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Summer Fun on Maryland’s Ice-Cream Trail

Opportunity to Win Free Ice-Cream

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

Image Courtesy of Maryland State Parks

I’ve been on beer, wine, whiskey, bourbon and quilt trails, but I have never seen an ice cream trail. Now, Maryland has a trail everyone can enjoy. Maryland has eight dairy farms that offer fresh, delicious on-farm ice cream (from Washington County in Western Maryland to Worcester County on the Eastern Shore). Together, they make up the Maryland Ice Cream Trail.

First, download your passport and start eating ice cream. (I know it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. 🙂 )

Click to access IceCreamTrailBrochure-2014.pdf

Visit each of the 8 farms on the trail, answer a question and get a passport stamp at each stop. Once you have completed your passport, mail it in to the address on the passport. All completed passports will be submitted into a drawing.

If they pull yours out, you will win a $50 gift certificate to the creamery of your choice. In addition, you will receive DVDs of the first season of Maryland Farm and Harvest, a new Maryland Public Television series that highlights agriculture in Maryland, and a copy of the acclaimed cookbook Dishing Up Maryland by Lucie Snodgrass.

And incredible bragging rights!

There is no purchase necessary. Visit each creamery from now until September 15th and you may be named Maryland’s 2014 Ice Cream Trail Blazer.

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Happy National Pi Day!




Apple Pie

Today is all about the mathematical constant pi (3.14.) In honor of the day, is sharing a modern adaption of this 18th-century recipe found in Martha Washington’s cookbook.



If savory pie is more your thing, they share the recipe for this scrumptious looking Christmas Pie:


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Maple Taste & Tour Weekends in Pennsylvania


Image courtesy of Northwest PA Maple Syrup Producers Association

Each spring, across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, sugar makers are hard at work collecting sap from Maple trees and boiling it down to make Pure Pennsylvania Maple Syrup.  This process is steeped in tradition and varies in techniques used. A number of these Syrup producers open their doors to the public on Maple Taste & Tour Weekends. You are welcome to see, first hand, how trees are tapped; sap is collected from the woods; how evaporators are fired to boil away the vast quantities of water in the sap; how syrup is tested, graded and bottled; as well as how Pure Maple Syrup is used to make other Maple products such as Maple Cream, Maple Candy, Maple Crumb Sugar, and a variety of other products.

For tour times, maps and locations, check out:

After touring and sampling, you might want to try to make your own maple syrup treat.

Maple Fudge

2 cups maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

3/4 cup rich milk or cream

3/4 cup nut meats

Combine maple syrup, corn syrup and cream, and place over a low flame. Stir constantly until mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking without stirring until small amounts of syrup form soft ball in cold water, or reach 236? F. Remove from heat. Add butter. Do not stir. Cool until lukewarm. Beat until the mixture thickens and loses gloss. Add nuts. Pour into greased pan. When cold, cut into squares.

Recipe courtesy of Northwest PA Maple Syrup Producers Association

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Celebrate the Cupcake Part 2

While cupcakes will always be an indulgence, Bella’s Cookies, Inc. is the first natural and organic bakery in Delaware. Bella’s cookies are “clean,” meaning no Trans Fats, no Hydrogenated Oils, no Artificial Ingredients and no Preservatives.

From the tastefully sublime to the extremely elegant, Michele Mitchell, Executive Pastry Chef of the Hotel du Pont culinary team, displays the of art using chocolate and other confections and utilizes her talents of hand and air brushing, stenciling and intricate gold painting to create one-of-a-kind works of edible art.

Wedding Cupcake Tower: Wilton Industries

Those seeking a fun alternative to traditional wedding cakes can have a cupcake tower made, with a fully decorated cutting cake at the top. Alternatively, some couples choose to serve individual cupcakes decorated like a miniature wedding cake and placed on stands or have “cupcake favors” at each table in addition to their traditional wedding cake.

Creating your own signature cupcake masterpieces will be the crowning touch at your next social gathering. Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treats, ($24.99; Clarkson Potter, Trade Paperback, 2009) provides a delicious addition to the Martha Stewart library. From classics such as devil’s food cupcakes to sweet surprises like peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, and from elegant delicacies like tiny cherry-almond tea cakes to festive showstoppers topped with piped buttercream blossoms or meringue bouquets. Each recipe is accompanied by a luscious color photograph so tempting you will find it difficult to select the first one to try. Since citrus and berry flavors are popular during the hot summer months, lemon meringue, orange vanilla bean or strawberry cupcakes are sure to be crowd pleasers. For family reunions, weddings or anniversary celebrations, consider making a Monogram Tower, Photo Toppers, or Place Card Flags.

Vegans have their own selection of tasting treats to choose from in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. ($16.95, Da Capo Press; 2006.)

Every single recipe has been tested to perfection, so sneak these cupcakes (made from the book that was named Cookbook of the Year” byVegNews magazine) into any party and watch them win over the crowd. Indulge in Brooklyn Brownie Cupcakes, or a new twist on an old summer favorite S’mores Cupcakes.

Once you have lovingly crafted the cupcakes, you’ll want to pack them carefully for transport and display them in style. Wilton has designed “The World’s Most Versatile Cupcake Carrier,” the ultimate 3-in-1 caddy. It features a reversible cupcake tray which holds 12 standard or 24 mini cupcakes. Display your cupcakes with pride on a specially designed Cupcakes and More dessert stand.

Wilton’s Cupcake Fun delivers exactly what it promises, whimsical designs and mouthwatering recipes for all occasions. To find local retailers, recipes, tips and techniques, visit

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion. Make everyday special with a cupcake from The Perfect Cup Café in Hockessin. Serendipity guides their baker, so dedicated followers who claim The Perfect Cup Café makes the “best cupcakes in the tri-state area” check in daily to get their fix.

For More Information:

Bella’s Cookies

18572 Cool Spring Rd.

Milton, Delaware

(302) 684- 8152

Coastal Cakery

Milton, Delaware

(302) 841-8292

Hotel du Pont

11th & Market Streets,

Wilmington Delaware

(800) 441-9019

Liz Marden Gourmet Cakes & Desserts, Inc.

1252 Old Lancaster Pike

Hockessin, Delaware

(302) 239-0728

The Perfect Cup Cafe

7460 Lancaster Pike

Hockessin, Delaware

(302) 239-9118

Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treats ($24.99; Clarkson Potter, trade Paperback,2009)

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. ($16.95, Da Capo Press; 2006.)

Wilton Industries, Inc.

This story was first published in the News Journal under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.

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Tastykake Celebrates 100 Delicious Years

Image Courtesy of Tastykake

Image Courtesy of Tastykake

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to visit the Mid-Atlantic Region and not come across a Tastykake product. They are ubiquitous, filling the shelves of grocery stores, quick-stop shops, and Mom & Pop retailers. Although no longer an independent company, Flowers Food Inc. rescued the brand in 2011 and still provides fans with their fave sweet treat fix.

I have always liked their Cream Filled Buttercream Cupcakes, but my Mother maintains an undying passion for Krimpets. And to make my Mom happy, I’m sharing the Tastykake recipe for Butterscotch Krimpet Tiramisu as the Dessert of the Day.

Image and Recipe Courtesy of Tastykake

Image and Recipe Courtesy of Tastykake

Butterscotch Krimpet Tiramisu
•14 packs Krimpets®
•3/4 qt. cream
•1 1/4 lb. mascarpone cheese
•1 c. espresso (or strongly brewed coffee)
•2 c. stout beer (we use Victory Donny Brook Stout)
•3/4 c. sugar
•1/4 c. coco powder
1. Whip cream, add 1/2 c. sugar and fold in mascarpone.
2. Cut krimpets in half long way.
3. Combine espresso, stout and 1/4 c. of sugar.
4. Dip Krimpets® in liquid mixture. Layer on bottom of 13″ by 9″ pan.
5. Layer half of whipped cream and mascarpone on top of Krimpets®.

In honor of the Anniversary, Tastykake trucks are delivering a new product—the Tastykake Birthday Cupcake. The company also is sponsor a SINGFORAKAKE contest. The winner will receive $1,000, and three runner ups get a year’s worth of Tastykakes.

What’s your favorite Tastykake?

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Eat Dessert for a Good Cause

tavernaI rarely need an extra incentive to eat dessert, but the Newark Arts Alliance is hosting their
annual dessert-tasting party, which celebrates the culinary arts by presenting specialty desserts created by chefs from local restaurants. “The Art of Dessert” will be held on Friday, February 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the NAA. Tickets are $17 per person and will be available at the door. Each ticket purchase includes one free drink from the cash bar. (All non-alcoholic drinks are free.)

The following restaurants for participating, each of which is presenting an all-you-can-eat dessert at the party:

• Café Ole
• Caffé Gelato
• Catherine Rooney’s
• Home Grown Café
• Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
• Kildare’s Irish Pub
• Klondike Kate’s
• Santa Fe Mexican Grill
• Taverna

Guests will also be able to check out the February exhibition, “Mad About Red,” comprised of art featuring the color red in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Get their early, or I may beat you to all the tempting treats!

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From Little to Lavish Luxuries in Lewes

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: English Wikipedia: Samuell

If you’re like me, no getaway is complete without a bit of shopping, and Lewes has unique boutiques to satisfy every taste and pocketbook. The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory hand-dips caramel apples, molds fudge and has a vast array of tempting treats. They can even cover a bottle of wine for you, to create one of the season’s most unusual gifts. Try a bottle of red wine dipped in dark chocolate for a unique offering.

If you are puzzled about what to get someone, look no further than Puzzles, which has one of the largest selections of puzzles for all ages, levels of difficulty and prices. From exclusive jigsaw puzzles, like their Lewes Lighthouse, to baffling brainteasers and books, Puzzles provides gifts which exercise the mind.

When Joel Stein set out to drink one wine in the $15-$20 price rage from every state for Time magazine, he was surprised when Delaware’s Nassau Valley Vineyards received one of only 12 awarded excellent ratings. Try the Pinot Grigio, one of the subjects of Stein’s story, or the crowd pleasing Laurel’s Red or Meadow’s Edge White.

For More Information:

Nassau Valley Vineyards

32165 Winery Way

Lewes, Delaware

(302) 645-9463


108 Front Street

Lewes, DE

(302) 645-8013

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

135 Second Street

Lewes, DE

(302) 645-5528

This story was first published in the News Journal in 2008, under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All copyrights reserved.




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Dessert of the Day: Cheesecake

One of the most beautiful historic restaurants located in Pittsburgh’s Historic District is the Grand Concourse. The restored Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Station takes guest back to a more gracious era as they dine beneath gorgeous stained glass and timeless mosaics.

Grand Concourse: Cheesecake
© Gail A. Sisolak 2012

But on to the dessert, Tom and I enjoyed a lush, creamy cheesecake with swirls of both caramel and chocolate. What’s not to love?

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Dessert of the Day: Death by Chocolate Ulysses Gastropub

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