Parade.com: Dark and White Chocolate Brownies with Candy Cane

Dark and White Chocolate Brownies with Candy Cane

There’s nothing like a peppermint candy cane crushed into tiny pieces with its crisp flavor cutting through a decadent, dark and vanilla white chocolate brownie. The flavors sing, “Have a jolly Merry Christmas!”  Read more

Parade.com: Cardamon Snickerdoodles

Cardamon Snickerdoodles

It’s the various spices that define holiday baking with cinnamon being the most common of them all. Next to beautifully adored butter cookies, simple snickerdoodles rolled in cinnamon and sugar are one of my favorite cookies because of its soft and chewy texture. In this recipe, coconut sugar replaces white sugar for a less sweetened and a hint of caramel flavor. While white-whole wheat flour is tossed with all-purpose white flour for a slightly healthier treat. The other change? Cardamon replaces cinnamon for a different sweet and spicy flavor. Along with cinnamon, it’s a spice redefining the holidays among adventurous bakers.

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Parade Magazine: Maple Almond Pear Tarts

Maple Almond Pear Tarts

After returning to working a weekday schedule of 9 to 5, desserts with less prep work are appreciated in my schedule. Although pears and/or apples baked in buttery pie crusts are worth the extra effort and time, using puff pastry to make a tart turns out a quickie dessert.

This tart is topped with pear slices, warm spices, chopped almonds, and a maple syrup glaze with Tonewood Maple Flakes sprinkled on top. Of course, no dessert with baked pears is complete without a generous scoop of fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Sweet pies are great if there’s extra time in your schedule, but those with fewer hours can make these maple almond pear tarts with equal love.  Read more

How Sweet it Is

Coffee Almond Ice Cream and Brownie Cake with Chocolate Ganache

t’s our birthday and a major anniversary year for us. He’s seen the worst of me, and said I am beautiful. He’s my King and I’m his Queen. That’s love. I wanted to treat him to a nice birthday. To say thank you for the support over the years. I wish we could fly away for two weeks to a private island. For now, my love is expressed via low-budget creativity. It’s the type of gift for that one particular person as it warms the heart to communicate, “I listen, watch and think about you all the time.”

With extra money saved, two orchestra tickets to Motown the Musical were bought. Reservations to The Elm in Williamsburg were made. And, an ice cream cake made with a twist of his favorite (insert big brand name ice cream here) Vanilla Swiss Almond flavor.

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Beautifully Serene Lavender Fields

Strawberry Lavender Sorbet

After weeks of resting well and looking at the four corners of my apartment, a good friend suggested we drive two hours to Lavender by the Bay in East Marion, New York. They have a booth in Union Square’s farmer’s market selling lavender bunches, dried lavender for cooking, lavender sachets and more. After reassuring the boyfriend the trip is mostly sitting in a car, walking around the fields for less than an hour and driving another two hours back to the city, my friend and I  left Brooklyn one foggy, mild Thursday morning. We picked a weekday, because the crowds would’ve been too stressful for me (I’m not in the condition to stand in line). We also took a chance, because the weather stations predicted t-storms starting around 1 pm. We started our trip at 7:30 am, so we can return to the city before the heavy rains.  Read more