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Banana Upside Down Cake

In the winter, we often turn to the tropics to get our fruit fixes. Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, and they’re quite popular elsewhere, too. I’m happy with oranges, grapefruits, and chocolate (yup, cocoa beans are fruit – great news for fruit-lovers!) but sometimes it’s nice to throw something else in the mix, and I’ll grab a pineapple, some kiwifruits, a few…

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Riz au lait (French rice pudding)

Recently I was contacted by a film production company that was proposing to include me in a series. They were interested in what I do and mentioned they wanted to come over and film me in my office, along with all the people I work with. I hated to disappoint them, but I had to tell them that it’s just was me sitting in front…

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Pumpkin Jam

It’s very hard to make generalizations. An article might say, “The French love their cheese,” and, of course, there will be someone out there who will say, “I have a French friend and they don’t like cheese.” Or “Americans love cinnamon,” which is partially true, although I’m sure there is at least one or two of you out there that can’t abide it. Generally speaking (at…

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Atole

My recent trip to Mexico was probably my fifth or sixth in my life and I thought I’d tasted almost everything I could, so it was odd on this trip that I’ve never heard of, or tasted, atole. Although it was served at breakfast in a steaming cauldron, when I asked when people in Mexico drank it, a local chef told me “All the time.”…

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Vanilla Ice Cream

Everyone should have a great recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream in their repertoire. Here’s my favorite, which you can serve with anything, from a freshly-baked fruit pie, a warm berry crisp, cherry compote, or simply smothered with dark chocolate sauce or caramel sauce and toasted nuts. It’s said that vanilla is the most popular flavor of ice cream. But most people don’t know that vanilla…

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How to Buy Vanilla and Vanilla FAQs

We all use vanilla frequently in our baking, and vanilla is reputedly the world’s most popular flavor. But many of us who use vanilla know little about it, except that it smells and tastes great…and sometimes seems outrageously expensive for such a tiny bottle. Fortunately a little goes a long way. I keep several bottles on hand, using vanilla from Madagascar and Mexico (the real…

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