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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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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