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it’s been awhile

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A few weeks ago the lovely people at the Blue Heron Coffeehouse had a book signing and dinner to celebrate the release of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. It was a wonderful afternoon and evening. I saw familiar faces I used to wait on in my barista days; I met new friends, and celebrated with old ones. If you’ve read through my book you know the Blue Heron…

baking

blueberry apple crumble bars

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A kind reader pointed out to me that there  is a slight mistake this Blueberry Apple Crumb Bar recipe in The Vanilla Bean Baking Book, so I’m putting the recipe here (with corrections). The ingredient list is correct in the book, but the directions mention ‘baking soda’ instead of ‘baking powder’, and list cinnamon in the filling when there is none. Sorry about that! If any of you…

baking

pistachio chocolate twist

Thursday, December 15, 2016

‘The snow began here this morning and all day continued, its white rhetoric everywhere calling us back to why, how, whence such beauty and what the meaning; such an oracular fever! flowing past windows, an energy it seemed would never ebb, never settle less than lovely! and only now, deep into night, it has finally ended… and though the questions that have assailed us all day remain —…

drinks

two easy holiday drinks

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A few weeks ago the kind folks at Martha Stewart Living sent me their new copper bar set. I’m not much of a mixed drink kind of person, more like the ‘1/2 beer with dinner’ type, even though I do have a cabinet stuffed full of liqueur bottles. These, however, are used almost exclusively for baking. I decided to live it up just a little this December; trade…

baking

st. lucia buns

Monday, December 5, 2016

Each December, I find myself searching for the perfect holiday traditions. Not that there are any perfect ones, of course, but with two little ones in our family, I crave some routine and consistency each year. Dream scenarios would be opening presents every Christmas morning as a family in our home, snuggling up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate Christmas Eve to watch Rudolph (and…

baking

ice box sugar cookies

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday, and survived the shopping madness that followed. After working retail for 10 holiday seasons in a row (with Black Friday and Christmas Eve always days I had to work), I can’t bring myself to venture out anywhere over the after-Thanksgiving weekend, so I enjoyed time inside my house, baking and reading. I have five books going right…

photographs

photographs + links

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My little brother Daniel, who is exactly 9 years younger than me (to the day), just got hitched. We are so happy to welcome his wife, Cassie, to our family. I didn’t photograph their wedding, but I did sneak around and got a few shots, anyway. I have a couple more links to posts from my book, as well. *Melissa from The FauxMartha made my Honey Bundt Cake.…

baking

cranberry white chocolate rosemary cookies with decas cranberries

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I’m very happy with how these cookies turned out – they are a riff on an oatmeal cookie found in my book, and the rosemary adds so much flavor. They are a perfect addition to your holiday table – stacked up next to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, or piled high on a plate next to the tree, waiting for Santa. Decas Cranberry Products, Inc. just-released premium quality Cooking…

baking

apple pear cranberry crisp with white wine + a le creuset giveaway!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I have a great giveaway today in celebration of the release of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book: this fantastic Le Creuset braiser pan! I received this braiser about a year ago, and it instantly became my favorite kitchen item. I use it for everything – both dinner and dessert, sweet and savory. It browns chicken and other meats like a dream, the deep sides are roomy and prevent…