Category Archives: Ginger

Get Your Cookie Fix With Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles

Not your usual snickerdoodles.
Not your usual snickerdoodles.

When it comes to cookies, my husband is decidedly “Basic Boy.”

Meaning, he likes his chocolate chip, peanut butter, and snickerdoodle. And doesn’t like to veer to far from them.

So, “Ras El Hanout Snickerdoodles” satisfied both of our appetites. His for the classic. And mine for something a little more adventurous.

This wonderfully chewy and warmly spiced cookie recipe is from “Love Is A Pink Cake” (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Claire Ptak, a Californian who moved to London to open her Violet Bakery. Of course, you may also know her as a former pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Or you may recognize her as the baker commissioned in 2018 to make the wedding cake for none other than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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Sip, Sip, Hooray: Part 3

The Swedish brand packages European-made wine in cans that are decorated by artists from around the world.
The Swedish brand packages European-made wine in cans that are decorated by artists from around the world.


Wine in cans is sure having a moment. And these from Djuce are as dramatic as they get.

Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, this sustainable-wine company just expanded into the United States in Los Angeles and San Diego, and soon to arrive in San Francisco. The cans are decorated with striking, contemporary artwork from artists around the world, and filled with wine from European producers.

Cans were chosen not only because they are lighter and easier to transport, but according to the company, also because they are 28 percent more efficient to recycle and their use cuts CO2 emissions by 79 percent compared to glass.

Currently, Djuce offers 11 wines from seven regions in Europe, all sustainably farmed, certified organic, vegan, and low in sulfites.

The 2021 Meinklang Kontext, a natural orange wine.
The 2021 Meinklang Kontext, a natural orange wine.

I had a chance to sample three of them. Each can is 250ml or roughly 1 cup, which makes for a generous portion for one person or a modest pour for two people to share.

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Reveling In Milkboy Swiss Chocolates

Milkboy Swiss Chocolates' newest bar.
Milkboy Swiss Chocolates’ newest bar.

Ah, the Swiss — they sure know how to make timepieces. And they certainly have a way with chocolate.

Milkboy Swiss Chocolates is a prime example of that.

Gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and certified Kosher, the award-winning chocolates are produced in Switzerland, using milk sourced from the Swiss Alpine region and Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa.

Recently, I had a chance to sample its chocolate bars, including its newest in the lineup, Alpine Milk with Refreshing Lemon and Ginger Bar.

What you notice immediately with any of the chocolates upon placing a square upon your tongue is just how creamy the texture and how smoothly it melts in your mouth.

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Give It Up For Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake

The true pumpkin spice latte -- in cake form.
The true pumpkin spice latte — in cake form.

Admittedly, I’ve never understood the hoopla surrounding pumpkin spice latte season, which seems to begin earlier and earlier every year.

Then again, I am a black-coffee drinker all the way.

But put fragrant, autumnal pumpkin spices together with the full-bodied flavor of espresso plus actual bona fide pumpkin in a baked good, and I am so there.

That’s why I jumped all over this recipe for “Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake.”

This clever recipe is from “Half Baked Harvest Every Day” (Clarkson Potter) by Colorado’s Tieghan Gerard, creator of the hit blog, Half Baked Harvest.

It’s a one-pan cake imbued with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It gets plenty of richness from coconut oil.

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Cauliflower with Raisins — Indian-Style

Embrace the raisins in this dish.
Embrace the raisins in this dish.

Admit it, we all have our unusual food predilections.

My husband doesn’t enjoy sour foods, but loves ceviche. He is not fond of raw carrots, but will happily chomp on them if they’re cut into sticks.

Me? I am typically not the biggest fan of coconut. Yet I dream of Tom Douglas’ famed coconut cream pie, and the coconut layer cakes I devoured in South Carolina. Neither am I usually a fan of raisins in baked goods. Yet I somehow adore them in savory dishes.

Go figure.

That’s why the recipe for “Cauliflower with Raisins” stopped me in my tracks in the best of ways.

It’s from the new “6 Spices, 60 Dishes” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. Ruta Kahate, a veteran cookbook author who own Ruta’s, an Indian cafe in Milwaukee.

Kahate recognizes that the intoxicating array of spices that makes Indian cuisine so exciting can also prove intimidating to a home-cook. With this book, she demonstrates that with only six spices in the pantry — cayenne, coriander, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds, and asafetida — you can make 60 vibrant and distinct dishes that aren’t taxing.

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