Blackberry Peach Cobbler Bars

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I always thought that summer would stop going by so quickly when I wasn’t in school anymore, but I was wrong. The weather here in North Carolina is going to stay warm for a while still, but we all know that September is the unofficial end of the season.

In an attempt to hold onto summer a little longer, I used one of my favorite summer fruits to make this tasty treat – peaches. I actually pulled this recipe out of Southern Living last summer, but never got around to making it. I decided to make a few small tweaks to turn this recipe into my own!

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Maple View Farm

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A belated Happy National Ice Cream Day! Actually, July is Ice Cream Month, so I’m not late yet! Whew!

We’re in the middle of a heat wave here in North Carolina, also known as summer. But when my friend Lori invited me to an ice cream celebration at a dairy farm in Hillsborough, I couldn’t say no. Standing outside in the heat and humidity is much more bearable when there’s ice cream involved.

A dairy farm is not a bakery, so I suppose technically this shouldn’t count for my NC bakery tour, but it’s still dessert, so I’m counting it anyway. Although they do make waffle cones and bowls. Loophole?

Anyway, I don’t normally get more than a single scoop in a cup or sugar cone (NEVER a cake cone. Yuck.), but in the spirit of adventure and research, I splurged on a two scoop waffle bowl. Oh, and also because WAFFLE BOWL.

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Unfortunately, you can’t see the difference between the two flavors I got. I decided to switch it up from what I would normally get. Again – spirit and adventure. I spotted Honey Almond sitting right below my favorite Butter Pecan, and decided that sounded delicious. When I finally got up to the counter, I asked the girl taking my order which flavor would play well with the Honey Almond, since I couldn’t decide. She told me that most people go with one of the fruit flavors, so I chose peach.

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For the purposes of a photo, Lori’s choices were much better. She got chocolate and a flavor called Carolina Crunch, which is vanilla ice cream with different kinds of candy bars mixed in. The third member of our group, Julianna, stuck by her favorite flavors of cookie dough and coffee. Lori was slightly disappointed by the Carolina Crunch and wished she’d gone with another chocolate flavor, but the rest of us were thrilled!

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I loved their collection of ice cream scoopers! Totally retro, and the decor outside matched! We managed to snag three seats on old-fashioned wooden rocking chairs on the porch outside the store, and ate our ice cream while watching a southern summer thunderstorm. The large number of other people around killed the atmosphere a little, but the whole experience hearkened back to a simpler time.

I wondered if I’d actually be able to taste the honey in the honey almond flavor, but I wasn’t disappointed! It came through perfectly, and the almonds were a nice textural element. I was also happy with my second choice of peach. It was smooth and creamy, without having an overwhelmingly fruity flavor. It also didn’t have huge chunks of peach in it, which I loved.

In case you’re wondering, the girl behind the counter gave me the right advice on pairing a fruit flavor with the honey almond! Beyond that, I think that I made the right choice in peach because it complemented the honey without overwhelming it. I think blackberry (my second choice) might have been too much.

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Since we were at a dairy farm, there were options besides ice cream, and I couldn’t resist the quart of chocolate milk in a glass bottle. Husband has recently been creating his own chocolate milk out of the skim milk and chocolate syrup we keep in the fridge on a regular basis, so I gave him the task of comparing this to his usual creation.

His response was that the Maple View milk had a better consistency since the chocolate was mixed in well (better than what he could do with a spoon, obviously), but he would prefer if it were something other than whole milk. Can’t please everyone, I guess!

I’m excited to go back to Maple View Farm this summer! Next stop on the bakery tour – Winston-Salem. Where should I go?

Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantaschen

IMG_0940 I love sprinkles. In fact, sprinkles and I have had an extensive love affair over the years. I have college memories of dumping spoonfuls of sprinkles on top of my ice cream and yogurt. The sprinkle yogurts that you can buy in the grocery store don’t come with anywhere near enough sprinkles for me. Something else I love is Purim! For a full history lesson on Purim, check out Chabad.org, but basically, it’s another Jewish holiday where the Jews were almost massacred, they weren’t, so we eat. The food that we eat on Purim are called hamantaschen, which is a Yiddish word meaning “Haman’s pockets.” (Haman is the bad guy in the Purim story, in case you didn’t click the link above!) We should probably eat food that commemorates Esther or Mordecai (the heroes of the story), but who am I to mess with tradition? Well, I messed with tradition a little bit. Continue reading

Back to New York

IMG_0587I just got back from a long weekend in New York, so you know I ate tons of good food! The photos above are all from my excursion to Baked in Brooklyn – more about that in a bit.

I spent my first day and night in New York in Westchester with my parents, so nothing terribly exciting there. For my first city food, I went Italian for dinner, and then went with ice cream for dessert, despite the cold and rain.

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Trip to Boston!

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It’s time for another trip post! This time, I went to visit friends in Boston. My friend Shaina and I spent almost all Saturday baking!

First, we made a chocolate birthday cake! It was requested that I somehow merge chocolate and strawberry into a delicious cake, so I found a recipe online and tweaked it. I kept the cake recipe the same, but the middle layer was a strawberry puree. I changed that part, because I’m not a fan of fruit purees in cakes like that. I find that they rarely add anything taste-wise, although they do look pretty.

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Banana Pudding Cookies

IMG_0329This sticker belongs on my car, although it hasn’t made it there yet. But my friend Rachel got it for me as a perfect birthday present, being that I’m a born and raised New Yorker living in North Carolina. I love that I feel like I belong on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. (Although yes, I’m more at home in the North. That may never change!)

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New York – Part One

After an unintentional three-year hiatus from spending any significant time in NYC, husband and I had an adventurous Memorial Day weekend in which we spent one day in Orange County, half a day in Westchester County and 2.5 days in the city.

We ate such an incredible amount of food during that time that I have decided to split it into three separate blog posts, because otherwise it would be far too long. This is part one – the dessert tour.

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