vanilla bean & meyer lemon chess pie

Vanilla Bean & Meyer Lemon Chess Pie | daisysworld.net

Citrus season reaches its peak in winter.  Isn’t that great timing?  Just as Mother Nature is dumping massive amounts of snow on many parts of the country, here in California, she is providing an abundance of tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons so that we can bask in the bright, citrusy sunshine even on the coldest days of winter.  To me, nothing says summer-in-the-middle-of-winter more than meyer lemons.

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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

at the county fair: corn dogs

Corn Dogs

Let me tell you what I love about summer.

I love the sunny days that seem to last forever. I love going to the beach and the feeling of sand between my toes and the warmth of the sun against my skin. I love the coconut scent of my sunscreen. I love wearing fun, flirty dresses and flip flops and big straw hats.

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corn cakes with strawberry and tomato salsa

Corn Cakes wth Strawberry-Tomato Salsa

Thanks to the abundant sunshine, fertile soil, and cool coastal breezes, farmers up and down the state of California are able to grow a huge variety of crops, many of which are shipped all over the country. We are fortunate to live here in Southern California, where we have access to many of these locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of them, such as those featured in today’s recipe, are at their peak of flavor during the late spring to early summer.

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plum and peach galette

A galette is a French round, flat cake made made with pastry or yeast dough and topped with either a savory or sweet filling, such as fruit, jam, nuts, meat and cheese. It is quicker and simpler to make than a pie or tart.  Its deliberately free-formed shape eliminates the need for a pie tin or tart pan. A galette only requires a bottom layer of dough, so there’s no crimping or latticework, often done to finish pies. The dough is simply rolled out, the filling placed in the center, and the excess pastry pulled toward the middle to hold everything in.  It’s meant to be rustic and irregularly shaped, not at all fussy nor fancy.

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blueberry corn muffins with blueberry-flavored mascarpone and my first giveaway

Corn is one of my favorite vegetables, and I enjoy eating it in many forms – grilled corn on the cob, cornbread with honey butter, and, yes, canned creamed corn. Actually, when I was younger, I used to eat creamed corn with evaporated milk and sugar. I loved it!  Even as a kid, I had an insatiable sweet tooth. Continue reading