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The Country Fair Cookbook

The American Tradition of Country Fairs

Just hearing the words “country fairs” brings up visions of pies, cakes, canned goods, and homemade breads all lined up for viewing and judging.   One of my earliest ventures in competitive cooking started with our local fair over thirty years ago.  I would get up on those hot July mornings and bake for a couple of […]

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Basement 3rd shelf up

“The Secret Lives of Baked Goods” Giveaway Winner!

Before I announce the winner of the cookbook giveaway, I am excited to report that the Culinary Cellar is on the move again!  Many of you know that my basement library is an ongoing project.  I have thousands of cookbooks and not enough shelves, but one more was added this weekend!  My sister-in-law’s husband, Larry, is […]

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Wilmette books large French

The Kindness of Strangers

Sometimes the nice parts of life come out of nowhere.  I had that kind of weekend.  After a Saturday morning of running errands most of the day, I came home to find an email that made me smile.  It seems a book publisher I know had a friend who was selling some cookbooks, and take a […]

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Baked Goods books one pile

Sweet Stories- and a Giveaway!

Did you know that Duncan Hines cake mixes are named after an actual person, while Betty Crocker was simply the figment of someone’s imagination in the marketing department at General Mills?  Boston Cream Pie is not a pie at all, but a cake?  Whoopie Pies are not pies, but cookies?  An Anzac biscuit is not a […]

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The Other Half of the Egg chicken drawing

Hatching Up Some Recipes

Why have I never seen this book before?  I could have used it in countless ways over the years.  Think of all the times making crème brulee with yolks and leftover whites, or angel food cakes with a dozen whites and all those yolks.  I found this book last weekend at a book sale.  I picked it […]

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Aunt Ann recipe box atop cookbooks

Secrets of the Old Tin Box

Anna Juljaana Vanni Halonen was my husband Bill’s Finnish aunt, known to the family as Aunt Ann.  When Bill and his cousins recently started cleaning out Aunt Ann’s home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the kitchen revealed some family treasures.  If there is anything that gets my attention more than old cookbooks, it’s old recipe boxes.  When Bill […]

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Fresh 20 party Melissa on red carpet

Cookbook on the Red Carpet

Melissa Lanz, author of The Fresh 20,  wasn’t raised on fresh foods;  it was more Swanson TV dinners and anything in a box or bottle.  It took years for her to overcome her family food culture of processed foods.  The Fresh 20 is the result of Melissa’s journey to healthy eating, and now she wants her efforts […]

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Michael Symon Carnivore

Night with a Carnivore

Iron Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and co-host of The Chew,  Michael Symon, is also a longtime affiliate with Calphalon.  In celebration of Calphalon’s fifty years and to present Symon’s newest cookbook, Carnivore, Calphalon hosted a dinner to showcase both.  My daughter Kristina and I were thrilled to be invited to the event held at the Calphalon kitchens in […]

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