Gathering a bouquet of floral flavors

If something has a flower flavor, I’m on it….like a bee. Recently I was exposed to some delightful imported Italian sodas flavored with, of all things, elderflower! I could not resist. It was a beautiful taste, slightly peachy and as soon as my little fingers could do their walking, I was looking for this . . . → Read More: Gathering a bouquet of floral flavors

Bread of the Month: Gobbling a strawberry cobbler

Sometimes, it’s good to see red. Strawberry red, that is. Spring months usher in that beautiful ruby across California fields and farmers market tables. This year, with all the rain, the berries are big, beautiful and bodacious, and you make room in your life/schedule/oven/fridge for any and all ways to use them.

A couple of . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Gobbling a strawberry cobbler

Chomping at a Welsh rarebit

It was long ago when I first ran across a recipe for “Welsh rarebit” or “Welsh rabbit,” as it is sometimes called. As a girl who studied cookbooks, I couldn’t have been that old, but I was certainly intrigued and excited by a melty cheese sauce dish that was named for — but contained not . . . → Read More: Chomping at a Welsh rarebit

Bread of the Month: Rounding out a country loaf

I baked bread today. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is. Some of you did way more, I’m sure, and I commend you. But my country loaf was a commitment of four hours of work (and wait) or more, begun before it was light.

You have to resign to this commitment to make . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Rounding out a country loaf

Trusting in a go-to mushroom parmigiana

I’ll admit, I’m a little too attached to instructions.

My sister and I kid each other about this difference between us — she is more of a “freestyle” cook who invents and improvises (sans measuring spoons and cups), while I refer strictly to a recipe, allowing myself a few adaptations.

I can’t always hold a . . . → Read More: Trusting in a go-to mushroom parmigiana

Bread of the Month: Expecting (big things from) a Dutch baby

I won’t say I was anticipating a Dutch baby almost as much as a real one because that wouldn’t be true. First off, I have no anticipation for a real one; second off, as excited as I was to make a Dutch baby, I’m sure the thrill level would fall far shorter than the usual . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Expecting (big things from) a Dutch baby

Bread of the Month: Revering an artist and a Rosca de Reyes

Beyond some of her work and her unforgettable image — dark-haired, piercing-eyed, flower-crowned — I didn’t know enough about the Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo until the 2002 biopic “Frida,” starring Salma Sayek, in a stirring performance examining her life. That movie, for me, ignited an admiration for the artist,who died in 1954 at . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Revering an artist and a Rosca de Reyes

Keeping the fire with cinnamon candy

Throughout my childhood, I was treated to a tale of candy. The imagination can almost act as the proverbial “candy store,” and I was the kid who went there, as my parents recounted a magical place. Next to a local movie theater, there existed a candy store where the proprietor not only made all the . . . → Read More: Keeping the fire with cinnamon candy

Popcorn and a Movie: Revisiting a ‘Big Night’

“To eat good food,” says Italian chef Primo in the 1996 film, “Big Night,” “is to be close to God.”

And truthfully, over the 20 years since I first saw this movie, I have said, again and again, that my idea of heaven was the kitchen where Primo, played by Tony Shaloub and his brother, . . . → Read More: Popcorn and a Movie: Revisiting a ‘Big Night’

Bread of the Month: Feeling focaccia at the fingertips

I have always been able to make sense out of things (somewhat) by writing about them. Even still, lately, I have had trouble writing.

It made no sense and yet perfect sense that on a rainy November evening, while I received the news of a loss of life as close to my own as any, . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Feeling focaccia at the fingertips