Thankful For Apple Custard Tart

A tart full of tender apples and delicate custard.

A tart full of tender apples and delicate custard.

 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Me? I’m grateful for good health, great friends and family, and a writing career, that though a wild roller-coaster ride at times, has brought enormous satisfaction, wonderful opportunities, and a contingent of loyal, supportive readers who are the very best anyone could ever ask for.

And I’m glad for “Apple Custard Tart.” Because it’s equally delicious and appropriate for the Thanksgiving feast or for the lazy, spent morning after.

Don’t rush out to the mall that Friday. Instead, enjoy a slice of this pretty tart with a cup of coffee or tea, and a retelling of the fun, delightful moments that happened during the holiday night before.

buttercelebrates

This straightforward recipe is from “Butter Celebrates! Delicious Recipes For Special Occasions”
“Butter Celebrates!” (Knopf), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Rosie Daykin, owner of Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver.

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My Favorite Italian Chard Stuffing

Stuffing at its finest.

Stuffing at its finest.

 

Over the years, I’ve made my share of stuffing recipes. But hands down, this one remains my favorite.

It’s not necessarily unusual. It’s not cutting-edge. It doesn’t feature rare ingredients.

Instead, it’s the quintessential Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that takes simple French bread, Italian sausage, Swiss chard, and herbs, and turns it all into a savory, satisfying amalgamation that never ceases to be a crowd pleasure.

I, for one, look forward to it every year.

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Festive Sweet Potato Orange Cups

Wouldn't these be perfect on your Thanksgiving table?

Wouldn’t these be perfect on your Thanksgiving table?

 

Are you already planning your menu, and checking it twice?

Then, make room on it this Thanksgiving for “Sweet Potato Orange Cups.”

How adorable and special are these hallowed-out orange halves, filled with coconut-scented mashed sweet potatoes and crunchy pecans?

Sure, you can make a big bowl of sweet potato puree and call it a day. But serving the creamy sweet potatoes mounded in individual orange cups like this just makes it all more fun and distinctive.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Bay Area food writer Danielle Walker, founder of the grain-free blog, againstallgrain.com.

celebrations

The 125 recipes all eschew gluten, dairy and grain. They are arranged by occasion, such as “Game Day Buffet,” “Birthday Party,” and “Christmas Breakfast.”

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t mix and match. For instance, the recipe for “Sweet Potato Orange Cups” is actually listed in the “Easter Brunch” chapter. But I think it’s also ideal for Thanksgiving.

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From Roy’s — Or The Story of the $50 Panettone

From Roy's dark chocolate panettone -- fit for a king or queen.

From Roy’s dark chocolate panettone — fit for a king or queen.

 

When I told my husband, who is notoriously frugal (he’d call himself, “cheap”), that I was writing a story about a pastry chef who makes a $50 panettone, he was beside himself.

He rolled his eyes, completely flabbergasted. Who in their right minds, he thought, would pay that much for an Italian Christmas bread that you can get for a song on the shelves at Cost Plus?

Then, I cut him a thick slab of the handmade dark chocolate panettone made by From Roy’s of Richmond. He put a forkful in his mouth. He let out a sigh. Then, he actually said, “OK, I can see paying $50 for this.”

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Eating on Maui’s Kaanapali Coast

Hula Grill's poke tacos.

Hula Grill’s poke tacos.

 

MAUI, HAWAII — Imagine three miles of sand and water so entrancing that it was once the retreat for Hawaiian royalty. That’s what Kaanapali beach on Maui’s west side is all about.

I had a chance to check out some of the food in the area when I was a guest on the island last month, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.

There’s almost always a line outside Hula Grill — for good reason. It has a coveted place right on the beach. In fact, the outdoor tables and chairs are planted right in the sand with a stunning view of the ocean.

There’s often live music, too, including the likes of Derick Sebastian, an award-winning ukulele player and singer.

A popular place to dine where you can dig your toes into the sand.

A popular place to dine where you can dig your toes into the sand.

It’s a perfect place for a casual, no-nonsense lunch. The Hula Caesar ($9) features local upcountry romaine, garlic focaccia croutons and shredded parmesan. I added seared ahi for another $10. I missed having anchovies, but I appreciated that the salad was lightly dressed.

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