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neapolitan ice cream sandwiches

May 19, 2014

The only way to do ice cream right is to go all out. In this case, that means homemade Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches for strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate bliss. Farm stand strawberries make the best strawberry ice cream, and the vanilla gets a boost from ...

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mini blackberry-vanilla cupcakes

August 8, 2013

Though these blackberry-vanilla cupcakes come in mini form (I have a personal attachment to petite desserts), each bite yields bold blackberry flavor. From the vanilla cupcake to the honeyed blackberry filling and fresh blackberry buttercream, these beauties are a delight. Best of all, the gorgeous ...

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winter white cupcakes + nielsen-massey vanillas giveaway

December 27, 2012

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Highlights for me included spending time with family, reflecting on the many blessings of the past year, eating wonderful food, and heading to the coast for a change of scenery. We began our celebration on Christmas Eve, ...

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vanilla-chocolate chip meringues

April 22, 2012

I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula, about 30 minutes from beautiful Carmel Beach. On the weekends, we’d bundle up in fleeces (the temperatures were usually cool with the potential for fog) and head to the beach for a picnic or just a walk, collecting ...

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tangerine-vanilla tea cakes

March 25, 2012

Citrus sweets are among my favorites when I need a lift – the bright zest and juice awakens the palate and invigorates the senses. These tangerine-vanilla tea cakes almost sing out “Spring!” to me, light from whipped egg whites and dipped in a tangerine-flecked glaze. ...


vanilla chai muffins

November 29, 2011

Some of you may be detoxing this week after last week’s holiday. Even so, a warm muffin is hard to resist at breakfast or in the waning afternoon hours. These vanilla chai muffins highlight a wonderful blend of spices: cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, star anise, ...


crema catalana

August 27, 2011

Crema catalana is a decadent Spanish dessert much like crème brûlée – both emphasize the delectable contrast between silky custard and a crunchy caramelized sugar topping. Unlike crème brûlée, crema catalana sets in the refrigerator instead of the oven (a huge plus on a hot ...


vanilla buttermilk pound cakes

February 21, 2011

This is my favorite pound cake recipe because of its versatility and consistency. I adapted the original recipe by cutting back on the sugar level and adding fresh citrus zest, which turns the fragrant batter into a bowl of sunshine. I’ve used lemon and orange ...