Peanut Brittle

I’m certain you are wondering why I’m making another post about a winter treat in the middle of summer, but I promise you there is a good reason. Remember how I mentioned in my previous post that I got my hands on some molasses? Well, at the same moment, I got hold of some corn syrup, another item that is very difficult to find in the Netherlands, and of course that was going to be the next ingredient I was going to try out.

I went and looked online for several recipes, and the peanut brittle recipe that I found was the one Maarten (my husband) agreed I should make.

So, here I am, writing about a winter thing in Summer. I promise you next time, I’ll have something barbecue-themed to make up for this post, ok?

But before I drift off too far, let’s go back to the recipe at hand. Thhe recipe I used is one I found on . It was written bij Amanda and is called “Mom’s Best Peanut Brittle” and if you click the name it will bring you to the original recipe.

As I promised last time, I’m going to put the ingredients in grams and mls as well as cups and teaspoons, so that anyone can make this.


  • 1 cup (201 grams) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (170 grams) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1,25 grams) salt
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) water
  • 1 cup (125 grams) peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda


“This is a wonderful peanut brittle that is easy to make and wows everyone! Have all the ingredients for this recipe measured out and ready. This recipe requires that you react quickly. You do not have time to measure ingredients in between steps.”

  1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.
  3. Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14×12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces.

I did exactly what the recipe said and I’m glad I did, because the results were fantastic. The smells wafting from the pan were so delicious I wanted to sweep my finger through the boiling sugary peanutty mixture and lick it. Of course I didn’t do that, I’m not a complete novice and I know that boiling sugar is not a good thing on fingers, but I sure enjoyed the scents.


The end result was something I’ll never forget: wonderfully crunchy, sweet but not overly so, and living up to its name. I had great fun breaking the slab into smaller pieces and couldn’t stop eating the smaller bits (and some of the larger ones too).

Maarten also loved it, although he mentioned he would like to see more peanuts the next time I make this (and yes, there is absolutely going to be a next time!). I’ll probably listen to his advice, even though it was already a great result. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these pictures below and see for yourself:

Oh, and one top tip for you: whatever you do, do NOT put the brittle on tissue paper or napkins like I did. As wonderful as the brittle looks on top of napkins, it will stick and you’ll have a horrible time taking it off. Don’t try that at home, kids!

Chewy molasses cookies

Because my husband and I like to cook new things, we are always looking for interesting recipes and new ingredients (well, new for us). The newest thing that we got was a jar of molasses. I’m not sure if any of you know this, but in the Netherlands, molasses really isn’t a thing. We have syrups for on sandwiches or on pancakes, but molasses has never been a part of my life until about a week ago.

My first thoughts on opening the jar and giving it a sniff weren’t favourable, I’m sorry to say. It smelled kind of yeasty and musty and reminded me more of damp cellars than anything edible.

So, what to do with it? After some consideration, and some searching on the world wide web, I decided to make chewy molasses cookies. I figured that if anything could make me like molasses, it would be my favourite thing in the world: baked goods.

Below I will write down the recipe that I used. I found it on a site called “bon appétit” and if you want to check out the site, you can find it here.

A friend of mine told me the other day that she liked the blog, but that she couldn’t make any of the recipes. She lives in the US and told me that all my grams were nice, but unusable for US kitchens. We can’t have that of course, so from here on in, I will put different measurements in the recipes (and during the summer I will go back to older posts and adjust them as well), so that hopefully everyone can try them out for themselves. I will use the conversion tables that I found here and here.

Ingredients (makes about 36)

2 cups (256 grams) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda

1.5 teaspoon (7.5 grams) ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon (5 grams) ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon (3.75 grams) ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) kosher salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup/1 stick (113 grams) unslated butter (melted)

1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (113 grams) dark molasses (I used the dark one, so that’s the one I’m naming here)

1/4 cup (55 grams) pcked dark brown sugar

coarse sugar for rolling (I used granulated)


Method (taken directly from bon appétit):

Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 375° F (190° C). Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk egg, butter, granulated sugar, molasses, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in dry ingredients just to combine.

Place sanding sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful and roll into balls (if dough is sticky, chill 20 minutes). Roll in sugar and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” (about 5 cm) apart.

Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and just set around edges (overbaked cookies won’t be chewy), 8–10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

As I was making the recipe, I was amazed at how good it was. The instructions and amounts were exactly right and while I was doubtful it would work out (mostly because I was afraid I’d end up hating the flavour), these worked really well. The only thing I felt I needed to change was the rolling of the dough balls. Even after chilling the dough was very sticky, so I put blobs of dough in the sugar and then, once they were coated in sugar, I rolled them into balls. This way worked fine for me, so that may be a tip for you if you encounter the same problem.

Here is what the end result looked like:


So, my verdict: I had not expected to like them at all but I am very happy to be able to report that I was dead wrong. To me, the flavour and texture of these cookies reminds me somewhat of gingerbread and that makes it more of a wintery thing for me. Next december, when we’re about to celebrate Sinterklaas (our version of saint Nick, we exchange gifts and make a fun evening with the family), I think these will be an absolutely fantastic addition to our usual spread.

Would I make this recipe again? Yes, absolutely!

What would I change? Apart from the aforementioned change in method, not a thing. Great recipe, fantastic cookies that are chewy and soft and absolutely wonderful in every way. What’s not to like?

If there is a recipe or an ingredient you would like me to try out, do let me know! Put it in a comment or send me an email ( and maybe I will feature your recipe next!

Battle of the cookies

Whenever I want to bake something small but nice, I bake cookies. The other day, I made one batch of a standard cookie dough, devided it into two and made two different kinds of cookies. One batch were with milk chocolate chunks, sea salt and caramel and the other batch were with dark chocolate chips and cadied orange peel.

The base recipe is my favourite recipe for simple cookies and it comes from Laura’s Bakery (a wonderful website with lots of great recipes. be warned: the website is in Dutch).

I’ll put Laura’s recipe here in English so you can all see how wonderful it is:


Basic recipe for cookies

Ingredients (for 15-20 cookies)

225 grams of butter

150 grams of white caster sugar

8 grams of vanilla sugar

1 egg yolk

280 grams of plain flour

pinch of salt


Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the egg yolk and mix it through. Add flour and salt and mix them in, forming a firm dough.

(At this point I split the dough into 2 portions and added the chocolate and candied peel to one batch and caramel and seasalt flavoured chocolate to the other).

Wrap the dough in cling film and put it in the fridge. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least an hour before you work with it again. I made two long sausage-shapes before wrapping them in clingfilm.

After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge. Here, you have different options. You can form little balls of dough and flatten them with the back of a spoon or a fork. Alternatively, you can do what I did and make the sausage shapes before refridgerating them. Once cool, all you need to do is unwrap them and cut them into discs.

The baking time for these cookies is about 16 minutes in an oven that’s been preheated to 190 degrees Celcius  (374 degrees Farenheit). Depending on what you add to the cookies, the cooking time can be a little bit different. The cookies are done when the edges are golden brown. Remove the cookies from the over and let them cool for a few minutes. Then move them onto a wire rack and let them cool completely. Whatever you do, do NOT be tempted to transfer the cookies immediately after baking. They are very soft when they come out of the oven and will break as soon as you try to lift them. They will firm up during those first few minutes out of the oven and will be far easier to move to the rack then.


The results of my baking you will be able to see down below. I personally can’t really choose a winner, because both batches were equally wonderful in my opinion. I guess it really depends on your personal preference and I just like cookies, all cookies. So, I’ll leave it to you to decide which batch is the winner. Do put your votes and thoughts in the comments, I’d love to read your opinions!

Lemon curd and lemon and blueberry muffins

A little while ago, I had a hankering for muffins. I wanted something fruity and zesty and went in search of an appropriate recipe. It wasn’t long before I found a delicious recipe for lemon and blueberry muffins, but there was a tiny problem: I didn’t have the required lemon curd.


Of course a problem like that is never truly a problem when you have ingredients and recipes, so the search went on to lemon curd. Well, I found a wonderful recipe that didn’t seem too difficult (I had never made lemon curd before, so I wasn’t entirely certain I could succeed at making it myself). All the ingredients were already in my home, so I quickly got started.


Because both recipes are to be found online and in English, I’ll simply put up links to them. The recipe for the here and the recipe for the lemon and blueberry muffins is here.


I started with the lemon curd recipe, because I figured it would need some time to cool before I could actually use it in the other recipe.The instructions were fairly simple and were absolutely right. I just got a little bit impatient at one point and turned the heat a little higher. In hindside, that was a mistake. While the lemon curd tasted absolutely wonderful and had a great consistency, a very small part of the egg whites cooked too quickly, so there were some small white flecks in the curd. They didn’t bother me, because the flecks were only very small and there weren’t very many, but I’d prefer it if they weren’t there of course.


The verdict for the lemon curd is: I’m DEFINITELY making this again, and apart from keeping the heat a little lower, not becoming so impatient, and maybe not adding the lemon zest (I used my finest zester, but the peel ended up in little strings and they would stay behind in my moouth, which I don’t like) I wouldn’t change a thing. The curd was very tart, very lemony, and absolutely delicious! I did have a picture of the curd, but somehow, that picture looks unappetizing. I must put that down to my “skills” in photography, because in real life it looked amazing and tasted even better. I’ll show it here because I’m all about the good as well as the bad, but please keep in mind that reality was so much better than this one not so great picture.


My ugly picture of utterly fantastic lemon curd

You can’t say I didn’t warn you…

Anyway, on to the next bit!

Once the lemon curd had been made, I started on the muffins. I’m not sure if you know the Hairy Bikers, but my husband and I like to watch their shows. They’re funny, they love their food and they have no fear of the good things in life. Yes, I’m talking about fat and sugar.


Again, the instructions were fairly simple, but in hindsight I was glad that I ended up with more than I could get into the oven in one go. The first batch, I did everything exactly as it was said in the recipe, but because the sugar on top of the lemon curd started to burn, the first batch came out looking rather dark. Those muffins also had a few edges that tastd a little….burnt.


The first batch is at the back, the second batch is at the front in this picture.



So, for the second batch, I decided to just skip the sprinkling of sugar that the Bikers recommend, and those muffins actually turned out amazing! The muffins came out very soft and they smelled absolutely fantastic. The lemon curd on the top gave them that extra zing and also helped the muffins stay moist. If I had to say one negative thing about these muffins (which in my opinion really isn’t a negative at all, but some people might nont like it) it would have to be that they ended up a little bit sticky.


All in all, I would love to make these lemon and blueberry muffins again, but now I know that I prefer them without the sugar on top of the curd.


What are your favourite muffin-recipes? Please let me know in the comments and who knows, they might feature in a future post!



Caramel and sea salt cookie dough bonbons

For this blog post, I have a bit of a story to write before I get to the actual recipe part. You see, today’s recipe came to me in a rather special way. Let me tell you what happened (you may want to get some tea, this might become a lengthy post).


Last january, my husband started to become very secretive. He’d taken a notepad and at the bottom had written “KEEP OFF!”. I’d never see him write in it, but everytime I saw the pad, it would have the message at the top. He also started spending rather a lot of time working with his laptop, heaving sighs and giving the screen some looks of disgust. When I asked him what was going on, he just mumbled something unintelligible and would continue his working and sighing. Every time I tried to take a peek, he would tell me to get to the other side of the table or the other side of the room, so I had no idea what he was working on.


Finally, in March, he told me he was working on a surprise for my birthday. He was getting a “little bit stressed out” (read: A LOT stressed out) about it, but he was determined to get it all done. He just wasn’t sure if he would be able to get it all done in time for my birthday. I told him it didn’t matter, that it was fine if it was a bit later, and that surely I would like whatever it was what he was working on and it would well be worth the wait.


My birthday came and went and even though he did give me some gifts, he made it clear that the thing he had been working on wasn’t there yet.


Cue about a week after my birthday party. That day, the gift was finally there and I found out what it was that he had been working on for so long. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He had made me a cookbook. Not just that, but he’d made me a cookbook filled with recipes that incorporate my favourite bar of chocolate: Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate in milk chocolate, sea salt and caramel. And to make sure that I would make something from the book, he also gave me seven (yes, SEVEN!) bars of that particular chocolate and some Maldon sea salt for good measure.


He made the lettering himself, changing the letters of the chocolate bar to make the title of the book. He designed every page, spending hours online for stock photos and images and recipes he could use. He went through dozens of recipes, changing words, trying to find the best way of putting everything on a page. And then he had it printed on glossy photopaper, the good quality stuff and made sure even the spine was looking perfect.


I’ll admit it: I am completely in awe of what he did for me. And of course I was going to make something from the book!


So here it is, the first recipe from my own cookbook. It’s a recipe for cookie dough bonbons that are covered with caramel and sea-salt sprinkled milk chocolate. Before I started this post, I did a quick internet search and discovered the recipe is actually Wolferien’s. The link to the original recipe is here. Just so you know: it’s in Dutch.


Here’s the recipe in English (directly translated from my cookbook):


130 grams of full fat butter

80 grams of icing sugar

100 grams of light brown caster sugar

2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

225 grams of plain flour

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 bars of Tony’s Chocolonely caramel and sea salt chocolate (I used only one because I had soms chocolate chips and wanted to use them up)



Cream the butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and cream and mix until well combined. Add the flour and sea salt and mix to a crumbly dough. Cut up one bar of chocolate and mix this in (I used chocolate chips instead). Form the dough into a ball.

Line a tin with baking parchment (I used a tin that was 20×18 cm, which is about 8×7 inches) and push the dough into the tin, making sure to get an even layer. Put the tin into the fridge to cool. Melt the other bar of chocolate au bain marie and pour the melted chocolate over the cookie dough. Sprinkle a few sea salt flakes over the top for decoration (I didn’t do that). Put back into the fridge to cool for at least another hour.

Once the chocolate has hardened, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into squares and your bonbons are done!


I completely forgot to take pictures while I was making these bonbons, but I did take pictures of the end result:


The bonbons were really yummy and I loved the contrast between the sweet vanilla cookie dough and the caramelly salty flavour of the chocolate topping. I handed out some of these bonbons to some relatives and everyone loved them.


This brings us to the question: Would I make them again and what would I change?

I don’t think anyone will be remotely surprised when I say that YES, I  WILL be making these again. If I had to change anything I might use a little less sugar in the dough if I felt like having a slightly less sweet bonbon. I might use smaller chocolate chips, because the ones I used were a little bit big for the size of the bonbons. But really, the recipe works perfectly, so any changes are optional and not necessary at all.


If you end up making these bonbons, do send me the result! I love seeing what you make of these recipes and maybe your personal changes will give me some new idea for other recipes. Alternatively, if you have a recipe you’d like me to try, do let me know as well! Please email me at or fill out the form on my contact page.




Liesbeth’s gran’s apple cake without butter

Like I promised in my previous post, this recipe is also one that I made for my birthday party. This cake is an absolute staple every year, because everyone I know loves this cake. And the best thing? There’s no butter in there!


My mother got this recipe from her friend Liesbeth, who sent it to her as “grandmother’s apple cake”. Now I’m not sure if the recipe was really Liesbeth’s gran’s, but I like the story, so I’m sticking with it.


The recipe is fairly simple:


4 eggs

250 grams of granulated sugar

1 sachet of vanilla sugar

250 grams of self-raising flour

4 large apples (I used the Dutch favourite, goudreinet, but any cooking apple that goes soft but not pulpy will do)

100 grams of raisins and sultanas

cinnamon and granulated sugar for the top

Spring form with a 24 cm diameter (the standard size in the Netherlands)


Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C.

Beat the eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla sugar until it’s an airy creamy texture.

Sift in the flour and mix it through.

Peel the apples and cut them into small bits, add them to the mixture.

Add raisins or sultanas

Grease the spring form and dust with flour

Put the batter into the spring form and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top.

Gently push the cinnamon and sugar into the batter with the back of a metal spoon.

Cook for approximately 1 hour.

Check if the cake is ready to be taken out of the over. Once it’s ready, take the cake out of the oven, cut around the edge.

Let cool for 5 mins and then remove the cake from the spring form.


When you’ve done all that, you end up with something that looks a bit like this:


Now, I’ll be the first to admit that over the years that I’ve been making this cake, I’ve made a few changes.


The first change is that I start by cutting the apples and once they’re all cut, I add the sultanas (I only ever use sultanas and I use as many as I like. I just gage it by eye). Then, I take a heaped tablespoon of cinnamon and add that to the apple mixture and give the bowl a good shake for a minute or so until all the apple and sultana bits are coated in it. When I add this to the cake mixture, the cinnamon gets spread out throughout the cake batter and that means that it’s going to be extra yummy.


Quite often, I will forget to dust the tin with flour. Please, if you learn anything form me, learn that this is NOT a good idea. The cake will stick to the sides something awful and it will end up looking like a battlefield instead of a cake. So please,  do better than I do.


Lastly, I don’t always put the cinnamon and sugar on the top. the reason for this is that quite often, it simply falls off again when I cut the cake. Another thing that sometimes happens is that the sugar burns and makes the top taste bitter. That is the reason I often don’t bother with it, and just put the cinnamon and sugar inside the batter and not on the top.


Having said that, the reason I;ve made this cake so often is because the end result is the moistest, softest apple cake you can imagine. It is so magnificent that no matter how often I make it, it is always gone by the end of the afternoon. So get going and make one yourself, and please, let me know the results!

Salted caramel cake

April is always an especially busy month. This partly has to do with Easter, but mostly because it’s the month I celebrate my birthday. While I never invite a large crowd to my birthday party, I do try to make the most of the occasion and use it to try out new recipes. in my husbands family, it’s a sort of tradition that the feestvarken (literally translated it means party piggy) arranges an array of food for their guests. This year, I documented all the recipes and I took pictures of everything, so the next couple of posts will center around the fod I served at my birthday party.


For today, I thought I’d start with the newest and most elaborate recipe. i know it might make more sense to work my way up to it and do the other recipes first, but I just can’t wait to tell you about this one, so here it is anyway 🙂

This year’s centerpiece was a salted caramel cake. I found the recipe online, but did adapt it a little bit to basically make my husband happy (he really wanted chocolate cake and this recipe actually has yellow cake, so I added some cocoa powder).


The recipe I used is Cleobuttera’s Perfect Caramel Cake (with sea salt) and you can find the recipe here. It;s quite a long recipe, so I won’t print it in its entirety (and you can look it up for yourself if you’re interested).


Like I said above, I did add a bit of cocoa powder, probably 2 tablespoons. Of course I SHOULD have reduced the amount of flour with the same amount, but because I only decided on the cocoa powder after I had already mixed in the flour. Another change I made was that I used honey instead of light corn syrup. The reason for that is simply that light corn syrup is a pain to find here in the Netherlands. I did search for it, but didn;t find it anywhere and when searching for it I did find some Dutch websites that said you could use honey instead, so in the end, that;s what I did.


So, how did it turn out do you ask? Well, here’s what the finished cake looked like:


As you can see I added some chocolate shavings and the pieces of chocolate you see are bits of Tony’s Chocolonely milk chocolate with caramel and sea salt (my all-time favourite chocolate in the WORLD). If the bits of chocolate seem uneven, that is absolutely correct. Tony’s bars are all devided into unequal bits, which can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to decorate a cake with them, but it doesn’t really matter in the eating.


Now, as you may also be able to see, I had placed the cake on my serving platter before I added the caramel icing. While I loved the flavours, I must admit I didn’t really think the cake looked the best. There was a big puddle of caramel icing on the platter (I’m not complaining, that stuff is the BEST), while in some places, the cake wasn’t entirely coated in it. Because the caramel cooled so quickly, any attempt to fix it basically made it worse (which is why, in the end, I just decided to leave the puddle).



Having said that, everyone loved the flavour of the cake and even the people who were a bit uncertain about salted caramel before said they thought it really worked in this cake. I completely agree with that assessment. Without the salt, the caramel would probably have been too sweet, but the little pops of salt in there balanced the whole cake out.


So, what would I change next time? Well, as much as I like chocolate cake, I would probably not add cocoa powder next time. Maybe I simply overbaked the cake, but I did feel it was quite dry, which I’m sure was not what the original recipe intended. Apart from that, I would use a larger pan to make the caramel. It did say to use a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and I did use a relatively large one, but the caramel bubbled up way more than I thought it would, so at some point I had to transfer the boiling caramel into an even larger suacepan, which is far from ideal (and leaves more washing up and a stressed Femke).


Apart from that there is nothing I would change, because quite frankly, this recipe is great and I love it! So thank you Cleobuttera for this wonderful recipe and to everyone else: till next time!

Eierkoeken (egg cakes)

Whenever my huband and I go out for the day, we always like to take some food with us, and quite often we will make eierkoeken (the literal translation of the Dutch word is “egg cakes”). These fluffy, spongy cakes are a bit like large and golden brown soft cookies, they travel easily and the texture is best one day after baking, so they’re pretty much ideal for taking on trips.

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Schnitzel (breadcrumbed at home)

Every once in a while, I have a hankering for schnitzel. Thankfully, we live near the supermarket, so it’s easy to make the dream into reality. Even though I was used to buying my schnitzel pre-breadcrumbed, I have since learned that the ones I make at home are far tastier (and I know what goes in them, which makes them that much nicer).

All of it starts with good quality schnitzel of course. Because we’re quite frugal, my husband and I will use only one schnitzel for the both of us, but because we start by tenderizing the meat, we can really make it last. Once the tenderizing (i.e. putting the meat between two pieces of baking paper and bashing it with a rolling pin until it’s thin and twice the size) has finished, I get 4 plates and, frankly, a huge amount of spices and herbs. Yes, I like my schnitzel with lots of flavour, and like Papa from “The 100 Foot Journey” (great film by the way!), I’m not afraid of using lots of spices to get that flavour. Here’s how I usually do it:

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It’s a blog!


Wow, can you believe it? This morning, I woke up and while I was chatting with my husband, trying to delay that inevitable moment where I had to get up, I joked to him that maybe I should start a foodblog with all my favourite recipes on it. We started to think about what I should call it and within 5 minutes it was clear that it had to be Femke’s Favourite Foodstuffs. Normally, I plan and plan and plan some more before I do something like this, but today I thought: “Why not? Let’s get started!”

And that is why there is now this blog.

Before I do anything else, I feel I should introduce myself to you. My name is Femke (that’s pronounced FEM-kuh), I’m from the south of the Netherlands and while I spend my days working as a speech therapist, I’m also passionate about food. I absolutely LOVE to bake and I have been trying to find a way to group all my favourite recipes and to have them all in one place, with pictures of the end result of my efforts (and maybe some in between photos as well, if I can manage it). There will also be comments on the recipes: what worked, what didn’t work, would I make this again and if so, what changes would I make?

Be aware I am by no means a food professional. I am not a chef, a baker or a food editor in any way. I just love to prepare and eat good food and I love to write about it.

If you have a recipe that you feel I absolutely definitely have to try out? Please send them to me! You can put a link to an online recipe in the comments or you can email them to me here: . I’d love to hear from you!