Snowflake Cookies with Royal Icing

The Cupla Sisters avoided decorating holiday cookies with Royal Icing until meringue powder became available. The old recipes called for raw egg whites which was okay for gingerbread houses and other items we did not intend to eat. Yes, the...

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Stunning Holiday Trees

Christmas 5

Although I may be a semi-minimalist, when it comes to decorating the holiday tree, more is just right. Some overseas factory is kept in business supplying the fifteen strings of clear lights it takes to...

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Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Bridge Over Still Water
Bridge Over Still Water

Every season is beautiful at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Even now, when robins have fled, waterfalls are silent and the koi pond is frozen, vignettes remain to please the eye.      ...

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Really, Really Sweet

We are both away from our kitchens this week, so our something sweet isn’t really edible unless you are an adventurous grazer. My Cúpla sent a beautiful bouquet to me on our birthday. The lilies were color spritzed with...

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Barn Tour

Cooper's Barn by Charles City Iowa
Cooper's Barn by Charles City Iowa

Cúpla Sister and I have gone on Iowa drive-abouts and barn tours. “Why barns?” you might ask. Barns built by our grandfather and great-grandfather were our first playgrounds. The hay loft was our forbidden cathedral...

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Easier Than Pie Pumpkin Tarts

Easier-than-pie Pumpkin Tarts

Pumpkin is usually not my favorite flavor – probably because is not chocolate. Recently, however, Cúpla Sister and I were talking about the pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust I used to make and I got...

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Afternoon Escape in Southeast Iowa

Forever Sweet Creations

We went “down south” to our little farm in Van Buren County this last week. No visit to V.B. County is complete without a swing through the Des Moines Riverbank village of Bentonsport, a once thriving...

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Ganache Covered Chili Mango Brownies

ganache and chil mango covered brownie

Dessert for Salon du Chocolat week had to be something special.  I looked through my pantry for inspiration and saw candied chili mangoes and a gluten-free brownie mix. Mangos and chili are friends with dark chocolate...

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A Taste of Chocolate and Soho

Main Salon at Kirkwood Center
Main Salon at Kirkwood Center

Salon du Chocolat extravaganzas of deliciousness are being held this week in Paris, New York City and twenty other metropolitan locations around the world. None are near us (heavy sigh) but not to worry. We enjoyed lovely chocolate...

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Taste of Fall Cookies

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Cookies
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Cookies

Have you noticed how food cravings change with the seasons? Suddenly soups are appealing and my desserts of choice contain spices like cinnamon, ginger and cloves. I purchased a jar of sorghum at the St....

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Jewel on the Upper Iowa River

Porter House Museum

The Upper Iowa River flows through the southwest edge of the Driftless Area. Limestone bluffs that wall the river provide beautiful scenery for canoers. Check rivers level before your canoe trip or you might carry your...

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Baked Pears with Almond Sauce

Baked Pears with Almond Sauce
Baked Pears with Almond Sauce

Fall in Iowa does have benefits beyond gorgeous leaf colors. Fresh and locally grown pears are available and at peak flavor. We think a perfectly ripe Bartlett pear is dessert all on its own. Still,...

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Great River Road South

Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 12 in Bellevue
Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 12 in Bellevue

Perfect weather on one of the last calendar summer Saturdays just had to be honored with a road trip. We headed south on the Great River Road through some of the most beautiful Mississippi River terrain...

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Gluten-Free Apple Fritter Bites

Annalisa developed a recipe for gluten-free apple fritter bites that rival any fritter or doughnut we’ve eaten. It is a perfect Saturday morning treat.  Friends and family had no clue the fritters were gluten-free and enjoyed them to the last...

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