For the past few years, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be part of Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest’s Cooking School. It’s hard to explain how much I enjoy sharing a few baking tricks to let others discover their own baking skills, but I do enjoy it.” It’s fun to open up the inner-chef in people who think they cannot bake.


Chocolate-salted caramel mousse

Pumpkin flan

Pomegranate lemonade cheesecake

Tres leches

My schtick (yes, I have one, ha!) is that baking is like “arts and crafts in the kitchen.” It is! So give yourself time to be creative, and don’t be intimidated by sophisticated looking desserts. It’s easier than it looks, and presentation goes a long way, too.

This past weekend, I discussed a couple of dessert trends, the salted caramel flavorings and dessert shooters (served in shot or miniature glasses). The salty-sweet has always been a favorite of mine, and the dessert shooters just give you a chance to have fun with the “arts and crafts” part of baking. It’s also a chance for you to show your personality in the sweets you present because you can have any number of options. Pick your favorite dessert and figure out how to serve it in a shooter glass.

If you try any of these, I’d love to hear what you created and even see a picture of your creations.

From the November 2013 issue

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