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Use a Spark to Light that Oven

I may have turned into a little bit of a dork when I wrote Spark. You see, I decided to share some of my Midwestern culture with people in the back of the book by including recipes. I’m not a lover of cooking, by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a few things I can do quite well. I included two of those recipes in Spark: Lemon Bars and Tator Tot Hotdish.

And yes, hotdish is one word where I live.

To me, a hot dish, is a dish or a plate that is warm to the touch.

A hotdish is a full meal with meat and cheesy goodness baked in a casserole dish. Why don’t us strange Minnesotan’s simply call this a casserole? Because that’s the pan you bake these yummy dishes in, silly.

You don’t call all things baked in a jelly roll pan a jelly roll, because no one makes jelly rolls on a regular basis, but they do make bars. (Some of you make jelly rolls, and I apologize if I offended you in this paragraph.)

My favorite dessert in the entire world just so happens to be my mom’s lemon bars. The dough is fun to press into the jelly roll pan and they are even more delightful to eat.

Do you see where I’m coming from when I say I’m a bit of a dork about this? This is comfort food, and as winter starts to taunt us by throwing cold and snow our way here in the upper Midwest, I just have to laugh. You see, I have food at home that will make me very happy.

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