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Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurant, Gadgets and News

18 Oct

Below is a weekly roundup of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. To link to recipes, click on the image. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend! Continue reading


One Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and A Word on Snacks

19 Sep

It’s a reasonable debate. Take the time and make the effort to unprocess the snacks or shortcut to the neat, individually packaged store boughts.  Continue reading

Peach and Strawberry Crisp

9 Jul

The Farmers Market is approaching its prime. Tomatoes are showing up and peaches and strawberries are bountiful.

Donut Peaches

You can find peaches for $2.00/pound during this high season and a flat (6 baskets) of strawberries for $13, making these fruits an inexpensive summer snack. And given that chocolate-based desserts have taken the back-seat to the juicy, colorful, fruit dominant, I suggest getting a bag full … some for now, some for dessert. Continue reading

Toasted Almond Ice Cream

7 Jun

When you think of an ice cream sandwich, do you think of this?

The Classic

The Classic

Or this?

It's It: The San Francisco Legend

It’s It: The San Francisco Legend

Or maybe this?

It's It: The San Francisco Legend

Double Stuffed with Ice Cream

How about this?

The Lofty Newcomer

The lofty, from scratch newcomer, Toasted Almond Ice Cream on Almond Wafers, appears a bit out of place in an ice cream sandwich world that has long been dominated by boxed and packaged varieties in the freezer section. Maybe a bit too fancy for summer? Continue reading

Summer Strawberry Muffins

29 May

This is a “compilation recipe” that combines the elements I like in a muffin – no long wait between steps, an ingredient or two that provides a healthy balance (in this case, wheat pastry flour and Greek yogurt) and something to sprinkle on the top that provides some crunch.  It comes together really quickly and is doable on a weekend morning.  Just start right away with preheating the oven and letting the strawberries macerate.

Continue reading

Strawberry Vanilla Cake

22 May

Strawberry season has arrived and a great way to jump right in and enjoy them after a long winter hiatus is by buying them in bulk at the farmers market. A half a flat (6 baskets) can be found for $12 which is far below grocery store prices.


A half a flat of strawberries (one basket swapped for raspberries)

Continue reading

Best Brownies

16 Apr

BrowniesBrownies are like yellow layer cake. It’s not easy to find a good substitute for the chemically laced boxed variety. Here is a recipe that succeeds. These brownies are chocolatey and moist, a perfect midway between the dry and crumbly and the heavy and dense.   Continue reading

Ellen’s Nuts

1 Apr


These nuts are as addictive as M&M’s so between the two, Easter was an all day graze fest. I was given this recipe years ago by a friend who gives credit to someone I don’t know so to me, they’re just Ellen’s Nuts. They’re great to nibble on when having people over or to have in a jar to chop on salad or ice cream. Most of the time I double the recipe. They won’t last long.

Crunchy and delicious


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne, or less if you don’t like spicy
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecan halves


  1. Place parchment paper on baking sheet (or use butter or canola oil spray)
  2. Melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat
  3. Add water, brown sugar, salt and spices
  4. Stir until sugar dissolves, about a minute
  5. Add nuts to sugar mixture and cook until coated
  6. Stir about 3 minutes more to fully coat
  7. Transfer to baking sheet
  8. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes until golden and crisp
  9. Set aside to cool
Delicious Cocktail Nuts

Nuts will continue to crisp outside the oven so be careful not to overcook

Easter Bunny Cake

29 Mar

Easter Bunny Cake - Version 3_opt-1Easter is the crafty holiday – dyed eggs, decorated baskets and of course, bunny cake. Above is my version…not a beauty but it fits the classic genre. And underneath the fluffy frosted exterior, it’s simply a chocolate layer cake on its side so it should please all ages. I omit the step of covering the frosting with coconut since my kids don’t like it, but for presentation purposes, I suppose that would give it an edge. Continue reading

Todd English Chocolate Chip Cookies

15 Mar

I haven’t made cookies in a while since my daughter and her friends tend to take the lead in baking them these days. Great for me. But I needed to make a batch for an event and recalled having thought this recipe a contender for the best. It’s got great depth of flavor with toasted nuts, a bit of espresso and lots of chocolate. No way would my daughter accept nuts and espresso in her cookies so now was the time to proceed, sans objection. Continue reading