Summer Peach Shortcake

With a hint of cardamom, these shortcakes pair perfectly with sweet peaches tossed with sugar and lime zest. This Summer Peach Shortcake recipe is simple and delicious.

Summer Peach Shortcake | Flour Arrangements

Don’t poke the peaches, I keep saying to my daughters.  They’re so delicate, so fragile, those peaches, and so beautiful, too. They call out for squeezing and prodding, it’s true, but underneath that soft fuzz, orange flesh tinged with deep amber and rose bruises to brown at the lightest touch my girls can muster.

Summer Peach Shortcake | Flour Arrangements

It’s not just that the soft, downy skin is so touchable; they want to eat them, of course.  I know I shouldn’t get worked up that my kids are checking peaches for ripeness. Since I always tell them to focus on the positive, it’s time to take my own advice.

I should feel happy that my kids are pining for succulent summer fruit rather than begging me for bags of potato chips, right? Also, I should feel grateful that they’re taking initiative to see, on their own, if the peaches are ready to eat rather than badgering me: “Are they ripe now? How about now?” “What about now?” And then there’s this: lovingly handled fruit is perfect for chopping up and mixing into summer desserts, especially one as simple and delicious as Summer Peach Shortcake.

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Apricot & Prosciutto Pizza with Sriracha & Honey

Ripe apricots, prosciutto, red onions, and arugula get a flavor boost from spicy Sriracha and drizzled honey on this simple summer pizza.

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Most of the pizza that we make at our house is pretty improvised. Whatever happens to be on hand ends up on the pizza, and it usually works out pretty well — leftover broccoli and grilled chicken with barbecue sauce, Brussels sprouts with leeks and bacon, or, when we’re down to the dregs, marinated artichoke hearts, olives, and salami.  Last week, though, after trying an apricot pizza at Jupiter, we got seriously deliberate with our pizza making.

We hadn’t been to Jupiter — one our Bay Area favorites from years ago —  in ages.  Since those good old days in the Bay Area, we’ve moved four times, finally ending up right back where we started. It was about time that we made it back to Jupiter for dinner and a beer from their extensive offering of local brews. When I first looked at the menu, I felt disappointed when I saw that my favorite ham and cheese sandwich was no longer available. It turned out for the best though, as one of their specials — Apricot Pizza with Sriracha — inspired my new favorite pizza ever, one that I will be eating just as much as I can while apricots are still in season….

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Simple Black Forest Cake

This rustic cake combines all the elements of a fancy Black Forest Cake — chocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream, and a healthy dose of kirsch — in the simplest form.

Simple Black Forest Cake | Flour Arrangements

If your vision of black forest cake happens to involve Maraschino cherries, this particular take on the genre is not for you. Fresh Bing cherries, full of bright sweetness, make this simple black forest cake a perfect summer dessert. With its easy preparation, no fuss presentation, and chocolate-fruit indulgence, this layer cake is a serious winner.

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Baked Brie with Honeyed Cherries & Toasted Pecans

A honeyed cherry topping and toasted pecans give simple elegance to this baked brie appetizer.

Baked Brie with Honeyed Cherries & Toasted Pecans | Flour Arrangements

Summer’s warm weather and longer days make it a great season for spontaneous entertaining. Last minute gatherings depend on quick and easy recipes, and this Baked Brie with Honeyed Cherries and Toasted Pecans is perfect for its ease, deliciousness, and impressive presentation.  It’s simple to prepare yet decidedly elegant.

Baked Brie with Honeyed Cherries & Toasted Pecans | Flour ArrangementsBrie’s edible rind keeps the warm, oozy cheese contained as it bakes, and the cherry topping, which simmers and thickens on the stove, is ready just as the brie comes out of the oven.

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Homemade Flatbread

Soft and chewy homemade flatbread is simple to make and super versatile. Use it for sandwiches, serve it with dinner, or dip it in hummus!

Homemade Flatbread | Flour Arrangements

I have a confession to make. I hate making sandwiches. I love to eat them, but there’s something about fitting all the fixings between two slices of bread that makes me crazy.

Homemade Flatbread | Flour Arrangements

A few months ago, I discovered the perfect sandwich solution: swap out sandwich bread for flatbread.

Flatbread’s soft, chewy texture makes it an ideal vehicle for lunch meat and veggies and cheese. Folded over like a taco, a flatbread sandwich is easy to eat (as long as you don’t overfill!), and it’s just the right size for lunch.

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Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Sweet, tart raspberries and Framboise blend perfectly with the deep chocolate flavor in this Chocolate Raspberry Cake.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake | Flour Arrangements

Sweet, tart raspberries and rich, dark chocolate are a perfect flavor combination. I’ve been totally hooked on this dynamic duo lately, indulging with frightening regularity in this  Raspberry Cream Tart. While I could eat this tart happily any time, I started thinking about other ways to get these two friends together.  A rich chocolate cake studded with raspberries seemed like a great idea — a simple yet delicious dessert along the lines of  this Kahlua Chocolate Cake recipe. Since I’d picked up a bottle of Chambord for the Raspberry Cream Tart recipe, I figured I could substitute Chambord for Kahlua in the cake recipe, toss in some berries, and call it good.

Then I remembered just how much Kahlua gets mixed in the batter — one cup — and I thought again. Chambord, while decidedly delicious, is seriously pricey. I don’t mind using a splash here and there in baking projects, but a full cup! No way!

Chocolate Raspberry Cake | Flour Arrangements

Enter Framboise. We used to drizzle this sweet raspberry wine into mimosas back when we lived in Santa Barbara. Life must have gotten busier and more hectic over the last seven years because I can’t remember the last time I sipped a mimosa — Framboise-spiked or otherwise.

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Savory Corn Pancakes with Lime-Cilantro Sour Cream

Topped with Lime-Cilantro Sour Cream and sprinkled with chopped bacon, these Savory Corn Pancakes taste like little bites of summer.

Savory Corn Pancakes with Lime-Cliantro Sour Cream | Flour Arrangements

While my kids love to make sweet pancakes, like these little chocolate-chocolate chip numbers that are really more dessert than breakfast, I managed to talk Tessa into helping me make some Savory Corn Pancakes the other day. She seemed skeptical at first, but after she nibbled one hot-off-the-griddle, she added — in large, bold letters to the top of my recipe — the words “It’s YUMMY!”

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These simple-to-make Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies turn out perfectly every single time!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies | Flour Arrangements

I spent Mother’s Day weekend sick with a massive headache and violent stomach bug. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, though. While I slept all day Saturday (leaving my bed only to, well, I’m sure you can guess), my family, in addition to keeping quiet and letting me rest, did so with a philanthropic spirit.

In the morning, while my husband took my younger daughter to ballet class, Eliza, who’s 10, kept herself busy in the kitchen. I heard her turn on the mixer, and it sounded like she was making cookies. I assumed that she planned to eat all of the dough while I was too sick to intervene, and, frankly, I was too miserable to care.

But when Tessa arrived back home, the girls loaded up their wagon with sweets and supplies. With my husband in tow, they hosted a walking bake sale. It turns out their school had asked students to donate change to help rebuild Nepal, and my kids wanted to do more than offer spare change.

Walking Bake Sale | Flour Arrangements

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