Apple snacking cake

13 February 2014
Thumbnail image for Apple snacking cake

It’s been quite a week, my friends. I’m digging into my Mary Poppins bag of tricks and pulling it all out: perspective, persistence, love, gratitude, humor – thank God for humor – and cake. I made this cake three times in January for birthdays and other gatherings, and the reaction in my house was never […]

Full article →

Fresh grapefruit tonic

23 January 2014
Thumbnail image for Fresh grapefruit tonic

This refresher is a crisp palate cleanser for January: citrusy, aromatic, gently fizzy, pleasantly bitter and lightly sweet. A drab time of year for most fruit, winter is the time to drink in citrus in its juicy prime. As much as I love the uncomplicated sweetness of oranges and tangerines, the intriguing edge of grapefruit […]

Full article →

Pear torte

20 December 2013
Thumbnail image for Pear torte

With Christmas so soon after Thanksgiving this year, I’m all for shortcuts. This pear torte, winter’s variation on Marian Burros’s justifiably famous plum torte, is just the ticket this holiday season. A moist, tender cake topped with soft pears and a sparkle of sugar, it’s a winner dessert: easy but impressively pretty, buttery but not […]

Full article →

Persimmon bread

5 November 2013
Thumbnail image for Persimmon bread

Cheerfully squat fuyu persimmons are the sturdy siblings of the persimmon family, while heart-shaped hachiyas are the delicate ones. Sweet only when fully ripe and soft, hachiyas are squishy balloons of orange jelly, barely held together by the thinnest of skins. Persimmon trees are a common sight in Silicon Valley yards. Fuyu persimmons are much […]

Full article →

Cinnamony apple crisp

11 October 2013
Thumbnail image for Cinnamony apple crisp

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. […]

Full article →

Marian Burros’s fruit torte

5 November 2012
Thumbnail image for Marian Burros’s fruit torte

First published in 1981, Marian Burros’s plum torte reigned for years as the most requested recipe ever from the New York Times archive. Silly that I’m only discovering it now. Have you guys been making this for years? If not, jump on my late-to-the-party bandwagon. This is one of those timeless recipes: easy, gorgeous, versatile […]

Full article →

Fruit smoothie

29 August 2012
Thumbnail image for Fruit smoothie

I am a chronic over-buyer of fruit at any time of year, but in the summertime I really go crazy. In our large household, the best fruit disappears the minute I cut it, leaving only sticky fingers. But when fruit gets overripe or just plain tired, I pile it into the blender with juice, milk […]

Full article →

Peach crisp

15 August 2012
Thumbnail image for Peach crisp

The way I see it, crisps (or crumbles for Brits) provide 80% of the joy of pie for 20% of the work. Crisps take the essential elements of a good fruit pie – great fruit, sugar, butter, flour – and provide a buttery crumble topping without the hassle of finicky pie dough. By doing away […]

Full article →

Frog Hollow Farm

13 July 2012
Thumbnail image for Frog Hollow Farm

On a rare visit to the Ferry Building farmers market in San Francisco several years ago, I discovered Frog Hollow Farm, whose lusciously flavorful fruit brought me back to the pre-silicon Silicon Valley of my childhood. Even into the 1980s, a few family orchards still remained as shady green oases amongst the suburbs, with farm […]

Full article →

Nutella banana crepes

25 September 2011
Thumbnail image for Nutella banana crepes

I wonder why more people don’t make crepes at home. Maybe the French name implies some kind of mysteriously intimidating technique. But really crepes are as easy to make as pancakes and so much more versatile. Fill it like an omelette with savory fillings such as cheese, meat, vegetables. Or, if your inclinations run sweet, […]

Full article →