Patriotic Red, White, and Blue Cookies 2015

This is just a quick picture post of a couple my favorite cookie styles I'm offering for this Fourth of July holiday.
  
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Buttermilk Pound Cake with Triple-Citrus Glaze


I don't make it a big secret that a store-bought pound cake is one of my all-time, favorite dessert making short-cuts.  I like to buy the little pound cakes made in my grocery store bakery. Those ready-made cakes come in really handy when we have a visit from unexpected company or as a quick fix for my family's busy weeknight sugar cravings. But, when I have time to plan, I definitely prefer to bake a rich, old-fashioned pound cake from scratch with lots of butter and creamy buttermilk!    

The base recipe for my favorite buttermilk pound cake came from old Southern Living cookbook. The original recipe called for a measure of shortening as well as lemon and almond extracts. Now, it's just a personal preference thing for me really, but unless I'm making a pie crust, I don't like to use shortening. I don't care much for the taste of almond extract either, so I adapted this recipe to suit my taste. When I make this cake, I use all butter in place of shortening and vanilla extract in place of the suggested almond and lemon flavors.  

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Easy Balsamic Green Bean Bake


I buy a big bag full of bulk, fresh, green beans every time I go to the store.  I put them in as many side dishes as I can and I especially like to use them in soups and stews.  I mean, what's not to love? They're tasty, healthy, pretty, inexpensive and most importantly, my kids eat them!  

In fact, green beans were the only fresh vegetable my son would eat for the longest time. He preferred that every other vegetable come out of a can. However, at the tender age of five he branched out and began to try other fresh, garden goodies. But, to this day, if you ask him directly what vegetable he wants with dinner, I would place a firm bet on his answer.  Yep, you guessed it: green beans! 

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New Bakery Item: Sweet and Spicy Pineapple-Habanero Jelly!

Summer is here and I'm officially in love with sweet and spicy jellies.  For years now I've been making my own recipe for jalapeño jelly and it continues to be a best selling product!  I also make traditional fruit jams and preserves which always keep me busy during the winter holidays.  

Since last Christmas, I've tinkered with the idea of making my own spicy fruit jellies and it was a thought that kept getting put to simmer on the back burner. Well, I've finally had time to experiment and here is the firstborn of what will be a small line of sweet and spicy fruit jellies: Pineapple-Habanero Jelly! Isn't she pretty?  Each batch is made by me with a bright and flavorful mix of fresh-cut pineapple, orange habanero peppers, mild green bell pepper, just a pinch of sweet onion, sugar and tangy cider vinegar.  

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Sweet, Girly Under the Sea Cookies!

This is just a quick picture post of some adorable, girly, under-the-sea theme cookies I made.  

Overall, I was very happy with how the decoration on these turned out! Believe me, there was some pretty intense concentration going on in my little kitchen last night as I piped each and every fish, starfish and whale completely freehand!
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Spicy Pepper Jack Cheese Truffles

Well, summer is officially on here in Texas. I always look forward to having my kids at home and getting out to have some fun and adventure on our own schedule.  And believe me, the use of the words "fun and adventure" in the previous sentence are meant to the letter!  Even when it's not required, we are a family of folks that like to stay busy.  Seriously, we're a pretty naturally energetic bunch, so we may actually need to stay busy to survive.
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