Summer Peach Cake: #IsabelsBirthdayBash

Summer Peach Cake

Do you like surprises? I find that people usually have a position on this, and I admit I fall in the 'don't like' side of the surprise issue. I don't remember any horrible experience, and don't think of myself as controlling (my husband will disagree here - so maybe I should say unusually controlling), but there you have it. I'm not keen on surprises. I like knowing what I'm getting for Christmas - although one little surprise here and there is ok. I like to have all my hotels arranged for ...

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10 Ways to Enjoy Quinoa and Get Healthy This Summer!

10 quinoa dishes for summer from salads, casseroles, and patties to an apple crumble.

  Quinoa is an easy way to healthy up a dish. I keep a stash in the refrigerator and add it to salads, breads, wraps, and crumble toppings for an extra hit of protein and nutrients. Earlier this week, I did a round-up for Parade's Community Table of 10 of my favorite quinoa dishes that I make on a regular basis through the summer. Go check them out and pick at least one to make in the next week! If you're looking for a fool-proof recipe for cooking quinoa, here's my go-to recipe. Feel ...

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19 Ways to Eat Cherries All Day, Every Day

19 Ways to Eat Cherries All Day, Every Day

The cherry season is way too short for me. So while these little beauties are in the markets, we snack on them in the car, add them to salads, purée them into soups, and add to grains dishes. They're full of antioxidants, and are the perfect refreshing treat on a hot summer day. If you're looking for new ways to take full advantage of cherries this summer, go check out my latest post for Parade! I've included breakfast options with chia seeds and muffins, several salads, summer drinks, ...

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Plum Frozen Yogurt with Blackberries & Sage

Plum frozen yogurt with blackberries, honey, and sage.

Plum frozen yogurt with blackberries, honey, and sage - perfect treat on a hot summer day. The first year I got an ice cream maker, I made ice cream every weekend. In truth, I went a little crazy. I experimented with infused custard bases, and added balsamic swirls and chocolate chunks. I tried adding a glug of alcohol at the end for a super-smooth, soft texture, and worked with every fruit I could find. I made rich ice creams, sorbets, and sherbets before simplifying with frozen yogurt. I ...

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Summertime Cooking with Kids!

parade magazine: cooking with kids

Cooking with kids in the kitchen reaps many rewards for everyone! My newest post published on Parade this week is about getting your kids into the kitchen with you this summer. The benefits are long reaching, and cooking a meal, a snack, or dessert together fosters a wealth of rich memories for everyone. My article lists some of the benefits and offers up 21 recipes to start with. Some are recipes you can turn the kids loose on, some are group projects for a few kids, and a few need some ...

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Coconut Shortcakes with Grilled Pineapple: #SundaySupper

coconut shortcakes with grilled pineapple

Summertime BBQs may be my favorite way to entertain. They’re casual and less structured than a winter dinner party, and I’m not constrained by how many chairs I can fit around a table inside our home. Ours is a charming house that’s over 100 years old – which is pretty old in California, but it’s dollhouse small. Luckily we have a large deck off the kitchen that ushers you into the backyard. So when I want to have a lot of people over, summer-time BBQs are the best way to go. Meal planning, ...

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Strawberries and Skinny Yogurt Cheesecake Dip

Skinny cheesecake dip made with Greek yogurt and low-fat cream cheese. Serve with strawberries.

Skinnified cheesecake-turn it into a dip, use low-fat cream cheese, and switch out the cream for Greek yogurt. Serve with strawberries for dipping. This week's theme for the Food Network blog, FN Dish is Picnic. And with it, we begin the summer series of posts - #SummerSoiree. I confess I don't do a lot of picnics, but I AM a big hiker. Or I used to be. When I was working full-time in the City, I would take off on every Saturday or Sunday morning with a backpack and hiking boots for a ...

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Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars: #SundaySupper

Easy strawberry oat crumbles with toasted coconut and candied ginger chips.

In celebration of Memorial Day weekend, #SundaySupper is celebrating with Red White and Blue dishes. You'd think this would be an easy one, right? I mulled around a bunch of ideas for almost two weeks. Should I make strawberry shortcake? Or blueberry pie? Then my mind drifted while I pulled out recipes for meringues with berries, and then pavlovas with berries. Too time-consuming, I decided. So I shot into the opposite direction with smoothies. Which of course led to ice cream. The more options ...

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Nut-Free Anise Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

Anise Biscotti with Chocolate Chips

Bringing a new life into your family is cause for celebration. It changes your life, expands your world, and deepens the relationship with your spouse in ways you didn't expect. For me and my husband, it's been a new puppy. Rika is 6 months old now and she's brought so much sunshine, walks, ball throwing, and squeaking toy noises into our lives already. And although she's not human, there are still many decisions and challenges in keeping a puppy safe, and raising a her to become a dog that will ...

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Chocolate and Pretzel Bark with Sea Salt

chocolate bark with pretzels and sea salt

It started with a deceptively innocent outing. A close friend, Ina, and I decided to go for a hike in the Headlands, and stopped at a local grocery store for the sustenance we were certain we'd need, what with all the exercise we were planning on the white board in our minds. We bought some very small vegetarian hero sandwiches, some tabouli, hummus, pita shards, and a bunch of grapes. So far, so good. And then we saw them. Colorful packages of Bark Thins swinging on hooks near the cash ...

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Polenta Cake with Honey Yogurt and Peach Preserves: #SundaySupper

Polenta Cake with Yogurt and Peaches

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I wondered where and how this day of celebrating love and romance began. Unsurprisingly, it’s all a bit murky. First of all, there were at least two, and maybe three, priests canonized as martyred saints in Catholic records by the name of Valentine or Valentinus. According to legend, one of them began performing marriages in secret when a 3rd century Roman emperor outlawed marriage for young men, believing that men with wives and children made poor soldiers. ...

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Countdown: Best Desserts

Best desserts

A roundup of best dessert posts from 2014. These were readers' top favorite desserts that I posted this year. A group of us from Secret Recipe Club are doing a fun series of recipe roundups for the rest of the year. I wanted to do it as a way of looking back at where my cooking has taken me. For you, it might be a reminder of some forgotten posts, or ones you've missed. Here's the schedule! Tomorrow will be all about Reader's Favorites of ALL recipes posted all year. As a note to ...

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