Sweet Dreamin’: Crunchy Candy Scones

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Man oh man do I love scones. They’re like having a cookie and a slice of freshly baked bread for breakfast all in one. My favorite part about scones is when you break them open immediately post-oven, almost burning your fingers, to discover the perfect nooks and crannies upon which to lather butter, jelly, or honey. They take no time at all to make, and they’re pretty hard to screw up. Everyone should have a basic scone recipe on hand, for those days when oatmeal just won’t do. Or for when you discover four of your friends crashed in …

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Money Mindful Meals: Baked Tortilla Chips and Roasted Garlic Guacamole

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A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be eating less processed food and cooking basic items myself. Over the last few weeks I have baked bread, churned ice cream, and stocked my fridge with heirloom tomatoes, red onions, and leeks from the farmers’ market. I’ve found that I am cooking with a lot more vegetables and less meat, and have become addicted to Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. I have cooked Pasta with Rich Leek “Pesto”, Not Your Usual Steak Fajitas, and these Beet “Sandwiches” from his cookbook. This week I’m expanding my repertoire …

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Eat Under $10: Chipacado Cookies

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Dish: Oatmeal Chipacado Cookies aka vegan oatmeal avocado chocolate chip cookies
Serves: A crowd. This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies, so it’s great for your friends or to devour by yourself. Over the course of a week. Maybe less. Definitely less.
Good For: They’re cookies. They are good for any situation.
Shopping List: 1/3 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk ($2.39), 3 tablespoons ground flax seed (36 cents), 1 cup mashed, firm avocado ($1.29), 1 cup dark brown sugar ($1.29), 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (72 cents), 1 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips ($2.50), 1/2 cup chopped …

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Sweet Dreamin’: Bailey’s “Crunk-Cake”

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SWEET: Bailey’s “Crunk-Cake”
MAIN INGREDIENT: Bailey’s Irish Cream
GREAT FOR: Twenty-First Birthdays, Parties

Generally, a person’s twenty-first birthday (at least in the States) is chock full of booze, booze, and more booze. But there’s only so much wine, beer, and hard liquor that a single individual can ingest… at least as a beverage.

I mean, what’s more adult-like than walking into a liquor store (REAL I.D. in hand) and buying a handle of Bailey’s Irish Cream? Answer: buying Bailey’s to bake into a wicked indulgence, of course! Above all, the best part about this dessert (maybe even better …

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Sweet Dreamin’: Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis

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SWEET: Gluten-Free Cherry Clafoutis
MAIN INGREDIENT: Cherries
GREAT FOR: Everyday Baking

In my family, my mom and I are both known as “cherry monsters.” We will easily devour a large bag of cherries in one sitting, taking full advantage of the brief cherry season. Not surprisingly, we also love any cherry sweet, from ice cream to pie, but my favorite use of cherries is the classic French cherry clafoutis, a simple and rustic dessert. Like American cherry pie, it’s cozy and charming, the perfect end to a summer meal.

A clafoutis can best be described as

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Money Mindful Meals: Easy French Baguette

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I recently moved into a fantastic new apartment. It’s a brownstone on a tree-lined Chicago side street with large bay windows and gorgeous mahogany wood. And the cherry on top–it has a big kitchen!

While I love my new place, I had to make some sacrifices when moving. Among sleep, money, and my sanity, I also lost all of the contents of my fridge.

Thanks to wonderful friends and family the fridge at my new place was quickly populated with delicious cupcakes and chocolate.

These treats made up one meal a day, but for the remaining two I had to …

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How To: Use Fondant to Decorate Cakes

Did you always dream of becoming the next Cake Boss? Or glare at the TV wondering how on earth these chefs make their cakes look so good? The answer is fondant.  And by following a few simple steps, your dream could become a reality.  My sister, Virge, who has recently become a cake-decorating enthusiast, taught me how to decorate a fabulous fondant cake.

The first step is to bake a cake.  Virge decided to bake a series of miniature banana chocolate chip loafs. Then, basically, you go nuts decorating with fondant, following the advice below. Ready? Here goes!

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The Perfect Fourth of July Dessert

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I like holidays. A lot. Most people just have an extra bit of pep in their step and easiness in their voice. But me? Well, I get crazy. (But you already knew that.) So naturally, you would understand that I’m just a tad excited borderline beside myself with enthusiasm about spending the Fourth of July in the heart of the nation itself.

Red, white, and blue everything. Firecracker popsicles. Barbecues in the name of independence. Star-spangled nail polish. The national anthem…and plenty of pop dance anthems too. Fireworks? Fireworks! Uncle Sam costumes. And of course, AMURRICA!

You know— just the …

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Sweet Dreamin’: Zucchini Citrus Cookies

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I think the recent heat waves have gone to my head. Normally when the temperatures creep into the nineties–as they often have this summer–I get the urge to eat crisp fruits, popsicles, and water. Pretty much nothing else. But during the recent bouts of sweltering weather all I want to do is bake. Quick breads, cakes, bread–you name it, I wanted to bake it. If I had a bit more sense in me, I’d experiment with my ice cream maker and churn out creamy concoctions. But making ice cream can require slaving over a stove …

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Procrastination Cooking: Victoria Sponge Macarons

Macarons

There’s nothing more adorable than a tray full of macarons. If you’re a lucky New Yorker, you can get your French fix at the Bosie Tea Parlor, the recently-opened Ladurée, or any number tasty little bakeries dotted around the city. For most of us, however, they are not as available. We can only dream of rows upon rows of lovely, little jewel-like cookies.

Unless, of course, you are willing to take matters into your own hands. After months of deprivation, the withdrawal symptoms just got to be too much. So I braved the kitchen and took on what felt …

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