Pen Paling—Where to Start & Why It’s So Fun

I vaguely remember having a pen pal as a child. I think it was a temporary activity we did in elementary school. I haven't had a pen pal since... until last year. I had this idea in my head that I wanted one so I started doing some online research and I found a website where I could find pen pals.  That's how it all started. I now have 10 pen pals. I do stationery swaps with people. I send postcards out to people all over the world. The past month or so is when I really fully committed and…

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Lemon Blueberry Torte—Gluten Free

Great Baking Challenge Recipe #10: Great British Bake Off/Baking Show, Series 3 (UK) Episode 4:Signature Challenge– Torte CakeThe requirements for this signature challenge was to make a torte cake which has no wheat flour and more than one layer. I decided on a lemon blueberry almond meal torte cake with whipped vanilla cream cheese frosting. I decided on the lemon blueberry flavor because I always gravitate towards chocolate and why not try something different. I made 2 almond meal torte cakes flavored with lemon zest and vanilla. In between the two cakes is a layer of lemon curd and blueberries. There's more…

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Sparkling Ginger Lemonade

I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine years ago when I got it in the mail. It had a section filled to the brim with lemon recipes (which I love!) and I decided to give this sparkling ginger lemonade a go.Turns out this recipe is a keeper. I love the little bite at the end from the ginger. You can taste the honey too which is different from the traditional sweetness of a lemonade made with a simple sugar syrup. The lovely little fizz from the sparkling water is an added bonus. I always use this recipe…

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My Favorite Food Blogs

So I thought it would be fun to share my favorite food blogs. These are the blogs of people I frequently go to for inspiration and read just because I love to read anything they have to write.  1. David Lebovitz David's blog has been around for a long time, I think he might have started it in the 90's if I remember right. He's a Pastry Chef that lived in California, then moved to Paris and has been there ever since. He's big on ice cream, chocolate and desserts.  I randomly came across his biography while at work a…

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Chocolate Raspberry Orange Tart

Great Baking Challenge Recipe #9: Great British Bake Off/Baking Show, Series 3 (UK)  Episode 3: Showstopper Challenge– Treacle Tart The challenge this time was to bake a fruit tart worthy of a bakery display case. That means presentation is everything with this one! Most bakers in the episode used creme patissiere as their base filling and covered the tart with a variety of fruit. Stuart went for something different and did a Triple Chocolate Raspberry Tart, with layers of chocolate, praline and fruit.  I took some inspiration from him and decided on using chocolate and raspberries as my main flavors.…

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A Visit to the Arboretum

I recently discovered this beautiful arboretum after I started working at my library and I have become addicted to it since. It has so many beautiful flowers and trees and it's so peaceful. I could spend all day here, walking around and reading in the shade. My husband and I went in March during quarantine (don't worry we wore masks) and we got to see some beautiful daffodils and tulips.  Those daffodils and tulips were taken with my Google Pixel 3A phone. We then visited the arboretum later in June with my parents after I got the DSLR. I was more into…

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Smore’s Ice Cream—Dairy Free

I'm on an ice cream kick this summer if you couldn't already tell. It's certainly hot enough out to be eating it all day long too. I had an idea for a smore's ice cream mulling around in my head for a bit now. Then I saw that National Smore's Day was coming up, so I took it as a sign. What's better than marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker bits all swirled into a custard vanilla ice cream? Nothing, that's what.  My ice cream is of course dairy free, but for this one I decided to make it gluten free as…

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My Favorite Podcasts

I didn't listen to podcasts for the longest time, but then after much consideration I decided to download the Google podcast app and looked for a few to try out. I initially subscribed to a million of them, but I narrowed it down to three favorites that I listen to regularly with some others that I'll listen to occasionally. My favorites of course are going to get more of the spotlight here.  1. Practical Positivity, by Sophie Cliff My absolute favorite podcast is Practical Positivity, run by Life Coach Sophie Cliff. She gives tips and advice on how to live a…

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Rustic Blueberry Galette For Two

This rustic blueberry galette is a simple yet delicious dessert, perfect for the summer with it's vibrant fruity taste. I've had the idea for a while and never actually made a galette before so it was fun to try something new. I made a mini one too, so this is a great little summer dessert for two. I add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest to really bring out the blueberry flavor and it works beautifully.  What's a Galette? A galette is basically a pie without the pie dish. You use a shortcrust pastry like you would for a…

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