Super duper veggie burger

12 February 2015 Food
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Veggie burgers have hit the big time. No non-vegetarian would choose fake bacon over the real thing, and only a desperate teetotaler would drink near-beer. But veggie burgers have become more flavorful and creative as mainstream ground beef has become sketchier, and now you’ll find plenty of omnivores choosing a tasty veggie patty over beef. […]

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Fresh citrus sangria

5 February 2015 Beverages
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Why not sangria in February? This is peak season for the sweetest, juiciest citrus fruits, and I have an orange pile of Valencias, navels, clementines, tangelos and blood oranges on my countertop, plus smooth Meyer lemons and heavy grapefruit. We had a springlike January here, and sangria seemed like an appropriate salute to the winter […]

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S’mores cookies

27 January 2015 Chocolate
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What does it say about me that out of an excellent, accessible cookbook of family dinner ideas, the only recipes I’ve made are cookies? Huh. I guess my nerves are a little frayed. This blog is better than therapy. I’ve been going through boxes of stuff – dregs from our own move, plus a fresh […]

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When you get there

12 January 2015 Brain food
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Across the finish line, I’m a little unsteady on my feet in the silence. The youngest of my kids started kindergarten, and the oldest just entered his teens. Our endless house project is at last over, three and a half years after it began. I thought the decade of my 20s was the rat race […]

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Spiced Mexican wedding cookies (and a giveaway)

16 December 2014 Food
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Sometimes you have to listen hard to hear the universe whispering, and other times it pokes you so persistently you want to tell it to calm down already, you got the message. Christmas cookies aren’t normally in my December lineup – holiday sweets are everywhere already, and Santa doesn’t have time to bake, for Pete’s […]

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Snowy honey roasted almonds

11 December 2014 Food
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I’ve solved half my almond problem. I know it doesn’t seem like a problem, having the most incredible almond vendor at the farmers market I go to every week. Rodin Farms sells the most killer almonds – some savory, some sweet, all super fresh and super crisp – and though they’re there year round, and […]

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Holiday gift ideas 2014

5 December 2014 Gift ideas
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Eleven months of the year, I’m grateful for my large family. But when I’m trying to outrun the December avalanche, I can’t help but wonder how I thought four kids was such a fantastic idea, or why I didn’t marry a nice orphan. Daily life is busy enough, but when you pile on the tree, […]

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Roasted brussels sprouts salad

20 November 2014 Food
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Back in 1999, when brussels sprouts were far from cool, San Francisco chef Gordon Drysdale put on the menu of his new restaurant a salad made of brussels sprouts leaves, briefly sauteed in olive oil and tossed with bacon, caramelized onions, hard-boiled egg and a red wine vinaigrette – and immediately obliterated the childhood memories […]

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Apple pie with crumb topping

13 November 2014 Food
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I only make pies when I have to, because pies are bad for my self-esteem. In Ohio I never had to make pies, because there are amazing pies in the heartland. But California is not pie country. I don’t know what it is – fear of lard? – but to get a good pie for […]

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Mediterranean popcorn

4 November 2014 Food
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Enough with the sugar already. After Halloween, what I need is some salt. Popcorn does a neat trick of being frivolous enough to be fun while also being real-food enough that you don’t hate yourself afterward. I used you guys as an excuse to make more popcorn than six of us could eat yesterday (“It’s […]

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