All About "baking"

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Stuffed Artichokes

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Flavorful sun-dried tomatoes and tangy feta add depth to the stuffing for these artichokes.

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Brown Rice & Goat Cheese Cakes

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Medium-grain brown rice has a toothsome texture and nutty flavor that complement creamy, earthy goat cheese in these elegant cakes. Serve over salad greens as a main course.

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Squash Rounds with Shallot-Cider Sauce

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A richly flavored caramelized shallot-cider sauce turns baked butternut squash rounds into a beautiful starter or side dish for a fall party.

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Strawberry Pie

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I like to end summer get-together's with favorites like brownies and pie. This easy receipe for strawberry pie would definitely fill the bill.

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Butter Buttons

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This year's cutout cookie is decorated with a big "C" that does double-duty; it's both our family monogram and stands for "Christmas."

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More About baking, cookies

Benne Seed Wafers

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The Christmas cookies I make for my family are pretty much the same from year to year, but there is always one that's different; the one we bake to give. Before I start, I pull out my favorite cookie cookbooks, old saved editions of Christmas magazines and my family recipes and pore over it all to find just the right cookie for gift-giving.

This year's cookie has yet to be decided, but this is one we've had this year and it is in the running so far.

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Chocolate Dump Cake

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My husband is just as much a coffee lover as I am. Since we're also chocolate lovers and nothing goes better with coffee than chocolate, I like whipping up this super easy cake -- I don't have time for more right now!

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Chocolate Mousse Torte

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I've written before about menu names and how they can be exagerrated and sometimes misleading, but many times just plain funny. I guess I tend to do the same, labeling plain old chicken quesadillas as Two-Cheese Chicken Quesadillas, or calling my favorite flourless chocolate cake Chocolate Mousse Torte. I've even been known to call foods by fun names for the kids to get them to eat them. Hey, it works.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I am lucky enough to live in a climate that experiences, in their fullest, each season the world has to offer. Of all four, fall is my favorite. The intense aromas and colors are unmatched in any other season. The sky is never bluer and the shadows seem to take on a life all their own in autumn.

The foods of this time of year also tend to be my favorites. Apples abound, pumpkins are ripe and ovens are lit in expectation of comforting dishes.

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Nanaimo Bars

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These are only known to my family as Grandma's Chocolate Squares. My paternal grandmother made these and my mother took to making them for Christmas. I don't recall a Christmas without them. However, when my older brother discovered that they weren't Grandma's creation, but instead a winning recipe from Nanaimo, B.C., well, we may have been disillusioned, but we weren't all too sad. After all, we still have the recipe!

These are layered and luscious -- so rich that I only make one pan -- although, you know the kids would like a pan each.

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More About cookies, desserts, baking