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Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Candy corn: you either love it or you hate it. In a recent poll of friends and family, half of the group said they were fond of the Halloween snack while the others either reported they couldn’t stand it or made a face like they were disgusted.

While I fall on the “love it” end of the candy corn spectrum and could mindlessly pop back kernel after kernel, I set out on an internet quest to find another use for it. I came across recipes for cookies, cupcakes and fudge, but none that would mask the appearance of the orange, yellow and white candies in an effort to throw off the candy corn haters.

Thanks to a few clicks of the computer mouse and a trusty search engine, I came across a recipe using candy corn as a main ingredient to make a copycat version of another candy. These homemade Butterfinger bars will blow your mind, convert the candy corn opposition and give you something to bring to the Halloween parties you were invited to.

Clever, right?

Clever, right?

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Brownie Cookies

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting with my sister-in-law Jeannine’s 5th grade class at Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School. The students are learning the concept of word choice and are practicing using descriptive words and phrases to convey specific thoughts. At the beginning of my visit, Jaime Cheafsky, one of Hackett’s student teachers from Temple University (and, coincidentally, our cousin) read aloud from Stone Soup, a fable translated across various cultures in which hungry soldiers progressively persuade villagers to access their personal depository of ingredients and add to a stock pot full of boiling water and stones in order to make them dinner. The class then read aloud from a previously published Clean Plate article as Ms. Beck engaged them with questions regarding vocabulary, context, and the use of metaphors.

Hackett's 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

Hackett’s 5th graders developed descriptive words for these brownie cookies.

The students’ assignment is to provide their own recipe and incorporate a personal narrative and description, and before they delved into their work I was able to discuss the background of Clean Plate, talk about my writing experiences, and share some tips on how I create my articles each week. The class was incredibly intelligent and interactive, and before I left for the day I figured I would take advantage of the creativity flowing throughout the room and enlist their help for this week’s recipe. I passed around these Brownie Cookies and the students used their senses to help me develop some key words that could paint an accurate picture of what this recipe is like. Read More…

Bourbon Peach Pie

With the excitement of a giddy child, there are a number of holidays I look forward to each year. Christmas Eve is at the top, thanks to a spread of delicious, “winter weight” provoking foods and bevy of loved ones that come with an appetite. Thanksgiving is a favorite for similar reasons, but also because of the family traditions of a Wednesday night pre-game the previous evening and a morning football game before the big turkey dinner. And, finally, there’s the summer Saturday party I await every year: “Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue.”

Always my bourbon of choice.

Always my bourbon of choice.

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Apple Hand Pies

Whether you and your family stay in the city to see your neighborhood parade and head to the Parkway for Welcome America, or you vacation at the shore to catch some beach time and watch the fireworks, the proud, positive energy of Independence Day is infectious. Everyone is doused in red, white and blue, and the American flag lines streets all over the country. It’s natural to reflect on the true meaning of the Fourth of July and something as natural as sharing time with our family reminds us to be thankful for our freedoms. Whatever your traditions on this patriotic holiday, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’re attending a barbecue at a family member or friend’s house and will be eating some pretty delicious food.

Apple Hand Pies Read More…

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