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Baking, Recipes, Writer In The Kitchen

Writer In The Kitchen : Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cookie with lights surrounding it.

‘Tis the season for gingerbread cake. It’s so easy to whip up this festive dessert because it’s all done in one bowl! Easy prep, easy clean-up. That in itself is a wonderful present. While the cake is baking, your home will smell amazing. Just for fun, go outside and then come back inside to inhale the fragrance and warmth of Christmas. I do it all the time, which earns me strange looks from Connie. You think she’d be use to me by now. Back to the recipe. When the cake is cooled, you can either sprinkle it with powdered sugar or dollop it with some freshly made whipped cream. Or, both! After all, it’s the holidays.



Baking, Recipes, Writer In The Kitchen

Writer In The Kitchen: Blueberry Muffins

We’re a few weeks into summer and let’s just say I’m looking forward to fall. It’s my favorite season because it’s filled with all the things I love – pumpkins, sweaters, mums and cozy nights. While summer is filled with things I really could do without – humidity, humidity hair, poison ivy and sunburn. I know complaining won’t get me anywhere because it is what it is and that’s summer. So rather than complain, I’m creating special moments to get me through the hot, humid months. This past weekend, I baked. There’s something so special about starting a Sunday with a basket of freshly baked blueberry muffins out on the patio. These muffins burst have a buttery flavor that mingles with the tartness of the blueberries and were the perfect way to start my day. I hope they do the same for you!




Baking, Writer In The Kitchen

Writer In The Kitchen: Pumpkin Bread

There’s never a wrong time to enjoy pumpkin bread. But there’s a perfect season to bake pumpkin bread. Autumn. You knew I was going to say that. There’s nothing as cozy as baking fall goodies on a fall day. As I’m measuring out ingredients in my kitchen, I’m not too far from the window over the sink and I can see out through to the family room window, so I can catch glimpses colorful leaves, trees swaying in the wind and squirrels busily hiding their coveted nuts. Yes, this is the perfect time of the year to bake pumpkin bread.

There are so many things I love about this recipe. First, it can be whipped up quickly. Second, it’s incredibly moist. Third, there’s a wonderful balance in all the flavors. It’s not too pumpkiny (yes, it’s a word) or too heavy on the spices. Fourth, it freezes well. Fifth, (I know! Now you can see why I love this recipe) it’s never failed me in the close to thirty years I’ve been baking it.

I’ll stop writing now because I know you want to make some pumpkin bread.

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My 20 Must-Haves For My Fall Baking Pantry

I’m waiting on fall. With temps at or above 80 degrees (even up to 90) I’m growing impatient.  Hear that, Mother Nature? Baking pumpkin bread while wearing flip-flops is just wrong. Well, except for you who live down south. But here in New England? It’s not normal. Though, while I’m waiting on fall to arrive I can take a moment to review my pantry and make sure I’m well stocked.

There’s nothing more depressing than having a spur-of-the-moment urge to bake something and find that I’m missing one or two ingredients. Either I’d have to run out to the store or get excited about baking something else. And this fall, I don’t have the time for last-minute trips to the grocery store. Not with a book coming out and two manuscript deadlines back-to-back coming up real soon.

Okay, so here’s my list. Give it a look over and let me know if there is anything you have in your Fall Baking pantry that I’m missing. 🙂

Twenty Must-Haves For My Fall Baking Pantry

  1. Flours: Unbleached All-purpose flour, Whole-Wheat flour, Cake flour, Oat flour, Gluten-free flour

  2. Baking Powder

  3. Baking Soda

  4. Sugars: White granulated sugar, powered sugar, brown sugar (light and dark), raw sugar

  5. Unsweetened cocoa powder

  6. Evaporated Milk & Sweet Condensed Milk

  7. Pure Vanilla extract

  8. Dried fruit: Raisins, cherries, apricots, dates

  9. Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom, cloves, vanilla bean

  10. Maple syrup

  11. Honey

  12. Molasses

  13. Corn syrup

  14. Cornstarch

  15. Unflavored gelatin

  16. Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts

  17. Baking chocolate: unsweetened, bittersweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate

  18. Unflavored gelatin

  19. Nuts: almonds, pecans, walnuts

  20. Canned pumpkin (many, many cans)

Now that the list is all taken care of, I thought I’d share a snippet of THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE, the third book in the Food Blogger Mystery series. While participating on a town scavenger hunt, food blogger Hope Early finds one thing not on her scavenger list – a dead body. And what follows with three women claiming to be the dead man’s wife has Hope smack in the middle of a murder investigation and possibly the next target of a vengeful murderer.

Hope and her team have arrived at the Avery Bistro with their hunt list in hand. While her team heads inside the restaurant, something catches Hope’s attention to the back of the parking lot and she’s drawn away from her team – Claire, Drew and Jane. What she finds is a very dead man.

* * *








Happy Baking!!!

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Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. She’s the author of the Food Blogger Mystery series and the Resale Boutique Mystery series. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery. Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih-Tzu, Connie.


Chocolate-Walnut Biscotti

I’m in the final stages of my Christmas cookie baking. Just a few more to bake and then I can package up the cookie tins and make my deliveries. 🙂 This past weekend the Cozy Mystery Crew held it’s first Virtual Cookie Exchange and I shared a recipe and also posted a few photos of my baking in progress and I had a request for this recipe so here it is.

Chocolate Walnut Biscotti

I love biscotti. And there’s nothing like homemade biscotti. Nope. This cookie I dip into a pool of bittersweet chocolate and then when it’s hardened, I dip it into my coffee or tea and it’s heaven!!!

If you decide to make this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate-Walnut Biscotti