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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Macho salad

24 October 2014 Chicken/poultry
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I love this hefty-not-heavy salad, featured in a number of Hillstone restaurants, in spite of its goofball name. I’m not sure what makes it macho – lots of dates; very corny? And shouldn’t a macho salad be beefy, not chicken? But name aside, it’s the mix of flavors and textures – greens, chicken, chopped dates, […]

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Outdoor school

20 October 2014 Brain food
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I realize school can’t be fresh and different every day – goodness knows work and home aren’t either. But every once in a while the kids get a golden day – a break from routine to do something exceptional – and it reminds them how fun learning can be and recharges them for the regular […]

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Fresh strawberry cake

10 October 2014 Food
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When she asked for strawberry cake with strawberry frosting, I didn’t even try to convince my kindergartener to consider pumpkin cake for her fall birthday. It’s been unseasonably hot here in California, there are still plenty of local strawberries at the markets, and strawberry cake is pink. You don’t have to be missing your front […]

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Kopanisti (whipped feta and mint spread)

3 October 2014 Food
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If I made a pie chart of the food groups in my diet, feta would have its own wedge. I use it in everything but never thought to whip it up into a spread – and who knew that with a little bit of olive oil, the crumbly cheese would whirl up into a creamy, […]

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Watermelon agua fresca

2 October 2014 Beverages
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If, like me, you wistfully bought a watermelon recently, because it’s still warm where you live and you’re in denial about the sun setting earlier each day, only to find that the watermelon was only holding up a good face on the outside but inside its wan and pale flesh knows that summer is truly […]

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Oven polenta – and breaking bread

22 September 2014 Food
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I’m all about breaking bread these days. Not necessarily in a literal sense, since no one but me seems to eat wheat anymore. But in a figurative sense, breaking bread is increasingly how I like to think of eating with loved ones in my home. It’s the antithesis of entertaining. No elaborate preparation, stress or […]

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Zha jiang mian (noodles with meat sauce)

12 September 2014 Asian
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If the title of this post does nothing for you, stop for a minute and listen. The sounds you hear are squeals of excitement and moans of hunger from all the people for whom the three words zha jiang mian evoke yearning memories of their favorite comfort food, a deeply flavorful noodle bowl from childhood. […]

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Yogurt at home

29 August 2014 Breakfast
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If you don’t make yogurt at home, you may wonder why anyone does. Sure it’s cheaper, but yogurt is not expensive and you’re probably not eating enough to care. For me it’s the taste (pure and natural), the health benefits (DIY probiotics) and the digestibility (low/no lactose). You can’t buy the equivalent at the store […]

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