Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Yeah, I went there.

It’s the end of August. As fall quickly approaches, you will soon be exchanging the time you spent all summer going to street festivals and drinking margaritas at 3 in the afternoon for quiet nights in, and if you’re anything like me, whiskey. And chocolate.

As a baker, I know that the majority of what I make is already considered an indulgence for most of you, but this recipe also contains a strong hint of gluttony that I’m not even going to try to hide. It will be the perfect treat to share with friends and family on those special nights in. Remember–no more bathing suits ’til next summer. Are you with me? Continue reading

Old Fashioned Cake Doughnuts, Two Ways

Oh wow, it’s been a month, eh? Looks like I got a little behind! There’s been a lot going on — which I know is no excuse as we’re all busy — but incase you’re interested I’ll fill you in.

I got a new job! At a bakery! It’s going great, thank you for asking. It’s right up my alley and I feel like I’m learning a lot. I’m currently interning and will send more updates along the way. Continue reading

Red Currant Sage Jam

The other night I was goofing off on the internet and came across an article about hidden treasures in different Chicago neighborhoods. I immediately looked up the one for my neighborhood, Logan Square, and read about a Polish grocery store called Wally’s Market. I love going to ethnic grocery stores to stock up on ingredients that would be 5x the price at Whole Foods, but haven’t done so at a Polish grocery store considering most of their food is not exactly vegetarian-friendly. But, after reading that it contains “two dozen types of mustard and a 20-foot-long pickle aisle” I had to check it out. So, the next day, I hopped on the bus in the rain and rode off to Wally’s. That’s what normal people do in their free time, right?

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Homemade Granola Bars

People are usually surprised when I admit that one of my favorite foods of all time is peanut butter. It took me 4 months to convince my Spanish roommates to try it, but once they did, they were immediately seduced by its magical powers. I’m usually a purist, though, when it comes to peanut butter. I eat a PB&J, have it with apple slices, or ants on a log as a snack, but that’s about it. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to make my own granola, and finally I found a recipe where I can combine the power of peanut butter and homemade granola.

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Door County Cherry and Almond Granola

I recently returned from a 6-day trip to Door County, Wisconsin. If you haven’t yet been there, you are really missing out. I started visiting there with my family 20 years ago, and not much has changed since that first year I went. It’s one of the few places in the US that has been untouched by big corporations and chain restaurants. Every institution you go to you feel like you’re part of the family — as in, the actual family that owns it — and they welcome you with warm smiles and sconnie accents. By the end of the trip you’re throwing around “Don’tcha know”s like you’ve been living there your whole life. It’s marvelous.

Usually there’s a big group of us that go, but this year it was just me, my dad, and my step mom. It made for some serious bonding time and a captive audience for my dad and the corny hilarious things he says. For example, the three of us are biking on a beautiful trail. There are a lot of hills — despite my assumption that they no longer existed in the midwest — so we are getting tired. My dad finds himself on a relatively flat surface. “When there’s gravity, use it! That’s what I always say!” he states as he rides along beginning up a hill. He’s not pedaling. He’s not moving. “Guess there’s no gravity right here!” he says. “That’s what you always say, huh, dad?” I joke. “Well, I said it, and I believe it!” he responds with a proud smirk.

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