Food & Cooking Blog

Discover the breathtaking techniques, delectable recipes and decorating essentials that will make your cakes stand out from the crowd!

How to soften brown sugar

Top Secrets for How to Soften Brown Sugar 3 Different Ways

By Jessie Oleson Moore

Picture this: you’re measuring out your ingredients before embarking on a cooking or baking adventure, but when you get to the bag of brown sugar, it appears to have hardened into a solid, rock-like substance. Chances are, if you’re a frequent baker, you’ve found yourself in this situation. But can this problem be remedied? Happily, the answer is yes--there are a few tried and true tricks to bring brown sugar back to life.

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12 Avocado Recipes: It’s Easy Being Green!

By Jessie Oleson Moore
Avocado RecipesAvocado: it’s not just for guacamole. Once you get imaginative with this creamy, protein-packed fruit (yes, it is a fruit!), the sky’s the limit with delicious recipes. Here’s a collection of twelve tasty recipes, both savory and sweet, which feature avocado as a key ingredient. Read more »

Summer Pickling: Creative Variations

By Ashley Rodriguez
Summer PicklesPickles and summer go together like cherries and ice, ice cream and sticky faces, picnics and grass stains. It wouldn’t be summer without a sweet and tangy relish on a hot-off-the grill burger. Crisp dill infused spears of zucchini use up the inevitable glut of the loved and loathed summer squash. Blushed tangy purple onions that kick up the juiciest of tacos. Sweet and sour cherries next to creamy cheeses spread over crackers at a grown-up picnic. And I’ve yet to mention cucumbers. Read more »

Using Fresh Spices for Creative Dishes

By Ashley Rodriguez
Using Fresh SpicesSpices elevate everyday food to an exotic and special dish but it’s very important to use spices that are fresh and it’s best when you can grind the spices from seed at your house. Learn how to buy spices and toast them to bring out the best in your foods. Read more »

Food Lover Friday: How to Make Stove-Top Popcorn

By Ashley Rodriguez
Stove-Top PopcornPopcorn happens a lot in our family. Sometimes it’s just for my husband and I. Other times it makes movie night feel like more of an occasion and still other times it helps to bridge the afternoon gap when the kids are already begging for dinner. It’s a simple and nutritious snack that is quick to make, and although it requires a good sweeping after the kids tear into the bowl, I love making it for them and seeing how excited they get when I land a large bowl in front of them. Learn how to make stove-top popcorn for your family! Read more »

Decorative Pie Crust: You Must Increase Your Crust!

By Jessie Oleson Moore
Decorative Pie CrustTruthfully, pie doesn’t have a reputation as the prettiest of desserts. Sure, it has a charming, homespun quality, but it doesn’t approach the polished sophistication of, say, a beautifully decorated cake. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, as proven by this collection of pies which are prettied-up with decorative pie crust. These pies go above and beyond the typical crimped crust, employing beautiful latticework, clever cutouts, and even stenciled designs for a polished and professional looking finished product. Read more »

How to Make Ice Brewed Coffee

By Ashley Rodriguez
Ice Brewed CoffeeWe’ve already talked about the intricacies of the right procedure for crafting the perfect cup of pour over coffee. We spoke of freshly roasted beans, the perfect grind and water temperature. Perhaps I even scared some of you away with all the scales, talk of grams and timers. For those of you who are still with me I’m back with more coffee talk. This time we’re brewing the perfect cup of iced coffee. Read more »

Roasted Fruit Jam

By Ashley Rodriguez
Fruit JamWhatever you love about, say an apricot for example, is punctuated when that apricot spends an hour or so slowly roasting in an oven. In fact it’s with apricots or even rhubarb that roasting is most magical. I find apricots eaten fresh to be a bit bland, one-note and just sort of blah. And rhubarb, well I don’t even attempt to gnaw on raw rhubarb but after time spent in an oven they become utterly transformed into a completely new taste - one of my favorite tastes, in fact. Read more »

How to Brew Pour Over Coffee

By Ashley Rodriguez
Brew Pour Over CoffeeCurrently my coffee method of choice is a single cup pour-over. It’s an inexpensive way to brew a perfect single cup of coffee and launch you into the world of coffee nerdom. While I’ve now reached the point of being able to brew a decent cup without the use of a scale or measuring device regardless of my husband’s nudging for me to weigh, I thought it would be fun talk about the basic recipe for this method. Read more »