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If you’ve never had homemade ice cream, you’ve been missing out on the pure joy of fresh creamy goodness. Imagine, ice cream without all the hard-to-pronounce preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Ice cream made with wholesome ingredients that you can control. The trouble is, how do you make it without a fancy, counter-space-consuming, not to mention expensive, single use gadget like an ice cream machine?

Easy– time and patience and a little elbow grease.

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Whenever I’m feeling homesick, homesick for my Mizzou friends and the streets of Columbia, or scared about post-grad life, or overwhelmed about anything at all, I want something warm and comforting, but not too heavy; something sweet and a little luscious without that intense need for a nap after consumption. The first time I turned to this recipe was in the spring when the first perfectly ripe strawberries were just hitting the grocery stores and my very last round of finals were looming around the corner. Although the circumstances and settings are different, there’s no doubt that something as simple as strawberries and cream can possess some magical feel-good power to turn that case of the mean reds into something lighter.

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Another birthday is here, but what do you do when the birthday girl doesn’t like cake?

You make… what else? Heavenly, heavenly pie. It was Amanda’s birthday, and cake just isn’t her thing. Maybe it’s because pie is just so simple but so very complex: flaky, buttery crust with a tart, sweet, and spicy apple filling. And you know what?

It was just perfect.

The reason why I like this recipe is that the filling isn’t made with flour as a thickening agent. You reduce down all the juices released from the apples into a caramel-like syrup. Deliciously apple, the way it should be. The crust is all butter, which means it’s packed with flavor and no questionable vegetable shortening, which has always weirded me out. Solid vegetable oil by way of hydrogenation? Sounds very un-yum.

But this apple pie, with bright citrus notes balanced with buttery goodness, would make any pie-loving American proud. It’s definitely a keeper and one dessert that would gladly be demolished at any patriotic celebration. It’s even birthday girl approved.

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The semester is quickly coming to an end and for me, graduation is biting at my heels. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited to be relieved of all the grueling exams, the carbon-copy lab reports, and the heavily detailed research papers, but it’s kind of hard not to feel bittersweet about the whole transition. In 2 weeks, I’ll be entering the big-bad-real-world and saying so long to my college years, hello nine-to-five and a steady paycheck (hopefully)! If there’s one thing I’ll miss the most, it’s the friends I’ve come to know and love over these past four years. It’s people like them that make a girl feel lucky and even more thankful to call these friends my family.

I’m taking advantage of this time that we have living together. On every Sunday when we were kids, my mother made a big home-cooked dinner and a special dessert for our family. We’d stop everything and gather together around the table to share our weeks and enjoy this meal in the company of one another. Last Sunday, my friends gathered together for our own family dinner… and of course, dessert!

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Valentine’s day (or Hallmark’s excuse for a holiday according to some of you grouches!) has come and gone but that doesn’t mean Cupid’s arrow hasn’t struck you since. That chubby, flying baby has some serious archery skills– not just on Feb 14 but all year round. If you’ve ever felt your heart race with just a touch, or experienced butterflies in your stomach with just a thought, or imagined that everything looked just a little more beautiful than before, hate to say it, poor sap, but you’ve been struck.

Ah, l'amour! it does have a certain Je ne sais quoi...

So now what do you do? If you haven’t caught the eye of your heart’s desire just yet, perhaps a date underneath the stars, some romantic music and a little dancing, and a night cap with this truly decadent dessert will beat out any potential competition. Hey you ladies, there’s some truth to the old saying that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And you gents, what girl doesn’t love chocolate? It’s right up there on our list of things we cannot and will not (don’t even ask) live without. Whip up this romantic, heavenly dessert (what the French call pots de creme [pronunciation: Po deh Krehm]) to impress the apple of your eye and before you even have a chance to clear the dishes, they’ll be swooning in no time.

You can thank me later.

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It’s tradition that whenever a friend’s birthday comes along, I always make their favorite dessert for their special day.  For Lis, the chocoholic who vowed to serve only chocolate cake at her future wedding reception despite wishes from vanilla-loving guests, this birthday cake was perfect. This is by far the most favorite chocolate cake among my friends, and it never fails to impress a new mouth. The cake is so satisfyingly moist and chocolately with the addition of freshly brewed coffee and surprisingly has no butter in the batter (although I still had to get you with the ganache). The fruit filling was originally supposed to be raspberry but at $3.50 for a 10oz frozen bag, I opted for frozen strawberries: a fitting second choice at under $2 per 16oz bag (you could really choose any fruit for the filling, but strawberries and raspberries seem to compliment chocolate the most). To satisfy the chocoholic within most of us, it seems only fitting to cover a chocolate cake with ganache, the French’s version of chocolate frosting made with heavy cream. I hope this memorable cake gets the opportunity to make it’s mark at your next celebration.

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When I think of fruit, I picture juicy red strawberries. In January, you can imagine my horror at the grocery store when I discovered that a pint of strawberries can cost up to 4 dollars. Even though it’s the dead of winter, there still is plenty of fresh fruit in season such as pears or a variety of citrus like beautiful blood oranges, grapefruit, and clementines. I found two recipes and couldn’t choose between them, so here are two dessert preparations of winter pears.

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Close your eyes and picture this: a cold winter day full of sweet snowflakes one minute and freezing rain the next(which just so happens to be today, not so unusual weather for Missouri) and all you really want to do is whip up something for a satisfying dessert after dinner. Something to warm you up from the inside out.

I know what you’re thinking… Soufflé? In the famous words of my fabulously sarcastic father when confronted with foreign fare (usually green and leafy), “What’s this sh*t?”

the finished product: surprisingly, the banana adds a really moist texture you'd expect from a rich soufflé without all the fat. you have to try it to believe it.

Well, folks it just so happens to be the most delicious, airy, creamiest, richest (shall we go on?), satisfying dessert. Did I mention it’s GOOD for you too? Yeah, you heard me. When you’re one of the million people on a health kick for your New Years resolution, make that one of thousands of Mizzou students hogging up every inch of exercise space at the rec center, you can have your dessert and eat it too. Without the guilt!

Have you joined the soufflé bandwagon yet?

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the idea

I've always been a lover of food: it's capability to comfort the hard days, to encourage imagination and messiness in a world of order, to explore different cultures through cuisine, and to weave the invisible thread that brings people together around the table.

I started this blog for myself.

As a college student, cooking became a way to release the stress of impending finals, to be creative when I felt unoriginal, and to breathe life into my sometimes discouraged self.

Each week I'll post a new dish, masterpiece or fiasco, to keep record of my continuing education in food and life.

the student: a foodie who loves to learn

Kimberly Aumer

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