Dulce and Brown Sugar Cheesecake

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dulce and Brown Sugar Cheesecake 

Earlier this month, a group of food bloggers gathered in Northern California at the invitation of culinary goddess, Teri Turner of No Crumbs Left. We spent a week in the picturesque Napa Valley at the famed Calistoga Ranch where we cooked, tasted and sipped some of California's finest. (To see the full recap of our week, go here.) At the end, feeling thoroughly pampered and with hearts knit by this memorable time of communal living, someone came up with the idea of doing a "Virtual Feast" to bring us all together on New Year's Eve.

Christmas Date Pudding

Friday, December 23, 2016

Traditional Amish Date Pudding served at Christmas.

It's almost Christmas and my family is on the way from North Carolina to join me in Ohio where we will all spend this holiday weekend together. The only thing that could possibly make me happier is if our daughter, Rosemary, and her husband, Luke, could join us. But, as we are learning, families need to share the love over holidays and the newlyweds can't be both places at the same time.

I spent yesterday preparing the traditional Amish date pudding my mom always made at Christmas. It's closely associated with every Christmas memory as a child, and, for some reason or another, I have failed to make it in the years since we moved away from Amish country where this pudding has its place on most every Christmas dinner table, right alongside the pies and cakes.

Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cookies in a vintage tin. 

One of my childhood memories of the Christmas season is of pushing open the door of the butler's pantry in my Aunt Elizabeth's home and standing on tiptoe to reach the tin of cookies on the row of shelves where she kept all manner of curiosities. The tin was old, its design faded and worn from the many hands touching it over the years. I would pry off the lid and reach past the wax paper for the soft cookies nestled there. Then I would stand, tin in one hand, cookie in another and munch contentedly while the grown-ups talked in the kitchen.

Chiaroscuro in the Kitchen

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Apple Bake with Quinoa Oats and Yogurt 

Lisa Rees is an award-winning food photographer who grew up in Shanghai, China's largest and most prosperous city where an impressive blend of modernization and ancient traditions coexist. Her earliest memories are of living in a happy household with her parents, siblings and grandmother where seasonal Chinese cuisine was prepared fresh daily and shared around a table. Later, when her whole family immigrated to America, that same dedication to wholesome meals and gathering for dinner carried her through a life-changing time of learning the ways of a new country, including its culture and food.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got my love of cookies from my dad. Every day of his 100 years of life, he treated himself to a cookie (or two, or three). Usually, the cookies appeared at breakfast alongside his bowl of oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. He enjoyed the home-baked varieties my mom made for him, and he ate his way through many a batch of my (somewhat) failed baking experiments as a child. But his favorites were the little vanilla flavored sandwich cookies he purchased in a cellophane wrapped package from the grocery store.