strawberries

Berry Basil Sorbet

August 5, 2011
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Wow! It tastes like pizza! said a friend when I gave him a scoop.

That’s not exactly what you want to hear when you’re making a dessert sorbet, right?

Inspired by some fresh berries and an abundance of basil sitting on my counter, I made this sorbet for a party last month. I was surprised at how much everyone seemed to enjoy it (the pizza comment notwithstanding). And no, I don’t think my friend really meant that the sorbet tasted like tomatoes and cheese, but rather that the fresh basil was surprising and basil makes him think of pizza. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

But the comment got me thinking and clearly had an impact since I could not let it go.
What is dessert and what isn’t?
How savory can you go and still call it “dessert?”

The lines seems to have been blurred more in …

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Strawberry and Nectarine Crisp

September 15, 2010
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Here in Southern California we are in that “sweet spot” of perfect weather between the scorching summer and our typically mild Fall; it’s a beautiful and sunny 78 degrees and should be for most of the week here. Even though people not originally from Southern California lament the “lack of seasons” here, as one raised here, I can tell you we have our seasons and Summer is coming to an end. I can tell the seasons are changing because the traffic gets worse when kids go back to school. Seriously though, my garden is gasping its last breath and I’m already looking forward to Fall soups and stews and more baking.

Last week my husband, an avid golfer, made a pilgrimage of sorts to play a nice course up in Ventura, CA. On the way home, he stopped at one of the many farm stands which dot the highway and …

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Some of my favorite recipes…

July 12, 2010

I’m on vacation this week and in my absence I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes from the past. These are all “oldies but goodies” but if you’re new to the blog, they may be new to you too!







How to Make Fresh Lemonade

What could be easier than lemon juice, sugar and water? After you see how easy this is, you’ll never buy premade or (gasp) powdered lemonade again! Plus, we do a lemonade taste test of Meyer lemons vs. Eureka lemons.

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How to Peel and Seed fresh tomatoes

If your garden tomatoes are starting to come in, you might find yourself wondering what to do with them when you get that mid-summer glut of tomatoes. At the very least you can freeze them to use later. Here’s what I do…

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Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan.

This is a lighter, …

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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

June 7, 2010
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One of the best things about the summer is all the fresh fruit available. Strawberries usually show early in the season so I always associate them with the start of summer, backyard BBQ, and the 4th of July. Our local farmer’s market had some organic strawberries which smelled so sweet it was just impossible not to buy some.

Last weekend we celebrated a significant birthday (one ending in a zero) of a very close friend. My mother made a knockout BBQ pulled pork and I made grilled vegetables and a killer pesto macaroni salad (recipe to come) along with my favorite lemon cake* and this fresh strawberry ice cream. It was a prefect late spring/early summer meal.

*For this lemon cake, I left out the lavender, multiplied the recipe x 1.5, and baked it in a bundt pan. It made a perfect birthday cake and went really well with …

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Chocolate Ganache Tart with Fresh Strawberries; or How to Make Sweet Tart Dough

May 9, 2009
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We have a tradition of Sunday dinners in our family. I don’t have a particularly large, related-by-blood family, but I do have a wonderful group of friends who have become our extended family and are as much my sisters and brothers as if we shared the same DNA.
The dinners don’t happen every Sunday, but we try at least once a month. Occasionally, they are at my house, but usually my mother is the one to host these meals, inviting a changing cast of characters, some new, some spanning decades. Over the years it has evolved; first my mom’s friends and “strays”, then my friends (and later, my husband’s friends) came into the mix. Once our generation got married, our friend’s kids now come to Sunday dinner.

This past Sunday, my mom made an amazing rolled pork loin filled with arugula and caramelized onions (see where I get my obsession …

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Strawberry Shortcakes with Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits

March 30, 2009
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Over the weekend, when we went to TomatoMania, we bought some incredible strawberries from the farm where the event was being held. What to do, what to do? These berries were so spectacular, they deserved something special.



strawberries



Contrary to what most grocery stores would lead you to believe, “shortcakes” are not scary yellow sponge-like cakes, but rather a slightly sweet rolled biscuit. I had just picked a bowlful of meyer lemons off my tree so I decided to add a little to the mix to see what happened. They added a nice bit of sweet/tart to the buttery biscuits. Of course, you can substitute regular lemons or leave them out all together

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