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  1. Banana Oat Mini-Muffins add sweetness the natural way


    Like many families, we try to minimize the amount of processed sugar we eat. But, it is lurking everywhere, and we are eating far more processed sugar than our grandparents did. How to combat this trend that seems to have sneaked up on us?

    Banana Oat Mini-Muffins, which skip the white processed sugar, can be made gluten-friendly.
  2. Black Bean and Mango Salad a quick, fresh and filling meal


    Canned beans are a fantastic convenience food. For a little over a buck, you can stock your pantry with a shelf-stable protein source that works in main dishes or in side dishes.

    Black Bean and Mango Salad calls for shredded kale, but you can use any hearty dark green.
  3. My dad turned birthdays into an opportunity to master creatively decorated cakes


    My dad got me a car for my 16th birthday. A convertible the color of Champagne, it was exactly what I wanted.

    Of course I got a car for my 16th birthday. It just happened to be on top of a cake.
  4. Marking my twin daughters' milestones with cake


    Throughout the years I have marked my twin daughters' birthdays and other milestones in their lives with cake. I had one waiting for them when they got home after the first day of their freshman year in high school and, in keeping with tradition, they were greeted by me and a cake after the first day of their senior …

    I ordered cakes for Feb. 10, the day my twins would hear back from the fourth college to which they had applied, their top pick.
  5. Three mug cake recipes ready in less than 90 seconds


    Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor
  6. We Tried That: Professional cake decorating


    What we tried: While some kids dream of being astronauts or actors or athletes, I always wanted to be a cake decorator. My mom would park me in front of the Publix bakery, feed me one of their free sprinkled sugar cookies, and let me watch as the bakers piped borders and dropped sugar roses onto large sheet …

    In her business kitchen in St. Petersburg, Cakes by Carolynn owner Jill Whelan, left, shows Times correspondent Carlynn Crosby how to ice a double layer cake.
  7. Dirty Dozen and Clean 15: Which fruits and vegetables are most likely to contain pesticides, and which aren't


    Sonya Lunder tells it like it is. She sniffs out the Dirty Dozen just as swiftly as she can pick out the Clean 15. As the lead author of the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce and with a master's degree in public health with a focus on environmental health and toxicology, she eagle-eyes USDA monitoring and …

    Sonya Lunder is lead author of the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
  8. Wandering Whisk Bakeshop serving bright cakes, cookies, macarons out of a home in St. Petersburg



    It happened by accident.

    Jennifer Jacobs, 29, made red velvet cookie sandwiches for Valentine's Day and brought them to her office at HSN in St. Petersburg.

    People went nuts.

    Strawberry Cupcakes from St. Petersburg home bakery Wandering Whisk Bakeshop.
  9. Readers reflect on fond cake memories


    We asked our readers to share any memorable cake stories they had. Here is a taste of those sweet memories. Michelle Stark, Times food editor

    Claudia Gunzelmann of Tampa made this cake for her husband’s 50th birthday.
  10. From the food editor: A chat with Molly Yeh, and an attempt at her Funfetti Cake


    When setting out to make a Funfetti Cake, you need to channel your most whimsical inner self.

    Funfetti Cake, made using food blogger Molly Yeh's recipe. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.

New #CookClub recipe: White Chicken Chili

This is a hearty and warming stew for this time of year.