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Apr 21, 2015

My Week in Sweets and Greens

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Now that the new book has been out in the world for a solid month, I’ve found myself with a few more pockets of time here and there to do some really fun things that have absolutely nothing to do with the book. For example, going to a lovely event to celebrate someone else’s book, doing an entire load of laundry from start to finish (and even putting it away!), and baking with absolutely no intention of extensively photographing it or writing about it (although I will still occasionally Instagram it, because if I don’t do that, did it ever really happen?). As we usher in a new week, I thought I’d share a couple particularly delicious bites from the last one. Oof. It was carnival of go-big-or-go-home greatness.

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Apr 1, 2015

Sweetapolita’s Jumbo Frosted Animal Cookies

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Spring is in the air! Sunshine, warm (-er) breezes, new produce, longer days (sort of great because of that aforementioned sunshine and warmth, sort of not because I have a two-year-old who wakes up when it’s still dark and sprints like Usian Bolt all day, so come 3:30 p.m., I’m seeing Care Bears). It’s also a season that brings with it lots of new inspiration in the kitchen, and a chance to start baking with fun new ingredients and sweet splashes of color, a welcome change after a long season of golden brown comfort baking (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course).

That color could be fresh seasonal fruits, but it could also be the kind of color that makes you feel like a real artist while baking, using all kinds of edible paints and adorable decors, something I don’t get to do nearly enough of these days. When a book lands on your doorstep that makes you want to sprinkle-toss and bust out the gel food colorings and more or less become a much more Pinteresting version of yourself, you know you’ve struck cookbook gold.

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Mar 15, 2015

“Real Sweet” News & Events!

Coconut Sugar Banana Sheet Cake with Caramelized Coconut Sugar Frosting :: Photo by Leigh Beisch

Coconut Sugar Banana Sheet Cake with Caramelized Coconut Sugar Frosting :: Photo by Leigh Beisch

Hi everyone! The launch date for Real Sweet is just around the corner on this Tuesday, March 17th. What-whaaaat…?! So great. And kind of insane. So as the date approaches, I wanted to let you know about some upcoming book events and a big, exciting book launch giveaway, all coming your way in just a couple of days.

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Mar 12, 2015

Chia Superseed Soda Bread

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Excuse me, but where on earth did the first half of March go? Did it even happen? How are we almost one-quarter of the way through 2015 already? How did my baby boy actually turn TWO last week?! Hold me.

Don’t get me wrong–I’ve basically been waiting for March 17th since August 2013, which is when I officially started writing Real Sweet. And now March 17th is almost here, and my third (!!) cookbook is about to be born into the world. Unreal. I really hope you’ve pre-ordered, because all signs are pointing to you getting a copy delivered to you on the release date, as opposed to having to actually drive to a store and buy it like in the olden days. Hooray! But I guess now would be as good a time as any to admit that I will likely be stalking bookstores during the entire first week, gently sliding the book into a highly visible spot on the its shelf. (Any author who tells you they don’t do that is straight-up lying, by the way.)

Next Tuesday, March 17th will also be an awesome day to come back to this very site, because I have a huge, pretty freaking phenomenal giveaway planned for you for the launch of Real Sweet! Yesssssss. 

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Mar 1, 2015

Chewy Honeyed Peanut Butter Cookies

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In a move that sounds very jet-sett-y and interesting, I am reporting to you from a flight home from New York. Five minutes ago I realized that superstar pastry chef Sherry Yard is seated two rows behind me and I’m trying not to freak out about it. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve lost my voice and sound like a raptor when I try to speak, because it’s the only thing that’s keeping me from flapping back to 7D and stuttering my undying love for her like a crazy person.

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Jan 29, 2015

Alevropita with Feta, Olives, and Herbs

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So I hear there’s a football game happening around here this weekend? Terrific. Can someone come get me when all the sports-ing stops interrupting the Katy Perry Show? Thanks.

I realize it makes me totally un-American and very unpopular, but I really don’t understand the excitement of the Super Bowl, no matter how hard I try. But I can get behind the thrill of Big Game Day snacks. Particularly snacks that involve cheese, are terrific with booze, and offer something beyond a bag of chips.

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Jan 8, 2015

Kitchen Tips and Tricks v.1

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In my childhood, my mom was The Queen of Garage Sales. For a certain number of years, I spent many a summer afternoon “going sale-ing” (get it?), treasure hunting in the more affluent Chicago suburbs. Sometimes we’d go with friends, making a day of it, a bunch of kids crammed into a van, driving to the North Shore, as our mothers drank Tab and gossiped and squealed and high fived over their finds. Other times it was just my mom and sister and I, and I’d bring a handful of small change and singles hoarded from found stray money around the house and playing mother’s helper for the family across the street for three dollars an hour–just in case I found something that I thought was interesting, then I wouldn’t have to beg for it.

In case you’re wondering how weird of a little kid I was, one of my favorite finds was an old Heloise Hints paperback, thin and worn with a yellowed, curled cover, for a mere ten cents. But I found the contents absolutely fascinating–basically a MacGyvering guide for the modern housewife (or enterprising 10-year-old girl, as the case was). I skimmed the bullet points daily, and spent the rest of the summer dropping knowledge wherever I could, telling my Gramma to boil a cup of vinegar on the stove after she stunk up the place making corned beef and cabbage, and advising mothers of friends to light a birthday cake’s candles with a long piece of dried spaghetti at parties. I’m sure this wasn’t annoying at all.

My love of “why didn’t I think of that?” tips continues to this day. Anything that makes life in the kitchen a little snappier and re-purposes what’s already around gets bonus points, in my book. In fact, I’ve bookmarked some for years. And then I thought, why am I not spreading this goodness? So now I’ll be doing just that occasionally from here on out. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite culinary tricks.

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