Blackberry-Almond Cake

It has been a very long two months since I last posted here.  Where do I begin to tell the story of these past few weeks?  We moved from Wisconsin to California at the end of March.  The day after our house was packed up, we got in the car and started a four day trip across the country to our new home.  It is a temporary home; a furnished rental apartment, in a lovely community, convenient to everything.  But I wasn’t prepared for how homesick I would be, and how unsettling such a huge change is to everyday life.  read more

Chorizo and Manchego Pizza

In keeping with my philosophy of using what I have at hand, here is a pizza made with bits of this and that from the pantry and refrigerator.  I did mention once before that pizza is under-represented here; the truth is I do this quite often, and it’s almost always spontaneous, depending on what ingredients I have.  read more

Tomato and Black Bean Soup

How is everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions?  Are you like me and just trying to return to your better habits post-holidays?  This soup feels just like what I need on a dreary January day.  It’s bright and spicy and filling and good to eat.  And it’s an easy soup that starts with pantry ingredients that you likely already have. read more

Orange-Nut Popovers

Are you looking for a different breakfast bread?  Do you like the drama and adventure of trying something new, even if you’re not sure it will succeed?  If so, these sweet and tender, light as air popovers are for you.

read more

Cheese Ball

Here, on the last day of 2014, I am about to sing the praises of an old-fashioned party favorite.  And, because you may just need something to nosh on later this evening, while you’re sipping that bubbly wine, why not this curry-scented, pistachio-studded cheese ball? read more

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

This is not a typical “Weekend Kitchen” project.  I thought you would probably have a lot more on the go this weekend, so this is an easy one.  Do you have an eggnog-lover in your family?  One who waits for the first appearance of eggnog in the dairy case of the supermarket?  Does this person really like his eggnog spiked with dark rum? read more

Baked Eggs

At this time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of things.  There are deadlines to meet, parcels to mail, cooking and baking to do, house cleaning and decorating, and on and on…In the midst of all this activity, we still have to eat.  And sometimes the simplest and most basic fare is just what we need.  read more


Trader Vic’s is a tiki bar that only those of us of a certain age will remember.  In fact, I think there may be only one left in the whole of the United States.  It was a fun place to have drinks (their Mai Tai was iconic) and eat North-Americanized Chinese food.  The decor was Polynesian or maybe Tahitian, complete with lots of bamboo, carved figurines and masks, and, in some locations, canoes, similar to those that might have been used by South Pacific sailors.    read more