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Mascarpone Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust and Maple Cranberry Compote

If someone said, “What is your favorite dessert of all time, Maria?”  My answer would be  this Mascarpone Cheesecake. Even as a kid, I loved cheesecake.  I remember requesting it on my birthday as young as 7.  But those cheesecakes weren’t this cheesecake.  This cheesecake made me fall in love alllll over again. I would explain my discovery of mascarpone cheesecake this way….  Its like really liking your new mini-van until you take a Porsche for a spin…  For the sake of my sad little metaphor, we will call this the Porsche of cheesecakes.  It feels fitting; this cheesecake is a little bit sophisticated (don’t worry, its still super easy…

Roasted Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese with Crispy Pancetta

In Seattle, we get a lot of dreary winter days.  A LOT of them.  We rarely get snow anymore (thanks, global warming).  And contrary to popular belief, its not always raining. But it is often very gray and dark.  I enviously scroll through those of you who get snow’s Instagram feeds.  Snow is bright, serene, and beautiful!  I want to make snow angels and prancing around in it, too.  Of course, I don’t think about the fact that my Mini Cooper is not made for such weather and would likely slip and slide me right down our street.  Instead, I see the peaceful quiet that only a snowfall can bring.…
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Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

In our house, this is known as White-Chocolate Chocolate Cake.  And it is gooo-ooood.  I knew this cake would be too distracting to start off with any sort of story or banter.  So yup, fluffy white chocolate buttercream frosting on top of my ultra chocolate-y moist chocolate cake. Now, please let me tell you a little story about my husband Tim and I… In general, I am the girl who prefers fruit pies to cake, cream cheese frosting to buttercream, and cheesecake is pretty much heaven on a plate.  Super sugary frostings and desserts need not apply.   So fast forward to when girl meets the boy she ends up…

Pomegranate Kale Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

You guys, do you think I can get bonus holiday cheer points for making the most festive looking salad?  Pretty please?  The holiday season has only just begun and I am already in desperate need of bonus “cheer” points.  Tim has called me “the grinch” roughly 10 times a day since Thanksgiving for offenses such as disliking multi-colored christmas lights, giant blow-up santa claus lawn decor, and eggnog.  So, ya’ll, I need to get my reputation back into the holiday black.  Pun intended. A dark green salad the color of evergreen trees flecked with sparkling ruby colored jewels is about the most festive salad I know.  I made it the…
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Keeping it Advent

[mp_row] [mp_span col=”12″] The Christmas season is almost always so full, hectic, and busy.  Its easy to lose sight of what the season is truly about.  Because contrary to how it seems, its not about the parties or baking or gifts or ugly sweater contests.  So, I need the daily reminder that this month is Advent, a season of expectantly awaiting the birth of Christ. Right now, ya’ll, I just need more Jesus and less bling-bling craziness.  And because its me and the ability to slow things down isn’t one of my strongest attributes, I need easy ways to keep December about Advent. So, I’m popping in an extra post…
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