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Crave: to want greatly : to yearn for: to have a strong or inward desire Oh, I know all about cravings. Cravings are getting up in the middle of the night to make scones because you cannot get them out your mind.  Cravings are my 13 year old nephew walking one and a half miles to the grocery store to get butter just so his mom would make him these cookies. Cravings are my friend taking a flight out to California simply to curb her desire for an In-N-Out burger. Cravings are driving to 5 different grocery stores when gas is $3.25 a gallon to find the chocolate wafers called for in the Magnolia Bakery Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake recipe. Yes, I know all about cravings and the strong pull they have over some of us. My craving for the Magnolia Bakery Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake started a few years ago when I saw a photo and the recipe featured in O Magazine. The craving later intensified when Deb over at Smitten Kitchen wrote a post about this cake. Her featured photos had me drooling on my computer keyboard. Somehow, I have managed to keep pushing this craving aside. I really, really wanted to try it, but the craving was not so strong that I had to give in. It was not so strong until this past week when I was browsing through the blog of fellow Just Baking writer, Jennifer McHenry of Bake or Break. I was clicking and scrolling around when a big, beautiful picture of the Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake popped up on my screen. It was at that moment that I hit my … [Continue reading]

This Calls for Something Strong

 Whew - it has been a long week! I spent this past week teaching preschool crafts to 100 3 and 4 your olds for our church Vacation Bible School program. Yes...100 three and four year old children came through our classroom each day to learn a message and do a craft each day. I am used to being around my own kids, but these three hours of other peoples children every day wore me out. I came home in the afternoon and could not wait to get a nap in. It did not help that my husband was in New York all week on business either. I had to be in full-time Mommy mode 24/7.By Friday night I was ready to pull my hair out and knew I needed something strong to help me relax into weekend mode. I needed an adult beverage. Something as far away from kid friendly as possible. I had a bottle of Grand Mariner and remember seeing an ad in Gourmet magazine awhile back for a Grand Mariner margarita. It was a simple recipe.. one part Grand Mariner and lime juice and two parts tequila. You shake it all up in an ice filled cocktail shaker and then strain it into a salt rimmed margarita glass. Soon after Nick was home, I made my Grand Mariner margarita. When I took my first sip I was completely disappointed. It just was not what I was looking for. I finished it (of course!) and then set out to find another recipe. I hopped onto Recipezaar and did a search by ingredients...Grand Mariner and Tequila. I found this recipe for a Top Shelf Margarita. We had the ingredients necessary to make this yummy … [Continue reading]

June 2007 Issue of Gourmet Magazine

Written for Paper Palate on the Well Fed NetworkI ran into a slight dilemma when I sat down to write my article about the June 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine. I opened up the magazine to find page after page after page torn out. No, my kids did not get a hold of the issue. My husband, who loves to grill, took the liberty of browsing through the magazine and tearing out recipes he wanted to try. He must have removed half the magazine because the copy in my hands was very sparse. Once I was able to acquire a complete issue from the library, I could see why my husband was so eager to rip and tear this issue to pieces. The June 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine is full of very appealing recipes. Mouth watering photos and simple summertime ingredients will tempt all of us into giving some of their current recipes a try. From Crisp Chipotle Shrimp with Corn and Scallions to Cheesecake Marbled Brownies, this issue has something for everyone. The recipe that tempted us the most was for Pasta with Green Vegetables and Herbs. My herb garden is growing well, and this beautiful and delicious dish was a perfect accompaniment to the warm summer weather we have been having. You can find the recipe at the end of this article. As far as articles go, this issue had at least one well written piece that brought me to tears. Daniel Zwerdling wrote A View To A Kill... an eye opening article about chicken megafarms and giant processing plants and the inhumane treatment of broiler chickens (as they … [Continue reading]

Smashing Berries

 There is nothing out there that is quite as gratifying to me as smashing, kneading, chopping, beating, etc. the heck out of food. When I am stressed, give me a recipe that calls for doing something inhumane to the ingredients and by the time I have an end product, my stress is gone. This morning, my kids were not getting along at all. From the moment they woke up they were bickering with each other about every little thing. They were apparently frustrated with each other and needed a quick intervention. I decided to try to distract them some. They could help me make breakfast, and while doing so, they could relieve some of their obvious stress by smashing some strawberries. I got out two bowls and divided the berries among them. I gave them each a vegetable smasher and they went to town destroying their own little bowl of berries. Instead of fussing and arguing, I heard giggling and laughing. Before I knew it, the first step to our breakfast muffin recipe was done and the mood of my children had changed dramatically. Together we finished adding the ingredients, stirring it up and making the muffins. We ended up having a lovely breakfast of delicious Berry Smash muffins. The kids were so proud of their part in making breakfast and I was just thrilled to have a morning where the bickering was squelched from the start. For your own at home therapy session, give this recipe for Berry Smash Muffins a try.Berry Smash Muffins (from Recipezaar) 1 2/3 … [Continue reading]

Taking Bets

One day Ella looks like she is going to be blonde, the next day her hair looks as red as can be. This photo was taken today... what do you think? Do we have a blondie or a redhead?  … [Continue reading]