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Squash Challenge: Trick or Treat!

I was all over the place with this month’s theme. I had 10X as many ideas as there are varieties of squash. And then I realized it was Halloween. Why not don a toque and costume myself as a “baker and candy-maker”? No one would recognize me, for sure!

“Come in my little pretties … I have a treat for you.” Hee hee. Continue Reading

Wordless Wednesday: I Baked! | Oatmeal Muffins


I added sour cream, dates and almonds.

Broccoli Rabe + Escarole Torta

Technique. Once you know a technique, everything is easy and the possibilities are endless. I owe this technique to Deborah of Italian Food Forever who posted a “torta di erbe” about a week ago. It caught my attention because it didn’t require pastry dough to hold it together. What do I have against pastry dough? It tastes good, yes, but I consider it my nemesis. It involves a measure of patience and skill I care not to cultivate plus I hate the mess of working with flour, not to mention the subsequent unwanted calories. This was more like it!

I know I am going to be making variations of this for a long time to come. In fact, I already have my next one planned…I’m thinking Greek…with spinach, artichokes, feta and calamata olives. Drool. Continue Reading

Family Food Fight Battles Carbs + A New Recipe

Life has a funny way of getting between you and the things you like to do sometimes. Fortunately, for us, it’s been all good things like a wedding, a graduation, various trips out of town, and lots of other happy events.

It had been quite a while since we battled it out in the kitchen. So when Jim called one day last week  to ask “how about a Family Food Fight this weekend?”, I was ‘all in’. And, since 3 of us are watching carbs these days, we decided the theme of the challenge would be Atkins-friendly.

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Broccoli Rabe Pastry Buns + Honest Cooking

A month or so ago, I was approached by Kalle Bergman to contribute to a new concept in online magazines, Honest Cooking.

From Kalle: It is not run by an established old-media-conglomerate, nor is it a recipe sharing website for traditional forum based foodie interaction. Instead, it is a serious and ambitious new online food magazine, with the goal to feature the absolute cream of the crop of food and wine bloggers and writers. (Blush.) I liked his ambition and I liked his style. A lot!

The magazine launched Monday. As promised, it has interesting articles that are very attractively presented. This is my first contribution.

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Cod Fish Pot Pie • Alaska • Culinary Tour Around the World

Welcome to Alyeska…”the great land”…”the last frontier”…the 49th state.

Alaska is the home of six distinct groups of American Indians/Alaskan natives; European settlers; families of gold-miners, lumberjacks, oilmen, fishermen, and…you betcha, Sarah Palin. Continue Reading

My Sicilian Birthday Cake

It’s a new year, it’s a new dawn and I’m keeping my resolutions (so far). I’ve exercised (well, taken pastoral walks in the nature preserve), kept up with my photo-a-day challenge* (3 consecutive days!) and I baked. In fact, I made my own birthday cake!

When I was little (well, young, never little) and living in Brooklyn, my mother would send me to the Italian grocer on the corner for Sicilian bread (the kind baked with sesame seeds). It was a must-have in Italian-American homes at that time. I’m told the grocer had a good laugh when I’d ask for bread “with all the Sicilians on it.” Wasn’t I precious? :)

I loved this cake the moment I first saw it. It just sang to me of the Mediterranean with its use of olive oil and oranges. In my mind’s eye I saw Italy and, when I got around to making it, I pinpointed my interpretation to Sicily. Continue Reading

Biscotti 101 • Wordless Wednesday

How could I be wordless? This was my first foray into making biscotti…2 kinds with whole wheat flour (1) hazelnuts, choc chips, figs and (2) rosemary, pistachio, fennel, dried cherries and a dusting of sweet onion sugar (preferred). Flavors = good; execution = needs improvement.

Baking for Beginners • Raincoast Crisps

More savory than sweet, crunchy rather gooey, and a seemingly simple recipe…this was the perfect baby step for my official foray into baking. Though ‘seemingly simple’, things didn’t go exactly according to the recipe. Do they ever? There was some intended substitution of ingredients — and there were some unintended. Midway, a frantic post went up on a twitter and facebook: SOS – can I substitute egg nog for buttermilk in a cracker recipe? Bought the wrong thing. Some of my foodie friends came to the rescue about mixing regular milk with vinegar. Didn’t help…I had no milk.

Oh, well, I said I wanted to start baking and that I wanted to do it ‘my way’… Continue Reading

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