warm fig salad in port wine

figs in port

This is such a crazy simple, quick, tasty, sophisticated, elegant dessert. I’d be incredibly happy if I was served this in a posh restaurant. And yet, I feel that most restaurants here are not quite there yet. Is it wrong that I often prefer my own cooking to eating out? If you love the kitchen and you love cooking and you take it seriously – eating out can be such a letdown. Expensive. Boring. Tasteless. Predictable.  (more…)

on self worth and mini cornmeal crabcakes

mini crabcakes (2)

This week I’m thinking about self-worth. Or self-esteem. Or the ability to believe in oneself. Self-love. Call it whatever you like. It’s so important and yet for many of us, our sense of self-worth is difficult to maintain, so shaky, so fragile, so easily eroded….  (more…)

on memorizing poetry and an old-fashioned self-saucing baked butterscotch pudding

self-saucing butterscotch pudding

Nobody memorizes poetry anymore.

Once upon a time it was de rigeur and scholars young and old memorized and recited astonishingly complicated, lengthy poems –The Highway Man, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Tennyson’s Ulysses, and Coleridge’s Kubla Khan… “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, A stately pleasure-dome decree….” (more…)

On hope, resolutions, and a caramelized onion and bacon tart

 “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier’…”

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

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I like the idea of hope smiling from the threshold. Such a joyful notion. Even the concept of hope smiling, seems itself, designed to elevate our happiness. Hope is so fundamental, so paramount. (more…)

gingerbread cookies

gingerbreads

Is there anything that smells better than freshly made gingerbread?  (more…)

easy, breezy, beautiful – four ingredient rum balls

rum balls

Once again, I’m so far behind in holiday preparations that I’ve practically given up before I’ve even managed to get started. There’s no tree in my new house, no decorations up, no baking done, very few gifts organized, and only one card mailed (to my sweet cousin in England). Despite the fact that I’m a Christmas minimalist – I need some serious help. Elves would be good.

(more…)

a day in the life of – and the best ever (gluten-free) oatmeal cookies

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I know “the best ever” is a lofty claim. A dangerous one in fact.

Still, I’m going to stand by it. Challenge me if you like. If you can make a better gluten-free oatmeal cookie… (more…)

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