Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

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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Take A Whiff — And Taste — Of Gingerbread Pancakes

This time of year cries out for gingerbread pancakes.

This time of year cries out for gingerbread pancakes.

 

When it comes to Austin, I can’t help but think barbecue, Tex-Mex and food trucks galore.

Now, it’s become synonymous with gingerbread pancakes, too.

That’s because in “The Austin Cookbook” (Abrams), of which I received a review copy, there is a wonderful recipe for just that from Magnolia Cafe, a beloved institution that’s not only open 24/7, but serves breakfast anytime.

The book, by food writer Paula Forbes, features more than 80 recipes that give a delicious overview of the city’s culinary traditions, from “Green Chile Queso” to “Mustard and Brown Sugar-Crusted Ribeye” to Bootsie’s Buttermilk Pie.”

Austin Cookbook. jpg

Being the ginger fanatic that I am, it’s no wonder that “Gingerbread Pancakes” called out to me.

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Diana Henry’s Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake

Yes, this is the way this chocolate and olive oil cake is supposed to look.

Yes, this is the way this chocolate and olive oil cake is supposed to look.

 

I think of this as the Frank Gehry of cakes.

It’s all angular pieces that jut this way and that. It seems to not make sense or be of this world. But the longer you gaze at it, the more you appreciate its quirky distinctiveness.

Just wait until you taste it, too.

“Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake” is a recipe by the incomparable Diana Henry, the London-based columnist, broadcaster and author who has a true gift when it comes to food writing, making you see, smell and taste an ingredient or dish in its totality just from the words she pens on a page.

The recipe is from her newest cookbook, “How To Eat A Peach” (Hatchette), of which I received a review copy.

How To Eat A Peach

It’s a compilation of her favorite dishes in her menu notebook that she’s jotted down entries in since she was 16. These are the dishes she most wants to cook for friends, family and herself. They include such scrumptious fare as “Sea Bass Crudo with Radishes & Nasturtiums,” “Autumn Vegetables with Hazlenut, Roast Bell Pepper & Anchovy Relish” and “Arroz Nego with Romesco Sauce.”

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Norwegian Sweet Buns with Cardamom

A basket of warm, pillowy cardamom-chocolate buns.

A basket of warm, pillowy cardamom-chocolate buns.

 

Saffron and vanilla are among the world’s most expensive spices. That’s a given.

But can you guess what the third most pricey one is?

Yes, cardamom.

Like the other two, it owes its hefty price tag to the fact that it has to be harvested by hand.

Thankfully, a little goes a long way, so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy it.

While it’s used in a lot of savory dishes, especially in Indian cuisine, I especially love it in baked goods. Its flavor — sort of like sweet cinnamon and ginger crossed with citrus and mint.

North Wild Kitchen

So it’s no wonder that “Sweet Buns with Cardamom” jumped out at me immediately in the new cookbook, “North Wild Kitchen: Home Cooking From the Heart of Norway” (Prestel), of which I received a review copy. It is by Nevada Berg, who created the blog of the same name, which was named by Saveur magazine as “2016 Blog of the Year.”

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Jammin with Jam

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

A variation on the usual thumbprint cookies, and made with Jamnation jams.

 

As a Stanford University economics major, Gillian Reynolds was only too familiar with the law of supply and demand.

Now, she’s living it — supplying delicious jams that aficionados are demanding more and more of with gusto.

Reynolds is the founder of San Francisco’s Jamnation. With her brother Christopher, a trained chef, they make jam with local organic fruit, surprising flavorings and a big dose of wittiness.

Just get a load of some of the jam names: “Plum and Get It” (pluot with honeysuckle essence), “Midnight in Pearis,” (Bosc pear butter with vanilla and nutmeg), and “Cardamom Knows Zest” (Seville orange marmalade with cardamom).

Gotta love the cute names -- as well as the deliciousness inside.

Gotta love the cute names — as well as the deliciousness inside.

I had a chance to try a couple samples recently: “Rose to the Grindstone” (Arctic Star nectarines with rose essence), and “Sublemonal Message” (Meyer lemon marmalade with ginger).

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