Homemade Chocolate Cherry Soufflé
By now many of you know that I was a chef for many years, a pastry chef to be exact. I loved the fast-paced, creative outlet that working as a chef provided. What I did not like was the 14-hour days, odd hours and lack of time I had to spend with my family and friends. You definitely form a camaraderie, a bond with your kitchen staff, they essentially become your family. Continue reading06 May
How To Make Soda
Soda, pop, or cola all regional names for the iconic drink we have all grown up with. A sugary sweet carbonated beverage that gives us the kick of caffeine that has gotten us through long nights of cramming for exams and early mornings. Soda is a relatively new creation that only dates back to the 1780’s. Chemist Joseph Priestly invented the process of carbonating water while attempting to carbonate the beer brewing process in Leeds, England.04 Apr
Homemade Almond Milk
I was having dinner with a few of my close girl friends and even though we are strong businesswomen our conversations rarely drift to talks of business. Children, home and husbands dominate our personal conversations. We are all at different points in our lives; some have small children still at home, a few of us have transitioned into school age children and one or two have children that are almost at the point of transitioning into adulthood. Food, care of children and our husbands fill the few precious hours that we have together. Being a former chef and a health conscious consumer, the health of family and what they eat on a daily basis is of utmost importance to me. Anytime that I can eliminate unnecessary processed foods or I can create it completely from scratch I do. It is not always possible due to time restraints and the availability of fresh seasonal ingredients but when I can I do. Homemade Almond milk is a great example of a recipe that is simple and the ingredients are available all year long.27 Mar
Recipe: Peanut Butter Candy Cookies
The peeps are out; bright yellow, green and shocking hot pink round out the line up. I’m referring to the fluffy marshmallow concoction covered in colored sugar that only makes their appearance during the Easter holiday. This is the time of year that sweet pastel candies of every shape and flavor hit the stores, some traditional to the Easter holiday and others created in a new shape or flavor to add to the traditional Easter morning basket.26 Mar
Pecan Sticky Buns Recipe
It's been a long week, your eyes open slowly and the warm sunshine kisses your cheek. You realize it’s Saturday; a day for sleeping in, a leisurely cup of coffee in sunshine filled dining room and the aroma of freshly baked pecan sticky buns fill the house. The warm aroma of cinnamon and roasted pecans slowly wafts down the hallway and up the stairs to greet the rest of the family. Gradually the teens begrudgingly make their way down to the breakfast table with hopes of a strong cup of coffee and a slice of whatever woke them from their 14 hours of beauty sleep.
Pecan sticky buns can awake even the laziest of teenagers with it’s sweet aroma and tantalizing warm cinnamon and roasted pecan aroma but the long list of ingredients and even longer preparation can seem like a daunting task.
Continue reading18 Dec
The smell of ginger cookies baking is in my opinion one of the most beautiful aromas. The combination of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon are intoxicating and permeates the entire house. One of my first big “corporate” positions as an executive pastry chef was in a restaurant where I had the distinct pleasure of helping to build from the ground up. Endless hours were spent purchasing equipment, assisting in the design of the kitchen, and creating recipes. Our team was incredible and the desserts that we produced were some of the best in the area. Although I loved pretty much all of the products, my favorite is, and will always be, our ginger cookies. Soft and chewy with beautiful hints of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Our ginger cookies are a delightful treat!25 Nov
A shrub... you may be wondering if we have completely lost it and have resigned ourselves to creating recipes that incorporate outdoor coniferous materials. A shrub is an outdoor plant that we all can agree upon, however the type of shrub I would like you to introduce you to is a delicious concoction of tart cranberries, acidic vinegar and sugar. The result is an infused base you can use in combination with club soda for a non-alcoholic holiday beverage or combine with your favorite scotch, whiskey or barrel aged gin.23 Nov
It snowed this past weekend! I know, we live in Michigan and the snow inevitability returns every November, but it still catches me off guard. The first snow is still magical. The leaves have all fallen and the branches are bare and snow clings onto the newly bare branches that form a canopy over our drive. As the sun begins to peek through the gray clouds, the light catches each snowflake and they glisten with the brightness of a layer of glitter. The laughter of small children in the neighborhood can be heard as they gleefully attempt to catch each flake on their tongue. The first snow is also a reminder that the holidays are coming. Holiday parties, dinners with loved ones and family are on everyone’s agenda.20 Nov
Winter Storm Bella will bring the first, heavy accumulating snow of the season for us here in Michigan and across the Midwest this weekend. Cold temperatures will be setting in with single-digit windchill values.
As we prepare for the winter storm this weekend, many of us will bundle up and hunker down by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Let's welcome this winter storm with something other than plain hot chocolate to warm us up. How about a caramel hot chocolate with homemade caramel corn instead? Now we're talking!19 Nov
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Begin your day with a bowl of hearty and soul satisfying Vanilla Bean Chia Oatmeal. Chia oatmeal can be assembled quickly the evening before and eaten cold or warmed in the morning. Highly portable and infinitely nutritious, you'll wonder why you didn’t make this sooner.12 Nov
There are very few of us that do not like a moist, buttery piece of perfectly baked cake. Cakes can be overly fussy sometimes when including layers, buttercream, royal icing, fondant, gum paste, etc. The essence of the cake is sometimes lost in layers of other things… Bundt cake is simply cake, no fuss.09 Nov
Apples tend to find their way into many of our desserts, savory dishes and drinks during this time of year. One of my personal favorites is apple cake. In this maple apple cake recipe, the cake is almost the consistency of a crumb or coffee cake. The top is soaked in pure local maple syrup and the apples are tender and sweet. Buttermilk in the cake cuts the sweetness of the maple syrup and adds a tangy flavor to the dessert. This cake is best eaten the day it is baked.02 Nov
Strawberry and chocolate is often associated with the very simple dessert known as a chocolate covered strawberry. Pure and simple, this combination of flavors is often associated with love and decadence. I have definitely fallen in love with our strawberry chocolate mini layer cakes. Miniature cakes are the perfect way to serve guests a personal serving at any event or dinner party. Perfectly suited for weddings, baby showers or even engagement parties. There is no need for cake cutting or even running out of cake to serve your guests. Typically I will create cakes from scratch but this cake is moist, delicious and super easy to make when you are lacking in time and energy.30 Oct
I know it's cold and I am sharing an ice cream recipe. It's pumpkin season and although I am a huge fan of all things pumpkin, I can only eat so many pumpkin bread slices and muffins. Pumpkin ice cream is the perfect way to get your fill of pumpkin flavor without the overly filling denseness of a muffin or bread. Smooth and creamy with just a hint of spice, pumpkin chocolate chunk ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to pecan pie or simply enjoyed on its own.28 Oct
A pastry chef that doesn’t really eat sweets, that’s me! Don’t worry, I test everything I create but I simply do not crave sweets. It may stem from the years I spent in commercial kitchens and fine dining restaurants. Hundreds of plated desserts and homemade sweets came out those kitchens over the years, which may explain my lack of desire for the sweet treats. I will let you in on a little secret; I do still have one craving. It has never receded or lessened over the years. Oreos or more specifically, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Jo Jo’s. Just the thought of them makes my stomach growl.