Merry Christmas 2007

Hallmark puts out lots and lots of collectible ornaments every year catering to specific interests and hobbies. A few seasons ago, they started offering baking/cooking ornaments and, not unexpectedly, family members started buying them for me. This year, they have grilling and cooking/kitchen ornaments, but I think my favorite is the one pictured above, which is from last Christmas. The ornament is a tree-shaped shelf ... Read More »

Brown Edge Butter Wafers

Brown Edge Butter Cookies

Brown Edge Butter Wafers are pretty much exactly what they sound like: thin cookies with brown edges and a white center. They’re not made with browned butter or anything unusual like that. The color around the edge actually comes from the caramelization of butter and sugar in the oven – and these cookies have quite a lot of butter in them. The dough is very ... Read More »


mocha- the cookbook

Mocha is the grown-up version of hot chocolate, simply hot chocolate enhanced with a shot of coffee to make the flavor darker and to give the drinker a little more of a pick-me-up than chocolate alone can provide. It’s a relatively simple drink and you wouldn’t think that it could sustain an entire cookbook – but it can and does in Michael Turback’s new cookbook, ... Read More »

A pair of updated recipes

cranberry orange bread and pear clafoutis, redux

From time to time I’ll go back through my archives and update some of my older recipes. I actually have many recipes that I remake on a very regular basis, and I like to be able to add a new picture or two to a post with a less-than-perfect picture when I can. These two recipes – Orange Cranberry Bread and Pear Clafoutis – are special to ... Read More »

Holiday traditions and favorite recipes

holiday cookie plate

Earlier this week, I briefly mentioned that Christmas is one of those holidays where a lot of people stick with the same traditions year in and year out. You might add a cookie recipe or two to the rotation, but there are probably at least one or two dishes that you always have to serve – if not an entire meal – to make the ... Read More »

Bundt Panettone

Bundt Panettone

 Panettone is a sweet yeast bread that originated in Milan, Italy. Served most often at Christmas, though it is also baked for other occasions, the tender bread is baked as a tall round (either a cylinder or an octagon) and filled with things like raisins, candied citrus and nuts. Sometimes the bread is spiked with a bit of rum or another liquour, or else the ... Read More »

Igloo and snowman pans

shaped winter cakes

Shaped, holiday pans can be tough for a baker to resist, but let’s face it: how many times can you make a Santa-shaped cake? The window of opportunity to use a cake pan like that is very small, even if it does make an ideal cake for a Christmas Eve party. In terms of practicality, it is much more useful to have a pan that will ... Read More »

Cranberry, Feta and Avocado Salad

festive looking greens

Hearty and hot foods, from roasts and stews to soup, are definitely the order of the day during the winter. They warm us up and give us enough energy to fight the cold when we have to go outdoors. Of course, here in Southern California the cold that I’m fighting is nowhere near the cold elsewhere in the country, so I like to mix in ... Read More »

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