Simple, Delicious Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce

The taste of this simple sauce of slightly sweetened, fresh strawberries transports me back to my childhood summers. In my memories, the berries are just picked and still sandy, the air is warm and humid, and my friends and I are barefoot and laughing. Ah summer! Continue reading

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Simple Dipping Sauce for Artichokes

Soy, Lemon & Butter Sauce

Here’s a suggestion for an easy dipping sauce to enjoy with your artichoke. Years ago, a chef friend remarked that soy sauce and butter was one of his favorite flavor combinations. That comment inspired me to add soy sauce to my earlier dip that I made for artichokes: melted butter with fresh lemon juice. I really love the addition of soy sauce; it adds an umami element to the sauce. Continue reading

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How to Cook an Artichoke

Globe & Baby Artichokes

Globe and baby artichokes

I have to thank my husband, David, for this entry. He’s the one who discovered this cooking method for artichokes.

I came to love artichokes when I lived in Northern California. Artichokes can’t be grown just anywhere. They need a certain soil and the right growing conditions. Those conditions exist in Southern Europe and, fortunately, in Castroville, California, just south of San Francisco. They grow year round, but the peak growing season is spring. There is a second abundant season in the fall. Artichokes from California are now beginning to show up in my local markets and I couldn’t be happier. Continue reading

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How to Roast a Chicken

Roast Chicken

Most of you are probably planning to roast a turkey for Thanksgiving, but here’s an option for a smaller gathering: roast chicken. The technique for making a roast chicken and a roast turkey are the same. I love roast chicken, and it’s incredibly easy to do. It makes a great family dinner or weekend entertaining dish. When MM and I travel we often make it as a thank you meal for our hosts, and it never ceases to please. Continue reading

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How to Calibrate a Thermometer

Thermometer and Ice Bath

Calibrating your thermometer is one of the most important things you can do in preparation for cooking your Thanksgiving turkey. Why? If your thermometer isn’t calibrated you won’t get an accurate measurement of the internal temperature of the turkey as it cooks. Continue reading

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Chocolate Coconut Bon Bons

Chocolate Coconut Bon Bons

On Monday I had the pleasure of being a judge at the 6th annual K&L Gates Cook-Off/ Bake-Off. This was a friendly, in-house cooking competition organized by the Diversity Committee at K&L with four categories for the dishes: appetizers, entrées, desserts, and a kid’s category. There was a lot of friendly rivalry, competition, ribbing, cheers, and applause. They had a witty MC who kept it lively. Prizes were awarded to the top three winners in each category. The Chocolate Coconut Bon Bons made by Margie Dorr, above, won second place in the dessert category. Continue reading

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Frozen Fruit Salad

Frozen Fruit Salad

What to do with leftover fruit salad? Freeze it using an ice cube tray if you have one.  Continue reading

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Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy

Fruit Salad Fruits

All you parents with kids of a certain age will recognize the title of this post as the name of a fabulous song by the Wiggles. “Fruit Salad” was my all-time favorite Wiggles song. I was a major Wiggles fan; I saw them live twice! Yet fruit salad has never been one of my favorite dishes. Unless I get control over the fruits, that is. Continue reading

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How to Grow Endless Cilantro

Flowering Cilantro

I enjoy growing fresh herbs. They don’t require a lot of attention and you get a lot of flavor for limited efforts. However, one thing always had me puzzled. Whenever I would plant cilantro (coriander) it would rapidly bolt, go to seed, in hot weather. So I’d remove the plant from my herb bed. I wondered how it is that in tropical climates you can buy fresh cilantro throughout the year. How do they do it? Continue reading

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Snow Ice Cream

Snow Ice cream

I know this is an odd post for April, but we had our biggest snowstorm of the season last week. It was the first time this winter that we could make snow ice cream, a childhood favorite of mine. My sister, Kim, and I loved coming home from school on sufficiently snowy days to make big bowls of the stuff. My mom taught us how to make it, and I’ve joyfully passed the recipe to MM. It’s become one of his favorite snowy day treats as well. Continue reading

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