Plum Sparkler

Plums are ripe and abundant on neighborhood trees.  While 2020 has been a tumultuous year, it’s been fabulous for plums.  Something about the weather here in California has graced the plum trees with amazing fecundity.  A friend has a bumper crop of Santa Rosa plums and gifted me with a crate of ripe fruit.  This…

Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Cake

My daughter left her apartment in NYC and came back to California due to the Covid-19 shut down — I’m grateful that she is safe and with me for the moment!  One of the things she misses from her life on the east coast is a lemon poppy seed muffin made by a cafe next…

Gravenstein Apple Slab Pie

There is a local apple variety that is hitting the markets right now — the Gravenstein Apple. It’s juicy and fresh, with a delightfully balanced flavor. This early ripening apple is an old fashioned variety that does well in northern CA, with Sonoma County it’s epicenter of production. I attended the Gravenstein Apple Fair last…

Cocoa Cherry Smoothie

What if your smoothie tasted so good that you’d gladly enjoy one for dessert . . . but it was actually loaded with superfood?  Well, wonder no more!  This smoothie is tastier than a slice of 1970s era Black Forest Cake, but will power you up with the goodness of cherries, cocoa, and chia.  I…

Spiced Cocktail Cherries

Luscious red cherries are a glorious fruit to pair with whiskey in house-crafted cocktails.  One of my favorites is the Manhattan, often garnished with a preserved cherry.  I wondered how I could make my own fresher version of this bar back staple, and capitalize on the beautiful sweet cherries currently in season. The Bing cherry…

Fresh Berry Butter Cake

Berries are beautiful — and make this quick, buttery cake the best.  This is a redo of one of my earlier recipes, scaled smaller optimized for berries.  I think it’s perfect for an afternoon treat. Fresh Berry  Butter Cake (makes one 8″ cake) 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 5 oz (3/4 cup) granulated sugar…