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Apple Rum Squares


Anything baked with rum is so delicious and anything baked with apples is a winner; combined, the two are heaven on a plate.

Generally, when I use apples in any kind of cooking, sweet or savory, I like to mix different types. The flavor becomes deeper and more complex.  The exception would be in a dessert when I want the apples to retain their shape, such as in an apple tart.  I would then use golden delicious.

My sister’s mother-in-law, Katherine Kaneb, was a great baker. (Can we come up with a name for an almost mother-in-law status for people we love and are close to and who have been fixtures in our lives? I am taking suggestions.) With five children and a yard full of apple trees, she did a lot of baking. This was originally one of her recipes, which I have adapted.  These squares are so quick and easy to make and and their soft and chewy taste is a winner. [click to continue…]

Fig Soufflés with Raspberry Coulis


Summer in Florida probably shouldn’t be on anyone’s list of best places to live. This year especially is crazy hot. Grilling and easy are on the menu for us. This dessert is easy. Most of it can be done ahead, it looks beautiful and it tastes so good.

This is a take off on Chef Antoine Bouterin’s gorgeous Figues Soufflés au Coulis de Framboise. I had his version years ago and it’s so good I have never forgotten it. If you butter and sugar small ramekins you can make soufflés with the filling. Plate the figs and serve them right away or the soufflé inside will start to fall.

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Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

The other morning I was grocery shopping and became enchanted by a deliciously sweet smell coming from the produce section. I started to explore and found the root of it, beautiful, ripe summer peaches. I picked up some for snacking and decided to make a dessert with the others.

I love upside down cake, pineapple, peach, plum – it was one of the first desserts I learned how to make. It’s so versatile; you can use fresh or frozen fruit. I decided this was the perfect vehicle to showcase these gorgeous peaches. The desert is beautifully caramelized and the aroma of the sugar and butter making it’s gooey magic fills your entire home. The comforting appearance, sweet aroma and mellow fruity and buttery taste result in a scrumptious treat. This cake manages to look beautiful and rustic at the same time.

The dessert is amazing on its own, but for special occasions I like to add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt. It highlights the vanilla in the cake and in the caramel and creates a nice contrast to the warm dessert.
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Angel Food Cake with Strawberries, Blueberries and Whipped Cream

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Grilled Stickies

Grilled Stickies Recipe

The great debate – cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. My choice had always been cinnamon rolls. Especially, my friend Barb’s recipe that creates cinnamon rolls with soft, rich melt in your mouth goodness. She always said the mixer practically made them for you.

In my late twenties I started traveling to Pennsylvania to visit family, which continued over the years especially when Stefanie decided to attend Penn State. On one of my first trips, I tasted and fell in love with sticky buns, particularly grilled stickies. Instead of toast or pancakes with your eggs, diners and Mom and Pop restaurants in PA give you sticky buns. And the best ones of all come from Ye Olde College Diner in State College. After football, they are Penn State’s claim to fame. Some nights you dream of them, grilled till the edges caramelize.

The diner ships them but I realized my cinnamon rolls recipe (actually Barb’s cinnamon roll recipe) translates into stickies that when grilled are almost as good. The best part of all, cook up a batch, split them up and wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them. Defrost, grill them in a cast iron pan and you have heaven on a dish.

This recipe has egg and milk in it but I have also developed an eggless, milk-less recipe that uses vegetable shortening, if you want it please email us and we’ll send you that one.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


These cookies were the best seller from a cookie business we had. We shipped all over the country and now we’re sharing the recipe with you. My husband’s favorite trick is to have me make cookie balls and leave them in a bag in the refrigerator. Every night he flattens them and pops them in the toaster oven for 12 minutes. Nirvana – hot cookies before bed. [click to continue…]

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie says spring is coming. It’s sweet and tart and wonderful all at once. My sister makes the best strawberry rhubarb pie with rhubarb fresh from her garden. This recipe is a take off on hers. Our local organic farm is harvesting rhubarb and plant city strawberries are in season and sweet as sugar.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Chocolate covered strawberries are such a sweet treat. These are so easy to make and the white and dark chocolate elevate them to another level. I’m making these for Valentine’s Day and giving them out to friends. [click to continue…]

Bakewell Tart


I first tasted a Bakewell Tart about a month ago. Christa Jostock was visiting from England and threw together a couple of these wonderful almond and raspberry tarts. It was love at first taste of this tart.  This is my gluten free version of this English classic. [click to continue…]

Key Lime Pie

As a gesture for a great friend, I attempted to make Key Lime Pie years ago. Never having experienced the dessert, I believed that it should be more lime colored. This believe caused me to spike my pie with green food coloring. That night we all had a good laugh about the fluorescent color.

Since then, Key Lime Pie has become one of my favorite desserts. It is tart, moist, and has the perfect crumbly crust. Not to mention I add lots of zest to add even more zing!

Key Lime Pie Recipe

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