Garlic Butter Crusty Bubble Bread

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I have an enduring love affair with bread.  It’s not just the pure pleasure of pulling off a steaming heel of bread, slathering cold sweet cream butter over the top, sinking your teeth into the crumb and shattering the crust; although those are reasons enough to be devoted.  Making bread; the process of measuring, mixing,…

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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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Spanakopita Dip

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When is a dip not just a dip?  When it’s something transcendental.  When it’s born to be a superstar. When it’s…  Spanakopita Dip.  (And that is NOT anticlimactic.  It isn’t.  Let me expound.) Spanakopita Dip is the dip that can do it all. A meal-of-a-dip full of spinach, studded with feta cheese, garlic, onions and…

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Dill-icious Greek Yogurt Dip

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This is the cook’s time of year -the holiday season; the time when we pull out all the stops in our culinary repertoires.  This is when cooks everywhere extend themselves to create the most spectacular and succulent savories and sweets that they can possibly turn out of their kitchen.  It is time to ‘wow’ your…

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Roasted Crispy Cheese Potatoes

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  Just look at the potatoes in that picture.  Those spuds are the embodiment of everything a potato should be; mahogany and crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, blanketed with nutty brown butter and crusted with toasted cheese.  Those potatoes are good enough that they would’ve made Dr. Atkins repent of his low-carb…

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Peanut Butter Pebble Pie

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This is the story of a pie.  A pie made by a woman who calls herself a “utilitarian, church pot-luck cook”.  She says it like an apology.  Like the soul-satisfying, hearty fare that she creates to nourish every stray  -both human and animal- that crosses her path is anything less than wonderful.  As though the…

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Pumpkin Pots de Crème

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I’m exceptionally fond of combining my obsessions. Sometimes it’s not so great.  Take Homer Simpson’s fabled “Nuts and Gum”,  par example… Sometimes, however, it works great. When you put together dark chocolate ganache and pie crust you get Dark Chocolate Truffle Tarts.  A happy accident if ever there was one… I might’ve mentioned that I’m…

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Apple Cider and Beer Braised Pot Roast

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It’s finally Fall.  I wait all year for this; pumpkins, scarlet maple leaves, blustery wind, butternut squash, grey clouds with bits of brilliant blue peeking through, hay bales, mega-bags of miniature chocolate bars (the best size for stashing in my apron pockets to cover ‘mommy-emergencies’), weather that justifies hours-long baking sessions, wool sock and scarf…

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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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