DIY: pretty pie crusts

okay, if i’m being 100 percent honest, i couldn’t care less what kind of pie is made at thanksgiving. i don’t even really love pie. or dessert. i mean, sure i’m eating a chili dark chocolate bar right now, but that’s not dessert. that’s chocolate.

i digress.

the best part of any pie, is the way it looks. and my favorite, favorite, favorite part about pie is the decorative crust.

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dairy-free lemony apple cake

sounds gross, right? well, i’ll tell ya, it definitely tastes “healthy”… but it’s a dessert without dairy, and those are the only kinds of desserts i can eat these days. mila has a milk protein allergy, and the dairy i was eating was making her belly hurt so bad. it took a little while for us to realize that was what was making her so upset, but once i cut dairy out of my diet she started feeling much better, so — i’m dairy free, for now.

cut to this cake. it’s not the best cake i’ve ever eaten, that’s for sure… it needs butter, butter, butter. but it smells amazing and tastes pretty good and satiates my desire for dessert, at least tonight.


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baked matcha donuts

now that i’ve finished *cough* four *cough* of these, i can take a break before eating a few more to write down the recipe!i’ll be honest: i never ask my husband to make two when he has his nightly cup of matcha,  but i really love baking with it because it gives everything such a fun, natural pop of color. if you’re trying to get on the matcha bandwagon, these donuts are a great way to ease into the new, unique flavor. if you’ve loved matcha for years — well, these should make your breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or second dinner) even better!


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christmas cookies: linzer tarts

growing up, i always made sugar cookies for christmas. my mom would put different colored sugar in salt shakers and i’d sprinkle it all over the sugary dough. i loved making them as a kid, but hated eating them. i just don’t like sugar cookies. yuck. now that i’m an adult (i guess i am, anyway. i’m married, own a house and am having a baby??), i can make the christmas cookies of my choosing — and here they are.


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perfect for spring plum + honey pie

confession: i think i only like baking because the final product is so pretty!

now that plums are coming into season, i’ve been trying a few new ways to use them and so far roasting is my go-to. this cake is designed to be eaten cold, the perfect dessert after a warm spring or summer day. the shell is a homemade, pre-baked pastry crust, slathered with a honey + cream cheese topping and finished with a pile of bright, shiny plums. goes particularly well with sweet tea and blue skies and i’m not 100% sure but i think it would taste even better if eaten in the hills of appalachia (i’m kind of missing my west virginia roots lately, ya’ll).


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i’m gonna have texas sheet cake for dinner

“i’m gonna have texas sheet cake for dinner.” that’s a text i got from my husband at hour 12 of his 16 hour ICU shift. i guess after a 16-hour shift, i’d want to eat cake for dinner, too. (actually, i had cake for breakfast, after not working at all — so really, who am i to judge?!)

texas sheet cake is my favorite chocolate cake. the chef has a lot of favorite cakes, but for me, this is really the only chocolate cake recipe that needs to exist. period. texas sheet cake forever, baby!


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blood orange upside-down cake

the very best thing happened this week! i found blood oranges at the grocery store! okay, for most people that might be categorized under r/midlyinteresting, but i’m from west virginia. blood oranges never quite make it into that state.

anyway: we found these little pretties at trader joe’s here in baltimore. while the chef was preoccupied with making blood orange old fashions with our neighbor peter, i whipped up this upside-down cake. it’s super dense; kind of the blood orange version of banana bread. it was great for after dinner, but even better for breakfast. it was also gone in two days. whoops.

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happy valentine’s day!

here’s a cute way to impress your sweetheart this valentine’s day! we posted a quick how-to, along with pictures, for these apple rose tarts over on the baltimore chef shop‘s blog. make them with your kids or with your valentine for a super fun afternoon activity! and send me a picture after you’re finished! ; )

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apple tart

the beauty of a good dessert is that it also doubles as breakfast. at least it does in my house. and this apple tart is no exception. it’s desserty, but not too sweet. and so pretty, it would look beautiful sitting on the breakfast table on thanksgiving morning! a really great way to feed (and impress!) family members who are staying over for the holiday. the best part is, you can make it the day (or week) before and put it in the freezer, then bake when you’re ready to eat. how easy is that!


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cinnamon pecan pie bars

my love affair with cinnamon continues. i’ve been trying, since returning from our honeymoon, to recreate this pecan pie / pecan bar / slice of heaven made by the chef at the dreamcatcher guest house. this is as close as i’ve gotten so far — and it’s so good, i’m not sure i need to keep trying. it is so caramel-y, so cinnamon-y, and best of all, since the chef at the dreamcatcher served it to us as a breakfast desert, that means it’s completely acceptable to eat first thing in the morning. right? nevermind, don’t answer that.


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