Tuna-Cucumber salad

I’m back, both literally and figuratively.  I’ve spent the last five weeks recovering from a major surgery, and food (for eating or photographing) has not been much of a priority.  Happily I am well on my way to feeling better and the urge to get back in the kitchen has returned!  As I haven’t been able to resume my weekly Farmer’s Market trips yet, I made this salad with what I had on hand.  It’s a fresh and light take on tuna salad with a bright and colorful dressing. read more

Carrot-Cashew Soup

Even with the warm weather advancing upon us, there is still a reason to want soup.  This one in particular is spicy, light and smooth, and manages to have a silky texture, without the addition of cream.  There are, however, a couple of “secret” ingredients that make this particular carrot soup a standout. read more

Cherry-Olallieberry Pie

This week has seen several pie-baking projects, the result of a visit to the Farmer’s Market for a generous supply of fresh, perfect, seasonal fruit.  We came home laden with strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, and olallieberries.  Since pie is my husband’s favorite dessert, it was off to the kitchen to make some pastry. read more

Orange and strawberry muffins

I’ve never felt that Spring was my favorite season, given the colder climates I’ve lived in most of my life.  Spring used to be about wildly varying weather patterns (snow in May!), clumps of dirty, grey, melting snow, sand and dirt on the roads.  But this year it’s different.  Spring in Northern California is pretty spectacular!  After a wet winter, everything is green and color abounds in the landscape.  We are discovering that some of our trees and shrubs have brilliant and showy flowers at this time of the year, and the fruit tree blossoms have a heavenly fragrance.  And the roses…

orange and strawberry muffins read more

Chez Panisse

The beautiful card pictured above contains the March 4th menu from the downstairs restaurant at Chez Panisse, in Berkeley California.  It’s where I spent a magical evening, on my birthday, soaking in every detail of a dining experience I’d been anticipating for a very long time.  This iconic place, the product of Alice Water’s vision for a neighborhood bistro, has been in the same spot for forty-five years!  It was everything I hoped it would be. read more

Banana Buckwheat Loaf

How many times have you heard that familiar refrain, “This is the best ever recipe for chocolate chip cookies, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chocolate cake, apple pie?”  I could go on and on…Everybody has a version of a classic favorite.  Banana bread qualifies as an example of an old-fashioned recipe that is open to many variations and re-interpretations, and this is my latest effort. read more

Rice Pudding

A while back I decided that my cooking needed to include more whole grains.  I searched the internet and kept coming back to a site that I’d heard a lot about:  Anson Mills.  Anson Mills is a purveyor of heirloom and organic grains.  Based in Columbia, South Carolina, they specialize in all manner of whole grains, from wheat, corn and rice, to farro and buckwheat.  There are specialty flours for baking and whole grains for both savory and sweet applications. read more