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. ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies

Soft ginger molasses cookies with little chunks of sugared ginger.

Secret Recipe Club: Soft ginger-molasses cookies with little chunks of sugared ginger for an extra kick. Every year on Secret Recipe Club, we get a get-out-of-jail card. Which is to say, we get either December or January off without penalty, depending on the group we're in. My group and another one gets December off. The other two groups get January off. Yes, we can take occasional months off for vacation and life in general, but this Club looks for bloggers who post regularly on their ...

Read More »

Rugelach – Your New Go-To Holiday Cookie

Tips on making pumpkin rugelach holiday cookies with raspberry jam, coconut, chocolate, currants, and orange zest. Includes recipe for quickie raspberry jam with chocolate liqueur.

People, rugelach needs to be in your entertaining tool pack. They can sleep away, quietly tucked into the freezer, ready at a moments notice. At the last minute, you flick on the oven, whip out a baking sheet, and slice up a few frozen rolls of dough filled with jam, chocolate shards, coconut shreds, orange zest, and nuts, and you are ready to rock and roll. Your friends will be wowed that you were organized and talented enough to make such a high-end, gorgeous treat plus whatever amazing meal ...

Read More »

Wine-Poached Spiced Pear Strudel with Chocolate

Wine-poached spiced pears layered in a phyllo crust with chocolate and rum-soaked dried cherries.

Secret Recipe Club: Wine-poached and spiced pear strudel with pears layered in a phyllo crust with chocolate and rum-soaked dried cherries. This might be my new(est) favorite dessert. Yes, I know I always say that. But I really mean it. It's perfect when you want something fairly quick that looks like you went to a LOT of trouble. And I'm thinking it's pretty healthy, as far as desserts go. The star of the show is the spiced pears, with a strong supporting cast from the chocolate shavings ...

Read More »

Spiced Cranberry Buckle | #SundaySupper

clove spiced buckle with cranberry sauce.

  This week's theme at #SundaySupper is Thanksgiving Leftovers, hosted by Jennie at The Messy Baker. As we approach this food-centric holiday, this week's theme is the perfect guide for you through the long weekend that follows your annual feast. I love leftovers. They give me an infinite array of possibilities I don't normally have. It's all fun, but my favorite leftover to work with is cranberry sauce. It can go into bars, turnovers, scones, farro dishes, or become a sauce for pork. Last ...

Read More »

Pumpkin-Coconut Cookies

Pumpkin Coconut Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing

Soft cake-like pumpkin cookies with strong hints of coconut, topped with cream cheese icing. Cocktail party season is about to ramp up as we gallop into the final months of the year (honestly, can you even believe it's almost November??).  In cocktail-speak, this means you wear something a little glitzy without being over-the-top-neon, pull out some strappy shoes, and think about dishes that are just one or two bites. Ideally they wear a little glitz too. As for the drinks, they're festive, ...

Read More »

Blueberry Bars with Peaches, Lemon, and Coconut

Blueberry lemon bars with coconut oil and lemon curd.

Secret Recipe Club: soft bite-sized cake bars topped with a smear of lemon curd, then packed with blueberries and peaches, and finished with a crumb topping. Clearly I was in a fruit bar mood when I chose this recipe. No not the kind that serves drinks where singles mingle. I'm talking food here. Dessert or breakfast bars. I think I chose my Secret Recipe Club recipe the same day I signed up a recipe  for #SundaySupper, when I chose to make Apple Pie Bars. Which is all to try to explain ...

Read More »

Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars with apples, pears, and raisins.

#SundaySupper post! Apple Pie Bars with apples, pears, and raisins ... plus tips for making fruit bars. I've tried to make fruit bars a few times, but have never been terribly excited about the results. Well, except that first time, when I made fig bars all dressed up as a fig crostata. I was fresh from Italy and full of crostata ideas from all the pasticcerie I had visited, and they were fantastic. Little did I know that my bar making skills had just peaked. I followed up with some ...

Read More »

Farmstand Cornbread & Blackberry Buckle

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle summer cake recipe

A twist on a blackberry buckle: easy cornbread cake covered by a blanket of luscious blackberries, topped by oat streusel. I've had a hankering to make a blackberry buckle for a long time. Every since, in fact, I saw this recipe on Food52 for Blackberry Cornbread Buckle by janeofmanytrade. So, a couple of weeks ago when Carnivorous Maximus and I stopped by a farm stand in the Central Valley selling boxes brimming with fat blackberries, I knew immediately what I would make. But would they ...

Read More »

Mom’s Glazed Blueberry Tarts

LR Mom's Glazed Blueberry Tarts stand slider

Easy tarts spread with softened cream cheese or mascarpone, piled high with fresh blueberries, and drizzled with blueberry glaze. When my mom got married, she moved directly from her parents home where her mom did all the cooking to one that she shared with my dad. Not the adventurous type, she refused to bake anything that didn't come from a box, scrupulously followed every recipe, and had a regular rotation of meals. But every meal was thoughtfully prepared, and really good (unless it ...

Read More »

Maple Cornbread Mini Loaves with Strawberries

Maple Strawberry Corn Cakes

#Secret Recipe Club: Maple cornbread topped with strawberries and drizzled with more maple syrup.   It's time again for our Secret Recipe Club  'reveal day'. For the uninitiated, the Secret Recipe Club is a group of around 100 food bloggers. Every month, we're each assigned a blog to look through. We try a few recipes and chose one to post about. But all month long, we keep our assignment a secret until 'reveal day'. It's been a lot of fun - and I've found some great new blogs to ...

Read More »