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White Pizza with Fresh Asparagus, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

I was asked to create a dish featuring asparagus for an upcoming event called Asparafest! I used my own favorite recipe for homemade pizza dough and enhanced a recipe I found on the Internet to come up with the following dish. It’s time-consuming, but unique and delicious. I can’t wait for the event to share […]

Sugar Cookie Sprinkles

Quick Tip of the Day: If you don’t have time to make frosting and decorate sugar cookies with elaborate icing techniques, try using colored sugar sprinkles instead. To help the sugar sprinkles adhere to the cookies, lightly spritz the unbaked cookies with water from a spray bottle, then sprinkle with colored sugars. This will help […]

Truffles for Valentine’s Day

This year, I will again be making my traditional dark chocolate truffles for Valentine’s Day. They come in 2 varieties: rolled in bittersweet chocolate cocoa (the traditional method) or rolled in finely chopped and toasted almonds.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

A gift box of 1 dozen truffles costs $12.00.

I am also offering a […]

Testing for doneness: Brownies


Originally uploaded by chefrb

Nina asks: For some reason, I can’t make good brownies. Even when I use the boxed mixes and follow the directions, the brownies are either underdone or overdone. What is the solution? Should I be making brownies from scratch?

Baking S.O.S. says: I have the same problem, too! […]

Test for doneness: Coffeecake

Once again, I am learning from my own mistakes, chalking my baking failures up to “experience.”

I recently picked 15 pounds of organic blueberries, most of which I froze for use in the Winter when fresh produce is expensive and less-than-desirable quality.

But I had some sour cream in the frige that was about to […]

Cupcake Conundrum!

My entry for CupcakeCampColumbus

Originally uploaded by chefrb

Perhaps you have noticed that cupcakes are all the rage lately? I don’t know exactly WHY we are strangely drawn to cupcakes. . . perhaps it is our inner-child seeking comfort in foods that remind us fondly […]

Smart Balance 50/50 Baking Sticks Test: Take 2

Recently, I tested a new product for baking: Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend sticks. These sticks are a combination of 50% Smart Balance spread and 50% butter. The benefit to baking with Smart Balance sticks is that they contain 28% less saturated fat and 50% less cholesterol than butter (according to the Smart Balance web […]

Baking with a healthier fat substitute: Smart Balance 50/50 Blend

A while ago, I received a question about what kind of fat could be substituted for butter to make cookies healthier. At the time, I did a little bit of research and discovered that Smart Balance had recently unveiled a new product called 50/50 Butter Blend sticks which are formulated specifically for baking. [See this […]

docked pie crust up close

docked pie crust up close

Originally uploaded by chefrb

Docked pie crust

Docked pie crust

Originally uploaded by chefrb

Poking holes in the pie crust with a fork prior to baking allows steam to escape and prevents the crust from bubbling up as it bakes. This is called “docking” the dough.