Dec 302013
 
Bourbon Berry Winter Cocktail

  We try to eat berries every day in the indieculinary household– there’s a lot of evidence that berries are a potent superfood, important for optimal health. Plus they’re delicious. Win-win. In the winter, though, when they’re out of season, we’re largely relegated to frozen berries. One can only eat so many yogurt-and-berry bowls.  I could make a cobbler, crisp, or other baked delight, but holiday treat season is over and it’s back to a little law and order around here. Enter the berry cocktail! We’ll have our berries and drink them, too. (You’ll notice any attempts at law and […]

Dec 132013
 
Triple Lemon Rosemary Polenta Cookies, and some notes on cookie presentation

  I made this cookie yesterday for Slow Food Santa Cruz‘s Annual Holiday Party, which this year featured not only a fantastic pour of wines from Vinocruz, but also a holiday cookie exchange. Never one to let this sort of opportunity pass without making things as stressful as possible on myself, I decided to try out a brand-new recipe, one I’d only just devised and was basing on someone else’s recipe, located on the internet, which I’d never before tested. 2 hours before the party. What could go wrong? I will temper the suspense a bit by mentioning that by […]

Dec 102013
 
Cranberry Cardamom Bread with Satsuma Caramel Glaze

  So– Thanksgiving, aka High Holy Day for Cooks, has come and gone. And you are left with, shall we say, an imbalance of leftovers. The guests fell upon the remains of the Maple Jalapeno Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts like vultures; the turkey and mashed potatoes were swiftly packaged up for later; the sweet potato crisp was claimed in the spirit of a conquering nation setting flags upon distant shores. But the remainders of the cranberry sauce, of which you admittedly make too much each year, sit alone and unclaimed upon the table, despite the tart and citrus-infused deliciousness. It’s […]

Nov 192013
 
Persimmon Pumpkin Hazelnut Bread, with tips on choosing persimmons and peeling hazelnuts

I’ve adapted this recipe from one my mom made for years when I was a kid– she followed it faithfully every autumn.  The house filled with wonderful aromas while it baked. My dad still has her recipe card from the 70’s; true to the era, it calls for canned pineapple. (I feel like half the recipes of my childhood involved canned pineapple.) I love the design on this recipe card. In this updated recipe, I use this pumpkin bread palette to highlight seasonal ingredients, so I drop the canned pineapple, raisins, and walnuts and swap in diced Fuyu persimmon, pureed Hachiya persimmon, […]

Jul 082013
 
A Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Shortbread Tart

This recipe was developed for Slow Food Santa Cruz. We are flush with berries here on the Central Coast, and it’s been strawberry season for well over a month now. If you’re a local, you’ve eaten them fresh, out of hand. You’ve had them over yogurt, and in salads. Now, it’s time to get indulgent. With our local strawberries still at the peak of ripeness, make a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Shortbread Tart. In this formulation, you will crown crisp, buttery shortbread with glistening strawberries, nestling them into a rich, dark chocolate ganache. The strawberries used in developing this recipe are […]

Jun 212013
 
Frozen Bananas Dipped in Mexican Chocolate Ganache and Spicy Honeyed Peanuts

  These bananas were the result of yet another Food52 contest– the theme of this one was “Your Best Frozen Dessert.” I batted around ideas for a while… I wanted to create something that wasn’t overly sweet, and that might even be a tad healthy. Then I thought– fruit, nuts, dark chocolate– do a variation on that old-time treat the “dipped banana,” and I think we have a winner. Plus Season 4 of Arrested Development just came out, and there’s always money in the banana stand. Here’s my write-up from Food52, (the recipe ended up being a Community Pick over […]

May 182013
 
Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake

Every so often I step out on this site and develop a recipe for Food52.com instead. (There are contests! It’s fun!) But I’m thinking about my main site, this one, the whole time… really, I am. Don’t be like that. Anyhow, I came up with this cake for Food52 last month. Now that the whole contest it was involved in is over, I figured I’d post it here too.  They took some gorgeous shots of the cake while they were testing it. (Check them out.) The recipe ended up being a “Community Pick” on the site. Read up on the genesis of […]

Apr 082013
 
Building the Better (For You) Flapjack

  I love a good pancake/flapjack for Sunday morning breakfast as much as the next girl, but unless I want to lose a whole weekend day to lethargy, napping, and regret, I tend to avoid them. Simple carbs soaked in maple syrup are no way to start a productive day. Yesterday, I was at the Westside Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market and discovered that the strawberry crop has arrived! I bought 3 baskets of local, organic, peak-of-red-ripeness strawberries and happily carted them home. I then became fixated on the idea of serving them over pancakes with whipped cream for Sunday morning […]

Mar 112013
 
Thomas Jefferson's Contributions to American Cuisine

The next time you bite into some quintessentially American food– peach pie, mac ‘n cheese, a fried artichoke heart– you probably have Thomas Jefferson to thank. I’d had an inkling that he was responsible for bringing a lot of culinary concepts back over from France, (and thanks to a visit to Monticello, I’d known he was an avid gardener), but I didn’t know the depth of it until I was assigned a paper on the topic in “American Regional Cuisine.” Jefferson’s contributions span not only the introduction to the United States of foods and techniques popular in Europe, (particularly France, […]

Nov 182012
 
Break Out of the Cranberry Mold With a Complex Chutney

  Fresh Cranberries Are Ready for Their Close-Up This week I found myself with a beautiful basket full of Meyer lemons, cayenne peppers, and other delights, courtesy of our landlords/neighbors/friends, who grow a veritable Garden (and orchard) of Eden. Meyer lemons are less acidic than standard lemons, (in fact, they’re thought to be a botanical cross between a lemon and an orange), and bring an engaging floral note to dishes. I also found myself with a need to roast a turkey this weekend.  We’ll be travelling to see family for Thanksgiving this year and they will make a delicious feast, […]