for Christmas!!  🙂

And thanks again for all of your encouragement!!

xo Deb

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Masala Chai Carrot Cake Muffins with Coconut Milk Icing

OMG this Blog is Wonderful for new things to try on family and friends!

food to glow

Unintentionally this post is perhaps more for my UK-based friends. Or really anyone whose summer is not quite up to scratch, weather-wise. Despite the assurances of nearly every weather pundit that we would be using parasols to defend our delicate sun-deprived skin, we are in fact using them as defenders against ghastly downpours. And in some parts of the UK (Wales particularly), the parasols are probably mini boats floating downstream and down streets, having been blown there by gale force winds. It has not been nice. Not at all. We in Scotland are better off than most but it is more early March than early June. Not in the least summery or barbequey. But what are you gonna do?

All of this rubbishy weather has really had me pining for exotic climes. As a Floridian at heart I really crave the sun on my skin and the feel of warm…

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