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clam chowder

My mom was bringing some stuff over to our apartment a couple weeks ago, and she called before she left to ask me if I wanted a can of clams she had laying around the house. Of course I said yes, please! What she failed to mention was that she had bought it at Costco, and that it was a 3 POUND can. Damn, that’s a lotta clams. I was left scratching my head over what the heck to do with all this briny deliciousness, when I decided there was no better time to try making one of my favorite winter soups – clam chowder!

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Hubs and I went to a fun wine tasting party at a friend’s house this weekend, and I offered to bring along some Christmas cookies for everyone to nibble on between their glasses of pinots and merlots. So the night before, I decided on some pretty chocolate-mint crackle cookies and dutifully checked the ingredients to make sure I had everything I needed, which I did. Perfection! About 2 hours before the party, I start mixing up some delicious smelling dough, and it was smooth sailing until I hit this step: Chill dough for at least 3 hours…oops. [Insert cursing here]

Moral of the story: Read through the entire recipe before you start baking, otherwise you’ll end up on your friend’s doorstep with a fabulous tube of Pilsbury cookies!

The recipe from Martha Stewart is as follows:

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I know there are people who lose their mind when they get a whiff of McDonald’s fries, but my downfall is the buttery scent of a nearby Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. Once it’s on my radar, I can’t help but march over and hand them all my money like some type of reverse mugging. Are we sure Auntie Anne’s isn’t really a military brainwashing research facility? Someone should look into this.

So of course when I spotted this copycat recipe on Pinterest, I just had to try it! Hubs mixed up the dough easy peasy, and I rolled and twisted them into little pretzels and sent them off into the oven. After lovingly brushing them with a bit of butter, we each took a bite and it was bliss. Soft and chewy, with the perfect hint of salt and butter. We were so busy stuffing our faces that we never got around to making the accompanying garlic cheese sauce, but that will definitely not be overlooked next time.

PS. Pretzel makers, is there a trick to rolling out the dough into thin ropes? I thought I did a good job, until our pretzels puffed up like fat pretzel rolls instead of looking like the super skinny ones at Auntie Anne’s. They’re delicious all the same, but just wondering!

The recipe from Yammie’s Noshery is as follows:

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Did you know that if you make a chocolate bundt cake, round off the bottom edge, spread a thin layer of chocolate frosting over the entire thing, and top it off with a generous smattering of pink frosting & colorful sprinkles, you’ll end up with a cake that looks just like a giant donut? True story! I made this fun cake on a whim for my friend’s 30th birthday while vowing not to break down and buy an actual giant donut cake pan (I think my kitchen would revolt if I brought one more useless novelty item home). Success!

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Happy Cinco de Mayo weekend! We plan on celebrating with feast of tacos, guacamole, and spicy Mexican brownies, and dressing Toby up in a piñata costume since he loved being the Easter bunny so much. Okay scratch that last one, but seriously, you should make these brownies – they’re rich and fudgy, and the added spices really give it some kick! And even better? They’re basically made on the stovetop, so no mixer or extraneous bowls are required. Less time spent washing dishes means more time sipping on margaritas, amigos. Olé!

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I used this gingerbread recipe from Martha Stewart - tasty!

Hubs and I have been scrambling the last few days buying and wrapping last minute gifts, cleaning our apartment that seems perpetually messy this time of year, and Keebler Elfin’ these funny half-eaten gingerbread men to give away as tasty gifts (you can buy the cookie cutters here). See you back here sometime next week when I’m not feeling so much like the headless gingerbread man in the middle :-) Happy holidays!

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