Whew! With all these seasonal activities, I can see how someone would need to turn to a shortcut to get their sweets on the Halloween party table. How someone might pick up a box of Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix because they saw the words Quick Bread and thought, oh man, the original recipe for that is definitely not quick enough. Luckily, there are quite a few options on the market, including just such a mix from Crate and Barrel, where you might already be shopping for some faux gourds, pumpkin candle holders, or scary mugs.
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Lavender is something that I prefer to keep to my laundry rather than my food, with two notable exceptions: Eating in Provence, and Easter. Crate and Barrel clearly feels the same way because in addition to seasonal offerings like felt bunnies and egg shaped cake pans, they sell a lavender scone mix.
Springtime is brunchtime. When the warmer weather hits, just about everyone wants to spend their weekend mornings outside at a sidewalk cafe. So for this week's Mixed Review, I tested two fresh-flavored, Spring-friendly scone mixes: Crate & Barrel's lavender version ($6.95), and Sticky Fingers lemon poppy seed ($5.99).
[Photographs: Lucy Baker] Two weeks ago, I reviewed Maggie & Mary's Creamy Pumpkin Soup. It was so spicy and warming, I still thought about it long after slurping up the last spoonful. Squash-based soups make wonderful winter weeknight meals. Not only are they quick, satisfying, and healthy, they also chase the chill out of your bones faster than my mother chases my brother out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning. Last week I found myself unable to resist another batch of pumpkin soup. This time, I opted for Crate & Barrel's Pumpkin Chowder ($6.95). Unlike Maggie & Mary's soup (smooth and evenly textured) this one incorporates rice and chunks of vegetables....
A few summers ago, I started making my own lemonade and have never looked back. In the warmer months, I keep a large pitcher in the fridge and add to it whenever it gets low. Sometimes I add strawberries or mint, other times bourbon. Homemade lemonade is easy and inexpensive, and it tastes about a million times better than any store-bought version I've ever had. Recently, while shopping at Crate & Barrel, I noticed a new line of lemonade mixes available in three varieties: strawberry, ginger peach, and jalapeño ($5.95 each). I was curious—they looked pretty good. The jalapeño version especially piqued my interest, as I'd never seen anything like it in the supermarket, where lemonade mixes are generally...