Fall Baking Kick-Off: Win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Last weekend, we hosted our annual pie social and over sixty of our friends showed up on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Guests who love to bake came bearing pies of all kinds, until my table was filled with fifteen homemade creations. Some were bursting with local fruits such as blueberries, apples, pears and raspberries, as well as rhubarb. Others featured nuts like pecans or coconut, and a towering Banoffee pie held sliced bananas under a mountain of whipped cream.

We had classic pumpkin pie, too, as well as a huge pot of hot spiced apple cider to accompany the desserts. It was an afternoon to remember.

Surveying the spread, one thing was apparent: my friends are as excited for fall baking as I am.

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Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake and a KitchenAid mixer giveaway

Today is our wedding anniversary, hence the cake.

It’s a light, lemony creation, which I’m serving up with a dollop of ricotta and maple-roasted rhubarb that was picked straight from my garden. Spring, long weekends, anniversaries – there is much to celebrate these May days and cake is just the ticket.

In addition to the recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake with Roasted Rhubarb, I’m sharing about the cookbook that has been living on my kitchen counter: Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch–with Smart Store-Bought Shortcuts When You Need Them. Oh, you’re going to love it.

And since we’re celebrating, our friends at KitchenAid want to give one lucky Simple Bites reader a brand new stand mixer! This post is packed, so let’s jump right into the fun.

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Pear Gingerbread {The Homemade Kitchen giveaway}

There is a new cookbook on my shelf, a recent arrival from the Berkshire kitchen of my friend, Alana. Actually, it hasn’t rested on the bookshelf yet; I’ve been keeping it with me in the kitchen for daily cooking, baking and tea-time reading.

The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure is the second cookbook from Alana, and a long awaited companion to The Homemade Pantry. It’s a personal and passionate ode to home cooking without an ounce of pressure. Alana encourages aspiring cooks with memorable lessons such as Do Your Best and Then Let Go, Be a Beginner, and Do the Work. In fact, these guiding principles form the outline of her book, and she explains and expands on them in thoughtful essays that undoubtedly come from a place of learning.

I’ve been cooking plenty from The Homemade Kitchen already, so read on for more thoughts on the cookbook and a splendid giveaway, too.

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Bite this Book: The Canning Kitchen

My preserves pantry is beginning to look a little sparse as we’ve been finishing up all the pickles, jams and canned tomatoes from last summer.

It’s time for another exciting season of canning, and there’s a brand new cookbook from PRH Canada to motivate us all to get our act together.

The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes is newly released by my friend and fellow food blogger Amy Bronee. She’s a West Coast mother of two who has long been addicted to preserving the harvest and shares over one hundred of her favourite recipes in a beautiful debut cookbook.

Both nostalgic favourites and new creations shine in this warm and helpful guide to canning at home. Through Amy’s careful tutelage and vibrant photography, novice and experience canners alike will find inspiration for every season in this cookbook.

Read on for a fun interview with Amy and a chance to win one of two copies of The Canning Kitchen: 101 Simple Small Batch Recipes!

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Giveaway: All the Weck Jars (really, all of them)

I get asked a lot of questions from readers about ingredients, techniques, and tools of the trade, but Weck jars make the top of the list for the most inquiries.

Made in Germany and distributed in North America by WeckJars.com, these pretty vessels are used in a dozen different ways in my kitchen. They are frequently featured in my Instagram feed and on the blog, which usually results in a flurry of questions about sourcing the jars.

Today I’m very excited to offer a giveaway sponsored by WeckJars.com. The winner will receive two of every single Weck jar available! That’s a total of 52 beautiful jars, in every shape and size.

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