Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


What a week! Paul and the kids are heading back to school - and my boy Otis is starting high school today. Summer vacation has come abruptly to an end, and my book was released into the world last Tuesday! I've been excited and nervous, scared and giddy all at the same time. 

You, yes you, have helped welcome this book by greeting it with open kitchens and hungry bellies. I have gotten some of the sweetest notes from friends and even strangers, saying that you are already busy cooking my recipes, sharing them with your families. I'm moved beyond words. 

Some of you have shared the book on your own blogs and websites and I'm grateful for the amazing outpouring of support and generosity! 

***If you are also cooking from the book already, I'd love to hear about any recipe you've tried!***

Food 52: Books We Love + Buckwheat Zucchini Muffins
Vanilla Bean Blog: Creme Fraiche Caramel Sauce  
5 Second Rule: Hanger Steak with Gremolata
London Bakes: Simple Almond Torte
Turntable Kitchen: Sunshine Soup + Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa
Edible East Bay: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 
Bay Area Bites: Candied Tomatoes
Ashley Neese: Inspired Living 
Design Sponge Home Tour + Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz
Rodale News
My Darling Lemon Thyme: Simple Almond Torte
Sweet Sugar Bean: French Toast Sandwiches
Poires Au Chocolat: Golden Millet Crepes 
A Cup of Jo: Breakfast Salad 
365 Cookbooks: Ruby Red Grapefruit Fizz 
The First Mess: Bali Garden Stew 
Mom's Kitchen Handbook: Polenta Fries
Food Gal: Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes 
The Little Green Wheelbarrow: Sunshine Soup 
SF Chronicle
Rue Daily 
The Oregonian
Lonny: Red Rice Risotto + Pluot Parfaits + cucumber gimlets
Cookie + Kate: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Brooklyn Supper: Wild Salmon with Dill Butter + Fennel
A Cozy Kitchen: Honeydew Granita

The Kitchn 
Maria Rodale's Farm Country Kitchen
The Style Saloniste
Eat Your Books 
SF Weekly 
Fox in the Kitchen 
London Bakes via Steller Stories: Simple Almond Torte
The Food Network's Healthy Eats Blog: Quinoa Tabbouleh
The Little Loaf 
Huffington Post
Handmade Charlotte: French Toast Sandwiches 
Organic Gardening
My Little Expat Kitchen: Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
La Domestique: Cozy Winter Soup + Mushroom Lover's Galette
She Eats: Wild Salmon With Dill Butter
Delicious Shots: Ruby Red Grapfruit Fizz Cooks We Love 
The Little Things: Peach + Rosewater Lassi
Good on Paper: Best Granola Ever
Red Tricycle: Juicy Burgers with Gruyere, Avocado & Pickled Onions
Lisa is Cooking: Prawns on Lemongrass Skewers + Pip's Yellow Rice
Authentic Suburban Gourmet: Toasty Pecans 
Two Tarts: Peach + Rosewater Lassi 
Celiac Foundation of Northern California 
Cari Borja
Something Lovely
{510} Families
Fitbie Fresh Picks: Tomatoes
SBS: Kitchen Pharmacy

To mark this big occasion, I wanted to share an easy summery recipe from the book with you. With tomato season in full, juicy swing, I thought you might enjoy this one. xoxoxo


Juicy hot cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth. There’s just a hint of basil for sweetness. When both mingle with creamy baked eggs, it’s an amazing combination of texture and flavor that makes for very happy tastebuds. 
These baked eggs are a hearty meal—even one egg, with its tomato companions, is surprisingly filling. You can easily increase or decrease the recipe depending on how many people you want to serve: Think 1 egg to 3/4 cup tomatoes, and you’re good to go. 

Of course, you can serve these eggs for breakfast or brunch, but I’d eat them for dinner any day. 

I highly recommend serving the eggs with a side of big buttery Croutons or Polenta Fries (both recipes are in the book) to soak up all the juicy goodness. 

  • 3 cups sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Scatter the tomato halves into a medium ceramic baking dish or cast-iron
skillet. Bake the tomatoes in the hot oven for 12 minutes, then take the dish out. (If a lot of liquid has cooked out of the tomatoes, carefully pour off a little liquid now.) Top the tomatoes with the Parmesan, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons basil and the salt and pepper. Then crack the eggs gently onto the bed of hot tomatoes. You want to keep the yolks intact, but don’t worry when the egg whites spill down around the sides of the tomatoes. 

Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll know you’re done when the egg whites have set but the yolks are still soft. Sprinkle the cooked eggs with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon basil. 

Serve right away in shallow bowls. 

serves 4 

Monday, August 5, 2013


Even though it has been feeling a bit like winter here in Berkeley - we're talking plenty of fog, wooly socks, gray skies, high temps in the 60s - I know it's summer out there somewhere.

Every time I step into Monterey Market I see edible proof of mid-summer heat. A few weeks back I bought the most tender yellow beans. Peaches are bursting with sweet juices. Melons abound. And a few days ago I saw the piles. The piles of dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes. I smiled, did a little jig, and snatched up pounds of the beauties. For decades, I was committed to heirloom tomatoes, then I discovered dry farmed Early Girls. They don't look too snazzy when you compare them to the heirloom lookers, but man oh man the Early Girl flavor is incredible. Sweet, like candy.

Good tomatoes make this simple dish sing. A quick stint on the stovetop only heightens the sweetness of the tomatoes, then their juices mix with the garlic-infused oil, there's a slight crunch to the parboiled green beans, and the fluffy quinoa soaks up all the juicy tomato goodness and becomes almost creamy like risotto.

This dish is light, relaxed, and summery - it's delicious served with the Slow Roasted Salmon and Meyer Lemon Relish from my last post, or can stand on its own as a nice one-bowl vegetarian option. (Leave out the feta, and we can feed our Vegan friends too!)

The recipe is quite flexible....  You can eat it warm or at room temp. Leftovers are delish, and you can bring this dish to a potluck, or even pack some up for a plane flight as I did a couple of weeks ago. I can't tell you how happy I was at 35,000 feet, passing up airplane food to nibble on this quinoa. Yes, I was strapped into my uncomfortable plane seat, passing the time watching bad TV, but I had freshness in hand and it tasted darned good.

(printable recipe)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • sea salt
  • a couple of handfuls tender green or yellow beans ( about 6 ounces), rinsed
  • 1 pound dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes or firm sweet cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into thin slivers
  • chopped fresh basil leaves (or micro basil if you have access to it)
  • optional: Crumbled feta

First make your quinoa: Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse quinoa with cool tap water, then place quinoa in a medium saucepan. Cover with 2 cups water and add a pinch of salt. Place saucepan on the stove top and bring the liquid to a boil. Turn down flame to low, cover and simmer quinoa for 15-17 minutes until tender. Let cooked quinoa rest for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Let the quinoa sit in the saucepan while you prep the other ingredients.

The beans: Trim stem ends off beans and parboil them in salted water for 3-4 minutes until vibrant and tender. Immediately spread cooked beans onto a clean dishcloth and allow them to cool a bit before handling. Once the beans are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite-size pieces. Set beans aside while you prep the tomatoes.

The tomatoes: If you are using Early Girls, slice them into 6-8 wedges. If you are using cherry tomatoes, go ahead and cut the cuties in half. ( By the way... do you use a serrated knife to cut your tomatoes? I find that it's so much easier.) Heat olive oil in a medium cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add garlic slivers to the hot oil and let them sizzle for 20-30 seconds, then add tomatoes. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the tomatoes cook for 2-3 minutes. Take pan from the heat and add the sliced beans to the tomatoes. Salt to taste.

Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, stir in tomatoes, beans and all the juice and goodies from the pan. Salt to taste. Top with chopped basil and feta.  

If you are planning to take this salad on a picnic or for a work lunch, I suggest adding the feta and basil just before serving.

Serves 2-3 as a main; 4-6 as a side

Psst... Any of you with kids at home, you know that the start of school is fast approaching. If you're anything like me, you are desperate for school lunch inspiration. Katie Morford from Mom's Kitchen Handbook has come to our rescue - when Chronicle sent me a copy of Katie's new book, I was stoked.  Best Lunch Box Ever: ideas and recipes for school lunches kids will love is packed with tasty, healthful lunch ideas. Lilah is already scheming up what she wants from Katie's book. Phew!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Paul and the kiddos have gone back to school, that Fall crispness is creeping into the air, but I'm not ready to let go of summer yet. Apples and figs are making their debut at the market, but luckily for me, summer goodness is still the show stopper. Peaches and melons continue to be super tasty and tomatoes are heaven. The piles of heirloom beauties always stop me in my tracks, yet the sweetness and pure tomatoiness of Dry Farmed Early Girls make me swoon.

In Greece earlier this summer, we ate stuffed tomatoes whenever we could and I've been wanting to make them at home. We stuffed the Early Girls with an herby risotto and I had to share with you guys...

INGREDIENTS thanks to Canal House Vol 1 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton
{printable recipe}
  • a dozen Dry Farmed Early Girls, or 8 medium tomatoes
  • 6 tablespoons Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

    Preheat oven to 400.

    Slice of 1/4 off the bottom of each tomato, and set bottoms aside. Carefully scrape out tomato flesh into a medium mixing bowl and place the hollow tomato cups on a baking tray or dish.

    Break up the tomato flesh with the back of a spoon. Mix in rice, parsley, garlic, and 4 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Scoop rice/tomato mixture back into the tomato cups and cover them with the reserved tomato bottoms. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes.

    Bake in the hot oven for 40-50 minutes or until rice is tender and cooked through.

    Serve at room temp with a leafy green salad on the side. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012


    My girl Lilah doesn't like to brush her hair. She's way too busy playing imaginary games, collecting rocks and flowers, listening to Harry Potter on CD, kicking butt in Tae Kwon Do, and sometimes she is just too busy... cooking.

    When my friends Leslie and Ethel gave me a copy of their book At the Farmers' Market with Kids, I was stoked, and so were Otis and Lilah. My kids like their time in the kitchen, especially when they're in charge. With corn still in its late-summer sweet spot around here, the corn pudding recipe seemed like the one to try. Lilah was the chef, and I was her assistant.

    Leslie and Ethel's book gives clear directions for young readers and highlights simple tasks for even younger kids. Lilah and I had a blast making these creamy puddings.

    Needless to say, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy this recipe...

    INGREDIENTS from At the Farmers' Market with Kids by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan
    {printable recipe}
    • 1.5 to 2 cups fresh corn kernels, cut from 2 large ears of corn
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup grated white cheddar
    • 3 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

    Preheat oven 350. Butter one 8 inch baking dish (or I used four 4 inch ramekins).

    Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the shallot, chives and corn kernels, stirring occasionally until corn has softened - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

    In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and salt. Stir in grated cheese and set aside.

    In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of milk to a gentle boil. Whisk in corn meal. Lower heat, stir regularly, and cook corn meal until it resembles a thickened porridge - about 5 minutes of cooking.

    Remove sauce pan from heat, whisk in the remaining cup of milk, the corn mixture, and the egg mixture. Pour into buttered baking dish(es).

    Bake the pudding(s) for about 45 minutes until the tops are golden brown. A toothpick stuck into the center of the pudding should come out clean.

    Eat and enjoy!

    Serves 4-6

    Friday, August 10, 2012


    Last week, I served up some cake for breakfast, so today I thought we could all use a huge bowl of greens for lunch.

    This time of year I cannot seem to get enough peaches, nectarines, apricots, pluots - all the yellow, orange, and red juicy deliciousness of summer. I get so caught up trying to stuff myself with fruit while it lasts, that I forget to eat my greens. Bad girl.

    My neighbor Caitlin mentioned that she loves Ottolenghi's Green Gazpacho and I thought this might just be the cure to my summer fruit hangover. And it was. I cannot believe how much good green stuff is packed into this chilled soup. We are talking 6 cups of spinach alone! I also really enjoyed the addition of walnuts which gives the gazpacho a little heft and protein - making it a nice summer meal all on its own.

    INGREDIENTS - adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty
    (printable recipe)

    • 4 thick slices of sourdough bread (local GF folks, I used a Mariposa baguette)
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Maldon flaky sea salt

    The soup:
    • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
    • 2 bell peppers, cores and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
    • 6 small cucumbers, roughly chopped
    • 3 slices Millet Bread, toasted (or Ottolenghi calls for stale white bread), crusts removed and chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
    • 1 fresh green chili, minced
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted
    • 6 cups baby spinach
    • 1 cup basil leaves
    • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
    • 1 cup olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
    • 2-3 cups water
    • season generously with salt and freshly ground white pepper
    • olive oil for garnish

    Preheat oven to 375.

    To make the croutons, tear crusty bread into rough bite-sized chunks and scatter them onto a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with salt. Give everything a toss with your hands to coat the bread. Place the baking sheet in the hot oven. Toast for 10 minutes or so until you have nice golden croutons. Set aside for garnish.

    Prep all soup ingredients. Get out your blender and set aside a very large bowl to hold your pureed soup. In a blender, puree a mix of ingredients in batches adding more water if you need to, then pour the puree into the large bowl you've set aside. When you've finished all of the pureeing (it took me 4 batches!) give everything a good stir. Season with additional salt and ground white pepper, and chill soup before serving.

    Serve gazpacho in wide low bowls. Pass the croutons, and give each bowl a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

    This recipe really serves a crowd - I found it made about 16 cups. (I'm thinking I may just have a bowl of leftover gazpacho for breakfast tomorrow!)

    Monday, July 9, 2012


    Last August, we found out my mom had breast cancer. Before her surgery and final prognosis, we didn’t know how bad things were, and even if she’d survive. Deep fear grabbed us. As mom and I went from one doctor’s appointment to another, we made a pact to go on a real trip together when she got well. Spending time in an exotic land sounded much more appealing than our stressful adventures in the world of cancer. With this future plan, we declared our optimism.

    Mom has been heroic in her healing over the past 11 months and we all feel damned lucky to now find ourselves here in Greece together. Today as she lay on the shore of our favorite rocky cove, she said “This is good for the soul.” I know. The water, air, sun, peace, family time, and simplicity of it all.

    We are back on our favorite island in the Aegean, Folegandros. This is the same quiet spot P and I first visited on our honeymoon, and some of you might remember these photos from the time we spent here last year. In Folegandros, people smile and say hello as they stroll through the car-less narrow streets of the old town, which teeters along the edge of an epic cliff. There are no big ads or much commercialism here. Signs are hand painted wood. Tiny bars serve delectable ice cappuccinos. Kids sell rocks in the town square.

    Every day we walk an hour to the beach (Mom's health routine motivates those us with lazier tendencies.) We wander past stone walls and thistles, donkeys and sporadic fig trees. Then a plunge into the salty sea. The kids, and P too, hurl themselves off high rocks into the cool water. We all ooh and ahh about the beauty of each stripy pebble on the beach as we find our Northern California pallor being deeply warmed by the Mediterranean sun.

    Our lunch spot is always the same -we are the kind of travelers who stick with a good thing when they find it. Our feet are sandy, and our swimsuits wet as we take a seat at our favorite taverna. Lilah’s carnivorous tendencies seem to be at their height here in Greece and she always orders a heaping plate of lamb stewed in olive oil, tomatoes, and onions. The rest of us devour Greek Salads loaded with ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, tangy onion slivers, sunny yellow peppers, the creamiest local goat cheese, and a generous dousing of olive oil. I’m sure there could be new deliciousness to discover, but these Greek Salads feel just right. And this time is all about simple pleasures, right?

    • 3 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into bite-sided wedges
    • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
    • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced
    • 6 Kalamata olives
    • 1/2- 1 cup creamy feta
    • a good pinch of dried oregano
    • nice quality olive oil
    • sea salt 
    • optional: a teaspoon of capers 
    Place all chopped veggies in a bowl. Top with olives, a big heap of feta, and a drizzle of olive oil. Pass a jar of extra olive oil and some salt around the table so everyone can season to her liking.

    makes 2 generous servings

    Monday, June 4, 2012


    Summer is approaching at warp speed and I'm not complaining. Otis and Lilah have begun a pre-summer ritual of running around the backyard with our neighbors Aidan and Emmett every evening. I feel like I'm channeling my own mom and generations of parents as I call the kids in after the sun has nearly set. When they tromp upstairs for bed, they are breathing hard and falling-down tired just as kids should at the end of a full day.

    After dinner recently, all fours kids kept coming into the kitchen mumbling things like "I'm still hungry." I suggested making popsicles together. "Yes" they all chimed in. So I put the kiddos to work squeezing lemons, washing berries, tasting everything as they went, and making a good sticky mess of the kitchen.

    I love to see the satisfaction kids take in their own kitchen creations. Who need store-bought pops when making your own is this simple, healthy and fun!

    (printable recipe)
    • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (Meyer's if you can get them)
    • 1 1/2 cup strawberries, stems removed
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup light agave syrup

    Place all ingredients (including the water) in a blender and mix well. If you aren't patient enough to make popsicles, you could go ahead and drink the strawberry lemonade you just made. Otherwise, fill a popsicle mold with the liquid and freeze until solid.

    Enjoy on a long summer evening!

    A Summer note: We are packing our bags to hit the road for a month this summer. Get ready for travel photos and recipes soon! xxoo

    Monday, September 12, 2011


    If you are anything like me, you find yourself drooling over the huge piles of late summer produce at the market. I am scarfing down peaches, tomatoes, and pluots like they are going out of style. I guess that is the point... these delights of summer are not gonna to be around for long. So let's talk more about preserving. We made pickles last go around, now it's time for preserving tomatoes!

    I love the rich, sweetness of an oven-roasted tomato. And I am particularly drawn to the caramelized taste of this slow roasted version. I hope you like it too!

    (printable recipe)

    • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (I am addicted to Dry Farmed Early Girls - they may not look fancy, but the flavor is unbeatable in my opinion)
    • olive oil
    • sea salt
    • optional: 1 tablespoon sugar

    Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (or the lowest setting). Slice small tomatoes in half and spread them out over a metal baking sheet. (If you are using big heirlooms, cut them into quarters or even eighths.) Lightly drizzle olive oil over the tops of the tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. And I like to sprinkle on a bit of sugar too, just to add to that caramely goodness.

    Check your tomatoes after a couple of hours and see what you think. I have read about people cooking tomatoes in this fashion and leaving them in the 200-250 degree oven for anywhere from 1.5 to 6 hours. I found that they are just right for me after about 3 hours.

    You can go ahead and eat the roasted tomatoes right away - they are hard to resist. But if you want to keep a taste of summer for a cold autumn day, place the roasted tomatoes in a jar, cover them with olive oil and keep in the fridge until later.


    Monday, August 8, 2011


    It's that time of year..... juicy red tomatoes are everywhere! I cannot take a trip to Monterey Market without bringing home bushel of the beauties. Our go-to August tomato salad is the classic Caprese and we eat it a couple times a week. I'm not complaining, but it is also nice to try something new. With meaty heirlooms, sweet cherries, and endless varietals temping us in the late summer, we are always searching for tomato recipes to try in late summer.

    Once again David Tanis is here to help out in my kitchen. His tomato salad with olives and coriander is respectful of rich flavor that tomatoes have to offer and his salad pays great tribute to the ingredient. Tomatoes are the well-deserved star of the recipe. Tanis's addition of green and black olives, as well as fresh cilantro leaves and toasted coriander seeds, is a refreshing twist on the tomato dishes we usually make. Paul oohed and awed and ate huge plates of the salad. I am happy to have yet another excuse to buy up more of those gorgeous tomatoes!

    INGREDIENTS adapted from David Tanis' Heart of the Artichoke
    (printable recipe)
    • 1/4 cup finely diced red onions or shallot
    • 1 clove garlic, smashed to a paste with a little salt
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
    • pinch of cayenne
    • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
    • 1/2 Picholine or other good green olives (not pitted)
    • 1/2 cup oil cured black olives (not pitted)
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

    In a small bowl or cup, combine the onions, garlic, and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking to emulsify dressing.

    In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over medium-high heat.  After a few minutes, when you start to smell the coriander, remove the seeds from the pan. Using a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, grind the coriander and add to the dressing. Add the cayenne as well at this point.

    Slice the tomato into thick pieces or wedges and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Season with salt. Sprinkle the olives over the top. Drizzle on the dressing. And scatter the cilantro leaves over the salad. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.


    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Nectarine Galette

    I am so happy with all the summer fruit! I scarf up blueberries, cherries, peaches, apricots, and nectarines with hedonistic abandon. In my zealousness, I bought way too many nectarines at Monterey Market; as they all became ripe at once, I tried to eat as many as I could.  I was daunted as my belly could take no more, yet I didn't want these lovelies to go to waste, so I quickly made up a batch of flaky pastry dough and this year's first summer galette was born.

    Otis, the pickiest member of our family, was hesitant to even try the galette. He was convinced he wouldn't like it. At his request, I gave him the tiniest of slivers. He ended up coming back for seconds, thirds, and fourths.

    This nectarine galette has very little added sugar and is really good served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


    At least a couple of hours before you want to eat your galette, prepare dough according to this recipe.

    Remove your chilled dough from the fridge. Let it warm up just enough so that you can roll it out. (I still like to roll my dough between two pieces of parchment to avoid too much sticking.) Dust disk of dough with a sprinkling of flour, sandwich between pieces of parchment, and roll out dough until it is about 1/8 thick.

    Put rolled-out dough back in the fridge to chill while you prepare the galette filling.

    Preheat oven to 375.

    Mix cinnamon with the Turbinado sugar.

    Slice Nectarines.

    Remove chilled rolled-out dough from fridge. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar onto the dough before you arrange the nectarines. Arrange the nectarines in slightly overlapping pattern. Sprinkle 1-2 more tablespoons cinnamon sugar over the tops of the slices.

    Fold up the dough around the fruit. With a galette, the edges can be rough and rustic. Brush the top of the crust with egg yoke. Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon sugar.

    Cook the galette on a layer of parchment, supported by a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 40 minutes on the lower part of the oven until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving so that the fruit juices thicken a bit.

    Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some sweetened whipped cream and enjoy!

    Such a simple galette is really easy to make - give it a try.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Strawberries with Homemade Crème Fraîche and Brown Sugar

    This dessert brings back such memories: living in the foothills of the Sierra's; the dry heat of summer; picking fresh ripe strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries from our lush organic garden. My mom and step dad headed back to the land in the mid eighties and worked tirelessly growing loads of veggies and fruit. I was a young teen, more interested in punk and smoking cloves with my friends than tending the garden. Still, food was a lure for me even then - promise of mom's fresh berry pies or this simple dessert would get me to put down my Walkman and start picking berries

    My step dad introduced us to this dessert and I think it is one of those simple revelations that should be shared. Back then we used sour cream. My husband adamantly refuses to eat sour cream, but loves crème fraîche, so that's what we use now. Either one does the trick. Eating strawberries with your fingers to me is what summer is all about and I love serving this spread at a picnic or barbecue with friends.


    Set out a platter with strawberries with a bowl of crème fraîche and a bowl of brown sugar. Everyone should help him/herself. Using the strawberry stem as a holder, dip the berry's tip into the crème fraîche then dip into the brown sugar.

    Repeat until you can eat no more.
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