Hot Chocolate on a Stick

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[First published in November 2009] I’ve received lovely notes from many of you inquiring after my absence here.  First, let me thank you all for caring enough to ask.  Second, let me explain why I’m reposting this. My husband and I have visited his Aunt Patti in the Houston Heights area the last couple years…

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Chai Lattes and Hot Caramel Apple Cider

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Welcome to my third entry post for Project Food Blog on Foodbuzz.com.  The theme of the challenge for this round is “Luxury Dinner Party”. The good folks at Foodbuzz.com prompted thusly: “Celebrate! You’ve made it this far, and the next challenge is to hold a party for your friends and family (at least four guests)….

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Celery Soda

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I have to admit that Celery Soda is not exactly a normal sounding recipe.  While watching Alton Brown whip together this recipe on Good Eats, my first thought was, “Celery WHAT?”  My incredulity notwithstanding, the idea took hold. And boy did it ever take hold.  My brain kept trying to imagine how a syrup steeped…

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Homemade Grand Marnier Clone

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Mmmmm. Oranges.  I love them.  Dearly. I’ve even been known to eat the peels of oranges, candied or not; minus the pith, of course! Orange is one of my favorite flavors to add to baked goods, hot drinks, custards, and more.  Sometimes that’s easily accomplished by squeezing a little wedge of orange into or over…

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Chai Latte Tea Concentrate

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I love tea. Part of the reason tea charms me so is the power it possesses to transport me to another place or time.  Whatever the stress, boredom or weariness is that hangs over me, it falls away in the time-honoured ritual of brewing and sipping a cup of tea.  In the best circumstances this…

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Hot Chocolate on a Stick

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Now that I have the attention of the entire state of Minnesota, please allow me to expound. This is one of the most clever ideas I’ve seen out of the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Circle lately.  (And they’re no creative slouches over at King Arthur.)  In the most recent e-newsletter* from their test kitchen they…

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Yuletide Spiced Brandy Liqueur

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It’s time to get cozy. ~~  ~~ The air has progressed past crisp to chilly and will soon be downright cold. The leaves have finally given up their tenuous grasp on the trees and -with one final gust of nearly winter wind- fallen to insulate the grass and ground against the coming snow. ~~  ~~…

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Eggnog Liqueur

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If I were to list the five foods that I thought of as being most representative of Thanksgiving and Christmas I’d wager that my list would be pretty similar to those chosen by most North Americans; cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, turkey, cookies and eggnog.  And while I love each of those foods individually, my heart…

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Homemade V-7 (not 8) Garden Vegetable Juice Blend

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A few weeks ago, my mom made the trek out to Michigan to visit her sisters (my aunties) and my Grandma. One night while Mom and my baby sister were out there, the Shaffer girls (because that’s what they become when they’re all together again) and Grandma gathered around the kitchen table to talk food…

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Boston Coolers

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Boston Coolers are an iconic Michigan dessert.  Yes.  I am aware it’s called a Boston cooler but its origins and popularity have nothing whatsoever to do with Boston, Massachusetts.  This perfect combination of Vernor’s Ginger Ale and vanilla ice cream hails from the Boston Boulevard area of Detroit, Michigan; another Michigan icon.  And since that…

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