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Movies, Pies, Recipes

Pirates of the Caribbean Davy Jones Pie

Davey Jones Pie

ianmichelman.com

Everybody’s favorite pirate is back on the big screen with Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales. To celebrate, I decided to make an octo-PIE. For the PIE-rates. Nobody stop me!

Now, I know Davy Jones isn’t in the new movie. I know he died a long time ago. (I don’t feel bad about that spoiler because if you haven’t watched the movies by now, what are you doing?) He may not be in this movie, but he makes a pretty charming pie. Plus, there’s no way I could properly capture Jack Sparrow’s beauty in pie form. I actually have to wait to see the movie until next week because my friend is out of town and insists I wait for her return so we can go admire Johnny Depp on the big screen together. I digress.

With this dessert, I tried something new. Yes it’s me, in video form. Can you tell I feel awkward on camera? I’m working really hard to kick that feeling so I can start making a lot more videos. Because they are fun!

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Cookies, Movies

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Max Macarons

The Grinch Max Macarons

“Here’s your motivation: Your name is Rudolph, you’re a freak with a red nose, and no one likes you.”

– The Grinch

From the whimsical pages of Dr. Suess’ picture book, to the colorful 1966 animated short, The Grinch has been a staple in the Christmas season for fifty years. In fact, the original book was published on December 25th, 1956. The original Grinch wasn’t green, but instead just black and white with pink eyes. He gained his green color in the animated movie, and that aesthetic decision carried over to the 2000 live action film.

Starring Jim Carrey, How the Grinch Stole Christmas played a major role in my childhood. So much so, that my twelve-year-old self decided to be Cindy Lou Who for Halloween- right at the peak of my awkward stage (I will burn every photo). However, those cringe-worthy pictures won’t stop me from quoting the classic movie all year round. With a combination of improv and excellent writing, Jim Carrey brings the begrudging green giant to life in the most hilarious way.

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Brownies, Movies, Recipes

Hocus Pocus “Booook!” Brownies

Hocus Pocus Brownies

(Photography: Ian Michelman)

In 1993, director Kenny Ortega introduced the world to the spooky and wacky world of Hocus Pocus. In Salem, Massachusetts, the reincarnated Sanderson sisters roam free on Halloween night, set on their goal of sucking souls from all of the children.

Hocus Pocus follows main character Max Dennison, (played by Omri Katz,) a teenager new to Salem from Los Angeles. He links up with local Allison and the pair light the infamous Black Flame Candle, -accidentally resurrecting three witches- The Sanderson sisters. Played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, the three antagonists of the film are a dysfunctional, yet lovable, trio of goofy witches.

 

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Cookies, Fall Baking, Recipes

Genuine Sugar Cane Syrup Cookies

Sugar Cane Cookies

Sugar cane is new to me. Although I’m now living in the South, (does Florida really count as the South?) I am by no means a Southern girl. That being said, sugar cane syrup is also new to me. I grew up with maple syrup, and my Canadian brother-in-law even added to that.

However, this year I was introduced to genuine cane syrup through my boyfriend. His family has a sugar cane farm not far away called the McClellan Family Cane Grinding, and every Thanksgiving they grind and cook the cane they grew into delicious cane syrup. This year I joined in on the festivities experienced the most heartwarming example of family tradition.

My family does not place heavy emphasis on tradition. While we are tightknit and loving, we tend to mix up the holidays every year. We enjoy different dishes every Thanksgiving and we incorporate new ideas into each Christmas. I love that my family can mix up our time together and always be open to something new. That being said, it felt so special to pull up to a farmhouse that has been in the family for decades and walk into a room filled with family reconnecting and the sweet smell of cooking syrup. They greeted me with warm hugs and taught me how to cook the syrup that means so much to their family.

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Fall Baking, Pies, Recipes

Portable Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

I know everybody is all about Pumpkin Spice, but I’m here to hype up my personal favorite fall flavor- Salted Caramel. To me, salted caramel absolutely trumps pumpkin spice, regardless of circumstance. Have you ever enjoyed a Salted Caramel Macchiato? If not, go try it and you’ll never crave a PSL again.

I love Salted Caramel because the balance of sweet and salty works so perfectly. That being said, I hate salted caramel because CARAMEL. It is such a pain to work with! I have too many horror stories of caramel catastrophes in the kitchen. If working with caramel makes you as nervous as it makes me, then I have great news- this recipe is entirely no-fuss! There will be no cooking the caramel from scratch, or desperately trying to clean burnt caramel out of your saucepan. In fact, not a single kitchen utensil will come in contact with the sticky, but delicious, beast. For this recipe, you simply, and without shame, buy individually wrapped caramels from your local grocery store. You unwrap them, pop them in the middle of an uncooked pie, seal it up, and bam! That’s the end of the caramel-related tasks (besides eating it later.)

So we have sweet salted caramel, tart Granny Smith apples- What could make it better? Make it portable. Boom. You can eat pie and go for a run at the same time. You can eat pie on the way to the grocery store, on your evening walk, whenever you want! Is this dangerous? Yes, probably. In the past our pie intake has been limited by circumstance, and now there are literally no bounds. That being said, the only choice is to embrace it.

So whip up a batch of these salted caramel apple hand pies and multitask like you never have before. If the amazing taste isn’t enough for you, just look at how adorable these are as well!

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Cupcakes, Easy Baking, Fall Baking, Inspiration, Recipes

Easy Angry Orchard Cider Cupcakes

Angry Orchard Cider Cupcakes

Name two great things: dessert and alcohol. Any opportunity I have to pair the two, I absolutely take advantage of. I actually first discovered cider while studying abroad my sophomore year of college. As a 19-year-old frolicking London, a city that’s drinking age is 18, I naturally had to “grab a pint” whenever possible.

However, I quickly discovered that a “pint” was quite filling for a small human like me. I also wasn’t used to beer, but hey I could legally drink so I had to try it! Until I discovered a beautiful creation called the half-pint. You mean all this time I could be ordering a drink that wasn’t as big as my face? Shortly after falling in love with the half-pint, I had my first cider. You mean I could’ve been drinking cider this whole time?! My eyes were opened, and for the rest of the trip, I enjoyed my half-pints of cider from pub to pub.

Now I’m 22, and actually, prefer beer over cider. Cider is quite sweet for my new taste as an American of drinking age. That being said, it is undeniably the drink of fall. It’s crisp like the fall air with a nostalgic hint of apples like pie on Thanksgiving. It felt natural to me to pair this beverage with a dessert.  This cupcake is incredibly easy to make and is bound to impress your friends!

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Fall Baking, Recipes, Whoopie Pies

S’mores Whoopie Pies

S'mores Whoopie Pies

Happy November! The weather’s getting cooler (except I live in Florida so it is hot and humid actually,) sweaters are coming out (I’m wearing flipflops), and friends are gathering around campfires to roast marshmallows and make everybody’s favorite treat- s’mores! Funny enough, my friends and I tried to have a campfire the other day, but it got too hot and we decided to go inside in the air conditioning. So these whoopie pies were the next best thing! Chocolate shells, homemade fluffy marshmallow filling, and crushed graham crackers. They taste just like the real thing!

Whoopie pies have consistently been a fan favorite with my friends and family. They can be virtually any flavor, and there are endless combinations to by pairing different shells with different fillings. That being said, this s’mores recipe might be up there with my all time favorites in the world of whoopie pies. It really, truly, tastes like an actual s’more. All of the flavor components are there, and the marshmallow filling is the exact consistency of a gooey, toasted marshmallow. If you really wanna get crazy, you can take a kitchen torch to the filling before adding the shell on top to get that browned toasted goodness. I promise these whoopie pies will not disappoint.

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Easy Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

We’ve all been through it. It’s barely the beginning of September and suddenly murmurs start to fill the air. “PSL” these voices say. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Starbucks created an unstoppable force and they capitalize greatly on it during all the months that can even remotely qualify as autumn. It’s a movement.

So I’m giving into the hype! Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. Cupcakes! In my opinion, these are better than the actual latte, which I am not even the biggest fan of. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin,  love coffee. And yet somehow, the PSL just doesn’t live up to the hype for me. These cupcakes, however, can live up to any amount of hype you want to give them. With a dense, cinnamon-y, pumpkin cake and a fluffy whipped vanilla frosting, they are reminiscent of the famous beverage, but in my opinion better in all the right ways.

What’s even better? This recipe is easy. It modifies a boxed cake mix (no shame, you don’t have to tell anyone,) by substituting out a few ingredients to create the pumpkin and coffee flavors. You could also try making these cupcakes with a box of spice cake mix rather than yellow, and omitting the pumpkin pie spice. That would also be very good. So experiment, have fun with it, and enjoy an edible form of America’s favorite fall beverage!

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Cakes, Fall Baking, Recipes

Coffee Cake

I’ll admit it- coffee cake is not a photogenic dessert. As obsessed as I am with food aesthetic, this one provided a challenge. But you know what made up for it’s lack of beauty? It’s undeniable deliciousness. This cake will be my breakfast for the next week and somehow I don’t feel guilty at all about it. Bake one up and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee for instant happiness! Happy September!

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Cookies, Recipes

“Everything Nice” Cookies

What happens when you’re dying to bake some cookies but too lazy to drive to the store? You get creative! And that’s how these cookies were born. I call them “Everything Nice” cookies because they have some sugar (white and semi-sweet chocolate chips) and some spice (cinnamon). Some kind of hybrid between the classic chocolate chip and snickerdoodle, these cookies have the perfect combination of flavors that is just enough of a step away from the norm but still surprisingly delicious. They’re really fluffy and soft too!

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