Blueberry Crumb Cake

“Art any more than a steward? Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?”

-William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Blueberry Cream Cheese Crumb Cake

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_ _ My roommate and I are both big homebodies. We have to force ourselves to go out downtown (which has happened a grand total of two times since the boys deployed) and the other day at lunch we got really wild and ordered a beer sampler with our sandwiches. We’ve adopted the mantra, “let’s act like we’re 24!” …But usually after we say that, we have a drink, get sleepy and change into our sweats for the night. Perhaps we’re a more civilized 24, perhaps we’re more cut out for afternoon teas that lead to afternoon naps… Perhaps the Beatles song was really about us: “will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 24?”

_ _ It was unintentional, but somehow after I mentioned afternoon teas, I managed to tie in a reference to British culture. I’m the greatest. So here’s some cake to go with your Earl Grey–as you toast being in your mid twenties.

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Apples Aren’t Just MacBooks…

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

-Jane Austen, Letter to Cassandra

Cinnamon Apple Cheesecake Bars Drizzled with Caramel

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_ _ Most of my generation has become completely and thoroughly digitally-obsessed. Facebook, Twitter and even the now outdated Myspace have taken away our ability to communicate with each other without the protective barrier of a computer screen… And not to rant (but I’m going to), the self-absorption involved with social media is mind blowing! It’s not as if this has never been said, but to honestly believe that your 1,250 “friends” will be interested in the fact that “Doug is wishing he was at the beach” is beyond narcissistic. Doug, we all wish we were at the beach. Thank goodness I have this blog, where I know EVERYONE cares what I have to say… Wah waaaah. Oh the harsh mirror of a reality check.

_ _ If you can pull yourself away from the fascinating updates of a constantly changing newsfeed, head to the kitchen and throw together these apple-cheesecake bars. You can even make that your status and see how many people “like” it.

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Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

“He took the brandy flask and poured out a glass of neat spirit, stiff enough to help anybody over anything.”

-Algernon Blackwood, The Empty House

Iced Coffee

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_ _ I never understood what my parents were talking about when they complained of caffeine headaches (or lack-of-caffeine would be more apt) until I got to college. Darn those Dunkin Donuts with their convenient locations and insanely huge cups! Last week my coffeemaker broke and because I can no longer justify spending the daily five dollars on my habit, I learned how to “cold brew” …and it couldn’t be any easier.

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I Used To Think I Was Boring, But Then I Got A Lot More Boring…

“All the knives and forks were working away at a rate that was quite alarming; very few words were spoken; and everybody seemed to eat his utmost in self-defense, as if a famine were expected to set in before breakfast time tomorrow morning, and it had become high time to assert the first law of nature.”

-Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit

Chocolate-Strawberry Jam

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_ _ Despite being the target of significant mocking from my friends (who have now been downgraded to “associates” for their unsupportiveness), I’m proud to have channeled my inner 70-year-old woman this past week. Putting my slow cooker to more use than I had since I purchased it, I spent my days making chocolate-strawberry jam, homemade pizza sauce, and peach butter, as well as baking scones, homemade brownies, and handing out Werther’s candies to the neighborhood children… and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I spent the hours while the slow cooker was at work, watching an excess of “pawn” shows, including but not limited to, Antiques Road Show. I also successfully canned all these homemade jellies and condiments, and thus began my love affair with mini mason jars.

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Grilled Peaches…

“…People who love downy peaches are apt not to think of the stone, and sometimes jar their teeth terribly against it.”

-George Eliot, Adam Bede

Grilled Peaches with Raspberry-Balsamic Sauce and Whipped Cream

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_ _ As I snuggled into the couch this morning and began to eat this delicious concoction, I sighed and looked around contentedly, thinking “what a lovely Saturday morning.” ….And then I remembered it’s not the weekend, it’s Thursday. I have way too much time on my hands. Someone give me a job!! The reality is however, that this is a very easy thing to throw together and can be breakfast but is sweet enough for dessert.

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Scones I Would Drop-Kick A Nun For…

“Red berries shine here and there in the latices of Minor Canon Corner; Mr. and Mrs. Tope are daintily sticking sprigs of holly into the carvings and sconces of the Cathedral stalls, as if they were sticking them into the coat-button-holes of the Dean and Chapter. Lavish profusion is in the shops: particularly in the articles of currants, raisins, spices, candied peel, and moist sugar.”

-Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Soft Blueberry Scones with Orange-Honey-Butter

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_ _ I am generally an awkward and easily embarrassed human being; if you ever find yourself walking down a hallway in my direction, prepare yourself for the weird dance that we’ll do, as I inevitably will try to get around you while accidentally mirroring your every move… Because of this I developed the verbal tick of apologizing for everything- to the point of being annoying- if someone slapped me across the mouth I’d be tempted to say “sorry” for getting in the way of their open fist…

_ _ I have never been less sorry, however, than when eating these scones. Amendment: I was sorry I made these in lieu of going to the gym today, but I apologized to my love handles and they forgave me.

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