Food blogger & recipe developer at 52 Kitchen Adventures, your source for beautiful & creative desserts. My mission is to simplify baking from scratch for the home cook.

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Weekend Cook and Tell: Cookie Season

Peanut butter M&M cookies:

Sparkling peppermint sugar cookies:

...and my very favorite:
Whoopie pie pops! (Yes, I dipped whoopie pies in white chocolate, rolled them in crushed candy canes and stuck them on a stick):

Weekend Cook and Tell: Beef-less Burgers

I love portobello burgers in place of beef, and recently tried a burger recipe that uses chopped mushrooms instead. They sort of look more like ground meat, plus they're bound together with lots of yummy ingredients (grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, spices, herbs, etc.) to make hearty, meaty veggie burgers.

Weekend Giveaway: 'The Food Matters Cookbook'

I don't eat meat often, try to buy seasonal produce, and avoid processed foods.

Poll: Do You Give Food As Gifts?

I usually make a variety of cookies and fudge, but this year I'm trying something new: homemade chai tea mix. It's pretty easy, but looks nice and smells wonderful. With an overflow of sweets and indulgence at the holidays, I thought it would be a nice change to have something that's both healthier and something to enjoy whenever you want.

Recipe here:

Weekend Cook and Tell: Edible Giftables

I usually always make a variety of cookies and fudge as gifts, but this year wanted to do something different. I put together chai tea mixes, which are a great edible gift option because you don't have to eat them right away, they won't mess up your diet, and they smell wonderful. They even look festive with pink peppercorn and green fennel seeds and cardamom pods.

Cook the Book: 'Avec Eric'

I would love to go on a culinary journey in Europe. Greece, Italy, France, Spain at least...

Win a Free Organic D'Artagnan Turkey

Roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberry brown butter sounds like a great way to use cranberries!

Have You Ever Had Airline Food You Actually Liked?

I almost always fly Southwest, so I usually only get peanuts or pretzels. On a recent fly from SFO-NYC I flew on Virgin America, and their food wasn't bad - not great, but as good as anything you'd find in an airport. Plus, you get to order it on a touchscreen right in front of you!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Independence Day Inspirations

We're having a BBQ and I think we'll be doing Hawaiian burgers (with grilled pineapple, onion and peppers), grilled peaches, plus chips and dip and those kind of things.

For dessert, I made Firecracker Cupcakes - homemade funfetti with a sprinkle of Pop Rocks. Perfect festive cupcakes for the 4th!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Spring Greening

Earlier this week I sauteed baby artichokes with herbes de Provence, finishing them with fresh lemon juice and grated parmesan. They were very tender and fresh.
I also lightly grilled asparagus simply in olive oil, salt and pepper. They were still crispy, with lots of flavor and fun to eat with our fingers.

Is Your Pet Named After a Food (or Food Critic)?

My rabbit is named Cinnamon. Her fur was cinnamon colored when we adopted her, although she has darken a bit over the years.

Dreyer's/Edy's Limited Edition Girl Scout Cookie Ice Cream Flavors

True story: I went to Grocery Outlet (a "bargain market") for the first time in December, where I spotted several gallons of Edy's Girl Scout ice cream (can't remember the flavor - maybe Samoas?).

Which is odd, because A) I live in California, where it's called Dryer's, and B) Because it was 8 months after the limited edition ended.

Apparently not many people on the East coast appreciate this ice cream.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Pi Day Baking

I made "Grown-Up" S'mores Pie with Guiness.

It's an adult version of s'mores - a salty, buttery graham cracker crust with toasted walnuts, rich bittersweet chocolate center with Guiness beer, and homemade marshmallow.

Check out pictures and the recipe:

Poll: How Do You Cut Your Sandwiches?

I used to cut them down the middle until I was introduced to diagonal cutting as an adult. It's so much better!

Cook the Book: 'The Art of Eating In'

There are so many reasons - save money, eat healthier, to know exactly what I'm putting in my body and where it came from. Plus there's nothing like a home cooked meal after a long day.

Lenten Sacrifices

Although I'm nowhere near close to being Catholic, I always think about giving something unhealthy up just for the benefits and challenge. I think I'm going to actually do it this year and give up chocolate. Now that I've written it down I have to really do it, huh?

winter stew suggestions?

This isn't really a stew but a pureed soup, but I made a creamy stock-based soup with butternut squash and sunchokes last week:

It was perfect on a rainy winter night - warm, comforting, and very satisfying.

Cook the Book: Ad Hoc at Home

Burgers & Brew in Davis and Sacramento, CA. Great burgers made with Niman Ranch beef (or buffalo or vegetarian selections if you prefer) + great beer/wine selection + nice ambiance.

Cook the Book: The Grand Central Baking Book

I don't go to bakeries often because I bake a lot at, while I don't want to sound arrogant, my kitchen.

Sunday Brunch: Chai Tea Cupcakes

I know what you mean - Valentine's feels so far away, and yet there isn't much time to make things like this! I posted cupcakes on my blog today for the same reason, as I put up new recipes on Sundays and next week would be too late.

I've never tried a condensed milk icing. Sounds (and looks) yummy.