The Best Pecan Pie and Painted Dough Cut-Outs

“Of Pie I Sing” – A remembrance, a recipe and an idea  Funny how we tend to keep the traditional childhood foods in our adult repertoire – especially if one is the host or hostess preparing the fare – unless we make a conscious effort to break the proverbial cranberry mold. My childhood Thanksgiving dinner consisted of the good, the bad and the mysterious. My mom would toil over the turkey rising at dawn to put the bird in the… [Read More]

Summer Cucumber Salad

One of the pleasurable successes of our garden this summer has been the English or “hot house” cucumbers. They’re long and thin with few seeds compared to the standard waxy cucumbers and are usually seen in stores wrapped in plastic. This helps to retain their moisture. In my opinion, they are more delicate and meaty than the thicker cucumbers and are my choice for this salad but any variety works with this recipe. This seasonal salad is our family’s favorite… [Read More]

Icy Italian Citrus Granita

If the name “granita” is not familiar to you, it’s an icy Italian dessert that resembles shave ice in texture and is possibly the most light and refreshing treat you can make this summer. In the snooty culinary world of terminology I’d call it a “deconstructed” popsicle. The ingredients are simple: fresh squeezed citrus juice, sugar and water. No special ice cream making equipment is necessary. If you’ve got a metal cake pan or baking dish and a fork, you’ll… [Read More]

Pineapple Sherbet

If you haven’t tried homemade pineapple sherbet with fresh lemon and orange juices you don’t know what you’re missing. Prior to this frozen epiphany, I had only tasted store bought from 31 Flavors which left me ordering Daiquiri Ice next time. Words I would use to describe ~ cold, icy, refreshingly fresh. And a phrase ~ “One more little cone won’t hurt.” And a sound ~ *sigh* What is particularly nice about this recipe is that it makes 4 quarts… [Read More]

“O Tomatoes, Where Art Thou?”

We’re not having very good luck this summer with our garden. Our tomatoes never really grew or took off and I lost interest very quickly when my expected results weren’t happening. Even the zucchini isn’t showing the love. Or maybe it’s me. Perhaps it started when we realized the yellow squash was mislabeled and were really gourds. Of course we found this out at dinner one night. What does one do with a gourd anyway besides letting it dry and… [Read More]

The Best-Ever Chocolate Malts

What’s your favorite childhood summertime memory? Mine was of nights spent on our street playing kickball, roller skating, playing handball against the side of the house and riding our bikes. We’d sing “Leader of The Pack” as we imagined our bikes turning into motorcycles- “Vroom, vroom, vroom!” One by one we’d hear our respective moms calling our names from the front porch and we knew it was time to come in. I don’t think moms do this anymore. It would… [Read More]

Collegiate Cupcakes – UCLA

To honor and celebrate a very special recent UCLA graduate I made UCLA cupcakes for his graduation party. I started out with a new oh-so-yummy vanilla cupcake recipe, made a variation using vanilla bean paste and voila! Next, I had to lock in my colors. I fell in love with the Decco Drops I found at Williams-Sonoma (in-store) so I had to commit to using a slightly more aqua color than the true Bruin baby blue. This also meant using… [Read More]

Confessions Of An Easter Bunny Cookie.

decorated easter bunny cookies

“I have to admit it. I’ve had a little work done.””You can’t expect a girl to look this good without a little help, can you?””Sometimes I get a little, puffy, shall we say, and I need a touch of microdermabrasion.””A microplane takes care of that right away with no down time!” “I love my little round turned up nose, don’t you?” “I’ve been told my little twitch makes the boys’ ears stand straight up, but I wouldn’t know about that!”… [Read More]

Molded Sugar Roses and Leaves

I’m reposting this how-to from last May since a lot of people seem to be searching for it and it’s not coming up in my search window. I hope this makes it more accessible. Molded sugar makes for a very pretty presentation at tea time and they’re very easy and quick to make. This project took me less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Things you will need: Superfine or regular Sugar Food Coloring Water Plastic Candy Mold Cardboard… [Read More]

Qunioa Salad – True Food Restaurant

Lately I’ve been enjoying Dr. Andrew Weil’s True Food restaurant in Newport Beach in Fashion Island. It’s not ‘health food’ per se but healthful eating. The menu is completely seasonal and is based on Dr. Weil’s take on the food pyramid. There is red wine and dark chocolate listed on the pyramid so he has my attention. We went to a cooking presentation last week where Dr. Weil was present. He is exactly what he seems ~ casual, informative and… [Read More]