Sweet Dreamin’: Summer Berries Cheesecake

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SWEET: Summer Berries Cheesecake
MAIN INGREDIENT: Cream cheese, summer berries
GREAT FOR: Decadent dessert or date night

When I was little I could never understand the idea of cheesecake.  In my mind, I imagined a pie stuffed with Brie, Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan, or other cheeses, and then topped with chocolate or frosting. It didn’t seem right – not even to a 5-year-old from France. Over there cheese is a staple, cheesecake is nonexistent. So when we moved to the States and were introduced to such a curious cake, I refused to take a single bite. I …

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Money Mindful Meals: Beer Bread

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One of my favorite things to do when I was little was dig through my mom’s recipe box – the one that was full of hand-written index cards with recipes for Grandma’s butter cookies or the neighbor’s zucchini bread.

A few years ago, I moved into my first apartment. Between the Dunkin Donut box with a few stale donuts and the layers of dirt that painted the apartment, the former tenant did leave one redeeming item behind, a stack of similar recipe cards that his mom had sent him. Each recipe contained notes like “very filling” or “great with salad.” …

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The Cookie Dough-lympics: Triple Espresso Shot Cookie Dough Brownies

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What do bad boys, Red Bulls and cookie dough all have in common? They all bad for us, but yet irresistible. Despite the risks of heartbreak, elevated heart rate and salmonella, we can’t help but stay away.

Just as we can admit to having fallen for the bad boy or consuming one too many caffeinated energy drinks during finals season, most of us are also guilty of having slipped our hands into a bowl of unbaked cookie dough. Even while aware of the dangers of eating raw eggs, the combination of sugar, butter and other pantry ingredients is difficult …

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Sweet Dreamin’: Berger Cookies

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A few days ago, I packed up my apartment in Baltimore, stuffing my car to the brim, and drove away from the place that’s been my home for the past four years. I graduated on Thursday and the day was everything they said it would be – full of pomp and circumstance and pride, but also overwhelming emotion when it finally hit me that my time at Hopkins was over. I said goodbye to my friends on Friday and made the drive home up I-95 to my house in New Jersey. It was harder than I thought it would be, …

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Impulse Buy: Speculoos Cookie Butter

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Hello, ladies. Look at your peanut butter, now, back to Speculoos Cookie Butter, now — stop. Grab a spoon and get ready to taste the guiltiest pleasure of your life!

Trader Joe’s describes it as “a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits”. Have your taste buds been whipped into a frenzy yet? No? Then how about this – Food bloggers describe it as “spreadable cookies”, “Christmas in a jar” or my favorite (and most accurate), “crack butter”. Your curiosity must be kicking into high drive by now as you’re probably wondering as I did…what exactly is cookie butter?

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Look Ma, No Oven: Chocolate Salami

No that is not a typo; the title does say chocolate salami.

Wait, what? As in, chocolate meat?

No, silly, as in a chocolate dessert that resembles one of our favorite school lunch meats.

My first introduction to the sweet came during lunchtime while spending last spring semester abroad in Florence, Italy. When it came time for the dessert course, everyone in my program lined up to see what was to be enjoyed with our cups of espresso. Hopeful for a buttery tart with Nutella or a caffeinated layers of tiramisu, we were confused by the sight of a …

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-Free Food: Gluten-Free Almond Rhubarb Rose Cake

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DISH: Almond Rhubarb Rose Cake
TYPE: Dessert
DIETARY RESTRICTION: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Gluten-free baking can be rough. Simply replacing regular flour with the gluten-free kind can lead to dense or doughy cakes. Some recipes call for exotic ingredients like xantham gum and sorghum flour; others produce cakes or cookies that are oddly chalky or artificial tasting.

After a lot of sad and failed attempts, I’ve realized that almond flour almost always leads to great baked goods. Almond flour is just finely ground up almonds that you can either make yourself or purchase at a specialty food store. …

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Sweet Dreamin’: Carrot Cake with Amaretto Frosting

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Like Cara, I’m not really good at surprises. Actually, I take that back. I’m good at surprises; I’m just not good at being surprised. Every year I hint to my friends that they should throw me a surprise party, but I’m still waiting for that moment of shock and awe that my friends were able to successfully keep something without me suspecting a thing.

That right there is the problem. I like to say that my inner journalist leads me to discover lots of things I shouldn’t, including uncovering secrets. Keeping secrets, however, is also one of my best …

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The 5 Best Birthday Breakfasts

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When it comes to food (and hey, just about everything else), holidays are kind of a big deal.

However, the truth is, not all holidays are created equal. Christmas may be the main squeeze, but I can guarantee you that few people know the date of Columbus Day or the story behind it (#occupyNorthAmerica?).

But there exists one holiday that each individual holds in higher regard than Santa Claus himself.

Birthdays.

Birthdays are the icing on the cake of a year—an ingenious moral holiday of shameless self-promotion celebrating the one and only Y-O-U. From candles and cakes to singing and …

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Money Mindful Meals: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

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My parents are moving and my mom has been asking me for months to help her sort through a few boxes in the garage. I have been procrastinating going home and sorting through math tests from the second grade and photo albums from high school. But this Sunday I ventured home for Mother’s Day brunch and couldn’t refuse my mom’s appeal to help her clean the garage.

There I was on a 65 degree sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting amongst boxes, dust, and several of my mom’s old kitchen appliances. (Does any one else getting excited when they hear the word …

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