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Archive for November, 2014

Behind the Scenes at Sauce: November 2014

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

A lot happens behind the scenes at Sauce HQ, from “tattoos” to Halloween costumes. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite moments at the office this month:

 

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Chef Grams: Behind the scenes with #STL chefs, bartenders, farmers and more

Saturday, November 29th, 2014
We could scroll through Instagram all day, ogling food pics that make our mouths water and our stomachs growl. (We’ve even been known to share what we’re eating, drinking and cooking from time to time.) Some of your favorite St. Louis chefs, brewers, baristas, bartenders, farmers and more are sharing snaps of weird ingredients, funky creations and hilarious behind-the-scenes antics; here, some of our favorite moments shared this month.

 

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Row 1, from left: sweetartstlouis: Tamar getting today’s slice ready for the front of house. She’s also eating the crispy kale and cheese bits…no judgment;-) #sweetartstlouis #loveandmagic #2203S39thStreet #shawneighborhood | pizzeoli: The Crew staying warm last night! #woodfiredpizza #stlouis | fernandezlisa25: those night time chefs, always playing the hijinks! #its345am #lindaylindayrat

Row 2: bmansuniverse: Gerard and I with a short Spanish guy | chouquettestl: Our new Hunger Games collection is ready just in time for the Mocking Jay release! Introducing our Hunger Games Capitol City Collection: Peeta’s Maple French Toast Nightlock Berry and Cassis Haymitch’s Nightcap Rumchata May the odds be ever in your favor! #lapatiseriechouquette | kmathii: No winter from now on can exist without a #porchkeg #thecivillife #milkstout #englishpale

Row 3: nichefoodgroup: Happy belated birthday to @PastariaSTL’s exec chef @michaelpetres! | sbosborn: Some jerk put on a cooking channel at the gym this morning. Guess what they made… #minimuffins #blueberry #staffmeal | artbarstl: Halloween got a little weird around here. #zombielove

Row 4: luluslocaleatery | toodelz_noodelz: My lunch earlier. | rickjlewis1: Say hello to my little friend

Should your favorite chef be on this list? Share their behind-the-scenes Instagrams with #saucechefgrams and follow @SauceMag for delicious insider photos, too!

By the Book: Jody Williams’ Omelets

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

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This one time, on the Internet, I watched Jacques Pépin demonstrate the proper creation of a French omelet. It was a five-minute video tutorial, narrated by his dulcet Gallic tones, and yielded a two-egg, tri-fold beauty that all but shimmered on the plate.

I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since, with marginal success. This is partly due to Pépin‘s rigid omelet wisdom: The omelet must be cooked in butter, the eggs mixed with water, and only certain herbs used. The inside must be slightly runny. It must not betray a single streak of browning on its exterior. The times I got it all right were, suffice it to say, scarce. There’s a reason the French omelet is considered a mettle-test of any chef’s hand.

In Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, Jody Williams will guide you through preparing a French omelet on the stovetop, but she also proposes a different solution: use the oven. In her recipes and work as chef-owner of two restaurants in New York and Paris, also named Buvette, Williams excels at these kind of subtle workarounds. In fact, that subtlety in the face of the staid rigors of French cooking is likely what makes her such an interesting chef. (Meet Williams in person at the next Sauce Celebrity Chef Series event Dec. 8 at The Restaurant at The Cheshire. Details here.)

While thumbing through the cookbook, expect clean layouts and concise recipes, sometimes so intuitively written as to be confusing. But Williams’ voice shines through most every few pages in the form of small pullouts, offering deft solutions for washing basil, making crème fraiche or figuring out what to do with squeezed lemon halves (spoiler: use the remaining juice as hand sanitizer). I tested her French omelet method against Pépin’s, and though I prefer a fluffier texture than Williams’ recipe prescribes, the results were and delicious and easy to pull together.

 

 

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Omelets are best made by spreading your ingredients on a cutting board beforehand so that you might add pinches or fistfuls as needed. While the oven preheated, I chopped dill, tarragon and chives and whisked eggs.

 

 

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After buttering the skillet and adding the eggs, I placed it all in the oven. (If your skillet has a plastic handle, be sure to wrap it in foil several times to protect it.) Allow the egg to set about 2 minutes (shake the skillet to be sure), and add any desired extras; I used Virginia ham and Grand Cru cheese. Return to the oven for the remaining cook time.

 

 

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Plating the omelet requires a slight bit of finesse (see above for my best effort), but it should slide from the skillet and fold neatly. Press down gently with a fork to keep the omelet from springing open. Williams recommends a glass of wine to go with, but on a Saturday morning, a stout shot-and-a-half of espresso works just fine, too.

 

Omelets
Makes 1 omelets

2 large eggs
Coarse salt
3 Tbsp. chopped mixed leafy herbs (I like a mix of chives, chervil and tarragon, but use whatever you like and is fresh)
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Crack the eggs into a bowl and add a large pinch of salt. Vigorously whisk together and stir in two-thirds of the herb mixture. Set the egg mixture aside.
• In a small, 6-inch diameter saute pan set over medium heat, melt the butter. (If your pan is not well seasoned you may need more butter.)
• As the butter melts, tilt the pan to make sure the butter evenly coats the pan. Pour in the whisked eggs and continue cooking over medium heat until the eggs begin to set, but are not cooked through, roughly 3 minutes, keeping in mind that the eggs will continue cooking off the heat. This is the point where you can add Parmigiano-Reggiano and butter, ham and Gruyere, or goat cheese and leeks if you wish. A good omelet will have a creamy texture and remain bright yellow.
• Season with salt and pepper, and then begin to fold the omelets.
• To remove the omelets, tilt the pan toward the serving plate and gently free it with a spatula until it slides halfway onto the plate. Now fold it over onto itself to form a half-moon. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1tablespoon herbs and an additional pinch of salt.
• Recipe Note: If you are making omelets for more than one, I suggest using your oven as I do at Buvette. It is a fast and easy way to make a beautiful omelet. Begin by melting the butter in a small pan on the stovetop as above, but when you add the eggs, transfer the pan to a 400 degree oven to continue cooking, about 5 minutes. If you wish to fill your omelet with spinach or leeks, etc., do so as soon as it sets and then return it to the oven to finish cooking. Remove and follow the instructions for plating above.

 

Excluding ham, cheese and peppers, what goes in your perfect omelet? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Buvette!

Make This: White Turkey Chili

Friday, November 28th, 2014

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The guests are gone, the fine china is stowed away, and there’s a pile of leftover turkey in a Tupperware container. Don’t call it a day just yet! Break out the slow cooker to make a hearty White Turkey Chili for a Black Friday feast while you sleep off that Thanksgiving food coma. In a slow cooker, combine 2 to 3 cups chopped turkey, 3 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 4.5-ounce can drained chopped green chiles, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Add 4 cups chicken broth and stir. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Stir in 6 ounces sour cream, adjust seasonings and serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

 

-photo by Greg Rannells

Drink This Weekend Edition: I Don’t Want No Shrubs

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

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One of the most exciting things about creating cocktails is rediscovering old techniques and ingredients. Shrubs have been around since the Colonial period and were enjoyed by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Martha Washington.

Consisting of vinegar, sugar and fruit, shrubs were originally used to preserve and incorporate fresh ingredients in the days before refrigeration. Now they add excellent flavor and dimension to cocktails. I Don’t Want No Shrubs combines a homemade apple shrub with rye whiskey, Benedictine and Velvet Falernum to create a sweet-yet-tangy, boozy, smooth drink that’s perfect to warm you on a chilly day – and it makes dealing with your crazy uncle just a little bit easier during the holidays.

 
I Don’t Want No Shrubs
1 serving

2 oz. Rittenhouse rye whiskey
½ oz. Benedictine
½ oz. Velvet Falernum
½ oz. apple shrub (recipe follows)
2 dashes Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters
Orange twist to garnish

• Combine the whiskey, Benedictine, Velvet Falernum, apple shrub and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Apple Shrub

4 to 5 apples, cored and sliced
Sugar to coat
Apple cider vinegar

• Toss the apple slices in a bowl with enough sugar to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 day.
• Strain the sugar syrup into a measuring cup. Reserve the sweetened apples for another use or discard. Add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar to the sugar syrup, pour into a resealable jar and let sit 1 day. Apple shrub will keep up to 1 year.

 

Drew Lucido is a member of USBG St. Louis and bar manager at Juniper.

Sneak Peek: Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Chris Bolyard announced in February that he would be leaving his post as chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe to open a butcher shop with his wife, Abbie Bolyard. Some 10 months later, the Bolyard’s are ready to unlock doors to Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions at 2810 Sutton Blvd. The boutique butcher shop opens this Friday, Nov. 28 in Maplewood.

Old-school, artisanal and whole-animal all figure into the Bolyards’ approach to their business. Animals are sourced from smaller family farms in Missouri and Illinois that raise their hogs, cows, lambs and chicken on pasture and without hormones, antibiotics or grain. Chris Bolyard got a taste for whole-hog butchery at Sidney Street and honed those skills further, staging at butcher shops in Chicago, Nashville and New Orleans.

At their new shop, a glass window provides a view to the cut room, where Bolyard will don a scabbard and break down whole animals like cows into sections like the chuck and brisket, rib and plate primal, hanger steak, short loin and sirloin.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute and a member of the Ones to Watch class of 2011, Bolyard will also put his charcuterie skills to work. Among prepared meat products, Bolyard will make sausages like chorizo, andouille, bratwurst, hot dogs, Toulouse (a French sausage of diced pork) and kielbasa. Also behind the deli counter, look for bacon, porchetta di testa and deli meats such as mortadella, pastrami, Bastardo (a bastardized style of salami made with beef and pork), ham and roast beef. Liver cheese, head cheese, pork rillettes and braunschweiger will be among pressed and pulled meat offerings. The shop even offers to-go cups of hot beef, chicken or pork broth, bags of fresh, house-made chicharrónes (pork rinds) and beef jerky.

Not sure what meat to buy? Need a special cut? The Bolyards aim to be a service-oriented, custom butcher shop. “It’s our job to let them know what’s in, what we have,” said Abbie Bolyard, who worked as a maitre d’ and server at Niche for five years before leaving the restaurant in 2013.

As for provisions, Bolyard’s refrigerator is filled with house-prepared kitchen staples like lard and stocks, condiments such as Worcestershire, ketchup and harissa, and fresh eggs from Vesterbrook Farm in Clarksville.

The airy, window-lined space (most recently the Black Cat Theatre lobby) rounds out its inventory with beef tallow soap, hand and lip balm made by Maplewood neighbor Maven, Woodside Urban honey, Missouri charcoal and wood chips and Yellow Tree Farms wooden kitchen utensils and cutting boards. There’s even something for four-legged friends: smoked pig ears and beef trim dog food. (A portion of profits from dog products will benefit Humane Society of Missouri.)

Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

 

 

Baked: Maple-Black Pepper Cookies

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

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Fill your home with the scent of maple, a lesser heralded but truly wonderful fall flavor when you bake these cookies. This recipe calls for high quality grade B syrup for the richest flavor and a surprise ingredient: black pepper. This spice is such an underrated tool for baking, adding a subtle kick at the end. Since maple can be rather sweet, pepper tempers it nicely.

These crisp buttery cookies are perfect for dipping in afternoon tea in the afternoon, a light dessert or even a great addition to your holiday cookie party. Enjoy and happy baking!
Maple-Black Pepper Cookies
Adapted from a Gourmet recipe
Makes about 30

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup grade B maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Add the yolk and the maple syrup and beat again until combined.
• Use a spatula to fold in the flour, salt and pepper, until a slightly clumpy dough forms, using your hands if necessary. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
• Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness and use cookie cutters to create various shapes. Place cookies on the baking sheets and reroll the dough as needed until it is all used.
• Bake 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges are golden. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cookies will keep in an airtight container about 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer.

The Scoop: Ferguson community bands together for storefront clean up

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

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{Volunteers cut sections of plywood to board up broken windows at Snappy’s Bar and Grill}

 

Rocked by protests and looting in the wake of Monday’s grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, the Ferguson community turned out in force on Nov. 25 to help local restaurants and businesses sweep up and rebuild. South Florissant Avenue swarmed with volunteers, who boarded up broken windows, cleared away glass and comforted the distraught.

 

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{At left, Natalie’s Cakes & More owner Natalie DuBose, and at right, family friend Cynthia Smith}

 

Natalie DuBose, owner of Natalie’s Cakes & More, greeted visitors outside her storefront at 100 S. Florissant Road, while volunteers nailed sheets of plywood to an empty window frame. A chair had been thrown through it in the middle of the night. “This is not going to stop us,” said Cynthia Smith, a family friend.

Up and down the street, the outpouring set a vastly different tone from the near-deserted West Florissant Road corridor, which as of this morning was roped off after several buildings were set ablaze during the night. Police checkpoints barred individuals from entering the area, including members of the press.

On South Florissant Road, however, the sidewalks thronged with business owners, journalists, protesters and volunteers, cleaning up or simply observing the scene. Restaurant industry professionals, among others, each had their stories.

Joel Flores, owner of El Palenque, said he closed his doors several hours before the grand jury decision was announced and watched the subsequent protests from home on TV. The restaurant at 254 S. Florissant Road sustained several broken windows, though Flores said nothing was damaged inside. “This morning, everybody was helping to clear,” he said. “Neighbors and friends.”

Next door, a large group of volunteers was busy boarding up more than a dozen broken windows at Snappy’s Bar and Grill. Among them was Ken Jenkins, a Florissant pastor and brother of Jerome Jenkins, co-owner of nearby Cathy’s Kitchen Restaurant & Diner. The popular American diner is known for its community outreach efforts; the kitchen was seen serving free food to assembled protesters before Monday night’s grand jury decision. A witness said that later, several individuals linked arms in front of the restaurant to prevent it from being damaged, an incident documented frequently on social media outlets.

Ken Jenkins confirmed that Cathy’s storefront suffered minimal damage, only a broken window or two. Meanwhile, local volunteers quickly gathered to help. “It’s been really neat to see the community come together,” Jenkins said, adding that “over 100 people, black, white, every nationality” had turned out. “That’s Ferguson,” he added. Jerome and Cathy Jenkins were not immediately available for comment.

At Queen’s Chop Suey, owner Xiaojiang Yang said he packed up the restaurant’s ordering computer and left Monday evening before the grand jury announcement, later watching the protests on TV. “I was scared. I couldn’t go outside,” he said. This morning, he discovered two large windows had been broken. Around 10 volunteers showed up to help nail plywood.

 

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{Fire damage at St. Louis Fish & Chicken Grill}

 

Mahmoud Wardeh, whose family owns the St. Louis Fish and Chicken franchise on South Florissant and Chambers avenues, boarded windows and cleared the debris from a trash can that had been set on fire inside. The rest of the building sustained only minimal damage. Wardeh said he was grateful for the sporadic groups of volunteers that were assisting with clean up.

“We can’t judge a community by an individual’s actions. We were against boarding the stores, but sometimes you have to protect the property. Business owners and community members have to pay for this,” he said, gesturing up and down the street.

 

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{The burned storefront at Little Caesars}

Perhaps the hardest hit restaurant on South Florissant was a Little Caesars Pizza franchise, which was set on fire during the protests and gutted completely by the blaze. Robert, a manager of the franchise who requested that his last name be withheld, said that unauthorized volunteers had attempted to help put out the flames last night before police ordered them off the premises. On Tuesday morning more than a dozen volunteers, including employees of the franchise, could be seen helping with the clean-up effort. Others passed out bottles of water or collected debris with wheelbarrows. Robert said he was concerned for the safety of volunteers, but “I appreciate having the community. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Still, the optimism and unity of the moment was not without a sense of foreboding. Many of the restaurant owners have reported dramatic fluctuation in business since the unrest began in August. Most were not certain, at present, whether their businesses would be able to open their doors tomorrow and sensed that a long road lay ahead: Three years ago, the Little Caesars required seven months to rebuild after it was leveled by a tornado. “It may go quicker this time, if we decide to rebuild,” Robert said. “That’s a big if.”

 

Click here to read how the South Grand and Clayton communities regrouped after yesterday’s events.

-photos by Garrett Faulkner

 

The Scoop: South Grand, Clayton restaurateurs and community regroup after day of tension, protest

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

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Restaurants and businesses in the South Grand district are cleaning up after sustaining damage late last night, Nov. 24, following the protests near Interstate 44 and Grand Boulevard. People assembled in the Shaw neighborhood there after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Volunteers gathered today to collect paint and supplies to decorate the boarded up businesses, encouraging people to support their community through patronage and online donations.

Natasha Bahrami, owner of Cafe Natasha’s, located at 3200 S. Grand Blvd., said nine of the restaurant’s windows were shattered around 12:40 a.m. Bahrami said she was across the street at the time of the incident. “We have too many windows and it was a prime spot to get hit,” she said. “Mom and Dad are a little bit hurt about it, and of course, I am too, but we’re going to make it through this one.”

Bahrami said the support from community residents and the Tower Grove East Neighborhood Association was overwhelming. “As I was coming across the street, (TGENA members) were already coming to clean up the glass,” she said. “The support we felt immediately made me feel better.” Although the restaurant is currently boarded up, Bahrami said Cafe Natasha’s would will be open for business today.

 

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Dave Bailey, who opened his second Rooster location last month at 3150 S. Grand Blvd., said people also broke 10 or 11 large windows at the restaurant, though nothing was stolen from inside. “I boarded up the entire façade (this morning.) I really didn’t want to,” he said.

Rooster closed an hour early last night, but despite the damage, doors opened this morning to welcome diners for breakfast. Bailey plans to resume business as usual unless circumstances warrant otherwise. “We’re getting quite a show of solidarity from the neighborhood,” he said. “If we have to close early, we will make that call on a nightly basis depending on what’s going on … Obviously the safety of my staff is my primary concern.”

MoKaBe’s, located at 3606 S. Arsenal St., served as a safe space for Shaw protestors, where they gathered before and during the protests. Calls for comment to MokaBe’s were not immediately returned.

Other restaurants that reported damage include Baida at 3191 S. Grand Blvd., Saint Louis Bread Co. at 3114 S. Grand Blvd., Basil Spice at 3183 S. Grand Blvd., and King & I at 3155 S. Grand Blvd. While all are open for business today, some may close early depending on circumstances today.

Meanwhile, Clayton restaurants are regrouping after many closed doors early yesterday, pending the grand jury announcement at the courthouse in their community. The Wheelhouse co-owner Stephen Savage closed his sports bar after lunch service yesterday, citing safety concerns for customers and employees. “Staff and customers: they are the two most important aspects of our business,” he said.

Chef-owner Gerard Craft noted similar concerns when he opted to close Pastaria and Niche, both located in the Centene building in Clayton, along with his two CWE restaurants, Brasserie and Taste. “It’s really important to keep all our employees in mind. We have close to 200 employees that live in all parts of St. Louis. Whether protests or difficulty getting around, there were a million reasons to close,” Craft said.

After a night of tension and unrest in Ferguson and St. Louis’ Shaw neighborhood, Pastaria and Niche remain closed today, Nov. 25, along with other restaurants in the Centene building, Cantina Laredo and Kakao. Other Clayton business district restaurants closed today include The Crossing, Bocci Bar, Mad Tomato, Half & Half and Companion.

Some Clayton eateries did open today, including Barrister’s, Avenue, Barcelona, Sauce on the Side, Remy’s and Five Star Burgers. The latter kept its regular hours of operation yesterday as well. “I’m not one to close my doors. I think it’s important to stay open,” said owner Steve Gontram. “I’m not going to fold under pressure and close my doors … I’m going to stay open and be a business that serves the community and, of course, be cautious and lookout for the safety of my employees.”

While the Thanksgiving week is typically one of the busiest of the year for restaurants, several owners noted that business had slowed in the week’s leading up to the grand jury’s decision. “We’ve had fewer pre-Thanksgiving orders than in the last 10 years,” said Companion owner Josh Allen.

After much discussion among themselves, most Clayton restaurateurs anticipate returning to regular hours tomorrow, Nov. 26. “We’re all in it together,” Allen said.

Click here to read how the Ferguson community regrouped after yesterday’s events.

 

Catherine Klene and Ligaya Figueras contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Extra Sauce: 6 Thanksgiving recipes for gluten-free guests

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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The turkey usually isn’t a problem for your gluten-free guys and gals, but stuffing and rolls are definite no-gos. Welcome them with a starter of Apple Cheese Pleasers and make sure to have at least two sides they can enjoy with their bird.

 

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Dishes like Beet and Carrot Salad, Roasted Sweet Brussels Sprouts and Grapes or Butternut Squash Stew will satisfy all your guests with any dietary needs.

 

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And why pumpkin pie is a must on Thanksgiving, make sure your GF guests end on a sweet note, too, with Hold-the-Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

-photo by Greg Rannells

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