It has been brought to my attention that my children are shamefully hard-done-by: most weekday mornings they must suffer through the burden of torturous breakfasts consisting of cereal, granola, porridge, toast, French toast, eggs, bacon, and occasionally, even English muffins. Oh, the horror! 


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Earlier this year I was asked to bake six pies (of the blueberry and apple varieties) for Select Nova Scotia’s winter television commercial campaign to help promote the use of locally grown food and produce within the province. And so began piepalooza at our house. This challenge got me over any residual trepidation I might have had about working with pastry and gave me a newfound respect for the humble, unassuming pie.


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A friend recently asked me how I choose what to make on my adventures in baking. Well, occasionally I whip up family favorites or requests, often I play around with tastes and textures in baking experiments, and sometimes there are recipes for desserts and confections that have long been on my “to bake” list. And then — increasingly as my baking prowess swells — there are those fresh and boxed treats that I come across in my daily trips to local food shops and down grocery store aisles when I taste and peer at the item, inspect the food’s list of ingredients and say to myself: “I can make that… and without all those nasty preservatives and unpronounceables, at a fraction of the cost.” And so I was inspired to make biscotti…


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Danishes are one of those ultra impressive pastries that will have your guests rushing the brunch buffet table, and licking their fingers for more. So, when I was set with the task of bringing the starring (sweet) attraction to a family brunch over the holidays, I though I’d try my hand at a simplified version of this elaborate treat.


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We’re a few days into 2011, and it’s back to the grindstone. After a season of ultra rich, fatty and sugary foods, and lots of festive cheer, most of us are ready to turn a perennial new leaf of increased activity and healthier foods. As a nod to these well-intentioned resolutions — and an inclination to bake some healthy, tasty, high fiber snacks for my family — I’ve whipped up a batch of these delicious, nut-free granola bars.


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