Almond Panna Cotta with Dark Cherry Sauce

Makes : 6 servings | Desserts

My daughter looks forward to Valentine’s Day the same way she anticipates Halloween, the other “sugar holiday”. She loves making Valentines for her friends at school and collecting cards and goodies in her homemade “mailbox”. I know she also secretly hopes for an unexpected treat from me. I’m not a big dessert person–eating it or making it–but I can appreciate a little girl’s desire for something sweet and pink on a special day. Usually I cave and make heart-shaped pancakes with bright red berries for breakfast, but should I fail to plan ahead, then dessert […]

Chocolate Espresso Chewies

Makes : about 36 cookies | Desserts Dairy Free , Vegetarian

For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite holiday activities has always been the “cookie exchange”. There’s something so festive about leaving the house armed with a batch of cookies and returning with a dozen different types. (Not to mention the benefit to a self-admitted non-baker such as myself: bake one kind, enjoy many!) My daughter (then 5), an avid cookie lover, thought this idea was genius, so a few years ago we started hosting an annual cookie exchange for all the girls in her class and their moms. The girls decorate […]

Roasted Peaches with Chèvre

Makes : 4 servings | Desserts Vegetarian

Could it be possible that we’ve nearly reached the end of summer and I have yet to share a single recipe involving peaches?! I guess I’ve been too busy eating them straight out of hand or slicing them over homemade granola to notice my mishap. Well here’s an interesting one for you, a simple but unique peach dessert. It started a few years ago when my friend Tami Parr was writing her amazing book “Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest”. (Look at the cover, it will make you long for great cheese!) She asked me […]

Nectarine and Blackberry Crisp

Makes : 6 servings | Desserts Vegetarian

When we first moved to Oregon, I found myself caught off guard by the sheer bounty and variety of summer fruits. I felt like such an amateur at the farmers’ market, inquiring about the blackberries, when everyone around me referred to “marionberries”, “black caps”, and “evergreens”. These folks know their berries! We returned home with flats of berries, determined to familiarize ourselves with the intricacies of each one, and sat in the lawn lazily making our way to the bottom of the box.  Our daughter, seen here seven years ago, remains a dedicated berry enthusiast […]

Almond Cake

Makes : 6 servings | Desserts Dairy Free , Vegetarian

In the 16 years since I went to culinary school, I’ve cooked, either personally or professionally, nearly every single day. And of those 5800 odd days, maybe a couple dozen of them were spent baking. (OK, I may be exaggerating a little, but not much.) It’s not that I can’t bake; I just enjoy cooking much, much more. Plus you don’t really need to bake when you live in New York City, which is where much of my (gluten eating) adult life was spent. Once I started eating gluten free, I found it wasn’t so […]