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Penelope Wall's Blog

August 24, 2016 - 11:18am

Lately I’m trying to appreciate and cultivate simple pleasures in my daily routine—little things that bring me joy (and reduce my stress levels). Things like: sitting at the table at mealtime, taking a walk with my family after work, having baked potatoes for dinner. Baked potatoes!

The ultimate comfort food—starchy and warm and filling—baked potatoes are the perfect antidote to a chilly autumn night. It’s amazing how something so wholesome, so available and inexpensive could be so delicious too. But it’s true.

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May 9, 2016 - 9:49am

My daughter was 9 months old when she had her first allergic reaction to food—scrambled eggs. Almost immediately, she began rubbing her lips and face uncontrollably. Helplessly, I watched as tiny pink hives began to appear all over her face. As a new mom, it was a terrifying experience. In hindsight, though, it was a relatively minor reaction compared to when she ate cashews and we had to rush her to the ER. And we would relive it again when some noodles at a restaurant made her lips swell. And then again when her little brother tried eggs for the first time.

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February 23, 2016 - 7:04am

I learned everything I know about baking from my mother. When I was a little girl, I loved getting up super-early on weekend mornings and helping her in the kitchen. I would measure and mix the dry ingredients (my favorite part was making the well in the middle) while she whisked the eggs. I was still in elementary school when I baked my first banana bread. It was from an old edition of Joy of Cooking and it was pretty basic and it was fine, but other than bananas it was made with mostly not-so-healthy ingredients, such as refined flour and shortening, which don't really provide much nourishment.

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Baking—my baking—has come a long...

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January 25, 2016 - 11:57am

I'm convinced the gods must have been wanting for a little sun when they invented the lemon. Lemons evoke sunshine in every way—from their cheery, yellow complexion and squeaky-clean scent to the fresh, bright flavor they impart to any dish.

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December 9, 2015 - 10:44am

I love going all out for the holidays, but what I don’t love is being stuck in the kitchen at my own party. I used to think I had to slave away to be the hostess with the mostest. But the truth is the best parties are the impromptu ones, when you can whip up a few finger foods, shake up some cocktails and mingle with your friends all night long.

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The practically instant appetizers below and these 3 helpful tips are my secret weapons for the best party ever, without a lot of work:

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