almond cake with summer berries

I started off the summer testing a couple cake recipes, searching for “the one” — a simple, plain cake that tastes great all by itself, one that would also make a perfect companion to the various fruits that come and go all year long: citrus-rhubarb-berries-peaches-plums-cherries-apples-pears.

This cake was it. It’s the one to keep on your recipe list of basic essentials — just like a black t-shirt, it goes with everything.

Almonds pair well with many fruits, especially all the ones (like peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and even apples) they’re actually related to botanically. And fun fact: Stone fruit pits are the source of “bitter almond” flavor. They contain oils that are used to produce almond extract and flavorings, each kernel harboring a small amount of prussic acid a/k/a potassium cyanide. (Don’t worry, we’re talking trace amounts that are destroyed when heated during the manufacturing process).

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charred cauliflower salad with fregola


It’s official – today the James Beard Foundation predicted cauliflower is “the new kale” on its list of top food trends for 2017. Depending on your feelings for cruciferous vegetables, that should be fantastic news.

Here on this blog, my cauliflower recipe posts have been among my most popular for a couple of years now, so it doesn’t surprise me one bit that cauliflower has reached a popularity peak. [Read more…]

pasta with creamy gin sauce

Ah, penne alla vodka. The classic dish is an iconic throwback to the Eighties, along with MTV and permed hair. At its best, the sauce is a perfect balance of tangy tomato, sweet cream and pasta. In other words, the ultimate recipe for comfort food. And I’m guessing we can all use an order of that right about now.  [Read more…]