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Jamie Oliver

Books! The Perfect Gift for the Most Difficult People on Your List

in Potpourri by

You want to pretend that you’ve been hunting for the perfect holiday present for months, but we both know the truth—you have no idea what to get at least half of the people on your list. Don’t despair—you have lots of company! This is why we have all kinds of suggestions for book lovers including Christmas-y fiction, books that would make great movies for Hanukkah (but are also awesome reads), books that can change the world, and the best books of 2015. But some of the people on your list are REALLY hard to shop for. Finding the key to world peace would be simpler. No worries! Get ready to make your list. We’ve got what you need; books are…

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

in Non-Fiction by

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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