This time last year I made a winter punch, it was prosecco and gin-based with seasonal citrus, ginger and rosemary. It was crowd-pleaser, and a looker, and I ended up making it numerous times. More than anything, it was a recipe that bolstered my punch-making confidence. Part of me thought I should simply ride that punch for another year or two, as my go-to punch recipe. While the other part of me thought I should try to up my game with something new this winter, take things in an entirely different direction. So that's what I did. I started thinking about making something easy-drinking and unpretentious, wintery without being overly holiday. There are lots of tasty beer cocktails out-and-about right now, and it got me thinking that a beer punch might be an interesting direction to explore. Here's where I landed - a wintertime riff on the shandy, the beloved British beer & ginger ale (or lager/lemonade) quencher. Taking the shandy as a jumping-off point, I introduced a sweet-soup lemon-maple syrup, belly-warming brandy, and the boldest ginger beer on offer. An effervescent, clean, bright pilsner keeps everything easy-drinking, and light. As much as I liked last year's offering - I think this punch might take the prize...Continue>>
Looks like there is a big storm headed our way, so I'm going to sneak these in here, and then do a few fun things like check all the batteries in the flashlights. Also, I know this is holiday cookie season, and perhaps these beauties aren't altogether appropriate - but I can't help but share them with you. They're buttery whole wheat shortbreads fragrant with rosewater, flecked with toasted nuts, and dried rose petals. They have a crunchy dusting of sugar on top that provides a satisfying, sweet tongue scratch, and are punctuated with black sesame. I'm not even going to lie - it took a few attempts to nail them down. As many of you know - dealing with floral flavors can be a bit tricky. But the idea for them developed as I was attempting tiny cookies to bring to a friend's house who was cooking an impressive Ottolenghi-inspired feast. I was tasked with dessert, and thought these would be a pretty finish...Continue>>
There are a disproportionate number of sky photos in my iPhone. As in, photos of the sky. I noticed it the other day when scrolling back, back, back looking for a picture I took in Fez. I saw lots of clouds, sky scapes, shots out a plane window, and (hands covering face) sunsets. The cloud shots are my favorite, and a lot of them have been taken recently - it has been a good cloud season here in San Francisco. Before the rain settled in. Anyway, I wanted to share a few of them with you. And that got me thinking about figuring out a recipe tie-in. Meringues, right? Giant billowy ones - we make them often. But then it occurred to me, the holidays are here, and maybe I should do a new version of mashed potatoes? So, here we go. Buttery peaks and cloud-like potatoes drizzled with a saffron garlic butter, and topped with a toasted almond, coriander, sesame sprinkle. Simple, but with a enough of a twist to make them special...Continue>>
A few favorites for the holiday weekend...heavy on the reading. I'm in between books, please let me know if any of you are reading anything (books, articles, anything!) you'd recommend. xo -h
- Driving with Yohji Yamamoto (video)
- Salvage Beast
- Can't remember if we've talked about how much I love these. After churning through earbuds over the years, they were well worth the splurge.
- When Ofili Met Sidibé
- Loomer & Weavers
- Hopes & Dreams
- Lisa Eldridge Facial Massage technique (video)
This is the week each year I get asked for vegetarian thanksgiving recipe ideas, so I thought I'd update my list of favorite recipes and ideas from the archives. I've also added a few recipes I've come across on other sites that looked exciting. It's also the time of year I like to re-read this. I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a wonderful time with friends, and loved ones. xo -h
Roasted Vegetable Orzo - Roasted delicata squash and kale tossed w/ orzo pasta & salted yogurt dressing.
A Favorite Pie - You could do apple-huckleberry, straight berries, pear-cranberry, etc.
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts - A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan, dusted with cheese.
Heirloom Apple Salad - heirloom apples, shaved celery, and toasted nuts of your choosing. The dressing is crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, garlic and champagne vinegar.
Roasted Delicata Squash Salad - So tasty! Pretty, scalloped-edged cross-cuts of the delicata squash, a few small potatoes, chopped kale, radishes, Marcona almonds - and a bold miso harissa dressing.
My little Marcato Atlas pasta machine has been out on the counter for the past couple of weeks. It is compact, stout, heavy for its size, and manual. I've had it for more than ten years, but perhaps less than fifteen. And it teaches me lessons about making pasta that I forget and have to relearn each time there is an extended gap in our time together (of which there are many). I like to use the Atlas to make egg pasta - "00" flour enriched with an impossible number of electric yellow egg yolks, good for fettuccine and tagliatelle. But I've switched things up the past few days and have been rolling thin rye pasta. It's a nice option for the winter months, it freezes well (so I can make a lot in one go), and you can drop tangles of the noodles into a range of restorative winter broths...Continue>>
I've been posting to this site for a dozen years. I was twenty-nine when I started, an enthusiastic home cook with a creative streak, and a good number of cookbooks. You could probably describe me in much the same way now, but older, with a bit more perspective and better knives. Over the years I've been asked many questions - both via email, and in person - many of them curious about the process of writing cookbooks, or having a site like this. So, I thought I'd attempt a slightly different type of post today - exploring the theme of maintaining a blog over an extended time period. It's something I feel is important to my life and creative process for reasons you might expect, but perhaps some that you don't.
I look forward to creating something new here each week. Sometimes the content is quick and fast, other times deeper. It's not something I've come to think of as a chore, or something I feel obligated to do to sustain a readership. I come at it each week with positivity. And it's this aspect that seems to genuinely surprise some people. Which, in turn, surprises me.
Here's how I approach this site, and have for a long time...