Thumbnail image for The Ultimate Blueberry Muffins

The Ultimate Blueberry Muffins

March 4, 2013

I had a forehead thumping moment recently when a friend asked me for a blueberry muffin recipe. In all the years I’ve been doing this site, I’ve never posted the most basic of breakfast treats. How did I get away with this, especially when they are one of my favorites. For me the perfect blueberry […]

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Kitchen Basics – Homemade Crème Fraîche

February 25, 2013

Crème fraîche is the sophisticated French cousin of sour cream.  Its texture is smoother and the flavor more subtle, not quite so sour, but still a bit sharp. It is simple to make and requires only two ingredients, so it is no wonder it is a staple in most French kitchens and a must have for pastry […]

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Chocolate Fondue (No Special Pot Required)

February 11, 2013

In the 1970s I lived in Westport, Connecticut and my best friend’s aunt owned a fondue restaurant. It was the hot spot in town for people to go on dates and it all seemed terribly sophisticated and romantic to my 13 year old self. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed to have missed the era […]

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Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Rice Treats for Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2013

Need something quick and fun to make with your kids for Valentine’s Day? Really, the kids are just a foil for my own craving to make something silly and delicious. As you may remember, this is not the first crispy rice bar to appear on ZoeBakes, its a bit of a thing with me. I […]

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PB&J Cheesecake with Poured Ganache (how-to video).

January 30, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly is a staple in most children’s diets. In fact, I just read that Americans will consume billions, with a B, of them every year. I can believe it, since my kids picked it for lunch 9 out of 10 times, until very recently. I’ve gone through what must be 100s of […]

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Banana Bread (and Pear Bread) – One Recipe, Two Flavors.

January 23, 2013

The fact that Bosc pears taste like spicy, buttery perfume (I mean sweet, pure essence of pear, not old lady soap), may be second to their beauty. I admit I bought this bag of pears to decorate my kitchen. They’re so sleek and statuesque that most every still life painter from Van Gogh to Picasso […]

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Cranberry-Raspberry Upside Down Cake

December 11, 2012

The color of this cake alone is enough to bring me great joy these days. It is snowing here in MN, which is a blessing and a curse. Snow is a blessing, because it brings new life to the cold and allows my boys to go snowboarding and sledding in the evenings. It’s also a […]

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Chocolate Caramel Monkey Muffins

December 4, 2012

I think monkey bread was the first thing my younger brothers ever baked. They loved the gooey mess of making them as much as the caramel goodness of eating them. Truth told, when I leave the house for any amount of time, my husband makes them with my own boys. He waits until I leave, […]

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Dreams Do Come True…A Cookie Swap with Ina Garten!

November 27, 2012

(photo by Quentin Bacon) This summer I got an email that I thought was spam. It said something to the effect of…”Ladies’ Home Journal would like you to attend a private brunch and cookie swap with the Barefoot Contessa!” I sat on the email for about 30 seconds and then decided..what the hell, what if […]

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Puff Pastry Pears

November 13, 2012

Everything tastes better wrapped in puff pastry. Just like bacon, it makes everything near it better, no matter if the filling is sweet or savory. It’s the thousands of little layers of dough and butter that bake up together into a gorgeously flaky package. Last week I poached a bunch of pears in chai tea, […]

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Chai Poached Pears and Sorbet

November 8, 2012

This is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. It can be made days ahead, doesn’t require any oven space and is decadent with flavor, but light enough to follow your Thanksgiving feast. The poaching liquid is homemade chai; a blend of sweet spices and black tea. Once the pears are finished poaching, the liquid can […]

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Almond Crunch and Amaretto Cream

November 1, 2012

Pumpkin is an ingredient I get obsessed with every year at this time. Its bright orange shell is such a relief, during a season when color is fading away and the grey of winter is settling in. In fact, I am determined to paint a room the color of roasted pumpkin this year. But, my […]

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