orange buttermilk pancakes with blackberry maple syrup

Orange Buttermilk Pancakes with Blackberry Maple Syrup

Made-from-scratch pancakes take a few minutes longer to make than the pre-packaged mix, but they are definitely worth the extra effort. These tender and flavorful Orange Buttermilk Pancakes are perfect for soaking up the homemade Blackberry Maple Syrup. I topped these pancakes with fresh blackberries and peaches, but any other berry, sliced bananas, and toasted nuts would be delicious as well. Continue reading

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fig and orange honey mini cakes

Fig and Orange Honey Mini Cakes

While re-organizing the huge mess in the cabinet which houses all of my muffin tins, pie, tart, and assorted sheet pans, I came across a mini-popover pan, wrapped in plastic with the receipt taped on it, from the year 2000.  I must have meant to return it, but obviously, I never did. Instead,  I packed it and  moved it from our condo in Orange County, CA to our apartment in downtown Seattle, to our house in Bellevue, WA, and back to Southern California, first to an apartment and then to our current house, still wrapped in its original packaging. Continue reading

vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes | daisysworld.net

We’ve been suffering through a heat wave in Southern California, which has disrupted what has otherwise been a mild summer. We don’t have air conditioning, but we live close enough to the beach to benefit from the coastal breezes so our house cools off quite nicely in the evenings, without the exorbitant electric bills.  However, we do have a couple of weeks each summer when we wish we had air conditioning to cool us off and this has been one of those weeks. Continue reading

green goddess dressing

Green Goddess Dressing

My husband and I just returned from a relaxing and fun-filled weekend in San Francisco. We had a wonderful time discovering new restaurants and revisiting old favorites, wandering around the city, and watching the Italians and Kiwis race for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the right to face Oracle/Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup which is being held in San Francisco Bay. I’ll be posting more about our trip later, but I wanted to share this recipe first. Continue reading

apricot cornmeal cakes

Apricot Cornmeal Cakes

These days, I am completely obsessed with stone fruits. Every time I go to the store, I pick some up, either to eat fresh or to cook with.  I am featuring apricots in this recipe, but peaches, nectarines, or even plums would work just as well.  I came across this recipe from A Spicy Perspective, a beautiful blog from professional writer, recipe developer, and food stylist, Summer Collier. What intrigued me was her addition of Chinese Five-Spice Powder, which I have only (narrow-mindedly) used in savory dishes.  Continue reading

chicken karaage: japanese fried chicken

Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken

I’ve always had a thing for fried foods: french fries, onion rings, corn dogs, and doughnuts. You name it, if it’s fried, chances are good that I’d love it.  Without a doubt, my favorite fried food is fried chicken. When I make it at home, I used to use a  traditional Southern fried chicken recipe with buttermilk until I discovered chicken karaage, Japanese fried chicken, or JFC, for short. Now, it’s my go-to fried chicken recipe. Continue reading

nectarine, peach, and blackberry cake

Nectarine, Peach, and Blackberry Cake

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was waxing poetic about the many things I loved about the summer. Yet, it feels like summer is quickly slipping away. June is a distant blur; July came and went in a blink of an eye. Now, the days are getting shorter and there’s a hint of autumn in the night air. August is almost halfway over. Where did the time go?  Continue reading

grilled peaches with burrata and prosciutto

Grilled Peaches with Burrata and Prosciutto

Are you looking for something different to serve at your next barbecue? Why not grill peaches alongside the burgers and steaks to serve as an appetizer, side dish, or salad.

Peaches on the grill are delicious; their natural sugars caramelize and their flavor becomes more concentrated and slightly smoky.

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polenta with slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto

Polenta with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto

I love when my garden dictates what I am going to cook. This past week, both the red cherry and yellow pear tomato plants were loaded with fruit, and when that happens simultaneously, we just can’t eat them fast enough. To extend their shelf life, I slow roasted them with a little garlic and some fresh herbs from the garden. At the same time, the basil plant was lush and green, with enough fragrant leaves to make a batch of pesto sauce. Continue reading

peach pie smoothie and a giveaway

Peach Pie Smoothie

I like milk. I like its creamy, buttery taste and, to me, it’s best ice cold with a chocolate chip cookie or two. On the other hand, I’ve never liked soy milk. Years ago, I tried it and I didn’t care for its watery flavor and chalky texture. Recently, however, I was convinced by some fellow bloggers to try it again and surprisingly, I found that it actually tasted good and not gritty. While it doesn’t compare to the flavor and texture of milk, I have had a change of heart. I still prefer to drink regular milk, but I have started to use soy milk, specifically in smoothies. My first attempt at making a soy milk smoothie, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Smoothie, was such a success that I am using soy milk again for this one. Continue reading

greek orzo salad with mustard-dill vinaigrette

Greek Orzo Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette
This pasta is ideal for a potluck or picnic.  It will feed a large group and can sit out a bit at the buffet table.  But that’s not the only reason to make this Greek orzo salad.  It is easy to make and packs well for light, yet filling work day lunches.  It also makes a wonderful summer evening supper to be enjoyed outdoors, perhaps, with some crusty bread and a glass of wine.  Like many pasta salads, this one tastes better the next day, when all of the flavors have had a change to meld. Continue reading

andalusian gazpacho

Andalusian Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold soup from Andalucía, in southern Spain. Many food historians believe that it is derived from a Roman dish made with bread and water flavored with olive oil and salt. The name gazpacho may come from the Latin word, caspa, meaning “fragments” or “little pieces”, which refers to the bread crumbs, an essential ingredient in the Andalusian version. The bread not only thickens the soup, but also makes it more filling. Tomatoes, considered today as classic ingredient in gazpacho, was not added to the soup until the discovery of the New World.

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roasted strawberry, buttermilk, and mascarpone ice cream

Roasted Strawberry, Buttermilk, and Mascarpone Ice Cream

The reviews* are in:

This ice cream is so good! It tastes like strawberry cheesecake.
– unbiased family member #1

You made this?!? It taste just like the ice cream you buy at the store.
– unbiased family member #2

I didn’t think I liked fruity ice cream until I tasted this. I love it!
– unbiased family member #3

*Yes, the reviews are from my family, but none of them were compensated for their opinions.

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caffè shakerato

Caffè Shakerato

When I was a little girl, I would lurk around the breakfast table in the mornings, pestering my parents or my aunt to let me dunk my pan de sal (Filipino rolls) in their coffee. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to drink it, which made me want it even more. However, once in a while, my mom would nod her head and allow me to dip my bread in one of the cups and watch it soak up the coffee like a sponge. I would quickly put the soggy bread in my mouth so the coffee wouldn’t drip down my arm and all over the table. I particularly coveted my aunt’s coffee, which was a couple shades lighter in color than my dad’s, as she preferred her coffee with a generous amount of milk (and sugar, for that matter).

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at the county fair: funnel cake

At the County Fair: Funnel Cakes

For many Americans, going to the state or county fair is as much a summer tradition as baseball and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Despite the searing heat and sweaty crowds, we flock to the fair to enjoy the carnival games, rides, attractions, and, of course, the food. For me, the food is only one reason to go. Shocking, right? I can skip the games (I’m way too old for stuffed animals), the rides (I never understood the appeal of spinning really fast while suspended in mid-air), and the animals (too smelly, too hot, and ewww, too smelly). I just can’t skip the corn dogs, grilled corn, and, of course, the funnel cake! Continue reading