• Cook with Love and Kosher Salt

     

banana rum trifle (or cake)

I should start by mentioning that this lovely trifle started out as a severely under-cooked cake.  I think it was the worst I’ve done … in terms if timing.  The first day of school break Sylvie really wanted to bake from a new book titled Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey (great title, right?)  We picked this yummy sounding…
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white chocolate cherry oatmeal cookies

I happen to really like white chocolate.  Sometimes I have to whisper that when there are serious dark chocolate eaters around (but I really like dark chocolate too).  I like it all.  I know I’m not alone – my friends Wendy and Jessie always search for white chocolate goodies in my pantry.  The combination of oatmeal, dried cherries and white chocolate spoke to…
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(very moist) orange cake

100 percent happiness – we all LOVED this orange flavored cake.  Really a new favorite in our house!  As I nibbled and watched my family enjoying… sighing, smiling, making mmm noises, and Sylvie licking the crumbs off her plate…well, life seemed very good and simple that moment.  When I saw that this cake featured olive oil, I was…
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cream cheese pound cake

This pound cake is heaven.  It is rich, thick and flavorful.  The cake is soft and wet in the center, yet forms a really awesome crust on the bottom and top.  Funny the crust is my favorite part – yet Andy complains that it is too hard.  We make a perfect dessert eating pair.  Greg, Sylvie…
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dark chocolate sorbet

Years and years ago – Rob and I had our first meal at Picholine in NYC.  The meal was awesome, but the chocolate sorbet was sublime.  We became somewhat friendly with the chef, Terrance Brennan, because my mom is terrifically chatty and loves discussing food and meeting new people.  By our 5th visit, she told the…
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cranberry orange tea bread

This is one of my favorites from childhood.  I loved this tea bread.  Mmmm… filled with walnuts, cranberries, orange zest and juice it is packed with flavor and texture.  It was on my camp visiting day “request list” for years.  That and chicken soup (that day my mom would bring me anything!)  My mom used…
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yummy yellow cake

This cake is sooo very good, ridiculously easy to make, and has no butter!  It is Greg’s absolute favorite but we all love it.  I was talking to my old and dear friend Michelle yesterday about the blog.  She said she’s been baking so much, loving it, and what to make next?  I told her that the yogurt…
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peppermint stick ice cream

This is my old friend Dani’s all time favorite.  We were lucky growing up – in that both of our families went to Vermont during the winter weekends.  Dani from NJ, me originally from MA, these were very special times.  But oh, it wasn’t just me and “Eight is Enough” that made her smile – it was the holiday season…
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(luscious) lemon pound cake

Back in September, my friend Amy said…OK…the  lemon cake?  Ever since then it’s been on my “to do” list but I was all over the place with my posts.  But when Amy invited our family for dinner…it was done.  Penciled in and on the updated list.  This cake is really so good and so lemony.  People…
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cocoa brownies (w/chewy shiny top)

Another brownie – I know…but they are all so good and different.  I promise.  These brownies were a HUGE hit with kids.  (Great for a Hanukkah party if you’re celebrating.)  All who tried absolutely loved them.  Zach and Lauren were fighting over the edges, Will and  Hanna  loved them too as well as Greg and Sylvie.  Andy…
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eggnog pound cake (w/rum glaze)

I wanted to make this cake ever since I saw it on the cover of Flo Braker’s new cookbook Baking For All Occasions.  I thought perfect for the holidays, and oh, it really is!  Filled with rummy raisins (currents if you can find them) and a terrific crystallized glaze that looks like way more work than…
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(very) chocolate chippy crumb cake

When I started this blog I figured I’d finally attack the more difficult desserts that I never make time for.  But I’ve found that it is just as fulfilling to make something simple that my family and friends love.  Well, this little cake is just that.  Simple and filled with tons of mini chocolate chips…
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(transcendent) brown butter cookies

Transcendent – meaning extending beyond the limits of ordinary experience.  The December 2005 write up and recipe of these cookies, by Celia Barbour, started out with…”Once a year, at Christmastime, I make the best cookies in the world.  It very nearly kills me.”  The article was beautifully written and it was so very clear how much she loves…
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chocolate pudding pie

It was Alisa’s birthday – she is what we like to call our “young friend who is a student who lives with us and helps out now and then” – long title, but she is no longer an au pair and she is not just a student, she is truly part of our family.  So…anyway…it was her…
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triple chocolate macadamia nut cookie bark

I saw this recipe and immediately thought of a platter filled with both these cookies and the rocky road cookie bark.  One dark, one light, both free form cookies.  Success!  These are more chewy and dense than a regular cookie and the macadamia nuts really make them pop with flavor and texture.  (Although they are good with…
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(my favorite) brownie sundae with carmalized bananas

OK, so you’ve seen this photo when I wrote about the coffee ice cream, and the caramelized bananas…but you haven’t heard me talk about the sundae itself.  Well, pretty self explanatory really.  Right?  Just look at the picture.  What is better?  Ice cream of your choice atop the glazed nutty brownie…with freshly whipped cream and…
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blondies

I just love love love blondies.  And they make everyone in my family happy.  Greg will eat them because they are not too chocolaty, Andy likes them because there is chocolate in them (although he is really developing a palate for other flavors :)), Sylvie who really likes it all (like me), Rob too enjoys a…
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freshly whipped cream

My friend Ali texted me this AM.  She said she’ll make the gingerbread pudding cake for Thanksgiving, especially since the ready made box somehow failed her.  (She said she followed directions but may have substituted milk for oil or butter for oil – not sure.)  She then asked…do I have to whip fresh cream?  I said YES!  I…
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gingerbread pudding cake

I really wanted to sneak this one in before Thanksgiving because it is so easy to make yet really delivers.  This moist pudding like cake is full of ginger flavor and when paired with freshly whipped cream or ice cream…oh so very good.  While it bakes – the top turns cakey while the bottom creates a sticky…
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glazed nutty brownies

I’m always on the lookout for a good frosted brownie.  Always.  I love my fudgy brownies  and they are my “go to” brownies…but Rob loves and often asks for a frosted one.  I made these thinking they were frosted, but they were really glazed – so I’m actually still on the lookout for Rob.  But…
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coffee ice cream (Philadelphia style)

I love coffee – coffee with milk and sugar.  This ice cream is just that – but cold.  (There is coffee ice cream hiding in this photo.)  The ice cream has a great mellow coffee taste that is perfect.  In addition, for those of you who don’t want to go through the trouble and time to make a…
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cranberry apple crisp

This is a great dessert for Thanksgiving – the cranberries make it festive and the red color throughout is visually appealing.  Oh, and it tastes great.  Forgot that nugget of information.  I really love crisps and cobblers because they are so easy to make.  One of my goals with this blog was to branch out and…
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vanilla ice cream (custard base)

Home-made vanilla ice cream is sooo very good.  The vanilla beans, cream and milk freshly churned make for an extra special treat.  Vanilla ice cream pairs well with most desserts – cookies, crisps, cobblers and pies…with chocolate cake, loaf cakes, brownies and fruits – it is one of my favorite things!  (My family is really…
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caramelized bananas

I love these bananas.  I’m not even a fan of a raw banana – but oh…a sprinkling of sugar, a blow torch – and voila – magic banana.  These are great in addition to most any dessert.  Really and truly.  I absolutely love them in an ice cream sundae.  My favorite.  The crisp topping is like…
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frosted espresso brownies

These are incredible.  They are very very strong in coffee flavor – made with ground espresso beans that give them great chewy/crunchy texture.  Lauren – a 10 year old exclaimed that “they taste like Starbucks.”  I love them – the icing is sweet and delicious and although the brownies are very rich, they are addictive.  I nibbled…
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danish pancakes

If you read this regularly, you know that Andy, my 10 year old, is a huge fan of chocolate in the morning.  Last year he came home very happy and full after a sleepover with his twin friends Zach and Davis.  He excitedly told me that their father made these Danish pancakes – and that they…
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(moms) candied bacon

OK, so this isn’t dessert – I know, I do know…but I just had to put it in here because this bacon is scrumptious!  There is sugar in it – a lot of sugar so maybe it qualifies just a little bit for this baking blog.  My friend Melissa asked me to show her how to…
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chocolate brownie cookies

Look at the milk chocolate malted ice cream sandwiches with chocolate brownie cookie post for a full write up of these delicious cookies…           chocolate brownie cookies (barely adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming): 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 2 large eggs, room…
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milk chocolate malted ice cream sandwiches with chocolate brownie cookies

These ice cream sandwiches are delicious.  My son Greg asks for them often – and since it is a little work (not crazy work) to make the ice cream, I often blow his request off.  But he was very happy last night.  He turned to me… gave a quiet groan of delight, looked me in the eyes and simply thanked…
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ginger cookies

My friends Joy and Lauri absolutely rave about these cookies.  I must say they are my favorite ginger cookies as well.  No big story here…everyone just loves them.  Greg, Andy, Sylvie, and all of their friends.  Most of my friends.  I usually double the recipe and freeze some dough for later because we go through them so…
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blueberry cake with crumb topping

This is another childhood favorite which my mom happened to save!  She made it for my dad on Tuesday and boy did he LOVE it.  He left me a very effusive voice mail message about this blueberry cake of all things (my dad really only likes chocolate desserts or Drakes coffee cakes).  So I got to…
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glazed irish tea cake

This past week I had grand plans for baking…I bought ingredients for creamsicle ice cream (pictured below) that I couldn’t wait to make for our friend Mike who loves orange and fruit flavor.  I was also oddly excited to make a grapefruit yogurt cake (again photo below) which I know sounds kind of weird, but I…
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pumpkin cookies or cake with brown butter icing

So if you’ve been reading my blog – you’ll remember that although we all really liked the orange pumpkin cake — it wasn’t overwhelmingly pumpkiny.  I had to try again.  It’s not that I even (personally) love pumpkin flavor so much but feel that the kids should know what pumpkin tastes like.  (Since they were clueless with…
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chocolate chip meringue bars

These bars were my favorite childhood dessert.  I recently asked my mom for the recipe – but being that she is so neat and tidy (which is great), she often throws things away (not so great).  I suffer the same affliction at times.  Anyway, luckily my very good friend Michelle also loved these as a…
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orange/pumpkin cornmeal cake

I noticed this recipe in Fine Cooking’s Sweet Cakes magazine because of the beautiful photograph of the cake – it looked delicious and pumpkiny – perfect for fall.  I was also curious about the mix of orange, pumpkin and cornmeal. So off I baked.  This cake is rich in color and texture and so very very moist.  I will…
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chocolate buttermilk waffles

Sometimes the recipe that comes in the instruction manual is actually pretty good!  In this case, very good.  You may know (from a previous post) that I’m always on the lookout for suitable breakfast foods for Andy.  Andy who doesn’t eat cereal and who really likes chocolate and isn’t all that hungry in the morning. …
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brown sugar cookies (with walnuts and white chocolate)

The week of my daughter Sylvie’s school bake sale, my son Andy was sick with fever.  I normally go cookie crazy the days leading up to the sale because as I’ve mentioned, I like baking!  But this week was a little different – dividing my time between keeping him company, taking him to the doctor,…
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halloween peeps

A plain Peep is not something that I love.  However…a chocolate covered Peep is divine.  Seriously.  I did a short stint at Chocolations (a local chocolate shop) last year and Maria, the owner, was dipping Easter Peeps in chocolate.  Well, that was it.  Done. Count me in.  My early resistance to Peeps was no more.  I…
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blackout cake

When I asked Ali (my friend and neighbor) what I could bake for her birthday, she looked hard and focused and said “chocolate.”  I said like chocolate chocolate crazy chocolate?  And she replied with a good happy grunt.  So I started to hunt for a cake recipe that would suit both of us since I was…
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berry or plain yogurt cake

I loved the write-up of this recipe in Cake Keeper Cakes – in that you usually have the ingredients for it on hand.  This is a great simple plain cake.  One that my son Greg loves.  He said “mom, this is amazing – it is just perfect for me!”  Every day this week there was…
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rocky road cookie bark

This stuff is heaven.  I really truly mean it.  Moist, very chocolaty cookies, filled with various chips, nuts and marshmallows all creating a mouthwatering texture and taste that seriously rivals most cookies I’ve eaten.  The free form shape adds to my delight (for reasons I can’t explain).  I made these for the last school fair…
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berry cheesecake with sour cream topping

My dear friend Dani read my first five posts and said – “love it, but what about my cheesecake and my peppermint ice cream?”  Cheesecake first.  Dani  was very close to having gestational diabetes with her first pregnancy.  Doctors orders… no sugar – none!  It was wicked hard (yes I’m originally from Boston) for her so I really wanted to do…
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banana bread (quick and easy)

This recipe was given to me by my sis-in-law Sandy and it is a keeper!  I make it for bake sales, morning coffees, afternoon snacks and dessert.  I make it with or with out chocolate chips or nuts and in various sizes and shapes.  My kids seem to love them in a muffin shape and…
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whole-wheat chocolate chip pancakes

I think because my mom often sent me to school with a kiss and a cold pop-tart (sorry mom), I am now one of those moms who really insists that we all eat something healthy in the mornings and that we all sit together to eat it!  It can be a challenge to make it happen since all…
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teddie’s apple cake

I brought this apple cake to my friends  house the other night for dessert.  Well, I brought the apple cake and my fudgy brownies because I didn’t know if they were chocolate or fruit fans. Turns out they are both.  Lucky me…lucky them!  Laura said delicious!  And added – this looks like a cake but tastes like a pie!  And…
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(my favorite) fudgy brownies

I’ve been making these brownies for as long as I can remember.  And they are truly fabulous.  Seriously yummy, fudgy and wet.  The recipe has been written up many times – always titled Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies.  Hard to believe, but I find the original recipe too sweet (I think because I add so many chocolate chips…
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salted peanut butter toffee cookies

The recipes in Alice Medrich’s cookbook Pure Dessert are so innovative and fresh.  I read through the book dog-earring many pages vowing to bake from it.  I finally made the time even though I knew that these cookies would be a tough sell for my family.  No  peanut lovers  here (except for me) and my brother-in-law Patrick…
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nutella-swirl pound cake

Daniel, my nephew,  loves Nutella.  His eyes light up when he sees that jar.  So when I saw a write-up for a new cookbook that featured Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake, I knew I had to make it for him!   I decided to double the recipe so I could keep one and also give one  to Gilda’s…
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oatmeal raisin cookies

I cannot believe that my first post is for oatmeal raisin cookies! I have to blame it on our friend Jason – who is coming to dinner on Saturday night. Unlike Rob and I, Melissa (his wife), and all of our (6) collective kids, Jason is just not happy with a chocolate cookie, cake or…
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