(*What I’ve Been Doing)

I always feel like . . .

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Sugar Cookies: Two Tone, Layered and Stained Glass


This time of year has always been my favorite – I love the change in the weather (yes, even here in soggy Portland), I love the feeling of wrapping up the current year and preparing for the new one, and I love the food.  FOOOOOOOOOOD.  Turkey and stuffing and potatoes and rolls and pie, oh my – followed by Continue reading

Jelly Bean Sugar Cookies

UPDATE 5 APRIL 2012: Hold the phone, people! I just made these again with a different recipe – adapted from Five Flavor Sugar Cookies, over at Cookie Madness – and they were The Bomb.  I do not say this lightly.  The mix of vanilla, lemon, rum, and coconut works perfectly to make these cookies taste like Easter and spring all wrapped in one neat little package. Photos and recipe in this post have now been updated with the new recipe.  If you want just a plain old, plain old version you can use the sugar cookie recipe from the Sugar Cookie Bites with Nutella Nests post.  Now go forth and bake!

Yesterday I was taking pictures of the sweet miniature daffodils at the park near our house.  Today, those adorable little daffys were covered in snow.  Snow!  In March!  At sea level!  Pbblllt.  I’m ready for spring, people.  Continue reading

PB Cookie Peep S’more

S'more Before; S'more After

What to do with leftover marshmallow peeps?  S’more them!  The peep above is a homemade marshmallow version, but the store bought ones work just fine, too.  I used a jumbo peanut butter cookie for my base – since I had a batch just out of the oven – but you can use anything you have on hand, cookie, graham cracker, etc.  Top with chocolate (mine was ganache from a batch of truffles, but a piece of chocolate bar works better).  Then top with your choice of marshmallow peep creature.  Place under your broiler AND DO NOT WALK AWAY.  It should only take a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate, goo-ify the marshmallow, and caramelize everything nicely.  I’m a burnt marshmallow smore type of girl, which is good because I did take one small step away from my oven and sure enough, my peep went from golden brown to smoky black in that instant.  But still, so very tasty!

Quick and Easy Easter

Chocolate Truffle Bunny, from Truffle!

I know, I’m late to the Easter planning party!  Most of you have probably already made all your plans, picked your menus, and dyed your eggs.  I’m always a little behind with holidays like Easter, since the chocolate biz is crazy for a couple weeks before the big day – I never seem to have time to do any of my own stuff in advance!  But, if you are behind the eight ball, like I am, the least I can do is share some links and ideas with you.  Most of these things are right up my alley – as in, not a ton of ingredients, simple to make/do, not a lot of time or prep involved.  That’s how I roll.  Otherwise, I’d never get anything done!  Wait, actually . . . I don’t get much done.  Never mind.

Ideas for eating:

Easter definitely means pastries, don’t you think?  From the Chocolate & Toast archives, I’m eye-ing these babies:

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St. Patty’s Recipe Round Up

It's raining shamrocks! Or, in Portland, just raining.

When I first moved to Portland, oh, umpteen million years ago, I worked at a downtown shop called Kathleen’s of Dublin.  (Oh look, it still exists!) The shop sells all kinds of Irish goods, from clothing to ceramics to food – all of it on the upscale end of things, not the usual trinkets and toys.  It was fun to work there, and I ended up with a love of all things Irish.  In fact, my husband and I – though neither of us have any Irish heritage to speak of – ended up with wedding rings featuring a Celtic knotwork design.  I’m pretty sure we bought our bands at Kathleen’s – but to be honest, I’m pregnant and the baby ate my brain, so I can’t swear that anything I say has a basis in fact at this point.

At any rate, I still love Irish music and Irish food and oh, the beer . . .

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Cinnamon Marshmallows

Cinnamon Marshamallows, Chocolate Dipped Cinnamon Marshmallows, and Cinnamon Rice Crispy Treats


Disclosure: I do not like the above photo.  It is too dark.  The backdrop is awful.  And I don’t know what possessed me to write “eat me” on a dipped marshmallow.  Also, you should know that I actually do like the taste of those little conversation hearts.  And I already ate all of them.

Thanks for listening.

I had planned to post a recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Hearts with Cherry Icing this weekend.  And this post about Cinnamon Marshmallows was going to be posted last week.  But then I made the shortbread cookie dough and put it in the fridge . . . and then I ate some of it (no raw eggs, yay!).  And then I forgot to bake it the next day, so I took it to work with me the following day.  Continue reading

Guest Post: Chanukah!

I’m excited to bring you a special guest post, courtesy of my friend Stevie – someone I worked with for many years in my former life as a City Planner.  Stevie is currently living in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two year old son, and is on a quest to integrate her own non-religious but Christian based upbringing (which I totally relate to) with her husband’s Jewish traditions (which I definitely know little about!).  I’ve been keeping up with Stevie’s journey via Facebook posts, but I’m thrilled that she’s expanded her thoughts on the current holiday of Chanukah to share with all of us here.  I hope you enjoy it too!  And if you live in Texas or plan on visiting, trust me when I say you MUST visit Sandstone Cellars (located in Mason) – the wine is fantastic, the food is incredible, and the hospitality of the owners is second to none!

Chanukah is celebrated from December 1st to December 9th this year.

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