Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cake

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One of my favorite things to do for visiting friends is baking them something that they’ll love. Whenever I ask, “what do you want me to make,” more often than not I’m met with, “oh, I don’t know; just surprise me.” With a plethora of options that overwhelm me, I then start to dig so I can find out what their favorite flavor combinations are. For our friend Micah, chocolate and peanut butter were at the top of his list. This classic combination makes for a delicious and satisfying dessert for any occasion. Continue reading

Violet Sugared Shortbread Sweethearts

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February brings us all the beautiful first hints of springtime. We start to feel the sun on our faces a little longer, the melting snow reveals budding new life, and inspiration for new beginnings touches many of us. Many of my inspirations are driven by looking for new and interesting recipes, especially those that feel like the current season. Inspired by the legend of Saint Valentine, I was searching for recipes using violets. Serendipitously, a dear friend sent me a link to Gather Victoria’s Wild Violet Sweethearts and I immediately fell in love with the idea. Delicious, light, and simple. Continue reading

Apple Cake with Caramel Buttercream

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Autumn has finally arrived! It may still be 90° here in central Texas, but that isn’t going to stop me from enjoying my favorite fall treats and staring longingly at my beloved flannel shirts, dreaming of crisp breezes and turning leaves. Yes, it is in fact so hot here that carving actual jack-o’-lanterns would render them sad, moldy mounds of orange sadness within a day, and makes for pumpkin patch trips or hayrides only enjoyable with several layers of sunblock and summer clothing. To lift my spirits, I started decorating the house for Halloween, planning our costumes, and researching recipes that fit the season. What better way to get into the fall mood than baking a delicious spiced apple cake with some homemade caramel buttercream? Continue reading

Lemon Cake with Fresh Cherry Jam and Cherry Buttercream

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My birthday was this past week and my aunt dropped in for a visit, so I decided I wanted to bake myself something delicious and summery to celebrate. I happened upon a mouthwatering recipe for lemon cupcakes with cherry buttercream and decided I would attempt to convert the recipe to a cake. The results were not only irresistible but also quite pretty.  This is definitely a recipe to keep in the books for special occasions. Scrumptious! Continue reading

The Perfect Pie Crust

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Over my many years of attempting pie crusts and getting impatient, I finally perfected an old recipe of my mom’s combined with multiple different recipes I’ve toyed with online and from cookbooks. It’s super flaky, delicious, is fantastic for both sweet and savory pies, and is easy to prepare. I even like to make mine the night before and sometimes even freeze pre-rolled out bits for pie art.

Trust me, the extra effort of making your own pie crust is not only worth it for the taste, but also the self-satisfaction of knowing you can make a better-than-store-bought pastry. Continue reading