apples+pumpkin+walnuts cake

A fall cake loaded with good stuff:
(pumpkin+apples+walnuts) + (eggs+sugar+soy milk+olive oil) + (flour+baking powder+cinnamon).
You'd better try it!


leeks/chards/ricotta quiche

I know... I already posted a similar recipe. But 1: it was at a time I did not  always write down the recipes in details. And 2: you might have not tried it yet. So I'm giving you a second chance!


apple tart (alice waters way)

A simple apple tart with lots of tart apples. Heaven! Why complicate matters?


red cabbage + apples + spices

A red cabbage - Flemish style - recipe, where cabbage is slowly cooked with apples and spices. Traditionally eaten with mashed potatoes and sausages, but also very good on a slice of pain au levain w/ walnuts, some good cheese, and a glass of high quality beer. Belgian of course!


la torta verde della rina

I miss Italian food. The food I eat when I am back to Italy for a vacation. With family and friends. In their houses or at restaurants. I did not use to prepare it myself though. But I have no other options... I'm doing my best to duplicate the recipes Italians prepared for me. The "torta verde" - especially the one baked by Rina (ciao Rina!) - is among the food I miss the most. Basically it's a veggie pie covered by an irresistible olive oil crust. The typical vegetable used in the "torta verde" is called "trombetta". It's a special kind of zucchini grown in Liguria, Northern Italy (and also here in my Californian garden!). But you can use whatever in-season veggie. Here, I used a mix of butternut squash, English peas, and chards. Make your own combination and let me know how it worked for you.


goat cheese + fig/rosemary jam + filo dough

My favorite finger food at the moment: 1) goat cheese + fig/rosemary jam* over some filo dough sheets (thawed and lightly oiled), 2) shaped into rolls (see here for example), and 3) baked in a preheated oven to 375F for about 15' to 20' minutes. It's as simple as that. And it's so good. And it's so addicting!
* I made the fig/rosemary jam of D.I.Y. Delicious (p.55), but every fig jam will work of course.


homemade flour tortillas

Forget everything you've heard or read about homemade flour tortillas and give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed. 


espresso banana muffins

Moist, so moist! Irresistible for breakfast with a cappuccino.


Claire's rhubarb pie

Here is one of my favorite pies. I usually eat this "tarte a' la rhubarbe" at Claire's house. My friend Claire bakes it because -1) it's her recipe, and -2) she is a wonderful baker. All her pies are always delicious. But Claire is on vacation... She has been on vacation for almost 2 months now... And I'm really craving for that pie... So I did not have any other choice than baking her pie all on my own. Good thing that Claire gave me her "secret recipe" a few years ago and that I did not lose it. Precious papers do not get lost! 


mix not match beets salad

Mix not match beets salad anybody?  Raw chioggia beets (sliced) + cooked red beets (diced) + avocado (diced) + lettuce leaves + lemon Meyer dressing + chives. An interesting mix of textures, colors, and perfumes.


vivalafocaccia.com - 2

Variations sur le meme theme..... Same recipe as the one posted 2 weeks ago + some cherry tomatoes on top. If you like focaccie, you have to try one or another recipe from vivalafocaccia.com: a 100% reliable blog.


fried zucchini flowers

I have been growing some Italian zucchini  in my backyard this year (a special type called trombetta). The zucchini are still too tiny to be eaten. However,...  there are the flowers! Eat them raw, eat them baked, eat them fried, whatever you like, but EAT them! They are too good to let them go. And by the way, you don't have to grow zucchini to get flowers, you can buy them at the Farmer's market when they are in season (now).

homemade buns

My youngest daughter just came back from a girls scout camp. And guess what? She wants to "cook out". I had some sausages in the fridge but no buns. And anyway in the stores I can't find any buns made without high-fructose corn syrup. So let's bake some. The Big Sur Bakery recipe will do the job (even though it's for hamburger buns). And yes, the recipe did it! Deliciouuuus!!!


stonefruit yogurt cake (+cornmeal/walnut streusel)

It has been a while since I posted a dessert recipe. Not that I don't bake desserts anymore, or that I don't eat them (event if I shouldn't). It's rather because I keep on baking the same desserts over and over. But this is a new recipe. So here I come again! This cake is wonderful. And so are all the recipes I tried so far from the book DIY Delicious, by Vanessa Barrington*, a must have cookbook if you are in a "do-it-yourself" or "do-it-from scratch" mood.


carrot almond spread

A quick and easy recipe from "Delicious Living" (Whole Food's magazine, July 2011). A nice addition to your sandwiches, wraps, bagels....


stuffed summer squash

Last Monday, Farmer Pete had too many squashes, so he told us -his lucky customers- to take as many as we wanted. I took a lot. Really a lot. After making a big pot of soup and a good-sized bowl of ratatouille, there were still some left. In fact I kept the cute spherical ones for last. I didn't know yet what to do with them but I was pretty sure that I would end up doing something nice. These "stuffed summer squash" are inspired by the "verdurine ripiene" we usually eat during summer in Italy at my in-laws'. 



I love focaccia. Especially the "real" focaccia "Genovese". I used to make a recipe I already wrote about (here, a very quick and easy one). This time around, I tried a recipe from the vivalafocaccia.com blog. It's an exhaustive blog written both in English and Italian. I wanted to try one of its recipes since long time ago, but never found the right moment to do it. The blogger's family used to have a bakery in Genova. He adapted the original recipes for  home use. Most of the recipes have an accompanying video (among them: the focaccia's). Useful for the newbies. The result was very convincing. The only weak point was the crust: a little bit too soft for my taste. But this could have been due to my poor execution.
Recipe in English


heidi swanson's baked oatmeal

If you like oatmeal and bread pudding, you'll love this baked oatmeal. 
If you don't like oatmeal and bread pudding, you'll still love this baked oatmeal. 
If you like oatmeal but don't like bread pudding, you'll still love this baked oatmeal. 
If you don't like oatmeal but like bread pudding, you'll still love this baked oatmeal.


le melanzane di luciana

My in-laws were here a few days ago. Like every Italian mother-in-law, my mother-in-law cooks. And YES, she cooks delicious Italian meals. But NO, she doesn't cook the typical ones requiring hours of preparation. She likes easy and fast recipes. So my mother-in-law is not a typical Italian mother-in-law. Her single portions of melanzane are simply delicious. They also freeze very well.


heidi swanson's weeknight curry

Another recipe from Super Natural Everyday, by Heidi Swanson. I'm considering trying them all! So easy. So quick. So good. So different. So veggie. So grains. So healthy. So whole. So diverse. So San Francisco.


meyer lemons + rosemary lemonade (w/ or w/out a twist)

Delicious as is. Even more with the twist: add 1 shot of gin to your glass of lemonade.


the sparkling cake

A cake. The cake. The one that my daughters regularly ask me to bake for their birthday parties: plain, soft, moist, sweet, very sweet. A sparkling cake, as they like to call it. The sparkling cake.


rye soda bread

The easiest and quickest bread I've ever made. And on top of that, it's healthy and delicious. At the first try, my kids were skeptical. I think it was because they were not used to rye flour (which has a strong taste) and also because they ate it when it was still warm. You should wait until the bread cools down completely before eating it. The second time, they loved it. And so do I, needless to say...


orzo+broccoli pesto salad

I couldn't resist. I had to try a recipe from the book right away. And post it here with a picture of the dish (even though I don't have a new camera yet; the picture was taken by my iPhone). And since I'm in a hurry (going to Tahoe tomorrow), I copied and pasted the recipe from another blog I love http://sproutedkitchen.com that posted the same recipe a few days ago. It was delicious! Even my two daughters, who don't like broccoli, loved it. However, for them I didn't put broccoli florets and avocado on top.

super natural every day

I pre-ordered it a few weeks ago. Just got it today. I'm talking about "Super Natural Every Day", by Heidi Svanson (author of one of my favorites blogs: www.101cookbooks.com). So inspiring. Love it.

3-seed bread

Thankfully I still have some nice pictures and recipes to share. Like this one. It's only a variation of the Tassajara Bread I've already written about here. But it is worth to mention again. The recipe is 100% trustful. 



I left my beloved camera in a shuttle last week end in NY. And obviously, never saw it again. I feel empty, lonely. Really. I'll be quieter than ever on this blog until my beloved husband (do you hear me, amore mio?) will forgive me for my negligence and buy me another camera (I'd like the exact same one, honey!)


mushroom+farro soup

A flavorful and comforting soup to help us emerging from the wet and cold weather.


strawberries+lemon+basil clafoutis

I was inspired by a clafoutis recipe because of its unusual basil "touch". The day I baked it I didn't have any basil leaves on hand, but I decided to go for it anyway.


veggie+cheese+chutney sandwich

I love love love this open-faced sandwich! You have to give it a try. The chutney's sweet and spicy taste goes so well with the creamy cheese and the earthy veggies.


raisin chutney

I didn't know what to expect from this recipe since I'm not a regular chutney eater nor a chutney maker. I tasted chutney only from time to time in some Indian restaurants. That's about it. Still, I wanted to try. It's easy and fun to make. And it tastes delicious. In the next post, I'll show you a way -that I'm crazy about- to use the chutney we just made.  Stay tuned.


endive + portobello mushroom salad

A couple of days ago I ordered some ultra-fresh Belgian endives from an independent seller. When I received them, I was very surprised to read on the box: "California - vegetable specialties - Endives".... Aren't the "Belgian" endives Belgian? This gave me the idea of going for a Californian recipe instead of my traditional Belgian one ("chicons au gratin")! In the recipe I followed, the endives are grilled, paired with portobello mushrooms, and topped with a balsamic vinegar dressing. A delight. 


orange whole wheat hotcakes

Last Sunday I din't  have any milk or buttermilk for cooking my usual Sunday breakfast pancakes (here or here). So I've tried these "orange whole wheat hotcakes" adapted from the Tassajara Bread Book. Even though they look like pancakes, "hotcakes" are different: they are more dense, crunchy, and fragrant.  Husband+daughters approved!


3-citrus marmelade

I'm still learning! If you remember well, last year at the same period, I was struggling to find some recipe so that i could use all the Meyer lemons from my backyard (see 1.dressing, 2.lemonade, 3. marmelade + here, 4.tart, and more recently 5.bars). This year I tried the three-citrus marmelade from Kim Boyce "Good to the Grain". Again I experienced some problems with the consistency of my marmelade. This one is a little too thick on the contrary of last year's which was too thin! It tastes really, really good though. I have big hopes for next year!


mustard butter pasta + broccoli

Usually I'm not a big fan of pasta with butter. But this recipe intrigued me. I've never thought about the association butter + mustard, even less combined with pasta. I enjoyed it. I modified the quantity of butter in the original recipe though, to fit my taste better. I'll give you both. Make your own proportions.



Let's celebrate Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday by making - and especially by eating! - some "crustoli" (typical carnival-ish Italian sweets). Alike all carnival-ish treats around the world, the crustoli are..... fried! But they are not too sweet. They are not too greasy. They are not too filling. They are crispy. They are tasty. They are gooooood!!!!!!!


lemon poppy seeds muffins

It's here in California that I discovered the combination of lemon + poppy seeds in baked goods. And I loved it. Right away. And still do. A lot. Hmmmmm. So good. Yummy. Irresistible. Heaven. 


kenneth's mom's healthy snack

Kenneth is a very good friend of my daughter Camille. Her mom volunteers at school every single week. Here is what Kenneth's mom e-mailed me last week: "Camille is one of our biggest fans for cooked chard in the garden during Nature Zone on Wednesdays at lunchtime. She asked me to send you my recipe. I chop a bunch of chard into small pieces. Sautee it in some olive oil. Add raisins. Serve. Very simple. We serve it on saltine crackers at school. I think the kids like the mix of sweet and salty."  Thanks Kathy for teaching the kids how to grow fruits and vegetables, for taking care of the garden at school, and for giving the kids healthy food habits. Also thanks for sharing your recipe with us. 


chanterelle tart

I bought some fresh (and pricey!) chanterelles at the farmers' market on Sunday. I didn't want to waste my money improvising a recipe... So I made this quiche from Everyday Greens. Money well spent!


dates + almond milk smoothie

You might have bought some almond milk to make the blueberry almond milk smoothie posted a couple of weeks ago.  You might have some almond milk leftovers. You might be interested by another recipe using almond milk...


pesto rolls

A good place to use the almond kale pesto that you just made, right? Any kind of filling works by the way. Great for picnic and lunch boxes.


kale almond pesto

Obviously, it's kale season! I do not know how to cook it anymore*. In such cases, making pesto is always a good solution. See the recipe of the arugula pesto that I mentioned a few months ago. Today pesto has helped me to get rid of my "extra" greens. This pesto version is less oily. First of all, I wanted my pesto to really taste kale. Second of all, because I found out that since you add oil on top of the jar for preserving the pesto, adding too much oil in the pesto itself is not necessary. You can still add it later (or simply add pasta water to liquefy it when used with pasta). Finally, used in some recipes, it's better to have a denser pesto. You'll see what I mean in the next post...


homemade creme fraiche

"Chose promise, chose due". I don't know how to  say it in English. Sorry. The recipe is in English though.


after the soup, the salad

An happy combination ... some beets*, some sour oranges, some lettuce, some sprouts, some extra-virgin olive oil, and salt....
* roasted yesterday; to roast beets, see here.

romaine lettuce soup

Not in a good mood today... It's pouring rain... It's cold... It's lunch time... Need something warm and comforting so that I won't end up eating the tempting banana bread my friend just gave me! Nothing in my fridge except 2 romaine lettuce hearts. Two romaine lettuce hearts I just said?



Mac&Cheese? Yes? No? Maybe? Here is a revised version of the traditional US "Macaroni and Cheese". You will never guess what's inside! Neither will your kids. Even when they know, they'll still ask for it.


happy valentine's day

Nothing really new here. Just the pleasure to post for Valentine's day. These hearts are cut in this bread. Except it's the winter version: with dried cranberries and Californian walnuts instead of fresh blueberries. Happy Valentine's day!


brussels sprout salad

A different way to eat Brussels sprouts: as a salad. I was inspired by Heidi Svanson's recipe (here). There is also another version of her recipe in Italian (here). After the jump, I'll give you the original recipe, but I have to say that I didn't follow it because I made this salad only for me today. So I simply put the shredded Brussels sprouts on my plate and then added the nuts, the herbs (cilantro instead of thyme+ chives), a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil, and a splash of lemon juice according to my taste. Before eating, toss the salad and let it stand 5 minutes. It helps developing the flavors. Then add the cheese (pecorino). In the Italian version, there are also some caramelized apples. Next time...


white beans + kale crostini

Another recipe from Everyday Greens cookbook. In fact I've put together 2 recipes because I had some leftovers from one of them. Perfect as appetizers or quick lunch (especially if you have the beans cooked already).