An Open Letter to Dorie Greenspan: Cherry Crumb Bars

An Open Letter to Dorie Greenspan and Food52 Re: Cherry Crumb Bars

Dear Ms. Greenspan,

Although I am not much of a baker, I am familiar with your work. And to say I am familiar with your work is to say I have heard your name before. It seems you can’t go to any food-related corner of the internet without hearing your name. There is no respectable food blogger who hasn’t at least heard your name. So, when I saw this recipe for a cherry crumb tart (which I have renamed to “cherry crumb bars”, for reasons that will soon become obvious) on Food52, my interest was doubly piqued when I saw your name in the author’s box. (Ed. Note: Ok, so I Googled you, turns out you have an even more impressive resume than I suspected. But it is late at night and I am angry and your impressive credentials will not deter me.)

You see, now that I live in Michigan, the un-official cherry capital of North America, cherry recipes always pique my interest. Growing up, I can’t remember ever eating a cherry, save for the maraschino version which is to a fresh cherry what Natural Light is to beer (although I suppose someone of your kitchen prowess is probably unfamiliar with “the official beer of keeping it real”, trust me, it’s not what most would consider “beer”). You see, I grew up in the kind of small Midwestern town where cherries don’t grow and mothers balked at paying $6/lb. anything, especially something as prone to spoiling as fresh cherries. Therefore, I did not experience the joy of fresh cherries until adulthood. I did, however, experience plenty of cherry-themed décor. It was the 1990s after all. Now, I am making up for lost time and cooking every cherry recipe I come across. At $1.88/lb, how could I afford not to? Read more

Farmer’s Market Recipe: Greek Pasta Salad

I am always on the hunt for a good Farmer’s Market Recipe! Mostly because I absolutely love the Farmer’s Market! Like, I am borderline obsessed. When my parents came to visit last fall, we went to two Famer’s Markets-in one day. Maybe not everyone’s idea of a good time but I was in heaven. As with anything in life that I love, I have a tendency to overdo it at the Farmer’s Market.. I tend to buy whatever looks good and then figure out what to do with it later. This has lead to over-purchasing on more than one occasion. Read more

Kitchen Fail Friday: A Recipe for Divorce

Although I call myself a food blogger, it’s no secret that I can be less than adept in the kitchen at times. In the spirit of increased transparency and hilarity, I would like to start running a semi-regular column known as Kitchen Fail Friday. I will regale you with stories of my latest or all time greatest kitchen disasters. Then, you can tell me your latest and greatest kitchen fails in the comments. I say semi-regular instead of regular in hopes that I don’t have a kitchen fail to share every week! But, let’s be real, they seem to still be racking up. The more adventurous you are in the kitchen the more likely you will be to have the occasional disaster, right? Let’s laugh along with each other as we share our kitchen fails and chalk them up as “learning experiences.” After all, “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” Read more

Red, White, & Blue Cheesecake Popsicles Without Food Dyes

Today I am featuring an oldie but a goodie, cheesecake popsicles without food dyes! These popsicles are packed full of great taste and fruit but completely free of artificial food dyes. Their festive colors come only from ingredients found in nature! Now, without further adieu, let’s take it back to 2015:

This week, General Mills announced that it will be removing all artificial flavors and colors from its cereals. To me, this is a big step in the right direction by a major food producer, but I am wondering what Trix is going to look like without artificial colors. Whether or not you believe artificial colors are harmful, my belief is that they are largely unnecessary. Why add artificial colors, why not eat food the color that it happens to be? Well, sometimes, like when a certain patriotic holiday is involved, you might want your food to match the occasion.

Remember Bomb Pops? What exactly were those made of? And how is “blue raspberry” a flavor? Are blue raspberries really a thing? They were definitely patriotic, but I never enjoyed the taste. In fact, I never really enjoyed popsicles of any kind. Why have frozen water/juice when I could have ice cream instead? Enter these patriotic “popsicles” without food dyes. Read more

Strawberry Shortcake with Pie Crust

Well, it’s official. It is summer here in Michigan. Even though I know it’s not officially summer until June 21, when I can find strawberries ripe enough to make strawberry shortcake, then it’s close enough to call it. Being in Michigan has its upsides and downsides. Downside-we are about 2-3 weeks behind in the fresh produce department. Upside-we have SO MANY options when it comes to fresh produce. Especially in the berry and cherry department. There are lots of berries, along with different types of cherries, that grow well in the not too hot Northern climates. As soon as those incredible, tiny (when compared with grocery store types), and super sweet strawberries appeared in my CSA basket, I couldn’t wait to make this classic pie crust strawberry shortcake.

Something else that is official? I think I am officially a Northerner. I have lived in Michigan for close to five years now. I own a home. I married a native Michigander. BUT, until now it hasn’t been official. Until now, I have never, not once, felt like it was TOO HOT. Northerners, or at least Michiganders, are babies when it comes to the heat. Taste Tester complains about the heat ALL THE TIME. To which I would say something along the lines of, “you don’t even know what hot is.” (sidenote:Have I become my father?). BUT, this year, whew, it’s been hot. And I have felt that, perhaps, it was indeed TOO hot. And it wasn’t really that hot when I said it was too hot. Which means, I am officially a baby about the HEAT. And it’s only June. But it has been a particularly dry and hot summer thus far. The upside of my northerner-ness is that I am now pretty tough when it comes to the cold. Just ask anyone who has been to my house in winter. So, upsides and downsides. Read more