Author Archives: Sarah

  • Homemade Vanilla Peanut Butter

    Homemade Vanilla Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter. Unless you’re allergic, odds are you have fond memories of growing up with this sweet, salty, scrumptious spread. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter cookies, ants on a log; the list goes on and on. Have you ever wondered how this unassuming paste became such an essential part of the American experience? Better yet, have you ever wondered how to make peanut butter yourself? If so, you'll love this homemade vanilla peanut butter recipe. But first, what's the story behind this creamy treat?

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  • Pastel Éclairs

    How to Make Eclairs

    Spring tends to get off to a slow start here in Michigan. A beautiful, sunny day will be followed by a week of rain (or even worse, snow). That doesn’t mean you can’t add a little brightness of your own to any day, and this éclair recipe is the perfect way to do exactly that!

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  • Easter Cupcake Ideas: The Chicken Or The Egg?

    Easter Cupcake Ideas

    What came first: the chicken or the egg? It’s an age-old question, which has been pondered by philosophers for millennia. There is a scientific response, of course, as well as a metaphorical one. But with Easter nearly upon us, we have come up with an answer of our own: it doesn’t matter which came first when you can use both to create some delightfully adorable Easter cupcake.

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Marshmallow Peep S'mores

    Marshmallow Peeps Chocolate Chip Cookie Smores

    Easter is just around the corner! The bright red and white displays of Valentine’s Day are long gone, and the Kelly green of St. Patrick’s day has given way to the pastels of pink, yellow, blue and green. Easter baskets, egg-dying kits, and of course a variety of Easter treats have taken over store shelves.

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  • Five-Layer Cookie Bars

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Recipe

    Five-layer cookie bars bring me back to my childhood. Memories of our tiny kitchen, cornflower blue cabinets, and butcher block counter tops perfect for rolling out homemade pie dough. One lone electrical appliance - a kitchen aid mixer - graced the corner of the counter. Plug-in kitchen appliances were not a part of our kitchen. “Hands and hand-tools are a cook’s best friend,” I distinctly remember my mother saying.

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  • Vanilla Peach Bellini Martini

    Vodka Martini

    Do you have a favorite cocktail? One that you always order when out with friends, your go-to drink? I have two. Gin and Tonic with Hendricks and a slice of cucumber, and Peach Bellini Martinis. The combination of sweet and fruity with a sour lemon bite is perfectly balanced. I love this recipe as an after-dinner drink or paired with a salty appetizer.

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  • Chocolate Pear Crisps

    Crisp Recipe

    There are many varieties of pears, most commonly divided in two categories: European and Asian. The soft skin and interior of the European ripened pears are distinctly opposite of the crisp and round Asian pear. Both are useful in many different ways. The tree-ripened European variety is sweet and soft suitable for cakes, tarts, and sauces when cooked down to a mouth pleasing texture. Any variety of pear will work well for this recipe.

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  • Blueberry Lemon Curd Pancakes

    Homemade Blueberry Pancakes

    Did you know that breakfast as we know it did not exist for the better part of history? Breakfast is a relatively modern tradition. Much of the world believed that one meal a day was more than acceptable, and consuming more than one meal was an act of gluttony. During the middle ages, the monastic lifestyles and religion of Rome dictated patterns of meal consumption. Meat was only allow half of the year, and no food consumption was allowed before morning mass.

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  • Homemade Berry Marshmallows

    Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

    The bright orange glow of an open fire casts endearing light onto giggling faces. Low murmurs of delight can be heard in waves as rounds of melting sugar slowly turn golden-brown (and a few hopelessly burn beyond recognition). The pre-collected roasting stick is pulled back from over the fire, and the marshmallow on its tip is delicately slid between two graham crackers and a nice chunk of chocolate. The result is a gooey, sweet, beautiful mess that sticks to hands, covers mouths, and ultimately makes for a very happy evening!

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  • Strawberry Vanilla Jam

    How to Make Strawberry Jam

    It's mid-April in Michigan, and I have a feeling that yesterday was our last snowfall. *knock on wood* It’s blue skies from here on out. Plants are starting to grow and it’s finally springtime! Our weather is moving in the direction of cool cozy mornings and warm sunny days. Our lives are about to be filled with fresh fruits and vegetables from our gardens and farmer markets. Sun-ripened beautiful berries, morning-picked greens, and countless varieties of heirloom tomatoes. In the next few weeks, strawberries will begin to show up in our marketplaces. The intoxicating smell of local in-season berries is like nothing else. I can’t get enough!

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  • Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites with Vanilla Frosting

    Pretzel Bites

    Pretzels certainly have a twisted history. The exact moment of invention is a little unclear, but most historians can trace the history to around 610 AD. Italian monks presented their students with baked dough shaped in the form of crossed arms. Crossed arms were their traditional symbol of prayer. As the tradition spread throughout Europe, the three holes were widely accepted to represent the holy trinity. The spread of Catholicism throughout Europe and eventually the new world increased the popularity of the soft, doughy snack. Dairy, meat, and eggs are prohibited during the period of lent and the pretzel was a simple and delicious way for Catholics to enjoy a snack without breaking tradition.

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  • Sweet Potato Waffles

    Sweet Potato Recipe

    Sweet potato waffles are the perfect way to welcome the cool mornings of spring! The soft sustenance of sweet potatoes perfectly compliments the crunchy texture that waffles are known and loved for. Be prepared for the color of these waffles… a bright, beautiful orange. A reminder that spring has finally arrived, and our lives are about to be filled with more color than seemingly ever before.

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  • Homemade Peanut Butter

    Peanut Butter Recipe

    I live for weekend mornings. Waking up with the sunrise, eating a leisurely breakfast, catching up on social media, and spending time with those I love most. Pancakes, eggs, and either bacon or sausage is typically on the menu. Along side is toast, butter and jam to cleanse the pallet.

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  • Key Lime Pie

    Key Lime Pie Recipe

    In 2014, my family spent our spring break in Florida - Orlando to be specific. Orlando is the home of Disney World, Universal Studios, and a host of other amusement parks. Families pack the parks and tourist attractions day-in and day-out. Restaurants such as Hard Rock Café and Rainforest Café offer high priced food to hungry tourists happy with a burger or sandwich. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with these commercial restaurants. They have their place, and I’ve been known to patronize a few. But what I’m really interested in is local food and history. Where did these dishes come from, why was it made, and who made it first? Aside from oranges, gator bites, kumquat jelly, and conch fritters, the one dish Florida is consistently credited with creating is key lime pie. Key lime pie originates in the coastal city of Key West.

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  • Baklava Cupcakes

    baklava recipe

    Did you grow up with a recipe that didn’t seem to fit into your family heritage, or the culture or region you resided in? You love it of course because you grew up loving it, but it’s unclear how and why it was always available in your home. Baklava is one of those quizzical foods for me. The treat was always at holiday celebrations, birthdays, and occasionally would even show up in our lunch boxes.

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