Holiday

Marinated and Chilled, Cracked Dungeness Crab Legs

December 17, 2013
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Does your family have one of those stories which has been told and re-told so many times that it has taken on a life of its own? Does the story goes beyond gossip to become gospel?

What happens when you find out the story is not true?

If you’re me, you share it anyway, because it’s a good story.

This, my friends, is the tale of my uncle and the crab…

When I was little, and even back to my mother’s childhood, my grandparents would hold an open house party on Christmas Eve for their friends and family. They would put out a big spread of food which usually included a couple of homemade pizzas and, given that they lived in the San Francisco Bay area, seafood straight from the wharf. One of the most popular items was a cracked and marinated dungeness crab which was a perfect component …

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Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Nutmeg

November 14, 2011
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Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, probably because it’s all about food and there’s no gift buying pressure.

Our family’s Thanksgiving tradition is a little different from most. It started back when my mother was a young graduate student at Berkely in the early 70′s. I remember it clearly and I couldn’t have been more than 4 years old at the time. We had about 25 people over to dinner and they were all “friends and orphans” with no family in the area and nowhere else to go. We didn’t have a lot of money, but somehow my mom managed to put on an amazing feast.
Over the years little has changed. We still have somewhere between 15 and 25 people at dinner, mostly friends and sometimes the occasional relative. The players have evolved to be a greater proportion my generation’s “friends and orphans” but the love and familial …

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Biscotti with Anise and Hazelnuts

December 19, 2010
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Everyone is familiar with the phrase, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Well, my lemons are still on my tree, not ready to be picked, and unfortunately, my computer’s hard drive is now toast and there’s no great parable for that, no way to make lemonade out of a 20 lb paperweight.

One morning last week a awoke to find an error message on my computer. I ignored it, clicking on whatever button I could to make it go away. That was the last I ever saw of my computer. Shortly thereafter it froze up and never rebooted again. Had I known, I would have said my proper goodbyes.

It took me a while to determine that the hard drive was good and truly dead. Fortunately, I have an external backup drive and the contents are current. What I don’t have is a full size computer with photoshop …

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Molasses Spice Cookies (Gluten Free)

December 14, 2010
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I haven’t always had the best luck with gluten free baking. I bought all the right flours and starches, but my experience when trying to bake gluten free bread was less than positive; it was edible but not something I’d eat by choice. While I don’t need to eat gluten free I have friends and family who do and when it came time to bake some holiday cookies, I realized that everything I wanted to give had gluten in it. That didn’t really seem fair to me. Who wants to get a box of something beautiful they can’t eat?

I set out to find a decent gluten free cookie recipe, and was hoping to find something not just “good enough for gluten free” but simply “good enough to eat.” I’m happy to say I think I’ve found it and no surprise, it was on the well known Gluten Free Girl

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Apple and Cranberry Crisp

November 24, 2010
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This post will be short and sweet because I know we all (at least here in the US) are getting ready for the biggest foodie holiday of the year, Thanksgiving. I simply wanted to illustrate that substitution can be the backbone of any good cook’s repertoire. When you find a good basic recipe, you can switch out ingredients and easily create something new to fit the season.

Case in point; this Apple and Cranberry Crisp. All you need is to do is take my Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp recipe and replace the nectarines with 4 pounds of apples (I used Granny Smiths and Fujis), peeled and sliced. Then replace the strawberries with 3/4 of a cup of dried cranberries and follow the rest of the recipe. That’s it! You could use fresh cranberries if you want, but you may want to add a bit more sugar if you do so.…

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Spinach Salad with Persimmons, Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and a Toasted Hazelnut Vinaigrette

November 22, 2010
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Every year we try to change it up somewhat when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. But there are so many “traditional” dishes that we have to make (turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes…) that the options for change really only come within the green-vegetable-side-dish category. This year I thought a salad might be a nice, lighter choice to counterbalance the heavy (but oh-so-good) starches that dominate the traditional sides.

I have a persimmon tree, and this year have a surplus of fruit as those of you with fruit trees know how that happens. I thought that perhaps people would be looking for something to make with those persimmons other than the typical cookies, or even my own Persimmon Cranberry Bread. I’ve set some of my Fuyus aside in the refrigerator to keep them firm until Thanksgiving day because rather than ripe soft fruit, this salad needs to be made with the …

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