Strawberries are the perfect fruit. The bright red berry is available year round, although their peak season is May-September. Unlike the persimmon or pomegranate, the strawberry is readily available in just about every local grocery store for whenever you have the craving. They are perfect in smoothies, delicious in pies or whole, with a generous sprinkling of vanilla bean sugar!05 Aug
Jam Recipe: Blueberry-Orange Spice
Living in West Michigan provides us with an abundance of fresh fruit mid-summer to fall. Strawberries begin to show up in farm stands and the market late may, then cherries at the end of June, and finally blueberries mid-July.01 Aug
Banana bread is a classic treat often served with brunch or breakfast. Carrot cake, banana bread's “big sister”, is another classic favorite. What do you get when you cross banana bread and carrot cake together? Hummingbird cake! Hummingbird cake has a long but rather unknown history in the South. The first known published recipe was in 1978 in Southern Living Magazine. Mrs. Wiggins, of Greensboro North Carolina submitted the recipe to the magazine after winning numerous awards and ribbons for the cake. The recipe went on to be the most requested recipe in the magazine's history.30 Jul
One of my favorite times of the year is when the cherry trees begin to blossom; a signal that summer is drawing near and winter is around the corner. The fragrance and the beauty of these tiny blossoms is intoxicating!
Cherry trees produce small, bright red fruit perfect for pie, scones, jams, jellies and muffins. Cherries are so versatile they can even be used in savory applications such as sauces, salsas and bread stuffing.02 Jul
Fireworks, picnics, cottages, bon fires...... If you live in the United States, the most beloved of all summer holidays is the Fourth of July. A time when our country celebrates its independence from Great Britain. A time for family, friends and celebration with food and drinks.27 May
It's summer time, you are playing outside with your friends and you hear the familiar song of the ice cream truck. Instantly, you scatter to your houses asking (pleading with) your mother for money to buy a cold confection. You see him slowly come around the corner, your friends and you wait patiently as he makes his way down the street. Finally, he's here! So many choices plastered on the side of his truck. Do you want the bubble gum foot pop, the red white and blue firecracker pop or maybe the classic nutty cone. You settle on a the patriotic red, white and blue firecracker pop. Twenty minutes later, your face sticky in red and blue food coloring, you continue building your fort or riding bikes with friends. A garden hose at the end of the day turns into a make shift washroom to remove the dirt that has stuck to the red and blue drips on your face and hands.12 May
If you live in any of the cold weather states, you have probably noticed the absence of good quality, seasonal fruits. There are your standard apples, oranges, strawberries and blueberries. Even these selections are shipped in from distant lands, beautifully ripened but void of any flavor. I did run into a small selection of what, I am guessing, is a leftover stock of stored plums at my local grocery store. After picking through a group of obviously-stored-too-long specimens, I found a few pounds of nice looking fruit that would be lovely in a fruit tart. Once baked in a buttery pecan crumb crust, the fruit could once again shine. And shine it did!25 Apr
Bacon is one of the most delicious, mouthwatering meats. The smell of cooking bacon in the morning will wake just about anyone from the deepest sleep. But….. bacon isn’t just a side accompaniment for your over easy eggs. Bacon has gone mainstream and is now added to not only savory foods but also sweet confections. Bacon caramel corn, bacon vanilla shakes and bacon topped cupcakes are just a few of the creative ideas I have seen floating around the internet. Desserts with bacon combine the sweet and the salty to make the perfect sweet treat.
The children's book, Madeline, is a sweet story about a young girl and her escapades in Paris. It's a classic children's story that I have read to my daughter many, many times! As I baked the cookies, I imagined the spunky Madeline sitting down with her school mates, a spot of tea and a madeleine cookie in hand.09 Apr
Raise your hand if you love coffee! Now raise your hand if you love your coffee with a splash of cream and a couple teaspoons of your favorite flavored syrup! I must admit I raised my hand. I love a perfectly made latte with vanilla syrup. But, they get expensive and I knew there was a simple and less expensive way to make my favorite drinks at home.07 Apr
Sea salt is a relatively common seasoning found in most grocery stores, markets and restaurants. This type of salt is often used to season dishes without overpowering the complex flavors of the food, like iodized table salt sometimes will. While working on a recent project, I was astounded to learn that there is a very large variety of salts on the market today. Everything from black sea salt to salts from the volcanic ash of a mountain. After reviewing many of the salts, I realized just how versatile and flavorful salt can be. Beanilla sells vanilla Fleur de sel, and it is amazing! But we can't always wait for this delicious and versatile salt to be delivered to our door. We created a simple and delicious recipe that is the perfect gift for a hostess, as a parting gift at a wedding or kept in your pantry waiting for your next delicious creation!28 Mar
Kahlua; a simple concoction of vodka, water, coffee and sugar cane. If you made some homemade Kahlua using our delicious recipe, you know that the addition of a Beanilla vanilla bean made this liquor even more delicious!!! Kahlua is definitely a popular liquor to pour over ice and leisurely sip on after dinner. Did you know that you can utilize this liquor in a variety of desserts and baked goods?! One of my very favorite pairings is with chocolate. Simply add a small amount to chocolate ice cream bases, drizzle into your favorite mousse recipe or make a batch of chocolate Kahlua cookies!21 Mar
Chocolate, cherries, oatmeal, coconut, smoked almonds; all delicious ingredients on their own. Combine and bake all of these individual ingredients with a touch of butter, a bit of locally produced fresh honey and something magical happens! Store bought granola is delicious but nothing can compare to freshly baked granola.
We all know that homemade granola is the perfect addition to our morning routine, but why does it just have to be limited to a breakfast staple? Bittersweet chocolate, melted and spread into a thin layer then sprinkled with a handful of homemade granola is the perfect mid afternoon pick me up snack. Portable and packed with protein, chocolate cherry granola bark will keep you going through the toughest part of your day.06 Mar
There is nothing quite as delicious as a key lime pie! The tart key lime filling mingles well with the sweet and buttery graham cracker crust, but let's not forget the whipped cream! Mounds of freshly whipped cream is an essential component to the perfect key lime pie. But let's be honest, unless you plan on eating the pie directly from the pie plate (which is perfectly acceptable), or you are hosting a beautiful plated dinner, hauling around a plate of pie at a party that is constantly slipping to the edge is a bit cumbersome. I have a solution! Key lime pie mini parfaits!
Portable and easy to eat in just a few bites, this parfait has all the components of a traditional key lime pie in a very easy to serve size.03 Mar
Just about everyone that I know can use a little sunshine in their lives right now. This is the time of year when the winter blues start to set in and the pristine white snow has lost its luster and appeal. We are all yearning for a peak of green grass and the first tiny crocuses to sprout from the frozen ground. While we are waiting anxiously for this to happen, why not bring a little warmth and sunshine into your cold winter day with a beautiful blood orange. Blood oranges look similar to any other citrus on the market; bright orange with a tinge of red on the skin. The red blush on the skin of the blood orange reveals only a glimpse of the beautiful bright red interior. Truly a stunning fruit...