M & B’s Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars

Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars RecipeEven though I live three thousand miles away from my family, I see them a lot!  I journey to Kentucky four or five times a year, and when I’m very blessed, one of my family members makes it to California to visit me.  Having a brother, sister, niece, or nephew in MY home is a precious gift.  There were trade-offs in choosing a life in Los Angeles, living so far from family has been the most difficult by far.
Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars Recipe
My youngest sister was here with me over the long Valentine/President’s Day weekend.  The weather was a glorious 80+ everyday and we really did nothing more than kick back and eat.  She was content just to relax and put life on pause for a bit.  As it turned out, we never managed to do the only thing I really wanted to do with her, which was to photograph her making one of her famous recipes for my blog.  We talked endlessly about food, and recipes, and baking, but we didn’t get much further than that.
Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars RecipeFinally on the last day of her mini vacation, she became intrigued by a fruit bar recipe she found in one of my gazillion cookbooks.  I’m not sure exactly why that particular recipe caught her attention but before long we set about getting a batch into the oven.  I worked on the crust and topping while she cooked the fruit filling.  Becky is a wonderful baker.  She has an innate intuition as to what is needed to improve a recipe, and she is always right.  I joke with her that never in her life has she ever made a recipe as it was originally written.  And, her tweaks are always spot on.  My heart was smiling as I watched my sister flutter about my kitchen, making it her own. I felt our simpatico baking styles as we mixed, beat, and stirred the bars together.  I seized the moment and borrowed from her baking expertise.
Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars RecipeThe bars were very good, but almost immediately after tasting one we began to toss ideas back and forth on how we could make a better bar; on what worked, and what stood improvement.  Soon we had come up with a recipe for our very own crumb bar.  My Sis had to leave the next morning but the minute I returned from dropping her at the airport I went to work making a batch of ‘our bars’.  As she flew, I baked.  I sent her a text that was waiting for her when she landed.  “I made the bars, and they’re delicious!”

So here you have it, two sisters’ (M & B) Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars.
Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars Recipe 

 




Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge Brownie RecipeMy sister arrived from Ohio today, and I am thrilled!  Our next few days will be filled with all those things sister do when they spend time together.  And believe it or not, although we are both bakers, we won’t be spending much time in the kitchen.  I have her all to myself for five days, and it just so happens the weather in LA is incredible this week.  If anyone is looking for us, we can be found at the beach, or an outdoor cafe, or perhaps a boutique or two. Continue reading




‘Make Ahead’ Chocolate Soufflés

Make Ahead Chocolate Soufflés RecipeGenerally speaking, I’m not a huge celebrator of Hallmark holidays.  Oh, I send cards and all that (Hallmark is happy), but in other ways, I play it pretty low-key.  On Valentine’s Day, you’ll never find me in a restaurant partaking in a ritualistic over-priced dinner with bad service, made such due to the throngs of others who have also decided to hallow the day set aside for love and romance. Instead, I prefer the comfort of my own home and the pleasure of good food made by loving hands. Continue reading




Rustic Almond Cake with Pears

Rustic Almond Cake with Pears RecipeSimplicity is the first word that comes to mind when describing this cake.  It’s basic list of ingredients, along with the ease in which it can be made, makes it an ‘anytime’ cake.  The only ingredient that may not be in your pantry is almond meal, and if not, it is a great staple to have on hand for future baking.  Almond meal is readily available at most markets these days.  Other than that, a couple pieces of fruit and you are on your way to a tender, moist, and sweetly perfumed cake, perfect for anytime of the day.  I love it slightly warm from the oven best, but the following morning with coffee or tea is just as enticing.  A day later, and the cake has reaped all the juicy benefits of sitting below a succulent layer of fruit. Continue reading




Black Walnut Coconut Cake | Memories of Dad

Black Walnut Coconut Cake RecipeDad was special in a lot of ways.  It’s no secret that he and I had a close relationship.  I spent most of my childhood by his elbow in the kitchen of the house on Linden.  I make no excuses or apologies for being a ‘weird’ kid. Even then I was happiest near the oven and close to flour and sugar.  My passion for baking developed during those years, and I treasure the time spent basking in Dad’s undivided attention. Continue reading