Baked Sunday Mornings: Toying with toffee

I was but a wee lass when I started making toffee. My sister, about five years older than I, was in her early days of home ec class (do kids still take home ec class?) and came home one day with some stapled sheets filled with all sorts of candy recipes on them — hard . . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Toying with toffee

Bread of the Month: ‘Bubbling’ with garlic and herbs

In the 1990s, I had the pleasure of frequenting an Italian restaurant in the community where I lived in Southern California. It was a smallish, but lively place near a golf course, with most of its seating in a walled-in, covered patio that stayed comfortable all year long. It was here that I got hooked . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: ‘Bubbling’ with garlic and herbs

Poaching pears, cranberries for a festive pie

Every year I try to try out at least one new pie recipe at Thanksgiving. Despite all our warm weather fresh ripe fruits and berries really laying the groundwork for summer to be the season of pie, it is the Thanksgiving holiday, like no other, where pies are the star on the holiday dessert table.

. . . → Read More: Poaching pears, cranberries for a festive pie

Baked Sunday Mornings: Making whoopie pies with pumpkin

For those of us with limited experience — eating or baking — whoopie pies, we may wonder what all the fuss is about. Sure, they look terribly inviting — plump-soft cookie-cakes sealed together with a creamy filling…a whole lot to love. I had perhaps resisted in making them because they seemed too complicated or . . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Making whoopie pies with pumpkin

Baked Sunday Mornings: Dipping in the lightest caramel

I made the Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples from the Baked Sunday Mornings recipe roster a little ahead of schedule. It was mid-October, and I was in full fall-enthusiasm mode. It had been many years since I had made caramel apples, and I was itching to get to it! And here’s one observation: amid all the . . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Dipping in the lightest caramel

Bread of the Month: Finding full fall flavor in pumpkin bread

We can make fun of the whole pumpkin spice thing endlessly (and we do), but, when we are honest, we really love those tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It’s just been done to death. There is a time and place and goodie for it, though, and one way to best capture it is with . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Finding full fall flavor in pumpkin bread

Bread of the Month: Rolling with the meant-to-be

The first food gift I remember was wrapped in aluminum foil and topped with an adhesive-backed bow. Cinnamon rolls…jillions of them, all over the countertops in their silver packets, awaiting Christmastime delivery to family, friends, neighbors.

My mom got up in the wee hours of the morning to do this, because the rolls were . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Rolling with the meant-to-be

Turning out a new fave cookie

Occasionally (well, perhaps more often than occasionally), I become mesmerized by little cooking videos on the Internet. You know the ones, where an overhead camera view captures the step-by-step process (often sped up to keep the video short) that makes whatever is being made look like a snap. Maybe sometimes it is, but everything just . . . → Read More: Turning out a new fave cookie

Dancing with ‘sugarplums’

Just what are sugarplums, anyway? According to Clement Moore’s classic holiday story poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” children had visions of them dancing in their heads. And sugarplum fairies flit magically in the most well-known and traditional of holiday ballets, “The Nutcracker.”

When I have done my own envisioning of what a sugarplum might . . . → Read More: Dancing with ‘sugarplums’

Dishing on the simplest holiday side

I think more than any other meal, it is the sides of Thanksgiving that get us all excited. Never is more effort put into all the bowls and platters on the holiday table; never is there more variety (outside of a summer potluck). And they bring with them rich flavors exclusive (but, why?) to this . . . → Read More: Dishing on the simplest holiday side