Stovetop Granola is totally a thing.

My go-to summer breakfast is fruit with yogurt and granola. I typically buy my granola in the summer, not because it’s too hot to turn the oven on, but because I’ve fallen in love with a ginger granola that I’ve yet to be able to perfect at home and I find ginger granola to be the perfect complement to any fresh fruit combo I throw together.  That changed last week however, when not only was I out of granola, it was so incredibly hot outside that just the thought of getting in my car to go get granola was out of the realm of possibility. I began to wonder if stovetop granola was a thing and if it wasn’t, then could I make it a thing? Continue reading

Lemon cake and berries.

A few years ago now, we were at a Memorial Day BBQ at a neighbor’s, when one of the guests showed up with this wonderful lemon cake. The rest of us brought  various forms of strawberries, as they were gloriously in season. The resulting pairing of fresh strawberries with strawberry ice cream and lemon cake was a nice twist on the idea of strawberry shortcake.


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bluebellsI suppose it started when I found myself saying “Yes” to every kid from Charlottesville High School Band that asked me to buy fruit in their fundraising drive late last fall. We’ve always bought fruit to support the local high school marching band, because my better half, having done that himself, likes to support the local band, although I have to admit that these last few years I’ve been a supporter knowing these are the same families we’re going to hit up when Edie starts fundraising for orchestra next year.  Some of our family are big citrus fans and eat it up rather quickly, but I found a few pieces languishing in the drawer (no doubt a testament to how many times I said YES), so I thought I’d get crafty with it and try my hand at baking with it. Continue reading

Recent Kitchen Experiments.

I kept seeing mentions of banana bread pop up everywhere last week, so when I got up Sunday morning, it seemed like the obvious thing to make for breakfast was banana bread.  My go-to recipe for banana bread is from my 1980-something Betty Crocker cookbook. I don’t alter it much, with the exception of subbing in some whole wheat flour for all-purpose and excluding nuts. I am just not a fan of nuts in my banana bread and thankfully, no one else is here either.  To be honest, the only time we like nuts in our baked goods are pecan pie and grandma’s fruitcake muffins. Continue reading

Egg nog and Festivus Miracles.

The subject of eggnog came up the other day when my friend Leni had dropped by – I’m a fan, but my better half is not. She suggested I seek out a recipe that doesn’t call for much sugar, because the premade stuff is loaded with sugar and in her opinion, not very good. So while I said I’d get right on that, I thought hmm, maybe another year, as I knew better than to tack anything else on my to do list for the week. So low and behold, when I woke up to find an email the very next morning from my dear college friend Will with an eggnog recipe attached, I felt like I had just witnessed a Festivus miracle. Continue reading

A bridal shower.

I co-hosted a bridal shower for my cousin Molly over the holiday weekend.  When Aunt Jenny proposed the idea, she suggested a brunch, then after I agreed, followed up by asking for a proposed menu. It wasn’t until she asked for a shopping list that it sort of dawned on me that by co-hosting, I would be catering the whole she-bang.  Why yes, I’m fully capable and yes, I do happen to actually do that particular activity from time to time for people I’m not related to, but always in the role of the very capable assistant, never do I actually assemble the menu and recipes and shopping list myself.  I’ll admit, I had a moment where I wondered WTF I was doing, with a  wavering in confidence before I got over myself and just went with it.

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Apple Bread Pudding.

I find nothing more comforting than bread pudding. I have fond memories of my Granny’s bread pudding – it wasn’t something I remember her making often and it was certainly one of the few things I remember her making that wasn’t a recipe on the back of a package, which is probably why it ranks so high on my comfort food meter. Whenever I have a sizable amount of stale bread laying about, particularly home baked loaves, I am inspired to make a bread pudding.  Over the years, I’ve come up with my own recipes for chocolate bread pudding (sweet) and vegetable bread pudding (savory), but the other night  I wanted to make an apple bread pudding to help use up the remains of a bushel of apples sitting around the house.

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Biscuits, the recipe.

Remember a few weeks ago when I proclaimed to have NAILED biscuits but failed to share a recipe?  My excuse was that I wanted to try using whole wheat flour before sharing under the auspices of presenting a healthier recipe – really, I just wanted to make sure those biscuits were not a fluke.  I can admit I do sometimes have rather lackluster batches of biscuits – they still get eaten because bad biscuits are better than no biscuits apparently – but they are nothing to write the internet about.  I tested my theory of using cream and cake flour in a few batches – including sweet potato ones – to much success every time, so now I’m ready to share a recipe.  While the all white flour version are still by far the flakiest, the whole wheat and sweet potato versions (also made with whole wheat) are still not too shabby.

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