Blueberry Peach Pie

Blueberry Peach Pie

Last Thursday evening I taught my first cooking class called “It’s All About the Pie Crust” at Cooks’Wares in Mongtomery, Ohio.

I was nervous in the days leading up the the class. Having never taught a cooking class before, I was not sure what to expect. I feared losing track of time, worried about forgetting ingredients, and was scared I would run out of things to say (which has never been an issue for me!).

Luckily, the class went well, even better than I expected. Time did move quickly and I did forget one ingredient but I never ran out of things to say. What I didn’t expect was how much fun I had.  I couldn’t have asked for a better group for my first class. The students were engaged, asked questions, and filled the room with a positive energy. It was rewarding to see how excited everyone was when they rolled the dough out and fitted into their pie plates successfully. Several students said they had never had much luck with pie and the class gave them the confidence to try baking pies at home.

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

There are a few kitchen tasks that I absolutely dread doing: peeling and deveining shrimp, cutting brussels sprouts, trimming sugar snap peas, and peeling fava beans are a few that come to mind. Usually, it’s those menial, repetitive processes that take all day and bore you out of your mind.

But, there are also things that I look forward to cooking no matter how many times I’ve made them or how simple the task.  Chocolate covered strawberries fall in that category.

I love the process of melting the chocolate, dipping the berries, and then drizzling the strawberries with more melted chocolate or sometimes decorating them with sprinkles, crushed pretzels, or toasted nuts.  No matter what you do, they always look elegant and pretty.

Chocolate covered strawberries work for so many occasions – Valentine’s Day, dinner parties, a healthy dessert, cocktail hours, holiday parties – and I’ve even heard reports that chocolate covered strawberries work as an aphrodisiac.  Whatever your goal is, with a little bit of work, you get a big reward.

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Retro Pecan Sticky Buns

I like the idea of freshly baked sticky buns on a cold, snowy weekend morning.  But, I like the idea much more than the actual work and preparation of making the dough the night before, then waking up early to proof, assemble and bake the sticky pans.  That’s a lot of work for a weekend.

Here’s a way to have the same freshly baked sticky bun experience without all of the work and preparation. A marshmallow is dipped in butter, then cinnamon and sugar, wrapped in crescent roll dough, then dipped in more butter,  cinnamon and sugar.  The magic happens in the oven when the marshmallow magically disappears, melting with the cinnamon and sugar and creating the gooey sauce that makes a sticky bun so good.  Drizzle generously with cream cheese glaze, top with toasted pecans, and you are done.  Freshly baked pecan sticky buns in less than an hour and you did not have to wake up early.

My mom first remembers making these when she was in the 3rd grade and they would often have them for breakfast on the weekends or for holidays. She had no idea where the recipe came from but after a little research, I found a variation of this recipe won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1969 and has remained popular ever since.

 

Retro Pecan Sticky Buns | The Hungry Traveler

Retro Pecan Sticky Buns | The Hungry Traveler

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