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Baking

The Life of Pie: Linda Lomelino Scores a Hit with ‘Lomelino’s Pies’

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Who doesn’t love pie?   My nephew, that’s who! One of my mother’s favorite stories to tell about her grandchildren (and one we never let this particular one forget) is how he asked her if they could make a pie together. My mother really enjoys doing these things with her grandkids and they enjoy it just as much. So on this day, about 13 years ago, my mother set out to bake a pie with her first grandchild. The went to the store together and loaded up their cart with the freshest ingredients including the plumpest, juiciest blueberries, and vanilla ice cream from their favorite ice creamery.  They went home and made the pie from scratch— crust and all. My…

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Beat the Heat with No-Bake Treats from the Creator of Beyond Frosting Blog

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It’s been a pretty tame summer until this week’s heat wave hit on the East Coast and today’s the kind of blistering sweatfest where ice cream sundaes turn to colorful puddles in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t think of a better time than now to satisfy my sweet tooth without having to use the oven. Until I came across No-Bake Treats: Incredible Unbaked Cheesecakes, Icebox Cakes, Pies and More (Page Street Publishing Co., July 19, 2016), I had no idea that there were so many dessert options that can be made easily and without any extra heat involved. Many people out there are willing to go the distance for the desserts they crave, but I have to draw the line…

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Heat Index: 5 Hot New Books that Use Food and Drinks as Supporting Characters

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There’s nothing like food and drinks to bring a group of people together, whether it’s a special occasion, a holiday or good ol’ fashion picnic, at the heart of it all is the food we eat and the cocktails we drink. So it makes sense that the incorporation of food and drinks in the thing we love most, books, would be a must. Not only do the characters in these stories rely on food to get them through their day, but the delicious cocktails and fine cuisine take on a life all its own within the pages of these five hot new books and ultimately become the supporting characters in each novel. Sweetbitter: A Novel, Stephanie Danler (Knopf, May 24, 2016) “Gorgeous,…

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Cake Blogger Tessa Huff Offers Fast, Fresh Easter Baking Options

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We’ve all been there. The approaching holiday is weeks away; Plenty of time to put together some baking ideas and to plan out what you’ll bring to a festive party. Then work, family and just life in general begins to fill your days and nights. And before you know it, it’s the Friday before a holiday and you’re scrambling to find that one go-to recipe you love that you know is easy to make and doesn’t require too much work. Then you think just once, you’d like to bring something different, something super yummy! If you’ve found yourself in this boat on more than one occasion and if you realize you’re running out of time as you prepare for Easter weekend, we’ve got a little advice from cake baker…

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Forget Pie. You’ll Want to Make These Thanksgiving Alternatives from Violet Cakes Bakery

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This may sound like sacrilege, but on Thanksgiving I don’t do pie. That doesn’t mean we don’t have pie; a fantastic local farm kitchen fills that need, but I don’t bake pies. Ever. While I do terrific fillings, the alchemy that results in a tender, flaky crust has always eluded me. Instead, I prefer to tempt guests to save a little room with a dessert they don’t expect. To dazzle them, this year I’m turning to The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak (Ten Speed Press; September 29, 2015). One of the things I love about Ptak’s recipes is her emphasis on flavor over appearance and her judicious use of refined sugar and flour. Like everyone else, my family includes…

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Sisters Tackle the Surprisingly Simple Desserts in Sweet Envy

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In my opinion, the best part of dinner is always dessert. I would eat dessert first, if it was socially acceptable. I am essentially addicted to sugar. I’m the type of person who will go to the convenience store at night in my pajamas for a package of Oreos or some gummy worms. Even though I love sweets, I can barely make brownies from the box. It is quite unfortunate. But, to my delight, my younger sister will soon be studying baking and pastries at culinary school. So, I bake vicariously through my little sis. In Seton Rossini’s new cookbook Sweet Envy: Deceptively Easy Desserts, Designed to Steal the Show (The Countryman Press; October 5, 2015) she offers recipes that…

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Eileen Goudge shares a cookie swapper’s basic recipe — no BS, no wheat germ.

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Show me a cookie, I’ll tell you a story. They say taste is the sense with the longest memory. It must be true because my most memorable moments growing up involve food. Baked goods, in particular. With six kids, my mom always had a full cookie jar. With five daughters, she had a full kitchen. On Saturdays my sisters and I would each choose a different cookie recipe, then get out the bowls and measuring cups and tie on our aprons. Mom had only one rule: We had to clean up after. Mine was this: Cross the line and get shot. I was the Berlin Wall of baking. Nobody messed with my cookies. Ah, sweet memories. There was the time…

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Sweet celebration: creating Leela’s four-layer coconut cake from Karen Spears Zacharias’s MOTHER OF RAIN

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Life was anything but a party for Maizee Hurd in Karen Spears Zacharias’s novel, Mother of Rain (Mercer Univ. Press, 2013). From the voices urging her to do unspeakable things, to the loss of her loving husband at Normandy, it seemed as if poor Maizee was doomed to a life of heartache the moment she found her mother lying dead in the garden behind her childhood home. For this reason, it was her son, Rain’s, first birthday cake that I knew I wanted to try to recreate as I worked my way through Maizee’s tragic story. The cake, and the party his community organized to celebrate his young life, unfortunately seemed to symbolize the end of what had been a relatively…

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