ManCatcherBrowniesWhen I was 7 my mother, Susan, met my future stepfather, Larry. They had been dating for about a month when she made him a batch of caramel nut brownies—a recipe she’d come up with herself. Larry took one bite and blurted, “Oh my gosh, I love you!” It was the first time he’d said anything like that, and it was sort of a joke—but then he followed up with, “Actually, I really do love you, and I’ve been wanting to tell you that.” After they got engaged, Larry renamed the recipe “Man-Catcher Brownies.”

Mom taught me how to bake when I was 12, and these brownies were one of the first recipes she shared with me. “Remember, Amy, whoever eats these will fall in love with you,” she said. I knew she was teasing, but the brownies still took on magical properties in my mind. My friends and I would have sleepovers and bake batches of them for boys we had crushes on. Sometimes we’d be sneaky about it and bring the brownies to the whole class, just so that a particular guy would be sure to eat one. When one of us had a steady boyfriend, we’d make up a nice little bag for him and tie it with a bow. Larry was on to our schemes. “Those man-catcher brownies work, so y’all be careful,” he’d say. “Don’t give ’em to anyone who won’t treat you right for the rest of your life.”

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heartcookiesLittle siblings of the traditional Austrian-Hungarian Linzertorte, Linzer cookies are very much a favorite in my family. These crumbly pastries are perfect for any holiday table. Make them round like wreaths for Christmas and for Valentine's Day make them heart shaped.

This recipe is rather simple. The dough can be made the day before and left in the refrigerator until it's time to roll the cookies. I used ground almonds in this recipe, but any ground nut, specifically walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, work well. Make sure you refrigerate the dough in between batches. It will be easier to handle and the cookies will look neat and sharp once baked.

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img_4451.jpgValentine's day means many things to many people.

For most, it's a time to let your loved one know how you feel. To affirm your love with flowers, candy, or even jewelry, and hope it somehow translates into rough sex.

For me, it's always been a time of reflection, since the only rough sex I'm going to have is if throw myself on Rachelle while she's filing her nails.

Which she usually is when I throw myself on her.

Yes, for me it's a chance to look back at the way things might have been... ....had I not hooked up with someone dedicated to making my life a living hell.

Don't take my word for it. Watch the show, "Living With Ed", and see for yourself. That's why I did the show. It was that or install a Nanny cam. I wanted the world could see that I wasn't making this shit up.

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