"Yes, Chef"

Last year I was honored to be asked to prepare the dessert course for the Stages  wine dinner at the Palace Theater. This annual event is the local chef event of the year.  My awesomely talented "cheffy" ( is that a word?)  friend Jerry Reveron finally convinced  the planning committee to include me in the program.

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My Cori Story

I starting thinking about my Mom’s life in thirds. To borrow my Dad’s expression, there was “BC”.In Carmen’s experience this meant before Cori, for Cori this meant before Carmen. In her “BC” years, 36 of them, she was a daughter, a sister, a professional woman, a co-worker, a friend , a sister-in law, and an auntie. 

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BlogMaria Sanchez
Thumbs up!

These cookies are so easy to bake and so flexible. Enjoy them hundreds of ways: coat them with chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, coconut, chopped hazelnuts ( or leave them plain) and fill with raspberry, apricot, guava, mango or pineapple fillings. Just be sure the fillings are ovenproof. You can also fill them with nutella or lemon curd, just be sure to bake the cookies first, then fill.

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The New Year's Batch

Every Christmas our family makes Italian Strufoli. For those unfamiliar with strufoli, they are delicious little morsels of fried dough smothered in honey and topped with festive nonpareils. Strufoli is a Neapolitan specialty,  but can vary from family to family. Some are stacked like a tree and harden to a brittle-like consistency. My grandmother long ago tweaked this recipe to be a soft dough, lightly fried and honey coated. Many eat them by the morsel, I eat them by the bowl full.

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Blog, GeneralMaria Sanchez
Soaking up the Sun

Sometimes it's hard to believe we all share the same sun. Vacation sun is  always bright, vivid, perfect.  This summer's lack of a true vacation forced me to savor our local sunshine. Fine for a lazy Sunday afternoon. But I couldn't stop dreaming of last summer's  retreat on Anacapri. As if the beauty and culture weren't enough, I was treated, poolside, to the best Rum Baba; perfectly light and sweet and sublimely soaked. It was an afternoon snack, presented unannounced with fresh cream and berries.

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Project Michigan

The bakery turned 26 this year. Along with this milestone, I had a feeling that maybe the bakery ( and me as well!) could use a bit of re-branding... a kind of  business facelift. I began thinking . "Is it time to re-do the logo? Are we still fresh in the minds of our consumers and/or potential customers? Are we still relevant , among the growing competition of cupcake shops, food trucks and Pinterest DIYers? " Does our website communicate what we are all about?"

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Another Round.....

Cookie Cup Mania has definitely struck . At Sweet Maria's , we always love a new project. Luckily our customers step up and give us plenty of challenges.  Our latest  is the cookie cup, the perfect edible shot glass filled with delicious chilled milk. I did see edible cookie cups years ago, but never had the time to experiment. Here's how they finally happened.

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Oatmeal Cookie Day!

I love all of the food holidays! Everyday should be a sweet celebration. Saturday is no exception. Please join me in celebrating National Oatmeal Cookie Day. If you like them chewy or  crunchy, with nuts,or  without nuts, with chocolate chips,  or without chocolate chips, it's totally up to you. Take our homestyle classic cookie recipe and feel free to improvise. And be sure to celebrate daily.

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