Discovery Tuesday

6 May 2014 Brain food
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The latest food trend is…no food at all? Plus the right way to peel a banana, and some sweet and silly links to make you smile. Soylent beige It’s so Silicon Valley: a young engineer tires of eating instant ramen, corn dogs, frozen quesadillas and vitamin C pills with his limited funds. Does he figure […]

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Carrot ginger soup

24 April 2014 Food
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I came out of my quiet little blogging closet to drum up votes for the Saveur award (I was scared to have a vote count so dismal the Saveur editors would reconsider their nomination, so thanks very much to those of you who took action to my plea!), and now I find it funny that […]

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Breakfast of Hawaiians (rice, egg, Portuguese sausage) – and a wander through Hawaii eats

18 April 2014 Breakfast
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Is it too mean to write about spring break in Hawaii when it snowed again in Ohio this week? I’m not here to wax lyrical about the sand (soft and powdery), or the sea (warm and iridescent turquoise), or the air (marvelously dewy). The beach is the beach – but Hawaiian food is its own […]

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Banana cream pie (in a cup)

7 April 2014 Food
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Banana cream pie in a cup solves some vexing pie problems. Once you eliminate the tricky part, traditional pie crust – mimicking a cookie crumb crust instead – all you have to make is a simple vanilla pudding and layer it with bananas. Basic ingredients, easy prep, guaranteed to look cute (which my whole pies […]

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Riding the waves

1 April 2014 Food
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I was brooding yesterday morning, thinking how the 30s had been filled with weddings and babies, while the 40s seem to be a time of illness, funerals and rocky relationships. I’m grateful to be standing now, but my heart aches as I reach out to loved ones who have had a fall. And just as […]

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Meet the citrus

28 March 2014 Food
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Even in California this is a lean time of year for fruit. But we get some different citrus here, which is keeping me going as I wait for early summer fruits to hit. Let me introduce you to some tiny and giant citrus family members you may not have tried before. First the babies, tiny […]

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Huckleberry (wild blueberry) pie

21 March 2014 Food
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I don’t live in huckleberry country (northwestern USA and western Canada), nor is it huckleberry season (late summer). But my fourth-grader picked huckleberry pie for her pioneer day project at school, so we’ve been enjoying huckleberry pie in March with frozen wild blueberries, pretending we are pioneers celebrating our berry-picking good fortune. Don’t pelt me […]

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Construction meditation

14 March 2014 House
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Observing someone else’s construction project is like watching someone else’s pregnancy – fun, exciting and surprisingly fast – and the actual experience of building is as staggeringly different as experiencing pregnancy firsthand. We began a year and a half ago, and I know I’ve been curiously silent on the project. I have a load of […]

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Kung pao (gong bao) chicken

7 March 2014 Asian
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For once I have a recipe that will not cause a casual visitor here to wonder why this place is called chinese grandma. I may have four kids, but I’m no grandma; and I’m the kind of American-born Chinese that took Spanish in school and is rendered apologetically mute when a real Chinese grandma comes […]

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Texas sheet cake

28 February 2014 Chocolate
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Texas sheet cake – moist and brownie-like – is one of the few frosted cakes I make, because even I cannot mess it up. Regular frosted cakes are an avalanche of catastrophes for me: layers not cooled enough, frosting pulling off crumbs, me desperately picking out lumps while making a bigger and bigger sticky mess. […]

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