Home Cooking

Snow Sugar Treats

Who says cold treats are just for summer?

My husband and I love cold treats in the winter. For some reason, we just get a craving for shakes and head out in the cold—sometimes in the snow!—for some frozen custard, which is our favorite kind of cold treat. We’ve been that way in nearly 18 years of being together, and I guess we always will be.

That said, I now know that we are not alone. People love to eat cold treats during the winter months, such as sugar on snow or maple sugar snow. In fact, we just checked out a picture book called Sugar Snow from the library. It’s a shortened version of Little House on the Prairie, I believe, focusing on this very winter treat.

I saw Alton Brown discuss sugar on snow (served with a plain cake doughnut and a dill pickle, of all things) on Best Thing I Ever Ate once, so we tried to put some maple syrup on snow the last time we had it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing—probably because we didn’t reach the thickness that Alton’s maple syrup had.

The mystery of the pineapple pine nut pie

What's the deal with this Mad Men dessert?

I have been catching up on Mad Men recently, so you must forgive me if I am late to the party on this one. In a dinner party scene, mention is made of a "pineapple pine nut pie." I was intrigued, as well as confused. 

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a huge fad for pineapple. Usually canned. The miracle of new fresh packing methods meant that decent pineapple was available year-round throughout the country. And it just seemed so very space age, you know? 
 
People loved canned food in that era. The combination of convenience and "food of the future" was a big part of the allure. And in earlier eras, if you wanted pineapple and you didn't live in Hawaii, you were pretty much out of luck.
 
Canned pineapple turns up in almost every dessert of the era, from cakes to pies and even Jell-O desserts (although you have to add it after the Jell-O has been chilled, otherwise it won't set). Not to mention ambrosia salad. Pineapple featured heavily in ham-based dishes, and even made the occasional appearance with chicken or pork chops.

Baking without eggs

Healthy egg substitutes for your favorite recipes.

If you're like me, then you are always looking for ways to eat healthy, without giving up taste. As a baker, it is especially important that I'm still able to indulge in my favorite treats while I'm watching my figure.

Most recipes call for the use of eggs. They are needed as a binding and leavening agent in baked goods. Unfortunately, eggs are also full of saturated fat and cholesterol. Thankfully, there are many substitutes you can use if you want to make a healthier dessert that is still delicious.

Making Rainbow Cake and Cupcakes

Requires: Cake mix, food coloring and frosting... and maybe some sprinkles...
The internet loves rainbow cake and cupcakes, and for good reason! You get a surprisingly wonderful effect for remarkably little work. It's so easy that kids can do it (if they are old enough to spoon out ingredients without too much trouble) and so simple that the instructions barely need to be written out.
 
Theoretically, rainbow cake and rainbow cupcakes are best served at a kid's birthday party. But why stop there? I know plenty of adults who would squeal in delight to cut into a cake and find a rainbow. It's fun! Why not spice up the next office party with some rainbow color? Or you can be the star of the next potluck! Trust me: people will be talking about this cake. And it's so easy to make!
 
The functioning principle behind rainbow cake is that if you spoon cake batter carefully into a pan, it doesn't mix very much. If you have ever made marble cake, you know how well this works. 

The finer points of apple pie

Every apple pie recipe is lying to you. It is lying by virtue of being a recipe, of pretending to tell you that the same amount and combination of ingredients will work without fail. This is untrue. Apples vary; they vary from species to species, and from one batch to the next. 

The amount of sugar you want to use, the amount of flour or corn starch - or if you even bother to include either flour or corn starch - depends on your apples. No recipe can tell you the exact proportion with 100% accuracy, because no recipe knows what your apples are like. Heck, YOU don't even know what they are like until you start slicing them.

Trick Your Kids | 5 Desserts That Aren't

Serving dessert is fun, but, as a parent, you know your kids can’t learn to have chocolate or another sweet treat after every single meal. This is where creative moms and dads learn to stash a few tricks up their sleeves.

Now, I am not suggesting that you out and out lie to your children. I am a parent and know that lying is, um, wrong. I do, however, highly recommend allowing them to think they are hitting the jackpot when you serve up any of these options:

1.   Sliced apples with fat-free caramel or organic almond butter (or both). There is nothing wrong with this dessert . In fact, it is uber-healthy and gets some extra fiber and protein into their diet.

5 Desserts With Peanut Butter

Peanut butter. PB. It comes creamy and crunchy. Sugar-free and sugar-laden. Organic and who-knows-what’s-in-that. It has fed many a child through the years. Heck, Elvis liked his in a sandwich and fried with bananas. It may not be the height of class, but it sure is yummy.

In fact, you could practice for your SAT’s with PB. Spam is to steak like peanut butter is to ___________.  Folgers instant is to Starbucks like peanut butter is to _________. Sorry, got sidetracked. Here are 5 desserts made with peanut butter that are out of this world.

Dessert for One: Mug Cake Recipes


Sometimes I want to make a quick dessert at home, but do not want to make a huge cake or a large pan of brownies because I know that I will just end up eating half the pan. I live with my boyfriend, but he does not have a sweet tooth as I do, and will leave much of the dessert left for me to drool over until I cave in and eat it all. It is then unhealthy if I eat too much of the dessert and wasteful if I throw it out. A good solution to this problem is making a little mug cake for one to enjoy. I found a basic recipe online, and change it up for myself depending on my mood. You simply stir a few basic ingredients into a mug or bowl and pop it in the microwave. It is that easy.

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