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Showing posts from June, 2016

Sweet, Aromatic Molasses Cookies

Recently, I spent the afternoon with a friend poking around some local shops.  We meandered through the stores for a couple of hours looking at an eclectic assortment of home goods, local crafts, and plants.  It was fun, relaxing, and felt like an indulgence because we don't do it often enough.  Our last stop was at a neighborhood coffee shop where we continued out indulgence by sharing a cookie.  It should be noted that this particular coffee shop serves huge cookies, so sharing was definitely appropriate. Normally, my cookie of choice would be chocolate chip, but the cookie that caught our fancy that day was a molasses cookie.    It was a delicious cookie that reminded me of days long ago when I would come home from school to a plate of freshly baked cookies. The Best Molasses Cookie Recipe Molasses Crinkles The memory of that yummy molasses cookie has stayed with me and today I decided to make a batch of my favorite molasses cookies, called molasses crinkles, for the

A Summer Grilled Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad

Summer is a wonderful season for salad lovers with all the fresh fruits and vegetables coming to market.  I tend to fall into a rut with my salads, making the same old salad over and over again.  Do you do the same?  In the past week, I've noticed beautiful watermelon displays in the produce section of my grocery store.  With watermelon hitting its peak over the next few weeks I thought I would branch out and try a salad made with watermelon as the star ingredient. Grilled Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad A Grilled Watermelon Salad for Summer I've seen lots of watermelon salads over the years in magazines, on television cooking shows and on Pinterest.  Today's recipe is inspired by all those other watermelon salad recipes but was made with tasty ingredients I had on hand.  I encourage you to do the same. Your pantry and refrigerator may not contain the same ingredients I had on hand to make this salad.  Feel free to be adventurous with other ingredients yo

What a Walk through My June Garden has Taught Me

June is my favorite time of year in my garden.  Every day brings something new to see.  The colors in the garden now are more vibrant than any other time of year.  I make a point to walk around the garden each day because there is so much going on.  These walks through the garden have made me realize the garden is teaching me some useful lessons. Three Lessons from a Walk in the Garden Stay present and enjoy the gifts your garden brings.   Be watchful so as not to miss the beauty.   Pay attention. The irises and roses are in bloom.  Yellow and red, side by side.  Unexpected pops of color to brighten my day. Day after day in early June, my irises welcome me with a new gift.  They open slowly, one at a time.   I loved seeing the droplets of rain on this flower one morning last week. My Siberian irises have come and gone. Each bloom lasts for only a very short time, so it's important to pay attention.  While they were here, those Siberian irises wer

The Best Chocolate Boston Cream Pie You'll Ever Taste

Boston cream pie is a favorite dessert in my family.  If you were to ask Hubby, he'd say I don't make it nearly enough.  This chocolate Boston cream pie came about for that reason.  The other day I noticed I still had a chocolate layer cake in my freezer from a chocolate mousse cake I had recently made.  The texture of the chocolate cake from that recipe was one I thought would work well with the pastry cream of a Boston cream pie.  I was right. Chocolate Boston Cream Pie Chocolate Boston Cream Pie This chocolate Boston cream pie is made completely from scratch but don't let that scare you away. The only difference between this cake and a traditional Boston cream pie is the substitution of chocolate cake, drizzled with a vanilla syrup, in place of a yellow cake. There are three easy steps to this cake.  Consider making the cake ahead of time.  You can make the cake in advance and freeze it, like I did.  The cake thaws quickly and you'll find it easier to cut

How to Deal with Carpenter Bees

One of the things I like least about this time of year is the pests.  I'm talking about the insects and critters that wreak havoc with my home and garden. The pest of the month is the carpenter bee.  Last month the battle was with ants and in April, we were fighting the annual infestation of winter moth caterpillars that are trying to kill my beautiful weeping cherry tree.  Those battles seem to be behind me and for now, the focus is on the pesky carpenter bees. You might be wondering what the heck a carpenter bee is.  I never even knew they existed until a couple of years ago.  You can see the backside of one in the picture below.  They might be mistaken for a big bumblebee, but their abdomen is shiny black in comparison to the fuzzy abdomen of the bumblebee.  You'll often see them hovering in the air around the roofline of your home.  If you see them, you'll want to pay attention.  They may take up residence in your home. The Backside of a Carpenter Bee What is a

The Best Asian Dipping Sauce You'll Ever Taste

I predict this recipe for Asian dipping sauce will become a favorite of yours.  It is my go-to dipping sauce whenever we enjoy sushi or Chinese dumplings at our house.  If you are reading this post, you are most likely a sushi fan and if you are not, perhaps I can convince you to try it. I know there are many people who either don't like or haven't tried sushi.  For the longest time, I was unwilling to try sushi myself.  The thought of eating anything containing raw fish was unthinkable.  That was until Hubby and I were vacationing at an Asian-themed hotel about ten years ago.  This hotel had a sushi restaurant that looked amazing.  We decided to try sushi and we're happy we did. An Asian Dipping Sauce for Sushi and Dumplings Sushi and Asian Dipping Sauce We made sure to tell our server that we had never had sushi before and she helped us to choose a varied selection of sushi that she thought we would like.  It didn't take long for us to become adept at usi

Boston Cream Cupcakes

I love, love, love cupcakes primarily because they are little personal cakes.  I like how cute they look. I like the portion control.  I like that I can eat a whole cake and not feel guilty.  These Boston cream cupcakes are the result of my quest to turn Boston Cream Pie, one of Hubby's favorite desserts, into portion-controlled, individual servings. Boston Cream Cupcakes turn Boston Cream Pie into a little less of a guilty pleasure.  Don't they look yummy?  I love how glossy the chocolate ganache topping looks! Mini Boston Cream Pies Boston Cream Cupcakes I've always thought of Boston Cream Pie as a fussy dessert to make.  I don't like fussy desserts or any fussy recipes, for that matter. In reality, the recipe is pretty straightforward and while the cupcakes are made in three steps, each step is fairly simple.  You can even spread making these cupcakes over a couple of days if you like. First, you will make the pastry cream because it must chill for at