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I am extremely prone to jet lag. Back in February, after a particularly long overseas flight, I had the worst bout yet. At one point, a day or two after arriving home, I was wide-awake for a good 36 hours with surprising amounts of energy. It was strange. So I did something I’ve been meaning to do for months – I reorganized all my cookbooks. I have hundreds of cookbooks and over the years, they’d gotten a bit messy. I prefer to organize my cookbooks by subject but they were willy-nilly all over the apartment. The pile next to my coffeetable was taller than the table. It drove me crazy but I hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about it. Now I had the energy so I decided to attack the piles.

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One of those Facebook memories popped up in my timeline recently, reminding me of a Napa Valley trip I took several years ago. Looking out the window at yet another freak April snowstorm, there was no place I would rather be. If ever there was a time to have a Star Trek type transponder, it was in that moment. I was sick of this never ending Midwest winter with it endless grey afternoons. I was bitter.

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As a product/recipe developer, I end up with a lot of stuff. Leftovers from various projects, bags and jars and cans of stuff upon stuff add up. Some, I give away but a lot ends up hanging around. I cleaned out my refrigerator earlier this week, a horrifying prospect at any time, and found quite a bit of nut butter accumulated on that bottom shelf. All open, all filled to various levels. I took inventory: 2 jars peanut butter, 1 jar sunflower butter, 1 jar cashew butter and 2 jars of almond butter, all tucked into that back corner that regularly escapes your attention. WTF? This was ridiculous.

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I have three go to soups: chicken noodle, French onion and clam chowder. If they’re on the menu, I will order them. Always. I may stray now and again, but these are my constants. I was recently in a Cracker Barrel in a soupy mood and the two offerings of the day were: vegetable beef (never) and clam chowder (absolutely.) My friend asked the server if the clam chowder was New England (white), as opposed to the lesser known Manhattan (tomato based) or the even lesser known Rhode Island (brothy). We got a blank stare in return. Of course we did and we deserved it, the food snobs in a Cracker Barrel that we were.

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Hey! So I’ve been cooking up a storm lately, but nothing really blog worthy. More so, just some old favorites, many that I’ve already posted. With Easter coming up, there are some good things in the archives for your holiday brunches and dinners so let’s recap today.

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Yesterday was Pi(e) Day and, like many, I felt the need to make a pie. There were, however, a few hitches in my plan. First, I got a late start on the process so any hope of a Pi(e) Day post on the actual Pi(e) Day was quickly off the table. Whatever. Second, I spent the weekend working the International Housewares Show with a friend and my refrigerator was packed to the gills with the leftovers from our demos, a helluva lot of meat in this case. Beef, pork, chicken; it was all there in ridiculous quantities. As much as I like a good meat pie, this was not the time to figure that one out. Pushing the meat aside, I took stock of the rest of my fridge contents. Slim pickings. Eggs, of course. Two sticks of butter but not much else in terms of dairy unless I counted some rather questionable looking cheese. Some random vegetables, a few better looking than others. Condiments galore. I really didn’t want to go to the store. This was going to be interesting.

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How wonderful is a good bundt cake? There’s something so homey and comforting about a moist wedge, usually with some kind of fantastic sugary glaze, that makes me so stinkin’ happy. The last month has been a bit crazy – travel, wicked jetlag, insane Olympic viewing marathons – that I badly needed something homey and comforting. My cooking mojo was running low and dinner has often consisted of a bowl of popcorn or a plate of raw vegetables and whatever I could round up to act as a dip. For the last several posts, I’ve made foods from recently maligned countries, and while very good, they weren’t cake. I needed cake. When I saw my friend Cathy Barrow’s recipe in The Washington Times for a Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake, I perked up. I had meyer lemons. I had butter and eggs and whatnot. Game on.

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