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Posts from the ‘Cakes and Pies’ Category


Blueberry Pie

Ever since I saw the musical “Waitress,” I can’t stop thinking about pie. I find myself singing the lyrics (pie, pie, pie, me o my, I love pie..) and then, of course, I start thinking about making a fresh pie but one that doesn’t have a lot of added fat or sugar. There are those who claim it’s nearly impossible to make a good pie without butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and cream but I’m here to tell you, a delicious fruit pie with a flaky crust is totally doable if you follow some advice. Read more »


California Suncakes

Sometimes the most delicious products are found in the most unlikely places.

Iowa City is known for a lot of things – a huge university (University of Iowa – home of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop), local breweries, the Iowa City Jazz Festival, the Airliner Bar (where Ashton Kutcher was discovered by a modeling scout), and the New Pioneer Food Co-op (think of a small-scale Whole Foods Market but better) which is where I found California Suncakes:  4-ounce oatcakes that come in 6 varieties: Read more »


“More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally”

Eat your fruits and vegetables but make sure you leave room for dessert, as long as the dessert tastes excellent and is made with healthful, honest ingredients…

Imagine a cake without butter, sour cream, milk, or eggs that actually tastes rich and delicious with a light crumb and moist texture. Hard to do? Not if you’re making one of the cakes made from a recipe in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan, a professionally trained pastry chef who has shown the world that desserts – and especially cakes – don’t need dairy products to be truly great and absolutely scrumptious. Read more »


Twelve Superstars

Today is Election Day. Many of us will flock to the polls and cast our votes for the candidates we want to represent us.  Although the really big election day is a year away, the essence of leadership is heavy on many people’s minds with all the presidential debates. As we make our choices today and in the future, let us not forget about the people who are making a difference by making this world a better, healthier, and more compassionate place. Read more »


Blueberry Coffee Crumb Cake

Coffee Cake is generally meant to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea but this Blueberry Coffee Crumb Cake is delicious with any drink any time of the day.  Inspired by Thug Kitchen’s recipe for Blackberry Lemon Buckle, the recipe for Blueberry Coffee Crumb Cake is a simple variation that calls for less fruit (which makes a cake instead of a buckle), blueberries instead of blackberries, omits the ginger, and calls for the use of unsweetened cashew milk instead of any non-dairy milk.  Read more »


Des Moines’ Downtown Farmers’ Market

Many people start thinking about Farmers Markets during the early days of summer but Iowans living in the central part of the state have been patronizing the Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market since early May. They haven’t forgotten about meat and potatoes (the market has plenty of these items) but instead celebrate the fresh local harvest of  fruits and vegetables every Saturday from May thru October in the capital city on the west bank of the Des Moines River. Read more »


Andie’s Specialty Sweets

Andie’s Specialty Sweets makes some of the most picture-perfect beautiful candies including Vintage Candy Buttons, Sugar Butterflies, Hard Candy Sea Glass, Chocolate Antique Candy Keys, Chocolate Candy Winter Acorns, Chocolate Filled Candy Sea Shells, Nuts, and more. So exquisite as to take your breath away, each beautifully designed candy elicits wonder and joy in both appearance and taste. Chocolate, peppermint, vanilla, and fruit are just a few of the many flavors of these very special candies. Read more »


The Robert Lambert Fruitcake

It’s that time of year when we are all thinking about decadent desserts so before David Letterman delivers his top ten list of fruitcake uses or the NRA suggests using slices of Aunt Martha’s fruitcake in the next skeet shooting contest, consider for a moment that fruitcake isn’t as bad as the masses make it out to be.

Most people believe there are two truths to fruitcake: people either love it or hate it but nearly everyone would love this traditional holiday dessert if they tasted a fruitcake made by Robert Lambert of San Rafael, California, a man totally dedicated to the art of making decadent, delicious fruitcake that can make even the most vocal critic grin and beg for seconds. Read more »


The Piebox

Transporting a pie is never an easy task, especially if the pie is deep dish, warm or topped with chiffon. Cardboard boxes are flimsy, Tupperware containers seem to be better at storing a pie, and baskets are just impractical (as cute as they look).

Professionally trained pastry chef, Adrienne Blumthal along with co-founders Carol Blumthal and Steve Metzer solved the problem by creating the Piebox: a reusable wooden pie carrier that will keep your pie safe and intact whether you’re walking, driving, biking, or even flying (yes, TSA rules allow you to carry pies and cakes through the security checkpoint: TSA Traveling with Food or Gifts). Read more »


How To Showcase A Cake

Seattle may be well-known for corporate giants (Microsoft, Amazon), Pike Place Market, innovative food companies (Theo Chocolate, CB’s Peanut Butter) but the Pacific northwest city is also home to Rosanna, a top home design company known for making beautiful tableware: plates and platters, bowls, teapots, mugs, flatware and especially cake pedestals to showcase that fabulous chocolate, coconut, or red velvet cake. Made of porcelain or stoneware in white, pink, blue and black, Rosanna Cake Pedestals are exquisite and make an elegant presentation on any table.  Read more »