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Party Food/Potluck

La Tartine Gourmande cookbook & Carrot and zucchini tartlets Coriander-flavored carrot and zucchini tartlets

“How many cookbooks do you have anyway?” my boy asked me the other day, followed by, “And how many (food) magazines?” I never counted, but there are 2 full bookcases. “Don’t worry”, I told him. “Son, one day all this will be yours and your sister’s. 50-50” I bought my first cookbook at 10. The second one […]

New love. Financiers. Financiers

Allow me to tell you about a new love in my life. They are called financiers. From Wikipedia, “A financier is a small French cake… The financier is a light, moist teacake, similar to sponge cake, and usually contains almond flour… The basis of the cake itself is beurre noisette (brown butter), egg whites… Financiers […]

Speaking of grapefruit… Radicchio and grapefruit salad with nuts and dried cranberries

The dinner at Spur included 1 cocktail with grapefruit juice + 5-course dinner, each course with grapefruit in it. I’d say, that is a bit too much grapefruit for one night. To me, grapefruit is the forgotten/neglected fruit. The one most people walk by at the store without really seeing, the one no passerby would […]

Swordfish tacos, lunch for one Broiled swordfish tacos

A girl (or any person for that matter) can find herself eating alone from time to time—it’s normal, right? Having a set of hubby+kiddies, family in general, and friends promises no guaranties that there will be company at the table at any given breakfast, lunch or dinner. I work at home and most days I […]

Easy vanilla, banana, and cream birfday cake Easy vanilla, banana, and cream birfday cake

This cake is so old. It’s so old that if we had any leftovers they would have been covered with green fuzzy stuff by now. But luckily, there were no leftovers. I just got so busy with summer (Well, not really—it’s been mostly cloudy here this June.) and kids outta school… and swim lessons… and […]

Lasagna lesson Classic lasagna

It’s been…… 4-5 years since the last time I made lasagna. So why all of a sudden did I make it now? Recently, my kid was on a mid-winter break from school and I had continuous exposure to The Garfield Show and that did it! (In case you don’t know, Garfield is a fat, lazy […]

Artichoke dip Artichoke dip

This… Oh. My. Goodness. This is my first attempt at making artichoke dip. We LOVE artichokes but I mostly cook them like this—well, those are fresh artichokes ($3-$4 each, anyone?). However, this time the ones I had were the packaged frozen ones so I thought about a dip as the way to go. I always […]

Cosmic coco to the rescue Cosmic coco to the rescue

A few years ago, when I was trying to promote my (now defunct) personal chef business, I set up a table at my son’s day care center and offered brownies to those people who were interested to hear about it. Then a little girl passed by with her father and commented, ”these brownies look like […]

No frosting No frosting

I love&hate frosting. Yes, frosting is sweet, and some can even make it tasty. But after eating 1/2 a cupcake I feel the sugar rushing and gushing in my veins. And after eating 3/4 of a cupcake I feel a sugar intoxication going through my bones and my brains. (And I think about diabetes too…) […]

Learning the art, and soul, of the pie Kate's apple pie

I have finally met her. The pie lady. I’ve heard so much about Kate McDermott’s Art of the Pie class in the past year. Some people call her “The pie lady”, some “The pie whisperer” but no matter what they call her, all of them love her and rave about her class, and her pies. […]

Orange yogurt cake and… too much SUGAR! Citrus yogurt cake

Today I’m going to preach to you. But I’ll keep is short, OK? It’s about sugar. Wa-aaay too much sugar. I confess, I never understood what’s the point in eating sugar as is. It might be called a “glaze” or a “syrup” or… whatever, but the bottom line is: it is pure sugar that people […]

The last summer cake Pluot Polenta Upside Down Cake

Last week I went grocery shopping. (How exciting is that?) I stopped by the plastic bags dispenser and grabbed two handful of bags, anticipating to fill up my cart with a bounty of fruits. To my surprise, there were no peaches, no nectarines, no plums, no pluots, no… no summer fruits in sight—No summer fruits! […]

Carrot cake in the sunset Carrot cake in the sunset

This was the perfect cake to take to the beach. *** I really have nothing else to add to that. I made H. go into the kitchen to bake a cake! With his mom! (The in-laws visited us.We haven’t seen them in a long, long time.) You know, to snoop around and learn her secrets… […]

The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel: Part 2 The slugs, the beer, and the squirrel: Part 2

No, no beer-braised squirrel in that pasta dish. Don’t worry. I told you about my snail, beer, and a beer stealing squirrel problem. And I have received some advice. Thanks! Crystal commented that what I have are slugs and not snails and suggested “A tried and true method I have used to make a beer […]

Sweet Blintzes Sweet Blintzes

Blintzes… I’ve been making them since high school. That’s… never mind how many years ago. I’ll be 40 in a few months! I hear the preparations for the celebrations are underway. (No pressure, Suburban cowboy.) Back in high school, I used to make a batch of these crepe-like yummies and take them with me to […]

My fluffy Pavlova Vanilla Pavlova

[donotprint] A cloud of baked marshmallow-like egg whites with a lemon hint A fluffy pillow of whipped cream Juicy fruit, fresh mint I’m living in a dream Need I say more? Ok, I’ll say more. First, it’s the first time I’ve written a little poem for food, so that says something. Second, I promise you we […]

Figaro bars Figaro bars

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! I haven’t posted anything for more than a week… I missed you guys and I missed blogging. I got busy and out of focus as we planned a little Thanksgiving vacation to sunny California. We visited family and went to the beach which was a lot of fun. And […]

Pumpkin banana creamy dreamy dessert Pumpkin banana creamy dreamy dessert

How would you like to have these for your holiday dinner? Remember the Pumpkin banana cream pie? The recipe is here. So this is what you do when you don’t want pie (skip the dough step), or if you do make the pie but have extra custards. I mentioned a shortcut in the pie post […]

Pumpkin banana cream pie Pumpkin banana cream pie

As far as my memory goes back in time, I can count the times I baked with someone on one hand. I don’t get too many opportunities to bake together with family or friends besides my son (who sometimes quits before the process is complete) or an occasional guest. Baking means a lot to me. […]

Apple pie, and it feels like home Apple pie

A few years ago, or in December 1997 to be more specific, I was an M.A student, sharing a tiny two bedroom apartment with a roommate, working 2-4 temp jobs at a time, studying whenever I could (a.k.a when I did not work or party), and eating giant size salads for “linner” – I made […]

Goat cheese two ways and a new cool giveaway Goat cheese two ways and a new cool giveaway

A few weeks ago we went on a little family vacation just before school started. Vacations with kids, you probably know (or can imagine), are a lot of fun, but can be very tiring. To minimize energy waste, we like to get a room with a small kitchenette or at least a (mini) fridge. Why? […]

Chocolate-vanilla tea biscuits bars Chocolate-vanilla tea biscuits bars

This post has been sitting on my desk, actually on my computer screen, open for the past week. If it were on paper, I would have probably torn it to little pieces by now. I can’t even remember, what was the point I wanted to make in this post? In order to finish it, I […]

Triple coconut cream pie Triple coconut cream pie

Oh, man, it seems like ages since I made this pie even though I baked it right after our recent dinner at Dahlia Lounge. But what can one say about a pie when life is a roller coaster? Life Life has been challenging lately. I usually don’t resort to sweets or overeat to comfort myself although I […]

Sweet summer heirloom tomatoes soup Sweet summer heirloom tomatoes soup

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?! Summer. Tomato = Fruit. “Heirloom tomatoes” is the password. Make those ripe, even overripe ones. Go to the farmers market or a farm stand, ask about the hidden box containing very ripe and juicy heirloom tomatoes for only $2 or so per pound. Double sweet deal! Just like […]

Happy birthday blog! Summer Berry Cheesecake

Each year, a few days before my birthday I start getting all excited and nervous, like a little girl, wanting to know what kind of surprises and presents are waiting for me (if any, I worry). I start nagging and trying to get any clue I can out of my husband and son. But they […]

Resourceful Boykus - Savory cheese cookies

Every time I manage to create something delicious using leftovers, I think about my grandmas. Such resourceful women. They lived, worked, raised a family during such hard times, wars, depression, very little rights for women… and A LOT of hard work each and every day. I don’t think they ever went on a vacation. You […]

banana nut bread, the best ever banana nut bread, the best ever

“Where is the photo of the banana bread?”, you might ask. And who is this person in the photo? (Photo was taken by my cousin). I told you in my recent “a happy place” post that my father gave me an envelope with letters from my childhood years. I read them but will need to […]

Birthday dirt cake Birthday dirt cake

I had my eye on this cake for a few weeks now. I first saw it when Diana posted it on her blog in April. I knew then that I was going to make it as a surprise for my son on his birthday. I still looked around for other ideas and asked my Twitter […]

Cake Collection #3 and Chocolate Chocolate Stout Cake Chocolate Chocolate Stout Cake

1. In the photo above a Chocolate Chocolate Stout Cake which I will tell you about in a minute. 2. I have the winner of the Cake Collection Giveaway way way down below at the end of the post. The winner gets a copy of Ray’s Boathouse cookbook (read more about the restaurant, the book, […]

Marjolaine Cake and Cake Collection #2 Marjolaine

  My friend L. stopped by my house yesterday morning for a chat and cup of coffee. We had a nice time but the minute I asked her if she would like to bake a cake with me she jumped on her feet and said she had to go…

French Onion Quiche French Onion Quiche

Let’s talk about quiche. Every now and then I like to have a good quiche and eat it too. Of course. But not just any quiche. Not one with a soggy bottom, ahem ehhm, or one that is waaay too rich and makes you feel so stuffed and guilty after eating it, or one that…. […]

Flaky and Creamy Butternut Squash Galette

No, I am not going to give you another decadent chocolate dessert recipe for Valentine’s Day. They seem to be all over the place as it is. You don’t really need another one. Do you? On the other hand, what are you going to have for dinner before the dessert? Or is it going to […]

A Cake For the Weekend: This One Is Not For the Kids (or young at heart) Whiskey-Soaked Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

I’m in love with this cake. Can you tell? I think I already had 3 pieces today. And it’s only 8:26 pm… The night is young. Pphhh, forget about new-year’s-dieting- resolution. The first time I saw the recipe for this cake was a few weeks ago on Orangette blog, and then a few days ago […]

Holiday (or Birthday) Party Food – Appetizers Holiday (or Birthday) Party Food – Appetizers

Holidays season means… party time, and if you’re lucky, then it’s parties. Here are a few ideas to make your party stress free. What you see in the pictures is what I served for my birthday party in August. That was outside in the backyard… But, regardless of the weather, all the ingredients I used […]

Leftovers: Mashed potatoes turned into Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes Leftovers: Mashed potatoes turned into Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes

I really don’t have anything to write about this recipe. Maybe except for – you can reheat leftover mashed potatoes in the microwave, or if you have an extra 20-30 minutes make these pancakes? Light-as-a-feather potato pancakes Makes about 10 pancakes 2 cups mashed potatoes 1 cup onion, small diced 2-4 garlic cloves, minced 2 […]

Eggplants in fresh herbs marinade Eggplants in fresh herbs marinade

If you think you don’t like eggplants, think again. Or, at least, give it another try, OK? Recipe for one eggplant: 1 large eggplant, sliced to 1 – 1 ½ – inch slices Extra virgin olive oil (evoo) Salt Preheat oven broiler. Brush the eggplant slices lightly with evoo and sprinkle with salt, on both […]

Truffle oil magic Eggs and truffle oil sandwich

Meet my new best friend – truffle oil. It sure deserves a red carpet (or table runner). A few drops of this oil and you are in heaven. I keep myself from putting it in or on everything I eat. I want to put it in my coffee! But coffee and truffle oil don’t really […]