Holiday Cranberry Crumble Pie

Wouldn't this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

Wouldn’t this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

 

What would Thanksgiving be without a perfect pie to end the meal?

Just lacking, plain and simple.

I know people who would gladly bypass the turkey and fixings, just to lunge for the finale of pie, pie and more pie.

Because I’m one of those people who actually doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I’m always on the hunt for an alternative that’s just as homey, festive, and — in my mind — far more delicious.

I found it in “Cranberry Crumble Pie.”

Sister Pie Book

It’s from the new “Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of A Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit” (Lorena Jones Books), of which I received a review copy.

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The Thanksgiving Feast Is A Breeze With Luke’s Local

Thanksgiving is served -- in a jiffy, thanks to Luke's Local.

Thanksgiving is served — in a jiffy, thanks to Luke’s Local.

 

Did Thanksgiving sneak up on you? Are you little prepared? Dog-tired? Rather leave the cooking to someone else?

Look no further than Luke’s Local.

The San Francisco-based business not only has a market in Cole Valley, but also offers catering and delivery of not only prepared foods but flowers, bread, cheese and produce from local purveyors.

For Thanksgiving, Luke’s offers a range of prepared sides; wines; house-smoked turkeys or fresh birds from Branigan’s Turkey Farm, Mary’s and Willie Bird; and desserts from Black Jet Baking Company, Mission Pie, and Starter Bakery.

In short, it’s everything you’d need for a fuss-free feast, where the only heavy-lifting you probably need to do is carry everything to the dining room table and enjoy.

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Get To Know Spokane Part II: Best Brunch, A Philanthropic Fried Chicken Joint & More

A tasting size of the fried chicken and waffles at Bruncheonette.

A tasting size of the fried chicken and waffles at Bruncheonette.

SPOKANE, WA — On a recent trip in which I was invited by Visit Spokane to be a guest in its fair city, I had a chance to discover the many charms of this Northwest city.

Did you know it’s the home of Bing Crosby and even sports a Bing Crosby House Museum?

Or that there’s a giant-sized Radio Flyer downtown that you can climb on, then slide down?

Or that it boasts a 1909 historic hand-carved wooden carousel, where you can climb aboard a horse, giraffe, tiger or Chinese dragon chair for a spin?

Not your average red wagon.

Not your average red wagon.

Of course, it’s also home to some incredible restaurants not to be missed. Take a taste.

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Get To Know Spokane Part I: Sips, Doritos Ceviche, Original Crab Louis & More

The Skyride tram at Riverfront Park in downtown Seattle.

The Skyride tram at Riverfront Park in downtown Seattle.

SPOKANE, WA — Sure, Seattle may have the Mariners, Seahawks, Amazon headquarters, and James Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants. But Spokane has a spectacular waterfall in the center of the city. Take that.

Seattle may get more attention, but Spokane definitely deserves its own fanfare for attractions and attributes all its own. That’s what I discovered when I was invited to visit the state’s second largest city recently by Visit Spokane.

It’s a most livable city — with home prices not surprisingly a fraction of those in Silicon Valley — a revitalized downtown that’s safe to walk around in at night, a renovated waterfront, a thriving convention scene, fabulous bakeries, and cool restaurants opening in repurposed old buildings.

What’s more, it gets less rain than Seattle.

And it’s the birth place of Father’s Day.

Get to know what else there is to love about Spokane.

It Takes Bread & Beer Seriously

Does it ever, especially at the newly opened The Grain Shed, a bakery and brewery all in one.

At The Grain Shed, they revere local, heirloom grains, but keep their sense of humor about it all.

At The Grain Shed, they revere local, heirloom grains, but keep their sense of humor about it all.

Yes, come for a pint and a loaf. And for Pizza Mondays.

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Cheese, Please — For the Holidays

Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.

Cranberry & Cinnamon goat cheese for spiffing up the holidays.

 

One of the easiest — and tastiest — no-fuss treats for holiday entertaining is cheese.

Just unwrap, arrange prettily with crackers, baguette slices, and maybe some toasted nuts and dried fruit, and you are good to go.

Laura Chenel, the pioneer in artisan goat cheese in Northern California, makes doing so especially festive with her flavored ones. Recently, I had a chance to try a couple samples that are particularly perfect at this time of year.

Her new Cranberry & Cinnamon Medallion is new this year. The 3.5-ounce thick round disk ($3.99) is naturally tangy from the goat cheese, but with a touch of fruity sweetness and warmth from the dried cranberries and touch of cinnamon.

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