Food

Grilled pineapple

25 May 2017
Thumbnail image for Grilled pineapple

At its best, pineapple is a euphorically transporting fruit, flooding one’s senses with sweet tropical juice and seductive fantasies of blindingly bright sand beaches and sparkling blue seas. But unless you live in Hawaii or other tropics, a more typical pineapple impression is tart and stringy, pale and dry. On the mainland, buying a whole […]

Full article →

Chocolate chip cookie cake

27 April 2017
Thumbnail image for Chocolate chip cookie cake

Instead of birthday cake, my boys love a giant chocolate chip cookie cake. Their friends always love it too, but I’m never satisfied with the recipe. Like the oversized cookie that it is, its edges are golden and crispy all around, while the center is soft and gooey. In a regular cookie, you get all […]

Full article →

Un-granola

21 April 2017
Thumbnail image for Un-granola

Life dimmed for me and my kids when my friend Katie moved two years ago, she and her husband Rick trading their Silicon Valley home for a ranch in Oregon and taking with them three of our favorite little people – two of my kids’ soulmates and my angelic 18-month-old boyfriend. Between school and kids’ […]

Full article →

Everything muffins

1 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Everything muffins

Eating well on a road trip is a whole lot easier than it was before iPhones. When my husband and I drove across the country from New York City to Silicon Valley in 2001, I mapped out our route every night using our fold-out paper maps and diligently cross-referenced them with my dog-eared copy of […]

Full article →

Slow-cooked Italian beef

26 January 2017
Thumbnail image for Slow-cooked Italian beef

Coming from a family of seven siblings, with 21 kids between them, my Ohio sister-in-law Michelle can feed a crowd like a boss. For New Year’s Eve in Columbus, we had 40 family and friends over to watch Ohio State play Clemson in the (disastrous for us) Fiesta Bowl playoff game. After Christmas, all I […]

Full article →

Foolproof mashed potatoes

23 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Foolproof mashed potatoes

I finally figured out the best way for a distracted cook to manage homemade mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. No peeler, no risk of overcooked spuds – just potatoes, butter and milk in the most fuss-free and relaxed method I’ve found. Here’s the trick: quickly score each potato around the center before boiling them whole. You […]

Full article →

Kale salad with honey-mustard peanut dressing

22 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Kale salad with honey-mustard peanut dressing

This shredded kale and cabbage salad, coated in a sweet honey-mustard dressing and generously showered with crushed peanuts, has a cult following at Hillstone restaurants across the country, from Houston’s to Bandera to various Grill outposts, such as Cherry Creek, Bal Harbour, Palm Beach and Rutherford. You see it on almost every table, as starter, […]

Full article →

Pumpkin bread with chocolate

16 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Pumpkin bread with chocolate

I have a beef with pumpkin breads that aren’t pumpkiny. A drier bread makes for easy cutting and tidy presentation, but the pumpkin bread I want to eat is a little soft, with big sticky crumbs, and super rich with pumpkin flavor. In Ohio we live for pumpkin bread, from a little bakery called Beehive […]

Full article →

Comfort in pancakes (banana chocolate chip)

11 November 2016
Thumbnail image for Comfort in pancakes (banana chocolate chip)

When I’m stressed, I don’t want a beer, I want a bakery. Or to bake something. Science backs me up on this: sugar reduces the stress hormone cortisol in our systems (don’t try to substitute fake sugar, it doesn’t have the same effect). Even before eating, the warm olfactory combination of flour, butter and sugar […]

Full article →

The best yellow birthday cake

26 October 2016
Thumbnail image for The best yellow birthday cake

I’ve had a best chocolate cake recipe forever – easy and reliably fantastic – but it took years of trying before I finally found the perfect yellow cake. When we lived in Ohio with my husband’s side of the family, chocolate was the only cake we ever needed. But in California, my Chinese family likes […]

Full article →