Category Archives: General

Honey Pie For the Holidays

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.


Call this the antidote to pecan pie.

Or at the very least, a most worthy alternative.

“Olivia’s Honey Pie” is plenty sweet and nutty. But not as dense and heavy as pecan pie. It also the added bonus of tasting gloriously of buttery, caramelized honey.

The recipe is from the new “The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook” (Little, Brown and Company) by Chris Fischer, of which I received a review copy.

Spanning five acres on Martha’s Vineyard, Beetlebung Farm is run by Fischer, who took it over when his grandfather passed away.


Fischer is both a farmer and a cook. And what a cook, indeed. He was a sous chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City, and previously had stints at Fergus Henderson’s St. John Bread & Wine, and at the River Cafe in London. Fischer hosted dinners cooked over an open-fire at the farm before becoming head chef at Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant.

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Prepare Yourself For Guittard’s Luscious Chocolate Banana Blondies

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!


What’s in a name? Well, would you believe these are blondies?

In my world, just by appearance alone, these are brownies.

But in the first cookbook by Burlingame’s bean-to-bar chocolatier Guittard, these are indeed blondies. “Chocolate Banana Blondies” to be exact.

No matter how you refer to them, you will be calling them ravishingly good after one bite.

“Guittard Chocolate Cookbook” (Chronicle Books) was written by Amy Guittard. We should all be so lucky as to have born into a chocolate dynasty. Her great-great-grandfather founded the Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868. It is America’s oldest continuously family-run chocolate company.


You probably know its baking products from store shelves. If you’re a See’s Candies fan, you also know Guittard because it supplies the chocolate that goes into all those homespun bonbons.

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Three Things To Make the Holidays Easier and Tastier

Apple-cranberry galette ($32) from Manresa Bakery. (Photo courtesy of the bakery.)

Pre-Order At Manresa Bread Bakery

Yes, Manresa Bread Bakery in Los Gatos is now taking online pre-orders for breads and pastries up to two weeks in advance.

For Thanksgiving orders, you can pick up your items anytime from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25. Just note that the bakery will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after that holiday.

For those of you in Santa Cruz, you can even choose to pick up your items Nov. 25 at the bakery pop-up at Assembly in Santa Cruz.

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)

Items that can be ordered ahead include baguettes, brioche rolls, almond croissants, apple-cranberry galettes, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin pie, and even a giant version of the kouign-amann ($28) that feeds 6 to 8 (or probably one in my case).

Stock Up on Pies and Cakes To-Go at Presidio Social Club

Up in San Francisco, Presidio Social Club is also making it easy to enjoy fresh-baked pies and cakes this holiday season.

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Splendid Squash

Imagine setting this dazzling dish down on your holiday table.

Imagine setting this dazzling dish down on your holiday table.


Come closer. Closer still. Come on, put those peepers right up to the screen.

Because This Is Squash. From “This Is Camino.”

Of course, that’s not the actual name of this gorgeous dish. But it might very well be because this is the only squash recipe you’ll need this season.

That’s how delicious it is.

The recipe for “Kabocha Squash and Grilled New Onion Salad with Yogurt, Pomegranate, and Almonds” is from the new cookbook, “This Is Camino” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

The 100 recipes draw from the cuisine of Camino, the soulful farm-to-table Oakland restaurant run by Chef Russell Moore, who cooked at Chez Panisse for 21 years, and his co-owner and wife Allison Hopelain.

Much of the cooking at Camino is done on a wood-fired hearth in view of the dining room. The crackling flames kiss dishes such as “Grilled Squid with Tomatoes and Korean Perilla,” “Grilled Chicken Ballotine with Green Lentils and Parsley Root,” and “Grilled Fig Leaf Ice Cream with Grilled Figs.”

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Rachel Khoo’s Cream of Tomato Soup with Crunchy Lemon Chickpeas

A tomato soup that goes down so easy.

A tomato soup that goes down so easy.


Is it soup time yet?

I think of soup, salad and bread as the perfect trifecta of meals.

So perfect noon or night. Nourishing, filling but not leaden. And so easy to put on the table.

I’m already missing summer tomatoes. But “Cream of Tomato Soup with Crunchy Lemon Chickpeas” still lets me enjoy the tangy-sweet perfume of tomatoes even off-season.

It’s from the newest cookbook by Rachel Khoo, the London- and Paris-based food columnist and host of the TV series, “The Little Paris Kitchen.”

Like her other cookbooks, “Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook” (Chronicle Books) is illustrated with her whimsical illustrations. The more than 100 recipes riff on familiar dishes with Khoo’s unmistakable thoughtful and creative touches.

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