Cuban Shredded Beef

This dish is a perfect instance of where few and simple ingredients come together and become amazingly, astonishingly flavorful. It's fantastic on its own with a side of rice, but also makes for a good burrito meat as it can be stretched while still providing a flavor punch.

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lemon & lime drops

Like Maria mentioned, we all have our favorite variations of the Joy of Cooking's Sugar Drop Cookies with Oil. The original recipe is perfect, so I don't typically mess with it. At the most, I might add some vanilla bean powder to the sugar that the cookies are rolled in, giving them a pretty vanilla-flecked exterior.  But sometimes for a party I think it's fun to have a whole spread of the same cookie in different variations. Since these are so simple to mix up, and quick to bake, you can churn out a bunch of different variations within an hour. 

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Lime & Coconut Cake

I've lived in Southwest Florida for eight years now, and not once have I made it down to the Keys. We had plans to make a family trip there over the summer, but things happened (like, I had a baby).

Much of Southwest Florida is filled with constructions built in the last few decades. So whenever I stumble upon anything in Florida that dates earlier than this century--anything that has the merest wisp of historicity about it--I am eager to soak it in. One of the places I have my heart set on visiting is Ernest Hemmingway's home. Sure, he may have been a less-than-admirable and deeply flawed character, but his prose defined a new style in American literature and his stories, though often troubling, are filled with an aching beauty, a longing for something beyond. Also, his home is worth visiting in itself,  having been built in 1851 by marine architect and wrecker Asa Tift out of limestone he excavated directly from the site. 

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