Black Forest Cake (4 of 4)

Black Forest Cake

In the nine point five years that Jeff and I have been together we’ve learned a lot about each other. I know that he always chooses dark chocolate over milk and that he prefers savory oatmeal to the sweet variety. I know the answers to his security questions and where his scars came from. Sometimes…

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Raspberry Lemon Squares (6 of 7)

Raspberry Lemon Squares

Hands up if you ate lemons as a kid. And I don’t mean sucking the juice out of a lemon slice on a dare with your face all squinched up. Did you eat them like they were orange slices, chewing the pulp with a straight face so all that was left was a thin slice…

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Black and White Cookies (6 of 8)

Black and White Cookies

Since moving to California Jeff and I have made a yearly ritual of going to New York City while we’re home visiting family during the holidays. His parents live a few hours outside NYC and it’s easy to catch the train from there – the morning train filled with commuters and inevitably the last-of-the-night train…

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Marshmallows (6 of 6)

Peppermint Marshmallows

I love the gift giving aspect of the holidays. Not the big family gift giving that requires a lot of thinking and wondering if the recipient actually wants the “stuff” you are giving them. What I love is the little treats that people exchange during the holidays. The cookies, the jars, the bags and boxes…

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Gingerbread cake (5 of 6)

Gingerbread Cake

I don’t have a lot of memories of my grandmother. The 18 hour plane ride between her in South Africa and me in Massachusetts (plus the accompanying cost) meant that visits were few and far between. And most of my family memories aren’t of her but of all of us – aunts, uncles, cousins –…

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Granola (8 of 8)

Mostly Unsweetened Granola

The grocery store near my house has a wall of granola. It’s mixed in with other bulk bins for oats and powdered milk but there’s a solid section that is only granola. For someone who doesn’t eat a lot of cereal, it’s a bit overwhelming. Over the years I’ve bought a few varieties but none…

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Lemon Thyme Cookies (3 of 8)

Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

Lately, I spend my Wednesday nights searching for cookie recipes. It’s become something of a ritual. I pull cookbooks off the shelves, pile them up on the table, or around the couch, or on the bed, and then begin flipping. There are a lot of requirements. It has to be different from the ones I…

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Strawberry Cake (9 of 10)

Strawberry Cake

I could have also called this one “the process of recipe development.” It’s one of the most frequent questions I get; how do I come up with recipes? Well this one was a doozy and it was also a great way to explain how ideas move from my brain to my plate, which is not…

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Chocolate Sorbet (6 of 9)

Chocolate Sorbet

Sometimes you just need a hug. Last week was pretty much like that except that people I needed to hug all live on the East Coast, near or in the city of Boston. There’s a lot to love about living in San Francisco but when tragic things happen, the distance between the coasts feel even…

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Pavlova (7 of 9)


Being born in the six weeks between March 15 and April 30 is a serious hazard if you’re Jewish. It means in any given year, your birthday could fall on Passover. It’s the holiday where Jews put away almost everything with grains in it and pull out the matzah, something non-Jews seem to love but…

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