Holiday Baking

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • Eggnog Fudge | [link removed] -I plan on making this… soon. I even bought fresh nutmeg. But I don’t have eggnog, or marshmallow fluff… so I guess this will have to wait until I can go to the store.
  • Mudslide Cupcakes Recipe | Endless Simmer [link removed] – Jameson + chocolate cupcakes? Worth a shot (there’s always Jameson in the house, not for myself – not a whiskey fan – but for the boy).
  • Creamy Hot Chocolate Muffins | A Whisk and A Prayer [link removed] – Hot chocolate + muffins? Yes, definitely a genius idea.
  • Healthier hot chocolate | Nutrition Data [link removed] – Well, I suppose if I’m going to consumer that much hot cocoa, maybe I should aim for healthier. But Swiss Miss just tastes so good, and it’s so easy…..
  • Egg Nog French Toast | [link removed] – Now, I am not a French toast fan, but I do love eggnog, so I’m willing to try this out. You know, for the sake of experimenting. 😉
  • Single Serving Pie in a Jar | Our Best Bites [link removed] – When is pie ever a bad idea? (, don’t answer that. You are the only person who does not like pie crust.)

I’ve got a few other recipes in the cue (personally, not blog-wise), but they’re all from apps on my phone, and so I can’t exactly link you to recipes at the moment. But, for your thoughts… pumpkin tiramisu, chocolate orange fudge, double layer pumpkin pie, pumpkin ginger rice pudding, spiced pumpkin bread, and vanilla bean rice pudding.

And, because they’ve been raved about, the recipes for the two types of fudge I made this weekend: Orange Cream [link removed] and Almond Joy [link removed]. You should make them up, bring them in to work, and let the praise just roll in.

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Linkfest: Lunch sides

Following up on last week’s sandwich post (I meant to post this Thursday), I’ve got some links for things that make for good lunch sides (or parts of sandwiches, perhaps). Enjoy!

Breads / Bread-like Items

  • Cheese and Mustard Scones | Thinking About Food [link removed]
  • Easy Savoury Scrolls | Tried and Tested [link removed]


  • Tuna-stuffed avocados | [link removed]
  • Spicy, Sweet & Salty Rosemary Nuts | Pink of Perfection [link removed]
  • Spicy Mixed Nuts | Vanilla Basil [link removed]


  • Captain’s PB Crunch Treats | spike.bakes [link removed]
  • Sugarplums | Handmade Homeschool [link removed]
  • Ooey Gooey Granola Bars | Twin Tables [link removed]
  • Oatmeal Flax Squares | Christie’s Corner [link removed]
  • Granola Bars Revisited | cooking the hard way [link removed]


  • Dill Pickles Recipe | [link removed]
  • Refrigerator Dill Pickles | One Perfect Bite [link removed]
  • Refrigerator garlic dill pickles | dlyn [link removed]

Lastly… not a recipe, but something any pickle-lover will appreciate (seriously, just click through for the fun of it): Crochet Pickles by Nicole Gastonguay | Craftzine [link removed].

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Linkfest: Sandwiches (aka the anniversary edition)

I’d be lying if I said that I intentionally planned a linkfest post about sandwiches, the #1 love of (OK, maybe #2, but it might be tied), on today, our 3rd anniversary.

But that’s the way it worked out. Honestly, I’d only saved up a few sandwich recipes, but wanted more, so I went searching on Tastespotting. Turns out that sandwiches aren’t really recipe things. Well, here’s what I came up with anyway (very, very randomly).

Side note: It’s widely known that I am a picky eater*, so there were some restrictions that applied to any recipe I found. 1)  No foods that gross me out (tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions). 2) No main ingredients that I plain don’t like (basil, pears). 3) No strange combos (no mint please, also nix on the peanut butter and bacon sandwich). Additionally, since I like my linkfest recipes to be practical, I added these rules: 4) Must use items that are probably already in one’s pantry, or are very easy to find at the grocery store (ooh, that means the one with wasabi paste is out), and 5) No ridiculously expensive ingredients (that great tasting cheese with the weird name? Not at $20/pound, thankyouverymuch, it’s a sandwich).

Additional confession: I don’t actually like sandwiches. I really don’t like school lunch sandwiches, probably because I had way too many of them growing up. If I were to pack myself a lunch with a salami sandwich, I can guarantee that it would go uneaten (even if I were very hungry) – they are that unappetizing to me (despite the fact that I like all the ingredients of a salami sandwich). The work-around for this is bringing just the ingredients to work and assembling at my desk, because somehow that makes it better (this doesn’t always work, but sometimes). Also, hot sandwiches don’t seem to bother me that much.

Anyway, on to the recipes!

Lunchbox: the rules are simple. This is a cold sandwich, suitable for bringing to school or work, without requiring the use of a toaster or microwave. Surprisingly hard to find these, when you add in the other rules.

  • Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches | Taste and Tell [link removed]
  • Salami, Pastrami, and Spinach Cream Cheese Sandwich | Nook & Pantry [link removed]
  • Chicken Club Sandwich | Modern Foodie [link removed]
  • Dijon Chicken Club Sandwiches | Homemade By Holman [link removed]

Hrm. That’s a pretty short list.

Then I remembered that sandwiches aren’t just for lunch (this is something sandwich lovers already know). I have class on Tuesday and Thursday nights this semester, and I haven’t been doing the fast food thing like I usually do. Instead, I’ve been stopping at home for something quick, or picking up Subway for the two of us on my way home. I have a max of 20 minutes before I have to be out the door, so this has to be super quick. But I have access to a toaster oven, microwave, and potentially someone else to help prep.

Hot sandwiches:

  • Ina Garten’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese | Smells Like Home [link removed]
  • Garlic Crusted Sourdough with Cheddar Grilled Cheese | imagine a different world of grilled cheese [link removed]
  • Laura Werlin’s Swiss Melt with Artichoke Hearts | imagine a different world of grilled cheese [link removed]
  • Grilled Buffalo Chicken and Avocado Sandwiches | Nibble Dish [link removed]
  • Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches | A Big Mouthful [link removed]
  • Empanadas | Buttons Magee [link removed]

Some other quick kind of sandwichy things:

  • sushi bowls | Budget Bytes [link removed]
  • Lasagna Cupcakes | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn [link removed]

More than sandwich recipes, I found partial ingredient recipes. Lots of people like to make up something for dinner and then transform it into a sandwich. This is not genius nor original, but it is smart.

Things you can make for dinner and then use the leftovers in a sandwich:

  • Corned Beef | Married …with dinner [link removed]
  • Corned Beef Recipe | Alton Brown, Food Network [link removed]
  • carnitas | use real butter [link removed]
  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Mustard Seeds | Whole Living / [link removed]
  • Grilled Reuben Sandwich | For the Love of Cooking [link removed]
  • Rolled Turkey Breast Stuffed with Swiss Chard & Garlic | [link removed]

One and only one dessert sandwich (since sandwich cookies were covered yesterday, and ice cream sandwiches deserve their own list):

  • Nutella Banana Sandwich | The Nesting Project [link removed]

Lastly, a whole website/blog dedicated to sandwiches:

  • Amazing Sandwiches, One Sandwich Recipe At A Time [link removed]

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*I’m quite tired of this phrase, actually, since just about everyone else I know is also a picky eater, but they claim they aren’t. Yes, you are. I promise. Unless you are . Or maybe . Really, it’s OK to admit it. I won’t judge. There are just foods we don’t like, sometimes for completely unjustifiable or inexplicable reasons (yes, tomatoes are gross, but cucumbers are OK; eggplant is terrible, but other squashes can be quite tasty). You only get to call yourself a “not picky” person if I can plan a dinner for you without thinking at all about what you might or might not like. That is a darn short list in my experience.

Linkfest: Back to School Cookies

I figured it was about time that I’d share some more links with you, and with school starting today (for pre-college students, that is), and the change in weather, well, I thought cookie recipes fit the bill. I narrowed down the list (because I’ve got more bookmarked that I didn’t share) and included only those cookies that would work for a school lunch (that is, wouldn’t get smooshed or melty or gooey). Enjoy!

Sandwich Cookies – who doesn’t love a good sandwich cookie, especially after a nice sandwich? OK, I don’t really care for the sandwich, just give me the cookies. I’ve even got some non-chocolate varieties here. I don’t even think I need to sell you on them – their names do it for me.

  • Chocolate-Malt Sandwiches | [link removed]
  • Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies | [link removed]
  • Lemon Cream Cookies | Cannelle et Vanille [link removed]
  • Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies | Joy the Baker [link removed]
  • Hazelnut and Chocolate Cookies | cookworm [link removed]

Chocolate Chip-like Cookies – classic, and a favorite, but sometimes it needs to get mixed up a bit, you know?

  • Chocolate Chunk & Vanilla Bean Cookies | Coconut & Lime [link removed]- more vanilla and chocolate chunks? Heaven.
  • Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies | Baked Perfection [link removed]- OK, not for me, but for all of you who think that chocolate and mint are a good idea, here’s the recipe for you.
  • Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies | Joy the Baker [link removed] – this is my idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie (well, I could go either way on the oatmeal part).
  • The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever | Blisstree [link removed]- variations of this idea have been making the rounds on the internet for years, but here’s another one to try out.

Miscellaneous Cookies – do I need to describe why these cookies might be good? I think not.

  • Almond-Orange Shortbread | [link removed]- They might not be chocolate, but they sure sound tasty.
  • better than brownie cookies | real life foodie adventures [link removed]- better than brownies? That is a bold statement.
  • Jen’s Chocolate Crinkles | LKS [link removed] – love, love, love chocolate crinkles!
  • Matcha Green tea shortbread leaves | Kirbie’s Cravings [link removed] – mmm, more options for using my matcha powder!
  • Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies | [link removed] – I’m not sure if these would actually survive a school lunch or not. If you try them out, let me know!
  • Vanilla Malted Cookies | [link removed] – malt in a cookie? Definitely worth trying.
  • Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies | A Bowl Of Mush [link removed] – I love lemon poppy seed cake/bread. In cookie form? Could be perfection.

Bar Cookies – a must-have list for Minnesotans, and generally helpful for anyone with a big family or who has a cookie monster in his/her family. Or maybe a company potluck coming up.

  • Chocolate-Coconut Bars | [link removed] – Can’t go wrong with chocolate and coconut.
  • Samoas Bars | Baking Bites [link removed] – that’s right, imitation Girl Scout Cookies, but easier.
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread | Lottie + Doof [link removed]  – ditto what I said earlier about lemon poppy seed cake/bread.
  • Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars | Dine and Dish [link removed]  – just had a delicious snickerdoodle this weekend (from Noodles & Co – I give it 4 out of 5 for a fast food cookie), and it just left me wanting more. Alas, I’m the only person in my house who likes snickerdoodles, and the last thing I need is to eat an entire batch of cookies.

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Linkfest: Summer Drinks

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • Is It Iced Coffee Weather? [link removed] – Simple, yet informative.
  • Frothy Ginger Infused Limeade [link removed] (Raw Epicurean)
  • Iced Coffee? No Sweat [link removed] (NYTimes)
  • Savebucks! How to make incredible iced coffee at [link removed] (One Particular Kitchen)

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Linkfest: A Bit Healthier

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • 7 Fat-Fighting Dinner Recipes | Fitness Magazine [link removed] – Specifically, Southwestern Black Bean Cakes with Guacamole, but there are 6 other recipes that look good too!


  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad | [link removed] – Salad is good. Chicken isn’t bad. We might be on to something.
  • Chinese Cabbage Salad | Eating Well, Living Thin [link removed] – Ah, a recipe modified to be healthier than the original!
  • PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps | Recipezaar [link removed] – Not specifically salad, but I always feel like I’m eating a salad when consuming these (at the restaurant – I haven’t actually tried this at home).


  • Spicy Grilled Shrimp | The Kitchn [link removed] – Grilled shrimp (well, all shrimp really) is a great low-calorie protein. I love it on the grill, though I haven’t tried it spicy yet.
  • garlic shrimp pasta | simmer down! [link removed] – OK, if you switch out the pasta with a whole-grain variety, or just eat less of it, I think you’re good here. No cream sauce to clog your arteries.


  • Black Bean Soup | The Other Side of Fifty [link removed] – Soup is a tough line to walk, but this one seems to do well. Full of enough stuff to stave off hunger and still relatively healthy.


  • Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread | Joy the Baker [link removed] – Bread should be enjoyed in all its varieties, including low-fat (though I am not a lover of banana bread, I know many of you are).
  • meringue nests | Night Baking [link removed] – Meringue, an excellent (kind of) diet cookie! Low in fat, at least (not low in sugar, but I can only do so much!).

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Linkfest: Chocolate Obsession

What’s that you say? You’re having difficulty getting enough chocolate into your diet? Never fear, I have collected some recipes to help you get through this trying dietary dilemma.

Some basics:

  • chocolate ice cream | use real butter [link removed] – If you’ve ever made your own ice cream, you know it’s worth it. Try it with Dutch-process cocoa powder and you’ll swear you’ve died and gone to a special level of heaven where they keep the good chocolate.
  • Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake | [link removed] – Want something a bit fancier than ice cream but just as cold? Here you go.
  • Sour Cream Chocolate Cake | Bake List [link removed] – Everyone needs a good cake recipe.

Taking cake to the next level:

  • Texas [Chocolate] Sheet Cake | [link removed] – Chocolate cake Texas-ized. Fab!
  • Kitchen Sink Bundt Cake | Sugar Plum [link removed] – Oh my. It’s like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (chock full of so much extra stuff, you can hardly find the ice cream!), but cake!

Feeling nutty? Hazelnutty?

  • Nutella Cake | LKS [link removed] – Two words that belong together? Nutella and cake.
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Tart | Naturally Ella [link removed] – It’s like a brownie, in pie form, with hazelnuts!

A bit more sophisticated:

  • White chocolate mocha cupcakes | One Ordinary Day [link removed] – One day I will find decaf espresso powder, and then my stockpile of mocha recipes will finally get put to use. (More likely, one day I will go back on caffeine and then try out all these recipes in celebration.)
  • Chocolate Kahlua Budino | Food Lover’s Odyssey [link removed] – Did I tell you of my love of Kahlua on Friday? No? Well, I love Kahlua. Let’s make some pudding with it, OK?

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Linkfest: For your [hungry] inner child

Lately, my inner child wants to eat lots of yummy (bad for you) foods at a time that will most likely ruin my appetite for the upcoming meal. I have to tell her to be quiet (sometimes I shove a rice cake in her mouth, and that seems to hold her off a bit).

But if you feel like indulging your inner child, here are some recipes for you

  • Nesquik Cake | Palachinka [link removed] – Nesquik reminds me of my childhood, and the 80s. Not that I consumed much Nesquik – not a huge fan actually. This recipe isn’t so much a Nesquik cake as it is a cake dusted with Nesquik, but it sure is pretty!
  • Snicker’s Bar Pie | [link removed] – Taking a classic candy bar and turning it into pie? Fabulous! I don’t even like Snickers that much and I want to make this.
  • Homemade Twix Bars [link removed] | Cooking Books – And Twix bars? Lord help us all [fit into our jeans].
  • S’mores Cupcakes | Living Eventfully [link removed] – If you find yourself unable to go camping this summer (perhaps you’ve waited to long and can’t find an open campsite, or your camping supplies have gone MIA, or you insist on sleeping in a real bed – whatever), make some of these up and reminisce in a distinctly sleeping-on-a-mattress, living-with-air-conditioning way.
  • Kahlúa and Cream Cupcakes | How To Eat A Cupcake [link removed] – Don’t have an inner child? Or maybe your inner child is really a rebellious teenager? Feed her Kahlua cupcakes and she’ll love you forever.

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Linkfest: Fruity Summer Deserts

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • Banoffee | Mike’s Table [link removed] – , a warning – this is a banana desert, but it’s combined with toffee. Is toffee OK with you? I have a hard time keeping all the different caramel-like things straight.
  • Fresh Strawberry Cake – Country Living [link removed] – ooh, strawberry cake. This sounds fabulous!
  • pink lady cake | smitten kitchen [link removed] – More strawberry cake. I didn’t know that pink cake was strawberry-flavored (though perhaps I should have guessed this)
  • Strawberry Shortcake | Chocolate Shavings [link removed] – I always want to eat strawberry shortcake. Always.
  • Strawberry Shortcake | The Dabble [link removed] – So having multiple recipes is a good thing, and to be expected.
  • Strawberry Banana Cream Pie | Joy the Baker [link removed] – One of the few fruit combos I enjoy, strawberry-banana, might make an excellent pie. Might have to give this a shot, but modified for a graham-cracker crust (since hates normal pie crust).

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Linkfest: Brunch

and I are planning to host a brunch for family the day after ‘s wedding. Conveniently, I have several recipes bookmarked in my “brunch” folder. Of course, we’ll be making cinnamon rolls (because I have a fabulous recipe that we both love), and there should probably be fruit salad (it is June). I’m really tempted to make Prize Coffee Cake, but there are some good coffee cake recipes below that I’d like to try. Sometimes it’s good to try something new, even if you know the new can’t possibly be better than the usual.

What do you serve at brunch? (Or, perhaps more appropriately, what would you like to eat at brunch?)


  • Nana Noding’s Norwegian Waffles | House Hubbie’s Home Cooking [link removed]
  • Light and Airy Chocolate Waffles | Sweetsonian [link removed]


  • Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes | [link removed]

Coffee Cakes

  • Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Chocolate and toffee Chips| Furey and the Feast [link removed]
  • Sour Cream Coffee Cake | [link removed] – Can it compete with Prize Coffee Cake? Probably not, but it can probably stand on its own regardless.

Muffins, Biscuits, and other Breads

  • French Breakfast Muffins | Velvet Lava [link removed]
  • Almond Poppy Seed Scones | [link removed]
  • Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits | Joy The Baker [link removed]
  • Almond-Citrus Biscotti | [link removed]


  • Southern Girl Granola | The SoHo [link removed]
  • Morning Couscous with Almonds, Coconut and Honey | the taste space [link removed]
  • How To Make Chunky Granola Clusters | The Kitchn [link removed]


  • Pattypan Squash with Eggs Recipe | [link removed] – Maybe I can try this late in the summer with pattypans from our garden!

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Linkfest: Gardening and Homegrown Food

Here in Minnesota, it’s not exactly gardening season yet (last frost date, according to Bachman’s, is May 10), but it’s definitely time to start planning. Here are some gardening and fresh food resources for you:

  • Should You Grow Head Lettuce or Leaf Lettuce in Your Garden? | Planet Green [link removed] – Short but helpful article on growing lettuce in your garden.
  • How to Attract Birds in St. Paul or Minneapolis, MN Year-Round | Associated Content [link removed] – Useful for locals, if you’re in the planning stage of gardening (which you should be, because it’s not time to plant yet), and you want to bird-watch.
  • Where to find pick your own farms and orchards in Minnesota [link removed] – It’s probably too late to join a CSA, but never too late to pick your own (limited only by the seasons). I’ve only gone the orchard route, but would try something else if anyone wants to plan it.
  • Enjoy Fresh, Local Food All Year | Mother Earth News [link removed] – Excellent tips, including links to more resources.
  • – Free 30-day trial of the Garden and Crop Planning Tool [link removed] – If I knew the dimensions of our garden areas, I would have started my plan already. Because, well, I’m a planning girl. I like graph paper.
  • 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t | Planet Green [link removed] – We don’t compost, and I don’t really see myself picking up this habit any time soon. But, I know people who do, or who want to. This is for them.
  • Vegetable Harvest and Storage | University of Missouri Extension [link removed] –
  • Vegetable Storage at Home | University of Vermont Extension –
  • How to Get Your Kids to Eat Almost Anything | Dumb Little Man [link removed] – Bound to be controversial, but I found this article many months ago and bookmarked it for reference later. I like it. Think I can use it on myself? 🙂

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Linkfest: Grilling

For most people (in this hemisphere), now that it’s warm out, grilling season has begun. Our grill happens to be less than five feet from the kitchen door, so we grilled throughout the winter (just have to make sure to shovel a path after it snows), and our neighbor across the street grills daily, year-round. But I know that’s not the norm, so I’ve saved these for sharing until now. Enjoy!

  • Grilled Herb Chicken with Vinaigrette | Have Recipes-Will Cook [link removed] – This makes me wish that I was better at maintaining an herb garden. I have that one plant… but anything in pots tends to die on me.
  • Taco Chicken | Our Best Bites [link removed] – Yum. You can hardly go wrong with lime, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
  • Chicken Satay Recipe | hsa*ba: please eat [link removed] – I love Chicken Satay, especially the peanut sauce. Such an odd combination, but so tasty.
  • How to Prepare Chicago Style Hot Dogs | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn [link removed] – This is just for Prince Charming, though I’m sure he could figure it out on his own. I think we need to have a party, though, since otherwise we’d have a ton of leftover ingredients (I don’t care for hot dogs that much, especially Chicago-style; chili dogs are about the only way I eat hot dogs).
  • Grilled Pork Chops with Chipotle Sauce | Grumpy’s Honeybunch [link removed] – We don’t make pork often, but I do enjoy a pork chop now and then. It’s such an easy meat to cook – like chicken, but without all the worry (of undercooking).
  • Easy Ribs Menu | [link removed] – I have not yet been brave enough to try ribs, on the grill or otherwise. Sure would like to give it a try some day, though.

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Bookmarks for today: Lemons!

Next Tuesday is the final night of my literacy class, and so we are having a party. I volunteered to bring lemon bars, because sometimes I like to make things other than cookies. However, this has me searching for a lemon bar recipe that is … similar to those they used to serve at Starbucks (they may still, but I don’t frequent Starbucks anymore, so I don’t know). Searching through all the recipes I have bookmarked (to share with you all, of course), here are the lemon-y ones I found.

  • Citrus Bars | [link removed] – Basic, classic lemon bars.
  • Creamy Lemon Bars | Straight from the Farm [link removed] – Rave reviews of this in the comments.
  • Lemon Bars – Everything Nice – Double the filling [link removed]. Interesting. But… I love the shortbread crust part too! Oh, what to do?
  • Ultimate Lemon Butter Bars | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn [link removed] – This is closer to what I want to make, but will take a lot more work. The only time I have to bake is Sunday afternoon, or late Monday night after class.
  • Lemon Coconut Bars [link removed] – Probably not the best for class, since not everyone loves coconut, but I sure do. Ooh, these would be good with lime juice subbed in, wouldn’t they? ~You take the lime and the coconut…~
  • Lemon-Olive Oil Cake | [link removed] – Cake, oh I love you. I would eat all of you, right now. You know, to help you fulfill your destiny.
  • Lemon Buttermilk Tart | Rosa’s Yummy Yums [link removed] – I’ve never made a tart before. This looks like a good recipe to start with. Since the “crust” is just shortbread, I wonder if would eat this (he who eschews all things crust-like).
  • Tartest Lemon Tart | Babette Feasts [link removed] – Because I really need an excuse to buy a creme brulee set like this one [link removed].
  • Key Lime Pie | King Arthur Flour [link removed] – OK, not lemon at all, but this looks so much better than the “Key Lime Pie” flavor of Yoplait Light yogurt that I had for lunch. Sigh.

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Bookmarks for today

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • Okay, Captain Obvious – Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger? [link removed] – Captain Obvious sighting!
  • Reuse Wine Bottles as Garden Edging – Recycling – Lifehacker [link removed] – I heart this idea.

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Your laugh for the day

Some things I’ve bookmarked recently:

  • I pout because you will not – Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger? [link removed] – As an owner of two pouty cats, this rings very true.

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