30 January 2014 Food
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There’s isn’t much that can cheer deflated San Francisco 49er fans on this wistful Super Bowl Sunday, but I thought this snack might ply a little smile of nostalgia from local natives – the bygone pizza-potato from Menlo Park’s own Round Table Pizza. Round Table isn’t one of those Wolfgang Puck-style, avocado-goat-cheese California pizzas, it’s […]

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Wild rice confetti salad

10 January 2014 Food
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So many exciting grains have hit the market in recent years that I had forgotten about one of my favorite dishes, this deeply colorful wild rice salad. Subtly packed with vegetables – finely chopped to blend in with the glossy dark kernels – with the added crunch of almonds and sweetness of dried cranberries, this […]

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Christmas colcannon

17 December 2013 Food
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It’s hit-and-miss with our annual potato dish for Christmas dinner. In ambitious years I try something new, like Ruth Reichl’s gratin dauphinois (not such a hit, but it made good leftover soup). In lazy years we bake whole potatoes and have everyone load them up as they like. But this year, colcannon – mashed potatoes […]

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Cinnamony apple crisp

11 October 2013 Food
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Hot apple crisp, with its deliciously spicy, buttery fragrance, is a rite of fall, served with a soft scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s a harvest celebration that, thanks to the longevity of apples, can continue to bring cozy comfort through the long, dark evenings of winter. The smell of it alone is warm happiness. […]

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Kale, quinoa and apple salad

13 September 2013 Food
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Today’s salad may strike you as so 2010 (kale! quinoa!). But trends aside, this salad works great as a potluck offering: sturdy kale holds up well over several hours, the light nuttiness of quinoa complements the dark earthiness of the greens, and a fresh fall apple adds a sweet crunch to balance kale’s slight bitterness. […]

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Roasted tomatoes

27 August 2013 Food
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It’s silly, I know, because the world is not watching, but if I go more than a week without posting anything new here, I start to get performance anxiety, thinking that after making my readers wait so long for something new, I can’t post something as simple/mundane/lame as that. I want to scramble to find […]

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Kettle corn

16 August 2013 Food
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I’m always tempted by the kettle corn in giant bags at fairs or farmers markets, especially when it’s made fresh from a giant cast-iron kettle. I rarely buy any, thinking it’s silly to pay several dollars for something that is pennies to make on my own. But then I never make it. This summer I […]

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Quinoa with sweet potatoes, red pepper and feta

5 August 2013 Food
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It’s summer, but sweet potatoes are a dream pairing for a quinoa salad. Harvested after a long, warm growing season, sweet potatoes are associated with fall and Thanksgiving here in the United States. But in the tropics, sweet potatoes are a year-round staple, a cultivated crop as ancient as quinoa. In this combo, the soft […]

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Broccoli salad with Greek yogurt, cranberries and almonds

2 July 2013 Food
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The Hawaiians have a great expression – “calabash cousins” – for longtime friends that are like family. The Hawaiian expression comes from a hard gourd, a calabash, which halved and dried can be used as a large serving bowl for shared family-style dinners. It’s a very Asian concept: in a Chinese family you might call […]

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Spinach dip (without the mix)

24 June 2013 Food
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Spinach dip in a sourdough bread bowl was the California party food of my teen years. It’s great teen cooking – easy junk food with a generous dose of spinach for redemption – plus the fun of carving the crusty round of bread and cutting cubes for dipping. The original dip is flavored with Knorr’s […]

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