Easy Strawberry Jam

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Let me start by telling you all the things you DON'T need to make this delectable jam: boiling water, a stove, special sealing lids or any of those other terrifying (to me anyway) canning type of things.  The only reason you need a mason jar is because your raw strawberry jam is going to look pretty in it, and if you don't have a mason jar, it will look just as pretty in whatever else you have.  All you need are strawberries, a little sugar, a lemon, a bowl, a strainer, something to mash them with and about 20 minutes.  That's all that stands between you and homemade strawberry jam.  Really! Read More & Get the Recipe

Brown Sugar Crinkle Cookies

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These cookies are one of my all-time favorites, right up there with my grandma's molasses cookies and my beloved four-ingredient Blue Dory cookies.  They aren't flashy or elegant.  They aren't even chocolate.  They are a humble little concoction of brown sugar and the usual cookie ingredients, and you probably have everything you need to make them in your pantry right this minute.  And when they bake, they settle down into that homemade-looking crinkly pattern you see in the picture.  But that's part of what I love about them...they are just plain easy, simple, humble and absolutely delicious cookies. Read More & Get the Recipe

Puppy Chow!

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There are several things I must say IMMEDIATELY about this recipe. First of all, it is Puppy Chow for people, not puppies. It is a concoction of Chex cereal that has been coated in chocolate and peanut butter and dusted with powdered sugar, and it is utterly addictive. I actually have no idea why it is called Puppy Chow in the first place, but every recipe I have come across for this stuff calls it Puppy Chow. Maybe because puppies are also addictive? But since it involves chocolate, which is bad for dogs, puppies are not allowed to eat it. Under any circumstances. Even if they look at you with big puppy dog smiles. Even if they look at you with mournful puppy dog faces. Even if they are so incredibly adorable you not only want to give them your puppy chow, but also take them home with you and hope your Southern husband doesn't notice. Even if they look at you with big brown puppy dog eyes. With pleading puppy dog wrinkled foreheads.... Even if Read More & Get the Recipe

Snickerdoodles

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I have a warm and fuzzy place in my heart for snickerdoodles, because aside from the fact that they have the best cookie name ever, they also remind me of my free-wheeling college days. Go Hoyas!! Excuse me. Yes, I realize they are already out of the tournament. It's an involuntary reaction. Anyway, when I was a sophomore I got an on-campus apartment with three of my good friends, and with that apartment came the very first stove any of us had ever had. We cooked up some alarming meals on that stove. Fun, but alarming. Anyway, there was one of us (you know who you are!) who periodically would have the overwhelming need to bake cookies. Not to eat them, just to bake them, sometimes at interesting hours of the day and night, and she always made the same kind: Snickerdoodles. Not sure why, but we weren't arguing. The apartment was always full of us girls and whomever our boyfriends of the moment were, and the cookies never lasted long. So every once in a while, lo these many Read More & Get the Recipe

Creme Brulee

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Those of you who have been following me for a little while know that every so often I cover our local library's "Meet the Chef" series, where we lucky attendees get to see local chefs walk us step by step through the preparation of something scrumptious. So far we have learned how to make Blackened Scallops with Mango Tomato Couscous, and Short Ribs with Mascarpone Polenta and Crispy Brussel Sprouts. So it did seem like it was time for dessert, right? Right! Because this time, we got to meet Rosemary Smith from La Vie En Rose Bakeryand Cafe, and she started us off with one of the Southern husband's very favorites: Creme Brulee. Here's Rosemary...doesn't she look fun? She brought a few things with her from her bakery, just to get our appetites going. Things like this. That is a Buche du Noel, my friends. Or maybe you would be interested in some of these? Linzer Torte cookies. Order them now, they go very fast. So now that we knew we were in expert hands, we were Read More & Get the Recipe

Jam Sugar Cookies

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So, do you ever have one of those days where everything just seems to go your way? The other day I was yearning to bake just a simple sugar cookie, and usually I have everything I need to make basic baked goods in the house. Because you never know when someone is going to remember at 9 at night that they need to bring in cupcakes for So-And-So's birthday. Not that I am pointing out anyone in particular. Who happens to live in my house. Who happens to wear mismatched Day-Glo shoelaces in her Converse sneakers. Or anything. So I was sad to see that I had only one lonely egg in my fridge, and so instead of happily baking my own cookies, I thought I would console myself by browsing around on www.joythebaker.com -- my FAVORITE baking site -- to drown my sorrows in some of her gorgeous pictures of baked stuff. When what should I find but a recipe for cherry jam cookies that she specifically says are to be made when you have only one egg in the house. (and when you are down to your Read More & Get the Recipe