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Here I sit, in the kitchen, awaiting the arrival of my sister-in-law and niece, watching My Cousin Vinnie which is the perfect elixir as I do need to laugh. Prior to putting fingers to keyboard, I spent a good 3 hours cleaning out my 20-year-old email account as I’m switching ISPs.  A blast from the past, I tripped across a few tidbits worth sharing:

Zingerman'sZingerman’s: With the holiday’s coming up, we all need that trusty, go-to-source for food stuff; one of mine is Zingerman’s. A ‘community of businesses,’ Zingerman’s is a family of small, food-related companies located in the Ann Arbor, MI area.  Zingermans.com is ‘The Online Shop for Food Lovers’ featuring hearth baked breads, handmade cheeses, varietal coffee, estate bottled olive oils and customized presents. For me, the best part of visiting Zingermans.com are the cartoon pigs strategically placed throughout the site (I’m sure it’s some sort of ‘thing’).  At the bottom of each page is a flying pig with a quippy ‘Great food just flew to…’ and the city and state of the most recent shipment listed.  Absolutely brilliant, fun marketing.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies:  We don’t have kids, but that doesn’t mean I’ve escaped the ‘yeah, I need cookies for tomorrow’ plea.  Years ago, that very lament came my way at a time when I had limited supplies — sugar, a can of pumpkin, butter, and eggs. Muttering about the lack of ingredients, I googled pumpkin and found a recipe for Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies which are now a mainstay that I trot out throughout the fall and winter seasons (giving very little credit to Libby’s, of course).  Even if you’re unsure about a pumpkin cookie, you must try these; they are delicious and easy to make — what could be better?!?

Back to the emails.  A digital heavyweight is being lifted off my shoulders and it feels great.  Within the next month, my junk email will be virtually non-existent (until my new address gets sold). As I skim through the various mailboxes I created to see what I might want to keep, I’m finding all kinds of sites I may/may not want to revisit; in particular:

Very Best Baking: Apparently a Nestle website, it’s where I found the Pumpkin Cookie recipe.  Back in the day it was a ‘go to’ and extremely engaging site (of course the constant giveaways and contests didn’t hurt).  I’m not sure if Nestle owned the site then, but it was a fun, informative site you should consider checking out.  I’ll give a deeper report (more in depth than, ‘hey this used to be a cool site’) after I check it out.

TV Food Network:  Another site to revisit.  I love the station (OK, 1/2 the station, some programs drive me nuts; others, like the Baking Championship series I can’t get enough of).  I don’t visit the site frequently, I tend to default to my trusty cookbooks, however when I do need a recipe or am looking for something a bit different, that’s where I go.  If you haven’t visited, you should.

Avocados: A parting tip.  My husband loves his avocados (I could do without them), but they are a weird purchase — they either aren’t ripe or they are borderline ready to rot.  After a few shopping mishaps, I discovered what to do:  buy them by ripeness — a brown-skin soft sucker to be consumed immediately, light brown/green ‘cado to be eaten within the coming few days and the shiny, hard green avocados to be used a good week out.  Such a simple trick that brings satisfaction to those who eat them on a regular basis.

Before I part, I just have to squeal — OMG, Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp are engaged…what?!?

With that, enjoy the weekend. I’m wishing you happy trails and bon appetite — Now I need to go bake.