Recipes for “Utility” Gingerbread and Royal Icing

I wanted to take a quick moment out of my family’s “gingerbread village project” to post the recipes for our “utility” gingerbread and royal icing. Utility Gingerbread: This is the recipe I use for ornamental gingerbread.  It’s sturdy, it smells nice, and it’s inexpensive to make.  It’s not the best tasting gingerbread, but it’s great to build with. This recipe makes enough dough for one large gingerbread house, or two small ones. *recently revised* 1 cup crisco 1 cup sugar 4 eggs 1 cup dark brown corn syrup 7 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon cloves 1 teaspoon cinnamon 4 […]

Homemade Marzipan and Video Tutorials on How to Sculpt and Paint Marzipan Fruits

Marzipan is one of the oldest and most well-loved confections in the world. It’s roots lie in ancient Persia.  The original recipe consisted of ground almonds, honey and rosewater.  The confection was introduced in Europe in about the 13th century, and by the 16th century, sugar was added.  It was the food of kings. Marzipan is very popular in Europe and Latin America.  It’s used as a medium for sculpting edible treats, dipping in chocolate and as a covering for fruitcake. It’s very easy to make with a food processor, and it contains only a few ingredients:  Almond flour, powdered sugar, almond extract, rosewater, […]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

  So….things have changed a little in my world lately…. A little over six weeks ago – completely on a whim…I decided to live record myself cooking in my kitchen over Facebook live tv.  I do have experience as a presenter, cooking teacher and speaker, so it wasn’t hard to impromptu the whole thing.  It was such a relief to be able to reach an audience from my own kitchen without having to painstakingly edit anything and/or upload it to youtube.  It was well-received immediately and I had so much fun, that I did another “show” the next day, then […]

Butter Bolognese, Baby Boys and War

I first heard the term “Bolognese” when we lived in England. Before then, I just called it “meat sauce”.   All the “mums” on my square were making “Spag Bol” (spaghetti Bolognese) as their go-to dish on week nights. We lived in a very international part of Cambridge, England.  Built in the era of Charles Dickens, our grey brick flat was something out of an Victorian era movie. We had neighbors from Australia, Italy, Russia, and of course, local Brits.  Most were professors at Cambridge University.  Professors are an interesting lot.  They are not attached to material gains and pie-in-the-sky dreaming.  They exist to acquire and pass on knowledge.  Hours can be spent discussing the bay […]

Turkey-Lentil Tostadas

Lentils are like the humble little monks of the food world.  Small, plain, unassuming….cloaked in their earthy brown habits and the little white sash around their waists.  By all appearances, lentils are meek.  You’d think they’d be boring. You’d think you’d be able to “figure them out” based on their appearance. Turns out, they are quite multi-faceted and multi-talented.   Tender…peppery…tiny nodules of expertly assembled nutrition and vegetable protein.  Once you get to know them, it’s easy to admire them. I went on a “lentil shopping spree” via Amazon about a year ago.  Oh, Amazon…..you get me into such trouble.  I got so excited all the varieties of […]

Taco Salad, We Love You!

I seem to remember some kind of controversy surrounding taco salads back in the 90’s.  I don’t know if it came from TV or health class or some kind of fitness magazine – but suddenly, the “unhealthiness” of taco salads seemed to be something worth talking about. Oh, those evil taco salads!  Masquerading around pretending to be healthy. Pretty soon nosy-know-it-all’s were crashing entire tables of taco-salad eaters, warning everyone that WHILE it may be a salad, it was FAR from healthy. And I was just like…. “Oh, you don’t say?”  *crunch* *crunch* *crunch* I mean, if you want to […]

Pineapple Vodka Freeze Pie

I really had the most virtuous intentions when I started to develop this pie.  It wasn’t even SUPPOSED to be a pie, actually.  It was supposed to be a pineapple sorbet – no added sugar, no added alcohol, no whipped cream, no cookie crust.  You know. Luckily, I bore easily.  I got about three minutes into the “sorbet” when I thought, “Oh!  I know what this needs!  VODKA!!” And if we’re going to add vodka, then we might as well add a crumb cookie crust and some freshly whipped cream. You only live once, after all. Besides, it’s almost the Fourth […]