July: Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Strawberries are one of the first fruits to ripen in the late spring and early summer, followed by rhubarb. Washington State has a $49 billion agriculture industry, and there are plenty of places to pick your own fresh fruit if you’re willing to drive outside of the city. The sweetness of the strawberries complements the tartness of the rhubarb, so when my friend gave me a big bag of rhubarb from her parents’ farm, I had to find some strawberries to go with it.

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April: Grape Cake with Anise and Lemon

Edible Seattle leaves free copies of back issues out for people to take in several places around my neighborhood, including one of ourĀ favorite breakfast spots. I’ve picked up a number of different copies along the way, so this probably won’t be the last Edible Seattle recipe I explore this year.

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November: Pan de Muerto

Quien con la esperanza vive, alegre muere.

Translation: “He who lives with hope dies happy.”

Pan de muerto, or bread of the dead, is traditionally made during the Dia de Muertos holiday celebrated in Spanish-speaking communities. Families make offerings of food, marigolds, calavera sugar skulls and pan de muerto to their deceased loved ones and eat their favorite foods to honor and remember them. The sweet bread differs slightly by region and is often shaped to look like a skull and crossbones, and is believed to help give the spirits strength after their journey back to the world.

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October: Choco-Cherry Bliss Bombs (Cookies)

“If sad, eat cookie. If still sad, talk to doctor. Sounds serious.” – Cookie Monster

Cookies are easy to make, versatile, portable and bite-sized. Plus, who doesn’t like cookies? This cookbook features tons of recipes that go “above and beyond” your standard chocolate chip cookies: delicate pink macaroons, tiny shortbread sandwiches filled with mousse, and elaborately iced cookies for every occasion!

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February: Mandelmusslor

“Cooking is like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriet Van Horne

This recipe is a bonus because it’s “just” a dessert, while the other recipes I’ve explored can be considered a full meal on their own (or at least the centerpiece of one). I usually don’t plan any big gestures for Valentine’s Day, and would much prefer to make food from scratch with people I care about. I’ve often said that cooking is my love language: if I cook for you, it means that we’re friends. So thank you to everyone who has been taste-testing these recipes with me!

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