Rainier Cherry & Plum Crostata


I feel like there's so much I want to accomplish in this lifetime, and I've barely cracked the surface. My life is at a standstill and I want to move forward. I feel like I've been stuck in the same routine for a year-or-two, now. You have to have guts to get things done, and I'm not sure that I have them. No guts-no glory, right? I wish I wasn't a wallflower. I wish I would speak up more. I wish I would take more chances.

I want to write a cookbook. I could write one with savory recipes, or sweet. I COULD write a cookbook! I could do it right now - I have a hundred recipe ideas in my head. But how do you get started with this?

I want to learn more about photography. Photography and food styling, actually. I wish I could do food styling for a magazine. I wish I could write recipes for a magazine. How do you get your foot in the door?

I want to go to culinary school in NYC, but what if I spend my nest egg, and the degree doesn't help me find a job?

I want to go to college and take art classes. I miss art. I used to take classes in high school, and I was good. Not having art in my life makes me sad.

I want to learn how to write better.

I want to write and illustrate a children's book. Maybe even a children's cookbook.

I want to travel around the world.

I want to be on Food Network.

I want to own a coffee shop with baked goods.

I want to win a cooking/recipe contest, like so many of my blogging buddies out there.

I want to be a pastry chef, and have my own cupcake business. I want to be the next Mrs. Beasley!


So much to do - so little time. I wonder if I'll be able to accomplish any of these things? Hopefully I can check off a few of them in my lifetime. Big ideas, big plans, but will I follow through?

If I had a cookbook, I would put this recipe in there, because it's very, very good. The pastry dough is buttery, flaky, and dusted with cornmeal. The dough is wrapped around honey coated-plums and Rainier cherries. It's a simple, rustic dessert, and easy to prepare.

This was the first time I've tasted a Rainier cherry. I've wondered about them quite a bit. Mostly, why are they so expensive? Well, who would have thought these cherries had such a story behind them? These cherries are expensive, because they're so delicate. A shift in temperature, gust of wind, or downpour of rain, can ruin a crop.
But if they survive, with their creamy-yellow flesh, the Rainier cherry is the sweetest and prettiest of all the cherries in the land.


Rainier Cherry & Plum Crostata

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
1/2 lb. dark plums (weighed before pitting and slicing), pitted, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. rainier cherries, pitted, halved
2 teaspoons honey
Cornmeal, for rolling

Directions:
To make the pastry dough, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar and salt. Work the butter in, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, until the mixture resembles pea-sized lumps. Sprinkle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring gently with a fork after each addition and adding only enough of the water to form a rough mass.

Using floured hands, pat dough into a smooth, flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 25 minutes, in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large sheet pan with cooking spray.

Stir together plums, cherries and honey, in a medium sized mixing bowl, until well combined.

Coat a work surface generously with cornmeal. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 6 equal pieces. Place dough pieces on work surface and flatten into rounds, about 1/8-inch thick. Divide fruit equally and place in center of each dough round; fold edges over fruit, and transfer to sheet pan.

Bake at 400 degrees F, for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 6 crostatas


62 comments:

  1. Delicious dessert as usual Emiline..those rainier cherries are worth it especially cooked this way! As for your dreams and aspirations, I think its good that you have these goals...anything is possible. As long as you want it...

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  2. Is there any doubt that this would be la-la land in the mouth?

    Emiline, tackle one these head on...just do it, don't be afraid to fail, learn, improve, try again.

    Did any of these desserts come off wonderfully the 1st time you made them?

    JUST DO IT!

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  3. Your dessert looks delicious. I could NEVER write my own recipe. I have to follows directions precisely or else I'm in trouble. For someone so young, you have a lot going for you. You HAVE goals and know what you want. You will get there, I know it!

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  4. Hi Emiline,

    Just dropped in via Coco Cooks. Glad I did. Your dessert was one not to miss. Thanks for sharing....

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  5. I love Ranier cherries!

    And as for the cookbook, I say do it, write it and submit it to a publisher...you are so talented, you might be amazed at what happens:)

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  6. Oh, darling, I hear you! I have many dreams and goals, too. I'm not that much older than you, but I can tell you that by going after what I wanted I have accomplished many of those dreams. Just try to calm down and take a deep breath, so you'll see things more clearly and will be able to draw a plan.

    I won't say I have done everything I want, but that's what keeps me going as well.

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  7. cherries and plum in a crostata!! oh my oh my that's one delicious dessert!! and the phtos are fantastic!

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  8. Emiline, it's wonderful that you have goals. Many people just go along without an idea of where they want to be, so it's great that you have an idea. Just keep looking out for opportunities, even if what comes up seems small.

    Beautiful pictures! I love the first one and the way the fork looks. Oh, this reminds me that I need to make a plum tart soon.

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  9. I would TOTALLY buy a cookbook with that recipe in there. I think cherries are misunderstood.

    It's great you have all those dreams, and the nice thing is that they are all kind of linked together. Pastry chef works hand in hand with making a book, and owning a shop, and styling, etc.

    If you want it, break it down and work on one a little each day. Trust me, the wall flower-ness will go away...

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  10. Emiline, you and I have a lot of the same goals and anxieties. Life looks so short and aspirations so large. I'll give you a push if you give me one :-p

    And this recipe is worth being in a cookbook. and your pics get better and better every time :)

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  11. I love all of your goals and dreams Emiline, pick one and get going! You know you could do any one of those things!

    You crostata looks really beautiful! I say you start with your cookbook, it would be a huge success. Camilla from Enlightened cooking has written a bunch of cookbooks, pick her brain on how to get started. Good luck girl!!

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  12. I share some of your dreams Emiline. I wish I had some great pieace of advice to give you but i really don't... I did go to pastry school and in my case I'm happy with my decision, but its' so relative... Well, let's eat your crostata, enough talking!

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  13. This has been the best blog post I have ever read. It was so refreshing and different. Everything you were describing-was the exact same as how I feel.REALLY, it was crazy-I almost was tearing up. Hahahaha

    You have a great blog though-I would go for that cook book for sure-what do you have to lose? Nothing and getting a cookbook together may take a while so I would start now. :)

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  14. You should just go for it with cooking school. Think of it this way: your chances of finding a good culinary job are much better if you go than if you don't. Take it from someone about to leave for a VERY expensive private college - the education is worth the risk. And for what it's worth, I think you would be very successful.

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  15. I love rainier cherries! What a yummy dessert! I loved reading about your "wish list"...very interesting!

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  16. Seems that we have some goals in common!
    I don't know if this will help you a lot, but at www.lulu.com you can write a cookbook of your own. You simply upload all the pages in pdf files and choose how you want your book to be and then you're done! You can just order a copy for yourself or Lulu sells it for you, to the other Lulu members or to bookshops as well!
    The recipe looks amazing :) Thanks for sharing

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  17. Growing up we had a rainier cherry tree and bing cherry tree in our backyard. I never liked the rainier cherries. I never buy them. Maybe because we had to eat them so quickly, or the birds and bugs did, I always ate them not at their peak. I don't know. But I certainly don't plan on trying again, with rainier cherries selling for $8 a pound. No way.

    Do you want to start a club, the "I have lots of things I want to do besides what I'm doing now, but am too much of a wuss to do them" club? You can be president. Normally I'd say me, since I'm older, but I'm kind of busy campaigning.

    I want to write a children's book too. I have a crappy draft of one I started three years ago. It's stupid. I want a coffee shop with pastries too. There's one for sale up the street. My sister won't move up here and open it with me. Plus, I don't have the money. My FIL gives money for hubby's dreams, but I don't think he'd fork it over for mine.

    So that was our first meeting. Who wants to be secretary and write all that down?

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  18. Don't be down on yourself. Everyone feels like that sometimes.

    About culinary school- as long as you go to an accredited school where you get an actual Associates or Bachelor's degree, you can use student loans to pay for it. Don't be put off by the idea of it being "debt"- they're low intrest, you have 10 years to pay them off, and a very high percentage of the under-30 crowd has student loans. There's no way I would have been able to afford culinary school without taking some out.
    Also, if it's your first time attending college (it wasn't for me) there is some federal financial aid you can apply for- some of which is intrest free, some of you don't even have to pay back (if you qualify)!
    Sorry for such a long comment, but just a year or two ago, I felt the exact same way about feeling stuck, and wanting to go back to school... I thought I'd share.

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  19. Such nice and positive comments! Good advice too....

    Peter G- Thank you.

    Peter M- Hopefully I can.

    Debbie- You could definitely write your own recipe. I've been at this for years, and I'm just now getting good at it. :)

    Louise- Thanks for dropping by!

    Brittany- I think blogging might help get some attention, but I don't know. I didn't start my blog to get a cookbook deal.

    Patricia- I believe you HAVE reached many of your goals. You're such a wonderful food blogger.

    Dhanggit- Thank you!

    Christina- Thank you for the advice!

    Adam- That's so true...you're a smart guy. Maybe we should go into businesss together? Maybe Amy too?

    Ben- Here, take this: *Shove*

    Jenny- Yes, she is very successful. I'm nervous to ask her.

    Clumbsy Cookie- I think I would be happy in pastry school!

    Ivy- Thank you so much! I was tearing up a little bit, myself. It's difficult when you think about things you want...and how to get there.

    K- Good advice, good advice. I have this money, why not use it? What good is it if I just hold on to it? Security? I don't need security. I don't really need money - I don't think it's that important to me.

    S&S- Thanks!

    Isa- That it so cool! I'm going to have to check out that site. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

    Amy- The cherries were pretty good, but I think bings are good as well. I respect the Rainier now that I've read about them.

    I was thinking about Occhio Grosso when I was writing this. I think big but I rarely follow through, right??

    I'll move to Alaska and we can start a bakery. Maybe my sister will want to come along. I just watched "Into the Wild" so I'm all about adventure. But I won't be eating any poisonous plants when I'm there.

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  20. these look beautiful! I think you should totally go for it. Your recipes and pictures are beautiful, and I always love reading your posts. They generally crack me up or just make me smile. And your young. If the nest egg goes, you'll get another one.

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  21. Em!
    Just writing this beautiful blog with its gorgeous recipes and incredible pictures are huge first, second and third steps.

    Any cooking school would be lucky to have you and that would be a great next step in doing everything you want to do.

    I'm all for the cupcake business idea, though...

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  22. These look so sweet and delicate. So lovely and I'm liking the cherry plate too. :)

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  23. Uh, is it strange that I share all of your "I want to.."? Oh, except for maybe the art...I never had any talent there. Perhaps we could be business partners on the cupcake deal :)

    As others have probably said, you've got talent. Anything's possible with talent and a little bit of perseverance.

    Beautiful picture. I'm beginning to wonder, what's the difference between tarts, buckles and crostatas? Rookie question, I know. Maybe you wont want to be my business partner after all.

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  24. They are super $, but like they say on the credit card commercials, they're "priceless."

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  25. You're only about a year older than me, Emiline, and I feel the same way - there's so much that I want to do in life!! But hey, I think we have time ;0)

    GORGEOUS dessert, as always (especially since I"m obsessed with cherries).

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  26. Those look really good. I tried rainier cherries for the first time last year and I am looking forward to them this year.

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  27. Well ya know what, I think we are twins divided at birth :D...you stopped me in my tracks when you mentioned art; I loooved art in high school and definitely miss it, and I even took a kiddie lit class in college! I'm addicted to reading children's books!

    Ya know what else? We're still young! That means there's plenty of time to accomplish what you want...and ya know what else times two? I think my mom was right when she told me to do what I like and the money will follow; this applies to you too, missy! I say go to culinary school and write that cookbook, maybe even draw pictures of the food that'll go in that cookbook...and on top of all that maybe even illustrate a cookbook for the kiddos!

    Can't wait to see what you decide to do first, I have a feeling you won't be at a standstill for much longer! With all that talent, you're sure to go far...and be sure to send me some cupcakes when you make it big! YUM! :)

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  28. I feel the same way you do, my friend. All of those things on your list are on my list, too. I've been trying my best as of today and I hope and pray for the rest.

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  29. Ready your hot ham water recipe, Arrested Development is coming to a theater near you!

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  30. first of all, yum.
    secondly, it's a good first step to have goals. (i don't think i've really reached that point yet.) perhaps you could decide which of those are the most important to you and focus on achieving them. you're completely capable.
    thirdly, and completely unrelated to anything except brittany's comment above, i would kill for an arrested development movie. that is all.

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  31. You have to start somewhere! That is all - once you start you won't be able to stop - your life will be lead where you need to go - some things on your list will then become the next step, some dreams you have today won't make sense or be as important.

    But today, just pick one - the most attainable one,and do it. Do it so you have one in the bag - it will get easier and easier as you go on! Keep evaluating things as you go along and you will know what your next step is.

    I love how pretty Rainier cherries are too - and I like the name!

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  32. Emiline, there is nothing on your list that you can't achieve. I have to blink my eyes sometimes to believe you are the age you are. An old soul to be sure. The fact that you even have all those wonderful dreams is an attribute to your passion for life. You go girl!

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  33. Em, just close your eyes and leap in with both feet. You are so young how can you really fail? At your age you get so many do overs it's not even funny! So what if you spend your nest egg...make some more eggs! There is an infinite supply anyway.

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  34. Love your enthusiasm and your recipe. You've got plenty of great contest worthy recipes right now. Take this one on!

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  35. Delicious looking recipe.

    You should write a cookbook. You have so many great recipes. Ever consider self-publishing?

    Don't worry if you never get on the Food Network. You're too good for them! You need to start your own network, "The Dessert Channel" or something of that sort.

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  36. Gorgeous photos, and the crostada looks delicious! You're so, so talented - I'm sure you will accomplish everything on your list and more! I'm a food editor at a magazine in NY - if you ever want to talk about career stuff, please feel free to get in touch.

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  37. Your wish list sounds an awful lot like mine!

    Keep on keeping on! And definitely keep baking. These treats look astounding!

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  38. Hello! Came from Rosie's...Have You heard from her lately?? She's been gone for Ages and I'm a little...lol...lot...worried!! Thanks!!!

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  39. You are on the cusp of discovering yourself and what your life's passion is. How do I know? Because you're asking these questions of yourself and then posting them. That's HUGE!

    As far as the cookbook... you've got the talent to do gorgeous layout (your blog is evidence of that). Why don't you lay out your cookbook on your own and then self-publish using Lulu (it's FREE!). If you wanted to sell your book on Amazon you could purchase an ISBN number for a nominal fee. Lulu is great because you don't have to pay to print up tons of copies either... they print a copy when someone buys it... NO overhead! Very cool!

    I think you've got enough recipes that you could lay out a cookbook now!

    Just do it!!!!!

    Hugs,
    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage
    P.S. Don't let self-doubt get you down. :)

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  40. You are so young and have the whole world ahead of you. Keep on being focused. Have you ever seen anyone succesfl that hasnt paid their dues or been hungry a little? And it they hadnt the success was fleeting. You have so much talent you just dont know it.

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  41. P.S. The latest post over at Rosehaven Cottage is dedicated to you!

    Hugs,
    Cindy

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  42. I'm going to be repeating what a lot of people have already said. It's great that you have so many goals, Em, but the only way you will ever achieve any of them is to prioritize.

    Decide which one you would most like to achieve, and go for it. Don't reach your rocking chair years thinking, if only. Be brave! And when you succeed move on to the next goal.

    Fear of failure is what stops a lot of people doing anything, yet we often learn more from our failures than our successes. And at least you'll have some fun along the way.

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  43. I think you need to change your self talk - from "could" to "can". Carry a journal and write - just write, everyday - what you think, what flavours work together, a recipe - how is it categorized, how could you change it up. If you keep doing this religiously, you'll refocus your energies and begin.... you'll begin to accomplish, to get direction, to create a path and patterns of behaviour. So could is future, can is present...doing is in the present.

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  44. Great recipe Em. If you write that book, count me in for a copy.

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  45. Thanks everyone! Very uplifting. I'm feeling more motivated already. :)

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  46. Dear Emiline - follow your dreams, we're rooting for you girl!

    I'll buy your cookbook, in fact, I'll take two. Put me on your mailing list.

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  47. Emiline...I see lots of success in your future. You take beautiful picture-that must be the artist in you. I for one will look forward to your cookbook. Meanwhile I like Amy's club idea (I don't want to be secretary though...can I just be member at large?);)

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  48. Get your butt to NY or i come and get you! :-)

    Of course a culinary degree will help you get a job. And you can work in a restaurant or a bakery AND go to school. Just do it and you'll find people helping you out along the way. You might even meet food stylists that way, who knows. All if have to do is begin your journey and doors will open.

    Now hand-over the cherry & plum crostata!! :-P

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  49. Girl, you can do it all and more. It's hard to juggle a lot at the risk of losing quality so focus on one or two and go for it. Ugh...if I can so can you :)

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  50. Forgot to add that the crostata is just plai gorgeous!

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  51. I really like bing cherries the best, but this dessert looks so tempting. Ahhh, I wish I could eat wheat when I see things like this.

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  52. Emiline, I look at this delicious dessert and I wonder.....WHY THE HELL IS THIS WOMEN SO MODEST. GO FOR IT, YOU ARE SO TALENTED!!!!!!!!

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  53. Rainier cherries are so expensive here in the uk that I wouldn't ever dare cook with them - we just buy them and eat them!
    This looks delicious and I can just imagine it with a big dollop of yummy cream!

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  54. There are many, many things on my "to do"list for life. It does seem a bit overwhelming sometimes, wondering if you'll ever get any of them accomplished. But keep it up - you are a talented girl!

    This crostata sounds amazing. I've never been able to try a Rainier cherry, but now I really want some!

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  55. Ooh. That looks so good. I got to try one of those rustic crusts!

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  56. I feel myself in a rut right now as well. I'm just waiting tables and unsure which direction I really want my life to go in.
    You have a passion for something you are amazingly good at it--I believe that you will succeed--as soon as you take that first step!! Seriously, I am always amazed at the things you come up with and I know you could make it in any way in the food world.

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  57. Emiline,

    Don't listen to those 20-somethings that you have plenty of time. Take it from a 40-something, the days flow into years before you know it.

    Each day, take one action toward one of those goals -- even if it's just to research how other people accomplished those goals got there.

    Nobody is going to do it for you. Time's a-wasting. Make it happen!

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  58. A friend who had just finished her training at Hyde Park once said to me. "Cooking is the most perishable of all the arts." She is absolutly right.

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  59. hey emily:]

    i share some of your dreams as well! im 18 and i would like to attend a culinary course and open my bakery some day but im bound by cost factors:/

    i think you are doing very well! you have the skills and creativity and your photography is great! i think you will succeed:]

    all the best! i will definitely be rooting for you;D

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  60. Emiline for Emily, that is so cute!
    I used to share similar dreams, until I saw your blog, saw your talent, and realized I have zilch compared to you. I can follow a recipe, but I have absolutely no idea how to create one. I would overload the sugar and leave out some key ingredient and it would be disastrous! But I love your blog and I wish you the best with your dreams! Just like in any other field, in order to get your moment of fame, you have to invest your heart and time, making sacrifices, and work your way up!

    If you made a cookbook, I would buy it! You should start by deciding how many and which recipes to include. And definitely keep your best to yourself, so that if you do have a business some day, they're secret!

    Ok, that was long! I love the new look! :)

    Paris

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  61. Ok, Rainier Cherries were on sale today, and I just can't help myself, about to go make this now. :-)

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