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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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For spring break, my roommates and I decided to take a road trip to Texas as a last hurrah before everyone graduated and went their separate ways. It was probably the most inexpensive trip, partly because we stayed with Lis’s amazing and charming parents, and the most memory-filled adventure I’ve been on. The week long vacation of sightseeing and relaxing gave us an experience to reconnect and strengthen our friendship.

On the first morning in Texas, I walked out into the kitchen still half-asleep and incoherent to find freshly brewed coffee (a staple in the White family home) and Lis’s mother carefully cutting butter to make cranberry-orange scones for us. Scones are a type of breakfast biscuit which are very common in England and can be savory orĀ  sweet. Flaky, buttery, and warm, the scones she made with love for us were enjoyed perfectly with some good coffee and great company.

When I came across this recipe with fresh blueberries and lemon, I jumped at the chance to make it for our family breakfast, keeping in mind the awesome moments we shared together with Lis’s family in their cozy kitchen.

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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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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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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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