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Spring is turning out to be quite a whirlwind here, so I'm keen to celebrate it while I can. Before you know it, summer will sweep us away to poolsides and air-conditioned quarters. I know that sounds nice, but I'm not quite ready for the other things that a southern summer brings - like humidity and mosquitoes!

No-bake cheesecakes are a go-to at my house when warm weather finally arrives, and I was inspired to give this one a spring makeover. It's one of the easiest and creamiest cheesecakes I've ever made, and its lightness is a nice reflection of the season.

A couple of months ago the New England Confectionery Company (Necco) announced it was facing closure. People started panic-buying packages of Necco Wafers, and one woman in Florida even tried to trade her car for a warehouse's remaining stock. That sounds a little drastic to me, especially since the company hasn't officially closed yet (although I'm sad to say their GoFundMe page doesn't look promising).

I think before we give away our transportation in exchange for candy we should try a homemade version, don't you? I liked this formula very much, and even though nothing will replace the original, I'd call this recipe a close second!

It seems as if invisible hands flipped a switch, and just like that we're having 90 degree weather. It's nice in some ways, but it's changed our outdoor lunch breaks to evening sunset-watching. It also has me looking more closely at refreshing treats like ice cream cakes, ice box pies and other cold bites. Panna cotta is a favorite of mine in warmer weather. There's nothing better than enjoying a chilly cup on a hot day.

I'm hosting a Mother's Day brunch this Sunday, so I thought it might be fun for you to see what I'm cooking up for the special ladies in our family. It also gives me a chance to add a couple of recipes to the much neglected 'Savory Bakes' category in the recipe index here. I'm usually all about sweets, but there are some savory recipes that I feel are worth sharing, too! I think the hallmark of any good brunch is a mixture of both savory and sweet, and I've got plans for plenty of both.

Let's take a look at the items on the menu!

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, and although I'm not a follower of thoroughbreds or an avid watcher of the race, I am a huge fan of the food that surrounds the festivities. Mint Juleps, Kentucky Hot Brown, and Benedictine (cucumber spread) are all traditional Derby eats. They're also from my general neck of the woods. We enjoy them year-round and without the brouhaha of a horse race, but it's nice to see them getting the extra attention they deserve come the first Saturday in May.

Derby Pie is another traditional food which surrounds the race - literally. It's sold at Churchill Downs racetrack on Derby Day. It's a walnut-chocolate-bourbon confection that inspired these two-bite truffles. If you've ever tasted Derby Pie, then I think you'll find these truffles to be equally Kentuckified.

Like clockwork, spring brings us a new routine. The pugs are spending all of their time sniffing new blooms and basking on the sunny patio. My better half manicures the lawn so we can enjoy impromptu and hilariously awkward badminton matches. I am prone to steal away moments for garden seed catalogue-browsing. Even my baking has taken on new energy as I look for bright colors and flavors to wake up sleepy winter taste buds.

I recently tested this recipe for strawberry-banana cupcakes and loved their fruity sweetness. They're made with fresh strawberries which is a lovely way to enjoy the harvest of late spring, when berries are at their best.
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