These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Do you have a favorite recipe? It could be something passed down from generation to generation, or a ‘hack’ that takes a boxed mix and turns it spectacular. Maybe you even have a recipe that you have created, and it’s what you break out any time you need something special.

I first met my friend, Maureen, when our girls were in kindergarten and Jeff’s dad passed away unexpectedly.

She overhead me telling the teacher that our Kassidy would be missing school for the funeral, which was out of state. On top of everything, Lou died right before Christmas, and we planned to drive from Ohio to New Jersey for the funeral, then to upstate New York to celebrate the holiday with my family.

Maureen – whom I had never met – immediately stepped in and told me she would drop off dinner that night, as I had too much to do already, and shouldn’t have to worry about dinner.

I was kind of stunned. Who offers to bring dinner to a stranger? But, sure enough, she showed up that night with her special chicken and mushrooms, along with salad, bread – even dessert.

We’ve been friends ever since.

I have a lot of go-to’s in my mental cookbook. And I’ve begun to share them with you in this blog. But I also love reading food blogs. When my favorites share their favorites? The results are always off the chain.

For example, this cinnamon swirl quick bread from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

This bread is unlike any other I’ve tried. The cinnamon sugar crust gives it a sweet crunch, and a thick layer of cinnamon filling swirling through a super moist cake takes this breakfast treat to a whole ‘nother level.

And it’s simple. I just love simple.

Another favorite are these brown butter apple blondies, also from Sally. I’m so thankful she has a baking addiction!

I made these for some friends who love fruit-based desserts. Another hit from Sally.

The brown butter (which is a little more of a challenge to get right) adds a deep, almost nutty flavor over the sweet-tartness of the apples. And, once again, they are super moist.

The general consensus was that the brown butter icing was not necessary, but it does deepen the brown butter flavor and set these bars over and above the typical apple bar.

Do you like cheesecake? I am obsessed. If I had my way, I would eat a different flavor of cheesecake every day. So when my mother-in-law celebrated her 82nd birthday recently, I seized the opportunity to indulge us all.

This blueberry cheesecake recipe, from The Recipe Rebel, is incredibly decadent. Three blocks of cream cheese & two cups of sour cream make for a rich, creamy texture that holds up well against the homemade blueberry sauce.

Ashley, a former teacher turned food blogger, created beautiful layers in her version, but I am definitely not unhappy with how mine turned out. No question that I will be making this again!

So, there you have it! From simple to elegant, these are a few of my food blogger favorites. And I would love to hear about yours, so please share!

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